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Movie Remakes: 'Heartbreak Kid' Fails While Others Have Succeeded

October 10th, 2007 11:54am EDT
The Heartbreak KidThe Heartbreak Kid, the latest collaboration between Ben Stiller and the Farrelly brothers, debuted in second place this past weekend with a modest $14 million haul at the box office. The last Stiller-Farrelly project, 1998's There's Something About Mary, pulled in $176.5 million that year.

The film has been widely panned by critics as less enjoyable than the 1972 original, which starred Cybill Shepherd as the dream girl. Fortunately, not all movie remakes end in disaster and box office disappointment. A few that worked:

Scarface (1983)

Al Pacino turned in an inspired performance as Tony Montana in 1983's "Scarface," but it was Al Capone who inspired the 1932 original. To update the film, director Brian de Palma moved the action from 1920s Chicago to a modern Miami swarming with Cuban drug runners, and a gangster classic was born.
Scarface
The Italian Job (2003)

Before Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Ed Norton lent their star power to 2003's high-octane remake, Michael Caine starred as a thief planning to jam the streets of Turin and escape with a shipment of gold in the 1969 original. Both films used the iconic Mini Cooper as the getaway car, but for sheer thrill factor, the stylish remake wins out.

The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese's drama of crime and corruption was the darling of the 2007 Oscars, but few fans realize the film is a remake of the 2002 Cantonese-language hit Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs.) A slew of A-list stars such as Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Alec Baldwin made the story shine in the gritty underbelly of Los Angeles.
The Departed
King Kong (2005)

The 1933 horror flick is a film icon, but Peter Jackson's visual wizardry in the 2005 remake brought the monster to life. Twelve years after Hollywood's first big digital-monster movie, Jurassic Park, Kong and its creators showed movie audiences how far CGI technology had advanced. Oscar voters were dazzled too - the film won three awards, including one for visual effects.

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

The 1960 Brat-Pack film eschewed plot and believability to bring us two hours of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and pals having pure, unadulterated fun on screen. The slick 2001 remake gave us more of the same, this time with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts upping the star quotient. Critics wailed that the actors were having more fun than the viewers, but fans still flocked to cinemas to watch the leading men - and lady - of Hollywood take Vegas by storm.
Ocean's Eleven
Story by Hailey Murray
Starpulse.com contributing writer