Original Vs. Remake – Carrie (2013)

It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and me to break down another cinematic original and its remake.  Returning to our usual ways, Catie reviews the original and I take on the remake.  This month we tackle the horror classic, Carrie.

Only this time I’m going one step further.  Not only did I review the 2002 TV movie, I also went to the theater to see the 2013 remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore.

First, let’s take a look at Catie’s homemade summary, or actually logline/tagline this month:

This is what happens when the girl who is the brunt of every joke decides she’s had enough.

Before I begin my review of the 2013 remake, let me first begin by saying a few things about the 1976 film.  As with many of Stephen King’s works, Carrie is and forever will be a classic horror story.  Honestly, the original version ranks right up there with The Shining, Misery, Cujo, Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, and even the TV movie, It.  I can watch any of these films, plus many more King adaptations, over and over again.

Story aside, the actresses in the 1976 classic should also be recognized.  Both Sissy Spacek (Carrie White) and Piper Laurie (Carrie’s mother, Margaret White) nailed their performances… Ms. Spacek as the sheltered and abused Carrie White, who breaks and finds a way to torment those who have always tormented her, and the great Piper Laurie as the overly religious and abusive mother.  Their performances landed both of them Academy Award nominations and deservingly so.  I’m not sure a horror movie has ever received Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations since, although I could be wrong, and I doubt we see any true horror movies such as this receive this kind of praise going forward, but maybe…

But enough about the original, let’s talk about the 2013 remake.

Rarely do my guy and I actually go to the theater to see any film that is not summer’s big action blockbuster.  But when I saw the trailers for the updated version of Carrie, I knew I couldn’t wait for it to be on video.  Luckily for me, the release fell during the month of October and I was able to convince my guy that dinner, a haunted house, and a movie would be the perfect Halloween date for me.  He knows how much I love the spooky holiday, so he obliged even though he is not a fan of horror like I am.  However, he is a fan of Hit-Girl, so I didn’t have to beg too much…

Let’s start by briefly talking about the basics… the story is pretty much exactly like the original and the special effects are amazing.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the performances…

Chloe Grace Moretz is perfect.  And Julianne Moore is amazing.  AMAZING.  I always tend to like her in most of her films; but now after watching her play creepy Margaret White, I’m really a fan.  Then there’s Judy Greer as Miss Desjarden; she’s not the star, but I like her and the fact she voices Cheryl on Archer has nothing to do with it.

So is the 2013 version worth a watch?  Yes!  I think so.  My guy and I both enjoyed it.

Does it compare to the original?  Yes.

Should people forget about the original?  No.

Let’s be honest; today’s youth isn’t going to watch a film from 1976.  Maybe a small handful will, but not the majority.  I get it; I was a teen once.  But kids today will go see this 2013 version.  And they did, the same showing I went to.  And I was lucky enough to hear a teenager’s conversation with her friend after the movie in the restroom (along with two other adult women).  To loosely quote them…

“That movie had like no plot.”
“I know, right? At all.  So boring.”

Do I disagree with them?  Yes.

But what I found even more amusing was the open dialogue the other two women and I had once the girls left the room.  For one, those two teens clearly didn’t know Carrie is based on a Stephen King novel (if they even know who Stephen King is).  And two, obviously, they’ve never seen the original 1976 film.

It’s a sad world sometimes… now I know why my mom would always get so frustrated with me when I didn’t want to read or watch anything that wasn’t “new” when I was growing up.  I get it, Mom.  I really do.

Before I go, let me just say that I particularly like the idea of watching Carrie today, especially with the world of bullying where it is now.  Bullying has always existed, at home, at school, and all bullies need to know that eventually everyone gets theirs.  Maybe not via telekinesis like in Carrie, but they do in one way or another.  Therefore, why bully in the first place?

If a little movie like Carrie can stop at least one bully before they physically or emotionally attack anyone, good.

What do you think?  Have you seen either the original or the 2013 version of Carrie?  If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why?  If you haven’t, do you want to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Original Vs. Remake – Carrie (2002)

It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and me to break down another cinematic original and its remake.  Returning to our usual ways, Catie reviews the original and I take on the remake.  This month we tackle the horror classic, Carrie.

First, let’s take a look at Catie’s homemade summary, or actually logline/tagline this month:

This is what happens when the girl who is the brunt of every joke decides she’s had enough.

Before I begin my review of the 2002 remake, let me first begin by saying a few things about the 1976 film.  As with many of Stephen King’s works, Carrie is and forever will be a classic horror story.  Honestly, the original version ranks right up there with The Shining, Misery, Cujo, Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, and even the TV movie, It.  I can watch any of these films, plus many more King adaptations, over and over again.

Story aside, the actresses in the 1976 classic should also be recognized.  Both Sissy Spacek (Carrie White) and Piper Laurie (Carrie’s mother, Margaret White) nailed their performances… Ms. Spacek as the sheltered and abused Carrie White, who breaks and finds a way to torment those who have always tormented her, and the great Piper Laurie as the overly religious and abusive mother.  Their performances landed both of them Academy Award nominations and deservingly so.  I’m not sure a horror movie has ever received Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations since, although I could be wrong, and I doubt we see any true horror movies such as this receive this kind of praise going forward, but maybe…

But enough about the original, let’s talk about the 2002 remake.

When I first agreed to take on this film, Catie warned me.  But I always enjoy comparing remakes to originals, even if the recent plethora of remakes does worry me about the lack of originality in Hollywood today.  So I did a quick search on my DVR; found the 2002 film and set it to record; and eventually sat down and watched it.

First of all, I almost turned it off five minutes in.  The quality was horrible and I thought to myself that the film appeared to be a low-budget made-for-TV version of the original.  Little did I know at the time, it was.

But I stuck through it, mainly because you can’t review a film after watching the first five minutes.  The story was *kind of* the same as the original, although they did take a few liberties of their own throughout, and the special effects were horrible.  Especially for 2002.

The performances weren’t all that bad, especially not Patricia Clarkson as Margaret White.  She was great. And of course Angela Bettis (Carrie) and the beautiful Rena Sofer (Miss Desjarden, the remake’s version of Miss Collins) weren’t horrible either; but  everyone else… not so much.

So is the 2002 version worth a watch?  No!  Stick to the original…

Now, I also went to the theater to see the new 2013 Carrie film starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore before watching the 2002 “movie.”  Tune in Friday to find out how it compares to the 1976 original and the 2002 version.

And before I go, let me just say that I particularly like the idea of watching Carrie today, especially with the world of bullying where it is now.  Bullying has always existed, at home, at school, and all bullies need to know that eventually everyone gets theirs.  Maybe not via telekinesis like in Carrie, but they do in one way or another.  Therefore, why bully in the first place?

If a little movie like Carrie can stop at least one bully before they physically or emotionally attack anyone, good.

What do you think?  Have you seen either the original or the 2002 version of Carrie?  If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why?  If you haven’t, do you want to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Power of Three

The holidays are near, and it is this time of year that usually limits the amount of new television programs airing on the major networks.  So, what do we do when our DVR isn’t as full as it usually is?  We watch the oldies, but goodies.

This week, Amber West and I discuss our favorite daytime reruns that we enjoy watching while we clean house, fold laundry, and bake treats for our sweets – Charmed and a Law & Order.   

Aaron Spelling produced many hit television series during his lifetime – Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, and the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place to just name a few.  That’s why when Charmed premiered, this TV addict was immediately on board.  And when I learned the show was about witches?  Major bonus. 

Charmed begins as the Halliwell sisters reunite in San Francisco for their grandmother’s funeral and soon discover that they come from a long line of female witches.  After the youngest sister reads the family’s Book of Shadows (a book containing the spells and magic from their ancestors), she believes that she and her sisters are supposed to be the most powerful witches of all time. 

One by one, the sisters learn they each possess a unique magical power, and they are quickly thrust into the line of fire when their first demon attacks.  Unsure of how to defeat the demon, the sisters join hands and repeat a passage from the Book of Shadows, “The Power of Three will set us free.” 

And that it did, for eight seasons.  Of course, The Power of Three chant wasn’t always the spell needed to defeat the bad guy, but ultimately, Charmed was all about The Power of Three.  Over the years, we watched the sisters learn the ins and outs of their magical heritage, hone their individual powers, and most importantly, protect the world from The Source (the “source” of all evil) and other demons and warlocks.

The oldest of the sisters, Prue Halliwell (Shannon Doherty), works as an art appraiser and photographer.  She has always felt responsible for her sisters, due to their mother’s death when they were young.  At the beginning of the series, Prue shares a rocky relationship with her youngest sister, one they must work through quickly in order to survive. 

Prue’s power?  Telekinesis – she can move things with her mind, meaning she can throw the bad guy against the wall, through the wall, whatever – perhaps the best power of all the sisters.  Prior to her death (sorry for the spoiler), Prue also inherits the ability to teleport, a skill that proves life saving on multiple occasions. 

Middle sister Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs) works as an aspiring chef and buffer to her sisters arguing.  Piper is a romantic always looking for love.  Actually, her boyfriend in the pilot is the warlock attempting to kill the sisters.  After Piper recovers from that failed relationship, and a few others, she meets the man of her dreams and future husband – Leo Wyatt (Brian Krause).   

Leo is also the sister’s Whitelighter, their guardian angel who can “orb” (move magically through space) them out of trouble.

Piper’s power?  She can freeze time and people.  Eventually her power evolves and she has the ability to blow things up, which comes in very handy when facing a demon.

The youngest of the three original sisters (explanation to come), Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano) is nothing like her sisters.  Where Prue and Piper are both professionally driven, Phoebe has no idea what she wants to do with her life; however, after putting herself through college, Phoebe decides to go to work as a reporter for the local paper. 

Also a romantic, Phoebe eventually marries a demon (Balthazar/Cole Turner played by Julian McMahon) and later Coop (a Cupid played by Victor Webster). 

Phoebe’s power?  Premonition – she can see things in the past, as well as in the future.  Her powers intensify and she develops the ability to levitate, which she uses to learn and master martial arts in order to kick demon butt.  She also later develops the power of empathy, which she can use to mimic another’s powers or sense exactly what they feel.

After Prue’s death, Piper and Phoebe meet a sister they never knew about – Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan).  When the girls were younger, their mother had an affair with her Whitelighter and later gave the baby to a nun for protection.  Paige was adopted by “normal” parents and led a semi-normal life.  That is until she was drawn to a stranger’s funeral – Prue’s funeral. 

Paige’s Power?  Tele-Orbing – Paige inherited the Whitelighter abilities (including orbing) and combined with her telekinesis (like big sis, Prue), she has the ability to call out for items and they will be drawn to her. 

Charmed’s eight seasons weren’t enough for this television addict and supernatural lover.  I cried my eyes out during the series finale.  I still miss the sisters, their powers, the witchcraft, Leo, Cole, and even babies Wyatt and Chris (Piper and Leo’s sons) to this day. 

When I noticed TNT airs episodes during the day, I immediately set the DVR so I could watch the greatness of Charmed again, in order – from start to finish.  It will always be one of my favorite programs of all time, and therefore I must award the MacTV rating.  Charmed is like that good ole bowl of mac-n-cheese; it’s not the best food in the pantry, but man is it delicious! 

By the way, if I ever get a tattoo, it will be of the triquetra – the symbol on the Book of Shadows

Did you watch Charmed?  Which sister’s power do you wish you possessed?  Do you prefer demon Cole or whitelighter Leo?   Generally speaking, do you believe it witchcraft?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which Law & Order she prefers while folding laundry and baking treats for her sweets all day long…and why. 

Come back next week when Amber and I something just in time for the holidays.  

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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