Many critics and fans agree that Hollywood has run out of all the truly original and unique concepts. With consideration to that, some believe that all producers and directors do these days is recycle old ideas. This is true to a certain degree. Much of what gets released today in theaters is nothing we haven’t seen before.
Sometimes, Hollywood puts out some winners, and sometimes they put out losers. Other times, they try to reproduce that magic from those winners. There are hits and misses. Some of the hits they kick out become hits again, and some of the hits become misses.
We have compiled a list of 15 Hollywood remakes. Eight of them that have displeased us and seven of them we have enjoyed more than once. Some films were on the fence and didn’t make it to this list. Films such as Clash of the Titans, Friday the 13th, RoboCop, Carrie, and About Last Night. The Karate Kid did not make the list either. But if it did, it would be on the naughty list. The Magnificent Seven, Titanic, and The Fly would have made the nice list.
The Great and Powerful Oz, regretfully did not qualify because it was not a remake of The Wizard of Oz. It was a prequel. No sequel, prequel, or reboot will ever live up to the Wizard of Oz. Enjoy the list. If you don’t like it, just remake it.
15. ANGRY: Ghostbusters (2016)
Do we really need to go into this? The original Ghostbusters was a comedy classic that many of us grew up with. When we heard that there was going to be a Ghostbusters 3 with the original cast, we were excited. When one of the writers and original stars, Harold Ramis, passed away, director Ivan Reitman left the project. Sure, the effects were better, and the ghosts were scarier-looking, but the original film was good family fun. This version did not give off the same feel. The only redeeming quality of this picture is the appearances from original cast members, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, among others. The remake had a worldwide gross that was more than $10 million less than its predecessor which was released more than 30 years earlier. When you adjust the 1984 total for inflation, you get a figure more than $600 million.
14. GLAD: Kong: Skull Island (2017)
The newest King Kong (renamed as Kong: Skull Island) is still wrecking first-run movie theaters across North America, and it’s no wonder why. It has already outdrawn Jack Black‘s King Kong. This ape flick is the best Kong to date. The first thing that’s better is that we catch a glimpse of Kong within the first few minutes of the film. There is none of that outdated story about Kong being taken to New York and wreaking havoc all over the Big Apple. In this day and age, New York has been through enough and would just shrug off a giant ape on the loose. King: Skull Island is bigger and badder than ever before. Society has changed their views over time and no longer views King Kong as a bully or a threat to our way of life. In this King Kong remake, man is the enemy. Samuel L. Jackson does a great job of proving that theory. John C. Riley puts on an outstanding performance in the movie, and his performance alone makes this King Kong remake a winner.
13. ANGRY: King Kong (1976 & 2005)
The original 1933 King Kong was an exceptional film considering that it was produced 84 years ago. The 1976 remake with Jessica Lange had 40 plus years of technological advances and cinematic experience, but it failed to compare to the original. If that isn’t bad enough, Hollywood tried it again in 2005 with Jack Black. This time, they’re about 30 years on the last remake and over 70 years on the original. Hollywood failed again. The 1976 film grossed $90 million ($381 million adjusted). The 2005 re-remake took in $218 million domestic and $550 million total worldwide. While $550 million is nothing to sneeze at, the film was nothing great. It made big money thanks to Jack Black, who was hot at the time. Also, director Peter Jackson was on a streak from the Lord of the Rings movies.
12. GLAD: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
The original Oceans was a good picture, thanks to the stellar cast of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. The reboot had an equally stellar cast for its time with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and more. Danny Ocean is a criminal for sure, but you will find yourself cheering for him and his team on and hoping they get their big score. The modern Oceans spawned several sequels, one that included Al Pacino. That’s what makes this Ocean saga great. It truly has an all-star ensemble cast that is made up of some of the biggest Hollywood-hitters today. Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen were all excellent pictures that didn’t have any fast-paced action scenes, just a good old-fashioned story.
11. ANGRY: Godzilla (1985, 1998, & 2014)
Clearly, the best of the three Zillas was the 2014 version which starred Bryan Cranston. This wasn’t that bad of a picture and the audience agree since it brought in a global total greater than half a billion dollars. The main issue with this film is that we had to wait so long to get a glimpse of the scaly creature. That reason was disappointing enough to be included with the other thunder lizards. The 1998 version with Matthew Broderick did take in an impressive $400 million worldwide, but the film itself was not too impressive, to say the least. The 1985 Godzilla is hardly worth mentioning since hardly anyone went to see it in the theaters. The movie raked in just $4 million domestically. This total is actually somewhat satisfying. There is something reassuring knowing that the producers wasted money making this one just as a few of us wasted money paying to see it and spent time watching it.
10. GLAD: Total Recall (2012)
The original Total Recall from 1990 was a good picture and is one of the films that you will always stop at when surfing channels and begin watching it from whatever point it is at. The 2012 Total Recall is no better or no worse than the original when it comes right down to it. Both films were equally as good as each other. The great thing about the Colin Farrell remake is that we experience a total recall when we see it because it serves as a trigger to totally recall the first Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original version wasn’t that high-tech, but it was still a pretty good sci-fi flick for its time. The remake had just a bit more action and much better effects. We cannot say that we were displeased with the first film and were looking for a remake, but it was a welcomed one at that. The second Total Recall was totally awesome!
9. ANGRY: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)
The original 1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, starring the late Gene Wilder as the candyman is a timeless classic. It remains to be a winter holiday classic today. Tim Burton‘s 2005 version was darker and did not give off the same feel-good vibe as the first picture. Johnny Depp was just plain creepy and conveyed a message that would raise any parent’s radar. We would not let Depp’s Wonka anywhere near a child. Watching this entire movie felt like drinking dirty mop water out of a golden chalice. This cinematic experience was akin to eating a wish sandwich. That’s where you have two pieces of bread and wish there was something good between them. We would rather eat an old onion with a glass of boiling water than endure Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka again. If these films were ranked in any order, this would most certainly be at the top of the list of bad remakes.
8. GLAD: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
There is no such titled movie, as you know. We are referring to The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Homecoming. There really was no reason to remake or reboot this franchise since the first Spider-Man wasn’t that old and Tobey Maguire was still young enough to play the web-slinger. There was no reason to dump Andrew Garfield either. However, we are glad that Marvel did take these steps because it’s just that much more Spider-Man for us to enjoy. They only keep getting better with each new Spider-Man. We should be mad that we keep having to shell out the bucks for new Spider-Man films with similar stories, but we don’t mind. Spider-Man is one of everyone’s favorite Marvel heroes. He is just a normal kid who got his powers. He is not a Superman or Thor from another planet. Spider-Man is one of us. He is family. He’s our friendly neighborhood.
7. ANGRY: Ben-Hur (2016)
The 2016 remake of Ben-Hur finished in the red with a loss. Even though that loss was minimal for Hollywood standards (at $5 million), it is still a loss. The original film did not gross any spectacular amounts of money, coming in at $150 million. Or did it? Yes, oh yes it did exceptionally well. The budget was just $15 which equates to a profit of 10 times the cost. Additionally, we are talking about 1959 figures. When you adjust that total for today’s numbers, it is equivalent to an $850 million gross. That is more than Titanic or Avatar grossed. The original Ben-Hur is a timeless classic that will remain in American film vaults for the remainder of existence.
6. GLAD: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The original Star Trek saga with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy made us a fan of The Starship Enterprise. They were great movies…or at least the first three films were. Generations was pretty gnarly, too. You got to admit you liked seeing Kirk and Picard (Patrick Stewart) interacting. However, the original Star Treks did give off the impression that a child with construction paper designed the set and props. The Star Trek reboot with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk is far superior with respect to special effects and action sequences. The idea of action in Shatner’s Trek is him climbing a mountain or the unnamed crewman running down the hall. Pine’s Kirk is younger, stronger, and faster. We are looking forward to future Star Trek movies under the new model.
5. ANGRY: Footloose (2011)
Footloose was an awesome coming-of-age movie with a basic story of small-town ideals that encounter an outsider’s point of view. That point of view was to live life, be yourself, and don’t let others make you into what they want you to be. That message was brought to us by a young Kevin Bacon in 1984, and it launched his career and transformed him from an actor into an A-List Hollywood Celebrity. The 1984 film was nominated for two Academy Awards. The 2011 Footloose is cold and best served as meaningless background noise on VH1 for your Sunday house cleaning. That way, you don’t have to be disappointed by the actual movie and you can just listen to updated versions of some great musical numbers we grew up with and loved in the original Footloose.
4. GLAD: War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)
The original Planet of the Apes was great because the concept was original at a time when there were still fresh ideas available for movies. However, as we have said with other pictures, this original was cheesy and cheap-looking in design. It was like serving a filet mignon on a paper napkin. The gift inside was great, but the wrapping was nothing pretty to look at. The Planet of the Apes reboot with James Franco and later, Mark Wahlberg, was visually more appealing. We can’t blame Charlton Heston or producers of the first series. There just wasn’t the technology around, and it was a new idea. This time around, the Hollywood suits knew it was gold and they shined it up rather nicely for us.
3. ANGRY: Dirty Dancing (TV Movie, 2017)
Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Well, ABC put their re-imagined musical version of Dirty Dancing in its grave. This was done to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film in 2017. It would have surely been a much better way to celebrate this great piece of art by NOT dragging it through the mud. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey starred in the original motion picture. The only thing that was similar between the two movies is that the collateral used to advertise both releases used the same font for the title. We should all band together and file a class action suit against ABC and Disney for false advertising. When we see that recognizable design that is unique to the name Dirty Dancing, we expect something close to the first film. But all we get is dirty.
2. ANGRY: Arthur (2011)
The late Dudley Moore was a likable little drunken millionaire. He was funny and you genuinely liked the spoiled little brat. Russel Brand was an annoying, obnoxious, gangly fellow. The only cool thing was the pop culture references in the remake. Seeing Luis Guzman dressed as the Boy Wonder Robin, to Brand’s Batman was quite amusing. The Batmobile was cool, and the other famous movie cars were neat to see in the film. You would have to be as drunk as Arthur to enjoy this film. The directors or producers tried to make this film their own by changing certain aspects of the story. Making Hobson a female, changing Linda to Naomi, and replacing Arthur’s father with his mother were among those variances between the movies. If they wanted to make it their own film, they should have made their own film and left Arthur alone.
1. GLAD: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
Don’t get the comic book fanboy in you all in an uproar. We know Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not a remake. We are referring to BOTH Batman Begins with Christian Bale and Henry Cavill‘s Superman in Man of Steel. Both remakes were both done so well that we are including both of them here. Bale was probably the best Batman thus far, and Heath Ledger was probably the best Joker. While we’ll always be partial to Christopher Reeve‘s Kryptonian, it was no longer possible for him to play Superman. It was time for someone new to wear the big “S” and cape. Cavill was a super-great choice to play a super man. We would have included Brandon Routh‘s Superman Returns as a bad remake, but it wasn’t a remake. It was a sequel to Christopher Reeve’s movies.