10 Sequels and Reboots Way More Offensive to Fans Than ‘Ghostbusters’
The internet is caught in a cycle. A new piece of news or a trailer for Ghostbusters comes out, a bunch of pissy man-children indignantly bellow about how much they hate it and then everyone else shrugs and says that they’ll wait for it to come out before judging it. Every time the cycle comes around the man-children become more children than man, stamping their feet and slamming the door to their mother’s basement because for some reason this issue is worth getting angry about. This time around the internet has been caught up with some self-important tosser’s video where he declares his refusal to review the upcoming Ghostbusters.
We are assured by the aforementioned tosser that it’s not because of sexism or any other such reason, but because it looks ‘shit’. The problem here is clear: if you’re refusing to review a movie based on a preconceived notion of quality, then you have no business calling yourself a reviewer. You’re just a fanboy with a youtube channel and if you’re so determined to hate this movie we don’t care about your opinion.
And now, if it’s their proud standards that prevent anyone from giving this movie a chance and it’s not being a judgemental mouth breather who can’t accept any challenge to their nostalgia or expectations of gender then why didn’t we see such furore over these movies?
Alfred Hitchcock is inarguably the best horror director in the history of cinema. He rewrote the rules of the game while working almost entirely within genre films. Psycho was considered to weird and gruesome for the public and he struggled to get funding. Then it came out and became one of the most popular movies ever made. So when Gus Van Sant decided to remake it shot for shot, adding nothing new except colour film, people were scratching their heads. Why? No-one is going to be caught out by the twist, it’s not going to challenging expectations of the genre…it has no business being made. The casting of Vince Vaughn in the role of Norman Bates resulted in an embarrassing performance.
9. The Thing
John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing is a masterwork of suspense and a cult favourite. Equal parts nail-biting anticipation and leap out of your skin scares, it’s a horror movie like no other. Except for the remake/prequel thing. What made this an insult to the original was the last minute rejection of practical effects for cheap looking CGI. The makers of the original showed no respect for what made the original distinctive and popular.
8. Clash of the Titans
Speaking of movies that replaced impressive stop-motion and practical effects with crappy looking CGI…here’s Clash of the Titans. Whilst the original is far from being a masterpiece, it carries a lot of nostalgic value and has a charm of its own. Folks behind the remake announced their intention to get rid of anything ‘cheesy’ and make it ‘darker and more realistic’. Basically undoing everything that made the first film memorable.
7. The Wicker Man
Many horror movies rely on gore and shock value to sell tickets, but The Wicker Man is different. It’s a slow burn story with a slow build up of dread before the iconic finale. Dealing with Christianity and Paganism, and focusing on Edward Woodward’s inspector exploring the enigmatic island community belonging to charismatic Sir Christopher Lee, it was hard for the viewer to put their finger on what was wrong with the place. The remake shifted the setting to the USA and instead focused on Nicolas Cage shouting and screaming at bee worshipers. This example is particularly offensive because the remake is the version everyone talks about, ignoring the classic.
This dystopian sci-fi served as a warning of things to come. When energy companies monopolize the economy, the divide between rich and poor grows larger than ever and the masses are entertained by bloodsports. When a single player of the sport becomes a hero to the people the powers that be seek to destroy him. It’s poignant, unsettling and thrilling when Rollerball is in play. Then the shitty remake made it a parody of WWE. Fantastic idea.
This ‘reimagining’ of the long, long running Japanese franchise manage completely screw up the premise ‘big monsters attack city’. The film was so badly received by fans that they coined the term ‘GINO’ (Godzilla In Name Only) and criticised the creature’s iguana-frog mash up design. Toho eventually trademarked the use of the design as ‘Zilla’, a mindless, pathetic rival to Godzilla.
4. Alice in Wonderland/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Two films that carry a generation’s worth of nostalgia through their whimsical, off-beat nature got fed through the generic Tim Burton cliche generator. Disney’s original Alice in Wonderland captured the source materials disjointed nature, essentially being weird for the sake of weird. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory also recreated the book’s simple messages and spirit of childhood. Burton took command of these classics and completely missed the point of both. His Alice tried to force motivation and meaning into a story that celebrated randomness by adding social commentary, a political sub-plot and a good vs evil war. Charlie somehow made Charlie the supporting character to Willy Wonka’s backstory that no-one cared about. His father was a dentist. Wow, I can sleep at night again.
3. Terminator Genisys
The sequel that literally sent the main character back in time to punch the original in the face, while slapping the fans of the series in the face. John Conner went from being one of the heroes of the series to a generic villain. The entire purpose of Skynet and the timeline was rewritten, possibly to fit in more awkward humour from the aging Arnie. We don’t actually need him to in the movies any more.
2. The Phantom Menace
Someone people still try to defend this drunken first draft of a shit film. We’ve covered the big problems with the movie before, so today a small problem. Why do the Jedi all wear those brown and white robes? Sure Obi-Wan had one in the original film, but so did everyone on Tatoonie. Either everyone there was cosplaying as Jedi, or that’s what the people of the desert planet were wearing and Obi-Wan was trying to fit in. Confused, simple minded George looked at what Old Ben was wearing and figured that since he’s a Jedi, that’s what Jedi wear. Sure, Luke Skywalker and Yoda never wear anything like it but now it’s the ‘official’ costume of Jedi and watching the movies in order makes it look like all moisture farmers and bartenders on Tatoonie are Jedi. Stupid movie.
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Transformers/GI Joe
They’re from the same era as the original Ghostbusters and arguably treated with less respect than that reboot. All of them became shills for whatever company was willing to chuck in some cash, turning Transformers in particular into a product placement showreel with a contractual agreement not to portray the US military in a bad light. Almost all the Autobots were designed from their original cars to the sponsor’s cars. All three franchises drastically redesigned the characters and rewrote the mythology. Ghostbusters at least seems to be building on the original rather than reworking them based on what marketing thinks would work. In spite of them all being slagged off online prior to release and being critically mauled they did enough business to warrant sequels, video games and endless crappy merchandise.
So why didn’t these movies get the drubbing Ghostbusters is getting? All three of the #1 entry were made from a business perspective while Ghostbusters looks to be trying to be comedic first and foremost. It’s almost like some people are exceptionally butthurt over one particular change, something as petty as women being cast in the lead roles. But that would be dumb.
The trailer for Ghostbusters didn’t generate any excitement from me, but I’ll wait and see it before I make a judgement call. Because I’m not a baby.