Best/Worst Movie Remakes

on May 17, 2013 in Misc

So today, thanks to the ever resourceful and enthusiastic Alex J. Cavanaugh, I’m participating in the Best/Worst Move Remake Blogfest.  Here are my entries…

 

BEST REMAKE:  THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR

For me, the remake with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo (1999) is better than the original 1968 version with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

I’m old enough to have seen the original as a little kid, and I remember how the split-screen action scenes, the erotic chess game, and the song (Windmills of Your Mind) were very grown-up cool.  But I’ve also seen it as an adult and while it’s still a good flick, the remake is better.

Take the scenes where the female lead first appears.

In the original, Faye Dunaway walks off a plane in a miniskirt and big hat, the two detectives there to greet her are wowed by her sexy style, and they all have a nice little chat.  Blah.

In the remake, the main detective (Dennis Leary) is crouching in the museum room where the painting has been stolen and he’s theorizing aloud that an x-brand of helicopter must have been involved.  Then he hears a woman’s sultry voice explaining why it couldn’t have been x-brand because of its limited weight-bearing abilities, the other technical implausibilities, and what really must have happened.  He looks up to see a woman’s sexy leg and garter through the slit in a knee-length skirt (and yes, fashion is its own character in these two movies).  I mean, that scene just goes BAM!  WHAM! REMEMBER THIS WOMAN!

One more note I could give you out of many:  there’s a nifty scene in which Rene Russo calmly takes out a switchblade that you just know she carries with her and can wield like a ninja, even though she’s an elegant, ladylike sophisticate.  I so wanna be like her.

 

WORST REMAKE:  MR. DEEDS

First, I have to confess that I have never seen this entire flick because I.  Just.  Can’t.  Watch.  It.

The original Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was directed by the great Frank Capra.  The story unfolds seamlessly, the dialogue crackles with life, a warm heart beats beneath the cynical wisecracks, and because the year is 1936, the Depression is still going on and people are suffering.  In the best such Depression movies, and this is one of them, there’s a strong social conscience.  We must help each other, is the message, and in language that to our modern politically correct ears sounds downright socialist but in those days was just common human decency.

Best of all, Longfellow Deeds in the original is played by Gary Cooper.

In the horrible remake:  Adam Sandler.

Could someone please explain to me why a dim overgrown boy like Sandler’s Deeds is supposed to be an appealing character?  And what morons thought it would be a good idea to a) remake a Capra masterpiece; b) replace a quietly understated manly man like Cooper with a smarmy smart-ass; then c) yuck up the story with dumb jokes and manufactured sentiment?

What a waste of everyone’s time and money.

Anyway, those are my choices.  Here’s the list of the blogfest hosts with their lists of participants.

Thanks for stopping by.

Blogfest Hosts:

Alex J. Cavanaugh  Stephen Tremp  |   Father Dragon Al   |   Livia Peterson 

 

29 Responses to “Best/Worst Movie Remakes”

  1. Yep, the original Mr Deeds was soooo much better.

  2. The Thomas Crown Affair was almost my first pick. Such a classy and stylish remake. And Rene Russo was so sexy in that film.
    Never seen Mr. Deeds, but Sandler knows how to ruin a film.
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest!

  3. Helena says:

    Alex – I liked your review of The Thing, and one of these days I’ll finally see it. Thanks for holding this blogfest!

  4. Helena says:

    Lynda – And Gary Cooper was wonderful in it, wasn’t he?

  5. Gina says:

    The original Mr. Deeds was so much better!

  6. nutschell says:

    i loved the Thomas Crown Affair! Didn’t realize Mr. Deeds was a remake :)
    Nutschell
    http://www.thewritingnut.com

  7. Helena says:

    Gina — Thank you! And it was an original story.

  8. Helena says:

    Nutschell – Watch the original and you’ll see why it’s so good. And Thomas Crown is good, isn’t it?

  9. Mark says:

    I have to agree with both of your picks. I really enjoyed the Brosnan version of TTCA over the original and the original Mr. Deeds far surpassed the crazy Sandler version.

    Waste of time and money is right! :)

    (Waving ‘hi’ from the bloghop)

  10. Didn’t see either Deeds movie. But I loved both Thomas Crowns.

  11. Al Diaz says:

    i loved the Thomas Crown Affair. Never seen the original. I saw Mr. Deeds as well. Didn’t rock me but I found it enjoyable. Thanks for participating!

  12. Helena says:

    Mark – I think some critics overpraise the original Crown because they fixate on Steve McQueen. And Sandler compared to Gary Cooper? Not even a contest.

  13. I’m a fan of both DEEDS movies, but I can’t compare them to each other. One’s a classic. The other is classic Sandler.

  14. LD Masterson says:

    Thank you. Everything you said about Mr. Deeds was spot on.

  15. Helena says:

    LD – Thank you! I have a couple dissenters, but to be fair comedy can be a very personal thing, and Sandler doesn’t do anything for me.

  16. Helena says:

    Milo – If you don’t compare them, then it’s fair to let each stand on its own. You made a nice turn of phrase about classics.

  17. Helena says:

    Al Diaz – The remake of Thomas Crown really is solid, isn’t it?

  18. Rhonda @Laugh Quotes says:

    I am a big Adam Sandler fan, yet I couldn’t sit through Mr. Deeds either.

    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com

  19. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    I’ll admit, I didn’t know Mr. Deeds was a remake. But the original sure sounds better! Wasn’t a huge fan of the remake.

  20. You chose wisely on my blog, and you’re invited to claim your prize: flowomiles AT hotmail.com

  21. Helena says:

    Rhonda – Sandler can be effective in the right role, and this wasn’t a good one for him.

  22. Helena says:

    Rachel – If you ever catch the original, I think you’ll like it.

  23. Helena says:

    Milo – I’m heading over there now!

  24. Old Kitty says:

    I didn’t even know Mr Deeds Goes to Town was re-made! LOL!!! Guess it never made it to the UK – thank goodness!!! Just as well as the pointless remake sounds jolly awful!! The original was perfect!

    You know I’m so in love with Steve McQueen and the gorgeous Faye Dunaway’s cheekbones that I just couldn’t bring myself to see the remake but oh maybe I should!! LOL!!

    Take care
    x

  25. Ciara Knight says:

    Thomas Crown affair was awesome. Great choice.

  26. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – The original Thomas Crown was very good and Steve McQueen was great in it. I just prefer the remake. But wasn’t the McQueen/Dunaway chess scene scorching hot?

  27. Helena says:

    Ciara – It was a popular one.

  28. Trisha says:

    I’m not a fan of any of Sandler’s movies where he plays a big dumb kid basically – love his other movies like Happy Gilmore and the like. Anyway, i haven’t seen this movie and now I don’t want to. Except maybe I should see the original :)

    And I still have not seen The Thomas Crown Affair but you make me want to see the Russo version!

  29. Helena says:

    Trisha – I’ve heard his other movies can be good, so I’ll try catching them.