/Answers: Movies That Actually Should Be Remade

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Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the release of Flatliners, this week’s edition asks “What movie, good or bad, classic or not, do you think actually needs to be remade?”

Hoai-Tran Bui: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic little black dress and tiara grace the wall of every girl’s college dorm room, and the memory of her lilting voice singing “Moon River” are burned in our memories. But it’s difficult to rewatch Breakfast at Tiffany’s now without noticing its many, embarrassing little problems: namely the racist, yellow-face role Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi. Outside of being an insulting caricature, Mr. Yunioshi is an unbearably annoying character who taints the legacy of a well-deserved classic. Yellow face was unfortunately long practiced in Hollywood at the time of Breakfast at Tiffany’s release (now that I’m thinking about it, we deserve a Good Earth remake without white actors in Asian makeup), but it still is a shock to the system for modern audiences expecting a warm, nostalgic classic.

Though warm and nostalgic may not be the best words to describe Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a surprisingly cutting and melancholic portrait of author Truman Capote’s quintessential New York girl. Even so, the film adaptation had to smooth out many of the edges present in his novella: like the fact that Holly Golightly was a call girl, or that his protagonist was a gay man — and likely a gay prostitute as well. Instead, the film is heavily coded with hints at Holly’s more disreputable qualities (“$50 for the powder room”) and erased George Peppard’s Paul’s LGBT leanings, turning the story into a classic romantic-comedy.

A modern retelling could turn all that subtext into text, and finally rid a lovely story of its unnecessarily racist qualities. While the recent musical stage adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s attempts to do this, it doesn’t quite have the same flair as the film — it takes more than a simple recreation of all of Audrey Hepburn’s famous outfits. If a remake could get at the desperate, lonely soul of Breakfast at Tiffany’s while bringing it into a new, less racist, less coded era, then my appreciation would be wider than a mile.

Ben Pearson: Dial M For Murder

If you’ve watched a Hollywood action movie recently, odds are that its plot was needlessly convoluted. Half the time when I walk out of those screenings, I leave thinking about how unnecessary a lot of the film’s maneuvering and scheming was and how little emotional or narrative pay-off it had. But I just watched Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Dial M for Murder for the first time, and was taken aback at how intricate and detailed its plot was. Here’s a movie that actually earns its labyrinthine machinations. Give us more movies like this, please.

If we’re going to suggest a remake – which, yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing here – why don’t we switch things up a little while we’re at it? Instead of being a story about a man scheming to kill his unfaithful wife, let’s gender-swap this thing. Part of the joy of the original is in watching Ray Milland’s Tony come up with a whole new plan when his initial idea to murder his wife falls apart, and I’d love to see an updated take on that with an actress like Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet in that role as she scrambles to come up with a new way to kill her cheating husband.

The original film was based on a cleverly staged play, and it involved a character needing to answer a house phone at a specific time; obviously today’s technology will necessitate a modernization of the story, and if a writer could come up with a way to make that same basic story work with cell phones involved, that’d be an impressive feat of screenwriting. But hey, who ever said remaking old classics was going to be easy?

Vanessa Bogart: Doom

My brothers started me on original Doom as soon as I was old enough to sit at the keyboard. In the ’90s, it was the game to play. Out of all of the video games that I play, Doom still has my heart. I played on PC, I played on PlayStation, I play it on my phone, and I am currently working my way through the remake on “Nightmare” mode.

The Doom movie came out in 2005, and it is everything that Doom isn’t. It is bland, ill planned, and aggressively stupid. The group of Space Marines at its center is a poor man’s attempt at mimicking Aliens, which is not only disappointing in its own right, but completely negates the lonely, you-against-the-world quality that makes Doom so damn intense. Add in some unnecessary sexism and subtract almost everything about the story and setting that make Doom Doom, and you have yourself some very pissed off fans and a moviegoing experience that makes hell seem appealing.

I believe the Doom movie needs another go. They may have failed miserably the first time, but the opportunity to blend space action and demon battles is far too juicy to let lie. The revamping of the video game franchise in 2016, as well as audiences’ renewed interest in science fiction, horror, and adapting everything in existence has left Doom ripe for a remake. They just need to make it bigger, make it scarier, make it more metal, and dare I say, give us a…’DoomGal?’

It’s 2017, all bets are off, and a Doom remake is the perfect avenue for a new Ripley. ‘Doomguy’ is more of a concept than a person. There is no story to make him gender-specific. Heck, I have been ‘Doomguy’ since I was a little girl. I want to see a badass chick, the weight of humanity on her shoulders, armed to the teeth, the soul fighter in the vicious Hellscape just going to town on some pink demons with a chainsaw. I want to see the massive cyberdemon stare down at the woman sent to destroy him. I mean, really, it makes the most sense. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, right?

Also, who does a girl have to uppercut to see a cacodemon around here?

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