The Parent Trap (1998)
Remember back when Lindsay Lohan was an uncorrupted and cute little girl? Yeah, maybe she couldn't act even then, but who cares about acting where child actors are concerned? Freckles! Fake British accent! Not too precocious or annoying! These are the issues that matter. And while the remake was admittedly no less ridiculous and implausible than the first movie, such are Disney classics; just go with it. Not to mention the fact that the rest of the cast was surprisingly capable: Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and my favorite go-to bitchy comedienne Elaine Hendrix (Evian from Superstar, the Vogue writer who saves Romy & Michele from ridicule in Romy & Michele) as Dennis Quaid's new girlfriend are all made of awesome. When this movie came out I was just past the age when it was permissible to see Disney movies without being made fun of, so the first time I watched it was on TNT or something in college, and it actually holds up. Yes, that means I am ridiculously immature, but I know the difference between crap like Herbie: Fully Loaded and less crappy crap, and this is definitely the latter.
101 Dalmations (1996)
Glenn Close doing what she does best -- torturing animals for entertainment value -- and being simultaneously terrifying and fabulous with that maniacal laughter and a hot as hell cigarette holder is a high quality good time. Bonus? You may not remember this, but her evil lackey Jasper was played by Hugh Laurie. Negligible points deleted for not being a musical like the original (all Disney movies should really be musicals for absurdity's sake), but Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil is the perfect casting to end all perfect casting. I'd watch her threaten the lives of puppies while reading the phone book or something. You know what I mean.
Huck Finn (1993)
I don't know how many people saw this, but despite it having the adorable Elijah Wood in the title role, this adaptation demonstrated a surprisingly good grasp on the source material. Basically, Big Jim wasn't an idiot, and he was portrayed in the way Mark Twain intended, which is one of the few times I've actually seen that in a film version of the book. It's one of those rare times you can actually just see the movie and get away with not reading the book, high schoolers reading this. (But you should really read the book because it's not even a hard book, you lazy ingrates.)
The Jungle Book (1994)
This one's iffy, because it was all serious and dramatically different from the cartoon version, and thus, may just rape your childhood to hell. If that's the case, I apologize for putting it on the list. Just skip ahead to the next paragraph where Jamie Lee Curtis calls herself the Crypt Keeper and everybody's happy. Anyway, this remake was a live action tale that tried a little bit harder than its predecessor to be kind of faithful to the book. It largely failed of course, but at least it didn't have vultures doing Ringo impressions, a detail that was surprisingly not in the Rudyard Kipling novel. And either way, it was no That Darn Cat starring Doug E. Doug, so here it firmly stays. Plus, it contained Cary Elwes!
Freaky Friday (2003)
Alright, Jamie Lee Curtis's performance was way over-the-top, and the Chinese restaurant scenes were beyond racist, which are two huge strikes against this movie. But I'm still saying it's a good remake because of three things. 1) That part where Jamie Lee Curtis screams "Ohhh I'm like the Crypt Keeper!!!" is overacting city, but it also still makes me laugh every time I see it; 2) The presence of Mark Harmon makes everything better, and 3) Jamie Lee Curtis makes me cry every time during her rehearsal dinner where she's Lindsay talking about how great her deceased father was, which, coupled with the Crypt Keeper line cancels out all the other interpreting teenagers as retarded oafs acting choices on her part for the remainder of the film. And the original never made me laugh or cry, it just made me bored, so while this movie may not be a great movie, it's certainly a better movie than the one it's based on.
So that's it! Leave your Flubber love and/or baby Lindsay hatred in the comments. And this is neither here nor there, but those remakers go anywhere near my Hocus Pocus or Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken and I am outta here. At the rate things are going, however, this will probably be in five minutes, at which time I will revoke my threat. Happy Witch Mountain racing, everybody!
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