Don’t laugh: it is possible to create remakes that are actually good. Listen, I hate 2010’s movies as much as anyone for the most part. It seems like every other movie is a remake, a sequel, a prequel, an adaptation, or some kind of combination of the bunch that demonstrates that Hollywood has not only completely run out of original ideas, but that they now hate original ideas and think that original ideas are ‘so twentieth century.’
Still, I’d be lying if I said that remakes weren’t sometimes great. You can hate remakes as a concept while still thinking that some of them can actually be good. Sometimes, movies really are old and they need to be updated. In other cases, the movies can be given a fresh take and unique voice. I’ve seen both of these scenarios play out and more.
True Grit is probably the best film remake that I can think of, even if I’m not usually a fan of Westerns. This one is so much better than most of the rest of the genre that I would say that it transcends most of it. The original film was just awful, even if you use the excuse that it’s just a product of its time. It’s not something that I can get into, and updating this movie for the twenty-first century was a really good idea. The acting is great. I’m glad that they got an actual girl in her early teens to play a character that was in her early teens. I also thought that they did a good job when it came to attention to period detail since the characters really did seem like historical characters. In terms of overall quality, this is my favorite remake.
Now let us go back a few decades to a movie from the horror genre: the Fly. I actually did like the original movie from the 1950’s. However, I think that the 1986 version really did something new and different with the story. It uses the broader outlines, but the story is still so different that it manages to succeed in spite of the fact that some people would say that it isn’t a remake so much as a movie that is loosely based on the original source material. In terms of which remake I actually consider my personal favorite and not just which remake I think is objectively the best, I’m going to go with the Fly.
Favorite movies and movies that you think are objectively good are not necessarily the same. Some of them are going to be better than others. There are plenty of things that I like that I consider flawed. There are also plenty of movies that I think are great objectively, but I had a hard time really getting into them personally. There are also movies that fall somewhere in the middle. It’s good that there are remakes that belong in all of those categories and more.