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Cecil Recommends – Remakes vs Originals – Good Bad Flicks

Due to me not being completely happy with this week’s episode I’m delaying it until next week. It just needs a bit more polish. However, since I don’t like to leave you hanging, here is another recommendation video!

So, Wicker Man next week! You won’t want to miss it. NOT THE BEES!

21 Responses to “Cecil Recommends – Remakes vs Originals – Good Bad Flicks”

  • I thought for sure I had this list figured out until you nixed Blob, Fly and Thing (Sounds like a law firm from Hell) though I did suspect that The Hills Have Eyes would be on here.

    The Dawn of the Dead remake surprised me with its differences too. While a tighter group of main characters it would have been great, I still commend its inventiveness and Ving Rhames always turns in an amazing performance.

    I wasn’t sure at first if “Piranha 3D” was a remake. I thought that the “3” in “3D” meant that it was following “Piranha 2: The Spawning”, even if it didn’t mention any of the previous films. Then they named the sequel “Piranha 3DD” just to prove me wrong.

    You had me worried for a minute there with the Disturbia/Rear Window connection. I’ve mentioned many times elsewhere that Rear Window is my favorite movie of all time. If you had implied that Disturbia was better, it might have come to blows. In fact it very nearly did on another occasion when the subject of the two came up.

    • Cecil:

      lol please talk to Blob, Fly and the Thing for all your insurance consultations. (I’ll have to keep this in mind for something…not sure what but I think you may have something there!)

      Ving Rhames is great and he loves zombie movies. So much he even was in the Day of the Dead remake and 2012 Zombie Apocalypse. (which was one of the best Asylum movies I’ve seen…with a better director it could have been a very good zombie movie)

      Well, Piranha 3d was just about as much a sequel as it was a remake. It kept very little in common with the first, aside from the obvious.

      Heh, no way, I will never say a remake of a Hitchcock movie is better than Hitchcock. The guy was a genius. His stuff is still effective even today. Disturbia was fun and David Morse helped to elevate it to another level. However, it will never be Hitchcock level.

      Rear Window is an amazing film. On top of the tension in it, the movie showed that Jimmy Stewart was an awesome actor. So sad many people today only know him from It’s a wonderful life.

  • Hi Cecil! Happy Sunday night/early Monday morning!

    I saw Disturbia in a packed movie theater in the spring of 2007 with my brother and sister-in-law (at the time his fiancée) and my now ex-boyfriend, who drove me nuts by being a dick before going to see this movie. However, we all enjoyed it thoroughly. The kids behind me kept talking and saying how the movie sucked…my sister-in-law bitched them out, lol.

    I have never seen any of the other movies you mentioned, though I did see Shia in Indiana Jones. I think his character was supposed to be annoying, so he was obviously acting pretty well. That was a great movie.

    I cannot wait for #99, and I know if you pulled it for editing, then it is going to be fantastic.

    Good job!

    • Cecil:

      People talking in the theater is one of the reasons I stopped going for quite a while. I just couldn’t stand the ignorance of people who would yap on their cell phones or talk loudly to each other. It is so rude.

      You gotta check out Little Shop of Horrors! It’s classic!

      • And it wasnt just any talkers, it was TEENAGE TALKERS. The worst kind of movie theater talkers! The time I saw this movie reminded me of a few months earlier when I saw Deck the Halls and the minute Matthew Broderick shows up on on screen, this teenage girl behind me goes “Oh, its that guy. I’ve seen him before. He sucks. We should have just stayed home and watched Pearl Harbor. That’s on TV tonight, you know.”


        I love going to the movies, but have no patience for stupid kids and their stupid conversations. And no one badmouths Matthew Broderick!

  • Cristiona:

    The 80’s remake of the Blob? Meh. Didn’t much care for that one, personally. It felt like it wore its politics on its sleeve a little too blatantly. I mean, I know the original wasn’t exactly subtle, but the remake took it just a bit too far for me with the cartoonishly evil military doing evil because evil.

    I quite liked the Day of the Dead remake. I thought it was a great remake and hit its notes beautifully. I especially liked the roof top chess and the celebrity look-alike sniping. I’d put it on par with the original, personally. And I really wish Romero had stopped at Day. Land, Diary, and Survival were all disappointing. (And speaking of Zach Synder, you should do Sucker Punch some time. I wager you like it for more than just the T&A and explosions).

    Little Shop was a surprise for me, if only because I completely forgot about the Corman version when we were spit-balling ideas after the earlier Recommends video.

    Disturbia’s another I’d forgotten about, but I seem to recall that it was a bit of a sleeper hit, and at least good enough to be called an “homage” as opposed to a “rip off”.

    • Cecil:

      Well, in its defense that was from the days of the big “evil” government as the villain for a few movies. The movie will always hold a special place in my heart. I even have some of the blob that was used in the production. (kept alive in the fridge by one of the FX guys who was nice enough to give me a vial of it) They made gallons of the stuff so when the film wrapped there was a ton left over.

      The rooftop sniper/chess/interaction scenes were great. It gave the film a good bit of life, kind of like how in the original they went shopping, ate at the restaurant and what not.It added some addition character development in a genre that many complain there isn’t any.

      I liked Land of the Dead! I thought it got a bad rap. Dead Reckoning was awesome and aside from some sketchy cgi, I thought they whole thing help up well. Diary was cool but now it is somewhat tainted by the overuse of the “found footage” movies. I couldn’t make it through Survival, I fell asleep.

      Sucker Punch would be lots of fun. I’ll put that down for when I’m doing a newer movie.

      I have you to thank for the Little Shop reminder. 🙂

      Disturbia was a sleeper hit and helped to cement Shia’s status before it exploded with Transformers. They did enough different to make it feel like it wasn’t just a ripoff. I enjoyed it more than I ever expected to.

      • Cristiona:

        My view of the blob might have been tainted by timing. I think I had seen a lot of movies recently with the pointlessly evil government/corporation and was burned out on it. I mean, any villain being evil just because is bad, it’s just when movies get into a rut with the same ones over and over that it really gets old. Except Nazis. They’re always fun to blame. However, having some of the blob is pretty cool. It’s always neat to get your hands on things like that. A friend of mine has a resin cast of Deckard’s gun from Blade Runner.

        My problems with the later Dead movies kind of tie into my problems with the Blob remake. Romero always had commentary in his movies, but he was subtle about it. Even Day was a little subtle about its commentary about consumerism. By the time he hit Land, though, they stopped being zombie movies with commentary and became commentary movies with zombies. Sucked all the fun out of it.

        I came up with Little Shop? Wow. I forgot to remember that I forgot! I guess I got an undeserved surprise. Go me!

        • Cecil:

          Timing always plays an important part in a movie going experience. I had a friend who saw ET about 25 years after it was out and didn’t see what the big deal was. I tried to explain that at the time it was like nothing that had ever come before and how his view was tainted by years of movies borrowing elements from it and spoofing the film. He then said it sucked. Sometimes, you just can’t reach people logically.

          Nazis are the go-to bad guys in just about any form of entertainment. Also, zombies. Or for the added kick, watch Dead Snow…Nazi Zombies!

          Yeah, he did go a little too obvious with Land and his alter films but I still enjoyed them. (well, land and diary) I guess maybe he thought audiences were too dense to get the subtleties and had to go with the obvious route? I know some people who still think his movies are nothing but zombie films even after I explain the subtext.

          • Cristiona:

            Heh. I get your point, but ET’s a terrible example for me personally, since it scared the ever loving hell out of me (I must have been about 5 or 6) and spent most of the movie burying my face into the back of my seat, and looking up at the teeny-tiny backwards reflection from the projector booth to guess if it was safe to turn around. I liked the flying scene, though. I’ve never really been able to watch ET after that. Oddly enough, Raiders of the Lost Ark similarly traumatized me, but it’s become one of my favorite films.

            Well, I think someone could make a reasonable argument that Night was mostly a zombie movie and a lot of the subtext was kind of retroactively applied, especially since it works so well as just a straight up monster horror movie. But beyond that, and you’re really kind of just sticking your head in the sand. I guess I can see that he wanted to make sure people “got it” with the later films, but at times, it’s such shallow commentary that it feels more like when a director buys into their own hype too much or gets too clever for their own good. Like the arguments some people make about Funny Games and how, yes, it’s a commentary on society’s obsession with violence, but it’s so horribly over the top and cruel with its violence (and its willingness to shatter the 4th wall) that the message gets lost in the spectacle.

            Heh, getting long winded again. You need a forum! 😛

  • Will:

    Good to see some support for Disturbia. I think it got lost in the Shia-popular cloud and is a nice little gem of a flick. I think the only problem is they make NO BONES about the fact that David Morse is a frickin’ psycho. I mean, no subtlety in the performance (though he was still creepy good).

    Sarah Roemer. Wow. . .never really saw her the same way again. She was so bombastically hot in Disturbia but every-time I saw her somewhere else she didn’t do it for me. It might have something to do with the whole ‘girl-next-door’ thing. . .I dunno. I had a cute girl across the street from me when I was in high school and I’d be lying if I didn’t bust out the binoculars from time to time. Hell, I was 15. . .it was 15 years ago!

    I guess it taps into that voyeuristic world we like to live in sometimes. For me, if I am in a hotel, I love to window watch. Not for creepy reasons or anything but because you feel like an observer in a whole new world. I did that in downtown Chicago once. I was sleeping next to a window and watched a large skyscraper full of apartments! So much life. . .so much mystery. Disturbia, less so then Rear Window, really captures that well, especially from a young man’s perspective.

    Also, that dick cop really gets screwed in the end. . .


    • Cecil:

      Sadly, like you said Disturbia gets lost in the whole Shia-cloud. Which is a shame because it is one of his more solid films and shows he has some good range outside of what he did in his later films.

      David Morse is always great, I worked with him last year on a voice over project and he was beyond cool. It’s always funny to meet someone who is known to play a great bad guy and have them be genuinely nice and outstanding to work with. That was a good day.

      Roemer looked good in Asylum too if you’ve ever seen that. Very girl next door. Don’t feel bad. Back in the early 2000s, I used to have this very hot lesbian couple as neighbors. Now, I never spied on them with binoculars but in the summer they used to have sex and leave their balcony door open and they were quite loud…on those nights it took me a little longer to walk the path to the mailboxes then on a normal night.

      Whenever I am in a hotel I feel the overwhelming urge to people watch. When I was at PAX this past year we had a corner room so I had this massive panoramic view outside…unfortunately it was only looking out at the airport. Cool view though but not good for people watching.

      I didn’t expect the cop to get it! That was a surprise. I liked that the jerk kids got their comeuppance.

      • Cristiona:

        Wow. The only neighbors I get are the ones that like to blast music so loudly that I can make out the lyrics through the walls while I’m trying to sleep.

        • Cecil:

          It was good while it lasted. They moved out and then the complex I was in got worse and worse. I knew I had to leave when the apartment next to me was raided for being a meth lab and then the apartment across the hall was raided because they were housing a bail jumper.

          What happened was the town next to me cleared out all the riffraff because they were turning the land into million dollar condos. So all the crime came to my town. Ugh, I’m so glad to be out of there.

  • john:

    Films now are more reboots than remakes like Total Recall and Judge Dreed that I was kind of looking forward to the new Judge Dreed movie until I saw the trailer.

    Thank god they stopped doing prequels with the exception of The Thing that from what I have heard was pretty much a remake of the original Carter film anyway.

    • Cecil:

      The problem with Total Recall reboot(aside from the fact that it shouldn’t exist) is that there isn’t anywhere for them to go with this story after the movie. If they tie it up like the original (and it seems they will) there really isn’t anything left for them to turn into a franchise. Sure, they could have them fighting back against the corruption that is keeping the rebels down but then it isn’t about Recall anymore is it?

      I’m actually looking forward to Dredd more after I saw the trailer.

      I really liked the Thing. It shared some common threads with the original but I feel it was its own movie. If anything it was more like the original movie and not the Carpenter remake. They did a lot different and the ending was perfect.

      • john:

        Dreed looks like The Raid Redemption (which was a good movie) where most of the action is set in an apartment block controlled by a female mafia warlord.

        I would have preferred it if the story was not set in one central location for the majority of the movie that ends up like the final sequence in Punish Warzone that is just a series of gun battles and a large body count.

        • Cecil:

          I heard The Raid was amazing and I really want to see it. I’ll reserve judgement until I see the movies. Sometimes movies can be similar but still different. I’m hoping this is the case because from what I’ve read, Dredd is based on a story arc from the comics and it is just a coincidence that it looks like the Raid.

  • bastardjackyll:

    I’d add Cape Fear, but that’s another one of those movies that always makes these lists like the others that you mentioned.

    A recommendation for a future “Cecil Recommends”, how about sequels that were better than the previous installment?

  • JohnB:

    i KNEW the Hills Have Eyes would grace this list!!!!!! love that remake, I actually like the remake a little than the orgininal better just for the ammount of balls it had in the gore graphic nature. Why wasnt Night of the Living Dead on the list??? i thought having barbara not acting like the cliched helpless damsel in distress was a good twist to the old story

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