Posts tagged sequel

Review: Wrath of the Titans

When you take a film as “epic” and “classic” and… well… “culty” as the original Clash of the Titans and remake it you really have to be careful with what you’re doing. When Warner Brothers tried their hands at it they decided to take out the cheesy and made it a high-end CGI action film for the present. The success of the film, and average critic response, brought upon it’s sequel, Wrath of the Titans. A film that takes out any actual film-like elements this series had and keeps only the 3D CGI battle scenes which are… well… not Epic enough.

Wrath of the Titans follows Perseus (Sam Worthington) to save his father and save his son from the partnership of Ares and Hades. Here is the first problem, it’s the same basic “journey to save something” plot as the first film. Honestly, who cares about any of these characters? The gods are evil, so why do they need saving? Perseus has a lot on the line but that same vacant stare on his face (I expected more from you Sam Worthington!) leaves out any emotion. At one point someone dies (huge spoiler…) and I felt absolutely no sympathy for him as he turned into dust.

Concerning the action scenes, they are also all the same as the first film with just a slightly higher level of intensity around them. One cyclops… now you have two. Big finale battle? Add some lava. There’s a point Hollywood that these crazy CGI movies will need to begin to have substance again and there is a ceiling to the amount the world will take it. I feel like we hit that point with Wrath of the Titans. The same old CGI crap. Who needs it? I know there are people out there that really enjoy this kind of stuff but why can’t they go rent “Rome” from Netflix and watch something that is gripping, artistically stunning, and isn’t a “complete” waste of your time, relatively speaking.

4.5 Wraths out of 10

Editorial: Fast Five vs. Scream 4

I think April was an interesting month at the Box Office, as there were 2 sequels that attempted to re-invent movie franchises. One worked. One failed miserably.

Let’s start with Fast Five. EVERYBODY started off thinking this would be just another cash crab from the studio trying to make good on the success of the last one. It’s a 5th movie in a franchise, where most times anything past 3rd is automatically considered a giant lump of shit. However this was a great example of how to do a sequel right. They took the strong elements of the previous films, as well as added a whole lot of new stuff to it. Not only did they bring back the 2 main stars, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, but most of the favorite characters from all 4 movies. They Even added the Fucking Rock! That, mixed with a cool new location, RIO, got fans of the series really excited to see this movie. That was easily helped by Universal’s strong marketing campaign, putting this trailer in front of almost every big movie as well as putting it on a weekend where it has little competition. I think this was the first film in the series that really didn’t take itself too seriously (no one else did!), and that made the film a lot more enjoyable.

They started moving this film to a little bit more than just a film about street racing, to adding the feeling of a heist/Mission Impossible film. They blend this really well with the action, and don’t have that ridiculous of a story to make it unbelievable with the characters we’re following. This also works great as a segway into further chapters, giving us a sense of what they will do in the future. Overall Fast Five was a lot of fun, and they did a surprisingly smart job of not making just another crappy sequel.

Now for Scream 4. It’s been 11 years since the Scream 3, the supposed “final chapter” of the trilogy. Due to a lot fans asking for a sequel, Scream 4 came about bringing back the original director Wes Craven, as well as the 3 main stars- Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, all who haven’t had much success since Scream ended. The fourth film also added a wide variety of new characters and young actors, including Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, and Anthony Anderson. All of these factors set up for what could have been an awesome sequel.

However it wasn’t. This chapter felt very familiar, and not necessarily in a good way. After 3 chapters (and 11 years of repeated viewings), the audience new what to expect from a Scream movie. The 4th chapter was an opportunity to change “the rules” and really have the audience not know what to expect. However once the action in this film started moving, it all felt very familiar and was sometimes even a little boring. You knew who was going to die, especially when they naively walk outside to a dark, silent porch.

Scream 4 did have some good elements to it, capturing on the changing horror genre since the last film. While the first three chapters focused on horror films and their sequels, this chapter commented on the rise of the remake or reboot, particularly in horror films. They led you to believe that their goal was to “reboot” the franchise with this chapter, by putting a whole new cast and commenting on a wide variety of new horror films. However this film ends without setting up for anything new in another chapter, making us believe that any further Scream installments would be nothing more than just cash crab, one story sequels. All this, and a sub plot of the killer filming the murders, left us feeling that there were a lot of missed opportunities in this chapter.

In terms of actual marketing the film, they focused more on letting people know that a new Scream was coming out, opposed to trying to appeal and attract the newer, younger audience who hasn’t seen the previous films. This film needed more college promotions, as I feel this was the prime crowd to attract; yet not many students saw this one. The studio assumed that those who saw the previous Scream movies over a decade ago would still come out and see this new one. While some did, a lot did not. They marketed this film more as a sequel, instead of a reboot, which could have attracted a newer and younger crowd.

It is interesting to see how 2 of the big movies of April resulted differently than people’s expectations. I am sure a year ago not many people would have assumed Scream 4 would tank, and Fast Five would bring in new records for the series. I think the differences between the 2 are worth noticing, and am curious if these will affect the future sequels and reboots we see from other movie franchises

Review: Tron Soundtrack - Daft Punk - Retro-electro

All of the nerds on the planet are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of the new TRON sequel on the 17th of December. That’s nine days in the future. Not that I’m counting. While the world waits for this film, it must satisfy itself with a taste of the story through the soundtrack. It will give us just enough to whet our appetite, but leave enough suspense for us to still want to see the film. “Suspense” in fact is a perfect work for the TRON: Legacy soundtrack, too, since it’s full of tracks clearly made for an action film. Just listening to the album will make you feel as if you’re anticipating something. You just don’t know what…yet.

I guess I have to admit it right off the bat. I like the TRON: Legacy soundtrack better than the 1982 original TRON soundtrack. Scary, I know. But I can’t help it. Wendy Carlos’ original soundtrack is by no means shabby. It features strange time signatures and inevitably synthesizer-heavy sounds. Daft Punk, however, blows it out of the water. At first you don’t think you’re listening to anything Daft Punk would make. You quickly forget, however, that you care about the French electronica group at all as you’re swept immediately into the imposing, heavy orchestra pieces. The score is at first reminiscent of epic films. It heightens anticipation with its intense strings and brass. Roughly a quarter of the way through, we get a taste of the electronic. Just a taste, though - we’re not ready for the best just yet. Daft Punk is holding out on nerds everywhere. They’re teasing us, drawing us in with what seems to be a very normal epic film soundtrack. We’re shortly given a touch of the 80’s. Not overwhelming, not cheesy, just a touch. Then it dips back intro the orchestral. Adagio For Tron is a particularly impressive track. The soundtrack pauses in the center of its action-themed music to showcase a mournful piece. We don’t get much time with the mournful, though, because we’re shoved very lovingly into Daft Punk. Ah, there it is. The sound becomes more electronic. There are heavy beats in the background. It’s our favorite, catchy sounding electricity we love so much. This is what we’ve been waiting for. This is clearly a Daft Punk soundtrack. It almost feels like the guys from Kraftwerk contributed (they’re from the 80’s too.) all of their best in the track End of Line. The electronic doesn’t dissipate from the album; on the contrary, it begins to suddenly mesh with the orchestra as the soundtrack edges towards the end. The rest of the soundtrack woos you with Daft Punk’s original sound and classical orchestra mingled together. Be careful, epic film music nerds. You’re going to suddenly like electronica and not know why.

The TRON: Legacy soundtrack is brilliant. It draws you in with the deception of sounding somewhat typical, although it doesn’t quite fit that category. It teases you with a touch of the 80’s towards the beginning, and then calls you to mourn with it. You don’t have much time to feel sad during the Adagio track, though, because you’re thrown into the midst of a classic Daft Punk sound right afterward. Then it begins pulling epic film sounds and electronica together to make your heart race with intensity. Though this soundtrack is amazing, and the score cannot be rivaled (no, not even by Wendy Carlos’ original score), nerds all over the world still desperately need the film itself. The delicious sounds emitted by this album are really only teasing us. The 17th can’t come fast enough.

9.5 Glowing Suits out of 10

Guest Writer: Cori P

PFF 2010 Review: The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fire, and Hornet)

One of my highlights of the Philadelphia Film Festival was going to finally see The Millennium Trilogy in an awesome BACK-TO-BACK marathon! (For all of you who don’t know, The Millennium Trilogy consists of the three books now films, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest”) This book trilogy has become one of the biggest phenomenon’s in print in recent memory. It’s also amazing to me that girls in high school are reading books that centralize around rape. Thankfully a fantastic film adaptation has arisen because of this new print-sensation (and not in America either!) and we got to see all three in a row on a "lazy sunday" afternoon.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This film has been out for a long time on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Instant Streaming. Because of this and how amazingly well the film is put together, this film gained two sequels. Out of the three this one is easily the best. The story is complete from start to finish with insightful dialogue, quick intense scenes of action, and the thrill of the chase all the way through. If you’re not ready to make the commitment to all three of these films you must at least see this one. Alone this is worth your time, effort, and hard earned money.

The Girl who Played with Fire

Part one of two, this film ends with a cliffhanger! OH NO! This, and the third part of the film are very well suited for book form, however they transfer only moderately-well to film. The problem is that there is a lot of exposition in the book, and the creators need to transfer all of this to the film without overwhelming the viewer or getting boring. The second of the three films is a perfect mix of all of that. It dives deeper into the dragon girls psyche creating an intense mix of crime, thrill, and action. A wonderful sequel, still not as good as the first, but damn fine.

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Part two of two, this finale nicely wraps up all the conflict in the last two movies. The problem here is that it felt like it took FOREVER to do so. This film is way too long and needed some more direct answers to help push along the viewer. I can understand how this can be incredibly intriguing as a book, but the film either rushed over a lot of information quickly so that the audience could not intake everything, or it was so drawn out that I could take a cat nap and not miss a thing. Either way this is sadly, the weakest out of the three. Still a good ending to the story, lots of resolution, answers, and revenge, but it took a long time to get there….

In all… DEFINITELY go see “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” right now, don’t wait for the US remake with Daniel Craig by David Fincher. There is already an amazing film out there based on that book you are reading because Oprah told you to. Go enjoy that one! The rest of the trilogy is great, but if you are just “meh” about the first one you might want to skip the others.

Dragon Tattoo - 8.5 Ear-Piercing’s out of 10

Played with Fire - 8 Racist Pigs out of 10

Hornet’s Nest - 7 Bisexuals out of 10.