movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Tue Nov 17 2015, 04:00pm | 12 comments
Cultural recycling is down to 15 years? I’d thought it was worse than that.
I think this is an inevitable consequence of filmmaking being variable and big money.
“Memento has been consistently ranked as one of the best films of its decade. People who’ve seen Memento
10 times still feel they need to see it one more time. This is a
quality that we feel really supports and justifies a remake.”
This reasoning is ludicrous. By this standard, Casablanca should have been remade 5 times, and yet it hasn’t. I can’t think of a musical that’s been remade although The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz are TV staples. (Not counting the stage version on NBC last year.) Any Hitchcock. Any James Bond. Gladiator. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Good lord, Harry Potter’s in line!
Maybe they’re planning on turning it into a musical, scored by Peter Gabriel.
By this standard, Casablanca should have been remade 5 times, and yet it hasn’t
I believe it has been remade once — but not for the big screen and anyway, that version is about well-remembered as the High Noon remake that was once attempted by one of the TV networks.
For that matter, The Wizard of Oz was remade as The Wiz both on Broadway and on the big screen. And can’t the upcoming Wicked movie be considered a remake as well?. If not, I must be missing something.
As for Hitchcock, he gets remade all the time — both officially (the notorious Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho, for example) and unofficially (for example, Brian DePalma’s Sisters is loosely based on Rear Window, Dressed to Kill owes a lot to Psycho and Body Double is a thinly disguised remake of Vertigo.)
That said, I see no pressing need to remake Memento at this time. But then I saw no pressing need to remake Carrie. Or Dawn of the Dead. Or Halloween…
I don’t consider “loosely based on” as a remake, although “based on” can indeed be a euphemism for it. The Wiz – nah, I wouldn’t say it’s a remake (“newer, better update for today’s modern sensibilities”) so much as an “inspired by”. It’s got the plot details, but didn’t aspire to compete with the original.
I purposely didn’t include horror and action movies because they beg for remakes by producers who want to do it bigger and louder – gorier, scarier, more shocking, I’ll-show-you who’s the master of horror…
That said, doesn’t the recent version of Annie count as a remake of a musical or should I consider it to be in the same category as The Wiz? And what about — ahem — the two versions of Footloose? (Yes, I’d rather pretend there was only one version of that movie but the second version does exist.)
Excellent question re Annie. It could go either way. (And apparently will keep going.)
There was another version of Footloose?
There was a Footloose remake released in 2011. According to MaryAnn’s review, it was not really worth seeing but unfortunately, it does exist.
As I say: There was another version of Footloose?
The only alternate version of Footloose I will accept would have the Flight of the Conchords in it.
I won’t have a chance to watch this till I’m in a less public place, but I’m “upvoting” it just on principle.
I’ve always loved this song and video.
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