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The Best And Worst Film Remakes Since 2000

Michelle Tiu |
January 22, 2013 | 2:11 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

 Witch Hunters (Paramount Pictures)
Witch Hunters (Paramount Pictures)
This Friday, moviegoers are gearing up for the premiere of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a reimagining of the famous Brothers Grimm fairytale starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.

Such reinterpretations have become increasingly popular within the past decade and the trend doesn't show signs of stopping or slowing down anytime soon.

As we wait to see how audiences receive the highly anticipated action-horror film, let's take a look at some of the best - and worst - of Hollywood's remakes since 2000.

Best: Alice In Wonderland (2010)


It seems only fitting that we start off with Tim Burton's 2010 movie starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter as this very film kicked off the Hollywood obsession with darker, adult versions of popular childhood fairytales due to its commercial success worldwide.

(Although, it should be said that the original fairytales are already decidedly darker than Disney's animated versions.)

Whether for good or for bad, we're now stuck with tons of movies and TV shows reinterpreting fairytales for older audiences, including ABC's hit series Once Upon a Time and the upcoming 2014 film Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie.

Worst: Mirror Mirror (2012)

(John Irving)
(John Irving)

Contrary to Alice In Wonderlandthis film starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts attempts to (unsuccessfully) breathe life back into the tale of Snow White. Promoted as a family film, younger audiences (read: children who might not know any better) might enjoy the vivid colors of the costumes and slapstick comedy routines, but other moviegoers might cringe at the flat and boring personalities of the characters - especially, Snow White herself. 

(To be honest, it's kind of a mess. I mean, there's even a Bollywood-esque number thrown in there and no one really knows why.)

Mirror Mirror was also made at around the same time as Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth. While the latter wasn't best movie ever made, Collins and Roberts were still no match for Universal Pictures' dark retelling of the popular fairytale, which was much more entertaining with its visual effects and action-packed scenes.

Best: The Dark Knight (2008)



Batman is no stranger to Hollywood. He's been at the center of many TV and film adaptations and has been played by many famous actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney.

However, Nolan's film series may be the best version of Batman out there. In particular, the second movie of the series, The Dark Knightreceives special recognition because it manages to be both entertaining and thoughtful at the same time.

Nolan presents a thoughtful commentary on the measures taken by former president George W. Bush to fight the War on Terror - especially the infamous Patriot Act passed by Congress in 2002. Even so, he never overflows the movie with political messages, letting The Dark Knight be just another action-packed superhero movie (but better written than others of its kind) if audience members want it to be.

Worst: Shutter (2008)

Asian horror films have something of a cult following in the U.S. and tend to be remade by Hollywood for this reason. However, American horror films - both the originals and remakes - tend to be received poorly by critics and do terribly at the box office.

This version of the 2004 Thai film of the same name is no exception.

20th Century Fox takes the interesting and terrifying plot of the original film and turns it into a boring, not-so-scary horror film with all of the usual tricks, such as the supposedly creepy soundtrack that makes everything scarier than it actually is.

Best: Les Miserables (2012)


In a way, this film is like The Dark Knight. Originally a book written by Victor Hugo in 1862, the plot is one that is relatable throughout history and is especially relevant now in the U.S., thanks to the recent rise of the Occupy Movement. Director Tom Hooper's desire to make Les Miserables every bit as visually pleasing and dramatic as the Broadway adaptation never takes away from Hugo's original message about economic inequalities.

While at times slow, Les Miserables sports an all-star cast with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter. The film also introduces some unfamiliar faces who will no doubt gain immense popularity thanks to the film's commercial success, especially notable is Manx singer and actress Samantha Barks who does a beautiful job of portraying the tragic Eponine.

Worst: Guess Who (2005)

This romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana is a remake of a 1967 film entitled Guess Who's Coming to Dinner starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

However, unlike the original, which was one of the first films to portray the controversial topic of interracial love in a positive way, the 2005 version takes the same topic and trivializes it, turning it into your standard corny rom-com (which haven't been doing so great at the box office lately, unless you're Nicholas Sparks or something). The jokes fall flat and the message of the 1967 original is all but lost.

Reach Staff Reporter Michelle Tiu here.



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