Midday Movies: Remakes
Are Remakes Anything New And Do They Have To Be Bad?
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Aired 4/30/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Beth Accomando, author of the blog Cinema Junkie
Ian Forbes, founder and senior editor for Sobering Conclusion
Remake, sequel, prequel, reboot, reimagining – whatever you want to call it, Hollywood does love to return to something familiar. So what makes a good remake? Is it really a bad thing to remake an old film? Is this a new trend or have we always had to deal with remakes? Find out the answers with Midday Movies and The Geek Roundtable.
Next month, director Baz Luhrmann and star Leonardo DiCaprio team for a new screen adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." This will be the fourth big screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. It's been more than 3 decades since Robert Redford took on the role of Gatsby so maybe we're due for a version for a new generation. But for some filmgoers, this constant return to familiar material is simply a sign that Hollywood has run out of ideas.
For Miguel Rodriguez, host of Monster Island Resort Podcast, remakes are nothing new. But they do tend to come in waves as technology improves and a new generation feels the need to revisit popular films. Ian Forbes, of Sobering Conclusion, is particularly irked by American remakes of foreign films -- especially the recent "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Let Me In" -- that seem to only exist for people who don't want to read subtitles. Here's a rant about the American version.
Filmmaking in Hollywood is both a business and an art form. So the business side sees remakes as a way to cash in on a popular property but then you have the artists working on these films wanting to make them good. So sometimes they actually turn out well as with "The Magnificent 7" (a remake of Akira Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai") and "John Carpenter's The Thing" (a remake of Howard Hawks' "The Thing From Another World."
Here is a trailer for "The Seven Samurai."
And a trailer for the American remake "The Magnificent 7."
Here is the trailer for the Swedish film "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
And for the American remake.
And here are trailers for the 3 versions of "The Thing."