Creative expression and entertainment aside, Hollywood is a business like any other. People put money into it expecting good returns. But every once in a while, people latch on to the easiest way to make cash registers ring - by remaking old blockbusters – movies that have been tried and tested and passed the harshest scrutiny of critics and movie-goers alike. After all, what worked once must work again. However, people looking to make quick bucks by recycling and selling the same old thing in a newer, glitzier, jazzier, and more technologically advanced package would do well to remember these 7 worst Hollywood remakes and learn that there’s a lot more to cinema than looking for a formula for success.
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
I absolutely adore Johnny Depp as an actor but I have never really been a fan of his work when he pairs up with Tim Burton. A classic example of that is their remake of the original adaptation of Roald Dahl’s all time favorite children’s book – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - starring Gene Wilder as the eccentric but hugely creative Willy Wonka. It (the new, not the old one) received mixed reviews from critics all over the world and personally speaking, it failed to live up to the magic created by the original with its slightly bizarre treatment of the story.
2. The Women (2008)
The original version of this movie had a predominantly all-female star cast and it was a royal tribute to the mother of all catfights. It was fun, well done, and fantastically executed. The 2009 version, starring Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, and Annette Benning left much to be desired. The narrative was delirious, yappy and loopy and director Diane English brought in not an ounce of freshness to the story making it one of the worst Hollywood remakes ever.
3. 'Psycho' (1998)
There are some movies that should be categorized as “off-limits” for directors looking to make a remake because they are too good to be allowed any tampering with. Alfred Hitchcock’s black and white horror Psycho falls in this category. Any attempt to remake it should be a criminal offense punishable by a lifetime of watching the worst D-grade movies ever. Director Gus Van Sant’s cinematic exercise is definitely counted among the worst Hollywood remakes of all times.
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Wes Craven’s original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is considered the Holy Grail of slice-and-dice flicks. So, when a modern attempt was made to recreate the nightmare, Freddy Kruger fans took umbrage and gave it enough bad ratings to induce a real life nightmare for the producer, director, screenplay writers, and the unfortunate actors.
5. Godzilla (1998)
When the Japanese Godzilla (or Gojira as it is known there) raked in big moolah with its growls and snarls and thunderous foot-stomping, Hollywood saw green (as in dollar green) and decided to cash in on the popularity of this huge lizard. Except of course, they couldn’t and the reptile sank dismally at the box office without as much as a “glug”!
6. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
I am trying to remember the last time I saw Jackie Chan and he didn’t remind me of a chimp high on cocaine aping (or is it “chimping”?) kung-fu stunts. Not only does the 2004 version of this movie differ from the original 1956 version, it doesn’t even stay true to the source of the story – the eponymous book written by Jules Verne. Undoubtedly one of the worst Hollywood remakes, not to mention a rather pathetic book adaptation as well.
7. Death at a Funeral (2010)
The amazingly hilarious British farce that was released in 2007 inspired Hollywood actor Chris Rock so much that he decided to recast this humorous jewel against a setting of primarily African-American cast. Although the congregation of stars visible in this movie was bright and illustrious – Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock himself, among others – director Neil LaBute had absolutely no idea what to do with them. Hence the sad replica of a brilliant original!
Oh, don’t be so sad…all is not bleak in the world of cinema and entertainment. I know these 7 worst Hollywood remakes do put a dampener on the spirit but remember…where there’s the awful…there are also bound to be the really good remakes as well. So while you are cheering up with happy thoughts of good movies spare a moment for people who are in the business of indiscriminate and rather poor “remaking”. What advice do you have for them?
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