Remakes & Reboots and Film Fatigue

Yesterday I stumbled upon the reality that the movie Overboard is being remade.  Now, I was never a huge fan of the film, it was okay and I’d watch it if it happened to be on.  I have friends who are much bigger fans.  But I always figured it was one of those movies that had been left alone.  Till Yesterday.

It made me wonder at what point does a movie get to ‘remakable’ status?  Is there a time limit?  A quality level?  Perhaps nothing at all (and I’m starting to think this is the reality.)

They made the first Spiderman movie with Toby McGuire in it in 2002.  Since then, they have made 2 sequels, rebooted it, made a sequel to that one and rebooted it again.  All in 16 years.  At least with the latest guy, its because the ownership changed hands therefore contracts were different.

But seriously.  16 years, 6 movies (8 if you include Captian America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers movie), 3 actors.  That is roughly a new Spiderman movie every 2-3 years and only a few are actually connected to each other.  Toby McQuire came out with one in 2002. 2004, and 2007.  Andrew Garfield got 2012 and 2014.  Tom Holland got 2017 (with 2016 (CA:CW) and 2018 (Avengers: Infinty Wars) as honorable mentions).

Seems a lot.  (Although I wish Tom Holland luck with the role.  He seems like a sweetheart.)

It makes the Star Trek reboot look like they took way too long (almost 50 years).

Of course there is Star Wars, creatively sourced as a continuation rather than a reboot.  They are using the same basic plots so I find the last series to be generally less impressive than the other two (yes, I’m a freak who loves the Prequels.  Not as much as the original trilogy, but I do love them).  I don’t want to watch The Original Trilogy with Anakin 2.0

The Mummy was recently remade, though I did not see this version due to an aversion of all things Tom Cruise.  Plus the Brendan Fraser Trio was a big part of my middle school years.  I don’t want to ruin them with whatever this new one is.  Which doesn’t appear to be anything like the 1932 original, or the Fraser 1999 remake.  So I’m not sure if it’s so much a remake as its “Hey, we got the rights to this film franchise and a budget, want to film?” type deal.

There are times I adore remakes.  It just seems that recently the board has been pretty flooded with remakes and reboots and sequels. And some of them run pretty close together.  I can understand a remake/reboot if enough time as passed (King Kong, Godzilla and Star Trek for example).  Book adaptations happen all time (Look up the many many many versions of Pride and Prejudice.  I did once.  I think there were thirty some at the time).  I just don’t get why I’m getting remakes/reboots of films that have been released since I was in high school.  Sure, its been over a decade but barely and still within memory.

At the very least a decade should be the minimum amount of time unless the movie was awful (ex. The Incredible Hulk movies.  We don’t talk about the Incredible Hulk movies).

I remember reading somewhere that someone had boiled down the general narratives of the world to about 6 storylines.  And that everything basically followed one of them.  But there are a million ways to be creative with a prompt.  Just look at any writing group and ask them their responses to a prompt.  You are bound to get a bunch of variety even with the same building blocks.

So I don’t think its a hard task to find something out there that is creative, even if its something old.  At least something not made in the last decade.  At the rate we are going, The day I turn 40, Harry Potter will be releasing its remake of A Deathly Hallows.

That being said…I’m probably going to be watching the new Overboard.  If only because the fact they genderswapped it sounds intriguing.

I believe I wrote about this before, but it was just a recent rant in my mind that needed to come out.  What are your thoughts on the matter?

Advertisements

Movie Review: The Last Jedi

Note:  I haven’t written anything for a while due to being extremely busy with my day job, and various illnesses.  Starting next week I hope to get back on a regular schedule. Now to the post

Title: Star Wars:  Episode VIII The Last Jedi (Or as I call it, Empire Strikes Back Anakinized)
Released:  December 2017
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Grade:  C

I saw this several weeks ago, but held off reviewing it because I was a bit confused by my own reaction.  I loved the movie, yet at the same time was oddly disappointed.  It took me awhile to figure a few things out.

I love Star Wars.  I’ve enjoyed the films, and the books and eventually plan on watching the animated TV shows.  I’ve seen each one in theaters since Attack of the Clones came out.  So seeing this movie was important as a lifetime fan.

Yet, after the awesomeness that was Rogue One, this movie failed to really impress me.  While it wasn’t as direct in its channeling of Empire Strikes back as the Force Awakens was with A New Hope, you kind of could see it following the same basic plotline. Our heroes are separated, the Jedi apprentice seeks a mentor, while the rebel members of the trio deal with gamblers and the bad guys while trying to save the alliance.  The characters were rather flat, which surprised me.  Even Leia, who I expected more from, was a bit flat.  Snoke was a disappointment because for a villain he’s rather flat.  Palpatine had more character in his scenes in the original trilogy and he barely had any scenes.

Also, Luke for all intents seems out of character for the man we saw in the last trilogy.  The only characters with any real sort of development was Luke (meh quality) and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo.  And even then it seems rather a let down.

I feel like JJ Abrams & Company are trying to recreate the Original Trilogy, yet with some of the Prequel style effects and characterization.  Kylo/Ben comes off as whiny as Anakin does in the prequels.

I have a few more specific problems with it, but I’m trying to make this as spoiler free as possible.  So my thoughts basically are this:  Enjoy the movie, but don’t expect something amazing.

TV Review: The Orville 1×04

Episode: 1×04 The Stars Before Us

Notable Guest Stars:
Liam Neeson (Doral) –  Its Qui-Gon. Liam Neeson is a pretty big deal to get in the first season of a show, even if its only for about 5 seconds.

In this episode, we have a more generic space mission.  They come across a ship that seems to be drifting in space.  They find out its a biodome full of people who have lived there so long they have forgotten that they are on a ship.  They have developed into a community that worships a man named Doval, thinking of him as the creator though he turns out to be the Ship’s captian when the ship was just starting out.

This episode actually makes good use of the field team.  Alara gets some character development beyond opening doors, Claire gets to use her medical skills, Issac gets to be an active participant, and Kelly has her own action scene.  Ed does first contact.  I liked that it was a team episode, but I wish there had been more world building and less discussion over the Mercer-Grayson marriage.

It also makes interesting commentary on the idea of how long memory of things last.

Notable Quotes

None stand out this time, though there were some funny comments.

Pros:

  • The entire away team is put to use.  Ed gets to make first contact.  Kelly faces torture.  Alara gets to open doors.  Issac gets to fix things by using his technological updates, and Dr. Claire helps heal Alara
  • Alara’s uniform doesn’t magically repair itself.  She puts it back on at the end of the episode with the marks still there.

Cons:

  • Not enough Liam Neeson
  • Can we go an episode without referencing Ed/Kelly overtly?  Like that look that Kelly and Ed share when he comes to untie her from the chair was a good thing, but the actually talking about it really isn’t necessarily.  Again, show it, don’t tell it.  The little things matter.

Final Grade: A

Bookit-Review: Vision of the Future

Title: Vision of the Future
Author: Timothy Zahn
Publication Date:  September 1, 1999  (Paperback) Book 2 of the Hand of Thrawn Duology
My Grade:  B

So this is the final book in the five Thrawn books made by Timothy Zahn.  The first three being his Thrawn Trilogy, and the second two being the Hand of Thrawn Duology which began with Specter of the Past.

Zahn is really good at building us a universe to play in.  It’s interesting to see in the Duology how his main characters have changed in the decade between then and now.  Mara has become more comfortable with herself, and with the idea of the Jedi.  Luke also has changed, become more mature and is in the process of evaluating how he uses the force in his day-to-day life.  Leia and Han just want a peaceful vacation with their three kids where no one tries to kidnap, kill or anything else to them.  However, when push comes to shove they are going to help out.

Han in this book is a little less the rascal we all love in the movies.  It is after all almost 20 years post the Battle of Yavin, so I suppose that all that time spent with the Rebellion, The New Republic and of course being a father to three Jedi children might chill you out a bit.  There is plenty of Lando as well, as he teams up with Han to find the Caamas Document.

Leia meanwhile is teaming up with various subcharacters in the political world trying to find peace for the New Republic, both internally and externally.

I think one of my favorite things is the delving into the background of Talon Karrde, as well as seeing what Pelleaon is up to now as the Supreme Commander of the Empire’s naval forces.  He’s trying to save the Empire but is not having an easy time of it because of the reappearance of “Thrawn.”

If you like books that deal with political intrigue, character backgrounds and action you will enjoy this book.  It has a good mix of the three.  It deals with the theme of how things can appear one way but turn out not to be that way at all, it depends on your point of view (as Obi-wan once told us) and who got to write the history down.

It also sets up the next stage of the Star Wars Legends books, which is interesting but I won’t be delving into myself.  At least not right now.

I really liked the fact that Luke and Mara had basically a road-trip like plot arc (well, it was more like a hike, but the same concept).  They ended up forced to face some issues between them that had developed over the last ten years, and eventually realise they love each other.  It’s a bit sappy in its almost instantious realization, and I feel it might have been better if he had started to develop them going down that road in the first book, but there is plenty going on that needed developed.

My only problem is wondering why after the kids are sent away to hang out with Chewie and his family, no one really mentions them.  That being said, it is a good book and I would definitely put it on my recommended books list.

I do however suggest, should you try this book out to start with the Thrawn Trilogy.  While it’s not completely necessary (as there is a ten-year gap with many events happening), it does give some background on the relationships between the main characters and an interesting place to compare how they have changed in 10 years.

Bookit Review: Specter of the Past

Title: Specter of the Past (Part 1 in a duology)  (Kindle version)

AUthor: Timothy Zahn

Published:  June 28th 2011

My Grade: B-

This duology is a sequel to the Thrawn trilogy, and takes place a decade later.  My favorites from the Thrawn series return, Palleaon is now a Admiral and head of the Imperial Navy.  He doesn’t see a happy ending for the Empire if they don’t make peace with the New Republic.  However not everyone agrees with him and he must search out some treachery on the side of the Empire.

On the New Republic side, Leia is dealing with mulitple issues as an old tragedy is brought forward when documents implicating the Bothans in the genocide of a species. Everyone ends up in the mix as tempers rise and accusations are thrown.  Han is implicated as shooting into a protest, Karrde is accused of being behind the reapperance of Thrawn, and Lando is accused of going along with it.

Meanwhile Luke is trying to figure out a few things, including his new equilibrium with the force and his connection to Mara Jade, whose investigating the Thrawn situation herself.

This book was good, but a bit of a disappointment as well.  It sets up the second book for the most part.  It is essieintally a 400 word lead-in.  It explains the political situation, updates us on the characters lives at the moment, and prepares us for whatever is going to happen in Vision of the Future which I”m currently reading right now.

It does reference things that have happened in books published between the trilogy and the duology.  Including Luke’s brush with being on the dark side. However I think, its brief enough that you can still read and enjoy without having read those books.

I bought this on Kindle, and that edition has a timeline of the Legends Universe.  My paperback copy of Visions of the Future that I bought many years ago but never fully read has a timeline too (although its called the expanded universe, because they hadn’t shifted the canon yet).

Bookit Review: The Last Command

Title: The Last Command (book 3 of 3 of the Thrawn Trilogy
Author: Timothy Zahn
Publication Date: May 1993 (Paperback edition)

My Grade:  A

I really enjoyed the third book in the trilogy, and the Trilogy in general.  It was interesting to read at this point due to the fact that this came out before the prequels and therefore has some Ret-conned elements.  However many of the things stand up even despite that.  In this book, Leia has her twins, which (as far as we know) doesn’t occur in movie cannon), but you could replace Jaina and Jacen relatively easily with Ben.  They talk about the Clone Wars, and it brings up some interesting ideas about the clone wars that makes me wonder how much this book influenced the animated series.  (Enough to make me think about watching it).

I have also grown to love some of the minor characters that I hope to catch often as I read more of the Expanded (now called Legends) universe.  Talon Karrde, General Bel Ibis, and Captain Pellaeon in particular.  Each of them seemed to be interesting characters with stories of their own to explore.  Mara Jade is still one of my favorite non-film canon characters and I hope they have some version of her in the film series.  I consider her one of the main characters of the EU.  To sum it up, this book as a variety of minor characters (and major ones) with good characterization.

It also has a good plot, tying together some of the various plot lines that have been going through the trilogy.  It also deals with Mara’s past, Leia’s use of the force, The Noghri’s situation, and gives alot of information about the Clone Wars that is vague enough that it actually might pass the flims/tv series canon.

I was actually expecting Luke and Mara to have a bigger force connection, because of the way things end up for them in other books, but instead I found the book deals alot with Mara and Leia’s connection.  And also the way Leia views the New Republic and Mara.  Honestly, this trilogy is a lot about Leia dealing with becoming a mother, being a Jedi, and dealing with being part of the New Republic.  She also deals with the legacy that is being Darth Vader’s daughter.

If you enjoy Star Wars, I definitely recommend this book, and the trilogy its a part of.  It brings back alot of the favorite minor characters from the films, and deepens the universe in which we get to play.  I’m actually moving to read the second Thrawn series (this one a duology) called Spectre of the Past  and Vision of the Future.   I actually own the second book, but never read the first one so I got lost on a few things.

(As of posting, I’ve actually read Spectre of the Past. It should be posted shortly)

Bookit Review: Dark Force Rising

Title:  Dark Force Rising (Book 2 of 3 in the Thrawn Trilogy)

Author: Timothy Zahn

Publication Date: June 1992 (and this paperback is old enough that it doesn’t have Legends slapped on it).

My Rating:  A-

Although it took me awhile to get through this book thanks to life getting in the way, I enjoyed it.  It really fleshed out the universe of Star Wars.  Mara’s background is included, as well as information about the Clone Wars, the Jedi and many other things.  Granted, alot has been retconned by the prequel movies, but it is still interesting.

In this book, the three main characters take different paths and all three are interesting.  Luke takes after a lead on an Old Jedi Master, and Mara finds herself in need of his help which doesn’t actually appeal to her but she does it anyway.  So Luke, Mara and Karrde’s storyline goes together in this novel.  Han and Lando meanwhile have a different path to take, which leads them to an Senator from Corellia and a bit of backstory for Han.

I think Leia’s storyline is the most interesting.  In this triology, the empire makes use of a species known as the Noghri, who are loyal to Vader and through him Thrawn due to being saved.  Leia tries to figure out if she can find a way to win them to the New Republic’s side, and learns alot about herself, Vader and Clone wars.    One of the reasons I find this storyline interesting is because it develops a world and species in a very interesting way.  They are serving the empire because they see the Empire as their hero.  And it ties in with some of the universe’s history.

I really enjoyed this one, and I’m looking forward to the final book in the series.  I wish there was more I could say without causing spoilers.  If you are a Star Wars fan, I definately recommend reading this series.