22 Jul 2009

Funk Vs Flunk

Most remakes suck. Just look at this list. Its full of remakes that suck all the subtlety, originality and simplicity out of the first film.

Off the top of my head the only one I can think that really improves on the original is 1978's Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

This summer sees a film that will offend my senses like no other. The remake of The Taking Of Pelham 123. The original 1974 effort is one the great seventies movies.

The story of four armed men taking control of of a New York City subway train. Holding the passengers hostage they wait for their ransom while the cops led by the brilliant performance of Walter Matthau try to work out how to stop them. Its got a sensational cast with Jerry Stiller, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill and Tony Roberts supported by a wealth of New York character actors.

Its got action, drama, tension and big big laughs. New York has its classic urban nightmare feel with dirty streets, dirty flares and dirty accents. Under it all is David Shire's score which adds a perfect drop of funk. And its finale? One of the best. Honestly watch this film.

Fast forward to this summer. Dullard fat boy John Travolta is the bad man taking control of the train. Strangely he looks like a Village People reject (as above). Up against him? Our Denzel. Why is Denzel, one the great actors of his generation, in this? The film looks to have no humour, no characters, a different ending and has all the looks of a music video. Thanks Tony Scott you soul-less old man.

Check out the contrasting trailers and then listen to the main theme from the original. (ta, mario)

David Shire - The Taking Of Pelham 123 (main theme)


Allan said...

goodness i wasnt aware of this.... it looks awful

there are some good remakes - batman begins, dawn of the dead, brewster's millions, the thing.......

most are awful though

jackreed said...

is batman returns a remake? more of a sequel/reimaging. But yes there are some. You have a good list, especially The Thing. I would add the likes of the manchurian candidate (underated), fistful of dollars, magnificent 7 and outland. someone in work said they are remaking farenheit 451 with mel gibson!!! good grief.