This July, Establishing Shot presents It’s Revived!, a miniseries celebrating some of our favorite (or at least some of the more fascinating) movie remakes out there in anticipation of IU Cinema’s fall film series Re:Made. Up first, Jesse Pasternack discusses how Michael Mann turned a TV movie into a stone-cold cinematic classic.
Every cinema enthusiast encounters certain popular ideas about movies at some point in their life. They range from the belief that sequels pale in comparison to the original film in the franchise to the certainty that some genres (especially horror and musical) only have niche appeal to the types of folks you wouldn’t want to talk with for too long. As a cinephile continues their journey into the wonderful world of movies, they decide which of these ideas they like and which ones don’t hold true for them.
One of these ideas relates to the topic of remakes. Many people often deride the idea of remaking classic movies like King Kong (1933) or Halloween (1978). The fact that there have been remakes of both films shows that this idea doesn’t hold much weight with development executives. But there is a flip side to this which I actually like quite a bit. This point-of-view holds that, instead of remaking good movies, filmmakers should create remakes of bad movies. Said remakes would be a do-over and a way for a talented filmmaker to take an interesting premise and reconfigure it to reach its full potential. It is telling that some of the best remakes to come out of the American film industry — namely Martin Scorsese’s morally murky Cape Fear (1991) and Steven Soderbergh’s well-plotted and ultra-cool Ocean’s Eleven (2001) — are strikingly different from what came before them. They serve as compelling evidence for the argument that the best remakes are the ones which take a bold and different direction from their source material. (more…)