Hollywood loves to recycle old ideas. This month alone we have a TMNT reboot, two book-to-movie adapations, and another comic book movie. Some are great (Guardians), some are good (The Hundred-Foot Journey), and some are destroying awesome memories from our childhood (The Giver).
We decided to take a look back at some of our favorite and least favorite reboots and remakes. With the added bonus of what we actually want Hollywood to make. As long as they don’t eff it up like The Last Airbender.
The Good: X-Men prequel series (2011-2014), reboot from X-Men series (2000-2006)
Okay, for whatever reason these are considered part of the same franchise, but since it’s a (mostly) new cast in a different time period I’m counting it as a reboot. After seeing X2, I was ready for the X-Men series to retire. The fun and excitement of zillions of superhero mutants died in the slow pacing of the last movies. I was nervous to see X-Men First Class, but I wasn’t disappointed. First Class and Days of Future Past have better pacing, tone, and story than the first three.
The Bad: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), adaptation from the book series (1999-2006)
This was my first encounter with reading the books first and then seeing the movie adaptation. My sixth grade teacher read the first book to us in class, but then I could not stop. I probably read the first ten books within those two years. The movie ruined any drive to finish the series. The greatest downfall was the choice to cram the first three books into one movie. It didn’t do the books justice and I’ll never forgive them.
The Dream: The Song of the Lioness book series by Tamora Pierce (1983-1988)
This book series was the beginning of my reading addiction – specifically for anything fantasy. The Song of the Lioness series is about a young girl Alanna who trades places with her twin brother Thom. She travels to the capital to learn to become a knight, but only boys can be knights. I think this would as good a time as any to have a coming-of-age story set in a magical medieval-ish kingdom, thanks to Harry Potter and A Game of Thrones, but it may never happen.
The Good: Where the Wild Things Are (2009), adapted from the book (1963)
This children’s book-turned movie captures all of the whimsy and innocence of Maurice Sendak’s classic but still elevates it for an adult audience. WTWTA is equal parts childhood imagination and complex emotions like feeling misunderstood. Spike Jonze weaves live action, puppeteering and cgi together in such a beautiful way that you can’t help but get swept up in the land of the wild things.
The Bad: Psycho (1998), remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)
Yeah, I could have pointed out how Michael Bay is continuously ruining the beautiful things from my childhood but I think, in reality, Psycho might just be the worst remake in history. Directed by Gus Van Sant, right off the heals of Good Will Hunting, the new Psycho is basically a shot-for-shot duplication of Hitchcock’s classic but now in color and starring Vince Vaughn. No reinterpretation, no creative vision, no innovative cinematography… Just Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche mucking about in a motel. At least Michael Bay is trying to do something different/creative (even if I have severe reservations of his methods). If you want to see Vince Vaughn in a great thriller, go watch The Cell and forget all about this terrible rendition of Psycho.
The Dream: Captain Planet and the Planeteers television series (1990-1996)
I think the world is finally ready for a live action Captain Planet movie. Granted, I think the possibilities of a Captain Planet film are about a 90% chance of being awful. The right writing and directing could just make it work. Think something with the time of a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? or Space Jam, something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hollywood, Robert Zemeckis, let’s make it happen, let’s take pollution down to zero once and for all.
The Good: Monsters University (2013), prequel for Monsters, Inc. (2001)
I am obsessed with anything Disney or Pixar. Every single movie is just perfect (with the exception of Brave maybe). That being said, Monsters University is my favorite reboot. Monsters, Inc. was such a good movie with a strong and original plot, they could have gone in any direction with the new one and it would have been good. They could have sent the monsters to the moon and I would have loved it.
The Bad: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), adaptation from the Roald Dahl book (1961) and remake of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Honestly, this particular reboot was an abomination in my opinion. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was perfect just the way it was. CATCF tried to hard to be fun with a slight twist of freaky, and just ended up being weird. Especially with Wonka (Johnny Depp, who I normally like). Gene Wilder even made a “rare public appearance” to state that the remake was “an insult.” If I were Tim Burton, I would be ashamed.
The Dream: The Breakfast Club (1985) or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
This is a tough one for me. I almost want to say I’d love to see either of these, simply because I think it could be really awesome. Either what the group is up to now, or maybe a story having to do with their kids. It would have to be the whole original cast, which is sometimes hard to do. But at the same time the movies are great the way they are and a second one might ruin the originals. So there’s that.