Spotlight On…Remakes part 4

Posted by David On January 4, 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Ok I said that this would be the final installment, but I just discovered a whole bunch of other remakes I want to rate, so there will be a part 5! ­čÖé

The Stepfather

Released: 1987

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

Starring: Terry O’Quinn, Jill Shoelen

Plot: A man murders his family then moves to another town and starts a new life as a different person. But soon his past catches up with him and he has to murder again.

For: Terry O’Quinn is a legend and gives his usual A+ performance / Surprisingly entertaining film

Against: The rest of the acting is pretty bad, especially the brother in law that tracks him down / Jill’s nude shower scene is both pointless and a little creepy – normally I wouldn’t be averse to some nudity, but this scene stops the film dead just as it is gearing up for the finale, and is inappropriate because her character is meant to be only 15/16 years old.

Favourite Scene: Jerry forgets who he is supposed to be in front of his wife

Rating: 3 Lukes

The Stepfather

Released: 2009

Directed by: Nelson McCormick

Starring: Penn Bagley, Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward

Plot: A man murders his family then moves to another town and starts a new life as a different person. But soon his past catches up with him and he has to murder again.

For: Can’t think of anything

Against: Boring / bad acting / a son instead of a daughter / no Terry O’Quinn

Favourite Scene: None

Rating: 0.5 Lukes

Winner: The original is a masterpiece compared to its piece of crap remake

The Stepford Wives

Released: 1975

Directed by: Bryan Forbes

Starring: Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson

Plot: Joanna and her family move to picturesque town Stepford. But not is all that it seems, with the women of the town behaving weirdly and the Stepford Men’s Association seemingly calling the shots.

For: Cool idea, good acting, great ending

Against: Slow at times

Favourite Scene: Joanna 2.0

Rating: 3 Lukes

The Stepford Wives

Released: 2004

Directed by: Frank Oz

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Mathew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Glenn Close

Plot: Joanna, a stressed out TV executive, moves to the town of Stepford with her family after the disaster of her last TV project. There she makes a couple of new friends, but the majority of the women there are shallow bimbos and all the men are part of the Stepford Men’s Association boys club. Eventually Joanna discovers that the women are android replicas of the wives of Stepford.

For: Nothing – ok, I’ll give it that it has a great cast┬á – but they are are wasted in this insipid so called comedy.

Against: Everything else – from the reality TV show about men replacing their wives with prostitutes (see what they did there!! genius!!!), to the remote controlled inflatable boobies, this film is a perfect example of how not to make a movie. It is an insult to the original film, as well as women everywhere. Kidman, Broderick & Midler have all disowned this piece of rubbish and I can see why.

Favourite Scene: Um, none.

Rating: 0 Lukes

Winner: I don’t acknowledge the remake, so the original wins it!

Psycho

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh

Plot: The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, hiding at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel’s disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates, and the aftermath of their encounter

For: Magnificent performance by Perkins / a masterclass in ‘it’s what you don’t see that is truly frightening’ / that shower scene / The use of light and shadow / its visual representations for our psyche / my 2nd favourite Hitchcock film

Against: Are you serious?

Favourite Scene: ‘We all go a little crazy sometimes.’

Rating: 5 Lukes

Psycho

Released: 1998

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore

Plot: The film depicts the encounter between a secretary, hiding at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel’s disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates, and the aftermath of their encounter

For: I can’t think of a single thing, except its always good to see Viggo Mortensen.

Against: As much as I hate the Stepford Wives remake, at least it tried to create a new take on the story, whereas this is an almost shot for shot recreation, except Van Sant is no Hitchcock and Vaughn is no Perkins. So, what’s the point? A complete waste of money and time / and seriously, Anne Heche in the Janet Leigh role………

Favourite Scene: None

Rating: 0.5 Lukes

Winner: It’s not even a contest, the original.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, John Saxon

Plot: Child killer Freddy Krueger is killing the teenagers of Springwood in their dreams, but if you die in the dream you die in real life. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.

For: The start of a incredibly successful franchise for New Line, and a great example of the slasher film. Instead of going for cheap scares it plays with the audiences concept of reality to great effect. It also introduces a great villain in Freddy Krueger (at least until some of the sequels screwed him up).

Against: Aside from Englund, the acting is pretty ordinary / None of the kids seem all that scared to be honest.

Favourite Scene: Tina in the bodybag / the bathtub scene

Rating: 3.5 Lukes

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Released: 2010

Directed by: Samuel Bayar

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Clancy Brown

Plot: Child molester Freddy Krueger is killing the teenagers of Springwood in their dreams, but if you die in the dream you die in real life. The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.

For: While not as good as Englund, Haley does a decent job as Krueger / the kids actually seem scared / some decent imagery / micro naps idea ok / Clancy Brown!

Against: Not scarey or even creepy / Quinten runs around in his bathers for a ridiculously long time / not a single likeable character in the group

Favourite Scene: Flashback of Freddy’s death is pretty cool (except poor Quinten in his smalls)

Rating: 2 Lukes

Winner: Just think of the remake as a bad dream.

Planet of the Apes

Released: 1968

Directed by: Franklin J Schaffner

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans,

Plot: Astronaut Taylor crash lands on a desolate planet and is captured by intelligent apes. He believes he is on an alien world but eventually discovers the truth.

For: A classic of sci-fi and one of my all time favourite films / Performances are all great, even the over the top acting of Heston works here / The ape makeup was revolutionary for the time / Linda Harrison is gorgeous / That ending!

Against: Nothing

Favourite Scene: Too many to list here, but of course the end scene wins it

Rating: 5 Lukes

Planet of the Apes

Released: 2001

Directed by: Tim Burton

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Estelle Warren, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth

Plot: An astronaut lands on a planet inhabited by humanoid apes, who rule the planet with an iron fist.

For: The ape army looks badass / the ape makeup is quite good

Against: Everything else. This movie is a travesty, even Tim Burton hates it.

Favourite Scene: Can’t think of one.

Rating: 0.5 Lukes

Winner: We seem to have a bit of a theme happening here, the original wins it again!

Ring (Ringu)

Released: 1998

Directed by: Hideo Nakata

Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Y├╗ko Takeuchi

Plot: A haunted video tape kills whomever views it, unless that viewer can solve its mystery.

For: Sadako is a great villain / Interesting premise – face the horror ourselves or deliberately inflict it on another / the images on the video tape

Against: Raped by a sea monster???

Favourite Scene: The first time you see Sadako will stay with you for a long time

Rating: 3 Lukes

The Ring

Released: 2002

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox

Plot: A haunted video tape kills whomever views it, unless that viewer can solve its mystery.

For: Samara is a great villain / Interesting premise – face the horror ourselves or deliberately inflict it on another / the images on the video tape / the sea monster plot is removed

Against: Although still cool, Samara is just not as creepy as Sadako

Favourite Scene: Samara’s first appearance

Rating: 3.5 Lukes

Winner: Well we finally have one that breaks the trend. The remake is tighter and more coherent than the original and simply more enjoyable – but only just.

And now, another triple hitter!

Piranha

Released: 1978

Directed by: Joe Dante

Starring: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy

Plot: A school of genetically engineered piranha are accidentally unleashed on a summer camp and lakeside resort with horrific consequences. Local drunk Paul, and insurance investigator Maggie attempt to stop the carnage.

For: A light hearted horror film, with tongue firmly in cheek / the piranha attacks look ridiculous, but somehow still cool

Against: The piranha look terrible / terrible acting / not as funny as it thinks it is / not even slightly scary

Favourite Scene: All the piranha attacks

Rating: 2.5 Lukes

Piranha

Released: 1995

Directed by: Scott P Levy

Starring: William Katt, Soleil Moon Frye, Mila Kunis, Alexandra Paul

Plot: A school of genetically engineered piranha are accidentally unleashed on a summer camp and lakeside resort with horrific consequences. Local resident Paul, and private investigator Maggie attempt to stop the carnage.

For: Uses the piranha attack footage from the original!

Against: A made for cable TV remake that takes out the comedy = pointless / The piranha still look terrible / terrible acting / not even slightly scary

Favourite Scene: Susie saves the day!

Rating: 1.5 Lukes

Piranha 3D

Released: 2010

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Kelly Brook, Jerry O’Connell

Plot: An earthquake opens a fissure leading to an underground lake at Lake Victoria and unleashes a school of prehistoric piranha onto Spring Break revelers. Sheriff Julie Forester attempts to stop the killer fish.

For: Good to see Elisabeth Shue and Christopher Lloyd / Piranhas look cool

Against: Pointless Richard Dreyfuss cameo at the start / incredibly boring, especially the over-long ‘babes under the boat’ bit / uses that stupid speed up-slow down technique that appears to be so trendy at the moment / 3D Penis……

Favourite Scene: This is a stretch, but all I can think of is Ving Rhames vs the piranha with a handheld outboard motor.

Rating: 1 Luke

Winner: The original takes a bite out of the inferior remakes

 

I hope you liked part 4. Stay tuned for the final, part 5, coming soon.

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