Your thoughts on remakes of films and TV series

edited September 2018 in General Movies & TV Posts: 15,053
The release of Cary Fukunaga's Maniac – loosely based on another series with the same name, got me thinking about TV series and films and their remakes – often American remakes. It's very common that we see hit TV series or films get an international remake – like Bron/Broen (The Bridge), The Office, Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Wallander, Life on Mars, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.

Also not uncommon is the attempts at producing remakes that are cancelled shortly after, remakes that's never lasts beyond filming a pilot, or projects that are abandoned altogether: Fawlty Towers, The IT Crowd, Peep Show and Friday Night Dinner (starring among others, QoS's Paul Ritter), etc.

My question is: What's your thoughts on remakes of films and TV series from foreign countries? It's of course an easy way for film studios and TV studios to tap into something that's already been made, and just put their spin on it - but we often see that the remakes fail to deliver the same quality as the originals. What's probably more disappointing is that the lesser remakes sometimes gets more attention than the originals.

Also; if watching a remake - do you ever seek out to watch the original series/film?

Comments

  • edited September 2018 Posts: 13,952
    I have watched UK versions of some of the shows you mentioned, when the idea is good it tends to translate when remade to foriegn markets well.

    Regarding films a good story like Infernal Affairs will translate when in good hands like Scorsese.

    I watched Vanilla Sky after I had seen the original Spanish film Open your Eyes, I liked Tom's film though the original was far superior.

    Old Boy original version was shocking and one of the few films that made me angry, though I have yet to watch the remake as I doubt it could achieve what the original did.
  • edited September 2018 Posts: 15,053
    I have watched UK versions of some of the shows you mentioned, when the idea is good it tends to translate when remade to foriegn markets well.

    Do they air the shows those remakes are based on? I find it hard to believe that a series like Wallander (the original) wouldn't translate to other countries outside Sweden or Scandinavia.
    Regarding films a good story like Infernal Affairs will translate when in good hands like Scorsese.

    I watched Vanilla Sky after I had seen the original Spanish film Open your Eyes, I liked Tom's film though the original was far superior.

    Old Boy original version was shocking and one of the few films that made me angry, though I have yet to watch the remake as I doubt it could achieve what the original did.

    It took years before I knew The Departed was based on a different film – same with Vanilla Sky. It's unavoidable I guess, with the names starring in the remakes.

    A friend of mine has spoken highly about the original Old Boy. He's quite the fan of South Korean cinema, and a few years ago we watched another film starring the Old Boy-lead, Choi Min-sik - I Saw the Devil. A very violent horror thriller, and certainly not for everyone.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited September 2018 Posts: 23,883
    To answer the original question, I'm perfectly fine with remakes of series and films from other countries, as long as they are done well. I've experienced some excellent remakes and reimaginations of shows which I would not have otherwise been exposed to if they hadn't been remade. I've also seen some pretty poor films which were apparently adapted from foreign films as well. Generally I don't seek out the original once I've seen the remake. I therefore can't comment on how good the English language versions are in comparison (I have seen the Swedish Dragon Tattoo film though and thought it was excellent, although I prefer the more stylized and flashy English language Fincher version).

    Some examples I've seen:

    Tv Series (all good)
    Homeland - based on the Israeli Prisoner's of War
    The Bridge - based on the Swedish/Danish series Bron/Broen
    The Killing - based on the Danish show entitled Forbrydelsen

    Decent Film Adaptations
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - based on the Swedish film of the same name
    Palmetto - based on the French Dans la gueule du loup
    True Lies - based on the French La Totale!
    Unfaithful - based on the French La Femme infidèle
    The Debt - based on the Israeli The Debt
    Insomnia - based on the Norwegian Insomnia

    Rubbish Adaptations (imho)
    Eye of the Beholder - based on the French Mortelle Randonnée
    The Dinner - based on the Dutch Het Diner
    Brick Mansions - based on the French Banlieue 13
    Diabolique - based on the French Les Diaboliques
    Intersection - based on the French Les choses de la vie
    The Tourist - based on the French Anthony Zimmer
  • Posts: 15,053
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited September 2018 Posts: 3,671
    Scent Of A Woman with Al Pacino is also remake. Not realy like movie and not understanding why movie get that title. The original is Spanish movie from the 70's.

    The Lion King (Japanese Animated series Jungle Emperor) and i am looking forward to see live action movie.

    The A-team. As fan of tv series, i like movie and stil a shame there not making sequel. Hulk is to long, The Incredible Hulk from 2008 whas better then expect and i see it as sequel.
    Tv series so far i liked it.

    Knight Rider 2009 (2008), Michael Knight his son is the new Knight Rider, i see it as Season 5 because David Hasselhof whas seen in it too and i think there should made another season.

    Macgyver 2016. Like it, exept he should do things more alone.

    The Matrix, i stil don't get it. But i also don't give up.

    The equilizer. Only have seen season 1. The name of the movie, chacter that's it and in sequel we see him more in his car. Only have seen first movie.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,010
    I've not seen the U.S The Bridge, I have watched the UK version The Tunnel which was entertaining but seriously you have to watch Bron/Broen it's utterly superb.

    Sofia Helin as Saga is probably my favourite Nordic Noir character, her performances is extraordinary and each season is truly brilliant.

    I rarely bother with remakes, I will fall down on Fincher's TGWDT though, I like the Swedish version but I'm a sucker for anything Fincher and I think he realised and even bettered the original novel.

    DC is also a much better and closer to the source version of Blomvist in my view. Mara is closer to the source version of Lisbeth, though Rapace's Salander is more dynamic.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    Thanks @Torgeirtrap. I'm not surprised to learn that the original version of The Bridge is good. I've always been under the impression that these originals must be top notch to warrant an English language remake anyway. I will see if I can find it online somewhere.

    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    I saw the Stieg Larsson Dragon Tattoo originals when they were originally released and before Fincher made his version. So that was an exception for me, and I only watched those because a friend of mine who had read the books insisted that we go and check them out. Other films/tv series which I've seen and really enjoyed despite having to endure subtitles include Borgen and Black Book.

    I forgot to mention above that I've of course seen The Departed and loved it (I've not watched Infernal Affairs).
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Scent Of A Woman with Al Pacino is also remake. Not realy like movie and not understanding why movie get that title. The original is Spanish movie from the 70's.
    I didn't know that. I haven't seen this film myself, and have been meaning to get to it for some time.
  • Posts: 15,053
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Scent Of A Woman with Al Pacino is also remake. Not realy like movie and not understanding why movie get that title. The original is Spanish movie from the 70's.

    Did not know that. Interesting!
    bondjames wrote: »
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    Interesting you should mention subtitles as a reason, @bondjames. It really must be something that's mainly an issue in English speaking countries (?), as it really isn't over here. Even some of the stuff that's produced for Norwegian TV is subtitled - in Norwegian!
    Shardlake wrote: »
    I've not seen the U.S The Bridge, I have watched the UK version The Tunnel which was entertaining but seriously you have to watch Bron/Broen it's utterly superb.

    Sofia Helin as Saga is probably my favourite Nordic Noir character, her performances is extraordinary and each season is truly brilliant.

    I rarely bother with remakes, I will fall down on Fincher's TGWDT though, I like the Swedish version but I'm a sucker for anything Fincher and I think he realised and even bettered the original novel.

    DC is also a much better and closer to the source version of Blomvist in my view. Mara is closer to the source version of Lisbeth, though Rapace's Salander is more dynamic.

    Sofia Helin is great in Bron/Broen. As is Kim Bodnia too, who I think could be a decent Bond villain casting. Helin played a role in The Same Sky last year – a German spy series set during the Cold War, which is worth checking out.

    Prefer the Swedish version to Fincher's TGWDT myself. It was too "slick" and "Hollywood" for me, if you know what I mean. Nyqvist and Rapace were the better pairing too, IMO - rather than Craig and Mara.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,010
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Scent Of A Woman with Al Pacino is also remake. Not realy like movie and not understanding why movie get that title. The original is Spanish movie from the 70's.

    Did not know that. Interesting!
    bondjames wrote: »
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    Interesting you should mention subtitles as a reason, @bondjames. It really must be something that's mainly an issue in English speaking countries (?), as it really isn't over here. Even some of the stuff that's produced for Norwegian TV is subtitled - in Norwegian!
    Shardlake wrote: »
    I've not seen the U.S The Bridge, I have watched the UK version The Tunnel which was entertaining but seriously you have to watch Bron/Broen it's utterly superb.

    Sofia Helin as Saga is probably my favourite Nordic Noir character, her performances is extraordinary and each season is truly brilliant.

    I rarely bother with remakes, I will fall down on Fincher's TGWDT though, I like the Swedish version but I'm a sucker for anything Fincher and I think he realised and even bettered the original novel.

    DC is also a much better and closer to the source version of Blomvist in my view. Mara is closer to the source version of Lisbeth, though Rapace's Salander is more dynamic.

    Sofia Helin is great in Bron/Broen. As is Kim Bodnia too, who I think could be a decent Bond villain casting. Helin played a role in The Same Sky last year – a German spy series set during the Cold War, which is worth checking out.

    Prefer the Swedish version to Fincher's TGWDT myself. It was too "slick" and "Hollywood" for me, if you know what I mean. Nyqvist and Rapace were the better pairing too, IMO - rather than Craig and Mara.

    Might have to check The Same Sky out, of course Bodnia, currently watching him in the rather brilliant Killing Eve, nice to see him again here, great actor, would be great for Bond. Amongst other Scandinavian actors like Pilou Asbaek or Sidse Babsett Knudsen, yes I am a Borgen fan but Piliou was extraordinary in both the A Hijacking & A War.

    I just think Mara and Craig are more like the literary version, Nyqvist is far too cocky to be Blomvist, he's supposed to be a broken man and Craig nails that (although I sense you don't really like DC).

    Rapace is more dynamic but Mara nails the novel version of Lisbeth and I think
    that Fincher aced the chemsitry with both leads much better but each to his own.

    Fincher is a master, the guy who directed the swedish version is litterally being influenced by Fincher, the Se7en and Zodiac references are screaming out at you.

    The very rare case for me when a remake blows the original away, although I'm biased being a huge Fincher fan.
  • Posts: 15,053
    Shardlake wrote: »
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Scent Of A Woman with Al Pacino is also remake. Not realy like movie and not understanding why movie get that title. The original is Spanish movie from the 70's.

    Did not know that. Interesting!
    bondjames wrote: »
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    Interesting you should mention subtitles as a reason, @bondjames. It really must be something that's mainly an issue in English speaking countries (?), as it really isn't over here. Even some of the stuff that's produced for Norwegian TV is subtitled - in Norwegian!
    Shardlake wrote: »
    I've not seen the U.S The Bridge, I have watched the UK version The Tunnel which was entertaining but seriously you have to watch Bron/Broen it's utterly superb.

    Sofia Helin as Saga is probably my favourite Nordic Noir character, her performances is extraordinary and each season is truly brilliant.

    I rarely bother with remakes, I will fall down on Fincher's TGWDT though, I like the Swedish version but I'm a sucker for anything Fincher and I think he realised and even bettered the original novel.

    DC is also a much better and closer to the source version of Blomvist in my view. Mara is closer to the source version of Lisbeth, though Rapace's Salander is more dynamic.

    Sofia Helin is great in Bron/Broen. As is Kim Bodnia too, who I think could be a decent Bond villain casting. Helin played a role in The Same Sky last year – a German spy series set during the Cold War, which is worth checking out.

    Prefer the Swedish version to Fincher's TGWDT myself. It was too "slick" and "Hollywood" for me, if you know what I mean. Nyqvist and Rapace were the better pairing too, IMO - rather than Craig and Mara.

    Might have to check The Same Sky out, of course Bodnia, currently watching him in the rather brilliant Killing Eve, nice to see him again here, great actor, would be great for Bond. Amongst other Scandinavian actors like Pilou Asbaek or Sidse Babsett Knudsen, yes I am a Borgen fan but Piliou was extraordinary in both the A Hijacking & A War.

    Haven't seen Killing Eve yet, but looking at the plot summary on IMDb, it looks like a must-watch! Haven't seen that many episodes of Borgen, but I'm planning to give it a go again soon. Fun fact: The creator of Borgen, Adam Price, is also a food-writer, and stars in an entertaining cooking show with his brother. One of the episodes – which was all about cheese, featured the not particularly appetizing Casu marzu cheese:

    (Video in Danish, but you'll see the Casu marzu cheese here.)
    Shardlake wrote: »
    I just think Mara and Craig are more like the literary version, Nyqvist is far too cocky to be Blomvist, he's supposed to be a broken man and Craig nails that (although I sense you don't really like DC).

    Rapace is more dynamic but Mara nails the novel version of Lisbeth and I think
    that Fincher aced the chemsitry with both leads much better but each to his own.

    Fincher is a master, the guy who directed the swedish version is litterally being influenced by Fincher, the Se7en and Zodiac references are screaming out at you.

    The very rare case for me when a remake blows the original away, although I'm biased being a huge Fincher fan.

    I don't have an issue with Craig, but I didn't particularly enjoy him in TGWTDT. I think one of the reasons is that it's very difficult having a Liverpudlian playing a Swede convincingly. The same goes for the rest of the foreign cast too – the film feels "off" because of it. Have yet to watch The Snowman for the very same reason; it's strange seeing a production set in Norway only feature two native actors in credited roles.

    Don't see the Fincher references in the original Millenium series, really. It is, and feels like a strong Scandinavian production more than anything, IMO.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited September 2018 Posts: 23,883
    bondjames wrote: »
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    Interesting you should mention subtitles as a reason, @bondjames. It really must be something that's mainly an issue in English speaking countries (?), as it really isn't over here. Even some of the stuff that's produced for Norwegian TV is subtitled - in Norwegian!
    @Torgeirtrap, I think we predominantly English speakers are terribly spoiled, because most of what we see is home grown (and in that I mean English speaking) product. I can imagine that those who don't speak English as a first language must be far more used to subtitles and dubbing, given Hollywood's global reach and influence on the film and tv industry overseas. Honestly, it's just habit for me more than anything else really.
  • Posts: 15,053
    bondjames wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    Interesting list, @bondjames! If you felt that The Bridge was good, you should see Bron/Broen – the former was rather weak in comparison to the original, IMO.

    Any particular reasons why you don't seek out the originals once if you've seen the remakes? In the case of The Bridge and Broen, it's two very different shows, even though they both start out in a similar fashion.
    The reason why I don't go out of my way to seek them out is just because they're either in a language I don't understand or am not all that versed with. I much prefer to focus on the proceedings onscreen rather than reading subtitles if I can help it, because I don't want to miss anything. I also don't like seeing something dubbed.

    Interesting you should mention subtitles as a reason, @bondjames. It really must be something that's mainly an issue in English speaking countries (?), as it really isn't over here. Even some of the stuff that's produced for Norwegian TV is subtitled - in Norwegian!
    @Torgeirtrap, I think we predominantly English speakers are terribly spoiled, because most of what we see is home grown (and in that I mean English speaking) product. I can imagine that those who don't speak English as a first language must be far more used to subtitles and dubbing, given Hollywood's global reach and influence on the film and tv industry overseas. Honestly, it's just habit for me more than anything else really.

    You guys are definitely missing out! There's so much stuff being produced outside Hollywood and in other languages, that easily matches anything they can come up with. Some of it might take a bit of effort finding, but it's really worth it.
  • @Torgeirtrap if shows are based on very English shows like Fawlty Towers I find they totally miss the mark for me, each remake will incorporate its own cultural sensibilities and references.
  • edited September 2018 Posts: 15,053
    @Torgeirtrap if shows are based on very English shows like Fawlty Towers I find they totally miss the mark for me, each remake will incorporate its own cultural sensibilities and references.

    Indeed each remake will, and I think in many circumstances some of what made the original appealing will get lost in the remake. Fawlty Towers really is too English to try remaking; four attempts says it all, really.
  • @Torgeirtrap if shows are based on very English shows like Fawlty Towers I find they totally miss the mark for me, each remake will incorporate its own cultural sensibilities and references.

    Indeed each remake will, and I think in many circumstances some of what made the original appealing will get lost in the remake. Fawlty Towers really is too English to try remaking; four attempts says it all, really.

    Wow that's alot of attempts I think I have only seen clips of shows.

    Going back to a earlier post the original Old Boy is a good film worth watching I won't say too much with regards to plot though one character is pure evil and has you wanting to punch the TV.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,499
    My favorite show on at the moment, Animal Kingdom, is actually based on the Australian film of the same name. Personally, I hated the movie. Especially after seeing it after the show.
  • Posts: 15,053
    @Torgeirtrap if shows are based on very English shows like Fawlty Towers I find they totally miss the mark for me, each remake will incorporate its own cultural sensibilities and references.

    Indeed each remake will, and I think in many circumstances some of what made the original appealing will get lost in the remake. Fawlty Towers really is too English to try remaking; four attempts says it all, really.

    Wow that's alot of attempts I think I have only seen clips of shows.

    Going back to a earlier post the original Old Boy is a good film worth watching I won't say too much with regards to plot though one character is pure evil and has you wanting to punch the TV.

    That pretty much reflects my friend's comments about Old Boy too! Will definitely watch it at some point.
    Remington wrote: »
    My favorite show on at the moment, Animal Kingdom, is actually based on the Australian film of the same name. Personally, I hated the movie. Especially after seeing it after the show.

    Never seen the film nor the TV series, but I've heard about both. Didn't know there was any connection between the film and the series, actually.
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