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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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Not sure if we’re looking at a series reboot or a sequel, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2014) starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Andy Serkis is a wildly successful blockbuster that will entertain audiences whether they’re familiar with any of the other seven movies in the ape franchise or not. Many viewers have repeatedly claimed that...
 
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You may have never heard the term ‘monager’ before, but after watching a few minutes of BEYOND THE LIGHTS (2014) starring Guga Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, and Minnie Driver, you will recognize a mother figure whose driving ambition is to personally develop and ultimately guide her child’s career in the entertainment industry. Even more manipulative than a ‘stage mother’, today’s...
 
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Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (2014) starring Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, and Michael Chiklist was adapted from a book written by Neil Hayes, 2003. Although football can definitely be described as a religion in many American states, this faith-based sports melodrama falls seriously short every time it leaves the field. I can’t remember the...
 
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I knew that JOHN WICK (2014) starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Myqvist, and Alfie Allen was going to be ripe with action as soon as I read that the film was directed by Reeve’s old stunt double from THE MATRIX back in (1999). What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional ride I’d take during this action thriller. Genuinely tearing...
 
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Having read ‘A Brief History in Time’ (1988) by Stephen Hawking, I was anxiously anticipating the release of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2014) starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and Tom Prior. I confess—I join the legions of admirers desperate for a personal glimpse of the man widely known as the world’s greatest living mind. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is...
 
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Being the 54th Walt Disney animated feature to be released, audiences can rest assured that BIG HERO 6 (2014) starring Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, and Jamie Chung is following a tried and true formula proven to entice and entertain. The first Disney picture to feature animated Marvel characters, BIG HERO 6 blasts onto the screen fueled by an estimated...
 
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ST. VINCENT (2014) starring Billy Murray, Melissa McCarthy, and Naomi Watts is an unexpected gem fighting to outshine the other hopefuls in the race for Oscar glory. With over 65 films to his credit and a movie career that’s still going strong after forty years, Bill Murray might have finally hit his stride with this latest project. Armed with...
 
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When the Farrelly brothers released their original DUMB AND DUMBER back in 1994, it was met with fairly positive reviews, and within a few years, even heralded as a cult classic comedy. Now two decades later, DUMB AND DUMBER TO (2014) starring Jim Carry, Jeff Daniels, and Rob Riggle has finally been released—unfortunately, this time the review is not...
 
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Teen horror flicks have always been a profitable genre for Hollywood. OUIJA (2014) starring Olivia Cooke, Ana Cote, and Daren Kagasoff proves once again that successful producers are more than willing to expend their capital and funnel B-stream talent straight into this very lucrative market. Sadly, there is nothing in OUIJA that we haven’t all seen before, as the...
 
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It was a night in August, 1997 when paparazzi chased Diana, Princess of Wales, into a Paris road tunnel, ultimately filming her car crash and subsequent death. Now, seventeen years later, it appears audiences are finally ready for the likes of NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton as it bravely explores the life of a...
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