Recently, there has been an uptick in the number of remakes and reboots in both film and television. Some have been great additions to the originals, while others have left viewers wishing the producers had just left them alone. If you haven’t yet seen the latest remakes, have no fear! We compiled a list of the best and worst remakes of the past decade so you know which ones to watch and which ones to skip.
1. Jurassic Park
When Chris Pratt broke into the superhero world with the action-packed film Guardians of the Galaxy, he suddenly went from Parks and Rec’s adorable Andy Dwyer to super ripped hero, a transition no one saw coming. So when he was cast to play the lead in the new Jurassic Park franchise, some wondered what exactly this actor had up his sleeve. To the viewers’ delight, the new franchise, named Jurassic World, is a resounding breath of fresh air, while also paying homage to the originals. Chris Pratt is believable in his role as a dinosaur lover who saves the day, and the plot takes the movie on unexpected twists and turns.
The original Jurassic Park was famously directed by Stephen Spielberg, but this time around he took a back seat and let up-and-coming director Colin Trevorrow take over. Though nothing can be as good as the original, with guidance from Spielberg, Trevorrow created the start of a new series that can hold its own. There are battles with a massive T. rex , children forced to fight vicious dinosaurs on their own, and velociraptors who are actually part of the good guys. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat while cheering for the characters success and mourning their failures.
2. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Just because you enjoyed Sabrina the Teenage Witch doesn’t mean this new Sabrina reboot, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is for you. Unlike the original, which is light-hearted and comedic, this reboot is dark and at times scary. Sabrina is no longer just a teenage witch trying to figure things out. Instead she’s fighting the demon world for her right to retain her powers and stay in the human world. Unfortunately for Netflix, she’s now also fighting a lawsuit. The Satanic Temple filed a $50 million lawsuit claiming copyright infringement and defamed deity for showing their symbols in an unflattering way. It seems the show has scary moments on- and off-screen.
Where the Teenage Witch comics were published by Archie Comics, the Chilling Adventure comics were published by the subsidiary Archie Horror company. With treacherous characters and plots that will run shivers down your spine, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a fantastic new show, but an extremely different interpretation of our favorite teenage witch.
There has been a lot of controversy around the new Charmed reboot, which acts more like a prequel than anything. Though the casting includes more diversity than the original series, not everyone is happy with some of the changes. The original cast stated publicly that they were not asked to be on the show nor were they asked to give input. Since Holly Mary Combs, who played Piper, was an executive producer on the original show, she especially took it very personally. They are on record blaming Hollywood’s age discrimination as the reason they weren’t asked to reprise the roles.
Keeping all of that in mind, it’s hard to successfully do a direct reboot with the same characters, but different actors, while the original series still airs in syndication every day. It makes it harder to believe the new actresses are the same characters. The reboot isn’t bad per se , but for supernatural shows that constantly ask audiences to suspend their beliefs, it’s important that the areas that don’t include magic, such as who the characters are as people, are believable. Overall, it’s a good show for people who haven’t seen much of the original.
Jumanji, based on the children’s book with the same name, is a classic movie starring the sensational Robin Williams. It’s creative, out-of-the-box, and heartfelt, so people questioned what a reboot would have to offer. Thankfully, the creators went in a completely different direction by making it into a comedy. With funny man Jack Black, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Kevin Hart leading the way, you know it’s not going to take itself as seriously as the original. Instead, it’s an hour and a half of laughter and comedy gold. You just can’t beat Jack Black playing a self-obsessed girly girl trapped in his body, or the fact that he keeps getting eaten by hippos. And going from a Jumanji boardgame in the original to a Jumanji Nintendo 64 game in the reboot is a prime example of how the filmmakers were able to make this new version their own.
But the creators didn’t totally stray from the original. There’s one moment in the film when the writers pay homage to Williams’ character, Allen Parish. When the characters are brought to a tree house in the woods while stuck in the Jumanji game, they notice something etched into the wood. It reads “Allen Parish was here.” It’s quick, and if you blink you may miss it, but it’s extremely touching and the perfect throwback to the original film. This movie was a great reboot and there are already talks of a sequel, which makes sense because audiences are definitely excited to see what’s next.
5. Ocean’s 8
First, there was the 2001 Ocean’s 11 remake of 1960 film that stared Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Then the franchise added sequels and prequels. Now, we have an all-female spin-off that has people buzzing. Much like the originals and past remakes, Ocean’s 8 attracted huge names like Sandra Bullock and Rihanna, but unlike the others, it also attracted an audience ready for something a little different. The film hosts the perfect balance of hilarity and seriousness that is seen in the others, but with a fresh new voice. Instead of a bank, it’s the Met Gala. Instead of men in suits who look like they’re about to go to casino night, it’s women in beautiful gowns as well as street style clothes who own whatever room they’re in. The little extras that women bring to the table in this remake allow the storyline to take small unexpected twists and turns, thus making it into an entertaining and smart movie that keeps the audience captivated. Though it was panned by critics, Mindy Kaling made a strong statement saying the critics are biased towards male-dominated films, and that the positive reaction from the viewers and financial success of the movie tell another story.
6. A Star is Born
Each time A Star Is Born is remade, from the original in 1937 to the current remake in 2018, its story is introduced to a new generation with a bit of a modern twist. This time, it boasts Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper as its leads. This film shares strong qualities with the previous remake, led by Barbra Streisand, but what makes it different is the new music and the obvious mental health struggles. Cooper’s character deals with internal demons that he tries to fight with drugs and alcohol, but he never can quite get control of them. The last time this film was made, 1976, mental health wasn’t a topic that was discussed openly. Lately, there’s been a big push for more transparency on the subject, especially from Lady Gaga who even co-wrote an article for The Guardian on the subject. This latest remake does a great job of pulling the mask off of illnesses like depression and anxiety, something the 1976 one was unable to openly discuss.
The ups and downs of Cooper’s pain are mirrored in both Gaga’s relationship with him as well as the songs they sing. It’s a beautiful, intricate take on a story that never seems to tire. Streisand won an Oscar for the song Evergreen in her version, and it wouldn’t come as a shock if Cooper and Gaga found themselves in the same position.
The Ghostbusters remake is another movie that flipped the narrative by using an all-female cast. It was rated as “fresh” by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience didn’t seem to find it as enticing as the original. It did have a few great jokes that had people quoting it across the internet though. The funniest part was seeing Chris Hemsworth in a role that would normally be played by a woman if the cast was mostly male. Seeing him boiled down to just his looks and a one-dimensional character was both eye-opening for people who are not used to seeing men in that role, and gratifying for women. Yet this could have been the film’s downfall. Paul Feig, the mastermind behind the remake, said fans of the original Ghostbusters started a campaign to boycott the film for gender swapping, and it truly hurt the profits. Even so, there are rumors that a sequel is set to launch in 2019.
8. The Odd Couple
A show that started as a play in 1965, was adapted to a movie in 1968, and became a T.V. sitcom in 1970 was brought back to life by Matthew Perry in 2015. Unfortunately, though it was funny, it didn’t last past season three. The show retained the main premise of the original, two recently single men who are polar opposites move in together, but the jokes and antics felt played out. Everything was predictable, which is the current downfall of situational comedies. If they had added another element, one that was modern and refreshing, maybe it would have been better, but unfortunately, they didn’t and thus the show was not a big hit.
9. The Carrie Diaries
Everyone knows Sex and the City. Whether you’ve seen it or not, you know Carrie Bradshaw as the woman with the giant blond curly hair running around NYC in high heels. What you don’t know is what led her to become the woman in the acclaimed HBO series. In comes The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to Sex and the City that follows a young Carrie Bradshaw as she comes of age in high school and tries to figure out her love of fashion and writing while dealing with her tumultuous dating life.
This show, which is more inviting to a younger audience than the original, is a fantastic prequel. Anna Sophia Rob plays the innocent side of Carrie in a brilliant way, and the dynamics between her and her family as well as her and her friends is charming, but also intriguing. Each episode makes you excited for the next, and although it’s not as spicy as the original series, it does deal with a lot of important issues such as her friend coming out as gay, which was much harder to do in the 80’s when this takes place, and the AIDS epidemic. It’s a shame that there are only two seasons.
10. Girl Meets World
If you grew up in the 90’s, there’s a good chance that your favorite T.V. show was Boy Meets World. It was charming and had strong character development, but it also dealt with serious issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and abuse. For years there were rumors of a reboot, but nothing came to fruition until 2014, when Girl Meets World hit the Disney Channel. The new show consisted of Corey and Topanga, two characters from the original series, and their hilarious kids. Though a few people from the original show weren’t convinced there should be a reboot, most people had high hopes for this show. Unfortunately, in the end the jokes were awkwardly constructed, and the characters were too over-the-top. Unfortunately, it lost the genuine feel of the original, but it was nice to check in on some of the characters from Boy Meets World.
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