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The remakes of “The A Team” and “The Karate Kid” both debut in two weeks, and one has me a little bit excited while one has me a little bit worried. I am a big fan of Liam Neeson and I think he could make ” The A Team” – which was just an okay, campy television series -special. On the other hand, Will Smith’s kid Jaden is starring in a new version of the beloved underdog drama “The Karate Kid” and I am not so sure I like that idea too much. The original is one of the best sports movies of all times, after all.
But remakes are inevitable in Hollywood, and in some cases the remake actually does improve on the original. Here are a few of my favorite – and least favorite – movie remakes of all time.
What are your choices for best or worse remake of a movie? (I readily admit that there are no Westerns on my lists.) And what movies do you think should never be remade under any circumstances???( Ahem, this is where I might go into a rant about the potential remake of “Footloose”). Let’s get the discussion going!
Top Five Best Remakes:
Sabrina : This is a controversial choice, I know, because many love the Billy Wilder original. For me though, Bogey and Audrey Hepburn never worked as couple in that version. And while I grant that Julia Ormond is not as good as Hepburn in the remake, Harrison Ford is way better than Bogey as therepressed, loveless Linus.
You’ve Got Mail : I like the old Jimmy Stewart version called “Little Shop Around the Corner,” which was cute, but Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were super cute in the modern remake.This movie is just a favorite guilty pleasure of mine as far as romantic comedies go.
Scarface: Most people don’t even remember the original from way back in the
1930s. And why would you? Al Pacino made Tony Montana one of the most memorable villains ever and this movie is the movie that got Michelle Pfeiffer noticed in Hollywood.


Dangerous Liaisons: This movie was based off of both a French film and a stage play. In fact, two remakes came out at approximately the same time ; the other was the very weak “Valmont” with Colin Firth and Meg Tilly. This version is far superior because no one does revenge like Glenn Close.
Little Shop of Horrors: I love, love, love the creativity of this wacky story about a florist, a plant, and the girl of his dreams. The original B movie of the 60s doesn’t even come close to the humor and heart of this remake.
My Top Five Worst Movie Remakes
Clash of the Titans: Have I mentioned how much I adore both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes? And that I think the original of this movie with Harry Hamlin was awful and cheesy? So I was just incredibly disappointed that the remake was actually even more ridiculous, despite the cool special effects.
Fame: As a child of the 80s, I just could not stomach this remake. It wasn’t “Glee” and it wasn’t “High School Musical. ” It was just a mish-mash of ideas and music.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Once upon a time, a lifetime ago it seems, I wrote a whole book about Roald Dahl and Willy Wonka, Charlie, and friends so it should be no surprise that I did not like the Tim Burton remake -even for all of his visual storytelling genius- as much as I cherish the charm of the original.
Psycho: Why someone decided to tamper with not just a classic, but a cinematic icon, I will never know. Gus Van Sant is a great director, but he still did not capture the intensity of the original.
Planet of the Apes : Can’t say I loved the original, but the sequel was worse and doesn’t exactly feature Mark Wahlberg’s finest acting performance.The movie is another example of director Tim Burton’s vision going awry.

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