Nowadays, lots of things are remade that elicit groans from fans, but “Swamp Thing” is a property that was ripe for a remake – which DC Universe delivered in a 10-episode series in 2019. For those of us too cheap to subscribe to the streamer, it’s now airing Tuesdays on The CW as pandemic-era filler. The two “Swamp Thing” movies of the 1980s would make all lists of Worst Superhero Movies except that they’re relatively old and obscure. Simply by having modern production values and not being embarrassing, TV’s “Swamp Thing” could improve on that cinematic dreck.
Only 12 years pass between the third and fourth chapters of the “Die Hard” series, but the difference between the 20th and 21st centuries is striking. In “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995), the bad guys steal gold, and in “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007), they steal money digitally. I don’t know how well the details hold up to expert scrutiny, but screenwriter Mark Bomback – who went on to write the last two “Planet of the Apes” films – effectively taps into the unease we feel in knowing that our money is represented by numbers on a computer screen as opposed to old-school bars of gold.
Total Recall” (2012) came out amid a glut of sci-fi remakes, and it did not supplant the 1990 original in the public’s consciousness. Judging by the poster and perhaps thinking of Colin Farrell from “Minority Report,” I imagined this as one of those gray, interchangeable dystopias. But that’s not quite accurate. The production design by Patrick Tatopoulos is so luscious – a colorful, oddly inviting drabness that’s closer to “Blade Runner” than “Minority Report” — that if the story was up to the same standard, “Total Recall” would be a classic.
Here are my first impressions of “Hawaii Five-0,” which airs at 9 p.m. Central Mondays on CBS.