We’ve all been there: that moment watching the theater previews when you realize they are releasing a remake.
Most of the time, I look like ^this^ when remakes come out. I have often been called
a purist old-fashioned for preferring the original versions of films. Well, can you blame me when atrocities like the 2001 Planet of the Apes or the 1997 That Darn Cat tarnish our screens?
If you think I’m being harsh, watch the originals. If you still disagree…
Remakes have been around since films began. Sometimes they don’t stop. There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, and Robin Hood that I’m loathe to list them here. Occasionally, some remakes are on par with their originals, like The Parent Trap (1961, 1998). But even I must admit that there are times when remakes are simply better. Here are five films that are a cut above their originals.
I recently had a Narnia movie marathon with a friend, in which we compared the 1988 BBC miniseries to the new film franchise. While animatronic Aslan has a special place in my heart (I’m nostalgic, okay?), there is no doubt that the updated version is superior. In terms of acting, special effects, and music, it far surpasses its predecessor.
While there is nothing wrong with the 1950s version, the cast of the remake created a preferable film. Why? It’s funny. Spencer Tracy can make you chuckle, but Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, and Martin Short make you laugh so hard, you cry. Or at the very least, expel your beverage from your nose.
Speaking of films that have been remade a gazillion times, this version of The Mummy is a great example of when filmmakers finally get it right after several tries. What was once a tired, clichéd plot became a mixture of adventure, dark comedy, and romance, with special effects to boot. It even features a fully functional female character. Go figure.
A remake of The Incredible Journey (1963), Homeward Bound is the quintessential pet flick. Where the original is dry, the remake is humorous, without compromising the seriousness of the animals’ situation. Besides, what else can pull at your heartstrings like the final scene? I dare you to watch it without getting teary-eyed. (If you don’t, you might want to check the color of your soul.)
Yeah, you didn’t know this was a remake, didja? That’s because no one remembers Death Takes a Holiday. The remake forgoes the stilted dialogue and replaces it with an updated plot, compelling characters, and Brad Pitt having a love affair with peanut butter. Win, win, win.
Cheers, you landlubbers.
The Collected Mutineer