by Amy Atkins
Films like True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma, Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even I Am Legend worked the second time around (some better than others) either because someone brilliant was at the helm—the Coen Brothers, Tim Burton—or they contained universal themes and were built upon great stories that withstood the test of time.
Then you have the likes of Flubber (The Absent-Minded Professor), The Karate Kid and Arthur. Their source material was either too identified with a certain actor—Ralph Macchio, Dudley Moore—or the themes didn't work in a more current context. Who the hell wants to sit for two hours and watch a bazillionaire whine about what he doesn't have? It's easy to say money isn't everything ... if you have some.
That's one reason why the Footloose remake (opens in October) may not work. Rebellion is actually being played out on the streets of Greece, Yemen and Libya. The story of a bunch of kids bucking the system by fighting a ban against public dancing doesn't have the same weight in light of what is happening in the real world. Plus, today's teens grew up on High School Musical. Footloose is not a fresh idea to them.
The other reason is there's no Kevin Bacon. And we all know everything is better with Bacon.
What remake do you think deserves a place of honor next to the original?
What remake of a beloved film do you find to be a puke-inducing travesty?
Leave your answers in the comments.