The Remake Scoreboard – Horror movie remakes – the good and bad list. Thumbs up or thumbs down and a few sentences why.
Remakes: Classic Sci-fi films
War of the Worlds (remake – 2005)
Only Steven Spielberg could remake this 50’s sci-fi classic and do it justice. Great attention to detail was used in making this film and there is not one moment while I watched that I thought, this looks like CGI. The initial rise from the underground of the first tripod craft was amazing, as well as the Hudson River, Ferry Crossing scene. There was so much I liked about this film, from the look of the crafts, which were closer to the descriptions given in H.G. Wells’ original story, to the sound the tripods made, a sort of battle cry, inducing us humans to run for cover. This is my favorite sci-fi movie since 2000. I own it and watch it often!
The Blob (remake – 1988)
This is a very good remake with likable characters played by Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith. The film also featured some great special FX, thankfully made before the days of CGI, which portray the agile and quick moving amoeba-like creature, swallowing and digesting its human prey. Great story, excellently paced, a remake worth seeing.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (remake – 2008)
This is a near faithful remake in color. That is not necessarily a good thing, the black and white of the original just made everything seem more menacing. The film starts off well enough with interesting events taking place and some great imagery. About a third of the way through, it becomes a chore to watch as the pacing gets bogged down in a tangle of social issues that seem unnecessary. Do yourself a favor, just stick with the original!
Planet of the Apes (remake – 2001)
Firstly, there is no touching Charlton Heston’s pinnacle performance as ‘Taylor’ in the original 1968, mind-bomb. The original was laced with a myriad of allegory and thought-provoking social issues. The final scene with the half-submerged, Statue of Liberty is one of the great moments in all film history. The new one had some great looking apes but not much else.
Godzilla (remake – 1999)
Most fans were not happy with Roland Emmerich’s version of the Iguana-inspired Godzilla. However, there were a couple of things I did like about the film. Godzilla’s first landfall in NYC at the South-Street Seaport and subsequent march through the NYC streets was impressive, mostly because it was filmed from street level, a person’s POV looking upward, rather than from straight-on as most ‘Zilla films are shot. I also liked the Helicopter chase scene as the fast moving Godzilla dodged and darted missiles and gunfire. But the film is also riddled with Hollywood hokey-ness that makes it difficult to watch. The car chase scene was ridiculous and the hundreds of eggs in MSG were too far-fetched to be believable. You would be much better off, sticking to the original.