Bonjour Outposters! It’s list o’clock again, and thanks to It’s Mr Horta’s suggestion, we have a new one – the Top 10 Movies That Should Never Get Remade.
Now, I found this to be a tricky one. We’ve got some magnificent films that got sequels that have been a rehash of the original, and in essence, they’ve taken a little shine off the first one. Some of those films do appear on this list because I’ve looked at them as stand-alone and ignored what followed. Let’s be frank, they are perfect movies and it’s not their fault some greedy Studio Exec saw dollar signs over legacy.
Narrowing this down to just 10 was difficult to say the least, but that’s the game. Some films deserve a space but just fell short of the top 10. Others that would have made a longer list have fallen victim to the “let’s reimagine this as a TV show” and therefore are excluded, movies like Lethal Weapon, and Interview With The Vampire for example.
As usual, these are my personal preferences but feel free to chip in with your recommendations in the comments. Here goes!
10. Fight Club
Fight Club, wow what a cultural impact this had when it launched in 1999! We are nearing its 25th anniversary (makes you feel as old as shit doesn’t it?) and even now its influence is far-reaching. However, most of the shills and film critics at the time hated it. After all, Tyler Durden sent the message to young men in the audience that the system is broken, they are not special and no one is coming to save them. This pissed off all the right people and the best thing is, the target audience ignored them and lapped it up.
One of the most famous reviews back in 1999 was from Robert Ebert, who called it:
“the most frankly and cheerfully fascist big-star movie since Death Wish”.
And even as recently as 2019, The Guardian wrote for Fight Club‘s 20th anniversary:
“What Fight Club missed in 1999 – and comes oh-so-close to getting – is how much the rage it identifies is connected to white supremacy.”
At the time, Fight Club had the elites scared in fear of an uprising against the system. Tyler’s messages certainly made an impact but sadly “we” all went back to (mostly) taking the shit the politicians fed us. I never want to see a remake or a TV series of this movie but boy oh boy, could the young men of today do with a 21st Century Tyler Durden right about now.
9. The Shawshank Redemption
Shawshank Redemption is a story written by Stephen King (before TDS kicked in a rotted his brain) that actually works on screen, unlike so many other attempts at turning his once literary genius into something visual.
Morgan Freeman’s dulcet tones narrate this fine piece of work that you cannot tear yourself away from. I do actually find it in a similar vein to Cool Hand Luke, where no matter what they do to Andy, he just keeps coming back for more. Unlike Luke, Andy is cunning and patient, whereas Luke was more impulsive and reckless.
Throughout this film, you are despair at the injustice to Andy and a sense of frustration as he seems resigned to his fate. That is until the big reveal and Andy’s escape that makes you want to leap up with a big “fuck yeah” before giving your missus a sheepish look and declaring you knew all along he was up to something. Like bollocks you did, and neither did anyone else, and that is why Shawshank Redemption is one of the greatest.
8. Pulp Fiction
The film that really introduced Quinten Tarrantino to the world and changed cinema forever. Yes I know we had Reservoir Dogs but it was Pulp Fiction that made people sit up and take notice that not only was cinema changing, but the world around us too. In fact, if it wasn’t for its snappy and ruthless dialogue, and moments of brutality and dark humour, I’m not even sure we would have got Fight Club made.
For me, Pulp Fiction stared the old Hollywood guard in the eye and gave them the finger. When I first saw this film, I was in absolute awe and the cinematography, the quips, the masterful editing techniques, and let’s not forget the soundtrack of all soundtracks.
The moments of fun and dancing are effortlessly mixed with brutality. And not just brutality, but the nonchalance of said acts. When Vincent shoots Marvin in the face, all he and Jules are concerned about is cleaning up the mess rather than the fact someone just had his head blown off. It’s hilarious and alarming, but mostly hilarious.
I genuinely think that Pulp Fiction is one of those films that will never get remade but can’t be remade. You can’t improve on perfection.
Scorcese at his best, and that’s saying something. I mentioned everything that made Pulp Fiction so great, but maybe this was the blueprint Tarantino used. It has a lot of the same traits with its quick dialogue, sharp editing style, and a killer soundtrack.
Goodfellas is pretty relentless from start to finish. Thankfully not in a modern-day action-packed extravaganza designed to keep the Tik-Tok generation amused with their 10-second concentration spans, but in a story that keeps you gripped from start to finish.
The film takes you on a journey with multiple characters over several decades and you go on their life journey with them. From young upstarts to established wiseguys and friends and finally the complete and unforgiving betrayal by Henry in order to save his own skin.
Goodfellas rams home the importance of friendship and loyalty, only to kick you square in the nuts at the end and tell you it’s all bullshit. It’s a genuine adrenalin rush of a movie and a certain someone would call it absolute cinema.
Boba Phil recently did a retro review of Alien so I won’t piss on his parade because you can read it here.
For me, Alien is one of the greatest movies of all time but as I’ve said before, it gets a little tarnished thanks to the likes of Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, and those AvP movies. I know a LOT of you hate Prometheus and Covenant, I’m not one of those people and I won’t apologise for liking those movies. I will say though, that like all prequels, they are unnecessary and have spoiled the mystery of the original.
The one shining light on this over-milked cow of a franchise is of course Aliens. Some say it’s better than Alien but it’s not. I’ve always said that it’s as if Scott and Cameron read one script, and where Scott gave us a more British take that was more subdued and psychological, Cameron went all “Yeah ‘Merica” and made it bigger, brasher and filled it with guns and explosions. Regardless, both are great movies.
Sadly though the true horror of the xenomorph has long ago evaporated and they’re nothing more than a slightly scary creature that you know will eventually get defeated by a woman. And that is tragic because Ripley broke the mold for women “action stars” (even though I’ve never considered her one). Everything that made Ripley great, her nurturing nature, her vulnerability but also her refusal to quit, has been discarded for today’s women action stars who basically carry on like men with small-man syndrome.
5. The Silence Of The Lambs
You can smell what?! This movie is horrible but for all the right reasons. The very opening scene of Clarice running through wintery woods is accompanied by music that seems to make you feel the coldness of the visual, this film just gives you the creeps from get-go and it never lets up.
With the exception of Starling, every character you come across in Silence Of The Lambs is gross. Dr Chilton who wants to exploit Lecter’s infamy for his own personal gain. Senator Martin is pulling out all the stops to get her daughter back, even though she never did for Bill’s other victims. Even Catherine Martin herself seems to be a royal pain in the arse and I had little sympathy for her when she was in the well. Even that fucking dog, Precious needed putting down.
And then we get to the main cast of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter who, with just a mere smirk or a look makes you squirm in your seat. Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill, the psycho trannie seems so beyond redemption or reasoning that his character could have been taken straight from 2023. And finally Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, who like the aforementioned Ripley, is how a genuinely strong woman is portrayed.
I know there was a short-lived TV series called Clarice that is meant to fill the cap after Silence Of The Lambs to Hannibal and I only watched one episode and quickly realised the writers had missed the mark with what made Starling so great. I have no doubt that a few episodes in, she was probably having hand-to-hand combat with full-grown men, twice her size and kicking arse – hell yeah! Who knows and who cares, Silence Of The Lambs stands alone.
Another perfect movie, if only they had left it at the one. Thankfully, I’ve never seen any of the sequels so my knowledge of this franchise is untarnished. I did actually watch this movie recently, having not seen it for many a year, and it was a hell of a lot more gruesome than I remember.
When I saw this as a kid, naturally I just remember being shit scared of the shark and focusing on when that nasty bastard was going to strike next. But now I’m an old git with kids, the one scene where Alex Kintner gets it, hits me right in the feels. And that’s the magic of Spielberg, he (used to) cater to all audiences and the fact this film still holds up 48 years later is a testament to his (and let’s not forget John Williams’ epic score) genius.
The sad news is that in July 2018, Spielberg expressed interest in directing a fifth Jaws film focusing on the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The movie will feature a younger version of Robert Shaw’s Quint. And in May 2020, Shaw’s grandson Ferdia Shaw expressed interest in potentially portraying the young Quint in the future, should the film ever be produced. Let’s hope Steve comes to his goddamn senses and leaves well alone.
3. The Thing
OK, I know, I missed this off my Top 10 Movies About Aliens, and this isn’t a pitiful excuse to get back into your good books. As you cinephiles will know, this film is actually a remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World but is such a masterpiece that everyone chooses to ignore it’s a remake.
There was a prequel that was also called The Thing in 2011 and I didn’t mind it. I thought it was respectful to Carpenter’s version but it was down to the shortsightedness of using CGI instead of practical effects that led to its undoing.
Anyway, about those good books, can I be let in now?
2. Back To The Future
Read here: Top 10 Greatest Time Travel Movies. Nuff said.
1. The Godfather
For me, the greatest movie ever made. The second I hear the famous trumpet intro, I’m hooked, I don’t care what time of night it is, I’m watching the whole thing!
This is the movie that broke the mold for gangster films and catapulted Al Pacino into the big time while also cementing Brando’s reputation as one of the greatest actors to have ever lived.
With a heavy emphasis on family, respect, and morals, The Godfather took the classic wise guy image and flipped it on its head. Copolla shows us that these mafiosos are businessmen and not just stone-cold killers. Each act of betrayal or revenge is carefully calculated and expertly carried out with the sole purpose of gaining more power.
Watching Michael go from a family outsider and war hero to a man consumed with power, or protecting his family as he naively tells himself, is a tremendous example that a man cannot deny his true nature, and that fate makes its own plans. And on the flip side, we see Vito go from a man hell-bent on accumulating power to getting old and realizing that family really is all that matters.
The story behind the making of this film, and of course The Godfather Part 2 (yeah I know, perhaps that should have been on this list too) is a tale in its own right. A TV series called The Offer starring Matthew Goode and Miles Teller is must-see viewing for any fans of this movie.
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