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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.

10. Tomb Raider (2011) 
I know, it's a bit of a cheat. If I had to include one video game on here, it would be this one. I never played the Tomb Raider games in my youth. I would have probably gotten looks from my parents about the title character’s… assets. Anyway, I decided to play the game and was amazed by it. I liked Lara Croft and the world she had to get through. It had a good story, good gameplay, and pretty sweet visuals. If only I could play the sequel on something that’s not Microsoft-related… yeah, that was a stupid move to keep it Xbox exclusive.

9. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997) 
Hey, this does somewhat count as a reboot. If anything, it’s a re-hash of Joss Whedon’s idea. For those who don’t remember, there was a Buffy movie back in the early 90’s starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, and Donald Southerland. When Whedon brought to TV a few years later, it was retooled into the show we got. To say that the show did fine is an understatement. Not only did it last seven years, it also launched a spin-off show (Angel) that was also pretty good. It had great heroes, good villains, and enough wit to last a lifetime.

8. The Thing (1982) 
The Thing is a remake of The Thing From Another World. I never saw the original, but I’ve heard it’s pretty good. The 1982 remake is a true sci-fi horror. A team comes across an alien on the Arctic and it has the ability to mimic humans. You’re never sure if your best friend is secretly some monstrosity wanting to kill you. The tension is ramped up through out the movie. The practical effects are well done and still creepy till this day. If you’re a fan of horror, check it out.

7. Man of Steel (2013)
I know, I know. “Man of Steel sucked,” says most of the general populace. I don’t believe that at all. While the movie wears its flaws like a tacky coat, it’s not a horrible movie. It may not be better than the 1978 movie, but it didn’t have to be better. It just needed to be good. I liked the story, a majority of the characters, the music, and the feel of the movie. We needed a new version of Superman in the cinemas since Superman Returns kinda failed in bringing us that. Here’s hoping that Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (that trailer rocked) is good and even better than MoS.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
The animated series from 2003 reintroduced the Turtles to us once more. Something about the show sucked me in though it took a while. The 1980’s show was still in my mind. I think it had to be the fact that it reminded me of the feel of the 1990 movie. What I didn’t know at the time was that the show was taking things from the original comics. The show had good stories, great animation, and some really good villains. While it did falter a bit at the end, I still think its better than the 1980’s series.

5. The Hulk (The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers)
Here, I’m mostly talking about the character and not just The Incredible Hulk from 2008. While I do like Ang Lee’s version, I do have to admit that it has it’s moments of “meh.” The 2008 movie tied into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and had better action, but it did little else. It wasn’t until 2012‘s The Avengers where we got what is probably the best version of Banner. Mark Ruffalo brought his best to the role and I hope we still get to see him and “the other guy” in later movies. When can we get a new Hulk movie starring Ruffalo?

4. Fist of Legend (1994)
Jet Li’s Fist of Legend was a remake to Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) starring Bruce Lee. While it does the same story as FoF did, it does a few things different that set it apart from the original. The story is pretty good and the fight scenes are pretty awesome. While it may or may not beat FoF in terms of popularity (I might match them up one day), it’s a really good one. It’s one of Jet Li’s best movies

3. Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Not many TV reboots work. Luckily, this reboot to the 1978 series had a lot of good things behind it. I’ll probably talk about it one day. The show had a nice mix of good characterization, good stories, nice action, and good effects. Ronald Moore and David Eick took what made the original work and added a lot more. It tried to show what could happen with a premise of a race being on the run and it got really bleak at times. It’s definitely one of the best sci-fi shows around.

2. Casino Royale (2006)
While some could view this as a prequel, it’s a straight-up reboot. It strips all of the weird gadgets and suave away and sticks to the essentials. It’s action-packed and well-acted. Daniel Craig may not have looked like the ideal Bond, but I like him in the role. The other movies in the refreshed franchise have been average to pretty good. I don’t know what SPECTRE will bring, but I hope it’s good.

1. Batman Begins (2005)
You more or less figured this might be on here. After Batman and Robin, something new was definitely needed. Batman needed a complete makeover movie-wise. I think Batman Begins did that in spades. It gave us a good origin for the character. We even got some really good supporting characters and a good set of villains. While it’s not completely perfect, it brought us something really good. I’ll even go on and say that this sort of beats The Dark Knight for my top pick in the trilogy.

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Well, those are my 15 favorite reboots. I might do a worst reboots post, but that would mean I would have to search for some badness. I don’t want to do that, but you never know. If you actually have any good reboots/rehashes/reimaginings that you like, let me know. Peace, God Bless, and let's hope Hollywood remakes something like Higlander: The Source. I bet it would actually better than the original was and that would be a good thing.

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