sequel

‘John Wick’ to expand to TV with prequel series ‘The Continental’

Wherever John Wick goes, things explode. That includes the box office. In fact, John Wick: Chapter 2 did so much damage in theaters that Lionsgate is now looking to expand the IP beyond the flaming hot film franchise starring Keanu Reeves.

Recently, IndieWire learned that co-creator Chad Stahelski, along with screenwriting cohort David Kolstad, will be bringing John Wick to television, or at least the world of John Wick. Under the name The Continental, the series will explore the fascinating, mythological world of assassins and the various franchises of the titular hotel found all around the globe.

It’s also being reported that the series will serve as a prequel to the original John Wick film. Stahelski has also stated that there are plans for Wick himself to make an appearance on the show but clarified that the show will not center around him.

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A writer for the show has not been announced nor are there currently any scheduled production or premiere dates.

What do you all think of a John Wick TV series centered around the Continental? Are you like us and completely stoked about this news? Or could you care less? Let us know in the comments below!

‘The Conjuring 2’ gets second spinoff in ‘The Crooked Man’

Just like the demons of its namesake, The Conjuring cinematic universe grows stronger the more fear it spreads. It just keeps growing and growing, this time adding a film that fans have actually been clamoring for.

THR reports that, along with The Nun, The Conjuring 2 will also be spinning off into The Crooked Man. Mike Van Waes (whose only other IMDb credit includes an upcoming Wizard of Oz horror project) will pen the script for a story by James Wan, though no release date has officially been announced.

The Crooked Man character has roots in an English nursery rhyme:

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.

He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

The first spinoff of the series came out in 2014 and went to the possessed doll Annabelle with a film of the same name. A prequel to Annabelle (aptly titled Annabelle: Creation) is currently in the works and scheduled to hit theaters August 11th this year. It is directed by David F. Sandberg, who wrote and directed the surprise horror hit Lights Out last year.

The next entry in The Conjuring universe, The Nun, is slated to drop Friday, July 13th of 2018. The film stars Demian Bichir as a priest who investigates the mysterious death of a nun.

As of now, the films of The Conjuring universe have scared up a worldwide total nearing $900 million.

What do you guys think of this news? Are you excited for The Crooked Man? Do you enjoy these spinoffs? Let us know in the comments below!

John Wick: Chapter 2– Steelbook Unboxing

John Wick: Chapter 2 is as much fun as the original and one of our favorite movies of the year so far! Thankfully, as is the case with the first film, Best Buy has delivered a sleek, new Steelbook! Check it out in our short unboxing video!

What do you all think of this steelbook and/or the John Wick franchise so far? Hit us up in the comments below with your thoughts!

Ranking ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ & the rest of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies

Believe it or not, Johnny Depp actually garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actor with his iconic performance as the goofy Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s fourteen years later and we’ve now got five of these things (that’s right, five films based on a Disney theme park ride). Obviously, certain films in this tired franchise are better than others, so with the release of ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ just on the horizon, now is the perfect time to reflect back on the series’ high and low tides.

*The list below is ranked from best to worse. Everybody knows which film is the best in the series so there's no reason to try and hold you in suspense.

1.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

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I’m just going to come right out and say it: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is a perfect film. Now by no means am I asserting that it’s one of the greatest films ever made (although it’s certainty one of my favorites). I’m simply suggesting that the first ‘Pirates’ film is the best version of itself that it could possibly be. It’s funny, action-packed, and frequently heartfelt with strong characterization and memorable performances from its tremendous cast. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and make sure to cross this one off the ole bucket list.

2.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

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To many critics and fans, this is where the ‘Pirates’ films start taking on water. And while I agree that this first sequel marks the beginning of the series’ over self-indulgence, by no means is this a bad film. Not only does Dead Man’s Chest expand upon the mythology of the first movie in new and interesting ways but it successfully grows the three leads beyond where they initially left off: Will and Elizabeth are arrested for aiding the escape of Jack (in the first movie) and in exchange for their freedom, the pair must hunt down their former partner in crime and return him to Port Royal. This film also marks the only time we see Captain Jack truly terrified as he’s simultaneously pursued by fabled infamy himself, Davy Jones. The new villains are equally well developed and Bill Nye as Jones is a strong addition to the already impressive cast. Dead Man’s Chest may not be a timeless treasure, but it’s a worthy follow-up to Curse of the Black Pearl.

3.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Unfortunately, the latest film in the ‘Pirates’ franchise is not the greatest. That said, it’s still one of the better entries (if that means anything to you). There are flashes of inspiration here and there that come close to recapturing the adventurous spirit of the original light-hearted fare, particularly in terms of practical stunt work. And while Captain Jack is as static as ever, we do learn a bit more about his backstory and see just how he became Captain Jack. The series also continues to add talent. Javier Bardem is an outstanding addition to the ‘Pirates’ hall of infamy. Likewise, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario are great as the “new” Will and Elizabeth, though they’re often overshadowed by Captain Jack’s predictable hijinks. Additionally, this film seems uninterested in the established ‘Pirates’ lore and does little to expand it. Essentially, it’s the Diet Coke of the Pirates of the Caribbean pictures. It’s not as sweet as the original but neither is it a detriment to your health… At least in small doses.

*You can catch our video review of the latest ‘Pirates’ here!

4.) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

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If Dead Man’s Chest is where these movies start taking on water, then At World’s End is where the whole thing gives way and sinks under the weight of its own bloated cargo. There are too many concurrent subplots, a bounty of useless characters, a convoluted development of the mythos, and most of the practical stunt work is replaced by special effects noise. Worst of all, this excess of nonsense racks up a total runtime nearing three hours. Thankfully, voyage isn’t entirely hopeless. There are a couple lifeboats. For one, the performances are still top notch despite the fact that most of the characters’ arcs head in some overly-silly directions. And some of the action lends itself to some pretty memorable sequences, particularly the three-way war at the end which features a magical whirlpool. I’m getting a headache just thinking about all this.

5.) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

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Our reflection from first to worst ends here, On Stranger Tides. Before we dive into justifying this film’s ranking, let’s talk about the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. This, the fourth entry in the series, does boast the shortest runtime of the bunch, ringing in at only two hours and seventeen minutes. Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz jump aboard, once again keeping with ‘Pirates’ tradition of bringing in big-name talent. Unfortunately, none of it is enough to keep On Stranger Tides afloat. The film is a dreadful bore. The action is much too tame and Captains Jack and Barbossa are both caricatures of their former selves. This film plays out more like a fan fiction “What if?” scenario than a legitimate chapter in the life of one of cinema’s most iconic adventurers.

Yo-ho-how did we do? What do you think of our ranking and what would yours look like? We want to know! Drop down into the comments section and let us know!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)– Video Review

Director(s): Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario

Synopsis: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon (source: IMDb). 

Rating: PG-13

Should Disney abandon ship with these movies? Here’s what we think! Let us know your thoughts by hitting up the comments section below!

T2 Trainspotting 2 (2017)– Movie Review

Director: Danny Boyle

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremmer, Robert Carlyle 

Synopsis: After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie (source: IMDb). 

Rating: R

Despite the fact that there is and always will be only one “T2” (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), I really enjoyed Trainspotting 2. Yes, after two decades Danny Boyle and company finally reunite for the highly-anticipated sequel to the 1996 classic. And unlike a lot of recent sequels to twenty year-old classics, Trainspotting 2 genuinely feels like the natural progression of an initial story rather than an exploitation of a beloved title.

The film picks up in real time with Renton (Ewan McGregor), now middle-aged and sober, returning home to Edinburgh, Scotland where he reunites with his rag-tag friends. The catch is he hasn’t seen any of them since turning his back on them twenty years earlier.

Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) has a talent for peeling back the layers of the bigger picture to examine stories through the eyes of his characters. It’s an intimate approach that helps us understand where each character stands both with him/herself as well as with each other after all these years. Some relationships have been damaged more than others but everyone’s actions (both of the hilarious & more dramatic varieties) as well as the resulting chaos feels warranted because we know where they’re all coming from.

Unlike our protagonists, Trainspotting 2 has matured with age, at least when you’re talking about the technical aspects of storytelling. It’s as kinetic as the original, but the focus is more on presenting a coherent narrative. There’s not as much an emphasis on the trippy shots and cracked coloring that helped make the original so iconic. This refined technique mirrors the “cleaner” state of life that most these guys are now living. Credit to Boyle for letting the progression of the overall story dictate the technique instead of simply going with what worked the first time.

Visually, the Trainspotting films are pop art where the colors pop off the screen and the camera is living almost as an equally frantic character within the stories. But the artistry doesn’t stop there. The soundtracks are equally dazzling, with tracks from Iggy Pop to Queen, Blondie, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and more. Your senses are always engaged with this film.

Trainspotting 2 is the perfect compliment to the original cult hit.

Grade: A

What did you all think of Trainspotting 2? Are you glad we got a sequel after all these years or should Danny Boyle and team simply left well enough alone? Hit up our comments section and let us know!

Weekly Box Office Work-Up (Apr.14-16): Don’t be fooled by ‘F8’ opening record

The Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie in the Universal tent pole franchise, blazed across the weekend finish line. It topped the domestic box office with over $98 million. That’s a strong number for sure, but it’s a drop of nearly 50% from the previous installment.

And while the numbers suggest American audiences have grown fast and fatigued of the franchise, these films do have  traction overseas. The international haul for ‘Fate’ was $433.2 million. Combined, The Fate of the Furious had a record-setting weekend with a worldwide gross of nearly $532 million.

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The sexy headlines across the internet this Monday will have you know that ‘Fate’ took the record from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which opened worldwide to $529 million. And while this is technically the case, it’s also important to keep in mind that ‘The Force Awakens’ only opened to 46 markets worldwide while ‘Fate’ opened to 63. There are countless variables that play into where and when a particular film will open around the world. The worldwide comparison won’t truly matter until ‘Fate’ runs its theatrical course.

In other box office news, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast remake has joined the exclusive billion-dollar club. Not adjusted for inflation, the film is now the 22nd highest grossing film of all time.

Here’s the specific breakdown of the top five movies this weekend (provided by Box Office Mojo):

1. The Fate of the Furious

Domestic: $98,786,705          Worldwide: $532

2. The Boss Baby

Domestic: $16,012,349          Worldwide: $288,171,663

3. Beauty and the Beast

Domestic: $13,705,122          Worldwide: $1,043,120,873

4. Smurfs: The Lost Village

Domestic: $6,714,300            Worldwide: $95,245,059

5. Going in Style

Domestic: $6,288,402            Worldwide: $35,318,880

What do you think of our top five this weekend? Are you at all surprised by huge domestic drop-off for the Fast & Furious franchise? Do you think it’ll make more money overall than ‘The Force Awakens’? Let us know in the comments below!