In terms of being green, Hollywood is an undisputed leader; after all, they're constantly recycling all of their ideas! Yes, our televisions and cineplexes are awash these days, with more reboots of beloved, classic franchises than ever. Fortunately for us, though, they do actually improve on the original material from time to time. Here's a list of reboots we think brought a little more to the table than their worthy predecessors.
1. BattleStar Galactica (2003 to 2009)
For all it's nostalgic charms, the original BattleStar Galactica was little more than a low budget, watered down, serialized version of Star Wars, and although it had a small but significant cult following, it was well off general geek radar by the time the 2003 reboot hit in the form of a mini-series. Surprisingly, Sci-Fi's amped-up version of BSG chucked the strictly for youngsters vibe, and swapped it with truly thought provoking storylines, complex characters, thrilling space battles, and undeniably hot robots. It caused a huge stir within the Geek-o-sphere, and nearly ten years later, it's risen to a startling level of prominence within the sci-fi/fantasy community. Out of all the members of this list, BSG definitely wins the coveted most improved award.
2. The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
Don't get us wrong, the original Brady Bunch series is about as American as a warm plate of pork chops and apple sauce, and you can definitely find us tuning into Nick At Night from time to time to revisit it's wholesome goodness; but it just doesn't hold a candle to its surprisingly bizarre 1995 reboot, The Brady Bunch Movie. The Bradys' newer incarnation had a truly original take on the entire concept of a reboot, too. It took the original style and characters of the series, and transplanted them into the modern world, as though the saccharine sweet, bell-bottomed Bradys of the 70's emerged from a time capsule to a jaded world with far fewer sunshiny days. If you haven't checked out The Brady Bunch Movie and the subsequent Very Brady Sequel, stick them onto your Netflix one of these days, and treat yourself to some hard laughs.
3. Fright Night (2011)
Ok, we realize that there may be some defenders of the 1985 original out there, and we are more than ready to go toe to toe with you on this one! The first is definitely commendable for its grade-A creature effects and a stellar, Academy Award nominated supporting performance from Roddy McDowell, but for all its plusses, it really hasn't held up well over the years. The 2011 reboot, on the other hand (and yes we're calling this one a reboot rather than a remake, because it was a clear stab at starting a new franchise), has so much more going for it than the original. The laughs are way harder and more rapid fire here, yet they're never forced, and they don't distract from the action. Colin Farrell has been in his fair-share of questionable revisions in his day (SWAT, anyone?) but this not only qualifies as his best reboot, but one of the most entertaining films of his career.
4. The Dark Knight Trilogy - (2005-2012)
Call us Captain Obvious if you will, but we couldn't skip out on mentioning this one, could we? The Dark Knight series is a clear upgrade to ALL previous incarnations of Batman, because it succeeded in accomplishing a feat that hadn't quite been achieved by any superhero comic book adaptation before: it created a trilogy that functions every bit as well as cinema as it does explosive entertainment. Yes, when you strip The Dark Knight films of all their fantastical elements, you're still left with a human story that can hold its own against your Godfathers or Citizen Kanes. Are we getting a little carried away? We don't think so, but even if we are, it still runs circles around the nippled Bat-Suit films of the Joel Schumaker era, leaves the kitschy sixties series in the dust, and even makes the entertaining Tim Burton Batmans of the early 90's pale in comparison.
5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Long before Joss Whedon blew our minds with The Avengers, he was an up and coming Hollywood scribe and did not have the clout to direct the screenplay of his first cinematic outing, 1992's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a mildly entertaining film with a few great cameos, but was permeated with an overall sense of, "Man, what a cool idea, it could have been sooooo much better!" Well, fortunately five years later Whedon was allowed to take the reins of his small screen reboot, and the material was finally given the level of comedic oomph, psychological complexity, and butt-kicking action that the original sorely lacked. Over the course of its seven year run, Buffy showed itself to be surprisingly innovative, with everything from entire episodes that were musicals to providing some of the first depictions of gay relationships on television. Geeks everywhere are still clamoring for Whedon to bring Buffy back. We bet that if and when he does, he'll bring even more awesome curveballs to the table than before.
What's your favorite reboot?