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Film Five: Ill-conceived Hollywood remakes

by @JOEdotie
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From Total Recall with Colin Farrell to Red Dawn, Hollywood seems obsessed with remaking, rebooting and reimagining old films these days. We’ve decided to pick out five planned remakes that should have been left at the bottom of the barrel.

By Dermot Keys

Lethal Weapon

Why does Warner Bros think we need a Lethal Weapon reboot? Danny Glover really is “too old for this shit” these days while Mel Gibson has become box office Kryptonite.

The incompatible-cops-forming-an-unlikely-partnership format may have worked in 1987 but it just looks hackneyed after a quarter of a century. Looking back, the original is essentially a series of clichés tied together with stereotypes, so good luck to whoever has to adapt it for a modern audience.

On the bright side, this should presumably kill off Gibson’s hopes of a Lethal Weapon 5.

The Birds

Director Dennis Iliadis is set to tackle 1963 classic The Birds, with Naomi Watts playing the lead role. Remaking a cinematic classic is generally a thankless task but attempting to tackle one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films is a very, very bad idea.

Remaking a Hitchcock film implies that you think you can it do better than the ‘Master of Suspense’. It takes a particular brand of arrogance to look at a classic Hitchcock film and think: “Well it’s OK but I think that he should have done X, Y or Z.” This one seems destined to be a dead duck.

Police Academy

The original 1984 film about a team of misfit police trainees wasn’t entirely bad. There was some slapstick humour, cheesy jokes, and a host of one-dimensional characters such as Smarmy Guy, Voices Guy, Tall Guy and Gun Guy.

Sadly, Police Academy’s six sequels provided concrete proof of the law of diminishing returns and any enthusiasm for the franchise swiftly evaporated. You know it’s time to call it a day when Steve Guttenberg turns down a film, as opposed to making another four sequels. It’s safe to say that no-one is looking forward to this one.

Dirty Dancing

Boyfriends and husbands everywhere should be worried about this one. We’re sorry to report that a reboot of 1987 female favourite Dirty Dancing is coming to a cinema near you.

Next year will see domestic discord sweep across the land as men try to avoid being dragged to a new version of the undisputed queen of chick flicks. Think of it as Glee squared as Kenny Ortega, the choreographer from the original, will direct this unholy resurrection.

In addition to irritating a whole new generation of men, he could also face opposition from the film’s notoriously obsessive fan base. To paraphrase the original, nobody should put Baby in a remake.

Scarface

Gangsters, drugs, a coked-up Al Pacino wielding a machine gun, Michelle Pfeiffer, an Oliver Stone screenplay, a menacing electro soundtrack – all of these things make Scarface one of cinema’s greatest films.

The 1983 release may have been a reboot in its own right but director Brian De Palma broke the mould with his tale of a psychotic Cuban’s rise to the top of the Miami underworld.

Pacino’s tour de force performance as Tony Montana solidified him as one of his generation’s greatest actors, so only a complete moron would take on this role. So Keanu Reeves will be dusting down his Hawaiian shirt…

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