Disclaimer: I do not and will never own the rights to any of the movie titles listed below, if I did I wouldn’t go to class. Ever.
With most movies nowadays being remakes in some way, shape or form; the question must be raised which is better the Classic (Original) or the Remake? I don’t like to sit on fences but for the purpose of this post I will look at both the classics and originals, I will also state when one overrides the other.
I think this question is similar to asking the exact question for cars; it really depends from car to car, like the new Chevy Camaro looks nice with the classic interior and styling in comparison to the older model where as the new Dodge Challenge does not compete with its forefather. So let’s look at some (known) remade movies in comparison to their original counterparts.
Shaft (1971) vs Shaft (2000)
I should say Shaft 2000 wins this just because it is Samuel L. Jackson but this is one of those rare occasions where the remake did its predecessor justice and improved on a good movie idea. Both movies had that smooth badass feeling to it. I would also like to point out the respectful and classy cameo of Gordon Parks, the director of the original movie, also gave the remake a nod.
Godzilla (1954) vs Godzilla (1998)
This was a hard one to compare and examine, this isn’t like Shaft where both were made by Hollywood. Godzilla 1954 was Japanese (Nippon BANZAI!) and Godzilla 1998 was American. Although the plot remained similar to original the same, the final message was not delivered in the end, instead of watching Godzilla die quietly in the original, in the remake everyone in New York is celebrating its death; point to the original.
Ring (1998) vs The Ring (2002)
Not many know about this one but “The Ring” was originally made in Japan and as the movie poster said made the “Blair Witch Project” seem like a stroll through the woods. In comparison its American counterpart does not do it real justice. Although the plot remained, like Godzilla, the same the final message was not delivered in the end, “Life is a never ending cycle”, another point to the original. Want to know how this all started go find Ring 0: Birthday, that movie is screwed up and interesting.
Ocean’s Eleven (1960) vs Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Now this my friends is an all-star battle. In the grey corner Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Richard Conte etc. In the colour contrast corner George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, etc. (R.I.P Bernie Mac). Plot lines were different but the same humor and seriousness was there, I call this one a draw.
Bonus Argument: Star Wars vs Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The original wins this hands down, by knock out in the second round, no contest. Now there is some confusion here why does the original win when the re-release was visually better. It’s mind over matter, everyone was happy it was just Star Wars but then they had to just mess with everyone’s head after that with episode IV and all that jazz. In my Star Wars universe Obi-Wan died and was never heard from ever again, we never met Yoda, Luke kept his hand, Han Solo and Chewie never got screwed over by Jabba or Boba and Luke and Leia never found out they were siblings, ignorance is bliss; point to the original.
As I said in my introduction there is no one correct answer, it really is a personal choice. There were many, many more movies I could have done but there were just too many to choose from, as usual leave us a comment, and keep us entertained with your thoughts. Which are better in general, Classics or Remakes?