Quotes: The Remake


If it's a remake of a classic, rent the classic!
— Jay Sherman, The Critic

Yes, all the charm of a simple little cartoon will melt before your eyes as it is replaced by newer and more standardized animation!
Announcer, South Park, "Free Hat"

On Works

Gus Van Sant's "shot-for-shot" remake is the addition of a masturbation scene. That's appropriate, since this new evokes memories in an attempt to re-create remembered passion.
Roger Ebert on Psycho (1998)

In life, there are few things one can predict with accuracy, even after years of training. Just ask a financial analyst who works for 80 hours a week studying the intricacies of stock price movement only to finally manage a fund that consistently underperforms the market. Just ask a couple divorcing after 30 years of marriage. Just ask a NCAA tournament Cinderella team that makes it to the Final Four against all odds. But there is one thing, in this world of uncertainty, that can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy: a Michael Bay-produced remake of an Alfred Hitchcock movie is going to gargle goat balls.

There are some pithy lines and revivals of favorite moments from the original—'Dead or alive, you’re coming with me', and the much-loved 'I (wouldn’t) buy that for a dollar!' both make appearances—but overall, it’s never quite clear why this reboot exists in the first place. Except for dollar signs in the studio’s eyes, of course, which is the singular motivation for most modern resurrections of cult classics. Silly me for hoping there was a genuine desire to build on the foundation of the original and do something interesting with it.

Hey, you guys remember how awesome Men In Black was? How it struck a great balance between action, comedy, and (b)romance, like a sci-fi version of The Princess Bride? And you remember how, despite the fact that the movie ended in a way that perfectly wrapped up the story, you wanted them to remake the same movie, only with new people? Congratulations, all four of you are getting your wish! It turns out the cocaine pile at Sony Pictures was getting a bit small and they decided to give the MIB franchise a fresh take by redoing one-third of a series that isn't even old enough to buy cigarettes yet.

The original movie was about some punk kids who were bullying Daniel with what lame karate they learn in a strip mall dojo. Time is short, but Miyagi is able to teach Daniel just enough to beat his competition. And the level of competition is that you would expect in a junior league karate tournament. There was a grounding in reality. But here they figure the original was not fast enough, bloody enough, or choreographed enough for modern audiences... The fights have also been turned from realistic choreography to almost a live action anime. The kids are defying physics with wire fu. They are doing hurricanranas and pele kicks and moves rejected from Crouching Tiger cause they were considered too unbelievable. Cripes people! These are 12 year olds, they should not be mimicking the final fight between Neo and Agent Smith.

Big the TV show is happening, because Hollywood’s favorite thing to do is put on knife shoes and dance all over your childhood

As more and more new broadcast shows get canceled, you may have thought the networks had pretty much scraped the bottom of the barrel trying to come up with anything that might stick with viewers. You would be wrong. Given the evidence of a drama premiering Wednesday called Taxi Brooklyn, apparently the NBC barrel is bottomless...In fact, the whole enterprise is notable because it is actually worse than the first rehash of Taxi, the 2004 film with Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah.

I would like to see a remake of Beaches with Bette Midler. Only this time, Barbara Hershey should be played by Anne Hathaway. But Anne Hathaway will have much more cancer. And it'll be CGI cancer. And then when they're on the beach and the sun is setting, and she's about to die, she explodes. And Bette Milder won't do the theme song, no. No 'Wing Beneath My Wings' crap for this movie. The theme song will be done by Kesha... and it'll be called "Sorry U Can't Go Out To Da Club Because U Got Cancer.
Mike Stoklasa, Half in the Bag

Sometimes a movie gets remade because the original was an adaptation of a novel or short story to which it simply did not do justice, and some director or other wants to try their hand at a more faithful treatment. The classic example of this strain would have to be John Carpenter's The Thing. Then you’ve got your remakes that stem from somebody coming up with an inspired new story to tell using the setup from an earlier movie; David Cronenberg's version of The Fly springs immediately to mind as a case in point. Then there are movies like the Hammer Film Productions take on The Mummy (1959), which looks like a case of subsequent filmmakers going back to make up for their predecessors’ mishandling of a good idea. Again, in each of those three categories, I’ve seen more good remakes than bad. Unfortunately, it’s the fourth major current of remakes that commands the most attention, and with good reason—it’s broader than any of the other three, and the stench kicked up by most of the movies within it is just too strong to ignore. I’m talking about remakes that owe their existence to little or nothing more than the advance of special effects technology, and there’s no shortage of noteworthy examples.
Scott "El Santo" Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting