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Wednesdays are often considered the mid-week slump here at Cat Fancy. Too early to review new albums and too late to recall events of the previous weekend, so it’s mostly a dumping ground for lame posts, but nonetheless I’ll give it a shot with a post about the controversial subject of Hollywood “Remakes”. A word that probably sends shivers down most people’s spines, I bring up this topic after recently viewing the trailer of the upcoming The Day Earth Stood Still remake at Hancock. I find this a confusing choice for a remake, as I always thought of that classic sci-fi flick as a perfect representation of that era. What kind of impact would that story make today? Aside from the tone and themes of the original what can they really bring to the table? I assume they’ll put in more special effects sequences and action, which would be unfaithful as the original isn’t an action movie. Sure the special effects may seem dated but they have their own kind of vintage charm. With this on my mind, I thought I’d discuss a few upcoming films that I think are appropriate for remakes and some that are train wrecks waiting to happen. Now obviously at this stage there’s no way to know if any of these will be good, or bad, but I can still give my thoughts on whether or not these films are justified to be remade. I’ve done some research to the best of my ability on what’s coming out, so I’ll try and cover what I can.

Good Idea
The Wolf Man (2009) – Yeah it’s a classic but when’s the last time you can recall even seeing a werewolf movie? Dracula and Frankenstein have been done to death, but old Wolfie’s never really tested remake waters and I think he has potential. Not only that but have you heard about the cast to this flick? Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro donning the lead role of the doomed Lawrence Talbot? Pretty good casting, and it seems to me that the film’s director Joe Johnston ( Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Hidalgo, October Sky) has a good enough track record…. I’m pumped!

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (2009) – Some might say “Hey the Creature is a classic Universal monster, leave him be.” well as iconic a monster as he may be, Jack Arnold’s 1954 flick The Creature from the Black Lagoon is probably the worst Universal Monster movie. Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, The Mummy… Those are all well crafted and well acted movies, but the Creature was just another 50s B-Movie. Probably the only reason he’s even memorable was the excellent costume created for the monster (Really the only true highlight of the film). Aside from that all we got was some poor acting and weak storytelling so a remake might be a nice idea, especially with the talented screenwriter Gary Ross (Big, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) penning the script.

Fahrenheit 451 (2010) – François Truffaut directed the original adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel which though ambitious, was kind of a mess. With a mostly foreign cast attempting to speak English, this film wasn’t terrible or anything but the story truly deserves a better adaptation. Frank Darabont ( The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption) has signed on to write and direct this one and with his skills this could prove to be quite a neat adaptation of a classic novel.

Robocop (2010) – I’ve never been a fan of the original series but I still think Robocop’s a pretty neat character. To see him up on the big screen could be a blast… Sure it could be absolutely terrible but it’s an appropriate choice. A remake could be a nice chance to vamp up the effects and thought sounds swell to me.

Bad Idea
Death Race (2008) – You may have seen the trailers recently for this upcoming Jason Statham action movie. What some may not know, is that this is actually a remake of the 1975 Roger Corman produced film Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. The key difference here is that Corman version was actually a very light and silly action film while this looks to be another generic cash in. Doing a remake of a movie that never had anything good going for it (except the main character’s name “Frankenstein’) in the first place is puzzling. Not only that but the original had the laid back coolness of David Carradine and Sly what does this have goin for it… The guy who directed Mortal Kombat?

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2009) – I think I made my point earlier but adding on to that Keanu Reeves as Klaatu? Michael Rennie owned that role I’m not sure whether Keanu has the chops.

Friday the 13th (2009) – What are they gonna do, Jason Voorhees wasn’t the killer in the first movie, so who want’s to see a movie if they already know the twist? I guess they’ll have to change it and make it even stupider.

The Birds (2009) – So they’re gonna try and one up the master of suspense? Good luck, The Birds was a classic, beautifully photographed suspense thriller what more could you want?

Escape From New York (TBA) – John Carpenter has basically become a whore these days, as he’ll pretty much let anyone remake any of his films. In the past couple of years we’ve seen remakes of Carpenter’s films; The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloweenand you know what? So far they’ve all been terrible so why keep trying? (especially with this cult flick.) Now what’s probably the only thing that made the original as memorable as it is? Ahem how about Mr. Snake Plissken himself Kurt Russel? You might as well make an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford in the title role. I’m getting mighty sick of post-apcolyptic films about the future and this is absolutely pointless.

Red Dawn (TBA) – A remake of a film dealing with the cold war? Hmm, what kind of impact or message could that have today?… How about none, seriously what a joke.

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