It’s remake week here at Trash City, so as well as reviewing a few examples of the “genre”, figured I might as well put together a few philosophical notes on the topic. Remakes tend to come in for a lot of flak, but they are something of a double-edged sword. Some of my favorite films have been remakes, and you might be surprised to learn that highly-regarded movies as diverse as Dangerous Liaisons, The Maltese Falcon, Against All Odds, Fatal Attraction and A Fistful of Dollars, all fall into the category to some extent. It is a somewhat nebulous group: technically, every film version of Hamlet ever made is a “remake,” but we’ve got to draw the line somewhere – so if it’s in the public domain, it’s fair game.
That said, there do appear to be certain guidelines which influence the remakes that are successful, from those that are regarded as cinematic abominations. After the jump, here are some thoughts on these rules.