Yes, we were excited after screening 'Let Me In,' the satisfying American remake of the sensational 2008 Swedish vampire movie 'Let the Right One In.' But then again, we were excited by the original, as well -- even more so, actually.
With news that Billy Ray will adapt the 2009 Argentinian thriller 'The Secret in Their Eyes' -- the reigning Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film -- we are growing increasingly concerned about this recent trend of remaking amazing movies from other countries. Why can't Hollywood let foreign gems stand on their own?
Sure, remakes have long been a part of Hollywood's strategy. France in particular has been mined repeatedly, and with mixed results. More recently, Japan and Hong Kong have emerged as favorite places to turn to for source material; 'The Ring' and 'The Departed' were both remakes of Asian films, to name but a few.
But in recent weeks, industry watchers have been barraged with updates on such projects, including near daily headlines regarding a new version of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' which comes just a year after the release of a solid, beloved Swedish adaptation of the Stieg Larsson best-seller of the same name.
While the notion that the movie industry has officially run out of ideas is always true and convenient, this recent spate of remake news appears to go well beyond that cliché. It seems that, more than ever, American producers are thinking of the foreign market as a kind of farm system; they let low-budget foreign films build a buzz and then pluck the cream of the crop to exploit a year or two later. And in our opinion, the practice just needs to stop before it turns into the norm.
We thought we'd get our two cents' out there before Hollywood goes and does something really stupid, like remaking 'Pan's Labyrinth' or 'Cinema Paradiso' -- films so original and gripping that they could never be improved even if they were in English. Then again, that didn't stop some chucklehead from desecrating the memory of Wim Wenders' 1987 gem 'Wings of Desire' with the treacly nonsense that was 'City of Angels.' We sincerely hope a tragedy like that isn't allowed to happen again.
Still, we could be persuaded that Hollywood remakes of foreign films are a good thing. Are there any remakes of foreign films that you've enjoyed more than the original? Do you believe a movie has to be American made for it to be considered legitimate? And what foreign films do you hope never get remade by Hollywood? Let us know in the comments section.