14 Oct 2014
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Movie Reboots

Occasionally a movie series gives viewers the impression that the story has come to an end.  Maybe after two movies, or five, or ten. We go away satisfied that we had a good conclusion to a drawn-out affair. But then directors and writers decide, to ignore a few plotlines, or take existing characters and give them a new story/background. Thus we are blessed with movie reboots.

The horror and sci-fi genres seem particularly fond of this idea.  A major draw-card would be the improvements in special effects, which allows films from the 70s and 80s to be given a whole new look and gore-level. In other examples we see movies filmed relatively close together, but to create a new edition to the franchise previous ‘facts’ or storylines are ignored.

Here are examples of movie reboots, showing a wide spectrum of fan acceptance.

James Bond (1962 onwards)

If ever a movie franchise had a hold over the term ‘reboot’, it is this one. In total we have had seven actors who have played 007 on the big screen, countless ‘Bond girls’, numerous bad guys and even reboots of the same movie title in “Casino Royale”.  Clearly this franchise knows what it is doing as the constant reinventions since the 60s have always proved popular to varying degrees and the hype about who is playing the spy is almost as exciting as the movies themselves.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, 2003)

Both versions find us in Texas, with a man and his chainsaw. The first movie is often seen as the start of 'slasher' films but it is the reboot that really gets you up close and personal with people being literally taken apart. In 2003 you also get the nice touch of Leatherface 'wearing' one of his victims. The same basic storyline was used, but the reboot had a carload of young victims in different circumstances and it offered a wider ‘support network’ for Leatherface, with a bizarre, large group of relations who took part in the fun family activity.

So popular was this franchise, we also received a 3D version in 2013.  All three proved massive hits

Spiderman (2002) vs The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

No doubt the great thing about superhero movies is that there is always a new generation developing an interest with crime-fighting good guys.  This explains there being only a 10-year gap between Spiderman and The Amazing Spiderman. You can't get away from the main character but you can add a new love interest, swap an angst-fuelled background involving the death of an uncle for the angst-fuelled world of high school, and give him different bad guys to do battle with.

The Terminator Franchise (1984 onwards)

From 1984 the Terminator franchise has produced four movies (with one on the way in 2015 for good measure). Of the ones currently out the latter two in the series are considered reboots with alternative story tie-ins and outcomes to those suggested in the first two movies. This includes Skynet being postponed rather than averted, which allowed for the series to be continued after Terminator 2.

End result?  Turns out reboot movies provide a mixed bag of results. What are your thoughts on the reboot? Do you have any favourites?

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