Entertainment Movies

Five crappy Hollywood reboots that did one thing better than the original

By Steve Tilley, Special to Postmedia Network

Point Break (1991) vs. Point Break (2015).

Point Break (1991) vs. Point Break (2015).

Is Hollywood out of ideas?

No. Hollywood has never been out of ideas. What movie studios lack isn’t a creative wellspring to draw from – there are bazillions of smart people out there with great visions for films – but rather the testicular fortitude to gamble on the unknown.

We cry and moan about remakes and reboots being a sign of creative bankruptcy, but no matter how dumb a reboot might sound, it’s a far less risky proposition than trying to market a brand new idea to us, the skeptical and easily confused filmgoing audience.

Not every single remake or reboot is awful. John Carpenter’s The Thing and David Cronenberg’s The Fly, both 1980s remakes of 1950s horror films, are classics in their own right. The most recent Planet of the Apes franchise reworking has been really good so far, and the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboots have been not bad, even though they feel nothing like the cerebral Trek that Gene Roddenberry imagined back in the ’60s.

Heck, James Bond is essentially reset every time a new actor picks up the Walther PPK – as Tom Hiddleston may or may not discover soon – and superhero reboots are practically mandatory after a certain number of years, for better (Batman Begins) or for worse (Superman Returns.)

Next week, we’ll see how the comedy classic Ghostbusters fares by being teleported forward a few decades, with an all-female team of paranormal investigators led by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. As reboot ideas go, it’s more creative than some. Still, did anyone actually want another Ghostbusters movie?

Thing is, even flawed do-overs sometimes have awesome redeeming qualities. Here’s a fond look back at five crappy remakes that did at least one thing better than the originals.

Psycho (1960) vs. Psycho (1998) – Anne Heche’s bum

Gus Van Sant’s inexplicable Psycho remake bombed hard, with the lesson being that you don’t mess with Hitchcock classics. (Or if you do, you don’t do a shot-by-shot remake – what’s the point, even?) But in the new Psycho’s iconic shower scene, we do get a glimpse of Anne Heche’s bare butt when she keels over, whereas in the original it was just a brief look at Janet Leigh’s naked back. Hey, it’s something, right?

Wicker Man (1973) vs. Wicker Man (2006) – “NOT THE BEES!”

The decision to remake the 1973 British horror cult classic The Wicker Man seemed like an odd one from the start, especially once the increasingly unpredictable Nic Cage was in the mix. But while the new movie is diabolically awful, Cage’s frothy overacting makes it kind of entertaining at times. Especially when bees are involved.

Point Break (1991) vs. Point Break (2015) – The stunt scenes

Another puzzling pick for a movie to remake/reboot, last year’s Point Break had none of the charming cheese of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 original, which starred Keanu Reeves and the late Patrick Swayze. But by recasting its merry band of robbers as extreme sports dudes instead of mere surfers, it had some crazy stunts – snowboarding, motorbiking, skydiving, wingsuiting, you name it. Plus, lots of time between these bits to grab popcorn or take a quick nap in your seat.

Total Recall (1990) vs. Total Recall (2012) – The futuristic metropolis

Len Wiseman’s reworking of Paul Verhoeven’s bonkers sci-fi adventure turned out way too serious for its own good – if you’re not going to have Arnold Schwarzenegger asphyxiating on the surface of Mars, you’re just wasting our time. But it did feature some amazing digital set design, converting present-day Toronto, where the film was shot, into a breathtaking, multi-level mega-city that was more interesting than any of the people who lived in it.

Clash of the Titans (1981) vs. Clash of the Titans (2010) – “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”

While it did spawn one limp sequel (2012’s Wrath of the Titans), the rebooted Clash of the Titans’ modern-age special effects couldn’t make up for its lack of personality. (And how dare they treat Bubo, the clockwork owl, like a piece of trash. HOW DARE THEY!) But the movie will be remembered for one awesome, meme-worthy moment: Liam Neeson’s Zeus unleashing a giant, tentacled sea monster on the ancient city of Argos.

Twitter: @stevetilley

STilley@postmedia.com



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