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Opinion: Movie reboots need to stop

By Jordan Wright
On February 22, 2011

I think that the human desire for perfection is an admirable trait. The idea of not simply doing something right, but doing it as good as possible has led to the reimagining of old properties in Hollywood that surpass the capabilities of their franchises as they were previously established. This includes franchises like Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, the Daniel Craig's James Bond movies, and J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. This action has been defined by Hollywood as rebooting, and the mentioned films are examples of how to properly reboot a franchise. So, how do you know when it's done wrong? Just look at general movie news: every new announcement is about a new film that has already existed in a previous incarnation within the last 20 years.

Anybody that knows me knows that I make no attempt to hide my love for "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight". Both are examples  of filmmaking at its finest and I truly believe that "The Dark Knight" is one of the best films of the previous decade. However, despite the adoration I have for seeing one of my favorite childhood icons done properly, I'm starting to get burned by the Hollywood's twisted interpretation of the message of its success. It was cool for a short time, but, as a person that loves seeing alternate interpretations of old ideas, I stand firm when I say that reboots need to stop right now.

For the last four years, all I've heard from news sources is how producers plan to redo whatever project they happen to pick out of a hat that week. From Rob Zombie's bastardization of "Halloween," to the wretchedly boring "A Nightmare on Elm Street," the movie industry doesn't seem to actually care about what they're doing to these big name franchises in the long run as long as they can still make a quick buck. I don't even blame them at this point. Would you honestly be worried about the production of a bad installment or two when the entire mindset of the business is "if we can't make everybody happy, just relaunch it in about three years." As much as I despise Rob Zombie's "Halloween" movies, I do need to give credit to its studio for actually making a sequel instead of letting the franchise go nowhere, unlike other unpopular relaunches.

Though I'm often teased for it by my friends, I was actually rather fond of "Superman Returns". Yes, it had some major problems and it was essentially a rehash of the original movie but it was not only nice to see Superman on screen taking advantage of modern day visuals, it also reestablished the character to the audiences as a setup for future adventures. I would have loved to see Brandon Routh return as the Man of Steel in completely original stories, but audiences spoke and now we have to take a chance on a reboot from the director that apparently views the entire world in slow motion.

I share the same view of the rather recent "Spider-Man" trilogy. The movies may have been flawed, but they were at least well directed and enjoyable. Even with the disappointment of "Spider-Man 3," there is nothing that really justified a reboot of the series a mere five years after its last installment. In addition to poor timing, production photos have failed to ease my mind on the matter, taking a film that I was already not looking forward to and driving down my expectations further.

Furthermore, I don't even want to begin with "The Punisher," a franchise that now has a total of three movies yet has not only been rebooted twice but is actually in talks of getting yet another reboot. This is a film franchise that now has three continuities comprised of one movie each. Why can't they just stick with one and fix its flaws?

With all of this piled on top of the news of the "Highlander" reboot being penned by the screenwriter of all three "Twilight" movies, I have officially had it with seeing revivals. Congratulations to the film industry for taking a cool concept, destroying it, and somehow managing to take the destroyed remains and continue to beat us over the head with them. After this year, I am officially done with anything based on a pre-established film franchise that doesn't involve a man in a bat costume, spaceships and phasers, or James Bond. Give me an original idea. Develop the ideas that you've already put out, or just leave me alone.

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