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The Re-Make Redux

E. "Doc" Smithbyline‚ Feb. 15‚ 2013

Last week's column looked at the premiere of Netflix' "House of Cards", and the American penchant for remakes of British television shows with at best, mixed results. Kevin Spacey was brilliant by the way, in the darker and grittier remake of HOC, but once again, the story changed considerably from the original BBC series; new characters were added, and the writers were surprisingly able at times, to effectively translate it to American audiences. Netflix now looks to follow through on a sequel, which could be a re-make of the second part of the HOC trilogy, "To Play the King". Although the newer version lacked the subtlety and the government-shaking gravitas of the original, the acting by Spacey and his cast, the DC and Baltimore cinematography, and the music by Jeff Beal was enjoyable.

Our American obsession with remakes isn't limited to just England or earlier made films. Oh no, many American filmmakers have tried their hands at updated remakes of classic American TV series. Nearly all of them have been dismal, miscast outings, saved by a few bright moments. Many should never have been made; others have been made poorly, yet there are a few that came close to getting the spirit of the original series right. A brief look at some of those efforts reveals a strategy and a recipe for disaster. Here's a list of just 10 such films, in no particular order, of hits, misses and bulls-eyes.