Everybody’s Chattin’ – Vol. 26

EverybodysChattin

Happy Friday everyone! It’s the last day of May but sadly I’m still wearing jackets these days… with umbrellas in tow!! It’s been a pretty lame Spring, and it looks like it’s gonna be slow going Summer too 😦

But hey, I’ll be seeing Man of Steel is exactly 11 days, so THAT definitely puts an extra spring in my step!! I usually get bothered by the endless amount of movie marketing, and this movie has certainly been bombarding us with endless TV spots… but y’know, I don’t mind at all. I don’t think anything can dampen my excitement for this, ahah. Ok, normally I don’t post interviews but allow me to indulge a bit today with this Henry Cavill interview with Vanity Fair:


I never said this about anyone but Mr. Cavill is like the 8th wonder of the world … [sigh]…

Ok, now that I’ve regained my composure (somewhat), let’s get on some awesome posts I’ve been reading in the past week. I’m going to put a number on each of the Everybody’s Chattin’ posts from now on, just so I can keep track 😉

Kavalier & ClayWell, since Superman’s been on my mind lately, I’ll start with Cindy Buchman‘s post on this awesome book Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which takes the story of Siegel and Shuster and loosely fictionalized their partnership and their account of creating the comic strip we know and love today. I’m gonna see if Amazon has this!

While we’re at it, Bubbawheat asked the burning question Why do superhero movies appeal to you? It’s definitely an intriguing question, one which I attempt to answer recently in my Superman & Me post, but it’s great to hear what everyone else has to say.

Cavill_ManOfSteelRich also did a fabulous write-up on how Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner’s vision of the Man of Steel has been the standard-bearer for superhero films in general for many years and inspired millions. He argued why Henry Cavill [and the new film] would need  to escape Reeve’s shadow an be compelling enough to stand on its own. I totally concur and from what I’ve seen so far, I needn’t worry 😀

Now, switching gear to a Marvel superhero, Lady Sati just recently did her review of Iron Man 3. I always LOVE her reviews with all the awesome photos and even more awesome rating system!

A film’s artistic sensibility sometimes begins even before the film itself. Michael has been featuring great Opening Titles on his blog (with this super one being one of my all time favorites, natch) and the latest one he featured is from the sci-fi mystery Contact. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while but just haven’t got around to it yet.

What I love about the blogging community is discovering day in and day out how various films affect fellow cinephiles differently. Keith and his Public Movie Defender posts are awesome as he picks movies that have been lambasted by critics [even audience alike] and serve up his own defense why he disagree with them. The latest one was on Terminator Salvation, which I happen to enjoy quite a bit despite the flaws.

WaltzWithBashirRyan at The Matinee (who was the inspiration behind this Everybody’s Chattin’ series btw) started something great with his BlindSpot series. I’ve been discovering a bunch of posts that opened my eyes to films I’ve been blind about, such as this Israeli animated feature Waltz With Bashir that Josh just reviewed.

Speaking of another indie, the one I missed out on last month due to a thunderstorm, well Terrence’s review of MUD made me even more curious about it. Unfortunately we didn’t see eye to eye on EPIC though, but still, it was an excellent one-word-title double reviews, so check it out!

I haven’t done a Birthday tribute in a while but you’ve got to check out Novia‘s heartfelt and beautiful poem to her beloved idol Cillian Murphy on his 37th birthday. I love how loyal she is to her crushes, as she remains in love with Cillian even though she’s been caught up in the British show fever 😉

For good Friday fun (or any day for that matter), check out John’s mighty creative Movie Directors’ Baseball Jerseys! My favorites are the Scorsese, Coens and Edgar Wright Jerseys!

Now, last but not least, you’d want to head over to FilmHipster to take a stab at his latest Guess the Movie & Win sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four awesome Blu-rays!


Stay tuned for my Monthly Roundup coming this weekend, as well as mini reviews of Epic, Now You See Me and other movies I haven’t got around to reviewing yet. Of course there are more Man of Steel countdown posts, one courtesy of Terrence from The Focused Filmographer 😀


Well, before you’re off to any of the links above, tell me, what’s your weekend viewing plans?

The Flix List: Six Unnecessary Big-Budgeted Sequels

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Love them or hate them, Hollywood love to make sequels. Why? Because they’re easy to make and market because audiences are already familiar with the story and characters. Just slap a number after the title and studio executives are happy once the films start making a lot of cash at the box office. Now, I don’t mind sequels as long as they’re good, I mean Hollywood did give us some great sequels, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, T2: Judgment Day, The Dark Knight and The Godfather Part 2 are just some good examples. But for every great sequel Hollywood gave us, there are a dozen bad ones. For this article I want to list some of the sequels that I couldn’t understand why they were made in the first place.

  1. Alien: Resurrection

    When Fox announced they were going to make another Alien film; a lot of people in the industry sort of scratched their heads and asked why? Alien 3 was a huge box office failure and it never garnered any cult following. Rumors started going around in mid 1995 that Sigourney Weaver was going to reprise her role as Ripley and people thought didn’t she die in Alien 3? Well not only did Fox convinced her to come back, they also put up big money to back the project, $70mil to be exact; this was back in the 1990s so that was a huge budget. The film opened on Thanksgiving weekend of 1997 and it earned a respectable number on opening weekend but unfortunately the film was so bad, it didn’t get a repeat business and with bad word of mouth, it only earned $47mil here in the States.
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    Of course this didn’t stop Fox from pursuing to make more films about the Alien saga; they made two awful Alien vs. Predator films. Then they somehow convinced Ridley Scott to come back and make prequel to his original Alien film. Now none of us know how the new film will turn out but I kept thinking to myself, why keep making these films? I mean they lost huge sums of money on Alien 3 and Resurrection yet Fox just refuse to let this franchise die. I’m sure if the new film is a big hit, then we’ll definitely see more Alien films down the road.
  2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

    Now I’m actually looking forward to see this fourth M:I film and I’m huge fan of the franchise. But after the so-so box office take of the last film, I didn’t think we’d see another M:I film for a long time, if ever. Some rumors going around was that this one is actually a reboot, but for it to be qualified as a reboot, the franchise would need a new leading man. From the trailers and clips I’ve seen so far, it’s still a Tom Cruise film. When the third film came out, no one was really interested in seeing it. Tom Cruise was probably the most hated celebrity on the planet, right behind Mel Gibson around that time and the poor box office take confirmed it.

    The first film earned over $180mil, the second made well over $200mil but the third one a made ‘measly’ $133mil. Paramount actually ended its partnership with Cruise and his business partner after the poor earnings of M: I-3. Rumors even went around that they were looking to reboot the franchise with a new leading man and Brad Pitt was even mentioned as the leading candidate to take over. As we all know, that never happened and now Cruise is back on another mission and even though I’m scratching my head as to why they made this fourth entry, I’m pretty excited to see it on the giant IMAX screen.
  3. The Chronicles of Riddick

    This sequel to Pitch Black is probably one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen and again I still don’t know how or why it was made in the first place. I mean Pitch Black didn’t earned that much at the box office and yes it did have some cult following, but I didn’t think it was enough to earn a sequel. But somehow director David Twohy and Vin Diesel convinced Universal to give them over $110mil to make this film. The movie opened in the summer of 2004 and unsurprisingly earned a lot less than its budget, $57mil to be exact. Apparently both Twohy and Diesel are shooting a third Riddick film as we speak, and some independent studio is financing it. Didn’t they see the earning of the last film? Seriously, I think whoever is in charge of that studio needs to put a stop to this right away. I’m speaking for myself here but I don’t need to see another film about Riddick, he’s not that interesting of a character and I know a lot of people agrees with me.
  4. Escape from L.A.

    This sequel to John Carpenter’s 1981 Escape from N.Y. was another head-scratcher. Throughout most of the 80s and 90s, Escape from N.Y. was and still is considered a cult hit but no one really expected to see a sequel from it. Well somehow Paramount Pictures thought it would be a good idea to re-team Kurt Russell and John Carpenter for another film about Snake Plissken’s escape. When this film was announced, no one was really excited to see it, except for maybe the Paramount executives who green-lit the project. Again this was one of the most dreadful sequels I’ve ever seen, the film came out in the early days of CGI and the effects were quite bad, even for its time. If you watch the film now, you’ll laugh your ass off at how bad the effects looked. Not surprisingly it tanked at the box office and I think this was the last film Carpenter made that has a huge budget.

    A couple of years ago, New Line was ready to start shooting a reboot version of Escape from N.Y. but they ran into some financial troubles, so now it’s stuck in limbo. I think most people will agree with me that we don’t need to see another film about Snake Plissken right? Just like Riddick, he’s not that interesting of a character.
  5. Rocky Balboa & Rambo 4
    I’m cheating here since I combined both of these films together but let’s be honest, did any of us ask to see another film about Rocky or Rambo? No, but somehow Stallone was able convince two movie studios to get both films off the ground! I actually enjoyed Rocky Balboa quite a bit, not so much with Rambo 4 though. After the critical and financial failure of Rocky 5, I don’t think anyone except maybe Stallone, expected to see another Rocky film. Like I mentioned before, I actually enjoyed the sixth Rocky film quite a bit, it was a throwback to the first film and Stallone was pretty good in it. Rambo 4 on the hand was pretty dreadful, I mean the film has no plot and the last 20 minutes or so was just carnage. I know that Stallone’s been trying to get the fourth Rambo film made since the mid 90s but because of his diminishing box office power, no studio wanted to make it.

    Of course as we all know, these two films actually rejuvenated Stallone’s sagging career and it seems he’s back doing big action films again. But I kept thinking to myself, why in the heck did the movie studios decided to make these films in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the biggest fans of both the Rocky and Rambo franchises but I still believe they’re totally unnecessary sequels that shouldn’t have been made. Couldn’t the studios spent money on other (read: better) scripts?
  6. Terminator: Salvation

    This sequel might be best remembered for its behind the scenes drama when an audio clip of Christian Bale berating the director of photography was leaked online. After the third film almost bankrupt the production companies that financed it, no one really expected to see another Terminator film for a long time. So when the project was announced in 2007, I don’t think many people were excited to see the film, probably because McG was attached the direct it. It opened in May of 2009 and didn’t really make a dent at the box office. I thought the movie was decent, definitely better than Terminator 3 but it could’ve been a lot better. The rights of the film have been sold to another production company and we may see the fifth film soon. I think the franchise has run its course and should be put to rest now.

Honorable Mentions:

Well actually these are the sequels many people wanted to see but wish they never got made.

  • Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    After Last Crusade came out 1989, Indiana Jones fans were expecting to see another Dr. Jones’ adventure right away but it took Spielberg, Ford and Lucas 19 years to deliver another film to fans. Well, even after ALL that time, the film turned out be quite a disappointment. I actually enjoyed it the first time I saw it in theater but after watching it for the second time, I thought it was one of the worst films of 2008. The film didn’t have the fun and sense of wonder as the previous three and it didn’t help that they cast Shia LaBeouf as Jones Jr. He just annoys the heck out of me.
  • The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions
    After the mega success of the original Matrix film, fans were clamoring for sequels since the first one sort of ended in a cliffhanger. Of course we got our wish when Warner Bros. greenlit the sequels and decided to let The Wachowskis shoot the films back to back. Both films came out in 2003, Reloaded opened in May and Revolutions in November. Even though Reloaded was a huge hit, Revolutions didn’t fare too well. Probably because after people saw Reloaded and were quite disappointed with it; they decided to not go see the final film. I’m one of those people who were pretty disappointed with the film, besides the awesome highway car chase scene, the film had nothing else that interest me. I did go see Revolutions in theater but I thought it was even worse than the second film.
  • All of the sequels of Psycho
    I’m not big into Alfred Hitchcock’s films but I remember seeing the original Psycho when I was very young and it freaked me out. Of course I decided to seek out the sequels and wish I hadn’t. Psycho 2, 3 and 4 (which was actually a prequel) were quite awful. Obviously the only reason those films got made in the first place was for money, they came out in the 80s and early 90s, around the time when slasher films were quite popular. For those who have not seen the sequels, I advise you to stay away from them at all cost.

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What do you think folks? Are you a fan of any of these sequels, or are you like me and think these films shouldn’t have been made in the first place? Let’s see your list of unnecessary sequels.

Time Traveling with Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington’s got to be the most enviable young actor working today. Though he’s not exactly a novice acting-wise, most US audiences have only seen him recently in Terminator Salvation. Yet, instead of working his way up in supporting roles or ensemble cast type of stuff, Hollywood readily entrusts him to be the next big leading man. Thanks to James “Titanic” Cameron who entrusts him to carry a 200 million blockbuster on his shoulders, offers keep pouring in for the 33-year-old actor. Within the next 12 months alone, he’s set to star in five feature films — two of them huge blockbusters — with meaty roles ranging from period/futuristic pieces to classic drama/thrillers. Now, I haven’t even seen any of his films, other than the trailers and clips of TS & Avatar, but from what I’ve seen so far I can definitely say this guy’s got the manly presence and charisma of a real movie star. Just read his interview with Esquire and tell me if he isn’t the next Aussie brute force since Russell Crowe. Some people may call him arrogant, like they did Crowe, but I say he’s got panache. I have no problem with that, especially if he’s got talent to burn.

Worthington as Perseus and Jake Sully
All armored-up as Perseus and CGI-ed in blue as Jake Sully

In any case, Worthington’s been doing some time traveling lately since his stint in the futuristic world of Terminator. In Avatar, he’s once again transported to a distant future, and next year in Clash of the Titans, he’ll be going back in time to ancient Greece to fight the gods as Perseus. A new batch of stills from two of the most anticipated films have just been released. UK film mag EMPIRE is featuring Clash on the cover (which means I got to make a stop at Barnes & Noble this weekend), and you can see all the photos on their website. He totally resembles Crowe in some of the poses, and the costumes looks somewhat similar to Gladiator as well. As for Avatar, FirstShowing has six new hi-res photos on their site. WOW, the intricate details of the images are quite amazing. As I said in my previous post about Avatar day, this is the kind of movie to fully experience in 3D.

Worthington with Jessica Chastain in The Debt

This busy dude isn’t taking any break any time soon —  but when you get offers like he does, why would you? — he’s got two more flicks out in 2010 that is currently in production. One is a thriller set in the mid 1960s called The Debt, which reminds me a bit like Spielberg’s Munich, about a rebel Israeli Mossad agent hunting down a notorious Nazi war criminal. But before you label him the Aussie action hero, he aims to prove he’s got range by starring in a romantic drama Last Night — a love triangle with Keira Knightley and Eva Mendez, heh, that’s a dreamy gig even for an established actor! He’s even got yet two more flicks slated for 2011, The Candidate (about a DA blackmailed for murder of his one-night-stand). Worthington instead opted to star in – and produce — The Last Days of American Crime. According to MTV blog, the movie takes place in the near future where the U.S. government is about to implement a new technology that will make it impossible for anyone to commit a crime. Worthington will portray Kevin Cash, a safe-cracker recruited by a career criminal who may be a dangerously unstable sociopath.

Whew, I’m exhausted just listing all the projects this guy’s got going. The roles seem pretty diverse, I don’t know how he keeps it all straight! I sure hope Avatar is a good one, but if not, his career is probably going to remain unscathed. Well, with a decade-worth of projects in just the next couple of years, he’ll still be riding his success for a while now.


Thoughts on Sam Worthington? What’s your favorite of his film so far?