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Entries in sequels (90)


"Oh, what a tweet. What a lovely tweet!"

In case you needed another reason to love Edgar Wright...




P.S. I know this is a terribly silly thing to worry about but I worry about it every day. Can Mad Max manage any Oscar nominations?

Mad Max Fury Road is a freaking miracle. Obviously a Best Picture nomination would be a lot to ask for (though deserved) and without precedent (No live-action sequel has ever been nominated for Best Picture unless its predecessor had also been... no not even The Dark Knight or Skyfall despite their abundant nominations elsewhere. And, no, Silence of the Lambs was not a sequel to Manhunter. The only sequel to win this honor was Toy Story 3... in an expanded field). But if Mad Max Fury Road isn't on track for cinematography and sound and editing and the like... what good are any of these craft branches at all since they're meant to recognized inspired work? 


McDreamy is Bridget Jones' Baby

Here's Murtada with some casting and sequel news.

Patrick Dempsey is joining Bridget Jones’ Baby, the third movie about the charming British singleton played by Renee Zellweger. Is this the first announcement about his movie? Filming starts pretty soon, October 2nd to be exact. Did we miss something? Is Zellweger returning to major movies and the headlines are about McDreamy? Both Zellweger and Colin Firth are expected back but not Hugh Grant hence Dempsey. Although there are no details yet on who Dempsey is playing, it’s clear from the casting this may be another love triangle.

Zellweger aside, are we ready for for Bridget to come back? It’s been more than a decade since the last movie. Are people really going to see this? From the recent long-after-first-few reboots and sequels people really wanted to see Jurassic World  while no one cared for the Terminator reboot. Like the latter the last Bridget was in the mid-aughts. Not a good sign. People who loved it at the time might not feel nostalgic for it yet while younger audiences wouldn’t care.

The first film, Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), is a romantic comedy gem that came at a time when those were made regularly and some were made well. The book which of course came before the movie was a phenomenon. We loved Bridget’s self deprecating voice and wanted her to have the Elizabeth Bennet fantasy she dreamed of. Zellweger was aces in the part calming down everyone who was mad an American was cast as this quintessentially British woman. The second film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) followed shortly. In addition to the preposterous title, it's a trifle. Coming with an unnecessary sojourn into a Bangkok prison (is this a remake of both Bangkok Hilton and Brokedown Palace?) it presented nothing new. Just went on repeating all the best beats of the original including the fun and childish rivalry between Mark Darcy (Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Grant). Let’s just forget about it and watch that fight scene from Diary again.

Is Dempsey over Grant an upgrade? If we’re being shallow and judging just by how they look today Dempsey wins. However he’s not the caddish charmer that is Grant as Daniel and that's was proven way sexier. Remember his seduction of Bridget and the way he said “absolutely enormous panties”. Can Dempsey match that? Dempsey’s charm is different. Blandly handsome with no gravitas, i.e. the perfect foil for a Disney princess like he was for Amy Adams in Enchanted. He could lay on that wholesome charm but we all know everyone likes the bad boy more.

It’s clear where we stand on the Grant/Dempsey debate but tell us where you are and why.


Misc: Lawrence & Schumer, Gaga & Bomer, Léa & Channing, Guest & Cast

Pajiba Tom Hardy on Dubsmash with his stunt double. Awwww
The Wrap Michelle Pfeiffer is going to play Robert DeNiro's wife again (because that worked so well for them in The Family?) in HBO's movie about the Bernie Madoff scandal called Wizard of Lies
AV Club Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer wrote a movie together and they'll play sisters
Comics Alliance in praise of the superheroic male miniskirt 
Film School Rejects terrifies us with a list of actors returning to franchises they departed both real and suggested. Make it stop, universe. Oh god make it stop.
Vulture has a new podcast about the art of the TV pilot. Fun discussion (and excoriation of Fear the Walking Dead) but I was disappointed that Glee doesn't get props. That show turns into a disaster in record time but damn that pilot was a beauty.

Film Actually suggests 10 awesome Bollywood soundtracks for your listening pleasure
Vanity Fair whoa. A.J. Langer (better known as Rayanne Graff on My So Called Life) is now a British royal of sorts. She married a Count.
The Tracking Board Wes Ball, who directed The Maze Runner, will make a Norse mythology movie called Fall of Gods 
Toybox Batman figures that look like they were designed by Aardman animation
Vulture talks to Kate Winslet about Shakespeare ("you're saying that because I'm British") and Steve Jobs
MNPP shares a terrifying NSFW moment from a movie I've never heard of featuring Chris Pine
MNPP also has a book shelf in the movies fetish. I thought I was the only one so this is kind of unnerving
/Film Léa Seydoux joining Channing Tatum as Gambit's leading lady
MNPP first looks at the cast of American Horror Story: Hotel in character. There is a lot of punk dandy boy looks happening
Coming Soon Remember when everyone thought Joaquin Phoenix was too crazy to go on working?  Things didnt pan out that way and he became a bigger star. But one thing he is crazy about is auteurs. He loves working with them and repeating the trick. Next up is another M Night Shyamalan film which will be his third 

Regret to Inform...

Eugene Levy & Catherine O'Hara are NOT in talks to star in Christopher Guests's new Netflix film Mascots. But a lot of the other regulars are including Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, Bob Balaban and Jennifer Coolidge. Joining the family is Chris O'Dowd, who worked with Guest on the shortlived Family Tree for HBO.


Can we talk about that Second Best Exotic ending?

Manuel here talking about that mouthful of a sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is out on DVD today.


I only just got to watching it the weekend before last at the swanky Crosby Hotel which hosts its very own Film Club every Sunday. (I even spied Spider Man v.1.0 Mr Tobey Maguire in the lobby!). Just as with its first, I have to hand it to John Madden, Judi Dench, Lillete Dubey & co. for making a thoroughly predictable film aping Bollywood tropes and focused on India’s exoticized ability to help old white people learn about aging, not only enjoyable but surprisingly melancholy.

Nowhere is that clearer than in the film’s handling of Muriel Donnelly, Dame Maggie Smith’s character, and especially her ending (obviously, SPOILERS ahead). At this point in her career, Smith has arguably become a parody of her own self. And yet, that's harder to say if you actually watch her work. Sure, she’s got the grouchy old bitter hag thing spouting prickly witticisms down pat, but there’s always something else lurking in the quiet moments in her performances. There’s a weariness married to a nimble sense of emoting that goes on behind those weathered if sprightly eyes. That's put to best effect in the final moments of Madden's film which gives us the happy ending we always knew we'd get but spiked with an ambivalent sense of loss:

It makes sense that the heavy lifting (read: the dramatic and non-comedy-of-errors part of the film) would fall on Smith's sturdy shoulders; she can turn even the slightest of complaints about tea into resonant character bits, commentary on US/British relations and even a meditation on her own sense of mortality. 

As soon as we left the 90-seat theater at the Crosby (I did say it was swanky, yes? what with its free popcorn and all) my friend asked “So, does she die?” which seemed to be both the type of obvious question I usually hate (“did the top stop spinning?!”) but which seemed precisely the right one to ask, especially if one follows it with “will she kill herself?” a melodramatic, though not for this film, inappropriate question.

We feel the weight of Mrs Donnelly’s life and it somehow strikes me that the film’s ambivalence about her demise, even amidst an ending that ties everything else in a pretty bow is rather transgressive and pretty much all wrapped up in Smith's final close-up which ends the film.

Did this sequel leave you wanting a Third Best Exotic Hotel and mentally casting which other British acting royalty could join Dev Patel in a trilogy closer? (My vote is for Vanessa Redgrave, obviously)


Awards Daily set pictures on the new film from James Marsh (Theory of Everything) this one starring Colin Firth & Rachel Weitz
Bloomberg Steve Wozniack love the Steve Jobs trailer
Slate Dana Stevens on the particular appeal of Channing Tatum, film star
The Dissolve on Ava DuVernay's hard pass on The Black Panther. I'm so relieved she's not doing this. Now she can make more movies like Middle of Nowhere or Selma. Why lose great individualistic directors to Marvel when what Marvel wants is journeymen to realize their Cinematic Universe goals?
EW Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher got married

Theater Mania has an interest piece on why so many musicals disappear in the development stages 
The Film Stage looks at MoMA's Scorsese exhibit of film one sheets
CHUD an editorial on why we need gays as main characters in mainstream blockbusters - written by a straight man 
Guardian Hilary Swank scaling back career to care for her ailing father. Best wishes to the family 

Salon comprehensive list of booze consumed on True Detective S2 
Vulture thinks True Detective Season 2 owes a lot to David Lynch 
Empire Fatal Attraction to become a TV miniseries - good luck finding a Glenn Close replacement 
Birth Movies Death Marvel/Netflix may be struggling with how to do Iron Fist for the small screen. Whatever direction they go in, please make the character Asian as he always should have been considering his origins

Terminate the Terminator Franchise
Forbes on why Terminator: Genisys opened weak in the States -- curiously no one ever mentions that Emilia Clarke is not a strong actor and she's up against memories of Linda Hamilton's Oscar nomination worthy work!
The Daily Beast interviews Alan Taylor (who has not had much luck as a feature director after proving a hot commodity on TV) and he has curious "just go with it" opinions on how messy his movie is
NYT profiles producer David Ellison (Megan's brother) on his struggles getting Terminator Genisys going and building a multiverse like Marvel. This was a good read but the title is truly bizarre. How is investing solely in mainstream tentpole franchise moviemaking an example of 'not playing it safe.' That's exactly what playing it safe is. Not playing it safe is what Megan Ellison does with her risky art films. 

Look, I am one of the biggest Terminator fans that exists. I saw the first two a ton of times, and think they're veritable masterpieces of their form. They still play today and their action sequences are more exciting (still) even knowing every beat than anything in any of the ill-begotten sequels. Enough already. This franchise was already complete when James Cameron was finished with it twenty-plus years ago. Making money is perfectly fine as one goal but if it's the only goal when making a movie, you've already failed. Movies made solely for money (and for no other reason) are never good. 

Are you watching True Detective Season 2? Do you also wish Skynet would stay down after being defeated for the fifth time? 


Inside Jurassic XXL's Genysis

Proving difficult to recapture a surprise novelty hit audience?You guys. I'm disappointed in the American public. Here we are on a national holiday weekend and they're still going to the dinosaur island off the coast of Costa Rica and a reheated pointless Terminator reboot of much better work from the world's most successful Canadian director! And they're doing that when the All American Pixar is knocking it out of the park with a story about a Midwestern girl moving to San Francisco and Channing Tatum and friends having a road trip strippers party from Florida to South Carolina. But America wants what it wants and in this case they wanted the microwave-reheated franchises from beyond our borders. 

Early estimates had Inside Out leading but when later estimates came it it fell back into second place which means it now takes the record from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) of the highest grossing movie that never had a #1 weekend. And the record will hold since there's no way it hits #1 next weekend with Minions opening to steal the family dollar away.

UPDATE With actuals in My Big Fat Greek's Wedding on most successful film that was never #1 at the box office lives on, since Inside Out just barely edged out the dinosaurs.

July 3rd-5th Weekend
(some "new" titles have cumulatives since they opened early for the holiday)
01 Inside Out $29.7 (cum. $245.8) Inside Out Articles 
02 Jurassic World $29.2 (cum. $556.5) Jurassic Articles 
03 Terminator Genisys NEW $27 (cum. $42.4)
04 Magic Mike XXL NEW $12.8 (cum. $27.8) Review
05 Ted 2 $11.1 (cum. $58.5)
06 Max $6.6 (cum. $25.3)
07 Spy $5.1 (cum. $97.5)
08 San Andreas $2.8 (cum. $147.1)
09 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl $1.2 (cum. $3.9) Michael's Review 
10 Dope $1.1 (cum. $14.1) Sundance capsule

11 Mad Max: Fury Road $1 (cum. $149) Review & Podcast & Random Articles
12 Avengers: Age of Ultron  $.8 (cum. $454.2) Review & Marathon & Podcast 
13 Love & Mercy $.7 (cum. $10.5) Best Actor
14 Pitch Perfect 2 $.5 (cum. $182.3) 
15 Insidious: Chapter 3 $.5 (cum. $51.2)
16 I'll See You In My Dreams $.4 (cum. $5.8) Best Actress

Do tell. 


Box Office: Ted 2 No Match for Jurassic 4 & Inside Out 1

Weird. Despite a lot of love for Seth MacFarlane's Ted (2012) just three years ago its sequel significantly underperformed with a much weaker opening... like $21 whole million weaker. I say weird because nowadays audiences tend to run screaming with wallets wide open to anything sequelish that they liked before. Witness the explosive returns for Pitch Perfect 2 (which has tripled the gross of its predecessor... also three years old). Speaking of sequels... Jurassic World is now the biggest grosser of 2015 and its only in its 3rd weekend with a typically huge box office holiday fast approaching. The weird thing is that people don't seem to love it. They only seem to love being able to return to that park... which bodes really well for Jurassic Park-World 5,6,7, etcetera one supposes. 

Magic Mike XXL and Terminator 5 arrive Wednesday but neither are as family oriented as the current top two so the holiday week could well be huge for all four. Unless Terminator G goes the way of Ted 2 under the 'nah, been there' umbrella?

June 26th-28th Weekend
01 Jurassic World $54.2 (cum. $500) Jurassic Articles 
02 Inside Out $52.1 (cum. $184.9) Inside Out Articles
03 Ted 2 NEW $33
04 Max NEW $12.2
05 Spy $7.8 (cum. $88.3) Rose Byrne FYC
06 San Andreas $5.2 (cum. $141.8)
07 Dope $2.8 (cum. $11.7) Sundance capsule
08 Insidious Chapter 3 $2 (cum. $49.7)
09 Mad Max: Fury Road $1.7 (cum. $147)  Review & Podcast & Random Articles
10 Avengers: Age of Ultron  $1.6 (cum. $452.4) Review & Marathon & Podcast

Jurassic World is the first film to hit $500 million in US theaters since The Avengers (2012). The latter went on to gross $623.3 million but it took a week longer to hit the half billion mark. Jurassic World may well surpass The Avengers but I hope Avatar's $749 million US record is safe since Jurassic World would be a really lame #1 of all time since it's basically a remake. Finally, incredibly Cinderella is still in theaters, albeit only 235 of them, but in its 16th week it has now passed the $200 million mark and seems likely to end the year in the box office top ten (it's number #4 right this moment but will soon slip a rung). The fairy tale doesn't come to BluRay and DVD until September 15th.

What did you see this weekend?