So, out of curiosity (and knowing that this year's Oscars were going to be a snooze), I decided to watch Let Me In, the Americanized version of Let the Right One In, to see how they compared.
I should have known better.
I was so hopeful! Rottentomatoes.com gave it an 89% approval rating by a wide variety of critics. That's a good sign, right?
Let the Right One In was just so fantastic, and I loved that it let you use your imagination and draw your own conclusions. Let Me In made unnecessary changes that spelled everything out for the audience and removed all of the subtleties that made the original so intriguing.
And, to be fair, Let Me In was hindered from the start (for me, anyway) by the presence of Cody Smit-McPhee. He aggravated the crap out of me in The Road with Viggo Mortensen. Something about that kid just makes me want to smack him. I feel guilty for having that thought, let alone sharing it, but in retrospect it definitely affected how I felt about both films that I've seen him in. It's a bad sign when you have trouble sympathizing with the protagonist.
It's not just movies, either. Television producers are just as guilty of corrupting source material. Anyone have fond thoughts of the Bionic Woman and Knight Rider re-makes? Oh, and NBC? Please make sure that your current remake projects, Wonder Woman and Prime Suspect, kick butt. You need them to be hits and the source material is pretty revered.
Speaking of Prime Suspect, there have been several other re-makes of British t.v. on U.S. airwaves this winter: Shameless, Skins and Being Human, to name a few. Of those three, Shameless came closest to being good t.v., but having been a fan of the original it just felt odd to see other actors portraying characters I care about - and not in a good way. Skins and Being Human just fell completely flat.
Can you think of exceptions to the re-makes suck rule? Battlestar Galactica comes immediately to mind, but beyond that I'm grasping at straws.
(I could get into t.v. / movie crossover remakes, but that is potentially another blog post.)