Think about a film that has been remade. Which was better?  What were the differences of each?

Recently, I watched the new version of Jumanji, although I wouldn’t call it a remake, instead I would call it another movie in the series, unrelated to the original. A remake is when the idea and concepts of the movie are almost identical to the original, with just a few changes, and new actors portraying the same roles as the original. With Jumanji, this is not the case. Most people fear remakes of their favorite movies because rarely do they live up to expectations. I thought Jumanji would be the same for me. I loved the original and thought that they should not ‘remake’ it, because it was so great, Robin Williams was amazing in it, and it is a cherished movie from my childhood. You can see why I didn’t want it to be tarnished in order to make a quick buck. I was reluctant to watch the new one, but the drawing cards of the actors, The Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black, made me think it would be worthwhile to watch it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The movie did a great job of modernizing the old story concepts of a game that impacts real life, by turning Jumanji into a computer game and sucking the main characters of the movie into the game by taking on the different physical characteristics of the game’s characters while keeping their original personalities. I thought the actors did an amazing job of behaving like their teenage characters from the ‘real world’. The movie also used a lot of concepts from gaming technology that children and adults have gotten used to over the last 20 years or so since the original was made. Looking back at the original is difficult to do these days as older movies often don’t stand the test of time, and their special effects and CGI tend to look so fake, as we have gotten used to hyper-realistic graphics and special effects these days. The original movie contains a lot of animals, which although I still think they did a great job 20+ years ago, the animals look quite fake and it’s easy to see the computer graphics or animatronic effects use to make the animals seem lifelike. However, this new Jumanji also has a lot of animals in it, and they look amazingly lifelike, so it was quite fun to watch and very funny. I highly recommend that you watch it if you have a chance.

Recently, they have brought out a sequel to the new Jumanji, which follows the story of the characters from the previous movie. Although I didn’t have time to see it in the theaters, I am looking forward to seeing it on Netflix in the next few years.

Lately, a lot of movies from my childhood have been remade, and I have been too scared to watch them, but after seeing the good job they have done with Jumanji, I have high hopes for some of the other movies that are coming out. Maybe I shouldn’t get too excited, though, or I might suffer disappointment as they can’t all be so great.

Nick




Vocabulary

portray (v) – to play a character other than yourself
live up to expectations (idiom) – to be as good as one expects, not disappointing
tarnish (v) – to damage or stain; to make less valuable and ugly
make a quick buck (idiom) – to make money quickly
sequel (n) – a second story following the story of another movie or book

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