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5 21st Century Remakes That Rocked (& 5 That Were a Disgrace)

When it comes to remakes, the problem is that they have to compete with the original classics which they were based on. Sometimes their greatest strengths become their greatest weaknesses. And there are other times the movies end up scoring higher than their predecessors.

Rocked: Ocean’s Eleven

remakes ocean's eleven brad pitt george clooney matt damon julia roberts

The original classic had big names like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Cesar Romero, and Sammy Davis Junior. The original 1960 Rat Pack film is still revered as a classic. But it suffered from what we call a little too convoluted flaw. The movie was like fine wine. It got better with age. The 2001 remake had also top notch celebrities working in front of the camera. The Steven Soderbergh movie’s plot did not even hold a candle to the original classic. But in more ways than one, the 21st Century movie remake was better than the 1960 version. That was because the movie did not just focus on the plan. The movie made the heist sound simpler. It had more comic moments and better character depth.

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Disgrace: Conan the Barbarian

remakes conan the barbarian jason momoa 2011

This movie had everything. The budget, the actors, the crew behind the camera and the production company behind the project were all A-listers of their field. So why did it bomb? The simple answer is it lacked the oomph factor of the original movie. To put it into better words, the Conan movies were so good because it had most of all, the juggernaut that is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jason Momoa is a good actor. No doubt. But back then, he was yet to receive the He-Man label Arnie had received when he starred in Conan back in the old days. The other reason was probably the antagonist. Conan revered a villain that was grand and had a knack for style. Rose McGowan and Stephen lang had none.

Rocked: The Magnificent Seven

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Technically speaking, the 1960’s classic was itself a remake of a movie named Seven Samurai. The 2016 remake of the 1960 movie of the same name, which itself was a remake of an original Japanese production, is a true master-piece. Antoine Fuqua’s direction makes the movie one of the last decade’s most underrated western. The movie had celebrities like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio studied the wild west accent relentlessly, coming up with his own unique voice for his character. The movie is a blast from the start to the finish.

Disgrace: Arthur

remakes arthur helen mirren russel brand jennifer garner

Played by Russell Brand, Arthur is a drunken play boy. He is the quintessential rich brat who squanders his life away in yachts and pubs, partying to the fullest without a splinter of worry in his mind. All of that changes when he falls for an ordinary woman from an ordinary walk of life. His family does not approve of the union and Arthur is given an ultimatum – call off his relationship with her or get kicked out of the will. Russell Brand was not the one that should have been picked for the role. The movie tried to do the sensible thing by putting in Helen Mirren as the butler. The movie still fell flat and the story was all too seen and heard. As a result, it could not live up to expectations.

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Rocked: Dredd

remakes dredd 2011

Not trying to be disrespectful here but the original movie adaptation kind of sucked. And boy did it suck. When the comic book creator of Dredd him-self publicly disavows the movie based on his creations, you know something is wrong. For starters, Dredd removed his helmet in the movie. In the comic books, that happened way after the Sylvester Stallone movie was released. Karl Urban portrayed Dredd better than Stallone ever could. The movie was gritty and a homage to the original Judge Dredd comics. The movie was designed for a niche segment of action lovers. The producers took a risk and it paid of splendidly.

Disgrace: Annie

remakes annie 2014

The original movie was an absolute master-class. The story of a downtrodden and under-privileged foster kid getting a shot at living the upper class lifestyle was what made the movie a success. It was a sweet and kind story with a soothing ending. The movie was a success because the premise was one of the darkest moments in American history – the Great Depression. Take that element out and there is no story to tell. The movie even had nothing to offer in terms of music. Their fusion of rap with the movie’s original musical score fell far away from the tree. The 2014 movie did not stand a chance.

Rocked: The Wicker Man

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We think we would all agree on this the 2006 version is actually better than the 1973 British Classic. It has got Nicholas Cage and his weird expressions as he wears a bull-body bear suit and runs around an island, kicking and punching women. You cannot put a price on that. The movie did a good job at showing how the village people dismantle his psyche and drive him towards the realm of insanity only to burn him in the end mere moments later.

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Disgrace: Footloose

remakes footloose 2011

Back in 1984 when the original movie was released, it sparked a revolution. Nobody knew pop-culture could influence the youth in such a manner. Footloose was a cult-classic hit that showed many viewers the way to move forward. In the face of tyranny, people with passion in their hearts and the spark in their souls should lead the way. A city teenager coming forward to teach a wayward town the ways of the modern world through dancing struck a chord back in the 1980’s because there was a lot of conservatism back then that needed to be dealt with. When the 2011 Movie Remake came, it had no purpose other than the fact that it aimed to cash in on the success of the original movie. And we all know how it went from there.

Rocked: Pet Sematary

remakes pet sematary

Now before you guys start readying your cannons, we ask you to hold the cannon balls and hear us out. The original Pet Sematary was a great movie. the new movie remake was not great but still good. To top it all off, it had a fresh and equally creepy ending that left doors open for a sequel. The movie’s director is the one who also directed Starry Eyes, another equally creepy horror movie. The movie actually benefited from better costume design and advanced technology. We would go so far as to say it is re-watchable.

Disgrace: Carrie

remake carrie 2013

You can take a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. That is how the proverb goes. Carrie was a shy girl who was bullied so much by her peers and friends that she vented it out in the form of a massive mother of all telekinetic out-burst. Her rampages engulfed the whole town. The Brian DePalma version had the power of suspense and a creepy thrill to it. The Kimberly Pierce version that came in 2013 had none of that panache. It tried hard and we give the movie an A for effort for trying to replicate the goriness. But other than the direction, there is not much the movie remake left for us to cheer for. Chloe Grace Moretz was NOT good as the lead character.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.