In his 1996 review of Cop Land, Roger Ebert wrote that a reader once asked him “why they only remake the good movies, not bad ones. Good films don’t require remaking… but what about ‘promising concepts which were poorly executed for one reason or another?’” It’s a question we ask ourselves every time Hollywood decides to remake a perfectly good movie. This week, for example, we have the big-budget, Colin Farrell-fronted remake of Total Recall, a perfectly good Schwarzenegger/Verhoeven picture from 1990 that marries Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” to the boom-crash action aesthetic of the period, and which stands up just fine these days, thank you very much.
But Ebert and his reader might be on to something — if the suits are going to insist on spending all of their time and money developing remakes, why not remake some movies that didn’t turn out so well, and try to get them right this time? Or better yet, good movies that no one saw, so you’re not doing the original any damage by taking a chance on a copy? With those parameters in mind, we put together this list of movies we frankly wouldn’t mind seeing remade; check it out after the jump, and contribute yours in the comments.
The experience of watching this 1988 movie is a bit depressing, considering how good you’d think it’d be: it’s written and directed by Robert Towne, the great screenwriter of Chinatown, Shampoo, and The Last Detail; it’s got a sexy love triangle between Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kurt Russell; and the supporting cast includes such MVPs as Raul Julia and J.T. Walsh. But the trouble is, the movie itself is just so… ’80s. The DNA of Miami Vice is all over the film stylistically, and the centerpiece musical track of its soundtrack is “Surrender to Me,” which, y’know, good luck getting out of your brain now. Towne’s script is a good one (his almost always are), but the film itself ages very badly — a fresh take could certainly work (maybe with Towne giving the script a fresh pass?), with, say, Tom Hardy, Angelina Jolie, and Mark Wahlberg taking over?