Friday, May 17, 2013

Best/Worst Movie Remakes Blogfest - and Jewel of Shaylar

When Hollywood runs out of ideas, they remake older films. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it fails miserably. 

Coming up with my favorite and least favorite remakes was tough for me. There's so many to choose from. Here we go!

BEST Hollywood Remake: True Grit

The 2010 version is a much better film than the 1969 one. The only thing going for the original is John Wayne. There is NO replacing John Wayne. However, Jeff Bridges as the aging and grumpy US Marshal Reuben Cogburn is a better actor. The Cohen Brothers did an amazing job, especially with capturing the historical time period.

For me, the biggest difference is the actress portraying 14 year old Mattie. The 1969 version was okay. I can't remember the name of the girl that played her. But in the 2010 version, Hailee Steinfeld does an extraordinary job as the desperate teenager who hired Cogburn to avenge her father's death. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also shine in this great remake.

WORST Holly wood Remake: The Karate Kid
I am a child of the 80s, as you all know. And despite the notion that remaking such a classic was blasphemy, I gave the remake an honest try. In fact, I watched it again last week with the kids just to make sure I hated it. Result:

I freaking HATE this damn remake.

The title is : KARATE Kid. But the remake takes place in China. And it's all about Kung Fu. As a martial artist, it's appalling to mush karate and kung fu. Please. That's like saying Irish stout and German lager is the same. They're not. In the original, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel Okinawan karate. Hence the title.

In the remake, Dre (played by Jaden Smith), moves to China. And he's a tweener. And his mom lets his 12/13 yr old son walk the streets of China by himself? Yeah right. Daniel moved from NY to Reseda, California - and man, he just seemed so out of his element. Crazy, right? The original did a much better job of making the main character feel out of place in a strange new environment.

Dre is doing all kinds of crazy flips and stunts. Look - these look cool in movies, but if you ever pull a flip in the air, I'm going to roundhouse kick your balls off. Stupid. In the original, you KNEW Daniel would get his ass kicked by any of the dudes he beat in the tournament. He had that vulnerability. They made Dre a kung fu master after a couple months of training.

Finally, Johnny was a much better bully than that little Chinese boy who just glowered and frowned all the time.

BONUS: Best/Worst Song Remake!
Best: Whitney Houston covering Dolly Parton's, "I Will Always Love You." Song still gives me goosebumps.

Worst: George Michael covering Bonnie Raitt's, "I Can't Make You Love me." Why or why???

* * * * * *

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Sheena-kay Graham said...

Yes! Someone finally picked Whitney's best song ever! Thanks for sharing your best and worst and the original Karate Kid is the BEST Karate Kid.

Lynda R Young said...

They did a remake of True Grit??? I'm going to have to check it out now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The True Grit remake was really, really good. Hailee was much better in the role. The first girl was wide-eyed and plucky and that was about it.
I didn't mind the Karate Kid remake, but I think by that point so many 80's films had been remade even worse that I was immune.
And no one wants their song slaughtered my Michael.
Thanks for participating in our blogfest.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I think True Grit was THE best version, there can only be one True Grit and John Wayne made that film a classic.


Cheree Smith said...

I didn't know True Grit was a remake. I still have to see True Grit, but I really want to see it.

Carolyn Brown said...

I do agree with your worst - The remake of Karate Kid was not good! To say the least.

Jay Noel said...

Sheena: Dre is no Daniel LaRusso.

Lynda: Yeah, and it received three Academy nominations.

Alex: Exactly. I found Mattie annoying in the original.

Yvonne: I'm a John Wayne fan, but from a directoral standpoint, the new one is superior.

Cheree: It's fun to watch the original and compare it to the remake. I love the ornate language in both versions.

Carolyn: It was terrible. And I love Jackie Chan.

Al Diaz said...

Ah ha! At last another one who hated the remake of Karate Kid. I love Jackie Chan but that remake was just... why did they have to do that? It could have been a good movie on its own. But ah, well.
Thanks for participating in our blogfest! :)

farawayeyes said...

Ha, ha, ha. Well we agree kinda. I'm with you 100% on 'The Karate Kid'. I did not like it.

And, just say No, to George Michael. YUCK!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good for you for at least giving THE KARATE KID remake a try. I don't plan on ever seeing it. That or the remakes of FOOTLOOSE or DIRTY DANCING.

jaybird said...

"If you do a flip in the air I'm going to round house kick your balls off!!" Bahahaha- you just killed me with that Jay. Love it. And I hated this remake as well. Being that I was born in NJ and moved to CA, I related to Daniel for that reason. He was vulnerable and so out of his element until he meets Mr. Miyagi- their unlikely friendship was part of the beauty of the original.

Donna Shields said...

I agree with both your movie and song choices!

Tara Tyler said...

guess i need to see the true grit remake, my hub will like it too! great!
and karate kid is on my list too, boooo!

Matthew MacNish said...

True Grit is so awesome. The cinematography is amazing.

Isis Rushdan said...

It's so funny you picked the Karate Kid. I protested seeing this movie because I knew I'd hate it, but my husband insisted on watching it. I have to give him the link to your blog, lol.

Laura Eno said...

Thanks so much for the shout out! :)

I never saw the remake of Karate Kid and I'm glad I never did. The mushing of different martial arts together would have fried me too. I never saw the remake of True Grit either but maybe I will now. It sounds promising.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love your picks for this fest. The original Karate Kid definitely had more character development. I wanted to like the remake - I mean, I really like Jackie Chan, and there were fun moments - but it wasn't as good, or as memorable.
Love your song picks too!

Jay Noel said...

Al: Jackie Chan is one of the best. But I didn't like him in this movie.

faraway: Can't beat Bonnie Raitt!

Madeline: I want to be fair. My kids liked it, but my oldest thinks the original is way better too.

jaybird: How sad is it for a remake when the original has a kid move from NY to CA and the main character feels more like a fish out of water than some kid moving to freakin' China!

Donna: Thanks!!!

Tara: You will love the remake. Especially the gorgeous 19th century American language.

Matthew: Now I wanna see it again.

Isis: That is funny. Nothing's wrong with giving it a try. That gives you the right to trash it!

Laura: You are so welcome, girl. I think you'd like the True Grit remake, Laura.

Jay Noel said...

Tyrean: You know, I really wanted to at least LIKE the remake too - for the exact same reasons.

Melissa Bradley said...

Amen! I picked the new KK as one of my worst as well. Was not much into The Ring as I find Naomi Watts to be a dreadful bore and the film was utterly laughable.

Debra McKellan said...

I haven't seen all of either Karate Kid (I don't even remember seeing the first, actually...), but I liked what I saw of the new one. You make some valid points, though.

The only version of I Can't Make You Love Me I've heard is Tank's cover. You should listen. I imagine George Michael was breathy and stunted. lol

Jay Noel said...

Melissa: Naomi Watts = eye candy. I almost picked Dawn of the Dead too as my fave.

DEZMOND said...

And just to think that nepotistic Will Smith almost managed to put his talentless brat of a daughter in ANNIE remake too.

nutschell said...

we chose the same worst movie remake! Drat. I still have to watch True Grit.

The Desert Rocks said...

I agree about True Grit but never saw the other stuff. Laura Eno's book sounds intriguing!

Anonymous said...

Saw True Grit and enjoyed it - somewhat. Not my thing so to enjoy it is pretty good.

Haven't seen the new Karate Kid and I'm okay with that.

mooderino said...

Agree with you about Karate Kid remake. Terrible.


Pat Dilloway said...

I guess I'm lucky I can't do any flips in the air.

Milo James Fowler said...

I haven't seen the latest KARATE KID, and I don't plan to. Why mess with an 80's classic?

M Pax said...

Wake me up before you go-go... it's your fault for mentioning George Michael. True Grit was a good film.

LD Masterson said...

I can't agree with you on True Grit. I'm sorry, I just love John Wayne too much to accept anyone taking over one of his great roles. But I'm with you on the Karate Kid. None of the sequels or remakes measured up to the original.

Jay Noel said...

Dez: That would be unthinkable!

nutty: Great taste!

Eve: That's didn't miss much.

Riann: I wanted to give the KK remake a try.

moody: Jackie Chan probably regrets that.

Pat: Ha!

Milo: Right! Why mess with KK or Red Dawn, or Footloose???

Mary: Sorry to put that earworm in your head.

LD: That's what makes my loving True Grit so compelling. I'm a John Wayne fan, and I was surprised at how much I loved the remake.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Jackie Chan is great, but that movie was sad. Houston's "I will always love you" is my favorite.

Samantha May said...

I knew you were going to comment on Karate Kid. I just had a feeling :D Whitney Houston's cover almost made me forget that Dolly did it first!

Mr. Shife said...

Totally agree with you Jay on The Karate Kid. Didn't even watch the remake because I knew it would make me so mad. The original has such great memories for me that I did not want to even mess with that. Have a great weekend.

Rhonda said...

Why would they remake Karate Kid?? I didn't see the new one, but don't want to. Love your song choice for best - both versions.


Arlee Bird said...

I'm with you on True Grit. They're both good movies, but so different and the remake was more to my taste.

Your song remake make me remember Dolly Parton's version of Zep's "Stairway to Heaven"--I thought she did an amazing job with that classic song.

Tossing It Out

Trisha F said...

I haven't seen either of your movie choices - remakes that is. Haven't read True Grit either, though it's on my TBR and has long been recommended by insistent aunties and mums :)

I am so with you on the Karate Kid, even though I haven't seen the remake!!

Brinda said...

I loved the True Grit remake. That young actress was superb in her role. I'd watch it again.

Emily R. King said...

You're right! True Grit was so good! BOTH of them were excellent!

David P. King said...

I am in complete agreement with your picked, Jay. True Grit remake helped me like westerns again. :)

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I also did not care for the Karate Kid remake. Never saw the original True Grit but I love what the Coen Brothers did with it.

Tammy Theriault said...

my kids loved the remake of karate kid though...i kinda liked it :) don't shun me!!

Ciara said...

LOL the Karate Kid is topping the charts today! :)

Rusty Webb said...

Great choices... loved True Grit... although I think I like 3:10 to Yuma a bit better as a remake. Granted, I don't think I've seen the original, but that doesn't matter to me so much at this point.

Cynthia said...

Congratulations to Laura on her new book!

I love that Whitney Houston song. She was a very talented singer and will be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to see the latest True Grit,but will. And agree whole completely about the "not so karate kid." Even my 9 year old twin girls, black belts in Tae Kwon Do, made the same comments. But for me the worst remake is The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves. At least The Karate Kid remake has Jackie Chan.

David List said...

Brilliant Karate Kid review. I loved True Grit. After the remake I watched the original. I honestly couldn't say which one I prefer.

Phats said...

HA! I didn't know George Michael remade that song interesting. I am a huge WHAM fan haha. I forgot about the karate kid being remade, didn't see the reboot

Jay Noel said...

Phats - good for you. Don't see it, unless you want to hate Jaden Smith.

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