Remakes (and Birthdays)

Anyone else out already on this week’s topic?

Got to thinking about the movies we haven’t seen from Barbryn’s thread. I really see very few movies these days. Mostly due to logistics – I’m in the boondocks now and not a city, and i don’t drive. My tastes are admittedly fairly narrow. And i just seem to get irritated at all of the remakes – can’t anyone do anything original anymore?

The G had the above trailer today – apparently they’ve done a remake of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. First thought – are they stark raving nuts, trying to remake perfection? A 5+ hour TV series down to a 2 hour movie? But then i saw the trailer and the cast list. Oh my. Gary Oldman takes over the lead Alec Guiness role. (I do have a possible reservation or two about casting Colin Firth as Haydon.)

Maybe it is due for a remake. I re-read the Smiley/Karla books a year or two ago, it was weird how dated the geopolitics and technology are. Just can’t wait to see it now.

Any films, TV shows, that you think might benefit from a remake? Who would you cast, and who would direct? I’d maybe love to see a Prime Suspect movie, but it couldn’t really be anyone else but Helen Mirren, could it. If not her, maybe a remake in another 20 years or so.

What about foreign film remakes? I couldn’t bring myself to see the American remake of La Femme Nikita. I loved Belle Du Jour, and great as Catherine Deneuve was, i could see someone else taking over the role. I just shudder to think how a remake for the American market would turn out. Monsieur Hire? Hmm. Could work.

Any book adaptions you’d like to see? A decade or two ago, word was that David Lynch had an option on D.M. Thomas’ The White Hotel. Far as i’m aware, it never happened. Shame.

I feel badly that i missed all of the birthday threads last week, so can i wish a very happy birthday, many more, and a wonderful year to Steen, Maki, Bish, Mr. Blimpy, Glassarfempty, and anyone else that i hopefully didn’t miss.

And apologies ahead of time if i’m a bad thread host this week and don’t get back in a timely fashion.

14 thoughts on “Remakes (and Birthdays)

  1. I recorded the original series with Alec Guiness on VHS and recently transferred it to DVD, similarly with all of the Len Deighton series who I happen to like better than Le Carre. Last week I saw Midnight in Paris by Woody, wonderful film, I was all set to do a post on the film in conjunction with a Sidney Bechet playlist, his music is featured of course, but it was way too crowded here with birthday business so I passed on it. So if you want original, creative, imaginative film-making go see this one whilst it’s still current.
    I just finished reading ‘An Object of Beauty’ by Steve Martin; his lifetime obsession is collecting art and that’s what this wonderful novel is about. Throughout I kept visualising it as a film, it could be wonderful with the right casting and direction, I wondered if he could direct it.

  2. Hmm. Remakes. Hear that Netflix are going ahead with a House Of Cards remake. Doubly dumb, as it’s unlikely that it’ll be any good without Ian Richardson & now that Netflix is a competitor & not a distributor a number of companies are pulling their content from the service. Avoided the US Let The Right One In & dreading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

    Quite liked the Mel Gibson reworked Edge Of Darkness. Rewatched the original, still brilliant in places, but painfully slow for the most part. Thought Super 8 was great, really captured the feel of 80’s Spielberg. Enjoyed the 1st season of BBC’s Sherlock Holmes, set in the present day, yet very faithful to the source material. Really looking forward to Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus. Saw a really good French thriller the other day, “Tell No One”, I think. Has a great chase scene.

    • Thanks for the tip about House of Cards, i had never heard of it before. Looks great. Watching Richardson now in Tinker Tailor, after i finish watching this and Smiley’s People again, i’ll check out House of Cards next.

  3. They’ve just started to show a mini-series re-make of Mildred Pierce here with Kate Winslett in the leading role. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with this classic and how Kate compares with the wonderful Joan Crawford in the original. And whether it looks better in colour than black and white.

    I thought 3:10 to Yuma was an excellent film.

    I’m never so keen on Hollywood re-makes of European movies, but I enjoyed The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. Great casting.

    • I actually didn’t like the Birdcage. Hank Azaria was great, so was Robin. But did they really need to turn it into this big political soapbox thing at the end? Another reason why Americans shouldn’t do remakes.

  4. I hate remakes, hate them , Whether it’s film or song. Leave them alone.Think of something new. Lazy ass Hollywood nobs.

    As for books, well, of course, I’d love a film adaptation of The Voyage of Dr Faustroll or Ubu Roi ( there’s an animated version but I want to see Bruce Willis as Ubu.
    Perhaps, though, my ultimate desire would be a film of one of my favourite books “Augustus Carp”. Similar in some ways to Diary of a nobody but, IMHO, better. Stephen Fry would make a great Augustus.

  5. Does a film version of a tv series count as a remake in the strict sense? I rarely go to the cinema, but I’m very tempted by the idea of a new Tinker, Tailor….

  6. Ha, my first video got removed from youtube, so i put another one up. Wouldn’t be totally surprised if this one got removed also, but in that case you can see the trailer on the link to the Guardian in the blog post.

    Looks Czechoslovakia from the original becomes Turkey in the film.

  7. I’ve started watching the US remake of Shameless. Guardianistas rave about the original but I never liked David Threlfall’s performance. And I do love William H Macy, so I’m keeping with it for a while yet. Joan Cusack is playing the agrophobic nympho, so that’s another reason.
    I recently read Dave Egger’s book about Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s experiences during Hurricane Katrina. It should be a movie. I don’t think there’s been a ‘this is what it was like’ drama about it, has there? And it brings in the whole terrorism paranoia of the Golden Age of Dubya. Maybe remind people that you have to spend money on the right things.

  8. Hiya. Yes, definitely run out of steam on this week’s topic. Will have a think about what could do with remaking. It’s a shame that (by all accounts) they made a hash of the first Dark Is Rising film. That is one fantastic series of kids’ books. One remake that is superior to the original (and that I’ve just finished watching) is the ‘reimagined’ Battlestar Galactica. Just brilliant.

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