There’s a thin line between remakes and reboots. And sometimes, in this business, we makes the mistake of using them as synonyms for each other. But there’s a big difference between the two, the main one being that there actually aren’t very many movie reboots out there… yet. Remakes there’s a ton. Movie reboots on the other hand, aren’t as popularized. But that’s going to change in the next few years because Hollywood studios have decided to press the reset button on a bunch of movies. Before that happens though, before we’re flooded with reboots, we want to look back to the ones that are already out there. So we’ve made a list of the best and the worst. Check it out.
Before we get started, let’s make something a little more clear. Reboots are when you take a movie and/or franchise and you start from scratch, with brand new ideas, plot lines and characters. The Amazing Spider-Man is a perfect example of a reboot. A remake is a bit more simple. It’s sort of like an update in which filmmakers use new technology, settings, casts and sometimes even languages, but keep the same story and characters. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho is a remake, as well as David Fincher‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Our very own Melissa Molina made a list of The Top Ten Best Remakes In Cinema recently, so if you’re still somewhat confused about remakes and reboots, that list should help clear things up. And this one should too. Here’s are the worst and best reboots in cinema.
5. The Sum Of All Fears
For many, Harrison Ford was the perfect Jack Ryan. He took over the role that Alec Baldwin brought to life in The Hunt for Red October in 1992 with Patriot Games and then again in 1994 with Clear and Present Danger. Then it was decided that the whole franchise was to get a reboot, starring Ben Affleck. The Sum of All Fears was okay, but not extraordinary, which is what it needed to be. That’s what fans expected, but instead they got something that wasn’t rooted in reality. Though the movie included lots of star power, the story didn’t satisfy. This is probably why we’re getting another reboot (starring Chris Pine). Hopefully the next does justice to the character.
4. Conan the Barbarian
Robert E. Howard‘s pulp hero hit the screen again last year, this time with Game of Thrones‘ Jason Momoa in the title role. The Conan the Barbarian reboot was directed by none other than Marcus Nispel, who’s made a career of rebooting and remaking horror classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th. Although Momoa fit the part of the Barbarian, his performance didn’t measure up to what Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the original. In the end, the reboot didn’t work. The story wasn’t fleshed out enough to make us care. Even the 3D and Morgan Freeman‘s narration couldn’t help this reboot. Did we also mention it completely bombed at the box office? ‘Cause it did.
3. The Pink Panther
Steve Martin is a legend, but even he can’t get away with such a travesty, which is exactly what The Pink Panther reboot was. The reboot couldn’t measure up to the comical franchise that Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards made famous. This was a very unnecessary movie to make.
2. Friday the 13th (2009)
We can all probably agree that 80′s horror movie reboots are pretty bad. They don’t offer anything new or remotely horrifying. Friday the 13th is just a bunch of sex-crazed teens running around while a masked man with a machete chases them (Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil does a great job at poking fun at this ridiculousness by the way). This reboot relied on cheap scares and boobs, and completely lacked surprise. It was like: There’s Jason. There’s the Crystal Lake. Oh and some stupid teenagers. And boobs. Bang, you’re dead. Boring!
1. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Wes Craven‘s Nightmare on Elm Street is a memorable American slasher film. It was a highly imaginative film that impacted the horror genre and brought about numerous sequels, a TV series and a reboot. However, the reboot, courtesy of first-time director Samuel Bayer, completely lacked imagination. A Nightmare on Elm Street was designed to reboot the franchise and instead acted like a remake. It didn’t even do its job right! This movie ended up being a shadow of its former self.
5. The Muppets
Last year, the Muppets got their mojo back. Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller gave new life to the characters, infusing each with cool and hip personalities. The movie still had the spirit of the original, but could also stand on its own two feet. The Muppets is such a joyous experience that it makes you feel good about life. (And yes, we are getting a sequel.)
4. 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You is probably the one movie on this list that isn’t so much a reboot as it is a re-interpretation or modernization of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This movie didn’t set out to be a franchise or anything like that. (It did get a reboot of its own a few years ago when ABC turned into an ill-fated TV show). But since this play has been adapted to the screen so many times, we decided to slap 10 Things I Hate About You with a reboot label. The whole movie felt like a fresh idea with quirky characters and a love triangle. This movie is one of the best teen romantic comedies out there. It’s got Julia Stiles as a wisecracking heroine and Heath Ledger as an Aussie badass with a scary reputation. The whole movie is full of edgy humor. It’s something really special.
3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a spectacular reboot and one of the best we’ve got, thus far. It tells a good intimate story, has great performances and impressive special effects. For those of us who weren’t fans of the original 1968 franchise or the Tim Burton reboot, this movie was a game changer.
2. Casino Royale
Casino Royale saved the Bond franchise. You’ve probably heard that a million times because it’s as true as the sky is blue. Daniel Craig was just what the long-running series needed. Casino Royale gave us the right amount of action, wit and romance. Craig gave Bond emotion and layers and did an overall great job in the role. Unfortunately, the same great things can’t be said for the sequel Quantum of Solace, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for Skyfall.
1. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Franchise
Batman & Robin left a lot of people trembling in fear, wondering what had happened to the courageous Caped Crusader. He had grown nipples and his voice had gotten softer. Was he on some sort of estrogen treatment? It was a dark time for Gotham’s mighty hero. But then came dawn and Christopher Nolan. He turned all of our fears into cries of joy with Batman Begins. His gritty and darker take on the superhero was a huge success and left us wanting more. Then we got The Dark Knight, which some have called, the best superhero movie ever. Finally this summer we got The Dark Knight Rises, which was a more-than-decent finale to the trilogy. This reboot worked wonders. Mr. Nolan had done it right. He took the dead franchise and turned into something phenomenal. Warner Bros. will, at some point, reboot Batman again because there’s money to be made, but it’s going to take a lot to measure up to this.
What’s your favorite reboot?