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There's a Riget in my Kingdom
February 25, 2004 6:49 PM   Subscribe

OK, remakes. While channel surfing tonight I noticed that there is a new miniseries on the box called Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital starting soon, on a channel near you. No doubt it will go the way of other King TV Greats, as the trailer suggests (Ed Begley Jr. in another hospital role). I am more interested in the way that it is being marketed - with the explicit "Stephen King" moniker. Similar to other less than stellar US remakes of European originals, (Point of No Return / Nikita, the weird case of Spoorloos / The Vanishing(same director for both), I could go on). Given the explicit reference in the title to King, do you think that people will seek out the original? Can you think of instances where the remake outdoes the original?
posted by grimley (24 comments total)

 
Personally, I liked Vanilla Sky better than Abre los ojos. Maybe it was the soundtrack, 'cause it certainly wasn't Tom Cruise.
posted by MiG at 6:52 PM on February 25, 2004


There was the UK Traffic, then the Soderburgh movie and just last month a new US miniseries on USA. Saw the latter two and thought both were good but different. And Mr. S. is a bit too artsy with the camera work.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:58 PM on February 25, 2004


I loved Von Trier's Kingdom (for those that don't know it at all), and its sequel, and wonder why they're bothering, and how they're going to ruin it. David Lynch yes; Steven King no.
posted by amberglow at 7:00 PM on February 25, 2004


no man, vanilla sky was no "open your eyes." egads.
posted by Slagman at 7:15 PM on February 25, 2004


Artist Peter Rickman is run down by a stoned, two-time loser driving a minivan.

Steve's not bitter about his accident, is he?
posted by SPrintF at 7:26 PM on February 25, 2004


Wasn't Red Dragon a remake of Manhunter, (although the book was called Red Dragon)? I hated both, but the Fiennes version is arguably better.
posted by oflinkey at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2004


Thanks, amberglow. I realized after posting that I hadn't linked or mentioned von Trier's version. and I too wonder why they are bothering. I'm just curious as to how they are going to deal with the tragi/comedy of season 2.. I imagine that they will leave it along. 8 foot tall infants aren't probably ready for for primetime...
posted by grimley at 7:56 PM on February 25, 2004


For what it's worth, James Tichenor, who does the visual effects for this new Kingdom Hospital series, has a blog. He seems pretty excited about the project; he left a sweet 7 year gig at Stargate SG-1 for it. And, actually, that Stargate show might be an example of the remake being better than the original, if only because the original movie was pretty dreadful. You know, to go totally low brow;>

Oh yeah, and the TV Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a good remake too. Something less pedestrian...hmmm....I've never seen the French short 12 Monkeys was based on (La Jetee? was that it?), but Gilliam's film might be arguably better. Similarly, I've never seen Where the Buffalo Roam, but Gilliam's remake might be an arguably better adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I like Evil Dead 2, essentially a remake of Evil Dead 1, better. But most people disagree. Oh. Duh. While I'm stuck in utter geek mode, there's the obvious: Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings over Ralph Bakshi's.
posted by jbrjake at 8:08 PM on February 25, 2004


Here's an article (google cache) that throws out Cape Fear, The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (I disagree though I suppose it's arguable), and The Thing, which I did not even realize was a remake. Oh, and Shaft.
posted by jbrjake at 8:14 PM on February 25, 2004


Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear is good, but the original was much better in my opinion.

Ocean's 11 and The Italian Job were better (though not necessarily good) the second time around.

Get Carter however took a mediocre movie and made it atrocious.
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:36 PM on February 25, 2004


The original Get Carter was not medicore ;)

How about the six zillion versions of A Star is Born? Isn't it about time some studio did another version? Of course, there is yet another King Kong coming in two years too but perhaps that filmmaker has the cred to do it right.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:46 PM on February 25, 2004


The Fly and The Thing were both better in their 1980s incarnations (but The Fly II was... damn). But I think in both cases, the remakes were serious, no-shit movies, and the originals were to some extent just pulp -- inspired pulp in the case of Fly, but.. meh.

I dunno about Nikita and PoNR... I'd seen PoNR first, and was a bit disappointed later to discover that Nikita is just as dumb, if more stylish and better-looking

And I enjoyed Cousins far more than Cousin,Cousine, but wouldn't say it's the better film. Except that a movie with Isabella Rossellini is better than one without.

And both Insomnias are very good. But movies with Stellan are better than movies with Robin "OH MY GOD LOOK AT HIS BACK HAIR!" Williams

Just wait for what the future will bring -- we have remakes of Dawn of the Dead, Thunderbirds (live action with Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley, Flight of the Phoenix, and a bunch more.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:53 PM on February 25, 2004


I prefer the remake of INSOMNIA over the original, though I own both. The original has one aspect I prefer but the remake has more conflict. SPOORLOOS is one of my favorite films ever. The remake was average until the end when it became ridiculous. HIGH SOCIETY is a pretty bad remake of PHILADELPHIA STORY, though some of the songs are okay. I've heard rumours that ENDLESS LOVE is going to be remade and I think that's a fantastic idea as the book is terrific.

I can't imagine what they'll do with the KINGDOM besides ruin it. I own both parts and they're something else. I saw them in theatres and the audience reactions were among the more memorable of any films I've seen.

Oh! Though someone'll probably rip me a new one, a remake I prefer is LOLITA. Lyne's version buries Kubrick's. No contest.
posted by dobbs at 9:15 PM on February 25, 2004


The newest remake is of Dawn of the Dead, i think.
http://www.dawnofthedeadmovie.net/

I wonder if we are going to see a bunch of new zombie movies, because movie producers don't seem to be too creative. At the same time they seem to produce multiple asteriod/volcano/ect movies.


But I guese we sortof have the pair already, 28days, and this one.
posted by Iax at 10:34 PM on February 25, 2004


jbrjake: "Where the Buffalo Roam" wasn't particularly an adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", but rather an original story based on the "legend" of Hunter S. Thompson. Sorta like Doonesbury's Uncle Duke.
posted by arto at 11:41 PM on February 25, 2004


i saw the previews for the series and i wasn't aware it was a remake. the selling point seemed to be that it was the first time stephen king was involved with a television series. it wasn't promoted as a miniseries. i was under the impression that stephen king was writing an original series.
posted by centrs at 12:15 AM on February 26, 2004


Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital is the haunting new 15-hour drama series created directly for television by the award-winning, bestselling master of horror. Using Lars Von Trier's Danish miniseries Riget (a.k.a. The Kingdom) as a point of inspiration, King tells the terrifying story of The Kingdom, a hospital with a bizarre population...

it is a drama "inspired" by a miniseries.
posted by centrs at 12:19 AM on February 26, 2004


Iax: But I guese we sortof have the pair already, 28days, and this one.

Not to mention Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and House of the Dead.

i like zombie movies. They remind me of why i loath the undead.

Evil Dead 2 was definitely more fun than The Evil Dead, and in a similar vein, although it was technically the sequel, i thought Escape from LA was better than Escape from New York. (i realize that they are supposed to be different movies, but come on, they had essentially the same plot.)
posted by quin at 1:41 AM on February 26, 2004


You know the Coen brothers have remade 'The Ladykillers', and with Tom Hanks and one of the Wayans'? Even for the Coens I can't imagine this is going to be anything but wrong, and the trailer backs me up.
posted by biffa at 2:33 AM on February 26, 2004


My husband keeps on saying that Garth Marenghi's Darkplace can't possibly be based on anything (or anyone) in reality...

Mr. King, I salute you!
posted by Katemonkey at 4:36 AM on February 26, 2004


dobbs, I agree wholeheartedly about Lolita. The newer version was far better, and much closer to the book.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:25 AM on February 26, 2004


I have both Ninotchka and its 1950's musical remake Silk Stockings waiting for me on my TiVo downstairs...
posted by Asparagirl at 11:43 AM on February 26, 2004


The Ring is a decent remake of Ringu, the Japanese original...not quite as good, but far, far better than most remakes. I'm waiting to see if anyone remakes Battle Royale (one of my all-time favorite movies). I'm not sure the satirical aspects of the story would translate well, though.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2004


ROU, there are a ton of remakes coming to a theater near you very soon, starting with Starsky and Hutch (Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller), Lost in Space (for WB Network on TV this fall), I Dream of Jeannie (Jessica Simpson likely to be the Jeannie), Bewitched (Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell as Samantha and Darrin/Durwood). Many many many more, like Poseiden Adventure and Battlestar Galactica (SCI FI TV as a weekly series this fall, based on the recent miniseries). UGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by billsaysthis at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2004


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