In the modern world of cinema there are many adages that are true. One of the more prominent ones is, if the movie fails we can just reboot it! We have seen this general thought process come in many forms. Whether it is because of the lack of success in a movie, to retain ownership rights, or to just avoid coming up with new ideas Hollywood is currently crazy for movie reboots. With the newly released remake, The Amazing Spider-Man, we are once again put on the train to Rebootsville and told everything will be alright, but will it? The general consensus about big budget Hollywood reboots is, they are bad news and shouldn't be done. However, I would like talk about why we might actually be wrong. Queue menacing music and table flipping gestures.
In the comic book movie and action genres reboots are clearly the most prevalent. We have seen reboots of Batman, Judge Dredd, Total Recall, Spider-Man, Daredevil and many others done or put in the on deck circle for future remakes. All of these are horrible ideas and none should be remade? Arguably Christopher Nolan's Batman movies have been leaps and bounds above what Burton and especially Schumacher were able to accomplish. The much more serious tone and progression in film making in general have made the Batman trilogy accepted as amazing films not just a superhero movies.
Another massive franchise that has received a soft reboot of sorts is Fox's X-Men. With the release of X-Men First Class audiences were re-introduced to some crowd favorites and some new comers. While I would have preferred a full reboot I think this works alright for Fox. I think a large part of not full dismissing the previous films was to not be saddled with the label of reboot. X-Men First Class allowed for a kick in the pants to a stale and failing franchise. While I thought X-Men First Class was not as good as X-Men 2, it served as the jumping off point that Fox needed to make up for that atrocity they called X-Men 3.
So are all reboots a bad thing? Surely not, but what about if my favorite movie gets remade? What if they remake Back to the Future starring Zak Efron!? Well they just will make it and I will choose to see it or not. The creation of remakes doesn't diminish the originals. Sometimes movies are for different generations. While I love Goonies and Back to the Future more than my unborn child I think younger kids would get less out of it than I did. Context is everything. When kids see the new Spider-Man they are wrapped up in the awesomeness of the CGI and story. If you showed them the Raimi ones, they might like it but probably not as much. The reason being, they have seen better CGI on Saturday morning cartoons. The tech is always pushing forward. I watched some Raimi Spider-Man clips and guess what...they look very dated, not bad, just dated.
Now with some movies we have out right failures from the jump and they NEED to be rebooted. Take Superman Returns for instance. This thing was a giant failure and really let down tons of fans, me included. However, the upcoming Man of Steel promises to be a real game changer in the world of Superman. I for one can't wait. Should they just make a sequel to an abhorrent movie and hope we ignore the super kid and a terrible Lois Lane? No, they need to wipe everyone's mind of that movie. So something like Superman, who is the granddaddy of all superheroes needs to be done right. Reboot AWAY!!!!
So that begs the ultimate question. What is the track record of the recent reboots, remakes, and retries? Well pretty damn good actually. Lets take a look:
Batman: WAAAAY better than previous tries! Spider-Man: In my opinion much more character driven, better effects. X-Men: Better in some parts. Far better than X-Men 1 and 3. Total Recall: Trailer looks promising. Original is fun, but not a great movie. Judge Dredd: Oh Come on...it couldn't be worst! G.I. Joe: Soft reboot but looks to be light years ahead 21 Jump Street: Reboot of a show, but hilarious movie. Conan: Ok that was a FAIL. Original not amazing, just nostalgia drives it. Robocop: Great original, cast in new movie has amazing potential.
Lastly, there is some Hollywood scuttlebutt (that term is hilarious) that a remake of The Twilight Saga is going to happen pretty quickly after the movie series is done. Well to that I say, fuck you! I have my limits. Redoing a movie series immediately after it was done before is just trying to cash in. While all movies are designed to make money that is just craven. Also, those movie SUCK OUT LOUD! So I don't think we should dismiss reboots out of hand so easily, but I do think there are bounds of reason. Put your thoughts in the comments!
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