Posted August 26, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in Features
 
 

Film Re-Boots


The Best Re-Boots So Far And Ones To Look Out For. By Gregory James Wakemen

By Gregory James Wakemen

The Best Re-Boots So Far And Ones To Look Out For.

It’s not
just remakes Hollywood has a penchant for – it’s also a huge fan of
resurrecting and updating successful franchises for a new generation. Never let
go of a good thing seems to be the motto of moviemakers this year – we take a
look at some of the re-boots we’ve already had and can expect throughout the
coming months.

Rise Of the Planet Of The Apes (2011)

This is
not the first attempt to reboot the Plant Of The Apes franchise. Oh no, Tim Burton’s bewildering 2001 film is considered a might flop
(check out our remakes feature here), nevertheless, it did return a healthy sum
of money.

Now, Rupert Wyatts has managed, surprisingly,
to breathe new life into the franchise, embracing modern technology to create
Apes that combine special effects and human characteristics. The film, starring
Freida Pinto and James Franco, also manages to blend,
creating a basis for a complete reboot of the entire Planet of the Apes series,
its own stand alone piece, as well as a prequel to the 1968 Charlton Heston film, echoing much of
its themes and atmosphere.


Batman Begins (2005)

There’s a
theory that Batman Begins saved cinema.
It achieved this by taking its subject matter intensely serious without a hint
of condescension, while also taking a deeper look into the mechanics of the
Bruce Wayne character, examining the reasons that motivated his creation of
Batman.

However,
there’s also another theory that because of Batman Begins and especially due to
the success of The Dark Knight, over the last 6 years has inspired a plethora
of turgid movies described as “dark”, “serious” and “mysterious”. Batman Begins
elevated the genre to the extent that all other films inspired by it pale in
comparison. The film is one of the finest pieces of cinema in the last two
decades and is as drastic a re-boot as you are likely to encounter. Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman is often
chastised in comparison to Nolan’s film, but whereas Burton looked to pay
homage to the juvenile comics of the 1940s, Nolan took his inspiration from the
more serious material of the 1990s graphic novels. And because of this his
reboot was able to take the summer blockbuster into the more sophisticated and
highbrow echelons of cinema by blending a psychological look at characters,
with high octane action scenes whilst being set across the outer regions of the
globe, all with the hindrance of Katie
Holmes
as the lead female actor.

Casino Royale (2006)

Remember when Bond wasn’t cool? Seriously. There have been several occasions
over the last 20 years when James Bond was seen as past it. Most recently it
was due to the influence of the Bourne Trilogy, which saw Bond criticized when
faced with Matt Damon’s portrayal of
an uber serious and remorseful killer who didn’t use a witty quip after each of
his slays.

It was the duty of a Kiwi director Martin
Campbell
to restore pride and honour to the franchise. Goldeneye was the
first Bond film in six years after legal disputes and was seen as a
modernization of the series, which can be seen with the introduction of Judi Dench as the first female M and Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal being less
misogynistic than his predecessors. Many had doubted whether the film would be
relevant to the modern world as many of Bond’s previous foes had been Soviet
and set amidst the backdrop of the Cold War, which had since ended. But the
film was a resounding success both critically and financially.

Second renaissance

By 2006, James Bond was once again seen as pre-historic and the
unveiling of Daniel Craig as the new
Bond in Casino Royale received a wave of criticism for his lack of resemblance
to Fleming’s original character. However, once the film was released his
performance was seen as the first to truly embody Ian Fleming’s character, as
an ironic, brutal and cold killer. Campbell also used the masterstroke of making
Casino Royale a prequel that took a deeper look at the character of Bond, allowing
the audience to peek inside his psych which has been firmly hidden for the last
four decades. After the release of Quantum of Solace there has been a call for
Bond to return to his old ways in future films.

Over the next few years there are Re-Boots of all shapes and sizes on
the horizon. Some of them are destined to enthrall and compel whilst others
will no doubt be condemned for their mere existence. We take a look at what’s
on offer.

The Three Musketeers (2011)
PW Andersons’
film is due to be released on
October 21ST 2011 and rather than being updated to a modern day
location, it appears to have remained loyal to Alexandre Dumas’s novel. Is
there anything that can set this apart from the other Three Musketeer films
over the years? The cast is filled with exceptional talent like Christoph Waltz, Milla Jovovich, Matthew
Macfadyen
and Orlando Bloom and
also boasts an official single from Take
That
, which gets two big thumbs up from this writer. However, under the
stewardship of P.W Anderson, who has
always delivered solid work without ever excelling, The Three Musketeers seems
destined for mediocrity.

Star
Trek (2012)

When it was announced that J.J
Abrams
was going to re-invent the Star Trek franchise there was a slight
murmur of discontent from Trekkies worldwide. There were worries that he was
going to move away from the traditions and values that the series had upheld
for decades. Of course, these worries were completely confounded but Abrams
needed to do this so that he could reinvigorate this tired franchise and bring
it into the 21st Century.

The opening scene has already been deemed a classic of modern cinema and
set up the film as an adrenaline rush of pure excitement, filled with action,
humour, with strong performances by Zachary
Quinto
and Chris Pine. The
genius behind this reboot is the decision to place these characters in an
alternate timeline, which immediately freed the film from the original
franchise yet allowed them to tap into the nostalgia and history of these
established characters.

With expectation even higher now for the impending sequel, what can
Abrams do to please the fans? Will he introduce an updated version of the
Klingons? Or maybe return to the basic, man inside a plastic suit peril of The
Gorn? The only thing that can be inferred for certain is: his attempts to
re-spawn Khan will ultimately fail no matter who he gets to play him, as no
will ever emulate the late great Ricardo
Montalban
.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Is this the most controversial reboot of all time? It was only a decade ago that Sam
Raimi
and Tobey Maguire began
the trilogy that would legitimize the Superhero genre, and with many narrative
threads still to be divulged it was decided that the franchise needed to be
refreshed. At first there were murmurs of discontent amongst the fans and
critics who were looking forward to seeing how Raimi would progress the story.
However, with director Marc Webb in
the driving seat and Andrew Garfield
and Emma Stones as Peter Parker and
Gwen Stacey, not to mention the recent teaser trailer to whet the appetite,
opinion has quickly turned and now there is a fervent anticipation for its
release next year. No doubt there will be an instant comparison to Sam Raimi’s 2002 release, which hasn’t
aged quite as well as some might think. Nevertheless, the cast is filled with
great actors like Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Dennis Leary and Rhys Ifans
to bolster its reputation. It is also basing its origins on the Ultimate
Spider-Man comics and is supposedly inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Batman
Series.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2012)
Whilst
this is still early in its development, this reboot is apparently going to be
darker. With Buffy Creator Joss Whedon’s
non-involvement already confirmed, there is pessimism attached to this project.
Actress turned Writer Whit Anderson
has been employed to take the vixen vampire hunter into the new century and she
has already noted, unsurprisingly that The Dark Knight will be a big influence,
but the casting of Buffy will be imperative to the films success, but without
Whedon’s input the film seems to have already been judged.

Daredevil (date unconfirmed)
When Jason Statham announced his attention
to appear as Daredevil it seemed this franchise had hit a brick wall of
absurdity. But with Fringe writer and Producer Brad Caleb Kane attached to it and 30 Days of Night (2007), David
Slade
to direct there is renewed optimism for this franchise. Kane will
apparently adapt Frank Miller and David Mazzucchellis acclaimed comic story
“Born Again” and guess who they are influenced by? Give me an N, give me an O,
give me an L, you know the rest…Nolan.

The Man Of Steel aka Superman (2013)
Despite
the success of Bryan Singers’ Superman Returns (2006) the film still
felt unbalanced and failed to connect with audiences, so the decision to reboot
the franchise doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Director Zach Snyder is amongst the most popular working in cinema today and
having already successfully rebooted The
Dawn of the Dead
film, understands the responsibilities and can provide a
unique take on this quintessential American hero. With Christopher Nolan
attached to produce and the script being based on his story, fans are already
excited by the reemergence of Kal-El. However is Superman still relevant today?
And with a vast array of Superhero Films poised to fill our screens over the
next few years, can he stand out?

Total
Recall
(2012)
Someone
should really sit down with Len Wiseman
and give him a good talking too. The man who almost single handily destroyed
John McClane and his legacy is currently in production on a contemporary
version of this Paul Verhoven
classic. The cast of Colin Farrell, Wiseman’s
wife Kate Beckinsale and TV Star Bryan Cranston is solid yet
unspectacular and producer Neal Horitz
is adamant that advancements in technology and state of the art visual effects
will help the film feel fresh. However, without any footage to see it’s hard to
judge how the film will pan out. If the filmmakers stay true to Phillips K Dicks’ original short story
and use the 1990 film as a basis, there is every chance this reboot could be a
success; but with Wiseman’s history it is hard to envision anything other than
a disappointment.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com