Remakes that didn’t entirely suck donkey penis

I’m normally the first person to snort air and look excessively aloof and flippant when I hear about the next in a long line of lazy Hollywood remakes. Studios see them as a way to make money off a recognised name/franchise where as moviegoers (occasionally myself included) will flock there to bask in the warmth of familiarity in the hope that maybe, just maybe the beloved original movie won’t be dumped on from a great height.

At odds with my general remake hatred I’ve managed to compile this list of remakes I’ve actually enjoyed. Let’s see what we’ve got:

The Departed (2006) 

(Remake of 2002′s Infernal Affairs)

TheDeparted

My first choice is somewhat predictable given my love of Scorcese. The Departed loses none of Infernal Affairs’ plot twisting, double crossing brutality and benefits from superb performances from a variety of A-list talent including a spectacularly menacing turn from Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello. Shifting the action from Hong Kong to South Boston, Scorses maintains the intensity of Infernal Affairs and marks his own inimitable organised crime loving fingerprints all over a film that grips for the duration.

The Ring (2002)

(Remake of 1998′s Ringu)

The-Ring

Hey, have you heard the one about the video tape that kills you when you watch it? Ringu was a Japanese horror sensation and had one of the most intriguing technological horror premises of all time. Its success was built on atmosphere and a foreboding creepiness which I never expected the American remake to even consider as viable routes to gain an audience.

Gore Verbinski’s remake proved me wrong by not only displaying an obvious appreciation of what made the original so great but by overseeing a more streamlined movie with clearer plot and character motivation due in part to Ehren Kruger’s refined and focused script. A pre-stardom Naomi Watts holds the film together with a solid performance. Definitely worth a look for horror fans.

3:10 To Yuma (2007)

(Remake of 1957′s 3:10 To Yuma)

3-10-to-Yuma

Russell Crowe and Christian Bale dominate the screen in the 2007 remake of 3:10 To Yuma. Their moments of interaction and soul searching are the glue that holds James Mangold’s fantastic take on the Western genre together. There is more of a violent edge than the 50′s made original, production values and acting standards are incredibly high throughout with stunning vistas and authentic weaponry, clothing and sets really helping to sell the illusion of the chronological placement of the film.

Bale especially excels as the ordinary Joe who takes it as his own personal path of redemption to escort Crowe’s violent Ben Wade to the train of the title and off to jail. For me, it has an emotional core and a rawness the original didn’t have and feels like a tip of the hat to Peckinpah’s work. The dramatic element means this is worth a look even if you aren’t a fan of the genre.

So, there are my three remakes that didn’t entirely suck donkey penis, in fact I’d hazard that all three are pretty damn good movies in their own right. What do you think of my choices?

Please feel free to comment below and of course suggest your own remakes that you feel rise above the sucking of equine phallus.

If any of you suggest Rob Zombie’s bucket of goat shit remake of Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ you are banned from reproducing however.

6 thoughts on “Remakes that didn’t entirely suck donkey penis

  1. Ooh, I heartily agree with the first two; the latter I have yet to watch either version.

    Might I also suggest ‘Let Me In’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’. Both excellent remakes – though neither beat the originals (though let’s face is, does that ever happen?).

    I remain woefully skeptical of remakes as a rule. Next “oh god please don’t” in the making is ‘Oldboy’. I’m ready to be wowed, but somehow I don’t expect to be.

  2. I still haven’t seen ‘Let Me In’ due to my overpowering love of the original, but you know how much I trust you after the positive results of our lengthy (oh, the sun’s come up!) movie chats so I’ll give it a try.

    Have had ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ on my list to watch for a while. I don’t see what can be done with ‘Oldboy’. That’s one extreme film.

    • Neither of the two bring much new to the table, as they are more or less frame-by-frame remakes, which manage not to water out or alter the original story too much, which is quite the achievement in itself for a US remake, no?

      I saw ‘Let me in’ at the premiere screening, outdoors late at night, with an introduction by the author of the source material. Pretty damn awesome. Have you read the novel, by the way? I read it last summer (and woah, I thought the movie was depressing!): it’s mindblowing.

  3. I haven’t read the book no. I’d love to have been there for that kind if event for sure! My ultimate wish is to one day go on a Jaws related pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard.

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