I think the direction that certain franchises have taken with various books and cartoon series from my childhood have been somewhat commendable attempts. But generally, they end up with mistakes like the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie. Fail.
I keep my eyes peeled for things I even vaguely recognize from when I was a kid, and this year has decided to exceptionally nostalgic. Some things I am looking forward to, while others I am not as enthused about...but the entire spectrum of the entertainment market serves to revive my childhood.
Who you gonna call?
The Ghostbusters are making a comeback in a big way. In what is easily one of the most enjoyable videogames to be released so far this year (and arguably one of very few successful based on a movie), the entire cast of ghost-busting heroes returned - except for Rick Moranis, who respectfully declined - to voice roles in the game.
The all-star cast also began discussions of the definitive third movie in the series. Columbia Pictures has already begun production on the script, and filming is predicted to start in winter 2009. According to Harold Ramis, the videogame was supposed to serve as a sort of 2.5 version of the series, bridging the gap between the old-school busters, and the next generation of recruits to take on "spooks, spectres or ghost." It also means they intend to reprise certain new character roles for the third movie.
Final Verdict/Prediction: WIN!
More than meets the eye!
Perhaps director Michael Bay misunderstood that phrase when reviving the Transformers franchise. Yes, the audience was greeted by "robots in disguise", but also more movie than we wanted to meet our eyes. The sequel to the 2007 movie was recently released - Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
In concept, this revival has been a brilliant move. It was a long-since untapped resource of science fiction, and reminds many people of their Saturday morning cartoon days. But it was just too flashy! I have enjoyed both movies purely from a male perspective (what with the explosions, robots, cars, etc.) but I am reluctant to say I enjoy this from a nostalgic perspective.
The film distorts the original story-lines from the cartoons series I remember, and seeks to boast Shia LaBeouf as a brave hero and Megan Fox (miniature Angelina Jolie in my opinion) as a sex idol. I'm not convinced of either, and I want more balk-talk from Starscream! He was intended to be the rebellious and more depraved Decepticon, but in the latest movie he is a cowering pile of scrapheap with bad aim...if Bay directs a third film, it had better be fucking Beast Wars, or I'm going to pass.
Final Verdict/Prediction: FAIL!
Real American Heroes!
I was somewhat excited when I heard that Paramount Pictures and Hasbro were bringing a live-action adaptation of G.I. Joe to the big screen; but then I remembered that these were the people responsible for the rekindling of the previous entry (those giant robots).
Once I realize this startling truth, I was filled with fear and disdain. I saw the previews for the upcoming over-the-top action movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, and one thing was very apparent - there was no Cobra Commander mask anywhere to be seen. Immediate disappointment.
I give credit to Hasbro; they recently allowed the franchise to undergo a make-over in the cartoon world. The release of a (loosely) made-for-TV-movie G.I. Joe: Resolute was a huge success. It's darker than I anticipated, and keeps true to the characters we all once loved, while bringing them into the 21st century.
However, even with the new cartoon, I don't know what to think about the highly-anticipated film adaptation. I suppose when the film drops in August, I will know. "And knowing is half the battle."
Final Verdict/Prediction: Toss-Up
Let the wild rumpus start!
Contrary to what I may have said before, when I was a child I was occasionally prone to read out of boredom. In my defense, this was before the time of internet. Also in my defense, books were less bastardized and long than Twilight, and I was young so I read short stories like Where the Wild Things Are.
When I found out that there would be an adaptation of the book, I was in a state of shock and awe. I wasn't sure whether to believe the rumors, or to just denounce them as implausible (since the story itself is so short). But then I saw this...
I never even thought I would be excited for a children's book adaptation of a movie (I assure you I wasn't the least bit thrilled about the Dr. Seuss movies, even though I loved his stories) but I am genuinely excited for this film. If it works well, it might save what Jim Carrey and Mike Meyers killed: my love of children's storybooks.
Final Verdict/Prediction: Undecided
Off the top of my head, I can't think of many more rehashes being presented to the world this year, but I intend to research this a little further. I would have talked about Land of the Lost a little, but in all fairness I never really watched it when I was a kid. And as for Dragonball Evolution (based on Dragonball/Dragonball Z), well I don't think Anime otakus are Hollywood's target demographic anyway.
At any rate, just remember that your childhood was precious. I would hate the world if anyone tried to make live-action versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Thundercats or (another) He-Man. It just seems so lost in transition between the things that made us happy when we were children, and the things that entertain us as adults.
So, future filmmakers keep that in mind - someday you will have kids (if you don't already) or younger siblings that adore certain shows. So, at least for now, please refrain from turning Yo Gabba Gabba, Digimon or Dexter's Laboratory into live-action movies. It just won't pan out well.
Over and Out,
David A. Lucio