not all sequels deserve to be made

Now You See Me 2

by Cap'n Carrot on June 10, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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The sequel to Now You See Me attempts to pull an Oceans Twelve as the heroes from the first film are constantly thwarted and outmaneuvered. Sadly this movie doesn’t have the wit or style to pull off such a move. Taking place three years after the first film, the script makes several odd choices. While the Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco) have gone into hiding, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) has remained with the FBI for the questionable purpose of keeping the Feds off the inactive magicians’ trail. His lovely Interpol girlfriend (Mélanie Laurent) is nowhere to be seen, and the adventure he and the Horsemen get trapped in will rewrite several key pieces of the first film.

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Other than the bizarre Burtonian designs of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) I remember almost nothing of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Six years later Tim Burton reassembles the cast for a sequel one studio executive, and possibly some other people somewhere, thought would be a good idea. Six years from now I wonder if I will remember anything about this film.

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Oliver Harper takes a look back at the train wreck that was Highlander II: The Quickening.

Retrospective / Review: Highlander II (1991)

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I’m not a Zack Snyder fan. I hated what Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer did to Superman, was disappointed with his interpretation of Watchmen, and was disturbed by watching the man make his own wet dreams into a feature film. Of the Snyder films I’ve been forced to endure over the years 300 is the only one I remotely enjoyed.

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This sequel, like milk, was a bad choice. Nine years in the making, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues feels every bit like a hastily slapped together cash grab whose every bright spot comes directly from jokes referenced or reused from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Most forget that the first film wasn’t a box office hit and only found success on home video and cable. The far inferior sequel will send droves into the theaters only to learn they never need to see it a second time. Some sequels are bad enough to make you reconsider your feelings about the original. This is that kind of movie.

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Kick-Ass 2

by Cap'n Carrot on August 16, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

The work of comic writer Mark Millar (Wanted, Kick-Ass) is an acquired taste. Although he writes super-hero comics, complete with brightly-colored masks and spandex, his gritty nihilistic visions often don’t paint a very rosy picture of the world which he seems to believe are predominantly filled with irrevocably fucked-up human beings.

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Red 2

by Cap'n Carrot on July 19, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

Not every movie deserves a sequel. Based on the early 2000’s comic from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, Red was good dumb fun about retired spies forced to get back into the game when their past caught up with them. Not straining any brain muscles, the sequel is roughly the same premise as Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), Marvin (John Malkovich), and Frank’s girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) find themselves marked for death based on Frank and Marvin’s part in a secret operation more than three decades ago.

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The latest installment resembles the original Die Hard only in that it stars Bruce Willis and things blow up from time to time. To call Skip Woods‘ screenplay idiotic and ill-conceived would be an understatement. I’ve actually enjoyed every other Die Hard film so far, but the latest one chooses to put John McClane (Willis) in the role of comic relief while centering the movie around John’s thoroughly uninteresting son (Jai Courtney).

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Although Journey 2: The Mysterious Island returns only a single character from 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth the sequel feels very much like a retread of the same adventure. Once again we get the teenager on a quest to find a lost family member with the help of an older authority figure in the middle of a Jules Vernian landscape come to life.

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And I thought the first movie was dumb. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and somehow still found myself disappointed. Somehow co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (the brains behind the Crank films… and Jonah Hex) manage to deliver a film that’s less engaging, and arguably makes less sense, than the first trainwreck.

One of the few things Ghost Rider had going for it was the look of the Rider which the sequel completely redesigns with a pitch-black skull and constantly burning and flaking clothes (that never come close to actually burning away) that’s more distracting that anything else. But hey, here’s a film that needs all the distractions it can get.

The Rider also appears to be mildly retarded this time around as he moves around as if he’s a marionette with half of his strings cut, jerking in this direction or the next before the film is sped-up (in Crank fashion) for Ghost Rider to, most unimpressively, take vengeance on the wicked.

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