With so many uninspired and poorly made remakes, sequels, prequels, reboots and revisions going around the last few years, movie audiences have become rightfully skeptical and hesitant to give them a try.
I have to say it was quite surprising to see a bunch of really good ones this year. However knowing which established franchise film would be good or bad was like walking through a mine field. I feel bad for many of these installments as they didn’t see the success or recognition they deserved.
Here is a list of the better ones this year so that you can catch them on Video or Cable:
1. Rise of The Planet of the Apes – reboot/prequel (take your pick) – 10 years after the Tim Burton debacle, a new creative team gets it right.
2. X-men : First Class – reboot/prequel (take your pick) – Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) takes over the X-men franchise and brings us a movie not only better than any of the 4 predecessors, but also one of the best movies of the year.
3. The Thing – (1982 version prequel) – Well crafted, intelligent & loyal to the 1982 version, this film strikes the right tone and serves as a perfect double feature companion.
4. Final Destination 5 – For my money, the best in the series. Revives the series by giving us answers we should have gotten in the first one. Ties the films together and sends the franchise off in style. The perfect final film in the series.
5. Scream 4 – Reminds us of why the series was ground-breaking to begin with : Witty, intelligent and suspenseful with a whodunit that keeps you guessing and an insightful but not preachy social commentary to boot. Unlike other sequels, this one doesn’t betray its fans.
6. Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol – Big surprise : I went for the Batman trailer and because some of the scenes were shot in true IMAX. I had no idea it would wind up being so much better than its predecessors.
7. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas – Stronger than the Guantanamo Bay sequel. Bold, witty and shameless with the always great NPH better than ever.
8. Paranormal Activity 3 – Handing the reigns of the franchise over to the ‘Catfish’ guys proved to be a perfect fit. Like the second one, this film continues the story from a brand new perspective and with some really creative and surprising twists.
9. Fright Night – remake – With all of the brooding/cuddly vampires going around, it was nice to see a movie get back to what they really are about. The tone is weaker than the original and the story feels a little rushed at times, but the good characters and acting, smart story and creative camerawork make it worth seeing.
So there you have it. These were quality films that could simply be lost in the sequel/prequel etc. crowd if you didn’t know any better.
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