Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to follow up my last list
which was a top 12 film remakes that were better than the original films, and do the opposite. This is my top 12 list of film remakes that were worse than the original films. Sometimes a classic should be left alone and the following 12 films prove it. Â These aren’t in order.
Warning: Some spoilers and really bad choices ahead…
A Nightmare on Elm Street(1984)/A Nightmare on Elm Street(2011)
Now this one broke my heart….Jackie Earl Haley was the perfect actor to use in a Freddy Kruegger remake. Letâ€™s face it, Rorschach was almost a carbon copy of Freddy except without the blades and the sick psychotic obsession with little children…but I digress… Given the right script and the right execution, this one couldâ€™ve been a total slam dunk and started up a new franchise like the one that had kept Robert Englund in whiskey and scones for almost 2 decades.
Then the remake came out and OMG! It wasnâ€™t remotely creepy. It wasnâ€™t remotely clever. It wasnâ€™t remotely scary and the Freddy makeup was pathetic. The first film had paranoia, suspense and shocking imagery. The remake had jump-scares…and um….it had jump-scares…and…er…it had jump-scares…..TOTAL FAIL!
The Pink Panther(1969)/The Pink Panther(2010)
Iâ€™m a fan of Steve Martin, but he was setting himself up for a fail attempting to take the Inspector Clouseau torch from the late Peter Sellers. And thatâ€™s not to say he didnâ€™t make a damned good attempt. I liked his accent and clutziness in a similar way I had loved Peter Sellersâ€™ qualities in the original film, while still giving the definite edge to Peter Sellers. Where this film fails is in a very weak script and fairly mediocre directing. The first Pink Panther is a classic for a reason. The remake is barely passable as a comedy and not worthy of the title.
The Out-Of-Towners(1970)/The Out-Of-Towners(1999)
The original, starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis as George and Gwen Kellerman was a compelling comedy about a severely unlucky couple visiting New York City where George is interviewing for a job and how one mishap leads to another..to another…to another and he gets gradually more and more frustrated. Nobody does the slow anger burn quite as good as Jack Lemmon. Itâ€™s hilarious watching him keep a growing list of names of all the people he plans to sue for mistreatment LOL!
The Remake, Starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, on the other hand is a bit more predictable and the laughs are more desperate that you miss the simpler film as more believable and more genuinely funny. In many ways, this is more a remake of â€œPlanes, Trains and Automobilesâ€ in the way the comedy works.
TORA! TORA! TORA!(1970)/Pearl Harbor(2001)
Yeah….um…Michael Bay does history…sort of. The original, â€œTora! Tora! Tora!â€ was a brilliant historic/bio-pic about the events leading up to and through the date that lives in infamy. Told from both sides of the conflict by 2 separate film directors/producers(One Japanese, the other American), itâ€™s an amazing recreation of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that still stands up today.
Michael Bayâ€™s â€œPearl Harbor,â€ on the other hand, has almost none of the background on why the tragedy occurred, and had some lame love triangle story of two pilots who just HAPPEN to end up in the middle of the battle. The battle, itself, is nowhere near as good as the one in â€œTora! Tora! Tora!â€ despite having vastly better special effects. In fact, only ONE sequence was done better, and that was the Japanese Zero dropping the bomb that destroys the U.S.S. Arizona. Â All the other scenes were flat, comparatively.
The Absent-Minded Professor(1961)/Flubber(1997)
Fred MacMurray vs. Robin Williams as absent-minded Professor Brainard….and WOW! itâ€™s not even close. Fredâ€™s Professor was lovably odd, and believably eccentric, and Robinâ€™s was just loudly eccentric and lamely weird. The Flubber in the original was simply flying rubber….the Flubber in the remake was FREAKINâ€™ SENTIENT!!!!!! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! Also, I thought the dog made a better sidekick in the original than the flying robot â€œWeeboâ€ in the remake that would be completely impossible to build and execute today…or in the next 50 years, for that matter….the first film was charming and delightful…the remake was frankly insulting to the intelligence of anyone who watched it.
True Grit(1968)/True Grit(2010)
Now these two films are the closest match out of all this list in that theyâ€™re both really good adaptations of the brilliant story. I give the superior version to the original for 3 reasons:
1. Â John Wayne(The better Rooster Cogburn)
2. Â Elmer Bernstein(The better soundtrack)
3. Â The closer to the source material script.
The remake took too many liberties making major changes to the plot that screwed up the pacing. Thatâ€™s not to say itâ€™s a bad film….on the contrary, itâ€™s quite good…just not as good as the original.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan(1982)/Star Trek: Into Darkness(2013)
There are those that might argue that this isnâ€™t really a remake…but they did too many of the same quotes and plot devices from the original, that it has to be considered a modern version of the classic. Ultimately, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Ricardo Montalban trumps Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch. The script, action sequences and score are also much better in 1982.
King Kong(1938)/King Kong(1976)
While a version of King Kong was on my better remakes list, THIS version of King Kong is just God Awful compared to the original from 1938. Simply put, Jessica Lange is no Faye Wray, the script is horrible with some of the worst lines ever put in a script and the special effects are poor. Stop-Motion Kong done by Willis Oâ€™Brien in 1938 is emotional and sympathetic. Live-Action Kong done by Rick Baker is….just there….itâ€™s hard to feel anything for him, and thatâ€™s where the older films triumphs. And Rick Baker is a makeup genius, donâ€™t get me wrong….everyone has a misfire in their careers sometime.
It isnâ€™t often that a Clint Eastwood film doesnâ€™t measure up, but the original Shane starring Alan Ladd and Jack Palance is far truer to the source book and a better film in general.
The Karate Kid(1984)/The Karate Kid(2010)
The remake was respectable, but I give the win to the original Karate Kid for one reason: Mr. Miyagi(Pat Morita). Mr. Han(Jackie Chan) is the better martial artist, but he LOOKS like he can throw down. Mr. Miyagi looks like a harmless old man so when he rescues Daniel LaRusso(Ralph Macchio), itâ€™s a genuine surprise that pays off well the friendship the two develop as master/student. Plus…technically Mr. Han teaches Dre Kung-Fu, not Karate, so the film title is wrong.
Itâ€™s a wonderful Life(1946)/Mr. Destiny(1990)
This oneâ€™s just plain ludicrous… James Stewart vs. James Belushi?!??…sorry, but WTF? Who thought this was a good idea? Letâ€™s remake Itâ€™s a wonderful life like a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live except the length of a full movie? Even the amazing Michael Caine canâ€™t redeem this disaster.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory(1971)/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005)
Iâ€™m sorry, Atreyu…but this is my list…..Now, I do like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but they both went just a little bit too far in this film. Gene Wilder is far superior as candy wizard Willy Wonka and nearly all the child actors in the original are more believable in their roles than in the remake. And while the art direction of the remake is bizarre and creative, I prefer the simplicity of using real physical sets in the original. Digital effects are cool when used right…but turning one actor into hundreds of Oompa Loompas was very fake looking.
And those are my top 12 remakes I felt were a lot worse than the original films. Did I miss any of yours? Iâ€™d love to know which remakes rubbed you the wrong way, my friends. Peace.