It's hard to know or measure the success of a streaming-only movie, especially because sites like Netflix rarely, if ever, divulge much information about them. We do know though, that Adam Sandler has had a multi-picture deal with Netflix, and from that deal came 2019's "Murder Mystery." It was the rare film, in that critics and audiences agreed that it sucked (it boasts a 44% approval score from RottenTomatoes critics and audiences).
But in today's day and age, success can come in many different forms, and the powers-that-be decided to green-light a sequel. The innovatively-titled "Murder Mystery 2" is now streaming, despite nobody asking for it to exist.
Is Sandler out of ideas when it comes to comedies? Surely he could have came with an original idea to fulfill his promise to Netflix, instead of trying to squeeze life out of an existing, lifeless movie. But here we are.
When you hear the real-life story of how the game, "Tetris," became one of the most popular and well-known video games worldwide and of all-time, you might say to yourself, "Now that story would make a really good movie!"
Having now seen the "Tetris" movie (streaming on Apple TV+ beginning March 31st), I'm instead convinced that they should have left well enough alone.
It's an incredible story, but only a few ways to spin it (Tetris pun intended)...none of which end up being all that interesting enough to justify stretching it out into a feature-length film.
Must every intellectual-property (IP) succumb to the Marvel formula?
If you like your characters bland, your dialogue snarky and your battles meaningless, then you'll love "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," a movie that wants you to like it so bad, that it actually hurts.
A stellar achievement both in storytelling and in acting, "A Thousand and One" lands as one of the year's best films, and one that will linger with you well beyond the ending credits.
"John Wick" was the unlikeliest of box office successes when it hit theaters nearly a decade ago (2014). Since then, the franchise has become a beloved IP for Lionsgate, grossing nearly 600 million at the box office. "John Wick: Chapter 2" (2017) expanded the world of John Wick, with secret societies of assassins and some mythology to go along with its non-stop action. "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parrabellum" (2019) wasn't quite as interesting, but it delved into this universe even further.
Each chapter has nearly doubled the gross of the previous installment, and that brings us to the highly-anticipated "John Wick: Chapter 4," a movie that would feel like a fitting end to the saga, if we didn't already know that they're planning a "John Wick: Chapter 5" as well as a spin-off film, "Ballerina," and a live-action series based on the hitman hotel and safe-haven, "The Continental."
Amazingly, "John Wick: Chapter 4" in absolute ground-breaking achievement in action cinema, the most confident and gloriously-rendered installment yet. It has many, many problems, but the good outweighs the bad - perhaps just barely - and if you've followed John Wick this far, there's no way that you'll feel disappointed by his latest adventure.
If an AI ChatBot were to write and direct a superhero movie, I'd imagine it would turn out exactly like "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." A movie so generic, that it was actually painful to watch.
Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) was working the Lifestyles desk at the Boston Record American when she became the first reporter to connect a series of strangulation deaths that had been occurring in and around the city. Along with fellow female journalist, Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), the two battled against the inherent sexism of the early 1960s, and helped bring down the serial killer, Albert DeSalvo (David Dastmalchian), through their terrific, patient reporting.
This all seems ripe for a great thriller, so why does "Boston Strangler" end up feeling so bland?
And just like that, the 95th Academy Awards faded out to black.
Last night's Oscars felt safe, a bit old-fashioned and way more focused than in recent years...which is exactly what the awards show needed and wanted. After last year's "slap heard 'round the world," the Oscars were making headlines for all the wrong reasons, and no one was talking about the movies themselves. That slap at least made the Oscars relevant in 2022, after several years of heavy criticism, backlash and declining ratings. But that's not exactly the buzz that is worthy of the Oscars rich history. At 95, Oscar was in serious need of a face-lift, and not of the variety that Will Smith provided to Chris Rock.
Here's what I liked about the new "Scream VI" movie: There were some very cool kills, some great set-pieces (the opening sequence, a scene set in a mini-mart and a scene spanning across two high-rise apartment windows were super-cool). I really like the main cast - the "Core Four" as they're referred to - of Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown. And there was something that felt "freeing" with this franchise deciding to head out of the confines of Woodsboro, California for the dark, murky, dangerous streets of New York City.
But the "Scream" films have always felt "risen above" the rest of the horror genre...mainly by how it mixes in sharp satire of the horror genre itself. The characters in these films have watched all the horror movies. They know all of the tropes of the genre. Like the savvy viewers sitting in the theater, these people are not going to fall for the usual tricks. This has always made "Scream" feel smart. They have acted as an ongoing subversion of the genre.
As a massive fan of the first four "Scream" chapters, I was not at all a fan of the last chapter, essentially called "Scream 5" (in fact, it was simply called "Scream" as it tried to relaunch itself as a franchise, but that's besides the point). "Scream VI" is a giant improvement over the previous installment, and for its first two-thirds, it felt like an inspired chapter in the ongoing "Scream" saga. But the last half-hour made it IMPOSSIBLE to be on board with, succumbing not only to the terrible tropes that the series often makes fun of, but leaning into them unknowingly.
The biggest night in Hollywood is almost here: The 95th Academy Awards air live on Sunday, March 12th on ABC (WXYZ) at 8pm EST. And now you can watch them in style - on the big-screen and with fellow movie-lovers - at this year's annual Oscar Gala at The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Twp.
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