Hollywood loves to remake classic films, but often the results are less that stellar. I tend to avoid watching them unless I hear they are good, but I’ve still managed to see a few that either sucked or were significantly worse than the originals. Here are my top ten least favorite remakes, from the least offensive to the worst, in my opinion.
The live action remake of Aladdin was not a bad movie, but it was inferior to the original animated film in most ways. Will Smith was a good genie, but Robin Williams was great. Jafar was weak, Abu the monkey was just a monkey, and Iago the parrot, voiced in the original by Gilbert Godfrey, was completely omitted.
Clash of the Titans
The original was a mediocre telling of the legend of Perseus, but was also the last big stop motion epic done by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. The remake was a possibly even more mediocre retelling, with the old style stop motion effects replaced by a bunch of flashy CGI.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The original was a moralizing, corny science fiction film with cheap special effects. The remake was somehow completely unmemorable. I thought Keanu Reavves was in it (he was), but that is the only thing I remember.
The Karate Kid
The original is a classic coming of age tale. The only thing I remember about the sequel, where Jackie Chan replaces Pat Morita, and Ralph Maccio is replaced by Jaden Smith. is that they replaced the poignant story of the death of Miagi’s wife and child in an interment camp while he was serving in Germany with a dumb car crash plot.
Guillermo De Torro’s masterpiece is far superior in almost every way to the dumb remake. While David “Hopper” Harbour was decent as Hellboy, Ron Perlman was perfect in the original. All of the other characters were either missing or were done worse. John Hurt was irreplaceable as Father, and Abe Sapiens and Liz Sherman were sadly missing.
The first Robocop was a campy science fiction classic. I don’t remember the remake, except that they changed the ending so that instead of the bad guy’s override being nullified when the founder fires him, Robocop had to somehow overcome his programming. The original ending, while glib, was better.
I love the Jim Carrie live action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There are elements which I dislike, especially the young Grinch flashbacks and the mayor’s subplot, but every moment that Carrie is on screen is gold. I got through the first ten minutes of the animated remake before switching it off. The narration by Ferrell was aweful, and the Grinch somehow became a neurotic. Absolute garbage.
The original takes huge liberties with the source material (We Can Dream It For You Wholesale by Phillip K Dick), but is a great science fiction romp, and manages to stay close enough to the story to retain some of Phillip K Dick’s mind bending “Is it real or all in his head” tension. The remake substitutes Colin “Lobster” Farrel for Arnold “Terminator” Schwarzenegger, and completely loses the original story, turning it into a mindless space adventure.
The Lathe of Heaven
The original made for TV adaptation of Ursula K LeGuin’s science fiction masterpiece is low budget and looks terrible on the big screen, but nails the source material. The remake sort of followed the same story, but eliminated almost everything good about it.