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MovieLine: Lumpy 13 Review

MovieLine: Alfred Hitchcock and Cecil B. DeMille might have been able to successfully redo their own movies, but more recent auto-remakes, especially ones that find directors cranking out a U.S. version of their own foreign-language hit, have been a motley crew. The best, like Michael Haneke’s 2007 Funny Games and Takashi Shimizu’s The Grudge, tend to be merely functional enterprises that revisit what worked the first time around with added English-speaking and possibly more famous actors. But others highlight in a painfully clear way the compromises that so often come with working in Hollywood. Ole Bornedal’s wan Nightwatch lost the nasty edge of the Danish original and retained no other distinguishing characteristics, and George Sluizer’s 1993 The Vanishing ditched the finale of his 1988 Spoorloos, an uncompromisingly bleak and great ending, for a studio-friendly happy one that undoes everything toward which the first film built.

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