With the release of the trailer for the new Ghostbusters reboot, I have been thinking about the whole concept of “the reboot” for movies and TV shows. Ghostbusters is a part of my childhood. Dare I say, it’s a part of who I am. I’m not opposed to someone taking a shot at remaking it, but I watched this trailer and got demonstrably angry. Indignant, I’ve been stomping around, muttering things like, “how dare they?!?!”
Looking ahead to what Hollywood (or hopefully Hollywood South) has in store for us, it appears that the trend of turning 60’s – 80’s TV shows into movies is on the down swing, though it’s not gone completely. However, it looks like there’s a ton of movies on the way that are simply remakes of old movies. Having seen the Ghostbusters trailer, I was ready to make a blanket assessment that reboots need to go away, but when I started digging into it, there have been quite a few reboots that have proven successful. For example, The Mission Impossible movies are the first to come to mind. There’s also Ocean’s Eleven, Dragnet, The Fly, The Naked Gun, and of course there’s the Star Trek franchise. Also, I’m going to add The Longest Yard, The Smurfs, Get Smart, and Starsky and Hutch to this list. They weren’t better than the originals, but they were tolerable.
But, for every successful reboot, how many have been intolerably awful? Shaft, Dukes of Hazzard, Psycho, Miami Vice, Wild Wild West, Clash of the Titans, Godzilla, Fame, McHale’s Navy, My Favorite Martian, The Beverly Hillbillies, Arthur, Bewitched, or Walking Tall are just the tip of the iceberg.
Normally, I wouldn’t be such a cranky pants about something like this. I’d simply avoid the movies and go about my life. But alas, like Ghostbusters, they are tampering with movies that I have a strong emotional attachment to. With that in mind, here’s a list of 5 movie reboots that I’m dreading:
Scarface – To be fair, Brian DePalma’s 1983 classic was a remake of a 1932 film. But I think everyone on this or any other planet would agree that once Al Pacino stuck his face in a mountain of cocaine that was game over. THAT is Scarface! There was nothing left on the table. No possible angle of, “what if they had just…” They nailed it.
Big Trouble in Little China – No. You should not and can not replace this John Carpenter classic. From the infinite plot holes, to the bad effects, to Kurt Russell’s semi-John Wayne-esque delivery, this movie was perfect. I mean, perfect in that 80’s sort of way where you knew what was awful about it, but you loved it anyway. You know ol Jack Burton might say, “what the hell?” in a time like this, but I say absolutely no.
Escape From New York – Wait. Is someone picking on John Carpenter and Kurt Russell? To go from Jack Burton to Snake Plissken is almost too painful to bear. But wait… there is hope in this one. First of all, Carpenter is an Executive Producer on the project. That hopefully means that he won’t let his classic be tarnished with some half-assed effort. Also, as of last October, there was talk of reformulating the script to make the remake more of an origin story. If that’s the case, I’ll be on board. But if it’s a straight up remake, count me out.
Bloodsport – This is another film that was perfect because of its imperfections. It had bad writing, bad acting, and a predictable story line; yet Van Damme IS Frank Dux. It looks like this remake has been in the works for over three years now, so there’s a possibility that it never comes to fruition. But if it does, I’ll be the first to cry matté.
Power Rangers – Why? Just why?
In researching proposed/planned remakes, I stumbled across a few that I’m actually looking forward to. I’m not saying they’re going to be good. I’m just saying there’s reason to have faith that they won’t disappoint.
Knight Rider – There were few things more quintessentially 80’s than fast cars, unbelievable premises, and “the Hoff.” Knight Rider had all three. If the proposed remake were an attempt to make a serious action/drama film, I would move this into the list of remakes I’m dreading. But instead, it looks as if this is going to be a comedy, with Chris Pratt and Danny McBride basically spoofing the character of Michael Knight and his talking car.
Flatliners – Looking back on the cast of Flatliners, this should’ve been a much better movie. But, considering the cheesy dialogue, it took itself way too seriously. That being said, the premise of the movie is one that will be with us forever. What happens when you die, mixed with the opening the Pandora’s Box of trying to find out is captivating to me. If a new generation of Hollywood wants to take a swing at this, I’ll watch.
Inspector Gadget – This one is simple. I loved Inspector Gadget as a kid. I have kids and Matthew Broderick’s attempt at putting a real life face on the animated Inspector fell way short. As an aside, that is weird to me because I like just about everything Matthew Broderick does. Now, one of the producers of The Lego Movie wants to give it another shot. I say “go go Gadget remake!”
Nosferatu – Because Dracula. I’m a sucker (get it?) for this genre. I actually saw the original silent film from the 20’s. I worked at a video store in college, don’t judge me. (As an aside, is it weird that we’re only 4 years away from having to clarify which 20’s we’re talking about?) I think one of the reasons that I look forward to a new Nosferatu is that Bram Stoker’s Dracula is my favorite novel, so I enjoy all the different interpretations of it.
Police Academy – I’m actually on the fence about this one. On the one hand, it’s a classic that probably shouldn’t be touched. However, Key and Peele are producing it, so……
Just to kind of wrap this up, while I prefer an original story, I was surprised with the number of remakes and reboots that I actually liked. What about you? Leave me a comment with some of your favorites, or some of the worst ever. Or, feel free to sound off if you think all reboots should be booted.