Until just recently, the term “reboot” was only associated with my computer. To “reboot” meant holding in the power button on my ancient PC to get rid of the Blue Screen of Death. But lately, the term has been given a new meaning — and been overused — by the entertainment industry.
Last week, it was announced that “Spider-Man 4” was essentially scrapped. Franchise director Sam Raimi and star Toby Maguire were dropped over “creative differences” and Sony Pictures has announced that the series will be “rebooted.”
Now, I have to ask, does “Spider-Man” really need rebooting?
It seems as though there are no new ideas in Hollywood these days. Movie-makers are scavenging my childhood in order to make big bucks at the box office. Along with last week’s announcement of the “Spider-Man” reboot came the Internet release of the trailer for the reboot of “The A-Team.” Starring Liam Neeson. And not starring Mr. T.
In what crazy, mixed-up world does that even make sense?
I watched the trailer. It looked OK. I think it might have been an all-right movie if it had been an original idea and not another tired remake of something I loved… as a kid.
Reboots are dubious at best. “Charlie’s Angels” brought in money at the box office, but served little purpose in reviving the classic series. Did anyone really think Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore could replace Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett, or even do justice to Charlie’s original angels?
“Superman Returns” might have looked good on paper, but the end result was not well received by fans. And does Lex Luthor have any nefarious plans that don’t involve a land swindle?
“The Incredible Hulk” was rebooted not once, but twice, in 2003 and again in 2008. Both contained CGI versions of the not-so-jolly green giant that looked… well, silly. Lou Ferrigno was much more believable as the Hulk than these two cartoonish ones.
The James Bond reboots made a lot of money, but frankly, I thought Daniel Craig’s Bond lost most the whimsy I had come to associate with the character and became simply another action hero.
“The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Bewitched” — all shows I loved as a kid made terrible, terrible movies.
I can understand why Hollywood moguls like the idea of reboots. Creating new fans for a franchise while bringing in the old ones could equal box office bliss. And some have been quite successful. As a Batman fan, even I cringed at the thought of another Caped Crusader movie after the horrific farce that was “Batman and Robin.” But “Batman Begins” treated the source material with respect, giving it a new life, new look and a legion of new fans.
Five series and 10 movies later, J.J. Abrams not only rocked the screen with “Star Trek,” he also managed to completely change the entire history of the “Trek” ‘verse without die-hard Trekkies rioting in the streets. Which just proves the man is a genius.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” made a dismal movie, but when moved to the small screen gained a cult-like following that lasted seven seasons and produced a popular spin-off series (and a snappy musical soundtrack).
With franchise reboot successes being few and far between, I have to wonder just how long this trend will last. In 10 years’ time, will we be seeing a reboot of “Batman Begins”? Will George Lucas take a page from James Cameron’s book and reboot “Star Wars,” this time using using 3-D CGI? There certainly doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, what with series reboots of “Friday the 13th,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Tron” and “Ghostbusters” coming soon to a theater near you. I might have hope for the “Spider-Man” reboot if J.J. Abrams or Chris Nolan were in charge. But as I don’t foresee that happening, I think I’ll skip the reboot and wait for the new “Star Trek” sequel to hit the screens instead.