Thursday, 22 March 2012

RE-BOOT RANT


As you may have already guessed, i love films.  I like going to the cinema, to experience the big screen, effects and atmosphere.  I also enjoy watching a good film at home on the sofa.  I am a fan of many sci-fi greats and their sequels, few of which are better than their originals.  Recently though more and more films from a new category are emerging from the minds of film producers, and i think they are a disease infecting the fantastic myriad of options and alternatives that the film industry has at its disposal.  It is lazy.  It is squeezing every last drop of money out of already successful film titles and stories.  It is sucking the bones of the skeletal frames which used to support the body of the big-name film titles.  Perhaps the Hollywood film industry is lacking the creativity and originality that it once had, and is now becoming addicted to this easy-fix.  The media, the film going public and the industry have a name for this menace. It is called a RE-BOOT.  Simply put, it takes the original cell (pun intended), absorbs it, assimilating some of the good parts and then mutating into the modern day version of its predecessor.  The main problem is the part about the assimilation of some of the good parts.  What actually happens is that it takes the good parts, the parts that made the name cement its place in film history and then somehow dispenses of them, forgetting why those parts where there!  The other problem is that these re-boots are starting to be re-booted themselves!  Spider Man (2002) with Toby Maguire, was a good re-interpretation (significantly different from re-boot) of the late 70's early 80's t.v series which itself spawned a couple of t.v movies.  For me it was a fresh, modernised version of one of the greatest super-heroes.  Maguire's subsequent sequels were also good and could have been carried on.  Unfortunately, poor old Peter Parker (Spiderman's alter-ego) has been infected.  Not with another radioactive spider, but by the dreaded RE-BOOT disease.  A new film is coming out this year with nothing to do with the previous films.  Another superhero, possibly the greatest of all time, is about to become a re-boot of a re-boot!  Does that make it a re-boot-boot?  He can stop a speeding bullet.  He has x-ray vision.  He can fly.  And he could probably even beat Steven Segal and Chuck Norris in a fight.  But he cant defeat RE-BOOT!  Yes, Superman, the man of steel is being re-booted. Again.  The original, helmed by Richard Donner was in my opinion, one of the greatest films ever made.  Helped of course by a fantastic score by the master John Williams which sat alongside Jaws as "A film you can name purely by hearing the first few notes" it was immense.  The most recent version, Superman Returns (Could it be more blatant?) was alright i thought.  Brandon Routh was good and it did update the effects somewhat, but it was the beginnings of the infection.  Another Superman is due out in 2013.  The last one was just six years ago.  That's less time than some film series (original followed by two or three sequels lets say) last.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I recently felt that my eldest was at an age where i thought he would enjoy watching Superman.  I have a problem now though.  What do i show him? If i show the Christopher Reeve version what do i say the Brandon Routh one is about, or indeed the one due out next year?  The worst example is rumored to be on the horizon.  It is a mutation itself.  Michael Bay has suggested that he would be involved in the next Transformers film.  However, it is a sort of re-boot but with characters from the other three films he made about five minutes ago.  What is this horror?  In my view it is the personification of this problem.  "I can't think of anywhere to take this story" or "The main lead actor/actress does not want to be in another, and i cant think of a way of changing the actor/actress for the story."  Surely it cannot be right where someone has to choose which re-boot to watch?  Some new films out soon approach the problem from a different angle, in that they are a re-imagining of an old story.  This is different and can work very well.  Please do not confuse this with the "Pre-boot", which is another entity and something for another blog entry.  This disease is spreading and may be joined soon by another element which i shall reserve judgement on for now: retro application of 3-d to older films or films not filmed in 3-d, until i have seen a few.  I have only seen Clash of The Titans (re-boot!)in this format and all the bits that should have been 3-d weren't and vice-versa!  Some characters were created with the ability to re-boot themselves and so do it with ease and success.  Dr Who and James Bond are the main two.  Where re-boots are concerned, Hollywood is purely milking the public with these films.  There are many fantastic, fresh films that have come out recently, so it can be done.  I shall leave you with a list of films due out soon which have been made before in some form of another.  I'm sure some will be very good, but some will rely purely on their ancestry to make money.  Finally, and i direct this at Hollywood: See if you try and re-boot or re-imagine or re-anything my favourite film of all time, Jaws, never mind a bigger boat or Roy Schneider, i hope it would come back and bite you in half!  Here is the list, and i challenge you to read it without saying "NOOO!" or "It is sacrilege!"  You won't do it!
THREE STOOGES, SNOW WHITE, SPIDER MAN, TOTAL RECALL, JUDGE DREDD, RED DAWN, EVIL DEAD, THE LONE RANGER, SUPERMAN, DIRTY DANCING, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, THE CROW, ROBOCOP, LOGANS RUN and believe it or not, SHORT CIRCUIT.

Keep pushing that button pal, and it'll blow up in your face.

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