Sunday, July 26, 2015

Favorites - 15 Favorite Reboots/Rehashes/Reimaginings...You get the point.

Remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings… where do I begin? If you think I’m anti-remake, you’re somewhat right. Remakes of movies and TV rarely ever go so well. Don’t worry, I’m not that guy on the side of the street that’s yelling about Hollywood losing its way and being unoriginal. Remakes and re-tellings have been around at least since the 1930s. Did you know that Hollywood (Paramount and MGM) released two versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a decade apart? That’s not counting the other versions of that story Hollywood did in those days.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think Hollywood is a little too remake crazy these days. The problem that plagues a lot of them is that they aren’t really good. They don’t have what the original had, they go completely off base in a bad way, or they follow the original too much. Anyone remember The Omen from 2007? It wasn’t bad but I felt I should have just stuck with the original. If you thought movie reboots were bad, look at TV reboots… Man, there are rarely any good ones. I was going to do separate posts on this, but I might as well mix them together. Here are my 15 favorite rehashes from movies and television. I was going to go with 20, but I’m not that forgiving.

15. The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy was a reboot of the 1932 movie starring Boris Karloff. It sticks to the original pretty well. It’s just full of more action and funny moments. This is one of the Universal remakes that succeeded in actually being decent and even fun. I liked the characters, the villain, and the good special effects. What happened after the first movie with the third movie and the countless Scorpion King spinoffs is another thing entirely.

14. The Karate Kid (2010)
That’s right, folks. This movie is on the list. While it might seem like sacrilege to reboot the 1984 movie, that didn’t stop Hollywood. Luckily, it’s actually a pretty good one in my opinion. While the title actually needed to be something else (there’s no karate!) and it sticks to the movie a bit too much, it’s fine. I thought Jaden Smith (I know, I know) was fine in the lead role. The surprise of the movie was Jackie Chan as the mentor. The fight scenes were pretty good too. Even if you don’t like reboots, you do have to admit one thing: it’s much better than The Next Karate Kid.

13. Star Trek (2009)

I see you looking at me, Trekkies and Trekkers. I thought the Trek reboot was pretty good. While the story wasn’t the best, the cast made it work. Trying to recast the original crew sounds ludicrous but it works here. Bringing back Leonard Nimoy if only for a little bit was nice fan service even if how we got there didn’t make sense. I even thought Star Trek Into Darkness was a fine sequel when it wasn’t constantly reminding me of a better movie. Hopefully, the next movie can bring us good, NEW things. 

12. Dredd (2012)
Dredd is the reboot to the 1995 movie, Judge Dredd. While the 1995 movie might have some entertainment value, a lot of folk say that it wasn't good. I’m not a fan of the character, but I saw Dredd and thought it was pretty good for the most part.  I will say that The Raid: Redemption might be better, but that's a post for another time. I liked the dark atmosphere of the whole thing. Karl Urban was awesome as the Judge and Lena Headley was a nice villain. It brought enough stuff to the table to make me wish that a sequel gets made.

11. Godzilla (2014)
Just to reiterate, this is the 2014 version, not GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) from 1998. We finally got an American version of Godzilla and it was good. I thought the story, actors, and effects were pretty good. Gareth Edwards and the creative team did their best to stick to what made Godzilla work for 50 years. Even though the G-Man shows up for about 15 minutes, it’s still a good one. It may not the best Godzilla movie ever, but it did kick the 1998 version to the curb really fast.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tales From The 50 Cent Bin! - Batman: Gothic

While there is no Batman Month this year, I felt I needed to get my Batman fix. Not only is it a Batman fix, but it is a Grant Morrison fix. Yes, I had to go back to that bald, Scottish guy again. This time, I’ll be looking at Morrison’s early work with the Dark Knight. No, it isn’t Batman: Arkham Asylum (the graphic novel). Something tells me that I might not enjoy that story all that much. I may read it one day just to say “Hey, I read Batman: Arkham Asylum!”

This five-issue story arc comes from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (issues #6-10) which was essentially an anthology title. A creative team would come on and basically do a story for a few issues and then leave. From what I’ve read, they tended to show Batman in his early years. I’ve found quite a few issues from this series in the 50 cent bin like this story and others. As I said before, Morrison is the writer. Klaus Janson provided the overall art (pencils and inks) to the story.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trade Tales! - Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2: Dangerous

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at any X-Men related material here. While I like the X-Men, I don’t own too many of their comics. It looks like my X-List is getting shorter since it looks like someone decided to pilfer another Essential X-Men volume...Ugh. Besides, I’m mostly a DC guy to begin with.

I guess it’s time to see what the Not-So-Merry Mutants got up to in Astonishing X-Men again. I really liked the first storyline that Joss Whedon and John Cassaday cooked up, so it’s time to move to the next one. Besides, I think their next story feels right since we’ve had a lot of movies and TV shows featuring A.I. in some capacity. Even Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a little fresh in my mind. "Dangerous" was the next storyline for this series. It ran through Astonishing X-Men #7-#12. The creative team is still the same with Whedon writing and Cassaday doing the art.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Music Retropspective: Michael Jackson - Conclusion

Well, it’s been a while, but it’s finally time to end this. Here are my top 30 songs by Michael Jackson. I knew I couldn’t stop at ten or twenty, so I have to go all out for this. Now, if you’re wondering why songs like “ABC” and “I Want You Back” aren’t here, there’s a simple reason for that. I’m only including solo or duet songs here. Including Jackson 5 songs would make this list even tougher to do and I don’t want to do that to myself. Besides, I do have a little something for the family on down the line.

It’s weird that I started to work on this around the anniversary of Jackson’s death. I actually remember where I was when I heard the news. I was taking my sister home in my old Toyota Camry when my mom called her. We then turned on the radio and heard the unfortunate news. I guess I was discouraged about it. I never knew the guy, but I always liked the music. My sister got some memorabilia afterwards. I’d say she’s the bigger fan, but she didn’t devote some of a blog to talking about his albums.

Before I get there, I might as well talk about my favorite Jackson album. It’s kind of tough to say, but I’ll have to go with the obvious: Thriller. It was what made me a fan of Michael Jackson. While some of his later albums are probably better on a technical level, I just love this album. All of the songs are pretty good even if a couple of are a bit forgettable. Bad would easily be my second favorite album. After that, I’d actually have to think about it. By the way, these are my favorites, so don’t be shocked if you don’t see some popular ones on here. I’ll say a little something about the songs but if you want a more in-depth description, just look at my retrospectives.