Robocop (2014)

Robocop 2014 (2014)

Way back in the mists of time, we put some features up on the age-old topic of reboots: what’s the point of them? Are they better than the original? Was the original any good to begin with? Every year spawns iterations and new reasons for die hard fans to spew forth venom and shake their fists in discontent. I’m still not entirely sure this is the case when some of these films are 20+ years old. If you love the original, then great! You’ve got a favourite film. But that doesn’t mean you have to love the new one does it?? For me, I love Pulp Fiction and wouldn’t really care too much if it was remade. Simply because I know it can’t be topped! But maybe Pulp Fiction’s still a bit too modern (and iconically Tarantino)… unlike the current reboot-du-jour: Robocop. I am the law!

Robocop (2014)

Sadly, we don’t ever hear the line “I AM THE LAW” in this version of Robocop! A lot of time has passed since 1987. A lot has changed since 1987. The Phage has certainly changed since 1987. I think I was last seen getting my head stuck in a flight of stairs in 1987… I’m sure that’s going to happen again in 2014 though if I’m honest; I just can’t resist the urge to see whether my can fit into a tiny spot! Anyway… back on track! Yes, a lot has changed since 1987. We now find ourselves spending 2/3 of our day being controlled by screens of various sizes. Technology has come on leaps and bounds. This is how the cast seem to be justifying this reimagining / rebooting of the one man law machine: Robocop.

The premise is loosely the same: Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), a Detroit cop becomes irreparably damaged through no fault of his own. When he wakes up he’s been fused with machine to become the world’s first Robocop – a cyborg for all intents and purposes – by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman). In this iteration though, it plays against the backdrop of Raymond Sellar’s (Michael Keyton) OmniCorp looking to break the American market for machine-based legal protection. The one thing that stands in his way is a pesky piece of legislation prohibiting robots from policing the country, as they’re devoid of emotion and rationale. This is where the idea to fuse man with machine comes about… if they can show the value of such an entity, then the law could get repealed… but obviously, things never go exactly as planned!

2014... back in black!

2014… back in black!

Much has been made of the social commentary of Robocop. And some of it is rather stark and in your face: parodies and pastiches of what’s going on in the world. Nowhere is this more evident than Samuel L. Jackson‘s Pat Novak sections where he espouses the pro’s of the right wing, pro-robot agenda. It’s obviously used to harken closest to some rather large US networks that perhaps push a similar agenda. Aside from the robot thing… none of them have pushed that yet. Not until Google take them over anyway, which’ll only be a matter of years I’m sure, using their android drone army!

I seem to have spoken in-depth about the philosophy of this film, but little about the actual content! Let’s correct that. Robocop is a solid piece of science fiction, but doesn’t go much further than that. That’s not to say it’s unenjoyable – it has some interesting concepts and some serviceable performances, but it never challenges. If I think of some of my favourite sci-fi films of recent years, such as District 9 or Looper, they challenged and dazzled in equal measures. I certainly wasn’t expecting a film of similar grandeur, let’s not make any mistakes, but I was also hoping for something along the lines of last year’s Dredd. That film offered beautiful visuals with a simple plot mechanic, but was thoroughly entertaining. But Robocop… well, doesn’t hit the same highs as his other be-helmeted cop brethren.

Robocop (2014)

It has its set pieces, but the film lacks the connecting sinew – the true plot. It’s there, but it’s not wholly fleshed out. The performances are also there, but they too fail to really blow you away. This is particularly true of Joel Kinnaman. I’m going to refer back to Dredd here by talking about Karl Urban. Karl, despite only showing his jaw for the whole film, held the screen and brought a lot of emotion to that jaw role. Kinnaman doesn’t really deliver the same… it’s somewhat bland… but that may just be fantastic character acting!

I think the biggest thing that’s lacking in this film is heart. The original had a sense of humour and over the top violence. Whilst the latter certainly isn’t needed, the former is. Samuel L. Jackson provides some much needed comic relief, but the film is sadly devoid of other respites…

Ultimately, Robocop is more like the machines than he probably realises: slick and shiny, but ultimately devoid of human emotion and heart. Whilst it’s certainly not a bad film, it’s hardly going to set the world on fire. There’s been much talk of trying to restart a franchise with this film… but with this offering, I’m unsure if that’ll happen. Having said that, I’ve been wrong in the past. Although it is nice to state that this definitely won’t be up for an Oscar, which has been a recurring comment here with several of the past films we’ve reviewed!

So, this is simply another case of a reboot failing to really re “boot” a franchise. It got a slight shoe-ing, but definitely not a booting. It’s a shame as the film had a lot to offer at its premise with the machine-driven future we’re spiralling towards. I wonder if we’ll ever get Google: The Movie – that won’t need a reboot. Well, I’m sure we will get it in 2028 when our overlords take over our lives with their Google Glass, Google Droids and Google Boogles (we made the last one up)… They are the law.

Phage Factor:

3 Star

Oldboy (2013)

Oldboy (2013)

Raiding Asian cinema is nothing new for Hollywood. Some of the most famous examples are clearly the likes of The Ring and The Grudge. Indeed, these films introduced many to the wonders of Asian horror and Asian storytelling. Now we regularly see adaptations of Far Eastern cinema being adapted for us. No, we’re not going to count 47 Ronin. There’s a difference between aping an Asian style and straight-up translating it for Western audiences. So, on to Hollywood’s latest attempt to steal some of Asia’s thunder with a remake of 2003’s Oldboy – the tale about a guy that gets locked in a room for numerous years (15 if you’re into the Korean version, 20 if you’re into the US version), before being released. Vengeance is his for the taking as he tries to piece together why the hell he was imprisoned… but should Oldboy have remained locked in the room indefinitely? Let’s have a peek through the keyhole…

Oldboy (2013)

To be honest, the plot’s already summed up for you there. There’s not much more to Spike Lee‘s reimagining of Chan-wook Park‘s original. This time, the focus is squarely on “Joe Ducett”, played by Josh Brolin. A drunkard, no-hope father who’s more concerned with getting drunk and womanising than he is with looking after his little girl. So, Joe’s a little perplexed when he wakes up in a sealed room and is plied with vodka and dumplings on a daily basis. Oh, add into that the fact that he’s framed perfectly for the rape and murder of his estranged wife. So, some 20 years later, Joe is released back into the public with a lot of questions and an urgent need to clear his name… Which leads him to a variety of nefarious ne’er do wells, including characters (I won’t spoil anything) portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley.

I’ll make a confession: I’ve not seen the original Oldboy. I know, I know: “it’s a classic”, “how can you review this if you haven’t seen the original”, “your verdict is USELESS you HACK”… some of those criticisms are valid, and I am indeed a hack. Nor have I read the graphic novel it’s based on either… But I’m now able to judge this version of Oldboy purely on its merits and not some sentimental view of a 10 year old film. I therefore can’t comment on what’s missing / what’s included. I can just comment on what works… and what really, really doesn’t.

Oldboy (2013)

Let’s start with the good shall we? The plot. The plot is an interesting concept and is clearly Asian in origin. It did remind me a little of Stephen King’s 1408 insofar that there’s a sense of desperation at being locked inside a room. It also had that torture edge to it that we’ve all become so accustomed to at the cinema in recent years. But then it swirls in the whole revenge angle. This is the type of role that Josh Brolin excels at. He just LOOKS mean and moody all the time in the same way that Ron Perlman looks like he’d break your teeth with a baseball bat. Or play a pirate monkey in Ice Age 4 (we still can’t believe he wasn’t that character!). Physically, Brolin is imposing and does the role justice in our opinion. Similarly, Samuel L. Jackson is bankable and clearly loves lapping it up as a villain. Though thankfully, he doesn’t do it to the same abominable degree that he does in The Spirit.

Similarly, the pacing is frantic and keeps you intrigued. It doesn’t slow down and constantly swirls and lashes at you as the film progresses. We liked this. What we didn’t like though were some of the hammy choreography in those fight scenes.

Oldboy (2013)

Oldboy is a suitably violent film. The body count is high and there’s a good deal of gore / torture to be seen here. Not quite Ichi The Killer levels of gore, but enough of it. Therefore there’s an urgent need for fighting and violence. Some of this works and has the shock value… but some is just so out-of-place and forced. Notably the moments after Joe is released from his confines – the first fight with the football jocks. Why? Why that level of violence? It’s uncharacteristic. Add to that some of the single-framed fights that looked more like a Broadway musical / Benny Hill sketch than anything else. It’s admirable to lock the camera in one place for us to watch what unfolds as opposed to the horrid use of shakey-handicam footage that plagues cinematic fights nowadays. But it felt too rehearsed / video game esque. It just didn’t work.

Now, what was the biggest flaw with this film is actually down to personal preference / favouritism. We’re massive fans of Sharlto Copley at Film Phage. We loved him in District 9, Elysium and even The A Team. No doubt he’ll also be fantastic in Chappie next year. But what’s with that accent Sharlto? You’re South African… why does your villain need to be hammy and English? As a Brit, the accent just grated with me somewhat. Why Spike Lee felt it necessary to have Copley‘s character be British is beyond me. Oh, is it because he’s “posh”? Or is it because of… what… unfolds? I have no idea. Copley himself acts well and had me captivated, so it’s no slight against his acting capabilities. It’s just that damn accent!

Oldboy (2013)

That sounds rather shallow of me doesn’t it? To say that an accent is the reason that the film doesn’t hit the giddy high notes? It’s actually symptomatic of the main problem with this film: it’s unnatural and forced. Some things don’t make sense: love interests developing so rapidly, random violence, THAT accent… the list goes on. It might make sense in Asian cinema, but it didn’t really fit here.

Oldboy is far from a bad film, but it’s also far from a great film. The plot and narrative is its strongest suit. It ably works as a mystery / thriller that has you guessing up until the final beats, but this was already going to be the case based on its source material. Indeed, if you’re familiar with Oldboy‘s plotting, I’m unsure of what pleasure you’ll derive from this, spare an update to 2013 technology (they use iPhones) and the obvious benefit of no need for subtitles…

Whilst not the finest adaptation of Asian cinema, Oldboy is serviceable and will satisfy a moviegoing audience seeking an 18 rated film at a time when animation and family films are King at the box office. Oldboy isn’t a Christmas film; that much is for sure. Unless Santa’d been the one subjected to imprisonment. Then you could have the title as “Oldboy Santa: He Knows If You’ve Been Naughty or Nice”, then have a photo of him covered in tattoos, or like the cover of Bronson, but meaner. Actually, I really want to see that film… someone go write it! He’s coming for you Easter Bunny; he knows it was you, you little bitch…

Phage Factor:

3 Star

Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead (2013)

This review should be prefaced by a confession: I went to see this movie with an enormous amount of jet lag. Sometimes you need a movie to keep you ticking over until an appropriate time in order to get your life back in order. By the same token, this review is also being written with the same aforementioned jet lag to achieve the same aims. Therefore, this could be the best Film Phage review you’ve ever read, or possibly one of the worst. That’ll only become apparent in two or three days when I’ve had time to look back on this and wonder why I should / shouldn’t do this more often. So, what movie did I choose to keep me awake following my trip to the Orient? Why, Evil Dead of course… it seems wholly appropriate that a horror movie should keep me alert and awake… shouldn’t it?

Clearly this means read me...

Clearly this means read me…

Evil Dead… the name’s familiar right? Yes indeed, you’re looking at the 2013 retelling / reimagining / regurgitating / re-something-ing of a Sam Raimi horror classic. Is this a horror classic that I’ve seen? Sadly, I’m going to attest to have never seen the original, but I know lots about it and its successors in the franchise. The premise of the film? An unholy book has the power to summon forth a demonic force that’s questing to consume souls in order to unleash an untold darkness on the world. Time and time again, people reopen the book, read its incantations and bring about all kinds of merry hell. So it’s no surprise to find that our intrepid group of 20-something’s have also stumbled upon this book whilst staging an intervention for one of their friends. Can they survive the onslaught?!

Evil Dead (2013)

It all sounds very Cabin in the Woods-y doesn’t it? As that film was intended to send up the genre in its own unique way, then that’s not entirely surprising. However, Evil Dead has tried to carve a niche for itself by billing itself as the most terrifying film of the year. Yawn… something we’ve heard time and time again, from film after film. But does this film achieve it? Well, if terror, for you, means buckets of gore and mutilation, then yes – this is certainly a decapitated head and shoulder socket above the rest. Wow, Evil Dead really doesn’t go lightly on the claret; there are gallons of the stuff. But does this appeal to me? Well, not in a horror fashion, no. As you’ll be aware, The Phage is a fan of cerebral horror that chills you after you’ve left the cinema… this isn’t one of those films.

That’s not to discredit the film as a whole, as it’s shot beautifully and exudes malice and grime in every shot. Especially when the possessions really start taking a grip. This is very noticeable with the lead, Mia (Jane Levy), because when she looks deranged and evil… well, she certainly achieves her aims. Credit needs to go to the effects artists and the vision of director / writer Fede Alvarez who’s done a bang-up job of revamping (re-zombie-ing?) the franchise for the 21st Century.

Evil Dead (2013)

Where the film falls flat for me is the fact that it’s all so very flat and transparent in terms of plotting. The acting sometimes comes across as hammy and the lead characters are as moronic as ever. We currently want our “meat” to have some brains in an attempt to outsmart the encroaching evil before it’s way too late. As I said at the outset, I’ve not seen the original Evil Dead, and I’m aware that this deviates somewhat from that plot, but still… it’s not deviated down a more complex avenue. It sometimes felt like I was watching a made-for-TV horror movie that you’d find on a cable channel late at night. Sure, the effects are lavish enough to merit it being a cinema-wide release, but you just can’t get away from the acting / character’s writing. Why don’t they just leave at the first instance instead of wading in until they’re in too deep?

Ultimately, Evil Dead is a re-imagining of Evil Dead for the new generation – the ones raised on the Saws of this world. You want gore? You got gore! But how about realistic gore, and not the comic kind? Then this is definitely your beast. However, if you’re seeking something more beneath all the blood and gore then you’ll be disappointed. It’s great to see horror relying more on visual disgust than cheap scare tactics, but that’s not enough for me to brand this a great movie… maybe when it’s reanimated in the inevitable sequel?

But maybe I was just too damn tired to really appreciate the film fully? It certainly kept me awake, but so too would a stroll down a street. I could argue that both would be equally scary. Have you ever tried walking along with your head flopping about like one of those nodding dogs that are left in cars? No? Well that’s my jet lag for you. It feels likes it’s wobbling around so much that it’s going to fall off my shoulders; much like some of the dismemberments seen in Evil Dead actually… So there may be some similarities between jet lag and reanimated corpses… or it may just be that I feel like the Evil Dead right now…?

Phage Factor:

3 Star

Total Recall (2012)

Forget me not.

We’ve so often been told what the future’s going to look like that I’m beginning to think it’s going to be pretty boring when I first get in my flying car. I’ll have seen everything there is to do in one by then. And I’m still waiting on the hoverboard that Back To The Future promised me would arrive this year. One thing I’ve yet to see in the future is a device for implanting memories into my head, so this is exciting. Total Recall , set in that familiar future that looks a bit like Tokyo at night time tells me it could go horribly wrong though. Damn!

Name sound as familiar as the setting? Yes, this is the big-budget reboot of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. This is a movie much beloved by many… but me? I’ve never seen it. OK, lambast me all you like, but as I said in my Expendables 2 review, I was never really a fan of movies from that era. That and I was a bit young at the time to care too much. Does this influence my review? Well, it may do, as I can look at this movie objectively with a clean slate and not be sucked into the Reboot Zone debate (again and again)

Colin Farrell couldn’t ever hope to replicate Arnie’s not at all over-the-top facial expression…

This incarnation of Total Recall takes place in the late 21st Century where us Brits have seemingly survived a toxic holocaust to create the United Federation of Britain (UFB), and through some amazing feat of engineering, have linked ourselves with Australia (called “The Colony”) by drilling through the middle of the Earth. The Colony is essentially the ghetto of the UFB. A bit like Australia is the UK’s poor cousin… with beaches… and surfer girls and guys… and better weather. Damn. The plot revolves around Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) – a drone of The Colony who’s fed up with his hum-drum life. So he goes to Rekall – a memory creation company to spice things up by getting some espionage memories implanted. And naturally, things go wrong and he finds himself on the run from the Government. Cue a spy story with lots of twists and turns.

It may sound a bit confusing, but the film copes with the plot’s convulsions well. What’s more confusing is why in future Britain and Australia no-one speaks with a British or Australian accent. Seemingly, in less than 100 years, we’re all going to speak with a US accent. Even the Irish Colin Farrell and British Kate Beckinsale lose their native tongue. But we are not to reason why…

“Fess up Farrell!! Where the HELL have you hidden all the British, Irish and Australian people?! And stop with that fake yankee accent will ya?!”

Visually, the film is a treat for the eyes. I know the future will be dark and neon-tinged, but these future countries look like Tokyo… on smack. A true cyber-punk sheen has been applied ala Bladerunner, or if you’re into video games, Deus Ex. The only gripe I have with the visuals is Len Wiseman‘s (director) obsession with screen flares. These are digitally generated, fake lens flares. They’re done ad nauseum and I have no idea what they accomplish. Some would argue “to look nice”, but by flare 15, at ten minutes into the film, I was over them. I’m also not entirely sure what to make of a scene where we see Farrell drop into the London we’re all familiar with, complete with wheeled cars that look remarkably 2012… If someone could chime in in the comments and clarify it, that’d be grand.

Get used to that facial expression. There’s a lot of it!

What of the acting? No real complaints here. Farrell is a bankable actor in an action film. The genre doesn’t really require an actor to run the gamut of emotions over a film’s running time. Similarly, Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are serviceable in their roles. There’s nothing outstanding about either, and Beckinsale‘s heavily made-up eyes in “mean girl stare” mode got old pretty fast. Although she comes across as a fine action woman (and who wouldn’t after three unnecessary Underworld sequels), you can’t help but feel she’s becoming a very one-dimensional actress, much in the same way as Mila Jovovich. And both of their husbands direct the money-making franchises in which they star… A coincidence or correlation?

And finally… what of my old friend, the plot? Overall: great concept. The premise, as I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve seen the trailers / the original, is that Quaid comes to question who he is. Is he an outlaw? Or is he still in fact sitting in the memory implantation machine at Rekall? Make no mistake, this is no new plot tool. Films like Vanilla Sky and eXistenZ have both employed the tactic and The Matrix opened with the premise of reality vs. illusion. But it’s done well. I found myself constantly looking out for signs to try and figure out whether he was or wasn’t in reality before the film revealed the answer.

Having said that, the final act started to feel forced and it appeared that the plot had run out of steam but was being dragged kicking and screaming to a longer run time. It’s here that the film fell down slightly for me, and no amount of lens flares could startle me into remaining alert. It finished satisfyingly enough, but that final road was an arduous one to trek.

With my inability to compare this version of Total Recall to what has gone before, I’ve got to say that I enjoyed what I saw. It’s a futuristic action / thriller – nothing more, nothing less. The first 2/3 of the film make for a great cinematic experience; albeit one with some rather one dimensional female leads. Although Farrell probably isn’t an Arnie, I don’t think that was his, or Len Wiseman‘s, intention to begin with.

However, if you’re really attached to the 1990 original, I don’t know what the film offers for you. Maybe you’d benefit from a trip to Rekall, so you can have those cherished memories dashed, or at least temporarily forgotten. And whilst you’re there can you book me in? Not to forget this version of Total Recall… it’s just that I don’t want to keep clinging to these hopes of a hoverboard popping up in the next three months.

Phage Factor:

3.5 Star

The Reboot Ruling

The Reboot Ruling

Most of the best sagas come in threes: Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings… erm… Rush Hour? Now we’re not tooting our own horn here at Film Phage and comparing our trail-blazing Reboot Zone saga with these epics but you can’t argue with the rule of three. It’s unquestionably true. Let’s just not mention film franchises that break this trend OK? Perfect. So welcome to our final instalment in the ongoing debate regarding the fate of D.A. Reboot.

Proceedings were opened in Part I: The Reboot Rebuke where the prosecution (The Phage) launched into a tirade against reboots, with references galore to Rob Schneider. This was followed in Part II: The Reboot Redemption by the defence counsel (erm… The Phage aka me, again) where we learnt that reboots probably aren’t created for fans of the originals and that we should be more forgiving. And now we come to Part III: The Reboot Ruling, where our honourable judge (you guessed who – I’m so schizophrenic we’ve got three personalities) will pass verdict on whether reboots are a legitimate form of cinema… Please be upstanding for Judge Phage.

I would like to thank myself for providing compelling arguments both for and against the defendant over the past fortnight. Although I do not normally condone so many frankly bizarre analogies to first dates or Rob Schneider, you have both made valuable contributions to the ongoing case. As I am The Judge, I forgo the need for a jury and make the decisions myself. Hell, you don’t get such a bad-ass helmet through asking for other people’s opinions. I am the law, despite what Robo-Phage would claim.

I will address each of the accusations individually and deliver my verdicts accordingly:

1) Reboots are always awful.

On this count, we find the defendant not guilty. Although we note that many rebooted films have been as painful as a claw hammer to the temples, there are notable exceptions that disprove this. Batman Begins, The Amazing Spider-Man and Star Trek are all shining examples of how to successfully reboot a franchise.

2) Reboots have stifled Hollywood’s original film output.

Although the court does not have access to the in’s and out’s of Hollywood, we have assessed the lay evidence. On this count, we find the defendant not guilty. I point to the fact that The Avengers / Avengers Assemble has become the third highest grossing movie of all time, and it is an original franchise. Similarly, Avatar and Titanic: the top two grossing films of all time, are also original motion pictures. Although the court acknowledges how derivative Avatar is in the grand scheme of things.

3) Reboots destroy the magic of the original film.

The court finds this to be the hardest area to judge. Although we acknowledge that remaking a film does nothing to impinge on the already-existing original, we know that some people feel like the film’s been “ruined” by the remake. On balance, we find the defendant not guilty owing to the fact that you can still enjoy the original, and that the reboot is probably not made for you. As the defence pointed out, these remakes are for a new generation who would otherwise not invest themselves in an older, “dated” movie.

4) Is Rob Schneider responsible for any of these reboots?

No. Sorry Rob… though you really do take some god awful roles.

Not guilty of reboots… but probably guilt of something…

So although we note that reboots nearly always falter, there are gleaming exceptions to the rule: those that stand out as fantastic movies in their own right. However, we must note that our opinions are perhaps coloured by the fact that none of The Phage’s favourite movies have been rebooted as of yet. They’re all still out there in their original version. Maybe if this changed, we’d be a little less lenient on the reboot. But for now, D.A. Reboot is acquitted of all charges.

If you agree, or disagree, then please feel free to make your voice known in the comments section below.

The Reboot Rebuke

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we ca… we ca…

>ERROR... ERROR... Rebooting...

There is a single dimension that is well known to man. It is a dimension as vacuous and repetitive as infinity. It is the grey area between new and old, between unneeded and unnecessary, and it lies between the peak of man’s fears and the pit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of zero imagination. It is an area which we call… The Reboot Zone.

Welcome to the first part of The Phage’s editorial piece on the scourge / saviour of the box office: the reboot. Over the next fortnight I’ll be acting as the prosecutor and defence team in the case of “The People vs. D.A. Reboot”. Schizophrenic? You bet we are!

I’d love to say that you’ll ultimately be the judge… but I probably will, as a) I like the sound of my own voice keyboard clacking, and b) we’re quite a new site and our readership so far are a lot like peeping Toms: often here, but as invisible as the awards in Adam Sandler‘s trophy cabinet. But hey – I’m an exhibitionist, so carry on coming back to feast your eyes folks, I’ll give you a show! Speaking of which… let’s get the aforementioned on the road…

The Prosecution

Beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen of the jury, I come to you today to demonstrate that lightning never successfully strikes the same place twice. And should you brandish a lightning rod to force the strike, you inevitably get burned. I will present evidence that will show you beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendent, D.A. Reboot, is guilty of destroying actors’ careers and modern cinema as a whole.

I urge you to think of your most cherished memory or experience involving a movie. You can still remember the sights, smells and sounds of that day. Perhaps you were with a loved one: a first date, the first connection of hands, or a stolen first kiss? Now imagine that your leading man or leading lady has been replaced by Rob Schneider doing his normal “derp-de-derp” routine (see Exhibit A: the YouTube video below) and the plot is essentially the same, but has been sapped of all charm, excitement and wonder. And what’s that smell? Oh God! The room you’re watching in smells inexplicably of sewage. Your date? Well they are not happy – you never got that first kiss, in fact he/she spread rumours that you have a weird, depraved fetish that no-one in the Western world condones (outside of Amsterdam). Yeah, that one. Not pleasant is it? Not pleasant at all. This is essentially what Hollywood is doing to so many people’s favourite films: defecating on them and sullying people’s memories. And making you out to be a pervert.

Exhibit B: Bubo the Owl. A casualty of the reboot.

I’d like to draw your attention to 2010’s abomination that was Clash of the Titans (straplined “Titans Will Clash“, honestly!): a reboot of the 1981 stop-motion classic. The UK’s Guardian newspaper put it best, stating that it is “at its best during its breakneck second half, when the 3D effects distract from the 2D protagonists and the risible dialogue is drowned out by the clash of steel and the gnash of pincers.” I applaud Xan Brooks’ scathingly backhanded compliment, which highlights the problem with so many reboots: all style, no substance. And they scrapped the lynch pin of the movie: Bubo the adorable, robotic owl. Some things cannot be forgiven, or forgotten.

But it continues: Robocop, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla… the list of reboots continues to grow. Godzilla, already rebooted in 1998, is again being rebooted in 2014. Perhaps without a rockin’ Jamiroquai theme song this time.

Exhibit C: Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Some will argue that an “adequate period” always passes before a reboot is released: typically 20 years. I refute this, highlighting 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man as a copy of the 2002’s Spider-Man, or Death At A Funeral – a 2010 remake of a 2007 original. Mistake me not, I am not citing films that re-use the title, but change the film, such as X-Men and X-Men: First Class, or any James Bond movie, as these are obviously worthy films in their own right. The prosecution draws issues with the retelling of tales that are either a) uncalled for, b) already told recently, or c) retold so appallingly that they trigger widespread disgust amongst critics and the public alike.

I now read you an account from a witness, whose identity is withheld:

“I grew up adoring The Pink Panther movies, but was so scarred by Steve Martin‘s reboot that I had a severe psychiatric trauma, which caused me to draw a moustache on my face with a marker, paint my chest pink, and parade around in a pair of torn white underpants yelling “I am le Pink Pom-Pom”. This went on from dawn ’til dusk for a good 3 weeks. I was arrested on several occasions. For unsettled legal reasons I’m unable to talk of the horrors that occurred after The Pink Panther 2 was released. But I can tell you it did involve a spate of sexual activity with packs of supermarket brand streaky-back bacon and a love for all things Rob Schneider. Reboots ruined my derp, derp, de-derp life.”

Shocking words. Shocking, bizarre words. But I hope it illustrates how damaging a reboot can be; not just to the actors and film studios involved, but to people like you – the viewers. You may be sitting there now saying “never me”, but what if your cherished series was next on the block? Could you handle it? Ever noticed how obsessed you’re becoming with food and cookery shows recently? Well that’s symptom #1 of what doctors* are referring to as “Reboot Rebuke”, or the street slang Schneideritis.

I hope that you agree with me that reboots are a plague on our cinemas: robbing truly gifted, imaginative film-makers of the opportunity to begin novel franchises. Novel franchises that amaze, captivate, and begin so many more “cherished moments” that will last a lifetime. And not only this, but the same reboots smash the memories of those that loved the original. I leave you with a question: would you rather eat your favourite flavour of ice cream for the rest of your life; knowing that every new scoop would taste more and more like sewage every time you ate it, until the point it was inedible? Or would you rather try a new flavour every time? Sure you’d eventually hit that appalling coffee flavour that no-one likes, but the next scoop is bound to be tastier! The same is true for films. If you’re with me, then I urge you to find D.A. Reboot guilty on all charges.

*Doctors accredited by the same University as Dr. Dre, Dr. Who and Dr. Nick Riviera from The Simpsons.