Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Do remakes/sequels/reimagined desecrate a beloved original?

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Do remakes/sequels/reimagined desecrate a beloved original?

Old 12-28-08, 11:24 AM
  #1  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 44,374
Received 333 Likes on 295 Posts
Do remakes/sequels/reimagined desecrate a beloved original?

I don't understand why people always complain about remakes, long gestating sequels, etc... Would the outcome really hinder your love for the original?

Whether it turns out to be horrifically bad or surprisingly good, should it take away from the original you loved so much?

Make the argument because i just don't understand hate for speculation or rants for upcoming remakes of movies we grew up on and revere.

I know it doesn't take away the slightest my enjoyment the first time and subsequent viewings of movies that may or may not have been bastardized since.
Old 12-28-08, 11:36 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,349
Received 20 Likes on 8 Posts
No, I hate that argument as well.
Old 12-28-08, 11:49 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,935
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I don't like the argument either, though I admit the prequels and updated versions of Star Wars have tempered my enjoyment of the original trilogy.
Old 12-28-08, 11:57 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 35,849
Received 351 Likes on 258 Posts
As for remakes...

It doesn't take away from my love of the original. I will always have that.

But, IMO, it shows a general lack of respect to the original in that they think something was wrong with it and they want to right a wrong. It shows a laziness in someone's ability to come up with something original on their own. It shows a waste of money that might've been used in better ways. It makes the baby Jesus cry, too.

As for sequels, for the most part, I have no problem with them.
Old 12-28-08, 12:07 PM
  #5  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 44,374
Received 333 Likes on 295 Posts
Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
As for remakes...

It doesn't take away from my love of the original. I will always have that.

But, IMO, it shows a general lack of respect to the original in that they think something was wrong with it and they want to right a wrong. It shows a laziness in someone's ability to come up with something original on their own. It shows a waste of money that might've been used in better ways. It makes the baby Jesus cry, too.

As for sequels, for the most part, I have no problem with them.
why is it a lack of respect? i think you hit it with laziness and Hollywood's ability to be original. i don't necessarily think they think something was wrong i just think there is a lack of creativity nowadays and thus go back to things that worked, simply lazy, but i don't think disrespect as many of these directors that take on the new ones cite reverance and admiration for the original, blah blah blah...

i really do see these new ones, whether it be Superman Returns or Zombie's Halloween which i both disliked as separate entities and don't really associate with their 78 originals.

i loved the Dawn of the Dead remake, but it doesn't hold a candle or do i even think of it in the same scope as the 78 original (what's with all these 78 remakes?). they are just similar genre movies to me.

Last edited by OldBoy; 12-28-08 at 12:17 PM.
Old 12-28-08, 12:10 PM
  #6  
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 11,974
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
The thing is that the newer ADD generation will choose the remake over the original because is either in color, has the flavor of the week actors, looks visually better. They will dismiss the original for the remake or reboot just because is newer. One example of this is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. My wife has a friend that refuses to see that one instead of the remake, because the remake has Ashton Kutcher. To me, we are dumbing down society by doing this.

I'll put it this way: Imagine if someone did a remake of a book. Let's say a Cervantes' book. Instead of Don Quixote, he changes the names to Don D and the Fat Boy and re-does the entire concept, only keeping minimal stuff of the original book and feeds it to the masses as better than the original. what do you think now?
Old 12-28-08, 12:49 PM
  #7  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 115 Likes on 77 Posts
Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
Imagine if someone did a remake of a book.
Or of a play. *gasp* What if only one of Shakespeare's plays was an original story and the rest were all remakes!!! Surely he wouldn't be held in such high regard.
Old 12-28-08, 01:00 PM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bellefontaine, Ohio
Posts: 5,628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I dont know . Quantum of SOlace is probably going to hinder my enjoyment of at least the ending of Casino Royale because once I see the ending to CR i know its downhilll from there.
Old 12-28-08, 01:06 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: H-Town, TX
Posts: 3,662
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by starman9000 View Post
I don't like the argument either, though I admit the prequels and updated versions of Star Wars have tempered my enjoyment of the original trilogy.
For me, the originals have been damaged more because Lucas went back and altered the Trilogy and refuses to release quality versions of the unmodified films on DVD(sorry, but non-anamorphic LD rehashes don't count).

I've grown accustomed to ignoring crappy sequels/prequels to movies I love. Among those are Superman III & IV, Indiana Jones IV, the Star Wars Prequels, Hannibal and Red Dragon, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, The Godfather Part III, and Star Trek V. It's actually very easy with the self-contained sequels to pretend they never happened.

Something like Spider-Man 3 is more of a problem. Spider-Man 2 ended not with a cliffhanger, but certainly unresolved plot threads(Harry Osborn being the biggest). So it's harder to ignore #3 and pretend the series ended at #2.

As for remakes, they're by far the easiest to ignore if they suck. Did Gus Van Sant's pointless shot-for-shot recreation of Psycho in any way damage Hitchcock's work? No. Did Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes take away from the 1968 original? Not at all. Those remakes have long since been forgotten while the movies that inspired them are still beloved.
Old 12-28-08, 02:29 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
dhmac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Kissimmee, Florida
Posts: 7,328
Received 44 Likes on 41 Posts
Bad sequels/prequels can hurt an original when they carry on the same storyline in a bad way, because the movies are then essentially joined at the hip and it's tough to watch the original again without remembering what the bad continuation did.

Bad remakes aren't as harmful, but it does get me p.o.-ed to no end when the remake shows no respect whatsoever for the original film (and frequently throws out everything except the title, which begs the question of why even call it a remake). For me, this leads to the question of why filmmakers would want to do a remake of a movie that they apparently hate? (Only if the original film showed no respect to an original novel is the only time this makes any sense.)

.
Old 12-28-08, 02:51 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Matthew Chmiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 13,263
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
Bad sequels/prequels can hurt an original when they carry on the same storyline in a bad way, because the movies are then essentially joined at the hip and it's tough to watch the original again without remembering what the bad continuation did.
I think a good, recent example of this is the Saw franchises where each film takes place where the prior one left off (or in the case of Saw IV, takes place at the same time of the events of Saw III). Unfortunately, each film has been shit since the third outing and it's hard to rewatch the original films with the realization that the story will turn to shit.

Another example of this would be The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, however, I'd be one of the few to disagree.

Bad remakes aren't as harmful, but it does get me p.o.-ed to no end when the remake shows no respect whatsoever for the original film (and frequently throws out everything except the title, which begs the question of why even call it a remake). For me, this leads to the question of why filmmakers would want to do a remake of a movie that they apparently hate?
I think remakes should only be done when the original (by general consensus) wasn't that good to begin with. There are a few that are exceptions to that rule that actually work (Dawn of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes); but why remake a film when it's already near perfect?
Old 12-28-08, 02:59 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
dhmac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Kissimmee, Florida
Posts: 7,328
Received 44 Likes on 41 Posts
When I said "Only if the original film showed no respect to an original novel is the only time this makes any sense" about remakes, I was thinking of The Maltese Falcon in particular, which was the 3rd film version of the original novel by Dashiell Hammett. But it was the 1st of these film versions to respect the original novel - the previous two versions threw out most of it - so, in cases like this, then a remake is a good idea.

.
Old 12-28-08, 03:17 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
DarthVong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under your bed
Posts: 5,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The correct answer is "no".
Old 12-28-08, 03:48 PM
  #14  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,659
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just look at what happened to Halloween and Friday the 13th. Great movies turned into spoofs of themselves. Jason takes Manhatten? Jason goes to Outer Space? WTF.
Old 12-28-08, 03:58 PM
  #15  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 44,374
Received 333 Likes on 295 Posts
Originally Posted by Ronnie Dobbs View Post
Just look at what happened to Halloween and Friday the 13th. Great movies turned into spoofs of themselves. Jason takes Manhatten? Jason goes to Outer Space? WTF.
Jason Goes to Outer Space aka Jason X is actually one of my guilty pleasures.

but even as bad as the sequels are i certainly don't hold it against the originals and even find some of them quite fun.
Old 12-28-08, 08:18 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 36,850
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Absolutely not. Just as bad movies based on good novels/comic books don't ruin said novels/comic books. The source material is still there for you to enjoy.

My main gripe with lousy remakes and unnecesarry sequels/prequels is that I'd rather see something new and original than just a retread of the same old thing. Of course there are certain isntances where I'm all for a remake. Highlander for instance. It's one of my favorite movies but the subject is so interesting that I'm all for a new interpretation of the material. Another case would be when the original isn't all that great but had a great premise. An excellent remake can really do more justice to the subject matter than the original. Case in point: L.A. Takedown vs. Heat.
Old 12-28-08, 10:39 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Maxflier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 12,203
Received 50 Likes on 33 Posts
Add me to the list that hate this stupid argument. The original will always be there for you if that is all you want to watch. And so what if all people want to watch is something that is newer, it's their right to watch whatever they want to, not what some poster on DVDTALK.com thinks they should be watching.
Old 12-28-08, 11:51 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,003
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
The only thing I hate is now I have to specify what movie I'm talking about, like "The original Day the Earth Stood Still"
Old 12-29-08, 01:19 AM
  #19  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,580
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
The only thing I hate is now I have to specify what movie I'm talking about, like "The original Day the Earth Stood Still"
I think that hits the problem on the head. Remakes should never 'ruin' the experience for those who saw the original first.

However, some may ONLY have seen the remake & will never see the original after experiencing the weaker version. I have had to convince friends that it really is worth seeing the original...that it's really 'that good', after all...while they still have a bad taste left in their mouths from the remake.

Some may never even know there was an original to begin with. Or they see the remake first, which then spoils the story somewhat when they finally see the superior version with better directing, acting, and dialogue.

For instance, I feel sorry for people who saw Scorsese's "Cape Fear" before seeing the original. As much as I like Marty's movies (and realize that he was trying for an homage, right down to using the original soundtrack)...the remake, IMHO, was like a parody of the gripping original...so much so that it was (rightly) lampooned on The Simpsons (particularly the laughable "van ride lashed to the chassis" scene).

I also abhor "remakes" that completely change the storyline...for example, the Demi Moore-Gary Oldham version of "The Scarlet Letter".

So I do think that one can make a case for some lame sequels having the ability to "desecrate" the originals in some instances. Imagine if people were staging versions of Hamlet in which Hamlet wins the day, marries Ophelia, and they live happily ever after (same for Romeo & Juliet). Wouldn't you consider those examples to be travesties when they might be the ONLY version that some people ever saw?

Perhaps it would be good if posters could list some remakes that leave a bad impression...here are a few of my suggestions:

Planet of the Apes
Scarlet Letter
Cape Fear
(plus any number of TV "remakes": Wild, Wild West; Bewitched; Beverly Hillbillies, Honeymooners).

Last edited by creekdipper; 12-29-08 at 01:24 AM.
Old 12-29-08, 01:39 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,258
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
My answer to the OP:

"Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones sucked. Now A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back are dead to me!"

(No, not really).

Last edited by dugan; 12-29-08 at 01:42 AM.
Old 12-29-08, 04:15 AM
  #21  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 175
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to add my few cents: While many of the posts in this thread have in a way talked about it, no one seems to have yet explicitly brought up the "messing up with the contextual space" argument.

Which goes something like this: I watch, say, Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru and experience it based on my limited knowledge of early 1950s Japanese society, other works I have seen from Kurosawa, and perhaps a short introduction or an essay that I have read somewhere. I form an interpretation of what I have seen.

Now, Jim Sheridan comes along and remakes Ikiru. He sets it in 2009 America, thus giving the story a very different reference point. He consequently changes this and that in the story, and perhaps it ends up being a fairly good movie in the end. But now, whenever I watch Kurosawa's original, I cannot help taking Sheridan's re-interpretation of the story into account. The new version has, so to speak, entered the contextual space of Ikiru, and is capable of forcing at least some influence on my relationship with the original.

And there, I believe, lies the source of the problem. We don't want our contextual spaces to be messed up with. Once we have formed an interpretation of a movie (or a book, a play, a political candidate, the world -- anything), many of us try to hold onto it quite religiously.

Perhaps even more importantly, for some reason we also tend to think that a single work of art is only allowed to have a single reading, or just one way of experiencing it. We use our real-life logic and suppose that if two contradictory interpretations arise, one of them has to be wrong -- but studying art does not need to be like studying physics. The two may well serve similar purposes (namely, understanding ourselves and the world around us), but it is difficult to see why the methodologies couldn't differ. One, after all, attempts to reach its goal by studying reality, the other fiction.

Furthermore, where this argument against remakes becomes perhaps even more problematic is when you realise that not only a remake, but in fact anything is capable of having an effect, however small, on your relationship with a work of art.

Say, I have watched Ikiru a few times, and have formed an interpretation of it as a film about an individual spending his last days trying to help someone. Which is pretty much what the surface story gives us. Then, one day I completely by accident happen to read about Japanese body metaphors, and how the abdomen is considered something like the place of one's life force. As the protagonist of Ikiru has stomach cancer, I find this interesting.

A few days later, I read about the way in which cancer in post-war Japanese society was often viewed as having been caused by nuclear fallout, both from the bombs and the subsequent nuclear tests by foreign powers. Now, a new interpretation of Ikiru suddenly becomes available to me: I can begin to see it (also) as a potential commentary on the condition of post-war Japanese society's "soul", and the influence that American occupation is having on it. Suddenly, two fairly unrelated articles have had a major influence on my reading of Ikiru.

There is, of course, a fundamental difference between a remake and a random article that happens to influence my reading of a film. The former more or less forces itself on the source material, and is far more difficult to ignore, whereas the latter needs much more work from my part.

Yet, I think that if we accept the idea that a single work can have numerous contradictory interpretations, I think that we can start to be able to pick and choose the influences that we want to apply for any given interpretation.

This is of course only one side of the issue. The other arguments against remakes that have already been mentioned in this thread, such as their typical lack of creativity (so often serving as cheap ways of making cash for the studios), the way remakes take over originals in terms of what new audiences will become familiar with, and so on are, I think, often very valid points to raise.

In the end, however, I would say that while it is a fascinating starting point for a discussion, a question like "Do remakes/sequels/reimagined desecrate a beloved original?" is ultimately quite pointless. It is like asking whether winters are cold. Some of them are, others not so. And what is cold for a Brazilian may not be all that cold for a Scandinavian.

I would therefore say that it makes more sense to judge remakes on an individual basis -- while also keeping in mind the various interpretations you can give for a work of art, and the fact that interpretations change.

So, to keep with the Kurosawa theme of this post, I would say that something like A Fistful of Dollars is a fairly interesting and pretty well-made remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Similarly, I would say that Last Man Standing, while not so good as a movie, adds to the original. I'm happy to have seen both.

On the other hand, last year's Japanese shot-by-shot remake of Sanjuro is something that I have not yet managed to find any purpose for. I find it quite pointless indeed, and adding nothing to the original, except for the slightly sour after taste that it gives to the original, since I still cannot entirely ignore the remake. I would really be happier not to have seen the remake. It wasted my time.

Having been something of a commercial failure, the Sanjuro remake perhaps also worked to lower the "worth" of the Kurosawa brand, making it slightly more difficult to argue for things like the need for a proper Dersu Uzala restoration. And I also fear that many new audiences will watch the in my opinion inferior remake, and skip the original. Therefore, not only would I be happier to not have seen the remake, but indeed I wish it had never been made to begin with. That is, of course, only a personal opinion (but I don't have any other kind).

Kudos to anyone who has read this far. I don't know if I ended up saying anything worth your while.
Old 12-29-08, 04:27 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
tylergfoster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,540
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
A sequel, no. A remake, yes. As others have suggested, for a new generation, the remake may take precedence over the original. We can all suggest that the march of time will prove the original the survivor, but I don't think we really know that yet, do we?

The problem is that the original really has to take precedence. If in 30 years people remember the remake of Dawn of the Dead as much as they remember the original, audiences of tomorrow are still likely to choose the remake (if even only for the reason that the remakes may be more literally, physically accessible in 30 years). It's in this way that a remake could be damaging to the legacy of the original.

In general, the remake craze needs to stop unless there's a real idea there. But as a lover of movies, if they exist, I do tend to find both sequels and remakes kind of interesting, especially those I get to "discover". It's cool to find out some classic movie has a long-forgotten sequel, because it's sometimes interesting or strange to think of the mindset that led to their creation.

Last edited by tylergfoster; 12-29-08 at 04:30 AM.
Old 12-29-08, 07:53 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
bluetoast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,975
Received 79 Likes on 62 Posts
Great post vili. As a major Kurosawa fan, and with Ikiru as my favorite movie, your reasoning hit home, and your referencing of those articles about the body made me want to read more.

And as for the Sanjuro re-make, thanks to your advice, I will avoid this remake for the future.
Old 12-29-08, 08:07 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Times Square
Posts: 12,135
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Of course an original is in no way diminished by a crappy remake. I just wonder why filmmakers have a compulsion to remake a film that got it right already, rather than remaking movies that had a solid premise but didn't work first time out.
Old 12-29-08, 11:09 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,193
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For me, it boils down to how much the original is connected to the sequel/remake. If the writer, director or actors have direct involvement, it's like the story is continuing and events do effect how I'll see the original movie(s) to a degree.

If on the other hand, a team of people uninvolved with the original want to revisit/remake/retool this story and it sucks- there's nothing to connect it to the original. Therefore it's not tarnished.

Of course, an additional annoyance comes when a large segment of the population has no clue that there was the original and the remake becomes their only reference point to the material. But that effects what I think of the remake, not the original.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.