Film lovers everywhere squealed with delight last week when a poster for a Tim Burton remake of Mary Poppins starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter surfaced. Unfortunately for all the Burton fans, it was a cruel April Fools hoax. However, ‘Poppins Gate’ coupled with rumours of Emma Watson starring in Sofia Coppola’s remake of Ariel got us thinking about the best remakes of classic movies.
Here are our top five from recent years:
5. The Parent Trap:
This 1998 remake was Lindsay Lohan’s first movie and arguably her best. The Parent Trap tells the tale of two mischievous twins who meet for the first time after their parents split up when they were babies. Twins Hallie and Annie (both played by Lohan) then join forces to try and reunite their estranged parents. Although the movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a admirable remake in that it builds upon the 1961 original. The remake pays homage to the original with small touches such as the original score playing in scenes and characters keeping their names from the first Parent Trap.
4. King Kong:
It was always going to be difficult to top the original version of King Kong, however, Peter Jackson’s Academy Award winning 2005 version is nearly there if not on par with its predecessor. The addition of special effects and a host of A-list stars such as Naomi Watts and Jack Black certainly help. As does the record breaking and frankly eye watering budget of $207 million. However, the element that truly sells the movie is the director’s ability to make you fall in love with the title character. Anyone who says they didn’t shed a tear at the end of this movie is lying to themselves.
3. A Little Princess:
An extremely under appreciated 1995 film based upon a 1905 novel that tells the story of a wealthy, kindhearted little girl named Sara who goes to stay in a boarding school while her father fights in WW1. Whilst in combat Sara’s father goes missing, presumed dead, meaning the money for the Sara’s accommodation dries up. The owner of the boarding school takes delight in Sara’s misfortune and keeps her on as a servant. Not many people realise that the Little Princess is a is a remake but in actual fact it has been remade twice with different plots! The 1939 version even stars Shirley Temple as the Little Princess. This is definitely one to watch if you haven’t already.
2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A musical and a horror are not two genres of film that you would expect to find together. However, in Sweeney Todd, they work well. Sweeney Todd is the story of a murderous barber who teams up with a pie maker to create pies made from his victims. Throw in the magical combination of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, as well as award winning director Tim Burton and how could this film not make the list?
1. Scarface: Synonymous with mobster films, Scarface is actually a remake of a 1932 film by the same name. Scarface is a typical story of a drug king rising from the bottom to the top before being struck down before his time. What makes this remake so exceptional is also what a lot of people don’t like about it. It is decadent, strongly worded, over the top and extremely violent. Al Pacino’s stellar performance as Tony Montana also helps. There are whispers that Scarface is soon to be remade by Chilean director, Pablo Larrain. It seems that Scarface is the gift that keeps on giving.