The Worst Fantasy Film Remakes of All-Time

 

Icebath for Wolfie

No. 1. The Wolfman (2010).  I forced myself to watch all 103 minutes of agonizing tedium, puntuated by a wandering script, hammy acting (what happened to Anthony Hopkins?), boring characters and more than enough bad CGI. To stay awake I too needed to be dunked in a cold ice bath like poor Lawrence Talbot (a badly miscast Benicio Del Toro). Rick Baker’s makeup (when used) is extraordinary and won an Oscar.  The problem is we don’t see enough of Rick Baker’s homage to Jack Pierce. This film had so much potential and we get studio-imposed crap with Anthony Hopkins in a monkey suit.  Two wolf-people are better than one. Maybe next time we can have 3 lycanthropes.

At least this wasn’t 2 hours long. You couldn’t pay me to watch the extended cut. Maybe the Romanian language version is worth listening to?  I hope Del Toro acts better in makeup as Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).

benicio-del-toro-the-collector-6

No. 2.  Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005). Two words. Too long. Two more mords. Bad casting. Ok, just two more…. Jack Black. As Carl Denham? More CGI ad nauseum. Where’s the suspense? One hour on a boat is not suspenseful. Even Alfred Hitchcock struggled with this theme. Back in the day, Willis O’B, Cooper and Schoedsack had Kong fighting an Allosaur.  Peter Jackson decided to top that with three Theropods. You see three is better than one. The trouble is you can’t see anything because the CGI is a video game blur. The amazing visuals for this film garnered TotalFilm’s No. 9 Worst Movie Special Effect.  I don’t necessarily agree with their list, but Kong 2005 sucked the big apple. Can anyone explain to me why these politically correct Skull Islanders look like old sea hags?

King Kong Native

No. 3. Solaris (2002). Yes, before Gravity (2013) we had George Clooney in space in this $47 million dollar Steven Soderbergh borefest produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau (the boys who brought you Avatar (2009)). This film has the distinction of being a remake of a remake. I like the 1972 film by Andrei Tarkovsky the best (get the Criterion edition DVD or Blu-ray). Soderbergh noted that if [you] don’t like the first 10 minutes [you] might as well just leave. If only I knew.

George-Clooney-in-Solaris

No. 4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). All is fine for the opening moments and I even liked Keanu Reeves as Klaatu. Enter ten-year old Jaden Christopher Syre Smith who has the power to single-handedly dismantle and destroy any and all films. He’s a veritable Gort. Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly seems bored with the whole scene —basically playing a part like she did in Ang Lee’s awful Hulk (2003). CGI Gort sucks. Why do we need a CGI Gort?

Run!

No. 5 and No. 6. Godzilla (1998) and Godzilla (2014).  These films are essentially the same, but I prefer the Roland Emmerich-Dean Devlin version, which at least is played for fun.  Both films feature crappy CGI, which I detest.  That of course is my own opinion, so don’t cry to me that your niece worked really hard on either of the films. Both remakes feature a redesigned Godzilla (Toho gets the last laugh).  Patrick Tatopoulos totally retooled the ’98 Godzilla to look like a big lizard, with locomotion like a Basilisk. I like the splayed feet of his design, but “Zilla” eating Tuna is not menacing. The new Godzilla has ridiculous pachyderm feet and swims peacefully with U.S. Naval vessels. Old Godzilla would’ve shredded those ships like plastic models that they are. Neither of these films are very good monster movies.  I like Godzilla mean.  Man, I wish Stan Winston’s Godzilla would’ve made it to the big screen.

Stan Winston's Godzilla

Other crappy remakes:

  • Gus Van Sant’s scene-for-scene remake of Psycho (1998).  Vince Vaughn masturbating?
  • Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007).  Zombie missed the boat.  It doesn’t matter why Michael Myers is evil.
  • The Spider-Man reboots.  Did we really need these films? Ok, they aren’t remakes. They are also not very good.

5 Responses to “The Worst Fantasy Film Remakes of All-Time”

  1. The Wolfman was a major disappointment. Ridiculous ending with the father-son battle. What’s sad is that they went for the CGI despite having Rick Baker on board.

  2. I completely, totally disagree with literally everything you said. I’m sure your other reviews were better, but this list sucks. Kong and Wolfman worst remakes of all-time? I honestly thought The Wolfman was the best remake of all time, and Kong certainly makws the top 11. The Wolfman offered a really deep backstory for the protagonist Lawrence Talbot, an improved romance that isn’t creepy like in the original and a smarter story than the original. The acting was phenomenal and the dialogue fitting for a 19th century thriller. And how were the characters boring? They had far more complex personalities and backstories than the ones in the original in my opinion. And you hated King Kong just because Jack Black was in it and it had some over the top CG? Seriously? (It was 2005, how the else would they create Kong?) And the analysis of Rob Zombie’s Halloween that you give completley missed the point of the whole movie. I respect your opinion, but I COMPLETELY disagree with almost everything you’ve said. Feel free to email me at themoviedoctorful@yahoo.com if you want to talk more.

    • I could go on ad nauseam about Jackson’s self-indulgent remake of Kong. It’s not a very good film. The casting was all wrong with Black and Brody and a meaningless politically correct subplot with a black man mentoring a white man (in 1933). Plus stomach churning CGI -the dino stampede is the worst. I’m missing the boat if the characters were interesting. The Wolfman was decent until the icebath sequence and the studio imposed battle of the wolfmen at the end. The CGI in that film sucked as well. But the whole point of my blog is old is better. With rare exceptions I think modern films just suck. Thanks for the input. Some passionately disagree with my synopsis of Godzilla 2014. Some agree. I am not a fan of digitally mapped films.

      • A lot of points here, will address them all. As for Jack Black as Carl Denham, I thought he did a great performance but was a bad Denham. From what I remember, Denham was a friendly, likable guy in the original, he’s kind’ve a douchebag in the remake. It’s kind of how I love TDKR’s Tom Hardy Bane but hate him as “Bane” so to speak. Still, Black did a pretty good job as a sort of renegade filmmaker who makes films his way, for better or worse. I thought he did a great job appearing clever, conniving and even sincere on the last line. As for Brody, it was an odd casting choice, but not necessarily BAD. (They could have casted Shia LaBeouf) As for the baclk man mentoring the white man, I didn’t mind it. I thought the relationship was well told, kind’ve like Obi Wan and Anakin or George and Sam from Life as a House, didn’t matter what race they were. I will agree that the dino stampede was pretty silly, but it wasn’t like “bat credit card” bad or something. Certainly not enough to ruin a whole movie.

        As for The Wolfman, I thought the torture scene was actually really smart. It was creepy, well shot and sort of showed how Lawrence’s love for Gwen was the only thing that kept him sane and healthy in his hell at Lambeth. As for the fight, I didn’t mind it. It had some nice symbolism (What with Talbot manor burning, representing how Sir John’s sins are destroying the Talbot legacy, and having him burn alive representing how his sins rather than being washed away are literally burning away his flesh. Also tied in with how Sir John was constantly blowing out candles earlier showing how he was silencing the truth) As for the CG, at least we had a practical makeup effect from Rick Baker, and the transformation was impressive.

        As for the idea that “old is better than new” I almost always agree. I hated The Wicker Man 2006, I hated Man of Steel, I hated Van Helsing, I hated Amazing Spider-Man 1 and I hated the Friday the 13th remake. (All of those seem more deserving of your list than Kong or Wolfie) I haven’t seen Godzilla 2014, not in a rush to see it, but might see it if it’s free on HBO or Cinemax or something. Again, we should definitely talk on YouTube or Yahoo or something, maybe even colab on a YouTube debate review on my channel…That could be interesting.

        My links if you’re interested are:

        youtube.com/user/TheMovieDoctorful

        themoviedoctorful@yahoo.com

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