The Parent Trap (1998)
Jess: Yes, this is one of those cheesy family Disney movies. And yes, it stars Lindsay Lohan. Regardless, when compared to the original, this was actually a really good remake. The original, which starred Hayley Mills, is certainly not a bad film, but for our generation it’s slightly dated. This remake introduced the story to a new generation of kids while still keeping the major plot points intact. Not to mention the fact that Ronnie Stevens, as the loving yet highly intuitive Grandpa Charles, stole any scene he was in. Overall, I’d say this was a good example of a remake gone right.
The Producers (2005)
Carrie: I think it means something that both of my remakes on this list are Mel Brooks movies. The man likes to redo things. Originally a movie about a musical with a five minute song in the end (the 1968 version), Brooks turned it into a Broadway musical with more than 20 songs. The show won 12 Tony awards, the most in history, so it was only logical to make it into a movie. Luckily, Brooks and crew made the movie almost exactly like the play. In short, it’s awesome, outrageous and hysterical. Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane have comedic chemistry like nobody’s business. When a movie’s show-stopping song is “Springtime for Hitler,” you know it’s got to be good.
Get Smart (2008)
Carrie: While it was based on a long-running TV show and some bad made-for-TV-movies, this remake starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway was extraordinarily enjoyable. Made for both fans of the cult hit and for new fans, “Get Smart” had all the craziness of the original series , but also had more flair and less silliness – Maxwell Smart, played by Carell, is a hapless spy, yes, but he also has more redeeming qualities than he did in the original. Nice remake.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Jess: It isn’t often that a movie remake outshines its predecessor so outrightly that most don’t even know there was an original. “Moulin Rouge!” however, does just that. Originally made in 1952, the 2001 remake far outranks the original. A large portion of this is due to Baz Lurman’s phenomenal directing, bringing his artistic eye to the film and creating such an engrossing world. The movie’s songs played a large part in its appeal, helping give this over-the-top love story the justice it deserves (not to mention the fact that Jim Broadbent’s version of “Like a Virgin” was highly amusing, albeit slightly disturbing, to watch). These factors, not to mention brilliant acting by Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Richard Roxburgh, made this film one of the best remakes to date.