The Nostalgia Factor: Which Film Remakes, Reboots and Sequels Can’t You Resist?

Jurassic World, The Jungle Book, Independence Day: Resurgence, Finding Dory… what all of these films have in common is that they are reviving or continuing a story I loved in childhood or adolescence – a story that has a good deal of nostalgia attached to it. And I seem to be encountering more and more of these lately. This is undoubtedly because the industry is making more reboots and sequels, but to be honest, it’s also because I’m getting older (noooooo…) and I remember more originals.

I’ll be watching a trailer and will feel a sudden jolt of recognition when I realise it’s a reboot, remake or continuation of a beloved series, often one I haven’t thought about in years. The familiar music score, characters and actors bring a wave of nostalgia, and I have three simultaneous reactions that I’m sure other fans would share:

  • Excitement – because there’s a chance it’ll be good and bring back all the joy of the first film/s.
  • Distrust – because there’s a chance it’ll be terrible and feel like a betrayal or spoiling of the first film/s.
  • Mild Resentment and Guilt – because I know I am being manipulated by the film marketing machine. They know they’re going to give me that buzzy excited feeling by bringing up those memories, and that’s why they made the film. There’s a pre-existing fan base to cash in on. This is why we have so many trashy sequels (think Fast and the Furious 7) and why filmmakers do it tougher when they try to make something new. But even though I feel that resentment, part of me is still willing to be manipulated if it’s in the name of a film or franchise I love.

So do I go see the film?

After these initial reactions, there are several factors that influence whether I actually go see a remake, sequel or reboot:

  • How much I loved the original film/s
  • The reviews or critical reception of the new film
  • How good any previous sequels or reboots have been
  • The quality of the trailer
  • The presence of an actor or actors I like
  • How much people are talking about it (i.e. do I need to go see it just so I know what everyone is talking about)

My Picks

So in consideration of all of this, I thought I would list some recent fantasy or science fiction remakes, reboots and series that I either haven’t been able to resist, or likely won’t be able to resist when they next bring out a film (many are due to come out this year – 2016):

X-Men

Movie Poster: X-Men ApocalypseI’m an absolute devotee of this one, and haven’t been disappointed by a single film in the series yet… so seeing the next X-Men movie is pretty much a forgone conclusion for me. I’ll be watching it regardless of what anyone says about it.

Avengers/Marvel Universe

Movie Poster: Captain America Civil WarI’m also a sucker for anything in the Marvel Universe, particularly The Avengers. There have been a few disappointments, but I find now with everything culminating into The Avengers, you kind of have to watch all the Marvel films that come out otherwise you miss references (e.g. the latest Captain America was basically an Avengers Film).

Terminator

Movie Poster: Terminator Genisys

I have a pretty strong attachment to this series and will generally go see the films, though not always at the cinema. The Arnie-factor is also a strong influence… if it’s got Schwarzenegger, I’ll watch it. If it hasn’t, the reviews and trailers have to be decent.

Jurassic Park

Movie Poster: Jurassic World

Jurassic Park is an interesting one, as I loved the first film, but the truly terrible sequels kind of killed the series and turned me off it. If Jurassic World had been headed in the direction of Jurassic Park III, I would have given it a miss. As it was, it rebooted the series and garnered great reviews, so I went and saw it and loved it.

Star Trek

Movie Poster: Star Trek Beyond

The last couple of films have been awesome, thanks in part to the J. J. Abrams magic touch, so while I have no childhood connection to this one, I’ll be watching future ones.

Planet of the Apes

Movie Poster: War for the Planet of the Apes

Again, I have no childhood connection to this franchise but the last two films were fantastic so I’m hooked.

Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day Resurgence

This is one of those unexpected sequels where I laughed when I saw they were making it, but at the same time knew I’d be going to see the film when it came out. I just can’t resist the nostalgia here – I loved the original too much.

The Jungle Book

Movie Poster: The Jungle Book

Had this appeared to be an exact replica of the disney 1967 cartoon version, or a terrible childish remake,  I’d have opted out. As it was, the trailer and cast had me taking notice, and I couldn’t resist diving back into that world.

Finding Dory

Finding Dory

I’ll watch anything Pixar brings out. However, I tend to find Pixar is at its best when doing new films, not sequels. Still, I loved Finding Nemo (especially all the characters with Aussie accents) so Finding Dory is definitely on the ‘to-see’ list.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic-Beasts

I’m a big fan of the Potter books and movies, but this new film is more of a prequel, based on the companion book of the same name which I haven’t read. So out of curiosity I’ll go see it, but I’m not sure if it’ll be any good.

Ghost Busters

Ghost Busters

This is an interesting one because I didn’t actually like the previous Ghost Buster films… I just thought they were a bit silly. But the fact that the latest one has an almost all-female cast, coupled with the fact the trailer was great, has me 100% on board.

Star Wars

Rogue One

I pretty much only go see Star Wars films for the last reason on my list – I want to know what everyone’s talking about. I was never a Star Wars fan as a kid. While I found the films mildly entertaining, I didn’t develop any special affection for them, so there’s not enough nostalgic attachment there to give me the warm and fuzzies. I didn’t much like the latest instalment. Still, when the hype starts I can’t help but go see what all the fuss is about.

____________

So those are a few of my recent can’t-resist film franchises and reboots.

In all of this, I realise that as much as I roll my eyes at the continuance of some film series and grumble about the fact they’re just out to make a buck, there are plenty I get excited about. I wouldn’t want a film industry solely made up of series and sequels, yet I can’t resist some of the good ones when they hit screens.

And I’m sure everyone has their own vices – which film series, sequels and remakes have you been unable to resist? Are you a devotee of any particular franchise?

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7 thoughts on “The Nostalgia Factor: Which Film Remakes, Reboots and Sequels Can’t You Resist?

  1. It would seem we have similar taste in movies. I can’t believe they made a sequel to Independence day, but have to admit the trailer looks awesome. I am also equally distrustful of Finding Dory, but know deep down that I am going to see it regardless of reviews because it is Pixar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems we do! The Independence Day trailer did look awesome. Now I can’t help but get my hopes up, even though I’m still amused they actually made it. I’m going to re-watch the original beforehand and I’m curious to see whether it still holds up after all these years.

      I’m also worried that Finding Dory could be disappointing, but hoping it won’t be (The Toy Story and Monster University sequels weren’t bad). Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot that Ellen DeGeneres voices Dory, don’t know how I did that! Well, I have extra high hopes for it 🙂 I do wish Geoffrey Rush was making a come back as the Nigel the pelican, I loved that character. But I guess it’ll be a new setting so it wouldn’t make sense for him to be there. Anyway, I’m also excited to see it, not long now till the release date!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a wonderful idea for a post! For me, it completely depends whether I’ll want to see a remake/reboot. I knew regardless of how good it was (and I ended up really not liking it) I was going to watch the Hobbit. But then with something like Star Wars, it depended on what I thought of the trailer- I’m not a super fan, but I enjoyed the originals, couldn’t finish watching the prequels cos they were lousy and didn’t make up my mind till New Hope had been out for months to see it (though I was glad I did in the end!) But I get what you mean about the hype- that’s one of my main reasons for watching the originals in the first place- that and my friends sitting me down and forcing it on me a few years back. I’m the exact same about X Men and Avengers- I’m gonna watch them- even though I’ve lost interest in Avengers- it’s still gonna happen regardless. I actually hate Star Trek though- and that’s because of my childhood connection to it. A lot of people think it’s cos I’ve never given it a chance, but I’ve actually seen series upon series of it- one of my family member was obsessed with it- and now the idea of watching it feels like a punishment. So it doesn’t matter how good J J Abrams is (and now I’ve seen some of his movies I think he’s excellent) nothing on the planet (or Kronos for that matter) could make me watch it- so there’s an example of a reboot I would never watch. Jungle Book wasn’t on my “too see” list- even after how good I thought the trailer was- because I just love the original so much and I’d have been afraid it would ruin it- but now I’ve heard the reviews, I definitely want to see it. I feel the same about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them- I’ll go see it out of curiosity more than anything else

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no, that’s sad you’ve been scarred by Star Trek! But I guess if you’ve been forced to watch it repeatedly it would feel like a punishment. I never really watched the originals so have no associated bad memories 🙂

      I agree about the Star Wars prequels – the very first one in particular was terrible, I tried re-watching it with someone once and couldn’t do it.

      I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the new Jungle Book… it pays homage to the old Disney one in good ways and captures a similar spirit/feeling (even has some of the songs!) but is a new different-enough rendition that it doesn’t replace it, and is just generally a good film. I think I actually possibly prefer it to the original now because it’s a more “grown-up”, realistic (as far as talking animals can be realistic!), immersive version that I can enjoy afresh as an adult. But you’ll have to find out yourself whether you agree!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah exactly- haha yeah it was a bit scarring- although mostly I just can’t take it seriously enough because I spent so much time laughing at it!
        Yup- it’s so awful- I just can’t even watch it!
        Oh that’s so exciting- that’s what I’ve heard so I’m pretty excited about it! I’m really excited about it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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