8. The Plague of Remakes
I’ve already written a lot about my problems with remakes here on the site, including in an article dedicated to explaining how it might have gotten to the point of “remake overload.” It seems you can’t go a day without news of some sort of remake of a classic movie (there are too many to list here – just type “remake” into our search bar at the right and watch how many films come up…). It’s something we movie fans have had to deal with for a long time, but particularly over the last 10 years it’s plagued us all. I don’t think I need to say anymore about it at this point except that I know I’m not alone in having a big problem with them in general (as always, there are exceptions).
Much like horror reboots, these remakes (particularly of horror films) will most likely lead younger audiences to taking them as canon. Most will know of Halloween from Rob Zombie’s horrible version and not the classic John Carpenter original. See what I’m getting at?
7. Pixar Takes Over As THE Animation Studio
It used to be that whenever the words “animated movie” were uttered, people would think of Disney. Specifically the 2D cartoons like The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Jungle Book. And generally speaking, these were looked at as movies for the kids. Even if adults could still watch them without complaints (and don’t get me wrong, they’re great movies, aimed at kids or not), they weren’t really looked at as legitimate movies for every age.
All that changed in the early ’90s when a little studio called Pixar came along, and blew everyone (kids AND adults) away with their Toy Story (the first animated movie done completely with computers, FYI), which is still my personal favorite from the studio to this day. Up until the ’00s Pixar was looked at as “the Toy Story studio,” even though they’d made A Bug’s Life in between the Toy Story movies.
Then in 2001, things started to really get going for Pixar, starting in 2001 with Monster’s Inc. Then we had Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E and finally their latest, Up, was released earlier this year. Only 10 films on their theatrical release resume in 15 years and yet they’re looked at as THE animation studio by audiences, and their films are beloved by kids and adults alike. Disney made a smart move in 2006 by purchasing Pixar, so I guess now when you think of Pixar, you’re ultimately thinking of Disney. But still, the Pixar brand is one of the most successful in the world of movies – all they have to do for their latest movie is name the movies they’ve produced before in the trailer and they’ve instantly banked themselves some serious big bucks.
Pixar doesn’t just make fun kids movies, they make great movies period. Fun characters, well written dialogue, touching stories, stunning animation and craftsmanship that’s hard to beat (I could go on and on). I’ve no doubt they will shape the world of animation just as much in the upcoming decade as they did in the last.
6. The Matrix Sequels Disappoint
It may seem strange that this one franchise gets its own header, but let me explain why we have it in here highlighted as such: Remember in 1999 when a little movie called The Matrix came along? It was mind-blowing stuff, with its extremely ambitious ideas and revolutionary special visual (camera) effects (the “bullet-time” dodge will forever remain legend). Keanu “Whoah!” Reeves may have been heading up the proceedings, but I think we could all forgive that in lieu of everything else.
With the great mythology the Wachowskis established in the initial film, you’d think they would be able to make one heck of a franchise out of it. Well… they tried, but sadly didn’t succeed. We, the poor, unknowing audience got saddled with the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, and another sequel after that, The Matrix Revolutions. I’m not going to lie – both have moments that stand out as being awesome (the fight with all the Agent Smiths in Reloaded, the machine gun battle with the machines in Revolutions) but not enough to cover up the mess that was the story, and how much they’d screwed up all the potential the series had. Not even a further (animated) movie, The Animatrix, which tried to explain things in more detail, could help matters.
5. Lord of the Rings Translated To the Big-Screen
Easily some of the most beloved books in the fantasy genre’s history are J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. What a massive undertaking that must have been for director Peter Jackson and Co., to get the live-action adaptation right (there was an animated movie in the ’70s), and not only that but to make it successful. You can tick the boxes on both accounts. Not only did the three LOTR movies – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King – prove a gargantuan hit with audiences ($3 billion at the box office!) but also a massive critical success. The series garnered a total of 30 Oscar nominations, 17 of which it won, and is generally considered a landmark in modern filmmaking.
Perfect casting, exquisite set/costume design, expert direction, memorable set pieces, revolutionary CGI (with Smeagol/Gollum in particular) – the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ll agree LOTR is a force to be reckoned with within the land of movies, and one of the things the “oughties” will be remembered for in terms of movies.