Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

Dominic Corry: Five remakes that might not suck

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Remakes to look forward to include The Intouchables, It and The Blob.
Remakes to look forward to include The Intouchables, It and The Blob.

Conventional wisdom often dictates that remakes are inherently bad and indicative of Hollywood's dearth of fresh ideas.

I've long argued for the validity of the remake as a concept. Some of my favourite movies (1978's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1986's The Fly, 2002's The Ring) are remakes and there's no shortage of great examples. I even found some enjoyment in the recent Point Break remake. Don't judge me.

To celebrate my positive attitude to remakes, here are five currently being planned that have the potential to be buck the prevailing perception and be pretty great.

The Beguiled

The recently announced remake of the 1971 cult classic inspired this blog entry, and I couldn't be more excited for it.

In one of his many collaborations with director Don Siegel (Coogan's Bluff, Dirty Harry) Clint Eastwood starred in the original as a wounded Union soldier saved from the brink of death by the residents of a girls' boarding school in Louisiana near the end of the American Civil War.

As he is nursed back to health and begins interacting with the ladies tending over him, jealously and suspicion boil up and threaten to manifest violently. Can you just imagine what a filmmaker like Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation) could do with a set-up like that?

She is planning a new version of the film with Nicole Kidman perfectly cast in the critical role of the headmistress. Past Copolla collaborators Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning are set to co-star.

This project is especially noteworthy as the dreamlike quality that permeates Coppola's filmography is highly reminiscent of the woozy horror explored in The Beguiled. This is a creative match made in heaven.

It

The original 1990 adaptation of Stephen King's It was technically a mini-series, but I'd wager most people discovered it via VHS.

Hollywood's been trying to get a big-screen remake going for ages, and the project suffered a blow last year when Beasts Of No Nation and True Detective (season one!) director Cary Fukunaga abandoned his ambitious plans for a two-film mounting of the story over creative conflict with the studio.

His version sounded very cool, but I'm still interested to see what the now-attached Mama director Andrés Muschietti does with it. King himself recently tweeted that production is set to begin soon.

The Intouchables

This beloved 2011 dramedy about the relationship that develops between a rich paraplegic and his street-smart helper is one of the most successful films ever to come out of France, earning more than $400 million at the global box office.

That kind of moolah pretty much guarantees an American remake, and it recently leaked that Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along) are planning to take over the roles so winningly essayed by François Cluzet and Omay Sy in the original.

The French film deftly superceded the TV movie-trappings of the set-up, something that will probably prove a little more difficult in an American context, but a task for which I'm confident Cranston and Hart are well-suited.

Strangers On A Train

It felt like all my filmic fantasies were coming true when it was announced last year that Gone Girl collaborators David Fincher, Gillian Flynn and Ben Affleck were teaming up on a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 classic.

Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr Ripley), Strangers on a Train remains one of the master director's most enduringly effective films. The story follows a young tennis player with a bright future who gets mixed up in a murder plot after engaging a polite stranger in conversation. The new version would apparently centre around an actor in the midst of an Oscar campaign - how cool does that sound?

The project has unfortunately since stalled, but that seems to happen all the time with Fincher, and several of the projects he moved on to have fallen over as well, so I'm holding out hope that this one still might happen.

I wouldn't be averse to a remake of The Birds, either. That somehow feels inevitable.

The Blob

Granted, there is a lot of potential for suckage here, but I truly believe in the potential awesomeness of a Blob remake. Or, another Blob remake, I should say, as the 1958 horror classic has already been remade once, in 1988, with highly entertaining results.

1958 remake

1988 remake

The key here will be to resist the temptation to go all CGI and use as many practical effects as possible. CGI still hasn't perfected oozing. And this movie needs a lot of oozing.

The chance to direct a new Blob remake has seemingly been turned down by every hot young horror director in Hollywood - Saw creator James Wan even vocally dissed the prospect.

Halloween remake helmer Rob Zombie was attached for a while, but the project only finally gained traction after Zombie was replaced by the visionary auteur that is ... Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2). Which doesn't bode particularly well. I remain curious over what Zombie would've done with material, but Samuel L. Jackson has since joined the cast, and that can only be a good thing.

Amped for any of these remakes? What else?

- NZ Herald

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Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

A film critic and broadcaster for fifteen years, a movie and pop culture obsessive for much longer. Favourite films: The Lady Vanishes (1938), Ace In The Hole (1951), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Vertigo (1958), Purple Noon (1960), Emperor of the North (1973), The Parallax View (1974), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Aliens, The Three Amigos (1986), House of Games, Robocop (1987), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Talk Radio (1988), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Midnight Run (1989), Metropolitan (1990), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Dazed and Confused (1995), The Game (1997), The Last Days of Disco (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Primer (2002), Drag Me To Hell, District 9 (2009), It Follows (2015) and The Witch (2016). See more at www.TheGoodInMovies.com.

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