Hollywood is running out of original ideas. Is anyone at fault or to blame for the continuous recycling of characters and plotlines? Probably not, as such re-occurrences were inevitable after a certain amount of time and movies are being produced at such a high rate each year. It is with this shortage of fresh ideas and the desire to improve/profit on the Hollywood’s past success that we are given remakes. Remakes tend to have a stigma attached to them, but in many cases they are perfectly acceptable and sometimes warranted. However, it has become an all too familiar trend of for creative Hollywood minds directors to take a classic films and try to recreate magic with modern adaptations that are not necessary and prove to be far less than their elder versions, as was the case with Psycho or The Stepford Wives.
Inversely, there are directors who do have the best interests of the original film at the heart and believe that they can formulate an improved and updated version of an old tale. This has been the case with films like Ocean’s Eleven, The Thing, and the much loved Martin Scorsese film The Departed. Successful remakes such as the aforementioned three are what all remakes aspire to be. There are a number of films out there that could use a “sprucing up” and would benefit from a new set of hands. Whether it be the touch of a different director, new dialogue or ideas from writers, or performances from actors, some films are primed and ready to be remade. This list compiles five films that ought to remade, either because they did not achieve their full potential at their first release, they are outdated and difficult to relate too, or because it would be simply be fun to see a more modern adaptation. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the top five films that ought to be revisited, reformulated, and remade.
Fletch finds itself on this list not because it was mismanaged or done poorly, but because an updated version of the 1985 comedy would be a lot of fun for audiences who remember the original or might be familiar with the story at all. Fletch is led by one of the all-time greats; Chevy Chase, as Chase’s quick wit and sarcasm are comedic gold. Irwin M. Fletcher’s stories and adventures on the job lend themselves quite well to a remake. The original Fletch is not a renowned cult classic because of a highly complex plot or its thought provoking dialogue. It is remembered for its simplicity and silliness. Situational comedy is transcendent and can apply to anytime and anyplace.
Why It Should Be Remade
The character of Fletch has a lot more left in the tank than the original or the ill-fated sequel could capitalize on. The story plays a secondary role to the character of Fletch himself. Therefore the success of the remake would be entirely dependent on who the filmmakers would cast. Paul Rudd would be an excellent fit with his charming persona and flair for humor and sarcasm. In the remake Rudd could play Fletch’s son trying to continue his father’s work the previous films could be ignored completely. The Millennial version of Los Angeles lends itself well to a more modern take on a goofy crime story. Also, what would Fletch think of the current Los Angeles Lakers situation? Would he dare wear a Kobe Bryant or Dwight Howard jersey or would he lament over the misuse of Gasol? Fletch is the hero Los Angeles needs and deserves, again.
4: Space Jam
In 1996, Michael Jordan was at his absolute peak as a sports icon and had already cemented himself as one of the greatest basketball players ever. When Space Jam was released, Jordan was newly returned to the game after a failed attempt to play professional baseball. The original Space Jam was not received well by critics (as a film driven by cartoon characters and athletes, this is not shocking), but it was very popular among audiences and netted over $230 million worldwide. It accomplished all of this despite the fact that Michael Jordan is/was a wretched actor and the film’s premise was completely over the top, even for something starring Looney Tunes.
Why It Should Be Remade
It has been 17 years since Space Jam was released. In that time a new NBA star has emerged. A star who aspires to be greater than MJ on the court, has more charisma than Jordan ever had, and is very aware of what mass media can do for one’s reputation and likability. Folks, I am talking about a Space Jam remake starring none other than Lebron James. I have little doubt that Lebron could usher a better performance than Jordan did and it is no secret to anyone that James seeks notoriety both on and off the court.
Starring in a family friendly film would also help heal the wounds from when he left Cleveland for Miami (whether these wounds were warranted or not is a different argument). James is an entertainer who desires the status of a “global icon.” A reboot/remake of a film that once featured the man he is attempting to surpass as the greatest player in the history of the NBA would be a very interesting twist in the growing legend of Lebron James. NBA fans, families, and sports junkies would flock to theaters regardless of how silly or simple the content of the film might be, just to see how the “chosen one” stacks up to Jordan off the court.
3: Rocky V
Sports movies are often poorly made, thus we have two consecutive sports films on this list
Rocky V should never been made within the Rocky Balboa series. It came out a full five years after Rocky Balboa defeated Ivan Drago on Russian turf and effectively ended the cold war. At the end of Rocky IV audiences felt inspired, pleased with the direction the series had headed (how often is it that a fourth installment is as highly regarded as the original film), and kicking themselves for not realizing how beneficial running up snowy mountains could be for their health and fitness. Rocky V is a depressing mess. Balboa, who through four films is perceived as being invincible, loses everything due to mismanaged funds and is unable to continue fighting because of brain damage sustained over the course of a long career.
The Italian Stallion gets back to his roots in Philadelphia and begins training an up-and-coming fighter named Tommy Gunn (great boxing name). Eventually the two clash and the film culminates with a street fight that is somehow available on basic cable for all of the city to watch. Rocky V as an ending to the Rocky Franchise would be comparable to ending the entire Bond series with James dying of sleep apnea or falling down a set of stairs. It just wasn’t a fitting ending for a character that we spent so much time rooting for and watching succeed.
Why It Should Be Remade
After spending the last paragraph detailing why I think Rocky V is worthless it’s probably hard to imagine why it should be remade. It’s simple. The only reason Rocky V doesn’t work is because it exists within the Rocky Franchise. A franchise that for 14 years told us the story of man whose life “was a million to one shot” and who had persevered, time and time again, against all odds. If you will, try and imagine this story with different actors outside of the scope of the Rocky Balboa canon.
You have the world’s premier boxer who has recently been told that he is broke and cannot fight anymore, so to salvage what is left of his life and his family he returns to native city and tries to carry on his legacy by helping another young fighter. It sounds rather appealing when you take Sylvester Stallone out of the mix. The remake would need to work on the ending (no boxing movie should end in a televised street fight, ever) and would need to cast strong leads for the retired boxer role, perhaps Eric Bana, and the Tommy Gunn role, Kellan Lutz comes to mind. It is imperative that throughout the remake process the filmmakers do not change the aspiring boxers name from Tommy Gunn, however, as this was the one thing that the original got right.
The original 1988 Cocktail is a full-on terrible film. It is dull, cheesy, and every character in the movie comes off as unlikable and pompous. It encompasses everything that was wrong with 1980′s filmmaking. Tom Cruise’s Brian Flanaghan has no redeeming qualities, there are way too many music sequences, and the love story between Flanagan and aspiring artist Jordan Mooney (Yes, Mooney and Flanagan are their names), played by Elizabeth Shue, is forced and predictable. The most enjoyable scenes in Cocktail are the unintentionally funny scenes of Cruise tending bar and singing the “Hippy Hippy Shake.”
Why It Should Be Remade
What if Cocktail were given a Magic Mike type makeover? The Brian Flanagan role given to Channing Tatum and the directorial duties to Steven Soderbergh. Essentially it just becomes a bartending version of Magic Mike and much-much darker version of the original, but is that really so bad? Channing Tatum was born to play a bartender, in fact he SCREAMS BARTENDER. A gritty update of Cocktail with less music, more drugs, and an omission of either of the Jordan girlfriend storyline or the Doug-feud storyline would serve itself very well if re-released. Channing Tatum is going to star in a G.I Joe sequel this summer, so the Flanagan role is certainly not above him at this point.
Rarely does a film based on a television series end being superior to the original. This is why I worry about the prospects of the Arrested Development and Entourage films. It is just too difficult to decide which subjects to hone in on and what to do with the characters in such a limited amount of time. This was the case with the Twilight Zone movie released in 1983. With over 160 original episodes, there was an incredibly vast pool of stories to choose from. The film elected to choose four stories and pair them up with four prolific directors. John Landis directed the first part entitled “Time Out,” Steven Spielberg took charge of the “Kick the Can” segment, Joe Dante headed the third part “It’s a Good Life” and the final (and superior) act “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” was directed by George Miller.
Why It Should Be Remade
The 1983 Twilight Zone movie was a misfire solely because of the organization of the film and the absence of a Rod Serling-type narrator-character. It had talented directors and an above average cast, consisting of Dan Akroyd, John Lithgow and Vic Morrow (who passed away from a freak on-set explosion). It lacked any cohesion from a plot standpoint. Of the four stories that movie told, only two of them were of any value (Nightmare at 20,000 feet and It’s a Good Life) and even those were marginal at best. A remake would require a better selection of content (The Eye of the Beholder or Martians are Due on Maple Street) from the original series and an actor portraying Serling (Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a great fit) to introduce the stories and keep the plot moving. The closer the film remains to the original series, the better. It is important that a Twilight Zone movie be perceived as being as authentic as possible.
What film would you like to see remade? Give your opinion in the comments. Also, this: