REASONABLE REMAKES #1 – An Introduction…

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Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content this week with the debut of our latest feature, REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd and Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.

You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.

Please consider this first week as an introduction to the column. The full feature will launch next week.

If you have any suggestions for films or topics you’d like to see covered on REASONABLE REMAKES, please send an email titled “remakes” to utgjames@gmail.com.

In 2010 there were 15-20 major releases that were remakes of other movies. Some sources cite there being as many as 50 more being planned for the next two years. While nothing scares me more than the upcoming Akira remake (seriously hollywood? how the fuck are you going to make that work?) I do have to admit that some of my favorite movies are remakes. I know a lot of you are thinking that that last statement just proved that I don’t have any taste in movies, and that’s why I’ve decided to dedicate this first article to enlightening you about some amazing movies that I bet you didn’t even know were remakes.

We’ll start with a classic: The Man Who Knew Too Much. This amazing Hitchcock film is actually a remake of…a pretty ok Hitchcock film. Sure, it may be the same director, but it still counts as a remake and even Hitchcock knew he could do better with a different cast and color film, and who am I to disagree with one of the best directors of all time?

Next up are the westerns The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful Of Dollars. Both films are almost always mentioned in a discussion of the best westerns of all time. Another thing the two films have in common is they’re both remakes of Kurosawa films. The Magnificent Seven being a remake of The Seven Samurai and A Fistful of Dollars being a remake of Yojimbo. The Kurosawa films are masterpieces in their own right, but being non-english and based on Japanese culture really doesn’t sell in America, so they were remade here with great success. Some will argue that remaking a foreign hit is a cheap way to appeal to the masses, but I’ll be the first to admit that some of my favorite movies are just remade foreign films, which brings us to…

The Departed. Yes, this amazing, Oscar winning, Scorsese crime drama was a remake. The original film it was based on is Internal Affairs, a Hong Kong movie. If Scorsese’s first Oscar win was a remake than it really goes to show you they’re not all awful (I’m looking at you The Day The Earth Stood Still).

Lastly we have Scarface. I’ll let you go ahead and read that sentence again then go check Wikipedia to verify because I know what you’re thinking, but it’s totally true. The Gangster classic that apparently every rapper in the history of the world has a poster of in their house (every episode of Cribs confirms this) is a remake of an Italian mobster movie from the 1930s.

There you have it. A few films you didn’t know were remakes to kick off this new article. I’ll return every week to give you some movies I think deserve a remake. In the meantime, try to realize that even the terrible remakes have some value. I don’t want to live in a world where we don’t have footage of Nic Cage punching a woman while wearing a bear suit. And remember, for every 15 Nightmare On Elmstreet and Star Trek remakes we have to sit through we get at least one or two The Ring (I still get uneasy around TV’s showing static) or 3:10 To Yuma-s.

Written by: Justin Proper

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Wahoo! Wicker Man reference! Best remake ever. I’m going to have to say Oceans Eleven was a really good remake. Sure the original had just as amazing all-star cast but the overall plot really sucked. Now sure they should have stopped at Eleven but we all know how Hollywood loves to beat dead horses, or punch women for that matter.

  • I want to read an article examining remakes of white movies, into black movies.  Two that come to mind are The Wiz and Abby. Both good films.  Get to it

  • JP

    I’ll see what I can do!

  • JP

    I was going to put that in this article but I felt that I’d made my point. Good call though!