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Which Is Better: A Remake or a Sequel?


In a recent interview, Natalie Portman pooh-poohed the idea of making movie sequels — in particular she never wants to do a sequel to The Professional. Remakes, on the other hand, appear to be a different thing according to Natalie, as she is currently filming Brothers, a remake of the Danish movie Brødre.

Her point was basically that if a movie is good enough as it is, there's no need to make a sequel. But this doesn't hold true for remakes? Or if it does, then that means the original Brothers wasn't good enough so Portman and the filmmakers have taken it upon themselves to remake it?

What do you think? Are remakes okay, but sequels are bad? Or vice versa? Or are they both acceptable or unacceptable?

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Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
I just think it's better to make the original available to more people (give it a wider release etc.) than remake it. I guess I wouldn't mind so much, if the original films and their makers would get more credit. With most remakes, people don't even know there is an original, unless they do some research.. This is especially annoying, if the only things that are different about the remake are the actors and the language they're speaking, while all the "original" ideas are taken directly from the original. "Interview" is a remake of a Dutch film (of the same name), I think.
thoroughlymodern thoroughlymodern 8 years
In general, I think sequels are better (and how about prequels, huh? Strangers With Candy, anyone? ...ok, that's just great because it was more of the same, but on the big screen). But I digress... I think remakes can definitely work as well. Let's see- the Pride & Prejudice remake was pretty good, as was the latest Importance of Being Earnest, and let's not forget Romeo + Juliet. Although, I suppose those are all remakes of the original literature and not of the previous movies. I see the reasoning in the argument of "it's so great, why remake it?" but at the same time it could be really cool from a different point of view. A director could re-imagine the entire story! And it could introduce an entirely new generation/audience to the film! Just as remakes of foreign films can do, such as the one Natalie's working on. Another example of that was this year's Steve Buschemi film Interview, which is a remake of (I believe) a German film.
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
About "Brothers": I've finally seen the original and thought it was great. Aren't the actors they chose for the remake just a tiny bit too young though, especially Natalie? I mean, the oldest daughter in the original looks about 10.. Then again, they might just make the children a little younger or something...
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
"The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" were sequels though and "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" were sequels of "The Phantom Menace". ;)
pargie pargie 8 years
BTW Star Wars was a prequel not a sequel.
pargie pargie 8 years
Leon the Professional is my favorite movie. If she did a brilliant sequel to that movie, I would love her forever. Especially if it turns out Leon is still alive, and she's now a professional hitman.
tralalala tralalala 8 years
I think they should stop adapting foreign films for American audiences and instead help get better distribution for foreign films in North America. I can't stand people who go on and on about how original certain concepts are, without realizing that theyre talking about a remake. It's disgusting.
Punkingirl Punkingirl 8 years
My big beef with remakes is when they are exactly the same as the orignial, much like Madchen and Monoka mentioned. Vanilla Sky, for example. If a remake has some originality, it makes it all better. Though personally I think when foriegn films are remade some of the original magic is lost especially if the American actors are more showpieces than honest to goodness actors. Examples: The Birdcage, Point of No Return (with some exception...)etc.
Mädchen Mädchen 8 years
I agree with Monoka. I just don't see the point when basically the only difference is the language that is spoken (as has happened with e.g. "Nattevagten", another Danish film, which was remade as "Nightwatch").
alltherage alltherage 8 years
what about starwars???
RyanRachelFan RyanRachelFan 8 years
I don´t know, I just think it is so cool that you mention a Danish movie!!! Gosh I am such a Dane :S
Monoka Monoka 8 years
remakes are OK, if the remake is done with a unique or new twist, like with Hairspray, i like the original as it is, the remake definitely has a new twist and that is how they added the musical element and the positive and sweet outlook. But to me, a Remake is not supposed to be produced to top or be better than the original. It should just have its unique new way or style.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
The Professional is one of my favourite movies.
jspark jspark 8 years
Sequels can be good, but hollywood seems to think that a sequal means repeating the formula of the first, often leaving the second feeling stale. Remakes on the other hand are nothing but repeating formula, although exception must be made for remaking films using modern digital techniques. Eitherway you are realying on a previous film for source material, making me think that she is generalizing in a not so consitent way.
princessangry princessangry 8 years
hmmmm sequels can be great (Toy Story 2!! :) ) would the James Bonds be considered sequels...? I can see how sequels can become problematic, but with the proper cast, crew, director etc they can be amazing!
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
I'm not sure about Natalie's logic there.
stone_soup stone_soup 8 years
There are remakes that have worked, like King Kong. But some of the classics should not be touched at all. They are meant to stay as they are.
hannahsnow hannahsnow 8 years
Umm... Starwars?
annebreal annebreal 8 years
I think remakes are tricky because sometimes they're really good, like the Departed, sometimes they're really bad like Alfie, or sometimes they're so unnecessary and just like the original like Psycho with Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn. In fact I think the only remakes I really like I've never seen the original so I can't judge...usually if I've seen the original I won't like the remake.
figurine figurine 8 years
Her reasoning is... interesting, and I'm kind of curious about the remake of Brothers. Anyway, I think both remakes and sequels are okay with the right cast, director etc. A good movie is a good movie, as simple as that.
hotstuff hotstuff 8 years
Some movies should never be touched and can't be touched ala "The Professional" one of the best movies ever!
crimsonlakes crimsonlakes 8 years
I love the Proffesional but would never want to ruin the whole concept of the first movie with a sequel.
rachaelnexus rachaelnexus 8 years
I don´t usually like any of them, but there are some worthy exceptions like The godfather saga or remakes like The departed ( to say a recent one)
Liz4aker Liz4aker 8 years
Sequels can be amazing. I mean look at The Godfather 2. Remakes can also be good, especially when you remake a foreign film that most audiences have not seen. Insomnia was better than the original.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that either are ok - but when sequels take it too far - then it's really annoying. sometimes a 2nd version is fine - but when you get to 3 or 4 and you lose the point of the first one - it's too much!
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