editorial: the rebirth of franchises

TV was pretty rubbish last night as the World Cup, Wimbledon, and Glastonbury have taken over the airwaves.  I decided to put on a movie instead and for no particular reason chose to go with Batman Begins (2005), the start of the already classic Christopher Nolan inspired trilogy.

It got me to thinking that while The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is probably my favourite, I will always have a place in my heart for Batman Begins because without it we would never have had Heath Ledger as The Joker or Tom Hardy as Bane.  This got me to thinking about other reboots of popular franchises and how I felt about the first films in those series.  There are two that spring to mind – James Bond and Star Trek.

The arrival of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006) brought a new gritty realism to what had become a cliche heavy franchise that was becoming a parody of itself.  Skyfall (2012) is generally agreed to be the best of the “new” Bond movies but again I will never forget what Casino Royale did in reigniting my passion for this genre of movie.  I should acknowledge at this stage the debt the Bond (and I) franchise owe to the success of the Bourne films.

Finally there is the JJ Abrams Star Trek (2009) reboot.  Beyond the bright, brash and exciting energy this movie brought to the screen the biggest thing was the genius plot device of using time travel to reset everything.  We have the characters we love but going forward everything is new, the movie universe is anything the future writers want it to be.  Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) has all the excitement and the big action set pieces but I keep going back to the fun of meeting the characters as if it was the first time.  Apparently there are grumblings from old school fans about the new incarnation of Trek and it being a little Earth bound blah blah blah.  Get over yourselves.  There wouldn’t be anything to complain about if a whole new generation of fans hadn’t be brought on board.  We also have the excitement of the return of Star Trek vs Star Wars to look forward to.

Anyway, these were my ideas.  If you have any thoughts on my choices or have other franchises worth noting please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.  Going to see Walking on Sunshine in an hour or so, so please wish me luck.


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