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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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This year’s crop of new releases once again reminded me that young female audiences seem drawn to two things—obscure Shakespearean quotes, and terminally ill characters. Sick-lit, the latest genre to gain prominence on bookshelves and movie theaters is well represented by THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014) starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolf. The sixth novel by...
 
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I think it’s quite easy to sum up NO GOOD DEED (2014) starring Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, and Leslie Bibb in one simple statement—don’t let strangers in your house. Everything else that follows that warning can be divided into two categories. It’s either an unrealistic exchange of dialogue between strangers, or repeated scenes of graphic violence toward women....
 
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Set in the year 1999, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (2014) starring Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, and David Harbour rings true with payphones on every corner, and video stores at the end of each block. Although Lawrence Block originally published A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES in 1992 as part of his bestselling mystery series, it took over twenty years...
 
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What happens when you’re forty-two years old and no longer the ‘it girl’ in the eyes of the viewing public? Well, you make SEX TAPE (2014) starring Jason Segal, Cameron Diaz, and Rob Corddry. Although inundated with snippets of simulated intercourse and splashed with profanity, SEX TAPE is ultimately nothing more than a poorly acted situational comedy. I wouldn’t...
 
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LET’S BE COPS (2014) starring Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., and Rob Riggle is a rather unique project in the sense that nearly all of the dialogue was improvised during the filming. Easy to understand when you realize that most of the cast are professional stand-up comedians who’ve earned their bread-and-butter while creating comedy routines on the fly. Unfortunately,...
 
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He may be sixty-one years ago, but Brosnan still has what it takes to pull off a very convincing anti-hero. THE NOVEMBER MAN (2014) starring Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, and Olga Kurylenko is a satisfying spy thriller for genre enthusiasts and fans of THERE ARE NO SPIES from the bestselling NOVEMBER MAN book series written by Bill Grander. ...
 
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Between this summer’s rival storylines of dying teens and dystopian societies, 2014 might forever be remembered as the year of the copycat. As promising as THE GIVER (2014) starring Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, and Meryl Streep appeared to be, it essentially turned out to be just another young adult story that left us feeling as if we’d sat through...
 
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Much too dark for children, MALEFICENT (2014) starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Sharlto Copley is a Walk Disney Picture that seems to almost fall through the cracks. Although make-up artist Rick Baker did an unbelievable job creating Angelina’s hauntingly beautiful look, the rest of the movie is held together with extremely large doses of CGI (computer generated imagery)...
 
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Trilogies can be great entertainment with each new release expanding on the evolving storyline, simultaneously delving deeper into recognizable characters that have proven to be relatable. DIVERGENT (2014) starring Shailene Woodly, Theo James, and Kate Winslet was predictable and a disappointment from the very beginning. Immediately compared to the wildly successful HUNGER GAMES (2012), it failed miserably. ...
 
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Yet again, another best-selling novel has been transformed into the latest draw for fifteen year old girls and grown women in need of an emotional release. Although author Gayle Forman does have marketable talent, the transformation of IF I STAY (2014) starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, and Jamie Blackley into the tear-jerker of the summer does little to...
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