Yesterday we brought you a comprehensive list of beloved pop-culture franchises that improved on the original source material. But for every Dark Knight and BattleStar Galactica, we sadly have those reboots that just don't quite hit the mark. Here's a list of originals that still have yet to be trumped by their newer counterparts.
1. Total Recall (1990) vs, Total Recall (2012)
Say what you will about Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall, it's still an experience. The recent Colin Farrell reboot, although not by any means terrible, is a strictly by the numbers affair, and the action is so repetitive that in spite of it's slick packaging, it just doesn't leave you with much. The original Total Recall was colorful, bizarre, and scene after scene gave us a little something that we had never seen before. For those who have seen both the endings (***an extremely mild spoiler ahead), the 2012 clearly left things open for a sequel. Hopefully, if that comes into fruition, the follow up will have a little more bite.
2. Halloween (1978) vs. Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007).
Comparing John Carpenter's suspenseful and shocking original to Rob Zombie's heavy handed sleaze-fest is a bit like comparing filet mignon to a three day old-microwaved Big Mac. Long regarded a mini-masterpiece, Halloween 1978 is a surprisingly restrained classic that owes as much to Hitchcock as it does to the creepy grindhouse horror flicks that preceded it. Carpenter's original is so compelling mostly because we have no clue what provokes Michael Myers to kill, and that is precisely what makes him so terrifying. Looking to make his mark on the franchise, Zombie threw out this approach to its villain entirely, and attempted to tell us EVERYTHING about Myers Michael Myers, a move that sucked the sense of mystery out of the film like an industrial sized Hoover. Gone too was the gripping realism of the original, and in its place was blaring metal, a hyper-stylized editing style and lots and lots of rednecks. Zombie deserves an A for effort for at least trying something new, but in our humble opinion, it doesn't belong on the same shelf with the original.
3. Planet of the Apes (1968) vs. Tim Burton's Planet of The Apes (2001)
Nearly fifty years later, in spite of it's unavoidably dated look, the original Planet of the Apes is still one of the most notable and ground breaking sci-fi films of all time. With a twilight zone like twist ending and the cheap thrills of hearing Charlton Heston saying things like, "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape!" it's cemented itself as an indispensable classic to geeks and film historians alike. Tim Burton's misguided 2001 effort, however, is likely to be remembered as "that Mark Wahlberg movie with all the monkeys in it." At the time it was made, Tim Burton hadn't yet taken on a remake, and hopes were high that he was going to hit it out of the park. Sadly, he did not. Thankfully, 2011 AMAZING Rise of the Planet of The Apes would take the reins once again on the franchise, and showed modern audiences how to do it right.
4. Spider Man (2002) vs The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Don't get us wrong, there's a lot that we loved about the recent Amazing SpiderMan, but it just doesn't hold a candle to the first two of Sam Raimi's pitch perfect takes on our favorite web slinging hero. The 2012 version was helmed by (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb, and anyone who saw that wonderfully quirky film was anticipating an out of the ordinary approach to the material. Raimi's films were notable for their emphasis on character and classically stylish filmmaking, and were a pretty spot on take on the source material. In spite of its killer performances and slick packaging, Webb got into a bit of trouble with some slightly muddled plot points and a villain who wasn't given the dimension that he deserved. It wasn't an altogether bad outing; in fact, we did like it, but it will have to kick a whole lot of butt next time around if it expects to rival the beloved other works Raimi brought to the table.
5. Clash of the Titans (1981) vs. Clash of the Titans (2010)
The original Clash (which is by no stretch of the imagination a masterpiece), easily could have had its glory usurped by its 2010 reboot. Yet in spite of its stellar cast, its modern counterpart was a huge disappointment. The first is most notable for being the last and best effort of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, whose stop motion animations remind us of a more quaint time in cinema when everything wasn't CGI. In contrast, 2010's Clash was pretty muddled, and in spite of its exorbitant budget, the effects just couldn't hold a candle to Harryhausen's work. When you throw the fact that the 3D felt extraneous and was poorly rendered. it's no wonder that the original is still the best.
What originals do you think are better than the remakes?