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Big dumb action sequel is more fun than you might think

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:02

‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ bleeds out

Franchise’s fifth installment a murky, incoherent mess 

Published in Movies
Friday, 21 October 2016 09:39

Cruise's 'Jack Reacher' exceeds his grasp

Action sequel 'Never Go Back' never goes anywhere

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 10:20

Into the woods again - 'Blair Witch'

Sequel fails to capture groundbreaking spirit of original

Whether you loved it or hated it, there's no denying that 1999's 'The Blair Witch Project' proved to be a groundbreaking film. The microbudget found-footage horror thriller was a game changer not just in stylistic terms, but in marketing terms as well. It offered a new path to making movies and to selling them.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 August 2016 12:35

Bourne again - 'Jason Bourne'

Damon returns for fourth Jason Bourne film

The sheer number of films that come out each year can prove to be a bit overwhelming. There are so many, in fact, that it is inevitable that there will be occasional gaps in coverage simply put, it's really hard to see everything.

Published in Movies
Friday, 03 June 2016 19:10

Playing the shell game once again

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

The 2014 attempt to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a misfire pretty much across the board. The story was boring and barely coherent, the CGI bordered on the horrifying and the live-action performances ranged from disinterested to abysmal.

Published in Movies

'Sorority Rising' a rehash, but not without its own crass charms

Here in the summer season, we talk a lot about the relative necessity of sequels; we see plenty of them during this segment of the cinematic calendar, after all. To be clear, this isn't about franchise-building. This is about sequels to films that, while successful to some degree, don't appear to really invite revisiting.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 11:26

Winter's bore The Huntsman: Winter's War'

Unnecessary sequel an ill-conceived, uninteresting misfire

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:59

Zoolander 2' a fashion victim

Too-late sequel neither funny nor necessary

Sequels are inherently subject to the law of diminishing returns. Revisiting the same people doing the same things is almost always going to result in a lesser experience. The degree of diminishment, however, is variable. Sometimes, you get a sequel that stands fairly strong; it's particularly nice when a sequel allows itself to change in a significant way.

Other times, you get 'Zoolander 2.' This wildly unnecessary 15-years-later sequel to 2001's 'Zoolander' has no real reason to exist. The original managed to take advantage of a cast operating at or near the peak of its collective comedic powers to elevate a barely-viable concept into a fun, eminently quotable cult classic. The sequel doesn't.

Published in Movies
Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:03

A not-so-despicable sequel

Despicable Me 2' offers plenty of fun

Movies for kids are pretty hit or miss in general. It seems like every time you buy a ticket, you've got about a 50/50 chance of getting a good one. And even if you do get a good one, that just means that there's going to be a sequel and that's when the law of diminishing returns raises its ugly, money-grubbing little head.

So it's a nice surprise when an animated follow-up manages to maintain some of the spirit of the original. 'Despicable Me 2' is definitely one such surprise.

Published in Movies
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