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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Dust Devil on June 18, 2009, 06:01:01 PM

Title: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 18, 2009, 06:01:01 PM
Let's start with a classic:

The 1999 made for TV remake of Stanley Kramer's Inherit the Wind is, IMO, better than the original.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: cigar joe on June 18, 2009, 07:29:20 PM
John Carpenter's "The Thing".
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: PowerRR on June 18, 2009, 08:10:45 PM
3:10 to Yuma

NAAAAAAAW im jk ive never even seen the original

but what if i did?!?!?!
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Kurug3n on June 18, 2009, 08:36:43 PM
3:10 to Yuma

NAAAAAAAW im jk ive never even seen the original

but what if i did?!?!?!

then the original had nothing going for it.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on June 18, 2009, 09:31:48 PM
John Carpenter's "The Thing".

A lot would say so but I'm in disagreement.

Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 18, 2009, 09:43:39 PM
A lot would say so but I'm in disagreement.

Really?

I mean, the original sure has its charm, but c'mon, Johnny Carpenter's version is a roller coaster of terror and suspense.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: dave jenkins on June 18, 2009, 09:44:57 PM
Huston's The Maltese Falcon.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on June 18, 2009, 11:02:16 PM
John Carpenter's "The Thing".

I also prefer the original, in fact Alien is superior to Carpenter's Thing, too.

I would almost say that Peter Jackson's King Kong is better than the original but it has the same problem as his LotR movies (ugly CG battles that last FOREVER).
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on June 18, 2009, 11:23:30 PM


I would almost say that Peter Jackson's King Kong is better than the original

Oh no! Not for me.
Jackson's is a worthy remake but it's just too damn long.
No story about a giant ape should be three hours long.
That boat journey needs major trimming.
Even if Jackson were to do the sensible thing and cut about an hour out of his movie it still wouldn't be better than the original.
At least not in my way of thinking.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on June 18, 2009, 11:26:29 PM
Johnny Carpenter's version is a roller coaster

I would never describe Carpenter's remake as such.
The first 40 minutes are very slow going. Not a bad thing.
I like its pace (Like the original Dawn Of The Dead you get to know the groups routine) but I would never describe it as a roller coaster ride.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 19, 2009, 12:33:24 AM
I would never describe Carpenter's remake as such.
The first 40 minutes are very slow going. Not a bad thing.
I like its pace (Like the original Dawn Of The Dead you get to know the groups routine) but I would never describe it as a roller coaster ride.

Well, it takes some time till it starts rolling, but when it starts it's one wild ride.

Perhaps it isn't the best expression. Rolling rock's maybe better.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on June 19, 2009, 05:41:26 AM
The Wizard of Oz, The Maltese Falcon, and 3:10 to Yuma. Those are the ones that come to mind, there are probably others.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: stanton on June 19, 2009, 11:28:14 AM
But The Maltese Falcon is not a remake. It's only based on the same novel, and is btw a completely different work than the 30s film. Films which picturize novels, which were already filmed before, are only remakes if they are following more the earlier film than the book.

The Getaway of the 90s, that's a remake of the Peckinpah film, as it was based on Hill's screenplay and not on Thompson's novel. But Bondartschuk's War and Peace is hardly a remake of the Vidor film.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on June 19, 2009, 12:18:16 PM
Then we can quibble over the definition of "remake".
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on June 19, 2009, 01:34:14 PM
The Wizard of Oz

The 39' movie is a remake?

Enlighten me please.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 19, 2009, 01:55:14 PM
Cecil B. DeMille's silent The Ten Commandments from 1923 is on the other hand better than the 1956 remake, if you ask me. Not that I really care for either of them, to be honest.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 19, 2009, 01:57:13 PM
Although I like Corman's version, Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors is one entertaining masterpiece.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on June 19, 2009, 02:20:59 PM
The 39' movie is a remake?

Enlighten me please.

1910 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0001463/)

1914 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0004099/) (this one was actually written and directed by L. Frank Baum himself)

1925 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0016544/)

1930 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0024779/)

1938 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0138195/)

If you want to quibble like Stanton then go ahead.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on June 19, 2009, 02:39:56 PM


If you want to quibble like Stanton then go ahead.


Calmeth.

I didn't know abut these other versions.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on June 19, 2009, 03:07:06 PM
I was merely pre-empting a possible "Those are different versions of a story" post.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on June 19, 2009, 04:15:30 PM
Jackson's is a worthy remake but it's just too damn long.
No story about a giant ape should be three hours long.

Lol, true enough.  Still, I really like some parts of it.  Its also a nifty analogy to the 1930s (Depression at the beginning, Hollywood escapism in the middle, death and destruction at the end).

I imagine that we can agree that both the original and Jackson's remake are better than Dino De Laurentiis's '76 remake.  Old Dino remakes his own movies.   ;D
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 19, 2009, 11:25:19 PM
The Quiet American with Michael Caine is waaaay better than the 50s version.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Jill on June 20, 2009, 09:19:02 AM
Nosferatu. The Original, of course, is a great horror, but very old, and apart from a few truly scary scenes you'll smile on it. But Herzog's remake is a thing of beauty. And Klaus Kinski is creepy as usual.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: uncknown on June 20, 2009, 02:39:04 PM
The Quiet American with Michael Caine is waaaay better than the 50s version.

yes it is.
and Jackson's KONG sucked.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 20, 2009, 03:03:27 PM
Nosferatu. The Original, of course, is a great horror, but very old, and apart from a few truly scary scenes you'll smile on it. But Herzog's remake is a thing of beauty. And Klaus Kinski is creepy as usual.

This is a good call, although I don't totally agree with you. It crossed my mind but I personally couldn't decide which is the best of the two. Klaus Kinski is absolutely magnificent in Herzog's version, but the oldie from 1922 is one of those horrors that are like too good to be true, not to even mention for 20s b/w silent horror movie standards (if there were any) .
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: dave jenkins on June 20, 2009, 10:47:25 PM
Nosferatu. The Original, of course, is a great horror, but very old, and apart from a few truly scary scenes you'll smile on it. But Herzog's remake is a thing of beauty. And Klaus Kinski is creepy as usual.
This is true, provided you don't watch the English-language version.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: moviesceleton on June 21, 2009, 05:20:22 AM
Savini's version of Night of the Living Dead beats the original.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on June 21, 2009, 01:40:16 PM
Savini's version of Night of the Living Dead beats the original.

That's a bold statement.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: moviesceleton on June 22, 2009, 05:02:51 AM
That's a bold statement.
It seems to be me against a world full of hypocrites. >:D
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Mr.Cho-Cho on July 23, 2009, 11:22:18 PM
 Herzog's Nosferatu is very serein, whilst not a film I regard amongst the greats, it's certainly a very interesting film, and let's face it Kinski is very watchable. I've only seen a couple of Herzog's, I find him quite tough to really love though, some of his films are just too slow for me. I think 'Aguirre: Wrath of God' is my favourite of his.

As for remakes that beat the original how about the Bourne Identity.  O0
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on July 24, 2009, 01:32:45 AM
The new one wasn't anything special, but wasn't bad either, the old one with Richard Chamberlain I don't remember.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 24, 2009, 07:38:21 AM
The Maltese Falcon and The Thing (love the original though).

possibly A Fistful of Dollars.

I hate remakes, only insanely talented directors should be allowed to remake movies.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: PowerRR on July 24, 2009, 07:58:27 AM
Cetainly NOT cape fear, martin fagcese's remake sucked huge nuts. way to fucking go. The original is 100% better in every way
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 08:24:55 AM
Cetainly NOT cape fear, martin fagcese's remake sucked huge nuts. way to fucking go. The original is 100% better in every way

Scorsese is awesome but I agree about his Cape Fear remake.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: PowerRR on July 24, 2009, 08:55:45 AM
Scorsese is awesome but I agree about his Cape Fear remake.
yea I agree but I'm almost positive it's his worst movie
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 24, 2009, 10:09:15 AM
There are a lot of Scorsese stinkers, certainly more than most admit: GoNY, The Aviator, Kundun, Age of Innocence, Boxcar Bertha, The Departed, The Color of Money,  Cape Fear - all worthy contenders to me.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on July 24, 2009, 10:53:38 AM
Boxcar Bertha

Caught the climax of this last night.
Not sure about the rest of the movie but I thought the gunfight was really gritty (even with the red paint posing as blood) and very well put together.
Marty even garnered some early attention with this so I can't be alone in thinking it was shot well.
Again, just speaking for the end gunfight and Carradine being pinned to the boxcar.
Can't speak for the rest of the film which I didn't even see.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 12:11:02 PM
There are a lot of Scorsese stinkers, certainly more than most admit: GoNY, The Aviator, Kundun, Age of Innocence, Boxcar Bertha, The Departed, The Color of Money,  Cape Fear - all worthy contenders to me.

The Aviator has its moments.  Why is Scorsese convinced that DiCaprio is the new DeNiro?  GoNY and Cape Fear were terrible.  The rest I haven't seen.  My favorite Scorsese's are Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, and Casino.  I like Goodfellas but for some reason don't love it.  Same thing with Mean Streets.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: titoli on July 24, 2009, 02:26:41 PM
I like the Hammer Dracula, Lugosi's does nothing for me (and so Coppola's).
Close call: Farewell My Lovely . I like both versions.
And yes, FOD over the original.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 24, 2009, 06:06:56 PM
Caught the climax of this last night.
Not sure about the rest of the movie but I thought the gunfight was really gritty (even with the red paint posing as blood) and very well put together.
Marty even garnered some early attention with this so I can't be alone in thinking it was shot well.
Again, just speaking for the end gunfight and Carradine being pinned to the boxcar.
Can't speak for the rest of the film which I didn't even see.

It most certainly was shot well, considering the budgetary limitations: there's a pan that starts from the road the ends up on a train (it's hard to explain) and many others but ultimately (well, my opinion) it was a Corman cash-in with the Bonny and Clyde/Depression Era films around the time. The one scene that strikes me the most, even more than any camera movement, is neon PBR signs in a bar. Things like that keep the movie from having merit for me.

Col. watch Mean Streets again, that's a great one. And I find it odd that you prefer Casino to Goodfellas. I will say that ther former receives too much criticism for being too same-y. While it certainly is an unofficial Goodfellas sequel, it's not a bad movie and is very entertaining - although Stone's character is one of the most annoying and 1D evil bitches ever put on film.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on July 24, 2009, 06:08:39 PM
I think Casino is WAY better than Goodfellas, for what it's worth.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 24, 2009, 06:16:12 PM
really? Can you guys explain why (I'm really curious)?
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: PowerRR on July 24, 2009, 08:36:30 PM
There are a lot of Scorsese stinkers, certainly more than most admit: GoNY, The Aviator, Kundun, Age of Innocence, Boxcar Bertha, The Departed, The Color of Money,  Cape Fear - all worthy contenders to me.
Well I definitely disagree with GoNY, Aviator, AoI, Kundun, and The Departed... those are all pretty great movies in my opinion. They're all fairly flawed - none are close to masterpieces - but they are quite good.

I agree Boxcar and Cape Fear are shit - and Color of Money is sorta shit too, though I enjoy it being a big fan of Paul Newman and The Hustler.

Casino - also borderline shit. It's like a three hour long music video with poor acting all around and rather uninteresting characters. Goodfellas is far, far superior.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 09:13:56 PM
Col. watch Mean Streets again, that's a great one. And I find it odd that you prefer Casino to Goodfellas. I will say that the former receives too much criticism for being too same-y. While it certainly is an unofficial Goodfellas sequel, it's not a bad movie and is very entertaining - although Stone's character is one of the most annoying and 1D evil bitches ever put on film.

I should watch Mean Streets again, I only saw it once and that was several years ago.  But Goodfellas I watched last year for the third time and had the same reaction as the first two times.  I know that Casino is basically Goodfellas in Vegas and I agree about Stone, she is my least favorite part of the movie (while Lorraine Bracco is adorable).  Goodfellas has some fascinating scenes (usually involving Joe Pecsi) but I just don't get drawn into the story and the movie becomes a chore during the last third.  But Casino is riveting and I love all of talk about the old mob-run Vegas, its like the Copacabana scene but better.  The creepy fate of Joe Pecsi alone is worth watching the movie.

So why do I prefer Casino over Goodfellas?  I can't speak for Groggy but I think one reason is that I like Henry Hill too much.  To me the best work that Scorsese and DeNiro did was when they focused on unsympathetic, unlikeable characters like Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta, Rupert Pupkin, and Ace Rothstein.  These are men that we (or at least me) have no feeling for and don't care when they fall from grace or go nuts.  It seems like we get closer to the sadness and desperation of the human condition this way, which is Scorsese's chief strength.  I spend too much of Goodfellas worrying about Henry and Karen Hill because I really care about them, and that makes Goodfellas more ordinary and less revealing.  I know this sounds strange but its the only thing that makes sense to me.   :D
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 09:16:55 PM
Well I definitely disagree with GoNY, Aviator, AoI, Kundun, and The Departed... those are all pretty great movies in my opinion. They're all fairly flawed - none are close to masterpieces - but they are quite good.

Casino - also borderline shit. It's like a three hour long music video with poor acting all around and rather uninteresting characters. Goodfellas is far, far superior.

Anyone who prefers GoNY over Casino is suspect to me.   :o
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: dave jenkins on July 25, 2009, 11:21:54 AM
So why do I prefer Casino over Goodfellas?  I can't speak for Groggy but I think one reason is that I like Henry Hill too much.  To me the best work that Scorsese and DeNiro did was when they focused on unsympathetic, unlikeable characters like Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta, Rupert Pupkin, and Ace Rothstein.  These are men that we (or at least me) have no feeling for and don't care when they fall from grace or go nuts.  It seems like we get closer to the sadness and desperation of the human condition this way, which is Scorsese's chief strength.  I spend too much of Goodfellas worrying about Henry and Karen Hill because I really care about them, and that makes Goodfellas more ordinary and less revealing.  I know this sounds strange but its the only thing that makes sense to me.   :D
Your argument would seem to make Goodfellas the best film, because part of the director's job is to make unsavory characters sympathetic.

My basic complaint about Scorsese's presentation of Henry Hill is that it falsifies the guy in real life. My dad, who was a Deputy U.S. Marshal for many years, met Hill, dealt with him when the Witness Security Program moved him to Seattle and gave him a new identity. So what did Hill immediately do with his new identity? He used it to start dealing drugs out of his new home. The guy was a complete and utter scumbag, and Scorsese does us a disservice by not holding him to account for his actions. Karen, apparently, was a piece of work as well: she was able to put up with Hill while the money was rolling in, but once that stopped she split. Much of Goodfellas works because the gangsters are not romanticized; Scorsese failed with Hill. Granted, the film was pretty much from his and Karen's POV, but it is possible to insert ironic distance at times to show that the director does not condone what his characters are doing. Scorsese just about endorses what Hill has done in the final court scene where Ray Liotta directly addresses the audience.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 25, 2009, 12:08:35 PM
Your argument would seem to make Goodfellas the best film, because part of the director's job is to make unsavory characters sympathetic.

My basic complaint about Scorsese's presentation of Henry Hill is that it falsifies the guy in real life. My dad, who was a Deputy U.S. Marshal for many years, met Hill, dealt with him when the Witness Security Program moved him to Seattle and gave him a new identity. So what did Hill immediately do with his new identity? He used it to start dealing drugs out of his new home. The guy was a complete and utter scumbag, and Scorsese does us a disservice by not holding him to account for his actions. Karen, apparently, was a piece of work as well: she was able to put up with Hill while the money was rolling in, but once that stopped she split. Much of Goodfellas works because the gangsters are not romanticized; Scorsese failed with Hill. Granted, the film was pretty much from his and Karen's POV, but it is possible to insert ironic distance at times to show that the director does not condone what his characters are doing. Scorsese just about endorses what Hill has done in the final court scene where Ray Liotta directly addresses the audience.

Thanks for sharing that, DJ.

My gripe with Goodfellas is the narration overkill during key, emotional sequences. The "Layla" piano exit scene should have been longer and the narration always kills the moment for me, which is brilliant. Let us take it in, geeze.

I've seen some TV special on Hill several years ago and the guy seemed like a dirtbag, certainly nothing like the real character. With that said, I don't hold the movie accountable for a false portrayal unless I feel it hurts the narrative. I am torn on whether Scorsese's vision of the maffia was responsible enough, but I simply like the movie too much to complain.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: titoli on July 25, 2009, 12:21:02 PM
I think that Hill comes across as just more sympathetic than the others because he's not a careless killer like De Niro and Pesci. That's all. Was he a cold-blooded killer in real life? I don't know, neither does Puleggi's book clarify this point. But how one can sympathize with a character like Liotta's is a mystery to me after we have seen him dealing drugs, consort with killers, help covering up homicides, be violent to the limit. Can you sympathize with Hannibal Lecter? Yes. I'm currently reading Hannibal and he's made to sympathize with by juxtapposing to him an even worse character. That's how popular culture proceeds. And those are its lmits.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on July 25, 2009, 02:45:16 PM
I think I liked Casino more because it was less sanitized, the characters more overtly obnoxious and realistic than Henry Hill's crew. Goodfellas makes being a gangster seem like fun - admittedly, because it was told from a very subjective point-of-view, but it doesn't sit well with me on the whole. Tommy is a psychopath but it's viewed more as a character flaw than his defining personality trait; Jimmy's a basically good guy who happens to occasionally kill people; Henry's worst problem from the film's POV is snorting too much coke. For me, there can be no question of sympathizing with the Casino protagonists - Nicky is just a nasty, womanizing, racist, greedy, egomaniac, sociopathic piece of shit unlike Tommy, a nice guy who occasionally blows a fuse, Ginger's a money-grubbing whore, Ace is the only remotely sympathetic protagonist and even he's more or less a selfish prick. Perhaps it's personal taste, but I preferred Casino's grittier portrayal of mob life to the "look-how-cool-we-are" atmosphere of Goodfellas. I don't think anyone would watch Casino and want to be a gangster; the opposite's the case for Goodfellas.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: T.H. on July 25, 2009, 04:38:45 PM
I think I liked Casino more because it was less sanitized, the characters more overtly obnoxious and realistic than Henry Hill's crew. Goodfellas makes being a gangster seem like fun - admittedly, because it was told from a very subjective point-of-view, but it doesn't sit well with me on the whole. Tommy is a psychopath but it's viewed more as a character flaw than his defining personality trait; Jimmy's a basically good guy who happens to occasionally kill people; Henry's worst problem from the film's POV is snorting too much coke. For me, there can be no question of sympathizing with the Casino protagonists - Nicky is just a nasty, womanizing, racist, greedy, egomaniac, sociopathic piece of shit unlike Tommy, a nice guy who occasionally blows a fuse, Ginger's a money-grubbing whore, Ace is the only remotely sympathetic protagonist and even he's more or less a selfish prick. Perhaps it's personal taste, but I preferred Casino's grittier portrayal of mob life to the "look-how-cool-we-are" atmosphere of Goodfellas. I don't think anyone would watch Casino and want to be a gangster; the opposite's the case for Goodfellas.

While I think you may be overstating Jimmy and Tommy's likeable qualities, I can understand why you prefer Casino.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 25, 2009, 05:56:43 PM
Your argument would seem to make Goodfellas the best film, because part of the director's job is to make unsavory characters sympathetic.

As I said, Scorsese's strength as a director is to dispence with his characters' likability and focus on their raw, sometimes painful humanity.  The fact that I like Henry and Karen Hill makes Goodfellas just another mob movie rather than a dispassionate study of mankind, like Marty's best films.  Thanks though for sharing your dad's memories of the real Henry Hill.   O0
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 25, 2009, 06:02:02 PM
I think I liked Casino more because it was less sanitized, the characters more overtly obnoxious and realistic than Henry Hill's crew. Goodfellas makes being a gangster seem like fun - admittedly, because it was told from a very subjective point-of-view, but it doesn't sit well with me on the whole.

Yet you approve of the young Vito scenes from Godfather 2?   ???
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Groggy on July 25, 2009, 06:29:39 PM
I never said I didn't approve of Goodfellas, whatever that means. Personally I find the modern-day sections of GFII better than the Vito parts anyway.

Not to revive an old argument, but here's a difference between Vito and Michael: Vito never would have killed Fredo.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 25, 2009, 06:48:16 PM
I never said I didn't approve of Goodfellas, whatever that means. Personally I find the modern-day sections of GFII better than the Vito parts anyway.

Not to revive an old argument, but here's a difference between Vito and Michael: Vito never would have killed Fredo.

So you say.  Coppola's naive faith in that is what weakens GF2.  But yes, let's not go down that road again.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: The Firecracker on July 25, 2009, 07:58:42 PM
I like the first two acts in Goodfellas very much.
Once Liotta starts seeing helicopters flying over head though I lose interest.
Something about that just rubs me the wrong way.

Casino is a bit of a sloppy mess. At times it's brilliant, while other times it drags.
If half an hour were cut it may be a better movie.

After recently re-watching Taxi Driver, I'm convinced it's the best thing Marty has ever made.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: moviesceleton on July 26, 2009, 01:12:58 AM
I think I liked Casino more because it was less sanitized, the characters more overtly obnoxious and realistic than Henry Hill's crew. Goodfellas makes being a gangster seem like fun - admittedly, because it was told from a very subjective point-of-view, but it doesn't sit well with me on the whole. Tommy is a psychopath but it's viewed more as a character flaw than his defining personality trait; Jimmy's a basically good guy who happens to occasionally kill people; Henry's worst problem from the film's POV is snorting too much coke. For me, there can be no question of sympathizing with the Casino protagonists - Nicky is just a nasty, womanizing, racist, greedy, egomaniac, sociopathic piece of shit unlike Tommy, a nice guy who occasionally blows a fuse, Ginger's a money-grubbing whore, Ace is the only remotely sympathetic protagonist and even he's more or less a selfish prick. Perhaps it's personal taste, but I preferred Casino's grittier portrayal of mob life to the "look-how-cool-we-are" atmosphere of Goodfellas. I don't think anyone would watch Casino and want to be a gangster; the opposite's the case for Goodfellas.
Yet you could use that argumentation to back up the opposite opinion. In a way Casino is more moralizing than Goodfellas which "has more faith in the audience's intelligence". It's the best film to show why anybody would want to be a gangster. My late grandmom used tell us not to ever use drugs (when we were really young, like five), but it took me several years to understand why anybody would use them in the first place. Then it occurred to me: they make you feel good for a little while. Movies that portray gangsters as total scumbags with no virtues are like my grandmother: they just yack "this is no way to live, these are bad people!" but they never show you why anybody would choose such a risky path of life. Or if they do, there's an disapproving stamp on it from the get-go. Goodfellas actually makes you want to be a gangster (at least makes me want to be) for the first 2/3 of the movie. Of course, in the end Henry gets caught but even then the tone is somehow sad. He becomes a sheep like the rest of us, and you are somehow disappointed at him for that. The brilliance of Goodfellas IMO is that it makes you think like a gangster for a while and when you realize this, you are totally disturbed at yourself. 
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on July 26, 2009, 10:46:00 AM
Your argument would seem to make Goodfellas the best film, because part of the director's job is to make unsavory characters sympathetic.

My basic complaint about Scorsese's presentation of Henry Hill is that it falsifies the guy in real life. My dad, who was a Deputy U.S. Marshal for many years, met Hill, dealt with him when the Witness Security Program moved him to Seattle and gave him a new identity. So what did Hill immediately do with his new identity? He used it to start dealing drugs out of his new home. The guy was a complete and utter scumbag, and Scorsese does us a disservice by not holding him to account for his actions. Karen, apparently, was a piece of work as well: she was able to put up with Hill while the money was rolling in, but once that stopped she split. Much of Goodfellas works because the gangsters are not romanticized; Scorsese failed with Hill. Granted, the film was pretty much from his and Karen's POV, but it is possible to insert ironic distance at times to show that the director does not condone what his characters are doing. Scorsese just about endorses what Hill has done in the final court scene where Ray Liotta directly addresses the audience.

Wait a minute, Scorsese showed what kind of man he was, but of the whole crazy bunch he was perhaps was the most likable, which doesn't automatically mean he was a good guy. After he testifies against Conway and Cicero the movie ends, and Karen indirectly said in one of her lines she was a piece of shit. There's little we can blame Scorsese here.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on July 26, 2009, 11:06:26 AM
I think I liked Casino more because it was less sanitized, the characters more overtly obnoxious and realistic than Henry Hill's crew. Goodfellas makes being a gangster seem like fun - admittedly, because it was told from a very subjective point-of-view, but it doesn't sit well with me on the whole. Tommy is a psychopath but it's viewed more as a character flaw than his defining personality trait; Jimmy's a basically good guy who happens to occasionally kill people; Henry's worst problem from the film's POV is snorting too much coke. For me, there can be no question of sympathizing with the Casino protagonists - Nicky is just a nasty, womanizing, racist, greedy, egomaniac, sociopathic piece of shit unlike Tommy, a nice guy who occasionally blows a fuse, Ginger's a money-grubbing whore, Ace is the only remotely sympathetic protagonist and even he's more or less a selfish prick. Perhaps it's personal taste, but I preferred Casino's grittier portrayal of mob life to the "look-how-cool-we-are" atmosphere of Goodfellas. I don't think anyone would watch Casino and want to be a gangster; the opposite's the case for Goodfellas.

But that is what makes Goodfellas unique: Scorsese makes the spectator look at their lives through their own eyes! For them it was all like a joke; first they had to kill someone to make the gang and show they're reliable, then had to kill because they wanted to keep their positions, and then after a while (like Hill says) they were killing because it was the easiest way for doing business, in their minds they only had to cut somebody's throat to solve the problem. Even if at some point one of them would start having second thoughts thinking it's not good what they're doing, he's gonna end in hell after he dies or whatever, he'd get killed from people he did wrong to. Having looked from that prospective they'd soon realize there was no way out, kill or be killed, if you kill others you can maybe even enjoy yourself. Compunction over, ''Tommy call your mom to make us spaghetti alla marinara'', so we can eat properly after we kill that bastard who wouldn't pay us and move that rotting carcass from under your lawn.'', end of story.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Dust Devil on July 26, 2009, 11:09:29 AM
I like the first two acts in Goodfellas very much.
Once Liotta starts seeing helicopters flying over head though I lose interest.
Something about that just rubs me the wrong way.

Casino is a bit of a sloppy mess. At times it's brilliant, while other times it drags.
If half an hour were cut it may be a better movie.

Yeah, I agree about Goodfellas, and Casino tries too hard for my taste.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Senza on February 24, 2013, 12:38:36 AM
- A Fistful Of Dollars over Yojimbo
- 3:10 To Yuma (2007) over 3:10 To Yuma (1957)
- Cape Fear (1991) over Cape Fear (1962)
- The Thing (1982) over The Thing From Another World (1951)
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: cigar joe on February 24, 2013, 04:34:30 AM
I'd go...

- A Fistful Of Dollars over Yojimbo
- 3:10 To Yuma  (1957) over 3:10 To Yuma (2007) too implausible plot points in remake
- Cape Fear (1962) over Cape Fear (1991) Mitchum is scarier and the noir-ish cinematography is great
- The Thing (1982) over The Thing From Another World (1951)
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: titoli on February 24, 2013, 06:47:05 PM
I'd go...

- A Fistful Of Dollars over Yojimbo
- 3:10 To Yuma  (1957) over 3:10 To Yuma (2007) too implausible plot points in remake
- Cape Fear (1962) over Cape Fear (1991) Mitchum is scarier and the noir-ish cinematography is great
- The Thing (1982) over The Thing From Another World (1951)

I'd go too.
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: cigar joe on February 24, 2013, 09:07:46 PM
I'll also go:

Heaven Can Wait (1978) over Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: emmo26 on March 12, 2013, 04:48:34 PM
Invasion of the Body snatchers
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: emmo26 on March 12, 2013, 04:49:19 PM
Scarface?
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: Senza on March 12, 2013, 04:51:08 PM
The Departed (2006) over Internal Affairs (2002).
Title: Re: Remakes That Beat the Originals
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 12, 2013, 08:13:43 PM
The Magnificent Seven over Seven Samurai.

Seven Samurai is three endless hours of people crying and crying and crying. I laugh when people talk about what a great action movie it is. The action comes after 2 hours of crying.