This summer is yet another summer of sequels and remakes. Now don’t get me wrong, I like many a fangirl look forward to the next episode in some movie sequels. But honestly most would have stood better if left as the awesome first movie they were. As for remakes, I’m at the age now where I’m seeing my childhood shows and movies redone casting the next generation, except Spiderman that gets rebooted what every other year? While some remakes are great fun others pale in comparison. So here’s my take on three from this summer.
Spectre – My father is a James Bond fan. Then I married a James Bond fan. So I come into this fandom by association. I welcome Daniel Craig’s take on Bond. It was serious, not campy which made for a fresh change. However this installment was flat. I quickly got the feeling he’d grown bored with the role and just walked through the part. The story wasn’t one fitting to his Bond, it was too over the top. It was trying too hard to link all his stories together with one arch-arch villain. I swear I saw Craig roll his eyes at the plot… well if he didn’t buy it or care to even try neither did I. I think it’s time for him to retire the title to someone who would relish the role and bring us yet another fresh take on it. For me I’d like to see Idris Elba give us a new man taking on the 007 mantel. I go with the theory that James Bond 007 isn’t a man but a title like Q, M, and the others. They change and it’s time for a change. This last movie was a snoozer.
Independence Day Resurgence – Okay the first one wasn’t great art but it was fun cinematic action. I’ve always enjoyed it. Made me think of my first ensemble action flick Poseidon Adventure (the original not the lousy recent remake). I was looking forward to the long awaited sequel. While it wasn’t fresh and new it was fun and filled in what changed due to events of the first movie. I did enjoy seeing how the alien tech changed the world. However I felt it was very predictable – yes we’d shoot first, yes they’d come back and demolish us for it, yes we’d expect the helper to be one of them and dangerous. You knew some of the old guard would die and the new guard would gender swap roles but step into the character forms that the series had established. I will give a shout out to Brent Spiner he was awesome it in. Yes he’s back… and he’s still a wonderfully wacky scientist. I didn’t come away from this thinking it was awesome fun like the first but I did walk away satisfied. I came to see action with aliens and comic relief. That’s what I got – even trade.
Ghostbusters – First let’s address the misogyny issues. There is no reason people who study, fight, and capture ghosts have to be male. It’s not a physical prowess thing or let’s face it the original one would have cast the actors they did. Murray, Ramis, Akyrod, and Hudson weren’t the Chris Hemsworths of their time. As far as brain power goes from what I’ve studied quantum physics doesn’t gender prefer. So yeah I have no problem re-imagining the group as women and neither did this movie. I liked that the characters weren’t carbon copies of their male counterparts. That each had their own personalities. The remake didn’t even try to tell the same story it came up with a new one in the vein of the universe it established. The nods to the originals were awesome though I loved Akyrod’s cameo the best. In the end I found it a great take on the franchise. Yet as with Resurgence I didn’t leave the theater jazzed as I did after I first saw the first Ghostbusters. Back then the concept was new, the world built was familiar but full of surprises. It was a new story with a great take on a new cinematic world. This one was set in what has now become a modern classic with tropes to fulfill. We knew how ghosts would look, that they would slime, that people would be silly scared, that their business would grow, that they’d have to hire on another buster (big shout out to Leslie Jones for making me laugh and hugs for the horrid trolling she got later). We knew this buster would be there for us regular folks. So there were no surprises, we were waiting for these mile markers of the story to be hit. The question was how the story would do it. This movie didn’t have a chance to be the new fresh smash the old one was because, well, it’s the second take. As a remake I think this one was great and up there with remakes that improve the franchise. I came to see a new take on the Ghostbusters. Just as with Resurgence I got what I paid for and enjoyed it for what it was. An excellent remake of a known franchise.