Spy Kids 4: When New Faces Take Over Old Franchises

by Ethan Alter August 17, 2011 5:34 pm
<i>Spy Kids 4</i>: When New Faces Take Over Old Franchises

It's been eight years since those resourceful Spy Kids last saved the world from an overacting mad-man, but this Friday they're back in theaters in the Robert Rodriguez-directed fourth chapter Spy Kids: All The Time in the World (now in 4D!). Actually, the original kiddie spies -- Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara -- aren't the stars of this particular outing, since, you know, they're not actually kids anymore. (They do both make cameo appearances though.) Instead, there's a new pair of pint-sized action heroes in town, played by Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook. Other new-to-the-series actors include Joel McHale as the duo's father and Jessica Alba as their stepmom, a retired agent that introduces them to the spy game. Spy Kids 4 is far from the first film to try and restart a dormant franchise with an infusion of fresh faces playing new characters. Here's a look back at some of the other series that have attempted similar relaunches and whether or not they succeeded. (Hint: The answer is usually, "No.")

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

by Ethan Alter November 22, 2011 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When Abrams met Spielberg...

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

by Ethan Alter November 15, 2011 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tom Hanks goes back to school and the Jets and the Sharks rumble once more (in Blu-ray) in this week's batch of new DVDs.

Anonymous and Other Major Director Change-Ups

by Ethan Alter October 25, 2011 12:13 pm
<i>Anonymous</i> and Other Major Director Change-Ups

The last filmmaker you'd associate with an Elizabethan-era drama exploring the identity of the "real" author behind the work of William Shakespeare would be Roland Emmerich, the director of such spectacle-driven, explosion-filled entertainments as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. And yet, there's Emmerich's name in the credits for the already-controversial Anonymous, which opens in theaters on Friday. It's a daunting departure for Emmerich, but he's far from the first director that's attempted to upend his image by accepting an assignment that seems well outside of his comfort zone. Here are some of the other biggest directorial change-ups from within the past decade or so.

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