Posts Tagged ‘resident evil’

The Resident Evil film franchise is finally over and I for one couldn’t be happier. I really like the first one and it was one of the first films that I ever went to see twice at the cinema. I remember specifically going into the cinema in Lincoln and asking for a ticket months in advance, and even though they couldn’t sell tickets, I was there on the opening showing on the first day, and I loved it. Even now I think that this stands separate from the rest of the series, and can be viewed as a semi-decent zombie film on its own merits.

However, whilst the first was generally very good, in my opinion of course, the sequels were not so lucky. Gradually getting worse as the series went on, fans kept going in the hope that they would get better, and whilst I’m not going to share my opinions on the sixth film until the end of the year (I can’t criticise it whilst it’s still showing at the chain that I work for legal reasons), it isn’t going to stop me posting this list.

So this is what I hope will become a new feature on this site, the “Reasons” section. In this I will look at reasons as to why something worked, or didn’t work, so to open it up I’m going to start with 85 reasons that the “Resident Evil” franchise sucked overall. This ranges from general observations to plot holes.

Please note that these are not sorted into any form of order.

1) Despite being constantly in danger of death, Alice somehow always found time in between films to change her hair style and colour. Obviously over the space of ten years in-film time I appreciate she’d need to cut her hair every now and then, but is style and colour realistically something that the character would be concerned by?

2) Making the character of Alice have what are effectively super-powers for a significant portion of the franchise made her completely uncompelling. If you know that it’s exceptionally unlikely that she’s going to die, it takes any real tension out of any scene.

3) In their defence, the first two films do try to stick to the horror genre somewhat, but come the third film they’re basically action films. The Resident Evil franchise isn’t supposed to be action it’s supposed to be horror.

4) The first film faced a lot of criticism for the very few references to the games, so the next few films over-compensated by bringing characters from the games into the film. Whilst noble, none of the characters were really anything like their computer game counterparts, especially arguably the two lead characters of the games series, Chris and Leon. Whilst the latter character has an interesting relationship with Ada in the games, it just isn’t reflected at all in the movie.

5) Speaking of Ada, she is one of the most intriguing characters in the games due to her less than willing way to reveal the complete truth in various situations, but in the fifth film (the only one she features in) she isn’t the anti-hero from the games, she is just a generic secret agent that could be taken out and there would be no impact to the story at all.

6) Speaking of characters from the games, Jill Valentine is the primary protagonist of the first and third games, and also the secondary one in the second film. To be fair to the filmmakers they do make her look exactly how she looked in the games, but how does a suspended police officer (even if all off duty police officers are called in) get away with entering the station and just opening fire on people that she views as hostile, and not only that, shooting them fatally?


7) Anyway, time to try and establish some order in this process and now look at the films in some form of relative order. In the first movie there is an excellent scene with a corridor of lasers, arguably the most famous scene in the franchise. They tried to replicate that by bringing that corridor of lasers back for several of the sequels, but the issue is that unlike the first, there was no suspense or genuine intention to be anything more than a feeling of “going back to the well”. This reappears in the third and sixth films, and an alternate version in the fifth.

8) Shortly after that scene is an odd one in which the AI system knows that they’re about to unleash an EMP to shut her down and she warns them not to do it, all before taunting them with “you’re all going to die down here”. The system has one point at this stage, to stop the spread of the infection, so wouldn’t it make sense for it to warn the soldiers what turning the system off would actually do (release all of the undead)? By not telling them the system is risking the infection getting out.

9) One of the reasons that I like the first film is that in amongst the gore, it takes its time to develop some of the other characters, and especially the sisters-style relationship with Alice and Rain, but there’s none of that as the series goes on. For example, in the final film Alice asks a character how they learned to change a mechanical device, and ten seconds later you’d heard the only development that character is given, and yet when that character dies towards the end of the film, it acts like you’re supposed to have an emotional attachment to that character.

10) The less than subtle nature of the Alice in Wonderland references in the first film. The lead is called Alice, the virus is tested on a white rabbit the villain is called the Red Queen, they have to walk through a mirror (aka a looking glass) to get into the hive.

11) At the beginning of the first film Alice is shown to have a large scar on her shoulder that stretches several inches. She stands in front of a mirror (whilst her memory is still absent) and is curious about it herself. We never discover where the scar came from.

12) Not only do we not discover where the scar came from, it has completely disappeared in later films, with the exception of one scene in the sixth film.

13) In the first film, the very opening scene infact, a woman decides that because the gap in-between two elevator doors is just big enough for her head and one arm to fit through, her entire body will be able to squeeze through. She subsequently gets her head stuck and I’m sure you can all guess what happens next.

14) A major plot point is the memory loss of Alice and Spence. Whilst Alice gradually gains her memory back over time, Spence is completely oblivious up until the perfect moment for the plot.

15) One of the memories that Alice does get back rather quickly is that she entered into a plot with someone who wants to bring the company down from the inside. She then reveals this to the character of Matt at the first opportunity because it turns out that the woman was his sister.

16) She decides to do this without having any other memories, and is surprised that Matt would want to have his questions answered.

17) In the first film the licker mutates shortly after feeding on flesh, but the same doesn’t happen in the second film.

18) The speed of the undead changes throughout the films. In the first film they are quite slow, and yet in the sixth film, set ten years after the first and therefore a lot of decomposition time later, they are full on sprinting. The undead won’t get faster as their body parts decompose.

19) Speaking of decomposed bodies, the second film shows that several people that have been long dead somehow gain the strength to burst through their coffin and six feet of dirt with ease.

20) Not only that, but the second film also sees the first of many contradictions around the virus throughout the franchise. The one in this film is that not only are the dead coming out of the ground, but it would take a long time for the virus to seep down six feet to get to them, but this would be completely irrelevant as it is stated in the first film that the body has to be relatively fresh and have even the slightest amount of neural activity, which usually dissipates after several weeks. Most of the bodies that come out of the ground have clearly been buried for much longer than that.

21) Umbrella managed to set up the wall surrounding the city in the space of a few hours after the events of the first film, yet no-one seems worried that an agency has come out of nowhere and is starting to barricade them all in.

22) This is made even odder by the fact that the zombie apocalypse is clearly going on whilst they’re doing it because there is a newspaper report shown. There has been enough time for Umbrella to build a wall and a newspaper report on the dead coming back to life and eating people, get it approved, published and distributed, before people seem to try and escape the city.

23) Umbrella also sent several operatives in to help control the situation, which isn’t unusual, but what is that the character of Yuri got bitten on the right arm, but limping heavily on his left leg.

24) When Nemesis is given his first thing to do on screen, it’s to kill twelve members of the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad). The person who unleashes the Nemesis literally says “they’re the best” and a minute later every single S.T.A.R.S member in the building is dead. What was the point?

25) Also, is it really a “Special Tactic” to all stand in a perfect straight line aiming at the big creature walking towards you? They can’t be that special if the make this glaring error.


26) A reasonable fraction of the film is spent in a church, a building that Alice enters by crashing a motorbike through a window. How did she get the bike through that window when exteriors of the church clearly show no ramps?

27) The third film is set in a desolate desert environment in which water seems a rarity, yet no-one seems dehydrated and everyone can afford regular showers (you can tell because everyone is clean).

28) In relation to the desert environment, the film clearly establishes most vegetation around the planet has died as a result of the virus, with many areas being reclaimed by the desert, but this issue doesn’t seem to carry over to the later films as pretty much each area has returned to “normal”.

29) One of the characters reveals that she never liked her original name and so instead chose her new name after where the rest of the crew found her, a K-Mart store. Ok, you don’t like your old name, you can change it to anything you want, but you just change it to a nickname of a store. Why go through that effort?

30) The only sniper will climb to a decent position above the battlefield, but also happens to choose arguably the only place that he wouldn’t be able to escape from if someone started climbing up. Guess what happened.

31) It turns out that Umbrella have created several clones of Alice and they are to be discarded once they are killed in several environments. There are around fifty Alices that are shown on screen in the ditch of dead-clones, not only has every one of them seemingly died on the exact same way (bullets from the flying turret), but not a single one has started to decompose.

32) In the final battle of humans vs zombies in the third movie, Alice gets “turned off” (for lack of better words) by Umbrella because they want to use her for data analysis, but stopping her dead in the middle of a battle with zombies means that they risk getting her body back after it’s been bitten several times by zombies, which could contaminate their results.

33) Magically disappearing characters. A character is a prominent part of one film, but is then never seen again. One such example is Chris in the fourth film. He plays a pretty big role, but is then not heard of again. Even at the end of the sixth film I have no idea whether he was alive because he is barely even mentioned in the final two film.

34) The third film ends with Alice having an army of clones, but those clones are killed off within minutes of the opening of the fourth film.

35) Then again, that’s not the strangest thing about the ending to the third film. The survivors are able to escape on a helicopter that can handle six people without an issue, yet there are significantly more than that who are escape on it at once.

36) Arguably the biggest “fuck you” to fans however was the Nemesis character in the second film. Nemesis in the game “Resident Evil 3 : Nemesis” is a seemingly unstoppable machine that will stop at nothing to get to you, but the film shows that with just a few memories of his former self, he will turn into a good guy and help the protagonists.

37) That’s not to say that the fourth film isn’t innocent in that regard. The enemy known as “The Executioner” is your first mini-boss in the fifth Resident Evil game and is a genuine challenge. He’s a towering bulk that moves quickly and menacingly. He is randomly implanted as a nameless antagonist in the fourth film but is nowhere near as intimidating as his computer game counterpart. He spends a portion of his screen time trying to break down the game, but instead of hitting it with any real force, he gently taps it….and yet it somehow causes the gate to come off of its hinges after a few hits.

38) He then battles Alice and Claire in the shower room in the prison and is taken out relatively simply after causing significant damage the environment, but none to either of the aforementioned characters.

39) The main characters then escape through tunnels that were dug by the undead. Yep, not only should they be long decomposed after however many years have gone by, but now they’re able to dig through the ground and up through a solid floor.

40) What makes that even more ridiculous is that the hole isn’t even subtle, and yet none of the characters notice it in the relatively small room that they’re all in at some point.

41) Their destination once they escape is a ship just off of the coast, but when they look at it through their binoculars there is no sign of life on a ship that is offering sanctuary from the infection. Strangely this doesn’t ring any alarm bells in their heads.

42) The opening scene involving Alice in the fourth film is all of her clones invading an Umbrella facility. Whilst on the face of it she has a lot of enemies to beat, the soldiers that she faces are awful and show no tactical awareness whatsoever. They can’t shoot in a straight line (only Wesker actually hits a clone with any bullets) and not once do they try and take cover.

43) The clones also have piercing holes in their ears. If they’re DNA replicas, they wouldn’t have piercing holes as they weren’t part of the original DNA. A quick brush up in post production would have sorted that out.

 

44) Alice starts the fourth film off with having her mutated cells returned to normal, and yet she is able to walk away from a helicopter crash without a scratch.

45) Having that said, her survival is no more miraculous than the characters that free fall about twenty storeys down an elevator shaft before hitting water, and yet they aren’t even slightly hurt.

46) Going back to the Executioner boss that I mentioned earlier, the battle with him takes place in the shower room that seems to have a layout that confuses the characters because they are surprise attacked several times whilst in that room, but all of the things attacking them have come from areas where they have just been standing.

47) The fourth film ends with Alice and the rest of the gang taking over a ship and declaring over the radio that there is enough food for everyone. She only arrived 20 minutes previously, spending most of the time looking around the test areas and beating Wesker, there is no way that she knew that there was enough food for everyone.

48) The fourth film also claims that a plane going at a speed that is flying fast enough to maintain itself in the air can go from whatever speed that is to nothing (with the help of a few ropes) in something that’s less than the length a football pitch.

49) Not to forget that one of the things that helps the plane stop falling over the edge is Luther jumping nearly double his height and grabbing the back of the plane, weighing it down. No human that can jump that high would weigh more than an engine and therefore the weight would still feasibly force the plane over.

50) Then again, it’s not as unfeasible as the plane re-taking off sometime later with pretty much zero momentum. I’m not a pilot, nor really know anything about what it takes to fly a plane, but what I do know is that a plane going no more than 20 miles an hour will not take off at all, even if it suddenly goes off of the edge of a building.

51) What is just as strange about the plane taking off again is the character that is in it subsequently mows through several zombies with the propellers and their blood spurts in his mouth….but the window and hatch is completely shut. How did the blood get through?

52) The acting throughout is laughable, with Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker acting as though his jaw had been wired so that it couldn’t go beyond a certain point.

53) SSSSSSSLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW MMMMMOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN. I didn’t notice until the fourth film just how much slow motion was in this franchise. It’s not too bad in the first film, infact I believe it’s rarely used, but it is considerably more noticeable in the latter half of the franchise, and I would love to know how long the fourth film would be if it was played at normal speed. I would go as far as saying it would be less than an hour.

54) This over-use of slow motion carries over into the fifth and sixth films. Infact, the first three or so minutes of the fifth film are completely in slow motion, then it shows you what happened at normal speed and it couldn’t have lasted longer than fifteen seconds.

55) Whilst slow motion isn’t ideal, it’s certainly better than constant jump cuts. The sixth film in particular is awful for this and at one point I counted eleven jump cuts in just five seconds. How can you possibly keep up with that? I wish I could even say it was a one off but it keeps happening throughout the entirety of the movie.

56) The fifth film in its general entirety. It’s basically just a “Greatest Hits” edition of the previous four films.

57) My biggest gripe with the fifth film is that is completely inconsequential. You could take this movie out and the rest of the series would, for the most part, stay exactly the same.

58) It is visually repulsive and I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire film was filmed on green screen as so much of it looks fake.

59) One of the early scenes sees Alice imprisoned in what is basically a giant cylinder, and for some reason Umbrella have decided to keep all of her stuff in a drawer that she has relatively easy access to. I highly doubt that they would ever release her, and even if they do I highly doubt that they would give her her stuff back, so what’s the point in keeping it?

60) It is established in the fifth film that the facility that they are in is controlled by Umbrella and that they can change each environment to make it as difficult as possible for the characters to escape, but none are truly made that difficult. If they wanted to then could make it a monsoon style weather system in each environment and force the characters into drowning, or change the temperature to either freeze or cook the characters alive.

61) One other zone consists of two “executioners”, but if Umbrella were truly intent on capturing or killing them then surely they could have had more than just two?

62) The problem with each of these scenes, as well as the others in the film, is that you never feel like Alice is in any danger of not killing her opponent eventually.

63) This isn’t helped by the fact that with the help of Ada, the movie feels like nothing more than a film equivalent of co-op in computer games. Co-op doesn’t work effectively in the games and certainly doesn’t help in the films.

64) Ada also doesn’t feel like a fully realised character, not helped by that Bingbing Li’s entire dialogue was dubbed. It is unfortunately very obvious that she’s not the one talking.

65) There isn’t even a satisfying conclusion to the film as there isn’t a primary antagonist throughout the movie, just several sub-bosses.

66) The inclusion of clones of “One” and “Rain” from the first film makes you genuinely question whether each was real in that film, making their plight somewhat less compelling.

67) The sixth film in its general entirety.

68) For some reason they decided to film almost the entire movie on a handheld camera rather than the normal set up. This doesn’t add anything so I’m not sure what they were trying to achieve.

69) One of thing that they certainly don’t achieve is revealing what happened after the end of the fifth film. All you find out is that Wesker betrayed them and then Alice emerges from a hatch, surrounded by the remains of White House.

70) Wesker, after being built as a very hard to kill antagonist, is taken out very easily in the final film.

71) Infact, Wesker doesn’t really do anything at all in the final film, and in reality he is largely irrelevant to the plot of the overall franchise. He barely makes a worthwhile contribution throughout.


72) One of the key plot points of the final entry to the franchise is that the Red Queen is constantly stating that in a certain amount of hours the last human settlements will fall unless the anti-virus is released, leaving just Wesker and co alive. How can she possibly know when they will fall, or indeed where every single settlement is? Yes, they have the satellite system, but if someone was in a underground settlement on their own, it’s highly unlikely that that system would know.

73) It even seems strange that the Red Queen knows about this anti-virus and has done since the first film, but didn’t think to mention it once, even though she clearly stated that it was her responsibility to make sure that the T-virus wasn’t spread.

74) Even if it were the case where it was definitely 48 hours, it would be too late to release the airborne anti-virus and have it reach those settlements in time for the humans in them to survive.

75) This entry contains yet another contradiction in the franchise as it claims that the Red Queen was modelled after the daughter of Dr. Marcus, but this contradicts the first few films in which they explain that it was modelled after the daughter of Dr. Ashford from the second film.

76) Alice also seems to go through something of a contradiction as she willingly puts all of the survivors at risk when she wants the gates open for one person that’s being chased by thousands of zombies, but this follows her blowing up a tank knowing that it’s full of survivors that are being held captive.

77) Soon after she also proceeds to cause an explosion in the other tank, thus killing all of the survivors in there, but all Umbrella operatives emerge within seconds with nothing more than a cough, even though they were right next to the explosions.

78) Then again, her even getting to the tanks is odd enough given that it is clearly shown that there are too many zombies for them to walk without banging into each other, but she somehow manages to land in the middle of a patch where there are no zombies.

79) The final film reveals that Alice and the Dr Isaacs we see in the third film were infact clones. Revealing that Alice has been a clone all along killed the connection that anyone realistically had with the character because you realise that you’re not following the original, you’re following a copy, and it takes a lot of the emotional connection out of the situation.

80) There are also two Dr. Isaacs’ in the sixth film, one of whom is a clone, but you again don’t find this out until much later in the movie. There are no real need for this.

81) When the characters in the sixth film reach the facility, Wesker decides that one way to kill them would be to reverse the polarity on turbines, therefore sucking all of the air in and meaning that they will be sucked in. One character is killed and Wesker decides that will be enough for then, but then gets confused and frustrated when all the characters end up in closer than he wanted.

82) There are numerous instances in the series of the characters being in a completely empty environment, only to then be completely surrounded on all sides by zombies. Either the zombies are super quiet, or we’re to believe that they just happened to come across them with such convenient timing.

83) Several characters in the series turn into zombies after only a handful of hours, whereas a few take several days.

84) The numerous product placements that aren’t even remotely subtle through the entire franchise, such as Sony products in the second and third films.

85) Arguably the least subtle however comes in the fourth when Alice is trying to figure out where she knows Luther from. After he unsuccessfully guesses that she is a basketball fan, he says “well maybe you’re a fan of fine time pieces” and the film then cuts to a poster with a massive Tag Heuer logo in the middle of it.

So that’s it, 85 reasons that I could find for the series generally sucking.

 

I have 50 DVDs, none of them are pirated!

Year Released : 2012MV5BNzg2ODUxOTIzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDM0NzAzOA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_
Directors : Makoto Kamiya
Cast : Matthew Mercer, Courtenay Taylor, Salli Saffioti and Val Tasso

Cast your minds back to early 1997, Clinton is in the White House, France are preparing to host the 1998 World Cup after the recently completed Euro 1996, and somewhere in Lincoln, England, is a young child (well, I say young, I was 12) being given a computer game by their brother that would change their life forever. That game was Resident Evil.

My brother had bought it for himself (note that my brother is 16 years older than me) but could never get beyond a certain enemy (the giant snake encountered about 20 minutes in) and so he gave it to me. I beat that enemy at the first attempt and my passion for zombies started there and there.

18 years later and not a lot has changed. I still buy Resident Evil games when they come out, no matter how poor they are these days, and I still go and watch the movies, again, regardless of how poor they become. So it was with a delight that as I continue this build up to halloween with a review of a horror film every single day, that the animated Resident Evil : Damnation doesn’t seem to be that well known, with a relatively low amount of votes on IMDB, so it gives me a great chance to talk about something that I love, or at least used to love.

This is probably the longest intro I have written for a review so far and with just cause, I am passionate about the franchise and along with Monkey Island, Mortal Kombat and a few select others, the Resident Evil franchise helped define me as a person and I certainly wouldn’t like as many

I believe that this is also the first animated film that I have reviewed for this website.

Plot

Following on from the events of Resident Evil 4, Leon Kennedy (Mercer) is sent on a mission to the Eastern Slav Republic to confirm if Bio-Organic Weapons (shortened to BOW for the rest of the review) are being used in the battle and then report back to his boss. However, following an explosion Leon finds his contact half dead before finally being finished off by a BOW known as Licker. The Licker is about to kill Leon as well before it is ordered not to by an unseen figure.

Leon awares to find that he is being tortured by local rebel fighters. When soldiers invade the hide out, Leon manages to escape and befriends one of the men who was previously torturing him, JD (Tasso). They are soon attacked by a group of people who have been infected with the Las Plagas parasite, but they just manage to escape. Upon escaping Leon runs into Ada Wong (Taylor), a woman who he has previously had run ins with during the events of Resident Evil 2 and 4.

Ada reveals that she is in the country to steal a sample of the Las Plagas parasite and has been trying to con the local government into given her a sample, all before fleeing mysteriously. Leon soon reunites with JD, but it turns out that he was infected with the parasite and Leon shoots him, but with a horde of infected individuals on his tale, can Leon survive long enough to escape the country and stop Ada from escaping with the sample, or will some new BOWs be the end?

leon

So why not review the first animated Resident Evil movie instead?

I might still do before the end of this run of films leading up to halloween because the two aren’t linked in many ways at all really, they’re completely different, but I wanted to start with a film that I actually like, mainly because I’ve reviewed six horror films in this run and only one has got the approval stamp so far.

So let’s start with the obvious talking point and that is if it stays true to the canon of the series, including the characters, and yes, they definitely try and maintain canon with the rest of the franchise and they succeed.

Leon is my favourite character from the computer games and his personality is captured perfectly, unlike a certain other Resident Evil film that I won’t mention because of how diabolically shit it is, oh go on then Resident Evil Retribution. Oh, sorry, I deviated slightly. Yeah, the best part about Leon in the games that he seems like a no-nonsense kind guy, but then constantly comes out with one-liners and quips that bring you right back into his story if he is getting bored.

This is down in no small part to the voice acting of Matthew Mercer, the same vocalist the provides the voice for Leon in the games, and they have perfectly captured Leon’s essence in Damnation and it is a relatively smooth transfer for the character. All of the characters from the games that also appear in Damnation are voiced by the same voice actors/actresses, and this makes such an important difference as you have an automatic connection to the characters, and whilst this is meaningless to people who have no prior knowledge of Resident Evil, it means a lot to those who are already fans of the franchise.

maxresdefault

Damnation has stuck to the canon exceptionally well, unlike the live-action films and that is so important to fans of the game. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a fan-service film, whereas the live-action are for those that have never played the game, but as a fan of the game I appreciated this effort far more than the live action films. The live actions films have made a poor job representing all of the characters from the games, such as Jill, Leon, Chris and many others that it doesn’t even feel like it’s canon, one of the many reasons that the live action films are poor.

It’s not all great though as the animation is sometimes clumsily executed. Various characters walk like they’re trying to desperately wait for a toilet break, and there are numerous times where the character is saying something and the mouth movement doesn’t even closely resemble what they’re trying to say. Obviously this is difficult in animation, but most other films at least get it reasonably close.

Other than that though, the film is relatively decent in terms of the look and the lickers in particular (below), look sublime, although they are also one of my other points of contention with Damnation.

 

licker

Without trying to give too much away, the lickers have always been one of the most feared enemies within the Resident Evil franchise, especially in Resident Evil 5 in which you face a lot of them in a cramped area all at once, but in Damnation they are effectively relegated to being someone’s pet. If you’ve seen the live action Apocalypse film in the franchise, picture what they did to the Nemesis and it’s a pretty similar situation.

However, other than that and the slight issue with some of the animations, I don’t really have a bad word to say about the film. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s what films are about. Not everyone is going to watch a film and love it, especially films based on a computer game, but for me this is the second best Resident Evil film to be released (the first live action film is one of my guilty pleasures).

 

Summary

The film is definitely designed to be more of a fan service than a film that non-fans of approvedthe franchise will enjoy, however, I believe that there is enough there to keep those that are previously not fans of the franchise to enjoy.

Whilst the animation is careless at times, it is definitely a better addition to the Resident Evil canon that the live action films and for that I can forgive minor mistakes,

This isn’t an out and out horror film, but there are definitely numerous horror elements involved and I think that if you’re after a horror/mystery/action style film then you could do far, far worse.

February 2nd 2015 – Pointless sequels and needless remakes – Remakes and sequels are now a common sight at a cinema, but that is not a good thing.

February 14th 2015 – Can Star Wars regain it’s force in Episode 7? – With Star Wars due to be released at the end of the year, can it regain what made the original trilogy so popular. Please note before reading this that I am not a fan of Star Wars.

March 5th 2015 – A genre that could learn from another – A look into how films based on computer games could improve by following the example of comic book based films.

April 5th 2015 –  Top Twenty Films – Part 1 – A look into ten of my twenty favourite mainstream films. This half of the list contains a virus outbreak, a Spartan army, arguably Christian Bale’s greatest performance, a few classics from the 1980s and one film that contains arguably the best twist ever seen in a movie.

April 28th 2015 – My Top Twenty Films – Part 2 – Second half of my top twenty films of all time. This half of the list contains Brad Pitt aging backwards, a man turning into an insect, an entry from arguably the best franchise of more than five films in history, and a fantasy film from Ron Howard and George Lucas.

August 10th 2015 – The films of 2015 that I’m looking forward to

August 29th 2015 – Shawshank Redemption’s Andy is Guilty – A look into the character of Andy in “The Shawshank Redemption” and how everyone’s belief that he is innocent could infact be wrong.

September 6th 2015 – Why I won’t apologise for not liking your friend’s movie – I had negatively reviewed a film called “Teacher of the Year” before stepping away from my laptop for a few days. When I returned I had some very immature responses from the director’s friend and he didn’t like that I hadn’t praised the film. This was my response.

September 7th 2015 – Four underrated and underutilised actors – Mainstream movies are filled with actors who consistently put in poor performances, so I decided to take a brief look at four that I feel should be in the mainstream considerably more than that are.

January 19th 2016 – The acting gets nominated – Just before the Academy Awards in 2016, a race-row developed in Hollywood after no-one of a non-white origin was nominated for one of the big four individual awards. This was my take on the situation.

May 18th 2016 – The Bottom 5 so far – In May 2016 I realised that I was close on 200 reviews and articles on the site, so I decided to dedicate that post to listing the five worst films that I’ve reviewed so far.

August 2nd 2016 – Coming soon and looking good – A brief look at films that I am excited by.

September 4th 2016 – The 80s was the greatest decade – I look at why the 1980s is the greatest decade for films.

October 1st 2016 – A preview to the end of 2016 – At the end of each year I rank all of the mainstream films that I saw during the year, this was a preview.

March 17th 2017 – A film for every year – There was a social media thing going on amongst film reviewers in which they named their favourite film from each year that they have been alive. These were my choices.

March 19th 2017 – 85 reasons why the Resident Evil franchise sucked – The Resident Evil film franchise finally ended in 2017 and I took a look at why other than the first one, it was generally a poor franchise.

As time moves on and the technology advances to new levels that were previously thought not possible there are genres that thrive and those that die. Genres, such as westerns, have pretty much died out and are seen as a novelty when released, but others really take advantage and are reaping the awards of biding their time, such as films based on graphic novels and comic books.

There can be few arguments that the genre has enjoyed a major resurgence in the last fifteen years and it is arguable the most popular type of film at the moment, mainly thanks to the gritty Christopher Nolan taken on the Batman franchise with his critically lauded Dark Knight trilogy and the highly enjoyable films in the Marvel Avengers universe. The makers of graphic novels and comic book genre (I will shorten to GNCB after this) have found that winning formula that keeps not only fans of the source material going back to it, but also winning new fans due to it’s approach. As a non-reader of GNCB fiction, I only discover these characters based on the films know nothing about them, but they make me want to read the source material and that is the biggest praise I can give them.

It’s a far cry from the GNCB films prior to the 21st century as there was poor release after poor release and it wasn’t until the aforementioned Dark Knight trilogy started with 2005’s Batman Begins that the genre started to regain a bit of a positive reputation in the films. This was soon followed by films such as (in alphabetical order) 30 Days of Night, 300, Kick Ass, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and V for Vendetta, to name just a few whilst not referencing the Marvel Universe.

The Dark Knight

 

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy’s darker and more realistic approach to the Batman franchise gained critical acclaim and helped majorly towards helping films based on Graphic Novels or Comic Books to become resurgent this millennium.

With numerous stories set in the same universes, crossovers and different visual styles, it’s hard not to get engrossed in the films of the genre, and the pure amount of releases of GNCB films shows exactly how successfully they have turned things around. Although there are only four GNCB films being released in mainstream cinema in 2015 (Kingsman : The Secret Service, Avengers : Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and The Fantastic Four), this is to be followed by considerable more.

All of this is based on current confirmed releases and the numbers could easily increase. In 2016 were will see nine mainstream releases of GNCB films, 2017 will see eleven and then twelve currently announced between 2018 and 2020. That is thirty-two films in a four year period and that is astonishing number and virtually all are likely to make money.

In a previous “Keeping It Reel” I mentioned that the only reason that Resident Evil films keep getting made is because they make money, not because they are good, and whilst the majority of GNCB are good, the only reason we keep seeing the Wolverine character, despite his terrible stand alone movies, is that they make money. By the end of 2020, based on current announcements, there will have been a total of ten films featuring the character and that is too much of one character, but again they keep making money.

In short, GNCB films have turned themselves around and there is another genre that can learn from the example, movies based on computer games. For the sake of this article I am only going to focus on mainstream cinema movies released in the English language and that is for the simple reason that it’s easier this way.

The first computer game to see a major cinema release was Super Mario Bros. The games were very well received (I’m not a fan before anyone asks) but the film, released in 1993, was widely regarded as one of the worst films of the 1990s, and it started a dangerous precedent. At the time of writing there have been 28 cinema releases for films based on computer games as the sole source material, and much like the Resident Evil franchise, the majority only get made because people think that they will make money.

resident_evil_milla_jovovich-2

 

Milla Jovovich stars as Alice in Resident Evil, the first film to be based on the poular computer game franchise.

The 28 films have made (when rounding the takings to the nearest million) a total of $2.71 billion around the world, averaging out to just shy of $97 million per film, which is an astonishing figure when you take into account that not a single one of them gained a rating higher than 44% on Rotten Tomatoes (Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within) and no higher than 58% on metametric (Mortal Kombat). Infact, taking into account the Rotten Tomatoes rating at the time of writing, the average rating across the 28 films is a poultry 18.29% (rounded up).

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy films that are based on computer games. I enjoyed Mortal Kombat, the first Resident Evil Film, Silent Hill and for my sins, I also liked Doom. One thing I briefly mentioned earlier was that one of the reasons that GNCB films regained momentum was because of films such as The Dark Knight trilogy offering a gritty and more realistic take on things. Pretty much all of the previous Batman films from the 1980s and 90s were presented almost like a comic book in terms of presentation, such as the burns to Harvey Dent in Batman Forever. They almost felt silly, for lack of better words. Turning the franchise “gritty” certainly worked for that franchise and rejuvenated the genre, and in 2010 there was a hint that this could potentially be the future of computer game movies.

Whilst most seem to agree that the first Mortal Kombat film is reasonably ok, it is widely considered that the sequel, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, is just terrible due to several factors, including a considerably reduced budget, actors choosing not to reprise their roles from the first film (such as Sandra Hess replacing Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade) and just a shockingly poor delivery of lines, especially by the horrendously bad Musetta Vander as Sindel.

Mortal-Kombat-Movie-Liu-Kang-vs-Sub-Zero

Anyway, I digress. In 2010, thirteen years after Annihilation, a trailer was released for what was described as a reboot of the franchise and it looked considerably different to either of the previous films and looked more set in reality, unfortunately it turned out to not be a trailer for a new film, but Kevin Tancharoen’s pitch to do a reboot of the franchise. This lead to a new online series featuring several famous actors, including Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager) and Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), and whilst a film has been spoken about several times, the last update from Warner Bros, who own the rights, was that the budget for a film would be $40-50 million.

Below is the trailer that Tancharoen created.

So why do computer game movies fail? Well more often than not the main people that watch them are the fans of the games and most VG movies are seemingly made for them. Right there you have an issue because you don’t do what GNCB films do and make sure that the films are not just aimed at the fans of the computer games, but also the wider audience. Just limiting yourself to be there for the fans of the computer games is a big problem because not only are non-fans not likely to watch it, but you are under exceptional scrutiny from those who are fans as they will want want made the games enjoyable.

I’ll give you an example, Doom is one of the most popular games of all time, but when the film came out in 2005 and was largely criticised for it’s virtual non-existent relation to the game, other than a brief first-person perspective scene towards the end of the film. The Resident Evil films have suffered a similar problem as other than a few extremely loose references to the game, the only real connection during the film and the early games are the zombies, infact the first film contained zero characters from the games. This issue did quickly get amended as the films did start following the games a bit more, including using characters from the game, although they were only used in name and appearance only, the personalities were not at all like they were in the games.

To put into perspective how important it is to make your film similar in many aspects to what they are based on, imagine if Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit was made after someone read the novels and then decided to add characters in who weren’t in the books or take other characters out of the books entirely…..oh….wait. Whilst Lord of the Rings was widely lauded, the Hobbit suffered greatly from under-developing many characters at the expense of characters who weren’t even in the book, such as Tauriel.

With an increasing amount of films based on computer games coming out in the next few years, surely it’s only a matter of time before one of them is successful on more levels than money.

So I’m going to end this “Keeping it Reel” with a small pitch for a computer game that me and several friends grew up loving. This computer game series has five entries, and although the fourth and fifth entries weren’t particularly good, the first three were exceptionally enjoyable. They transcend genres, age, gender and so many other factors that I can’t even begin to think of that for me it would make the perfect film. Some will argue that the Pirates of the Caribbean films are a very close to this series, and there are numerous nods throughout that quadrilogy which are obvious easter-eggs for those who played the game that I am going to pitch. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you The Secret of Monkey Island.

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The Monkey Island franchise started in 1990 with “The Secret of Monkey Island” and it follows the adventures of Guybrush, a young man who turns up on Melee Island with the ultimate aim of becoming a pirate. As he participates in several trials to prove that he is worthy, he meets Elaine and falls in love, but soon becomes embroiled in a battle with the ghost-pirate Lechuck. This continues through the four sequels, Lechuck’s Revenge, Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island and the Tales of Monkey Island.

Monkey Island was greeted with near universal acclaim due to it’s mix of comedy, romance and action. It was a great all-around game and took nearly three hours to complete, which was exceptionally rare in those days. Even now, 25 years after it’s initial release, I still regularly play the first three games and have conversations with friends about the games on the rare occasions that we see each other. It sums it all up for me about the popularity of the series when the first two installments were given special editions, something which can’t be said about most point and click games, a genre that has been pretty much dead since the early 1990s.

For me there were many reasons why the Monkey Island games, well, the first three anyway, worked and for me the main one of those was that Guybrush was a relatable protagonist. He was a young man with many weaknesses and fears, but tried to overcome those to achieve his dream. That is what a protagonist should be, someone who you could potentially be yourself. The antagonist is also likeable due to the less than serious nature in which his character has been approached.

A Monkey Island film would go down exceptionally well if it paid homage to the games and not someone’s re-imagining.

 

If there is one thing most of us can agree on, most sequel are crap. The main reason for the majority of them being awful is because they are poorly made, have a considerably lower budget than the first, key cast members not returning (for characters that weren’t killed off) and many other reasons

Firstly, let me list some shockingly sequels that are nowhere near as good as the first film. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the film itself is actually bad, but ultimately ANY sequel will be compared to it’s original and none of the below are better than the film that they followed, and believe me, this list could be a LOT bigger

American Psycho 2

Aliens vs Predator : Requiem

Cube 2 : Hypercubecube-21

The Fly 2

Kick Ass 2

Anchorman 2

The Wolverine

Pirates of the Caribbean (all three sequels)

Saw

Batman and Robin

The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Reloaded

The Hangover 3

Honey I Blew Up The Kid

Resident Evil

Piranha 3DD (and even the first one wasn’t that good)

Ginger Snaps : Unleashed

…..let’s put it this way, I could be sat here all night writing a list of shockingly bad sequels.

As I briefly touched on earlier, there are numerous reasons why sequels are rarely at least as good as the first film in the series, in some it’s because the stars of the first one haven’t turned for whatever reason, there has been a change in directors, writing, tone, it could be anything, and it’s a shame really because most of the films listed above didn’t need to be made. Most of them followed a film that could have stood on it’s own and that’s the truly sad thing.

The problem these days is that Hollywood is all about money, it’s all about cash-grabbing. Many excellent films would have made brilliant stand alone films before they were given sequels that they didn’t need. Franchises such as The Matrix, Pirates of the Carribean and several others started off with very enjoyable films before their reputations were somewhat ruined by the sequels that followed. The reason that they were given sequels that they didn’t really need is money. The Matrix made $463 million and at the time of it’s release, which although not massive by today’s standards, was a huge amount in the 1990s.

Of course, you don’t just get cash-grabs in franchises that started off well, with Transformers being a good example. The fourth installment, Age of Extinction, received box office receipts of over $1 billion, the only film of 2014 that grossed over the billion mark. What makes this even remarkable was widely considered to be one of the worst films with a wide release in 2014. The four releases have seen total box office receipts of a mammoth £3,757,097,628, that despite two of the four films achieving ratings of less than 20% on Rotten Tomatoes and one of the others only getting 36%. The fifth and sixth installments have already been announced as well.

The last example I will give you on the subject of cash grabs is from a franchise that I have only truly liked one entry for, even so much as hating a few entries, and yet I still keep going back to watch them when they come out, the Resident Evil film franchise. I actually really liked the first film. It’s largely unrelated to the games but it is still one of my favourite zombie films and to this day, it is the ONLY film I have ever sat and watched with the commentary on. Now, the way it ended made it seem like a sequel was inevitable, and that’s fine, but the problem is that they just keep on pumping them out and they just keep getting worse and worse and worse. Fortunately the sixth one is planned to be the last one and in a way I am relieved.

Every sequel has been exceedingly poorly received by pretty much everyone and it’s not simply because they’re largely unrelated to the games, it’s because they are poorly made. Here is a run down of the four sequels so far and why they were so poor, yet still kept getting made.

Resident Evil Apocalypse

Budget : $45millionResident-evil-apocalypse-poster

Return : £129,394,837

Rotten Tomatoes Score : 21% (124 reviews)

The failed for many, many, many reasons, such as that it isn’t really that scary, is very much an action film, has an annoying child character and probably worst of all, turns Nemesis, one of the franchises’ most infamous and loved antagonists, into a fucking good guy.

At the end of the film, Nemesis, who was mutated from a guy called Matt from the first film, starts fighting the bad guys. This is the same character that would chase you relentless in the game and destroyed anything in it’s path to kill your character. He is a constant menace in the film and takes literally several battles to eventually defeat, and even in his final form, a large, ambling blob, his sole mission is to kill you.

So once you’ve turned your film’s main fearsome antagonist into a good guy, where can you possibly go from there?

It is the lowest rated out of all five films so far on Rotten Tomatoes but does surprisingly have an average rating of 6.2 on IMDB.

 

 

Resident Evil Extinction

Budget : $45millionresident_evil_extinction

Return : $147,717,837

Rotten Tomatoes Score : 22% (95 reviews)

The third installment in the franchise is one of the least interesting for me as nothing really happens. I also lost a lot of faith in the series with this entry because they effectively did whatever the film equivalent of an in-game cheat by turning Alice pretty much invincible.

The virus she was given has suddenly turned her super human and you no longer feel that she’s any real sense of danger.

Then we get onto a massive nonsense with a massive cloning operation, meaning by the end that Alice is now not only practically invincible, there are hundreds of her. Hundreds of invincible Alices and I’m supposed to still feel that there is a genuine sense of threat?

It just made a mockery of the thing and the film was filled with remarkably poor development problems. For example, when you get bit in the Resident Evil film universe, you have an hour or two before the virus kills and then reanimates you, yet the LJ character gets bitten and is still human several days later. What the hell?

Out of all five films, it’s between this and Retribution for my least favourite.

 

Resident Evil Afterlife

Budget : $60millionResident_Evil-_Afterlife

Return : $296,221,667

Rotten Tomatoes Score : 25% (95 reviews)

LOOK AT THAT FINANCIAL RETURN! Making almost five times what it cost is remarkable for any film, let alone a film that cost that much to make. It is the most profitable out of the five films so far, but that might be in part because it was the first to be released in 3D.

I’m not going to lie, out of the four sequels this is easily my favourite and the reason is that it’s the first time in the series that they actually do a few things that are similar to the computer game series. For example, the character of Chris is introduced whilst in a cage, coming from a shadowy part to come and meet Alice in a menacing a cryptic way. This is very similar to how several characters in the games are introduced, especially in some of the earlier additions of the game series.

I do also like that it finished off a lot of the nonsense that the third film introduced, such as killing all of the clones within the first scene, turning Alice human again so that she had a realistic chance of dying.

My one MAIN problem with this entry is that I felt like I was slow-motioned to death. This starts in the credits sequence when you go to Tokyo and a girl who has just been zombified is stood in the middle of a crossing when she suddenly lunges on a nearby pedestrian and bites him. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the scene because it’s shot in a very stylish way, but that whole action of her stood there, people walking by and her then going for this guy is probably only about 10 seconds worth of actual footage, but is slowed to the point where it actually takes nearly 3 minutes to show.

Resident Evil Retribution

Budget : $65millionresident-evil-retribution

Return : $240,159,257

Rotten Tomatoes Score : 31% (65 reviews)

Despite being the best rated sequel on Rotten Tomatoes, this is, in my opinion, the worst by a country mile.

It is so pointless, pathetic and lazy that it just kept on getting itself in a tangle. As I said in the mini-review of Afterlife, one of the best things that they did in that was get rid of all of the nonsense with the clones, and yet this film re-introduces the concept to an incredibly ridiculous level.

It brings back several characters from the first film, namely Rain and One, but as clones that don’t know Alice and they try and kill her, and worst of all for me, another annoying child that becomes attached to Alice and follows her around….oh, and she’s fucking deaf.

Retribution is an abomination of a sequel because it all takes place inside of a hologram environment, and introduces several characters from the games but treats them like a parody. For example, Ada Wong (the woman in the red dress in the picture) in the game is a very dangerous woman, but also has a very human element that makes her very likeable, whereas the character in the film is as exciting as an ironing board. Leon Kennedy, one of the main protagonists from the games, is relegated in this to effectively being a bland pervert, and Barry Burton is just there for no apparent reason.

 

So, along with the first film, which I haven’t reviewed, you may be wondering why films that only have an average rating of 26.4% (33% for RE and 21%, 22%, 25% and 31% respectively) keep getting made, it’s because of the finances. I mentioned in the Afterlife section about it making almost five times what it cost to actually make, and the trend of large profits was throughout the entirity of the five films.

The five films have a budget of $248 million, and made a return worldwide of £915,934,667, a return of 369%. It’s obvious from that why they keep getting made. They don’t give a shit if they made an awful film because people keep going back, myself included annoyingly.

Now, you may be wondering why I writing an article about sequels, it’s because this week the third installment in the Ghostbusters trilogy moved a step closer as the all-female cast was announced. Ghostbusters is one of my favourite franchises after growing up watching four guys running around shooting ghosts, it’s just a fun movie and the fact it has a rating of 7.8/10 on IMDB at the time of writing shows that I am not on my own with this.

What made the original two films so successful is that you could actually believe that Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis could be scientists, especially the latter, and the comedy is subtle. It’s not in your face, it’s not stupid or farcial, it’s smart comedy. Even the very dark elements of the film, such as Louis and Dana turning into demons, were highly enjoyable for people of all ages. It’s one of the few films with a PG rating that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s got everything, comedy, horror, (mild) violence, drama, romance and a giant man made of marshmallows, what’s not to like?

I am dreading the new Ghostbusters film because I don’t think it will have the same artistic style of comedy that the original had. Now, I’ve never heard of Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones before so I can’t fairly assess either. I have seen Kristen Wiig in a few films, namely “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “Anchorman 2” (funnily enough, another awful sequel) and her performance wasn’t memorable in either to be honest. In TSLOWM she was a bit bland and in Anchorman 2 her role was a bit stupid, but at least she has flexibility.

The reason I am dreading it can be summed in two words, Melissa McCarthy. Now, I am fairly open minded with regards to actors and actresses that are seemingly one-dimensional, afterall, later on I will be talking about a film starring an actor who has been famed for his one-dimensional acting, but for me Melissa McCarthy offers precisely fuck all in terms of genuine quality, heart or warmth in her acting “ability”. Every single joke she does revolves around her weight, and most of the trailer for “Tammy” was her trying to climb over a counter but struggling because she is fact.

She is single handedly capable of ruining the new Ghostbusters film. Don’t get me wrong, I will more than likely still go and watch it, but there is virtually no way that it is going to be better than the original films, and for those saying that it should be considered on it’s own merits, it’s impossible. For people of my generation, Ghostbusters will always have a special place in my heart and whilst I won’t claim to watch it on a regular basis, it is genuinely one of my favourite films from my youth.

So, based on that, I’m going to move on talking three other films where sequels and/or remakes are not needed, but unfortunately are probably going to have at some point for various reasons. This is not necessarily to say that the sequels/remakes will be bad, but these three films/franchises do not need another installment, but one has either been confirmed or by the sounds of it, is exceptionally likely.

American Psycho

Director : Mary Harron

Starring : Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Chloe Sevigney, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto.

Yes, that’s right, there has been serious talk about remaking this incredible film based off of the novel by Brett Easton Ellis. As the film that arguably launched Christian Bale into the A-List category, this 1999 flick follows businessman Patrick Bateman in the 1980s. By day he is a seemingly normal businessman, although you never see what he actually does for work, but by night he succumbs to his bloodlust and kills people in a variety of gruesome ways, including slicing someone’s head open with a swing of an axe, dropping a chainsaw onto a prostitute from the top of a stairwell and many others.

Patrick begins to descend into madness as he struggles to keep his two lives separate, especially after killing one of his co-workers, but the ending is very ambiguous as to whether Patrick just imagined everything, meaning he is either psychotic because he did all of these acts, or because he imagined doing them.

American Psycho is a triumph of cinema and is a true masterpiece of film. Christian Bale gives an Oscar worthy performance as Bateman, especially as he dances to Huey Lewis and the News whilst putting on a raincoat to murder his next victim.

The film already had a less than successful sequel starring Mila Kunis but now there has been talk in recent years or remaking this. Yes, they’re talking about remaking a film that was only made 16 years ago. If it had been a largely unknown film then I would understand (plus it give me the opportunity to review it properly and I would love to do that but can’t due to the nature of the site) why someone would want to remake it, but it’s not.

It has 299,467 votes and 1,022 reviews on IMDB (at the time of writing), and made $34.3 million at the American box office and numerous awards. Calling it an unknown film would be ridiculous, and the ONLY justification I can think of for a remake is that the film doesn’t show a few of the more controversial moments of the book (such as Patrick forcing a life rat into a woman’s vagina) and someone might want that.

Either way, a remake wouldn’t be better than the original and would therefore be pointless.

 

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The Bill and Ted franchiseBill_&_Ted

Director : Stephen Herek (EA) or Peter Hewitt (BJ)

Starring : Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Amy Stock-Poynton and William Sadler

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was followed by a Bogus Journey and that was it for the Wyld Stallions. Unlike a lot of successful franchises, they knew when to stop. Winter and Reeves were both still young go on and do other things and not be typecast, and although it was still enjoyable, Bogus Journey wasn’t quite as fun as Excellent Adventure.

The franchise follows slackers Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) as they are destined to change the world into a better place, bringing peace to the universe through rock and roll, but they don’t know this and are set to fail their high school history class. Rufus (Carlin) is sent back in time to help them pass by giving them a phone booth to learn about history first hand.

Instead of simply learning from the historical figures, Bill and Ted decide to actually bring several historical figures back to the modern day to help them. Amongst those historical figures are Billy the Kid, Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Socrates and several others. They eventually pass their history class.

Several years after the Excellent Adventure, the duo haven’t really learned from it and are struggling to reach their potential. They soon encounter robot versions of themselves sent from the future and are quickly killed by their counterparts. They wander around in the afterlife, including trips to both heaven and hell, but with the help of the Grim Reaper (Sadler) they eventually overcome their robot counterparts and the man who sent them. After spending some time with Eddie Van Halen, Bill and Ted finally reach their potential and bring about peace.

That was a nice little ending for me, they reach their potential and effectively closed the door on anymore sequels….or so we thought.

Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey are two of my favourite films from that era of the late 80s and early 90s. It is one of the few genuinely fun movies out there that you can just sit back, relax and enjoy what you’re about to watch, especially Excellent Adventure. It is like most films from that era and celebrates it, rather than mocking it in some sense.

It is also a very rare film where Keanu Reeves doesn’t actually look like he’s not enjoying himself. Whereas Winter hasn’t really had a big on screen career at all, Reeves has been in the main stream attention on various occasions since Excellent Adventure came out, with big roles in 1991’s Point Break, 1994’s Speed, 1999’s The Matrix and several others, but he has never truly been a mega-star and therefore his returning to a franchise from early in his career wouldn’t be out of the question.

However, how likely is it that there will be a Bill and Ted 3? Well there have been numerous occasions over the last five years where Winter and Reeves have both gone on record saying that it is close, including confirmations of scripts being completed, directors being attached  and various other things. There hasn’t been any major news since late 2013 but it still seems likely that it will be going ahead at some point.

Out of the three films I am mentioning, this would probably be the one that I would most like a sequel for, but there are still a few things that make me nervous about it.

Reeves has said that the film won’t be a reboot and will be a continuation of the story of these two characters and I love that. It has also been set that it would feature a lot of the cast of both films, and probably most importantly, Reeves and Winter themselves. Reeves has said that they’re not going to mess about if it goes ahead and it will feature the characters in their 40s, but even though they’re grown up, they aren’t mentally grown up, and that’s what worries me.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind seeing 40something Bill and Ted, but the thing that really worries me is that the way the second film ended showed them both as young fathers, married to their girlfriends and considerably more mature after an 18 month spell with Eddie Van Halen and their experiences travelling through time and battling robot versions of themselves, having them as immature 40 year olds would ruin that ending in many ways because it would lose a lot of the meaning of the end to Bogus Journey.

At least it wouldn’t be a reboot.

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Fight Club

fightclub1

Director : David Fincher

Starring : Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, Helena Botham-Carter, Jared Leto and Meatloaf

David Fincher’s 1999 masterpiece based on the 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk followed an unnamed narrator (Norton) as he struggles through life. One day he meets a nihilist called Tyler Durden (Pitt). Soon the two start an underground boxing club in which there of few rules (although I am breaking two currently).

The narrator soon quits his job in remarkable fashion before Fight Club turns into a movement called Project Mayhem. The goal of Project Mayhem is to destroy anything that glorifies commercialism, such as destroying a Starbucks and a piece of corporate art at the same time.

As things spiral out of control, Durden and the narrator soon come confront their issues with each other, wherein the latter realises that he and Durden are actually the same person.

Fight Club is one of my favourite films, infact it’s definitely in the top two and the only film that challenges is the aforementioned “Willow”. I often debate which of the two of them is actually my favourite film and it takes a lot for anything to even come close.

Now, I know a few of you will be saying that this film would never have a chance of having a sequel for numerous reasons, one of which is the big twist where Norton’s character has multiple personality disorder. The film, rather uniquely, closed off all storylines and seemingly left no room for a sequel, so where have I got the idea that there would be a potential sequel from?

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the headline “Fight Club 2 to arrive in 2015” in 2013, I was both really excited and dreading it at the same time. Now, the headline is in reference to Chuck Palahniuk writing a sequel to his novel, but in a generation full of films that are based on books, it seems almost inevitable that the film sequel will inevitably happen.

Pahalniuk has revealed details of the sequel and to be far, it doesn’t sound overly bad, but it doesn’t sound a lot like the first film at all and has been described as having several absurdly comical moments.

Speaking to Hustler magazine, Pahalniuk stated “”The sequel will be told from the– at first– submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator’s life.  Because 20th Century-Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I’m calling him Cornelius.  He’s living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife.  The typical midlife bullshit.  Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she’d once fallen in love with.  She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and– go figure– Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives.”

I’m not sure how I feel about it to be honest, I will reserve judgement until I had read the 10-part graphic novel sequel about whether it would make a good film, but realistically “Fight Club” shouldn’t have a sequel in film form.

At least it won’t be another shit computer game based on the film.

film-fight_club-1999-tyler_durden-brad_pitt-jackets-red_leather_jacket

 

 

So after looking at three sequels or reboots that I’m not entirely sure would be a good thing, I’m going to end this article with a number, but first of all, let’s see what you think that the number is based on this question….how many films that are currently scheduled for release in 2015 (including those that have already been released) at the cinema are sequels or remakes?

The answer…..30.

Taken 3, The Woman in Black : Angel of Death, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Divergent : Insurgent, Furious 7, Paul Blarts 2, Avengers : Age of Ultron, Mad Max : Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Insidious 3, Jurassic World, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator Genisys, Minions, Mission Impossible 5, Poltergeist, Point Break, Fantastic Four, Sinister 2, Hitman : Agent 47, The Maze Runner : Scorch Trials, Hotel Transylvania 2, Paranormal Activity : The Ghost Dimension, Spectre, Hunger Games : Monkingjay – Part 2, Star Wars : The Force Awakens and Alvin and the Chipmunks 4.