One is pretty good. The other one is kind of pointless. One retains its magic while creating a different vision than the original. One seems like a rehash.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not perfect but it is a fun movie. Tim Burton doesn't try to recreate the Gene Wilder film. Instead, he chose to be more faithful to the book. The Oompa-Loompas are great, the colors are perfect, and Johnny Depp manages to capture the essence of the character from the book instead of trying to recreate Wilder's portrayal. It has been years since I've read the book, but there were times during the movie that I felt like I was eight years-old tucked into bed and reading it.
Bad News Bears, on the other hand did not need to be remade. The original movie is just too damn good. It has spawned countless retreads on the same ragtag team makes good story. So not only was this film fighting the ghosts of the original but also it found itself trying to compete with all of the other films of the past thirty years that ripped off the original. Richard Linklater did what he could.
The look of the film is fantastic -- all washed out like it was made in 1976 and the colors had faded. The baseball scenes are pretty damn good and I appreciated that we were allowed to watch much of the action unfold in front of us in one long take with the camera placed behind home plate. However, I just don't get the point of this film. Near the beginning, I thought the film might try to make interesting societal comments like the first one did. There is a part when Billy Bob Thornton first meets his team and assumes that the black kid wearing #25 idolizes any number of black players who have worn that number. When it turns out that the kid's favorite player is Mark McGwire, Thornton can't quite believe it. It is a funny moment in a movie that otherwise just piles on the cursing to seem as edgy as the original. It felt like Bad Santa on the baseball diamond.
And what is the market for this film? People who are familiar with the original are going to be very disappointed. Parents aren't going to want to take their seven year-olds to see a film with such bad language. I guess this is for today's 13 year-olds? Why not just rerelease the original?
I think that movies based on books can have any number of successful adaptations. But movies based on another movie seems like a complete waste of time. Are there any remakes of a film that are even close to the original? I can't think of any off the top of my head. The reason that the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was able to succeed was that the source material can be interpreted in many different ways. Rather than get upset that Depp was not like Wilder, I marvelled at his take on the character in the book. As opposed to Bad News Bears where I kept finding every single character lacking compared to the original movie. To adapt a book, a filmmaker has to make an innumerable amount of choices of what to put into the movie. So even a great movie adaptation like To Kill A Mockingbird could be successfully remade because the filmmaker could make different choices than the director of the original did. God Bless Walter Matthau.
3 days ago