Spring is in the air and with remakes Oz the Great and Powerful and Jack and the Beanstalk inspired Jack the Giant Slayer out this month, a spirit of renewal pervades the new releases for March. We pay tribute to five remakes which improved on the original.
True Grit (2010)
As a powerful portrayal of the fragility of virtue, the Coen Brothers’ version of the 1969 John Wayne film is honest and inspiring. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, True Grit set a new standard for westerns in Hollywood as a powerful story about the uncompromising nature of integrity.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson fulfilled a life long dream with King Kong having been inspired by the original. The LOTR director claims to have been more excited about meeting childhood hero and silent film icon Fay Wray, who starred in the 1933 film, than he was about going to the 2006 Oscars to pick up his ‘achievement in visual effects’ gong.
The Thing (1982)
Horror legend John Carpenter took Sci-fi to a new level with his 1982 remake of Howard Hawks’ comparatively conservative 1951 film, exploring the vulnerability of the human condition to corruption and despair. And body snatching monsters from outer space.
Casino Royale (2006)
The Bond brand definitively re-Bourne, so to speak, modelled on the success of the more human Matt Damon spy series. Struggling with the demons in his past and coming to terms with the loss of the woman he loves, Daniel Craig reconnected the seemingly soul-less 007 with the conscience we never knew he had.
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Taking Akira Kurosawa’s Japanese cinema masterpiece and transporting it to America’s wild-west, John Sturges’ genre conquering western is most memorable for Elmer Burnstein’s rousing score.