Movies that should have a Sequel

Not all movies need or deserve a sequel. Then there are some movies that should have a sequel, but for one reason or another have yet to get one. Here are some of the big Hollywood underperforming movies that I think should get a sequel.

Warcraft:

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Released in 2016, Warcraft had a production budget of $160 million dollars and earned a total of $433 million in its theatrical run. Now this might seem like more than enough to turn a profit, but when you take into consideration the money split between the studios and cinemas, then when you also take into consideration the advertising budgets that are usually not disclosed, that 433 starts to look a little low. Between that and the Luke warm reviews the movie got pretty much across the board and the previous plans for the future movies in this franchise are firmly now in limbo. That all being said though, I do think that this movie deserves to have a sequel for a few different reasons. Firstly the majority of that 433 hall was from outside of the United States, and I think that interest would lead to a further gain in those foreign markets with a better movie. I also think that there is such a deep tapestry of source material to mine here and now that the introduction to the movie is out of the way we can really dive into the kinds of stories fans of the series want to see.

Power Rangers:

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Now I know this a real recent movie, so we really can’t say right now for sure the state of the franchise, but this is my preemptive push for it needing a sequel. Power Rangers had a production budget of $100 million and thus far has only managed to gross $133 million. And after what we just went over, we know that thats no where its haul needs to be right now, but hear me out. The biggest feather in the this movie’s cap right now is that it got a pretty good response from critics which in itself is worth a whole lot, and I think that now that this new cast and take on the franchise is out, audiences will be more receptive to it. I think the franchise’s very modern spin on things like race and sexuality will gain it a much larger audience a second time around.

Dredd :

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2012’s Dredd had a production budget of $50 million, much less than most of the movies we will go over, but, it also only made a worldwide haul of $35 million. Now thats pretty horrible, but the movie has a lot going for it. It has a rabid cult following, it has really good reviews, and it found a great second life on online streaming services. This I think is one of the best examples of a movie that was really good, that people didn’t know where good, and so they didn’t go to see it, but now that they know how good it was, there is a real clamoring for this version of the production to return to the big screen, but at the very least on a streaming service like Netflix.  Karl Urban is also on record as really for reprising his role as the title character…so fingers crossed.

Tron Legacy:

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Tron Legacy is in itself already a sequel, but it was planned as more than a single movie going forward, and it should be allowed to go again. With a production budget of $170 million dollars, and total haul of $400 million dollars, the movie definitely falls short of where it needed to be to have guaranteed itself a sequel. The reviews for the movie are a bit down the middle on its quality, but I don’t think deserves a bad wrap. Secondly the did indeed do a great job at recreating the world of Tron that we first got a glimpse of so many years ago. Coupled with an outstanding soundtrack, and a cast of both returning and new characters that created a storyline that showed a definite trend towards more movies. I think Tron Legacy came close enough to getting one more shot at it.

What do you think about these movies and my wanting sequels for them? Agree with some or any? Comment and let me know.

 

 

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Why we love John Hughes

John Hughes had a long and storied history of films, that have reached out from across the annals of time and pop culture to become beloved classics, that never really seem to get old. But after 30+ years and 30+plus films (worked on in one way or another), what is it that we as the audience hold so dearly about these movies? Why do they stick? To answer in one word, it would be “Relatability”. The one thins that John Hughes movies did better than almost anyone else’s, especially during that time period, was his ability through a number of channels to make at the very least one of those channels strike a cord with viewers by finding that common human element. He achieved this in his casting, his music selection, his themes, and he portrayal teenage characters.

Casting:

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Throughout his career, but especially over his most beloved movies, John Hughes was always able to cast leads in his movies that were just as much a voice of their generation, as they were totally down to earth and relatable in their portrayals of their characters, and even in their looks. Now a definite argument can be made that a lot of these films feature a lack of at the very least ethnic diversity, but I think thats a discussion for another time. Lets take every boy’s (of that time) teenage crush, Molly Ringwald. When Sixteen Candles came out, she WAS 16, a seemingly simple and insignificant detail, but that lent so much authenticity to the role that when coupled with her looks and acting, made her seem so real to viewers, that we ALL knew a Samantha Baker. It’s no surprise why she would return in more of Hughes movies, which in itself was another of his genius moves. His use of actors for multiple roles was by no means ground breaking or something that had never been seen, but it did show his understanding how the connection these character and actors had with the audience. The likes of Matthew Broderick, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and later on his use of actors like Steve Martin and John Candy all played to intricately into his work and his ability to connect with the audience.

Music:

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“Don’t you, forget about meeee.” I’d wager more people than not, upon hearing that classic Simple Minds ballad, think first of the end scene of The Breakfast Club, than any other visuals that may be connected to that song. That song went on to be a number 1 hit thanks to the movie, and allowed both to cement themselves in pop culture history. He also knew when to implement much more mainstream songs into his movies, but always in ways and places that both fit and work with his narrative and characters. Ferris Bueller’s Day off features a pivotal scene set to the Beatles’ Twist and Shout that epitomizes the character of Ferris in his street parade rendition of the song, using the song not just for a cheap thrill, but to both fulfill a character moment and add that instant recognition of what had become at that point a classic already. Hughes is also never afraid to let his musical choices be bold and stand out as they become just as much of a character as the ones he wrote that we came to know and love.

Themes:

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Teen angst, love, sex, growing up, fantasies, harsh realities, risk and reward, and even more…such are the themes of John Hughes movies. This is most likely the largest single reason to the success and longevity of a lot of Hughes’ movies. For the first time on the big screen, teens felt like someone understood them, cared about them, didn’t pander to them, and didn’t feel the need to try and “parent” them. Movies like Weird Science, Sixteen Candles and the Breakfast Club (among many of his other movies), showed what being young and full of hormones was like, from the perspective of those who were actually going through it. It legitimized feels of despair and lust and all the other super emotions we go through as teens, but without making them out to be just some kind of phase. Everyone of us, has some kind of story to tell, some collection of experiences that define who we are, and for many of us those came in our teen years. A time in most peoples lives that becomes idolized at some point for one reason or the other, but no matter the experiences we all have the collective experience of having them, and thus we can all connect to a character who feels her world in ending when no one, not even her family remember its her sixteenth birthday. We can see eye to eye with anyone of the kids in Saturday detention who don’t want to be there, yet deep down know thats exactly where they needed to be. We all know what its like to be hungry for the opposite sex, even when we have zero experience and wouldn’t want to admit it either. These are universal themes, but when viewed through the lens youth, are something we can all relate to.

Characters:

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As I’ve mentioned before, one of the biggest parts of the John Hughes puzzle, are the characters he employs. In his movies we get characters that don’t have to feel like their issues are less than important, ones who don’t have to feel bad for being overwhelmed at times. We got these see these characters given just enough sympathy, and just enough legitimacy that allow for these characters and these movies to capture the thing which we truly all relate to, youth. That is the true and real essence of what made these movies so iconic, they gave us a real doorway back to our youth, and youth is powerful tonic. Couple that with the genuinely wide array of character to choose from and identify with, and no matter who you were as a teen, there’s something or someone for you to connect with, and take you on that ride.

Are you a fan of the late great John Hughes? Agree with my reasoning, or do you think I’m making some leaps? Either way comment and let me know.

Cheers.

Léon: The Professional

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Léon: The Professional is a 1994 film by Luc Besson, who would later become most famous for his movie The Fifth Element. It tells the story of a young girl (12 from most accounts) who trough a series of events is reluctantly taken in by a hitman called Léon. The pair (not sure I want to use the word couple) then are beset down a path that neither of them can seem to veer off of, down a road of revenge, love, family, and many other themes as they both grow and foster a real relationship.

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The title character here Léon is played by Jean Reno, and it will probably always remain one of, if not his most recognizable performance. Reno does a lot to add to the character here in his portrayal, and he does so in some interesting ways. The tricky nature of the relationship that develops between his and Natalie Portmans’ character could easily go down certain roads if not for his performance here. He gives Léon an almost autistic (or at least on the spectrum) bend to his behavior and development up to the point at which the film begins, and this keeps his character and his intentions pure and they come across as totally sincere and genuine. This character without such a layer could easily be seen as the one in charge of the situation at all times, and as such, take away from development that they both need. It would also make him come of as much more predatory than his character actually is and should be.

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This movie was also truly a defining and break out role for the young Natalie Portman. She is charged with bringing the character of Matilda to life, but she really does deliver an amazing performance here. She gives Mathilda a genuine feeling of being grown up way beyond her years, while also maintaining the innocence (or what’s left of it) and ignorance of someone so young and so new to the world. This is juxtaposed extremely well against the sometimes “man-childless” of Reno’s Léon, and as expressed in the movie they are almost opposites of each other in many ways. The role also calls for some really tense scenes between the two, in which you see how easily control over the situation can swash back and forth between the grown but child like Léon and the young but way too grown Mathilda. and this is a fine line to walk, one in which the film tries to stay on, and avoid having to really push it to one side or the other. Portmans’ portrayal here is so grounded and honest, and she gives more than I even think the character originally asked for.

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Léon ultimately is a story about love, in the midst of an action movie that never seems short on either. I think it does a great job at asking some questions of the audience, but in a manner that seems both plausible and palatable. It is full of Luc Besson trademark style of action, while also being grounded with really layered and impressive performances but the co-leads here who play really well off each other and add what I truly think is the special sauce in what otherwise would have been a regular action movie without it. Have you seen Léon? What’s you’re opinion on it? The up coming Valerian movie made me want to take a look back at some of Besson’s work, and I think Léon is one of his best.

Review : Fast and Furious 8


“When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.”

So I honestly don’t think i know what the name of this movie is supposed to be, the word fate is used a few times well in there but for simplicity sake, I’m calling it Fast 8. Fast 8 is an interesting installment is this ever growing franchise, we’ve come so far from the small time days of where this series started, but we’re right back where things started in terms of a small tight team. I’m also not sure where the end of this movies leaves possible room for much more, but I’m sure more we have. Fast 8 is like its predecessors in that it does come full of car themed high flying super action and set pieces that are each bigger than the last. The kind of action that if you’re already a fan of it, you’ll love it here, if not why you even looking at the eighth of these movies. All in all, strap yourself in and turn your brain off is the best way to go into this movie, there are a few moments that tug on the old heartstrings but otherwise it’s pretty much what you’re gonna expect from this franchise by now. Also I just wanna say, the ending, totally called it.

Review Score : 6.5 out of 10

Lolita : Would it work today?

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In 1997 the Adrian Lyne directed version, of the previously adapted film Lolita, based on the novel of the same name written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1955. The story itself earned almost instant infamy for its controversial subject matter. It tells the story of a middle aged man who marries his landlord in order to keep himself in the life of her daughter, whom he had fallen madly in love with. The controversy here of course, come with the knowledge that this girl 14 (12 i believe in the novel) years old. So why isn’t this just some sick story of pedophilia that shouldn’t have ever been made into a movie? Well, the story itself is a very interesting one because it presents us with the moral quandary of the age of consent, maturity, sexuality, and where the line on many of these things should be drawn. So rather than the question and the answers being given to us by the book and later the movie, they are rather transferred onto us to ponder ourselves.

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Lolita in itself is meant to be more than a love story, or a lust story, it’s meant to be a supreme hypothetical question I think. Now you may already have your mind made up on wether or not the characters are wrong here, and who in particular is at fault, but I think the movie does a very good job of trying to present the full array of emotions and subtleties that truly make up this story. So how is all of this presented? Firstly I think a lot of credit has to go Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, who in here first on screen performance was able to give this character of Lolita so much depth in such a layered and nuanced performance that raises the question of what is maturity and what is or isn’t genuine consent.

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It presents each character as both equally the one taking advantage and the one being taken advantage of. The way she is able to seduce Irons’ much older character, and manipulate him into getting what she wants, while at the same time we see the fragility and immaturity that comes with being so young. They do present his character as one not without guilt or remorse, but more so for what he perceives the world views him as, rather than for his acts which to him are born genuinely out love, irrelevant of age. These concepts while obvious are also subtle. Rather than simply beat the audience over the head with black and white versions of these arguments, it presents them in as pure a form as possible and lets them linger long enough for us to try and form out own opinions that can possibly be just as nuanced.

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So where does a movie like this fit in the world and the zeitgeist of the general public. Is it a movie out of time? One that could only have worked in a former time, and not in the ever increasing “PC” culture of today? Would a movie like this, even with its subtle hand and direction be allowed to present these ideas or would it shut down from the jump. I think no matter how you feel about the subject matter, and your view on the morality and legality I guess of the situation, I think movies like this should be allowed to have a place and have a voice. What do you think? Have you seen the movie or read the book maybe? Do you think a movie like this could have a place in a 2017 world, or should movies like this not even be given the chance to see the light of day.