Monday, October 31, 2011

AotR: Seven Deadly Draculas

A Halloween FilmFest!
It’s Halloween! A perfect time for remakes since the horror genre is replete with remakes. To celebrate the occasion, I figured what could be better than to examine not only one of the most remade films of all time, but one of the most iconic figures in horror cinema: Dracula.

There have been practically countless films made about Dracula, but I wanted to focus only on theatrical releases based on the original Bram Stoker novel. You know, to narrow it down a bit. Well, that still left me with seven films. Yes, seven. But what could be more appropriate considering there are the same number of Deadly Sins?

While the variance between the movies is rather great, I must say I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was not one bad picture in the bunch. I thought for sure at least one would be a slog, but I actually found each film rather engaging, albeit in different ways. It seems that Stoker’s original text is only to be approached with respect. Perhaps the fear of nosferatu inspires it.

However, I don’t want to lavish unyielding praise, either. Each film has its shortcomings as well as its strengths. So, I thought it would be fun to assign to each of the films one of the Seven Deadliest Sins. Shall we? 

Read more at Attack of the Remake »

Friday, October 28, 2011

AotR: Let the Right One In (2008) / Let Me In (2010)

Some relationships can suck the life right out of you.

Vampire children have always been freaky
Though generally billed as horror, the story told in Let the Right One In / Let Me In is really a genre buster. This story about a loner boy and his relationship with the vampire next door has horror, romance, nostalgia, and coming-of-age all rolled into one.

Unlike so many import films, the American version is extremely similar to the Swedish original. Both films are based off of the Swedish best-selling novel Låt den rätte komma in and were both produced with extensive input from the author, which might account for their similarity. In fact, the differences that are there have so little impact on the central story that just discussing them will make them seem more drastic than they are. But, hey, that is what we are here for... 

Read more at Attack of the Remake »

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AotR: Carnival of Souls (1962 / 1998)

Keep your hands and arms in at all times.

Perhaps I should start this article with a warning: both of these films are available through Netflix for instant viewing. Subscribers to the service will understand what that means.

Not that the original 1962 film is all that bad for an independent B-film. The story-line is a bit confusing, but it is well acted, tightly paced, and visually appealing.  According to my research, the film enjoys a bit of a cult status because, like George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the copyright was left off of the final print, sending it instantly into the public domain, thus freeing it for decades of late-night television viewing.

I wish I could say such nice things about the 1998 remake, but not even tacking "Wes Craven presents" onto the title could raise this flop. The acting is stilted, the directing is bland, and the script treatment would make "Lifetime presents" a more appropriate billing header. 

Read more at Attack of the Remake »

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gaddafi is Dead

I'm gonna miss this face.
How this, too, is about Obama

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, paragon of fashion and autocratic ruler of Libya since 1969, is dead, presumably by sudden lead poisoning. 

The winner of the race to see who can jam Obama's name into a headline about Col. Gaddafi's demise first seems to be the Financial Times, with a piece entitled "Gaddafi death boosts Obama reputation." Clocked in at 4pm London time, FT beats President Obama's speech by a full six hours. Nifty headline, considering new polls have yet to be taken since the late Colonel's passing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AotR: Fun with Dick and Jane (1977 / 2005)

George and Jane verses Jim and Téa

"Life sucks," says Dick.
From 1930 until the early 1970s, Dick and Jane and their friends helped first graders learn to read in classrooms all across America. These films have precisely nothing to do with that. This writer is too young to have ever laid eyes on the once ubiquitous children’s primer, but doubts that they tackled such issues as joblessness, armed robbery, and corporate corruption.

The remake is an update more than anything and so it doesn’t depart much from the original. The basic story is that Dick and Jane Harper (George Segal and Jane Fonda in the 1977 version; Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni in 2005) are a couple on the fast-track to success. Things take a turn for the worse when Dick loses his job and, despite months of searching and frugal living, he is unable to find new employment. Faced with mounting debt and desperation, the couple eventually resorts to a life of crime to pay the bills. Hilarity ensues.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Introducing: Attack of the Remake


This blog sets out to do what has been done before. It compares remade films to the originals. Every time a remake is released, the critics don't even try to avoid comparisons to the original. And neither will I.

Read more at Attack of the Remake »

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Introducing: Attack of the Remake


This blog sets out to do what has been done before. It compares remade films to the originals. Every time a remake is released, the critics don't even try to avoid comparisons to the original. And neither will I.

Read more at Attack of the Remake »