“The Batman” is a sure bet for Warner Bros. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good movie, but with their development department scrambling on one single vision for their DCEU, rebooting Batman yet again, just makes sense. It rebuilds confidence (borrowed time) in their brand, and it guarantees moolah in the box office. It’s cynical but now we have three cinematic jokers, two live action Batmans, and a new movie fans are going to spend the next year wondering where it fits in to the timeline.
This is the follow up to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Not Part 2. Or “The Next Generation.” Or “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” No this is the official, official (seriously this time…?) follow up to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Really it’s a legacy sequel that pretty much takes from David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” movies and depicts Old Man Leatherface who is no longer an agent of chaos, but a cleverer, slicker, scarier slasher.
After Wes Craven’s unfortunate passing, the “Scream” franchise went in to a limbo where its fate seemed uncertain. It was still a hot property with a lot of ideas to bring forth but without the engineer Craven behind it, there didn’t seem much point. And with the MTV series and horrendous follow up mini-series, it definitely felt like there wasn’t a point in continuing the movie series. Thankfully, “Scream” (or “Scream 5”) doesn’t just do a bang up job of carrying on the legacy of meta-humor, movie commentary, and subverting movie tropes, but it brings a powerful statement about legacy.
The legacies we build, and the legacies we leave behind.
Fans have long awaited the proper third film in the “Ghostbusters” series, and while it’s become very apparent that the original cast is much too old to carry the series further, “Afterlife” is a great step in to a new world. Like most legacy sequels of beloved movie series, “Afterlife” pays great reverence to the original, while also carving out a path for a new direction and brand new cast of ghost fighting heroes. While “Afterlife” is very light in laughs and levity, it stills comes out in the end as a fantastic follow up that clicks right in to the first two films beautifully.
Streaming On: fuboTV, Amazon Prime Video, Philo, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, Vudu, Sling TV
2011 seems like such a long time ago when you consider the career that Jason Momoa has had since then. He’s been in one of the biggest fantasy series of all time, was in a hit comic book movie as an iconic aquatic superhero, has led acclaimed dramas and crime thrillers, and seems to release a new movie or two every single year. Back in 2011 he was simply just a newcomer who was replacing Arnold Schwarzenneger in the reboot of “Conan the Barbarian.”
After the wet fart that was David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” there was a lot riding on James Gunn’s soft reboot titled “The Suicide Squad.” While there was a lot of pressure on Gunn to deliver, it was no surprise that he did, two fold. This is a man who managed to take a fourth tier superhero team from Marvel Comics and turn them in to beloved superheroes everyone recognizes. With “The Suicide Squad” Gunn gets the ball rolling successfully with a wonderful soft reboot. Now it’s up to DC and Warner to keep the momentum.
After whatever that MTV reboot of “Scream” was, networks and companies seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from it. Rather than breathe new life in to a once solid slasher series, Amazon has botched it from out the gates. Instead of a tense, white knuckle slasher/murder mystery, Lois Duncan’s novel is adapted in to an erotic teen drama thriller. Think less “Slasher” and more “Riverdale.” It’s a glacially paced glorified drama with a horror tint that downplays the horror and slasher aspects of the aforementioned movie series in favor of gratuitous sex, pointless nudity, and droning dialogue.
Director David Ayer’s take on DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad” is one of the classic examples of studio interference, and how it can destroy a potentially great project. Director/Writer James Gunn has a talent for highlighting the more appealing and exciting elements of more underdog comic book characters, and with “The Suicide Squad” he shows us how a lot of the time allowing a director to just create and show audiences their vision can be beneficial for everyone.