REASONABLE REMAKES: 2011 – A Retrospective


Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd 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.

2011 was a great year for remakes. Just kidding, two out of ten good remakes does not constitute a “great year”, I just double checked with my friend who majored in statistics (my math skills are a bit weak, that’s why I write about movies). At any rate, the year is almost over and all the remakes have been released. I spent my year subjecting myself to these (mostly terrible) movies so I could bring you this special edition of Reasonable Remakes. Sometimes you just have to suffer for your craft. Van Gogh cut off his ear, I saw Arthur. Who’s to say which was worse. 

This, clearly.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Otherwise, how would you get to read a great summary of some of the best and worst remakes of the year? Here it is: 2011 Remakes: A Retrospective.


The Mechanic

The Mechanic is a remake of an old Charles Bronson film from the 70’s. It stars The Transporter who isn’t transporting things this time, but instead killing people professionally. Overall it was a pretty decent flick with a lot of killer action sequences. I don’t want to say it’s exactly what you’d expect out of a film with Jason Stathom in it, but it’s exactly what you’d expect out of a film with Jason Stathom in it. It’s pretty fun, and your dad would probably enjoy watching it, so go ahead and rent it next time you visit him.


Explosions: Bringing fathers and sons closer together since 1958.



Arthur is a terrible attempt to remake a great Dudley Moore movie of the same name. It was absolutely unfunny and quite frankly a piece of shit. It stars Russell Brand (you know, Aldus Snow, from the much better film Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek) being a rich adult with the mind of a child. Really it’s just Russell Brand being himself, and he’s not someone you want to spend any time with. I saw this one in Minnesota with my mother while we were killing time between doctor appointments. We set out to lighten the mood of the whole trip, and it did cheer us up, but only in the sense that we both hated it and made fun of it for the rest of the time we were at the hospital. Don’t see it. Don’t rent it. You know what, do rent it. Just do it under a fake name, then never return it so no one else can suffer through it for a few weeks before they order a new copy.

13 Assassins

Odds are you didn’t see 13 Assassins. That’s ok, it’s hard to track down foreign films in the U.S. I know that the movie technically came out in 2010, but it didn’t get a U.S. release until this year, and even then it wasn’t promoted as much as it should have been. This is an amazing and artistic samurai film made by Japanese super-director Takashi Miike. Like all of Miike’s movies 13 Assassins is stylish and different than most American films. I cannot recommend this film enough, mostly because it’s so damn hard to get people to read subtitles.

My opinion on people who condemn movies with subtitles.


Fright Night

Fright Night is a remake of a pretty classic (but not the greatest) vampire flick from the 80’s. It had Colin Farrell as a sexy but evil vampire for the ladies, McLovin in a smaller than advertised role for the people looking for a comedy, and some guy playing the lead (He was in Charlie Bartlet but who saw that?). It was a pretty decent movie that did a good job of mixing the laughs and cheese of the original with the more modern scares of today. The vampire wasn’t sparkly, and he definitely killed people. I remember there was even a shot or two that I thought was pretty well done, which doesn’t happen too often when I go see a horror movie. I’d definitely check it out if you get a chance before it ends up playing edited on FX and ScyFy over and over.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

As soon as you finish this article turn off your computer, get in your car, drive to the nearest theatre and see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Besides being the best remake of the year, this film is a testament to American cinema. David Fincher makes this his very own, telling this story with masterful use of suspense and mood. Trent Reznor provides one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all year as he takes every scene and makes it even more emotionally powerful. The new James Bond does a great job portraying Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara will probably win a few awards for her work as Lisbeth Salander. You can read a full review of this film here.

Next week we’ll take a look at the upcoming remakes for 2012, and I’m sure I wont be happy about it when I compile that list and realize what great movies are probably getting destroyed.


This sums it up pretty well.

Justin Proper is gearing up for his annual Santa Hunt. You can follow him on Twitter.


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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