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Saturday Top 5: Movie Remakes

The Bottom 3 from yesterday featured the worst remade movies. Today, I will be looking at my 5 favorite remade movies.

Honorable Mention:

Shaft 2000 – I can’t say that when it comes to “Blacksploitation”, I am a purist. Shaft took a pretty good action film from 1971 with some great music and modernized it a bit. But, it was a good thing they left the music in it! It was definitely worth the time and effort needed to make a movie.

#5. Dawn of the Dead 2004 – I enjoy a good zombie flick occasionally. This movie took a classic horror film from 1978, modernized it a bit, and brought a little life and action. Either version is watchable, but in this case, the remake is actually a better film and stands on its own.

#4. The Man Who Knew too Much 1956 – In 1934 Alfred Hitchcock directed “The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)”. Though it was not a bad film, it suffered from budget issues, writing, and a lack of talent on the acting side. In 1956, Al got a second chance at this movie and turned it from a good movie (1934) to a classic gem. The biggest differences were Hitchcock’s experience and expanded knowledge base, but most importantly, the talent. Doris Day and James Stewart brought this movie and the story to life. The 1956 version is still very watchable.

#3. The Wizard of Oz 1939 – This classic movie was remade from the 1925 version which had some plot differences and was actually a remake from a 1910 encarnation which was a silent film version of a stage musical from 1902. Of course, nobody really knows much about the silent film, but at the time it was apparently pretty big. The classic we all know was very expensive to film, the largest budget of its time. It was huge. To this day, it is watchable. But, there is something about it. When you watch it, it comes across as a little dark and mysterious.

#2 King Kong 2005 – This remake, I believe, was actually needed. The sound and visual CGI effects have advanced to the point where it’s actually difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is computer generated. Ignoring the 76 remake which make the bottom 3, this movie improved on the original in bringing Kong to a more personable and almost human quality. You actually start to like this creature. Also, the added comedic elements were enjoyable. The action scenes, for the most part, were well thought out and thrilling. As for the dramatic points, you definitely had time to get to know the characters including the heroine and the villain, so the movie was more than a visual experience.

#1. The Dark Knight (Batman) – This total reworking of the Batman movie from 1989 starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was excellent. It had a couple snags, but overall it accomplished what it set out to accomplish. The movie was dark, the acting was superb and it transformed the characters from cartoonish to gritty and human. It had some very heavy moments that were not in the 1989 film, and the Joker was cast in a more evil, cold-hearted, and murderous role than the 1989 version. Of course, the Joker stole the show this time around. The effects and action far surpassed the movie from less than 20 years ago. Also, due to Batman Begins, and the amount of time spent on character development, you really came to know all the characters involved. As an action movie, it was almost perfect. As a comic hero movie, it WAS perfect. As a remake, it took a good movie and made it great.

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Friday Bottom 3: Movie Remakes

Some movie remakes ruin the original, some originals need modern effects and updated acting and culture to bring them to our time, and some movies just should not be remade. What category do you think these movies fall into?

Dis-Honorable Mention:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The only reason this movie did not make the bottom 3 was that it wasn’t 100% a remake. It was a reinventing of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory which according to what I have read was somewhat darker and more loyal to the novel. Regardless, the original was a classic and was good enough!

101 Dalmations – A translation from animation to motion picture, this was a stinker and should not have been made.

#3. Psycho – Most critics agree that this movie brought nothing new, original, or better in any aspect compared to the original. This movie also fits into the category of those movies that should not be remade. The original was almost perfect.

#2. King Kong – This is the 1976 remake with Jeff Bridges. The major differences between the 1933 original and this one are: The original was shocking and imaginative while the 70’s remake was not; the original used ground breaking special effects while the 70’s remake used a man in a monkey suit; and the original contained excellent acting… You get the “picture”. I am glad Peter Jackson remade the remake.

#1. Planet of the Apes – SPOILER ALERT While the original did have men dressed in monkey suits, the concept is one of the aspects that really made the movie great. Earth sends astronauts to explore, they land on a planet where man does not speak and apes are intellegent. The ending which was totally removed in the remake revealed that the planet was earth and “they blew it up!”. The remake brought a little more action but none of the drama or shock of the original. The difference was so great that this movie earns #1.

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Top Five Saturday – Movie Quotes

These are some of my favorite movie quotes. I am considered to be one of the leading movie experts.

5. Wizard of Oz (1939)- Wizard said “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

4. King Kong (1933)- Carl Denham said “…it was beauty killed the beast.”

3. On The Waterfront (1954)- Terry told his brother Charlie “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.”

2. Jaws (1975)- Chief Martin Brody, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Godfather

1. Godfather (1972)- Don Vito Corleone “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Honorable mention:
Godfather Part II (1974)- “I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!”

Godfather (1972)- “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

Forrest Gump (1994)- ” My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”

A Few Good Men (1992)- “You can’t handle the truth!”

Good, the Band, and the Ugly (1966)- “You see Tuco, there’s two kinds of people in this world: those with a loaded gun, and those who dig. You dig!”

There are a lot more great movie quotes, but you cannot beat those. That’s a fact… according to me.

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