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Lynne Martin Talks Movies

THE AGE OF SEQUELS

As I once again stood in line at the box office, I couldn't help but notice the sequel posters adorning the theater's coveted wall space. Some highly anticipated by the viewing public, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (2016) and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 (2016), others new releases appear to be more aptly categorized as projects propelled by the studio's bottom line. 


ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (2016) will open with little fanfare as Fox Studios trusts that parents will recognize the brand and fill the seats. The fifth installment in a franchise that has already earned over 920 million dollars, how can we really question this kind of financial success?


What I do question is the loss of originality in favor of the bottom line. I can only imagine how many new and inventive projects have been stalled in favor of a reboot being green lighted by the studio for little more than its financial guarantee. Are we, the viewing audience, so conditioned to pick the familiar that studios are only acting in response?


I believe that the age of sequels can be directly linked back to the struggling state of our economy. As paying customers, most are looking for a positive experience and don't like taking a risk at the box office. Organizing a movie night for a family of four, complete with parking and snacks, can be a noticeable hit to the wallet...not to mention that it only entertains the brood for roughly two hours. So with a credit card in hand, many customers are going with a product they trust vs. a new offering with no proven track record. Sad but true, and more than understandable in today's economy.


I thought it might be worth mentioning that out of all the projected 2017 new releases, eight of the movies had reached at least the third installment stage. I've included a short list for your amusement:


PITCH PERFECT 3, INSIDIIOUS: CHAPTER 4, BAD BOYS III, CARS 3, DESPICABLE ME 3, WOLVERINE 3, FAST 8, and of course, FRIDAY THE 13TH: CAMP BLOOD which will actually be the fourteenth installment in that particular slasher franchise.


As long as the viewing public continues to vote with an ever shrinking wallet, I think we had better get used to new releases being little more than sequels with familiar characters and reworked plotlines.

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Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews

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After grossing over $324 million dollars worldwide in the first two weeks of its’ release, how can you not label THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016) starring Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart as anything but a financial success? Now factor in a production budget of only $75 million dollars, and you can already hear the script writers...
 
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The movie the internet loves to hate, GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon has finally reached local theaters. Few other new releases in my memory have opened to such negative publicity. This reboot of the original GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) was difficult to sit through as I found myself just biding my time until Murray, Akyroyd, Weaver,...
 
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Two of the world’s most renowned paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, most widely recognized for their 1976 investigation of Ronald De Feo’s murder spree in the infamous Amityville House, once again dust off some memoirs from their personal archives. THE CONJURING 2 (2016), starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Madison Wolfe, explores the Enfield Haunting through documented accounts...
 
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One of the most anticipated sequels of the year, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (2016) starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman struck out at the box office to the disappointment of many fans still touting the merits of INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996). Feeling more like a hard core sci-fi project, the personal stories and gradual building of anticipation as we...
 
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Based on a character that Melissa McCarthy created for the prestigious Groundlings Comedy Troupe, THE BOSS (2016) was finally brought to the big screen by Universal Studios. Although developed by a talented comedian, this movie falls flat right after the opening dance sequence. The laughs feel forced and the ensuing slapstick comedy overused in inappropriate situations. A disappointment considering...
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MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2016) starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and Michael Constantine is the greatly anticipated follow up to one of the highest grossing romantic comedies of all time. Earning over 240 million dollars, the original MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002) managed this incredible feat without even reaching the number one spot at the box office....
 
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Never debating America’s ‘boots-on-the-ground’ deployment policy in Iraq , AMERICAN SNIPER (2014) starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, and Kyle Gallner is more of a character study of the Navy SEAL who made history as the most lethal military sniper ever, credited with over 160 documented kills. Although punctuated with plenty of gunfire and subsequent blood spatter, AMERICAN SNIPER is...
 
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THE GAMBLER (2014) starring Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, and John Goodman is a remake of James Toback’s film THE GAMBLER (1974) starring James Caan – modeled after Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1866 novella also titled THE GAMBLER, originally penned to pay off Dostoevsky’s real life gambling debts. With such a rich history behind this highly anticipated movie, I was disappointed to...
 
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Curiosity reigns supreme…and because of this simple fact, audiences will flock to THE INTERVIEW (2014) starring James Franco, Seth Rogan, and Randall Park. Another simple fact is that audiences will be shaking their head, surprised that they shelled out their hard-earned money to sit through such a juvenile comedy ripe with ‘boner jokes’ and a graphically violent ending. You...
 
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I’ve viewed many disease-of-the-week films over the years, but nothing prepared me for the intensity and brilliance of STILL ALICE (2014) starring Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore, and Kate Bosworth. This movie could have easily evolved into a boiling pot of sentimentality. Instead, STILL ALICE held our hand and led through an Alzheimer’s diagnosis with compassion, intelligence, and just the...
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