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Remakes Why O Why


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#1 Alex Lindblom

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

I can understand if someone has a new take on a classic story.

I can understand if you want to remake a movie that did not quite work.

I can understand if you want to reboot a franchise to make some money.

I don't understand why you need to remake Bayona's excellent 2007 film El Orfanato, a very visual horror a film that can play anywhere if the powers to be gave it the chance.

so we have to remake it because it's in Spanish! -- It's simply ludicrous.

I have immense respect for Spielberg, the thing is I love Harvey and I can't remember there was anything wrong with that movie.

Sure the original will always be there, and I am sure Spielberg's version will be fine probably even great.

But still the "Imaginary friend idea" could have been taken in lots of different directions without directly remaking Harvey, I'll be happy to write an original for him, for free.

So is it just me? Or are my fellow cinematography.comers also as tired as I'm, of the current remake craze?

Edited by Alex Lindblom, 05 August 2009 - 12:23 PM.

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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

If you browse through IMDB or any movie guide, you'll see that remakes have always been with us.

Generally people seem to remake good, successful films, which loads the dice against the new one being better. If they remade duds, they would have a better chance of improving on the original - but who is going to plunge more money on a story that didn't work first time?

In a way I think the business of remaking films because they are "foreign language" (i.e not in English) is encouraging. It's usually not just a language thing, but the whole cultural approach is different, sensitivies and humour are different etc. So despite globalisation, national cultures to still survive.

I suspect Europeans, who are used to seeing variations in culture (and language), are more likely to enjoy "foreign" films, whereas Americans, who do most of the remakes, prefer to see something in their own terms. That's a generalisation I know, and I'm sure there are many people on this list who wouldn't fit into it. But film financiers think in generalisations - that's where most of the box office dollar comes from.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:13 PM

Predictability drives much of how Hellywood makes decisions. Understandable, given the boatloads of money that H-wood risks on every movie. Sucks for us, though.
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#4 Alex Lindblom

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 01:56 AM

So there seems to be something in the air. Over at io9 they are asking the same question.

But considering the low response count on this tread, the whole issue actually seems to be a none issue for most people. So I guess I just have to get on with the program as they say.

I heard somewhere that the US networks has not shown a foreign language film in over 40 years, can some one confirm this for me, or is it only an urban myth?

It would also be interesting to hear if there are any Koreans and/or Japanese members on these boards, to hear about how much foreign content there is over there, since I have minimum knowledge about the subject.

There Is also a saying "the public wants what you give them" I am sure the US audience would warm to "foreign" films if they just where given the chance.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:47 AM

I heard somewhere that the US networks has not shown a foreign language film in over 40 years, can some one confirm this for me, or is it only an urban myth?


I suspect the main problem that most people don't like reading sub titles. It's a lot easier to read them in the cinema than on traditional TV screens. perhaps with the modern, larger screens people may be more prepared to give them a go. However. there will always be good percentage of a potential audience who have reading issues, so any TV network that relies on advertising can't afford to lose these viewers.
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#6 David Auner aac

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:34 AM

I suspect the main problem that most people don't like reading sub titles. It's a lot easier to read them in the cinema than on traditional TV screens. perhaps with the modern, larger screens people may be more prepared to give them a go. However. there will always be good percentage of a potential audience who have reading issues, so any TV network that relies on advertising can't afford to lose these viewers.


Well, what about synchronization? Works rather well over here. Still, I prefer to watch movies in their original languages if I understand at least a bit.

Cheers, Dave
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#7 Rob Vogt

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 12:05 PM

Ha, How about the success of Poseidon!


kind of SPOILER ALERT:

I'm more concerned about Spielberg remaking "Oldboy" than the 1950's "Harvey." I honestly don't see how an American film can deal with the subject matter. We even brushed over the similar topic in "Flowers in the Attic," which it was a major part of the story!
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 12:13 PM

Don't get me going on remakes. I hate them. As far as I am concerned there are no excuses whatosever to remake a movie. In fact, I have never watched one, except Jessica Alba's The Eye, and that was only because I worked on it. For all I know, they could be great movies. Personally I just hate the concept . . . What is next, a remake of "Gone With The Wind?"
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:20 PM

What is next, a remake of "Gone With The Wind?"


Starring Brangelina against the spectacular, dramatic backdrop of operation enduring freedom!
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#10 Robert Hughes

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 04:51 PM

I've heard that somebody in Hollywood is planning a remake of "October: Ten Days That Shook the World", by Sergei Eisenstein. Except they're leaving out all that political stuff ...
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#11 Allen Starnes

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 04:12 PM

Its painful that Oldboy is being remade but its even more of a heartbreaker that Rififfi is being remade.
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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:36 PM

In fact, I have never watched one, except Jessica Alba's The Eye, and that was only because I worked on it.

Actually remakes have been so common since the early days of Hollywood that I'm sure you have seen at least a few without realizing it. A lot of directors from the silent era would even remake their own films, like C.B. Demille remaking "The Ten Commandments" (1923, 1956) or John Ford remaking "3 Godfathers" (1916, 1948). Ford's "My Darling Clementine" (1946) is a remake of Allan Dwan's "Frontier Marshall" (1939). John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) is a remake of the 1931 Roy Del Ruth version. And God knows how many times "Dracula" was remade!

My point is, if the film is good then that's what will be remembered. I don't know anyone who prefers the 1966 or 1986 versions of "Stagecoach" to Ford's 1939 film. Or Gus Van Sant's version of "Psycho" to Hitchcock's 1960 film. But I'm happy that we have "Clementine" and the later versions of "Ten Commandments" and "Maltese Falcon."
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#13 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:24 PM


can understand if someone has a new take on a classic story.

I can understand if you want to remake a movie that did not quite work.

I can understand if you want to reboot a franchise to make some money.

I don't understand why you need to remake Bayona's excellent 2007 film El Orfanato, a very visual horror a film that can play anywhere if the powers to be gave it the chance.

so we have to remake it because it's in Spanish! -- It's simply ludicrous.

I have immense respect for Spielberg, the thing is I love Harvey and I can't remember there was anything wrong with that movie.

Sure the original will always be there, and I am sure Spielberg's version will be fine probably even great.

But still the "Imaginary friend idea" could have been taken in lots of different directions without directly remaking Harvey, I'll be happy to write an original for him, for free.

So is it just me? Or are my fellow cinematography.comers also as tired as I'm, of the current remake craze?



I know this post may seem similar to the original post but I think that more people will look at this because it's in color.
People just won't watch black and white posts.
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#14 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:34 PM

Just because remakes have been around since the silent era doesn't mean that they're a good idea artistically speaking. Monetarily speaking, it's great because it becomes easier to predict profits. It's basically impossible to be completely creative in a system like Hollywood, because of the amounts of money being thrown into movies, there has to be some guarentee of return, and with a over 100 year history to gauge audience response, to a business man/woman (i.e. the people running the production of major studios), going off on creative tangents to expand the world begs the question of: Why take the risk?

I think Christopher Doyle says it best:

"Whereas in the West, you have Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3. What fu***** bs! It's f****** Shakespeare, it's 500 years old. "So you have the black cop and you have Jackie Chan, and they hate each others' guts at the beginning but then something happens and they get to like each other and then there's a happy ending." That's f****** Western filmmaking. You're imposing an idea. "So, what we have to do is take away this wall." Why? I like the wall. Keep the f****** wall! That is the difference, that you have this idea that you can structure films, and that's bs. Like we said, it has to come out of us. That's why the East is so... I've made ten films that have been bought for remake. [laughs] "What the f*** are you doing?" You're admitting you have nothing to say. It doesn't matter how you say it, it doesn't matter how digital you get, it doesn't matter how many special effects you get, it doesn't matter how big DreamWorks gets. It's f****** bs. It's just a clone."
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