Should they mess with the classics? This article compares 8 classics with their remakes, the majority of which do actually compare favourably with their originals, but in a different way; – there is always that odd time though when a remake doesn’t work, making it totally unnecessary:
‘Brighton Rock’ tells the story of mob-leader Pinkie Brown who thinks he has got away with murder – until he discovers amateur sleuth Ida is ‘onto’ him.
He will stop at nothing to protect his secret and even marries a naive waitress (Rose) who accidentally has evidence.
The 1947 version is a brilliant classic, especially as Richard Attenborough’s performance as Pinkie Brown is spinechilingly accurate.
The 2010 version has modern twists though, including ‘Mods v Rockers’ and is worth seeing in its own right. You can’t beat Richard Attenborough as Pinkie though, no one will ever come close.
Despite starring the legend that is Jack Nicholson, as Wilbur Force, the 1960 version of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ doesn’t quite live up to the standard of the remake.
It is impressive in the aspect that it was made on a low budget over a two day period, but the musical version starring Rick Moranis as nerdy florist Seymour and Steve Martin as a dark haired dastardly dentist puts it to shame somewhat. Not to mention the hilarious scenes featuring the raunchy, vicious plant!
The Richard Harris version is perfectly charming, with Richard in the title role of Gulliver, but it centres for the majority of the film as him as a giant in Lilliput.
It is only the last few minutes that show the situation of Gulliver then living amongst giants, which is a bit disappointing.
Jack Black’s 2010 version, however, is clever in the sense that a classic tale has been brought up to date and is very funny in places, with special effects.
You would think such a classic film like ‘Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory’ which follows Charlie’s adventures with Grandpa Jo, should be left well alone, as it is so iconic in its own right.
Having said that though, Johnny Depp brings his own take on Willy Wonka and also gives an equally creepy performance to match Gene Wilder in the original.
Although the 1971 version will always be the classic, the 2005 version is surprisingly good in its own right. It is actually more true to the book that the first film (which author Roald Dahl amazingly didn’t approve of!)
5 Spider-Man 1977 v 2002
The 1977 version of ‘Spider-Man’ brings back great memories for fans who went on to watch Nicholas Hammond as Spidey/Peter Parker in the series that followed. Nicholas Hammond made Spidey very fun and watchable at the time.
However, the version with Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker who gets bitten by a spider to gain super-hero powers is fantastic and he gives a new dimension to the character. The budget was obviously a lot bigger and this is apparent in the special effects. The remake was also rebooted recently with Andrew Garfield as Spidey (another decent version) and yet another reboot is due out in 2017!
The 1990 version of ‘Total Recall’ had a vast budget and a great cast. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid and Sharon Stone as his wife, Lori.
There are many interesting twists and turns in Quaids virtual trip to Mars fantasy, and Arnie makes the film his own. The 2012 version though, with Colin Farrell as Quaid, just isn’t the same. Whilst being entertaining in its own way, the film is literally way too dark and lacks the humour and quirkiness of the ‘90 version. This one should have been left alone!
The 1967 animated version of ‘The Jungle Book’ is a classic family tale about Mowgli (voiced by Bruce Reitherman) and his adventures in the Jungle. It has a memorable soundtrack including ‘The Bare Necessities’).
The 1994 film version which stars Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli is very different and not really recommended for children. It is more loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling story, nevertheless it is very touching and exciting.
The 1984 version of The Karate Kid shows Ralph Macchio as the original ‘Daniel Son’ who learns Karate initially to be able to stand up to bullies, from his now infamous mentor Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita).
Whilst no film could ever quite live up to the spirit of the original, the 2010 version is a watchable reboot in its own right with great performances from Jaden Smith as Dre and Jackie Chan as Mr Han.
There is plenty of action, and some breathtaking scenes of China to admire, but it somehow lacks the heart of the original.
Author: Karen Hill