Movie remakes

The Very Best and Worst Movie Remakes

As we look forward to all the up and coming live-action Disney movie remakes, we thought we’d take a look back at a few movie remakes from the last few years, and ask the question whether or not they should have been.

The Jungle Book 1967 vs 2016

Kicking things off in style we’ll look at the live-action remake of one of the earliest Disney movies, The Jungle Book.

As we swing into the deep dark jungle, we love the fact that none of the fun was lost.

Characters like King Louis and Baloo the bear and their songs were kept in, and the casting for our favourite characters was spot on. Even Shere Khan was made to be just as terrifying as he was in the original cartoon, with Idris Elba providing a very convincing tiger-like performance.

This movie remake gets a thumbs up from us, as none of the original magic was lost and we got a little more back story about man’s relationship with the jungle.

Lion King 1994 vs 2019

Released July 2019, this hotly-anticipated epic has been met with rave reviews so far.

Although said to be a lot darker than the original cartoon, using the underlying Shakespearian story as more of an influence, the new live-action Lion King is as gripping as the animated Disney version but a lot more serious.

The downside is the real version takes away a lot of the warm and fuzzy feelings Disney created, although, the astonishing reality of CGI creatures and their epic surroundings is said to be astounding..

It’s safe to say that most live-action Disney remakes are building on amazing originals, it’d be hard for them to make a worse movie remake of such popular animated classics.

Cinderella 1965 vs 2015

The fairy-tale of Cinderella was begging to be one of the first Disney movie remakes if only to see how they recreated that dress and of course the glass slippers.

Sadly, this was perhaps the only good thing about this movie remake.

The rest of the film, although kept close to the original animated version story, seemed to take away from the sadness of poor cinders instead of adding anything new to it.

Lily James’ beauty and her pre-ball transformation are literally the only things that brought the original whimsy and magic to the movie.

Even Helena Bonham Carter couldn’t resuscitate the limp dialogue, which has to say something about how poor the rest was.

This Disney movie remake was a treat for the eyes as far as production, scenery and special effects go, but whether it brought an ounce of the original Cinderella Disney magic to the table is left to be said.

Aladdin 1992 vs 2019

Sometimes things are best left untouched, and with the likes of Disney’s Aladdin, many agreed with this sentiment.

People were concerned that the part of the Genie couldn’t possibly be close to or better than the one voiced by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated classic.

Then people discovered the wonder and amazement from the animated movie had indeed been captured and enhanced using amazing CGI and some clever storytelling.

As far as the genie goes, Will Smith makes the part his own, whilst still giving a nod to Robin Williams’ work as well. Smith brought his cheeky comedic nature to the genie and his flare and character were easily adapted to the role.

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In short Aladdin, the live-action movie remake was every bit as exciting and action-packed as the animated role, with extra snippets put in to bring the film into the modern age.

Total Recall 1990 vs 2012

As one of the greatest B movies of all time, Total Recall is a movie remake we wish had never happened, full stop.

There is only one Arnold Schwarzenegger after all, and of course, his wonderful wooden performance is what makes the entire movie.

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The well-timed one-liners, 90s style settings, awful special effects and a kick-ass performance from Sharon Stone are what made this a likeable movie in the firstplace and it’s all missing from the next version.

Changing the setting of Mars for a dystopian version of earth and adding in plenty of political messages, predicting the future of the world, took the movie so far away from it’s original, they should have just made a new film altogether.

In conclusion, whilst the movie remake of Total Recall is acceptably watchable, it’s by no means a better version of the original.

Beauty and The Beast 1991 vs 2017

From the very first scene, you get the sense that movie makers have done their best to stick to the original screenplay word for word, scene by scene.

Emma Watson isn’t your stereotypical Hollywood girl. The smart, strong-minded woman and gifted actress may have seemed a strange casting choice at first, but Watson’s feisty character is exactly what was needed for the success of this Disney movie remake.

After Watson, the rest of the star-studded cast brought the most magical and memorable moments from the original to life.

We loved the newest Beauty and the Beast even if others put it on their list of the worst movie remakes of all time.

The Italian Job 1969 vs 2018

Even though it’s known as one of the greatest British films of all time, The Italian Job has less adrenaline-pumping moments than an episode of Paw Patrol.

Our favourite Brit actor, Michael Caine spends a while building up the suspense, living the life of a 007 style secret agent after being released from a stint in jail. The main crux of the film is the heist and car chase which, could have done with a heavy injection of urgency and drama and a bit more of a chase.

Cut to the 2003 remake and we’ve got a fully Americanised version of the dull British classic, including all-American Marky Mark in the leading role.

Where the original Italian Job was a bit dull, the revisited movie remake sees the iconic convoy of minis go zipping through streets and underground tunnels.

The original is a classic film that will forever be remembered for the line,

“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

And whilst the modern movie remake might not be remembered, it certainly has a lot more to attract audiences as far as action, character development and storylines go.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 vs 2003

From the grainy 1974 version of this terrifying horror to today’s many movie remakes, retakes and sequels Texas Chainsaw Massacre have been done to death making the new movies a lot less scary than the original.

The original version takes us by surprise, this was one of the first horror movies of its kind, catching audiences unawares with the Leatherface character and barely giving any hints about the horrors that awaited the travelling teens.

By the time the movie remakes appeared, audiences were more than familiar with masked psychotic killers, including Leatherface, Jason in his Hockey mask and Michael Myers from Halloween.

The difference with these and the originals is that the surface terror of the later movie remakes is never scarier than the implied terror from the original film.

Just like Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre was all in the build-up of suspense and surprise.

Things are still shocking in the movie remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but they’ve been given a Hollywood polish that takes away from the psychological terror of the original.

Godzilla 1954 vs 2019

How many times can one movie be remade?

From 1954 until the present day there have been too many Godzilla sequels and remakes to even discuss, so we’ll stick to the big ones.

The original 1954 was a defining movie moment, creating the effect of suitmation, where a stunt man would walk among miniature sets giving the illusion of a giant in a regular size world.

Cut ahead nearly 45 years and stuntmen are replaced with CGI, making Godzilla’s return impressive, large scale and blockbusting.

Fast forward again another decade or so and the 30th Godzilla movie returns to screens, bigger and better than ever. This time following the original story laid down by Toho, Godzilla’s original creators.

This movie remake has since sparked Toho to produce Godzilla: King of the Monsters, released in May 2019 and we can look forward to another sequel in the near future, Godzilla VS King Kong.

Suffice to say that each of the Godzilla films brings something different to the table, from pioneering effects and the start of a decade-spanning series to promises of exciting future monster battles.

All the Godzilla’s get thumbs up in our books.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 1971 vs 2005

Okay, so we know it’s hard to diss anything that stars Johnny Depp, but Willy Wonka didn’t need to be remade, period.

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The magic and whimsy of the original film were merely replaced by weird and whacky, taking away the sugary sweetness of Roald Dahl’s original story.

Even the oom-pah Loompa’s were ruined.

The movie remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory just goes to show that newer isn’t always better, regardless of your casting choices and budgets.

Carrie 1976 vs 2013

Another amazing cult classic, Carrie the original certainly was a spine-tingler if there ever was one.

Highlighting the devastating effects of bullying and poor parenting, Stephen King’s first thrilling published novel was skilfully brought to life on screen in the 70s and suitably sacred audiences who watched.

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Of course, the movie remake didn’t quite have the same effects as the original, with all the modern movie sheen and polish, Carrie became less gritty and more glam.

Even Carrie herself, who in the novel was chubby and spotty, and in the first movie was waif-like and alienesque, was played by the gorgeous Chloe Mortez, making her highly unbelievable as an outcast.

Then there’s the telekinesis.

In the original movie this is a result of Carrie’s maltreatment, but in the remake becomes some sort of superpower which Mortez’s Carrie hones and perfects to wield as a weapon for the grand finale.

The remake of Carrie definitely moved with the times but again we raise the question, did it need to?

Annie 1982 vs 1999

It’s a Hard Knock Life in the first version of Annie, showing an unfortunate orphans rise to wealth and riches, from the slums of a prison-like orphanage amidst the Great Depression.

In the remake, writers changed the orphanage to a foster home and the drunk and abusive Miss Hannigan into a bitter, less threatening version of herself with Cameron Diaz in the role.

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It’s this change alone that seems to have taken away the feeling and emotion of the whole film, as the original showed the change little Annie made in everyone around her, including Miss Hannigan.

In the remake, to give the movie a solid PG friendly base, Miss Hannigan was not abusive or drunk and, aside from her bitterness, provided a safe environment for kids to grow up in.

When it all comes down to it Annie just wasn’t Annie without the crazy gin-drinking, flirty Miss Hannigan.

Sabrina 1954 vs 1995

When something stars Audrey Hepburn it should be a sign to leave it well alone.

The original Sabrina was a screaming success in 1954, starring none other than Humphrey Bogart and the stunning Hepburn as unlikely on-screen love interests.

Enter 1995 and filmmakers take another bash at reviving the movie that was already so perfect, to begin with, casting a relative nobody in the role of Sabrina and man of the moment, Harrison Ford as her older love interest.

Safe to say this version of the movie didn’t rock worlds, but it didn’t flop either, we just know that no one does it better than Audrey and no one ever could.

Little Shop of Horrors 1960 vs 1982

Not many people will realise that The Little Shop of Horrors, starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin is actually a remake.

The first, filmed in the 60s, was said to be the product of a bet between brothers. Director Roger Corman made a wager with his brother, stating he could film a hit movie in one week. The results were an extremely low budget production that became a stage and screen phenomenon in later years.

Despite the 80s production of Little Shop of Horrors having a cast studded with stars and benefiting from a longer, more expensive filming situation, the earliest Little Shop of Horrors is responsible for inspiring one of the greatest cult movies of all time.

It may not be the best to watch but it’s responsible for the amazing things that followed.

Book Your Cinema and Stay this Summer

Make sure you’ve bagged your seats in the cinema this summer and catch the latest releases and more movie remakes yet to come.

Our Cinema and Stay offer includes an overnight stay for two adults and one child in any of our marvellous movie-themed rooms, cinema tickets and a tasty two-course meal, all for just £149.

Supplements apply for extra children and our superb city centre accommodation can cater to groups of 4-6 guests.

Call our team today on 0151 236 0166 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk to book your Cinema Stay with Arthouse Hotel.