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I am so sick of remakes...is originality dead? It would be one thing if the remakes were better, but for the most part (and off the the top of my head I cannot think of a good remake, just bad ones) they suck.
I think it depends on what the people remaking the film want to do. It's not difficult to tell when one director is looking to exploit an original franchise to make a quick buck and then another director will actually want to put his own spin on an old film and in the process create a new and different piece of art (eg. True Grit).
Personally, I think most remakes are blasphemy. That's a pretty heavy word to use, I know, but it is what it is. One of the FEW times I was happy with a remake, was with the Dawn of the Dead remake in 04. It wasn't the exact replica of the original story, it had a different take on the traditional zombie, and it added a deeper sense of desperation. George Romero scared the crap out of the general public with his invention of the Hollywood zombie... but after a while people became desensitized to it. Then Zack Snyder came and reinvented it to scare the crap out of people again.
Unless a remake takes that approach with the original story, I say stay away from it. The stories have already been done, let's get some fresh new ideas going and stop recycling.
I believe remakes show how generations change. It's not about comparing which era the movie was done is better, it's how the "same characters" would be doing if they are placed in this generation for this remake. Don't get me wrong, there's really nothing bad about remakes, it's how critics review them even before they are shown to the public. That makes a remake good or bad. They were placed in a position that early that's why there are no expectations to set anymore for those who will watch.
I love remakes, especially if I'm thinking of another actor for the role.
With the one remakes are going these days they should be outlawed and if the the law is broken the culprits should be tarred and feathered and run out of town by a shouting mob. If only a film franchise could die in its youth like a talented young actor so we could have the illusion that "they" would have been brilliant forever but we are forced to have our illusions shattered by greedy film company's.