When Should Remakes Not Happen?

When Should Remakes Not Happen?

Hellooo, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Hollywood has been out of ideas for a while. (Sarcastically) Noooooooooo! Okay. You’ve all noticed, but this can be a good thing and a bad thing. I did a whole editorial about this before, but that’s not exactly what I’m gonna focus on here today. Today I’m going to focus on a subject matter that for the most part has still been making a fair amount of money. The remake. Remakes are nothing new. Literally. Since the dawn of cinema, remakes have been very constant- particularly when movies went from silent to sound. Hell, some of the same directors came back to redirect a timeless classic to create another timeless classic. Good thing internet blogs weren’t around back then. “Remake ’10 Commandments’? HA! Next you’ll want to do an animated version with Jeff Goldblum!” And somehow it’ll actually work… So I’m certainly not going to be a purist and say a remake should never happen. Some of the best films ever made are remakes, improving on the original while still staying faithful, and yet also keeping a unique identity. But needless to say, this is often difficult and very rare- hence a lot of the crap we’ve been getting. Disney, once the imagineers of bringing classic stories to life, are trying to make classic stories out of their classic stories out of classic stories! It’s getting a little carried away. So we naturally need to ask ourselves, “When should remakes stop?” Well, I guess the best way to answer that is to figure out when remakes should happen. (Cha-ching) Okay, we all know what Hollywood thinks, but for the sake of good storytelling, I think we can break it down to three factors. Number one, the most obvious, is if it can be made better. A film can be good, even groundbreaking, but still be either dated or not fully explored. Some remakes have become so classic that many people don’t even realize they’re remakes. “Scarface”, “Fistful of Dollars”, “True Lies”; all based on movies that existed, but the remakes did it so much better that they don’t even realize there’s an original. I’m honestly surprised there aren’t more remakes of bad films. It’s been rumored for a while that “Drop Dead Fred” was gonna get a remake. Good! The original sucks! The idea of an imaginary friend taking over your mind as an adult, though, is actually kind of a cool idea. I’d love to see this concept explored and done a lot better than this. People ask me if I’m against the idea of “Garbage Pail Kids” being remade. Why the hell would I? The original is the WORST film I have seen in my life. The cards deserve better! Remake the shit out of it! Hell, it can’t get any worse. Heck. Is there a “Batman and Robin” remake in the near future? It’d be nice to see Mr. Freeze done right. Though if he’s anything like what they’re doing with the Joker… Oh, don’t make me choose which one is worse! But okay, we get the idea. If something could be improved on, improve on it. If it’s broke, don’t fix it. Make another one from scratch. It’s safe to say as long as the original still exists (*cough* LUCAS) another version is not an unwelcomed idea, which brings me to the second reason to do a remake; expanding on a concept. Now this is different than just making something better. It’s taking one element of the original idea and exploring it more. In fact, a franchise that did this both a good way and a bad way is “Planet of the Apes”. Tim Burton is one of the most famous directors that coined the phrase, “reimagining”. He said he didn’t want to improve on the original film, he just wanted to take in a different direction. It just so happened that direction sucked. Years later, another “Planet of the Apes” film would come along with a similar thought. Apes ruling the planet. However, this focused more on how it happened, similar to how some of the later Apes films went, and now it seems to be going in a new direction that seems entirely its own. “King Kong” has been remade tons of times. In the Peter Jackson version, it’s still the same story, but more time is dedicated to giving Kong and our heroine more time together, creating a stronger connection. “12 Monkeys” was originally a half hour Sci-Fi film shown only in still pictures, but that blossomed into a motion filled, apocalyptic future that took elements from the film and expanded on it, and some of these tie-in to the number three reason to do a remake; creating a whole new experience. Whether it’s a different point of view, a new culture, or even a new time period, as long as the identity of the film seems unique despite it having origins from another source, it can work. “Magnificent 7” is famously a remake of “Seven Samurai”. Both have the same plot, but are set in different time periods and locations. Films like”The Ring”, “Birdcage”, and “The Departed” are all remakes of foreign classics, telling these great stories in different cultures shows both the differences and the similarities between the two, making it interesting what they have to change and what they have to keep the same. Okay, so we have three reasons when remakes should be done, I guess when they shouldn’t be done is the opposite reasons. If a remake needs to stand out, then logically the first sign not to do a remake is when people can’t separate it from the original. I get a feeling a lot of the Ghostbusters reboot “controversy”, yeah, I’m still putting “controversy” in quotes, is because the original was so unique and one-of-a-kind that no one could separate it. If it was a sequel, then they’d have had a better shot, or even a spin-off, but when people hear the word “reboot”, it’s like saying, “Now THIS is what you’re going to think of when you hear ‘Ghostbusters’.” Even though everyone will clearly think of this first. A lot of Universal monster movies are trying to get remade, and despite most of them being based on classic works, it’s hard to not think of Karloff as Frankenstein or Lugosi as Dracula or Chaney as the Wolfman, and according to the American box office neither can anyone else. Oddly enough, the ones that seemed the most ridiculous like “The Mummy” with Brendan Fraser, at least went in such a different direction that we can kind of say, “That was uniquely their own thing”. But how is anyone gonna say, “Yeah. Johnny Depp. That’s the first thing I think of when I hear, ‘Willy Wonka’. Gene Who?” Some movies leave such an impact that it makes it harder to do a version that can survive on its own without constantly coming back to the original. If you don’t have something super good or incredibly unique in mind when remaking an icon, you’re not going to be the definitive version, but it can also backfire the other way. Like the number two reason not to do a remake; When you just do the exact same thing! “Beauty and the Beast” had this bad. So many of the lines, visuals and songs were all seen before and done better in the animated version. It was so unique and awe inspiring when they first did it, so why would we want to see non-singers and non-expressive actors do the same thing?! Gus van Sant tried a very strange experiment with the movie Psycho. Doing a shot-for-shot reenactment. That’s LITERALLY doing the exact same thing, except now all the freshness is sucked out of it and we can notice the flaws even more! What would this accomplish? Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween” at first looked like it was going to be something different- diving deeper into Mike Myers’ childhood and devoting more time to him, but even that’s done pretty generically, and when that’s passed, it’s just the same story of Halloween again, except with no real surprises, but what’s even worse than doing the exact same thing is the number of three reason not to do a remake; doing less. “Ben-Hur” is one of the biggest films to exist in every meaning of the word. The stunts, the story, the sets, it is the definition of epic. So the idea of seeing a CGI remake where so much less is obviously not there seems degrading. “Nightmare on Elm Street” is known for its creative depths and original ideas, but with the remake it’s either repeated or scaled-down. Even the makeup just looks like an unimaginative rehash. It’s not different. It’s not unique. It’s just the same thing except so much less. It’s a guy who controls dreams that’s burned alive! You can do something cooler with this design! The original “Wicker Man” was a surreal and bizarre experience, and while the remake is certainly bizarre and entertaining in how bad the choices they made are, so much of the creative environment is lost, resulting in what most people can agree is a God-awful movie. Sometimes the opposite can be true too when you take too much out and replace it with too much explanation. “The Shining” and “Alice in Wonderland” remakes go WAY overboard in trying to make a super detailed and complicated story, but that’s not what we loved about the originals! We didn’t know what everything meant. We didn’t need a reason for all the strange visuals. That’s what was part of making it such a unique experience. By trying to add more explanation, it took away the imagination. They say the devil is in the detail- in this situation they’re definitely right. Whether for better or worse, all of these elements represent the most important thing in making a remake; it’s heart. It’s passion. It’s reason for being. Everything that almost can’t be explained. The best remakes, even the most different ones managed to capture the heart of the original source material. Whether they improve on it or take it in a different direction, the connection is always there, and the worst remakes always don’t capture it. They either try too hard, not hard enough, or just focus on the wrong thing. In a time where very little is original, it’s hard to figure out what’s gonna capture the heart of something and what isn’t. I never would have imagined an “Evil Dead” remake would be of any worth. Who the hell would a thought a musical of a B-movie would surprisingly work? What we do know is a lot more remakes are coming whether we want them to or not. Some surprise us with how good they are, some surprise us with how bad they are, but the ones we’ll remember the most surprisingly don’t give us something old, they always give us something uniquely new. I’m the Nostalgia Critic! I remember it so you don’t have to. (The Review Must Go On) Hey, everybody. Doug Walker here doing the charity shout out, and if you’re driving on the road and you see some fire men going up and down the street carrying a boot and you give money you probably got one of these. This is MDA. The muscular dystrophy association. Early diagnosis, highly specialized care, and access to promising clinical trials help ensure the best possible outcomes for individuals and families facing muscular dystrophy as well as ALS and any other related muscle diseases. Their MDA care centers offer families best-in-class comprehensive care from a wide variety of health care specialists at one location on the same day. MDA has more than 150 care centers across the United States and in Puerto Rico, located at top hospitals and health care facilities. Individuals can see knowledgeable health care specialists from a variety of backgrounds all at one location. The MDA family care specialist is a center figure at the center visits. If you go to their site and especially their Youtube page, with so many inspiring videos you too can see how you can make a huge difference. Click on the link, give a watch, and see what you can do to help cure this forever.


  1. What do you think? Should we revisit classics or leave them alone?

    Ready for the 10 year Nostalgia Critic video next week?
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  2. If it’s not on par with something like The Fly, The Thing or The Blob, it should never happen. Not ever.

  3. Theres nothing new under the sun, people have been making and remaking stuff based on other people's work since the beginning of time. You're part of the corporate ploy that has messed up our copyright system to the point where it took 90 years for anything to enter the publicndomain.

  4. I agree that we shouldn't ban remakes, but I don't agree with the movies the critic used as examples of bad remakes. Beauty and the Beast, although similar to its predecessor, did deepen the characters and the story better. I can partly forgive you for this, but not for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you knew a little more about its history, you would know that Roal Dahl, the writer of the novel, was never happy with the version they made of the original film, because it ruined the teaching that his book was trying to give, which was that children didn't they are bad but parents educate them badly. Tim Burton heard this wish and made a film better made and more similar to the book. The good Dahl never saw her, but his widow did and says that the writer would have been much happier with the remake than the original. And, certainly, as good as the guy who played Willy Wonka in the original acting, I also think that Johnny Deep's was much better.

  5. I want them to remake this old rat pack movie called Robin and the Seven Hoods: it’s basically Robin Hood, but with mobsters

  6. Sources of clips in this video:
    Ben-Hur (1925)
    Ben-Hur (1959)
    The Ten Commandments (1923)
    The Ten Commandments (1956)
    The Magnificent Seven (1960)
    Beauty and the Beast (2017)
    Scarface (1983)
    Scarface (1932)
    Fistful of Dollars
    True Lies
    Drop Dead Fred
    The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
    Batman and Robin
    12 Monkeys (1995)
    Planet of the Apes (2001)
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    King Kong (2005)
    The Departed
    The Birdcage
    The Ring
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Ghostbusters (2016)
    Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    Psycho (1960)
    Psycho (1998)
    Halloween (2007)
    The Shining (1997)
    Alice in Wonderland (2010)
    Evil Dead (2013)
    Little Shop of Horrors


  8. Sonic X is horrible and I'm already making a reboot (not remake or revival) to fix it, expand on it, and add new stories.

    I talked to a fanboy and thought he would hate the changes but he is okay with it, but not everyone is going to feel like it. I made this for the people that don't like the original and for me.

    If you like Sonic X, I'm going to warn you I'm changing alot while making fun of it at the same time.
    Sonic Re-imagined is coming mid August of this year (maybe).

  9. My problem with Willy Wonka is that they made him into this troubled soul.
    Gene Wilder's version was a cautionary tale about bad parenting. His charactor was not mean (sarcastic, yes, but not mean), he was setting up conditions where each child's charactor was revealed so he would know who to mentor as his replacement.
    The kids who failed the test were not killed off or maimed or any of the other things people think happened and that is made clear at the end of the film.

  10. I'd rather see remakes of bad/mediocre movies that had potential but failed versus remakes of near-perfect films that should be left alone like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I actually think a Howard the Duck MCU remake has potential, as an updated version of him made cameos in both Guardians of the Galaxy films.

  11. About Drop Dead Fred, there was supposed to be a remake starring Russell Brand, that’s supposed to be more darker and depressing, but as of now, there’s still no news about it. Who knows if it would be better than the original.

    6:17 The biggest reason the Lion King remake suffered in reviews.

  12. I feel like when Remaking a cartoon there is no problem to just basically do the cartoon in real life. a LOT of people just wanna see the cartoon in REAL life because for some reason. That's better. Sure everybody loved the animated Spiderverse movie but we all agree we wanted a live action version. I think remakes are different when it comes to live action than when it comes to cartoons. Also I liked the new Halloween More than the original. That's probably because I wasn't a fan of the original. And having it be the same thing. but kinda done… More modernly, was enjoyable for me. I can basically watch the original. But see Michael's backstory and get a LITTLE bit more story out of it. Even if I think Michael shouldn't run. And should be more subtle.

  13. I'm thinking anything that was animated should never be made in to a living version. they always fail and fall short of the animated version.

  14. I think the best way for remakes to happen and still be timeless, (takes these notes D I S N E Y, this is for you.) is for them to revisit their work and decide what interesting plot point could be made. If anyone has seen those “What if..” books by Disney, such as “what If Belle’s Mother was the sorceress that cursed The Beast?” Or “What If Milan visited the underworld?” All of these books would make AMAZING movies that I would love to see!

  15. If the original movie threw out its chances of success or fell into obscurity while having GOOD ORIGINAL IDEAS, then yes, its okay to remake them.

  16. Checking in from 2019. We got Aladdin beauty and the beast lion king and jungle book live action remakes. Little mermaid and mulan on it's way. Fuck…..

  17. I like Rob Zombie’s Halloween: It has enough new elements and has enough similar elements. It’s a nice balance.

    I liked his sequel, Halloween 2 (2009), more. It started off similar as the original Halloween 2 but then took a different path around 25 minutes in. That’s ingenious.

    Btw this only applies for their Theatrical Cuts, not those awful Director’s Cuts

  18. The thing about charlie and wonka is that, charlie isnt a remake, its another adaptation of the book. And in details charlies was more accurate to the book than wonka.

  19. I kind of see this with the Transformers films

    The bay-verse was good If you just want mindless action.

    But the new one has already done so much good. They give me so much of the things that I remember and more I just can’t help but love it.

  20. Hollywood has been out of ideas for the past 50 years. The 2000s saw the most remakes of any decade, with an average of 19 a year. In 2005, a record-breaking 33 remakes made it to the big screen.

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