Q Screenboy Jesse Wente takes on remake culture with a top-five best and top-five worst movie remakes ever.
JESSE WENTE'S TOP FIVE BEST MOVIE REMAKES
1/ The Fly (1986) - the title goes to a Canadian movie this week, with David Cronenberg's masterpiece representing the benchmark for reworking a movie - Cronenberg updates the original, maintaining the classic central premise, but enhancing it with gruesome make-up effects and a subtext about disease and aging - absolutely brilliant
2/ The Magnificent Seven (1960) - takes a super cool Japanese movie and turns into a super cool Western - how does one beat Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn? - only by turning Jeff Goldblum into a giant fly
3/ Floating Weeds (1959) - the only film on this list to be directed by the same person as the original, Japanese Master Yasujiro Ozu recreates his 1934 original about the affairs of an aging actor - available in a terrific Criterion Edition DVD.
4/ A Fistful of Dollars (1964) - the original spaghetti western, Sergio Leone's remake of Akira Kurosawa's equally wonderful "Yojimbo" features an iconic character, The Man With No Name, played by an iconic actor Clint Eastwood to Yojimbo's Toshiro Mifune - available in a fantastic box set called "The Sergio Leone Anthology"
5/ Outland (1981) - Peter Hyams refashions the western classic "High Noon", into a realistic science fiction action movie, with Sean Connery as a sheriff of a mining colony on a Jupiter moon who uncovers a drug ring, and then must wait for assassins to arrive - gritty and bloody, this has always been a personal favorite
Others that would have made this list if it had ten numbers: The Thing, Sorcerer, Oceans Eleven, The Manchurian Candidate, An Affair to Remember
JESSE WENTE'S TOP FIVE WORST MOVIE REMAKES
1/ The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) - Keanu Reeves stars in this pointless update of the 1951 classic - made me angry while watching it
2/ The Vanishing (1993) - seemingly blind to how the original worked, this remake of the George Sluzier film reveals itself almost immediately, thus robbing a thriller of any actual thrills
3/ Halloween (2007) - Rob Zombie's senseless re-imagining of the classic original film adds too much vile backstory, thus ridding the movie of its mysterious atmosphere
4/ Get Carter (2000) - let's see, we need an actor who can recreate Michael Caine's super cool gangster from the 1971 original - let's get Sly Stallone! - awful remake of a great movie
5/ The Pink Panther (2006) - the most financially successful of this list, this dismal comedy only reminds you of how awesome Peter Sellers was, and how awesome Steve Martin used to be
If there were Ten: Down to Earth, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Stepford Wives, I Am Legend, The Truth About Charlie