I’ve seen that movie… or one of its remakes

My Sentiments Exactly

A movie, by the same or similar name, is a remake.

And of the all-great screen gems of all time, there is one that seems to keep surfacing like an apple for which someone is about to bob, you see.

“Willy Wonka,” aka, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” aka “Wonka” … are you getting it? This is, by far, one of the most remade movies. Anywhere. Any time. Ever.

And while I’ll never understand why (not an Oompa Loompa fan), I do understand that it’s not the only film that has gotten the star treatment over and over and over again.

According to Wikipedia, here are some of the most popular do-over movies, period.

• “Ocean’s Eleven”

Directed by an award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, “Ocean’s Eleven” is an old-fashioned heist film about a group of professional thieves planning to rob the three biggest Las Vegas casinos in a single night.

Featuring an ensemble cast led by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, “Ocean’s Eleven” was one of Soderbergh’s most commercially successful movies, leading to sequels “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007), plus the female cast reboot “Ocean’s 8” in 2018.

The original “Ocean’s 11” came out in 1960 with the twist that its protagonists were World War II veterans planning their Las Vegas heist as if it were a military operation. The movie features Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. — members of the notorious and celebrated “Rat Pack” who, for the sheer value of their cool, easily match the stars of Soderbergh’s remake.

That “Ocean’s 11” also features appearances by stars Angie Dickinson and Shirley MacLaine as well as a superior, if bitter-sweet ending, to the remake.

Personally, I prefer the version starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt — cutey patootie times two, am I right?

• “The Departed”

The story revolves around two central characters on opposing sides of the law: Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon).

Billy is an undercover police officer working deep within the ranks of the Irish mob under the supervision of Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg).

Colin, on the other hand, is a member of the Irish mob who has infiltrated the Massachusetts State Police and is working as a spy for mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson).

Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon AND Mark Wahlberg? More cuteness, thank you very much. I’ll take it.

The movie is a gritty crime thriller that explores themes of loyalty, betrayal and morality, capsice?

Movie-ing on.

• “Scarface”

Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian de Palma, Scarface was a 1983 crime drama chronicling the rise of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino), who arrives in Miami with nothing and, over time, becomes a drug lord.

The movie featured performances by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, F. Murray Abraham and then-unknown Michelle Pfeiffer.

Initially, Scarface received bad reviews due to its brutality and violence, but the movie was a commercial success and over time became known as one of the best mob films ever made.

There are tons more out there to enjoy. Happy remake watching, all!

Kimerer is a columnist and movie buff. Send her you favorite remakes at pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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