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Predictions: 5 Worst Sequels/Remakes Coming In 2016

We’ve already seen some clunkers at the theaters in 2016. From “London Has Fallen” to “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” it’s basically been an onslaught of soulless action sequels designed to fill the gap between the winter awards season and the spring and summer blockbusters. But beginning in April we’ll really start to get into the coming year in film – and there are sure to be more disasters on the way.

Keeping that in mind, here are my predictions for the five worst movies still to come in 2016.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

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It’s amazing how infrequently Through The Looking Glass is mentioned, given the fame of Alice In Wonderland. Lewis Carroll’s sequel was as quirky and wondrous as the original, and probably deserves a similarly high place in the literary canon. That said, it probably doesn’t really need a film sequel, does it?

2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” wasn’t actually bad, but it’s been another six years, and I’m just not sure the public is ready for more Tim Burton/Johnny Depp eccentricity (though Burton is only producing this time around). The trailer looks like a combination of “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus” and a bunch of Disney ideas that were locked away in a vault (not a good combo), and the cast is a who’s who of actors who are strange for the sake of being strange: Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Sheen, Andrew Scott, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Fry…. They’re all very capable, but thrown together in a project like this they just sound annoying.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows

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Where was I when we decided we needed a sequel to the blasphemous garbage that was Jonathan Liebesman’s 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CGI Festival” (not the official title). The movie got 21% on Rotten Tomatoes and prompted one reviewer to make the claim that it made Transformers movies look subtle. But hey, it made almost $500 million, so full speed ahead.

I don’t feel I have to get into this one too much, so here goes. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be horrible.

Now You See Me 2

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“Now You See Me” wasn’t an awful movie… it just wasn’t very clever. Billed as a sort of “Ocean’s 11”-but-with-magic, it was expected to be a mind-blowing heist thriller complete with intelligent twists and intricate plot puzzles. Instead, it was kind of just a heist movie that used only partially explained magic tricks as explanations for thievery. There was something there, but whether via poor direction, uninventive writing, or perhaps even shoddy editing, it didn’t quite come to the surface.

Maybe round two will be better. The cast, at least, has been loaded up for a major summer blockbuster. Returners Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo are all bigger deals now than they were when the first film came out; established pros Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Woody Harrelson are all back; and this time around we’ll also be treated to appearances by Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan. The ingredients are there. But frankly, the first movie didn’t inspire much confidence, and given that sequels are usually dumber and less inventive (see: “Ocean’s 12”), it feels more likely that this movie doubles down on the shortcomings of its predecessor.

Independence Day: Resurgence

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It might be about time for an alien invasion movie. This particular sort of fiction is always popular, but it’s actually been a while since a big budget movie tackled invasion. Aliens in general have remained popular subjects for entertainment of late. There was actually a little-known 2015 movie about our history of alien fascination, called “Area 51,” and Gala’s bingo platform even played into the same history with the introduction of an “Area 75” video game. It’s one of several themed bingo games to embrace fiction or pop culture, and brings up topics and imagery related to Area 51 and UFO sightings.

But a big budget, Hollywood thrill ride about a large-scale alien invasion? It really has been a while. But does our next foray into this popular topic really have to be a shameless cash grab? This is a 20-years-later sequel that’s lacking its biggest star, and while the trailer looks intriguing, I have my doubts. Continuing Independence Day without Will Smith is like if “The Force Awakens” had been made without any of the old timers on board. Sure, it would have made limitless money anyway, but would it have been nearly as interesting? This has flop written all over it.

Ben-Hur

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Oh, Hollywood…. We just can’t drop the sword-and-sandals epics, can we? There really hasn’t been a good one in years, let alone anything close to the impact we saw in films like “Gladiator,” “Troy,” and “300” earlier this century. However, at least the majority of failed sword-and-sandals movies simply fade away into obscurity, or drift to Netflix to be buried beneath better movies. This one might be different.

The 1959 “Ben-Hur” starring Charlton Heston has a certain iconic place in Hollywood history, and messing with it now just seems kind of careless. Not to mention it’s being remade with a relative unknown in Heston’s shoes (Jack Huston, who most recently starred in “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies”), and written by a guy who has a single film credit since penning 1994’s “In Search Of Dr. Seuss.” This really feels like a half-assed effort trying to capitalize on a famous name.

Predicting the worst films of any summer is always a difficult exercise, because there are always a few clunkers nobody sees coming. Furthermore, it’s always possible that something that looks truly awful winds up exceeding expectations! But specifically where sequels and remakes are concerned – and really, those categories make up most of the summer blockbuster season these days – these five look like pretty safe bets to elicit groans from critics.

James Morey is a freelance writer and blog contributor.

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Gone But Not Forgotten: Obscure Horror Sub-Genre Flicks (Guest Post)

Different things scare different people. As a result, the horror genre has evolved into one of the most diverse and segmented genre of movies. But with so many sub-genre horror movies cranked out to appeal to particular tastes, it can be hard for the casual horror fan to keep up with the turnout. For this reason, some movies quietly fall off the radar.

Though it’s tough to call any movie “obscure” today with the Internet, here are a few that you may have missed.

Psychological Horror: Silent House

Both Silent House and La Casa Muda, the original Uruguayan film, went unnoticed by many a few short years ago, primarily due to critical bashing and a very limited release.

Though the film’s ending is arguably dissatisfying, the technical achievement of the film and the general eeriness created by it alone make the film worthy of a look—not to mention a solid performance by the protagonist, played by Elizabeth Olsen (the other Olsen girl).

An unnerving experience that doesn’t rely on gore or cheap thrills to create tension, Silent House is one of the better indie horror films out there.

Body Horror: Naked Blood

Naked Blood actually falls under the sub-sub-genre of Japanese body horror. And boy does it deliver. In fact, before all the new Japanese gore movies, Naked Blood was considered one of the most disturbing and goriest Japanese movies out there. Needless to say, it is not for the squeamish.

The premise is simple. A young scientist develops a chemical that turns pain into pleasure. When given to his victims, they can’t resist the urge to hurt themselves to feel the effects. The result is some pretty horrific self-inflicted mutilation scenes that just don’t want to end.

Not many people have seen Naked Blood for a reason. Watch at your own risk.

Bizarre Horror: House

Where to begin with House? The severed, flying legs? The hungry piano of death? Banana man?

Horror is notorious for bending the rules of reality, but House completely disregards them. Drawn from the mind of a child (no joke), this twisted foreign film is a surreal trip that, once started, is so bizarre it’s hard to look the other way.

So strange, in fact, it has transcended its madness, receiving critical praise and claiming its very own spot in the Criterion Collection.

B-Grade/Monster Horror: Mosquito

Before SyFy started cranking out Saturday Monster silliness week after week with the likes of Sharknado and Piranhaconda, there was the 1995 gem Mosquito.

Playing on everyone’s general distaste for nature’s most pestering winged insect, Mosquito tells the tale of what happens when one drinks the blood of a dead, crash-landed alien. If you guessed giant mutated mosquitos, you’d be correct.

Chalk full of stuff that’s so bad it’s almost good—like terrible dialogue and campy special effectsMosquito is a cult classic you’ll definitely feel safe leaving the lights off for.

Stranded Horror: Frozen

Technically a sub-genre of psychological horror, stranded horror has been made popular with successful films like Alive and Open Water. But few know about the stranded horror film Frozen (not to be confused with the Disney movie of the same name).

Where are the characters stranded, you ask? A ski lift. While this situation is not intrinsically terrifying alone, Frozen does a decent job showing the breakdown of the characters’ psyches as they make life-or-death decisions to combat the unrelenting cold, perilous heights, and hungry animals.

Full of familiar faces you probably can’t attribute names to, Frozen is one of those films you might wander across while cycling through your On Demand library looking for something to watch. That’s not to say it isn’t worth a look.

AUTHOR: Adrian Rawlings; @adrianrawlings2

BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a TV and horror blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, horror films, tech reviews, how-to guides, and more.

Bigfoot – Guest Review by Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie

BIGFOOT

First off, Happy New Year’s, y’all!!  My hiatus is pretty much over and I’ve almost recovered from the Alabama Death Plague so yay!  Hope you all had a fabulous NYE – 2013 is going to be majorly kickawesome!!  And to start it off, we have a fabulous guest review by Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie.  Don’t know if you all have checked out Tim’s site yet but seriously look at that name.  That’s like my freaking tagline right there.  I’m kinda jealous I didn’t think of that first actually.  😉  Anyway, Tim has all sorts of cool action happening on his site so swing by and check him out!  And thank you, Tim, for taking on Bigfoot!!

Billed as starring “70s cultural icons” Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams, two dudes I wouldn’t recognise, Bigfoot is a slice of B-movie heaven that veers from the inspired to woeful.

I'm assuming this are the icons, no?

I’m assuming these are the icons, no?

The film opens with a prologue that is probably its coolest moment. An awesome food chain inspired sequence that sees a frog eat an insect, a fish eat that frog, a bear eat that fish, a man shoot that bear, then finally the bigfoot eat the man. As the film gets going, I recognise one of the aforementioned icons (I think Williams) to be obviously a former star of The Brady Bunch (here he comes complete with a harem of young environmentalist women). The story, not that is important, takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota as preparations for a throwback 80s music festival see trees being chopped down to make way for the stage, leading to one exceptionally pissed off Bigfoot who starts throwing down. Clashing over the environmental aspects of this tale are two former bandmates, one now a greenie, the other the organiser of the festival (and terrible radio jockey). This story goes on and on, so much so that you will be chanting “We want more Bigfoot” like I was before too long. Thankfully the filmmakers oblige with a bigfoot laden last half hour.

Thank you Google Images for THIS - awesomesauce!!

Thank you Google Images for THIS – awesomesauce!!

What is important of course is the frickin Bigfoot. Initially I was quite impressed with the special effects that show this huge beast. But then I opened my eyes a little and realised that they are rather atrocious. They seem to get increasingly bad as the film wears on. Like the filmmakers blew their budget on the first couple. Some of the ones toward the end of the film are actually clearly unfinished effects shots. Whilst the rest of them, except for the first couple, look like Playstation 1 level computer graphics copy and pasted onto your screen.

Depending on your point of view Bigfoot is either so bad it’s good, or just so bad. I tend to think it is the former. It sort of has to be watched for the simple awesomeness of its murderous Bigfoot. Not to mention its hippy ex-Brady Buncher vs failed 80s rock star capitalist storyline. Throw in a legitimately nonsensical script and some comically bad, in the best B movie kind of the way, acting and you have some B monster fantasticness.

OMG, I just totally fell in love with that trailer…Thanks again to Tim from Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie!

Zombie Women of Satan

A BIG thank you to E. from theipc for this super special and super awesome guest post!!!!!!

If you and I were to go to a bar, order a shot and a beer and start talking, it would probably go something like this:

(Drinks arrive) YOU: So you watched that movie?

(Sipping beer) ME: Yup…

YOU: Was it any good?

(Dropping my shot in my beer glass) ME: ohmygodno..

YOU: It sure looked pretty crappy…

(Drinking my boilermaker): But I liked it!

YOU: Huh?

ME: Yep… it sure begs the question… “Is it necrophilia if one of them is undead?”

And there you go – if you’re going into a movie called Zombie Women of Satan your expectations should be set pretty low. But, if you have the right frame of mind and aren’t expecting something like “Drive”, then you might experience a not-too-bad movie – well wait, hold up, stop, it’s not “good” from a production or quality or end product point of view, but it’s kind of funny, doesn’t take itself seriously at all and actually has some LOL moments. It’s pretty crappy acting all the way around and you’ll have to deal with a ton of bleeding boobs, a pooping dwarf, a guy named Pervo the Clown, a filthy, chained up, old woman who desperately wants her husband to “touch her”, a lot of blood and gore, some male “self satisfying” at odd moments, a pulled out eyeball and, yep, some zombie sex, you know, “in the name of science“. But for real, it’s not that bad.

Zombie boob!

To open we have two stories unfolding. In one, a group of “travelling circus freaks” are performing for a group of women in some club in some unnamed city. Elsewhere, we are introduced to some sort of cult or commune or something at some swanky English estate where women of all sizes lounge around drinking and playing pool half naked (all in white lingerie) and getting the sex from either the son or daughter of the insane scientist who is performing “zombie experiments” (you know, in the name of science) to figure out the undead and win a Nobel Peace Price. The zombie experiments involve him chaining some poor woman to a table (in her lingerie, mind you), giving her a shot of some sort of liquid and watching her die, come back to life and become a flesh eating daughter of Satan. Oh yeah – then he kills her and feeds her body to his wife who is chained up nearby.

As it typically goes, during an interlude of one of these sessions, the daughter comes by with a punch bowl, some of the infected blood drips into it, it is served to the “community” and all of the crap hits the fan, in the form of the half clothed living turn into the flesh craved, half clothed dead and they start roaming the estate looking for their supper.  How are Pervo and his buddies going to survive this mess? Well, it’s going to involve a lot of corny dialogue, zombie boob rubbing, baseball batting and something pretty funny with a chainsaw. This was a LOT better than I expected.

E Isaacs is the brains (or the lack of) behind his blog at theipc.me – he enjoys horror movies, classic doctor who, writing notes in leather bound journals, complex white board diagrams and does his best work while wearing his hulk hands.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

A huge thank you to Ki Arnould for this post!!

Like most folks who grew up after the baby boomers, I have difficulty finding the appeal
in black and white films. A lot of them feel old, outdated, and ring hollow in a culture
that favors colorful extremes over shades of gray. But there are a few grayscale classics
that should not be missed, and this is absolutely one of them.

Meet Louis Mazzini, the lead character in the 1949 gem “Noblesse Oblige (Aka Kind Hearts And Coronets).” He’s bright and ambitious. He’s whip-smart and totally genteel. He’s also plotting to destroy the line of heirs that stand between him and a dukedom, and he’s not afraid to get
a little shady.

But his acts are easily justified; the plot began as an act of vengeance on behalf of his
mother, who died penniless and alone when she was disowned for marrying an unsuitable
man. And if revenge is a dish best served cold, this guy’s kitchen is sub-zero. While
Louis is charming and charismatic, he is also calculating and manipulative, capable of
carrying on polite conversation with distant relatives even as he plots their untimely
deaths.

If Louis’s cold-hearted ambition doesn’t give you chills, maybe the supporting cast
will. In addition to two mid-century dames who tug (with partial success) on Louis’s
heartstrings, you’ll also enjoy the talents of Alec Guiness (or as we all know him, Obi
Wan Kenobi). Nearly thirty years before performing the Jedi mind trick, he played eight
distinct characters (male and female alike) in this quirky classic.

And come on, didn’t you always wonder what Obi Wan looked like in drag?

Mayhaps like this?

“Kind Hearts and Coronets” may be a grayscale film, but that’s the perfect spectrum for
a film where, despite all odds, you find yourself rooting for the bad guy. This subtle,
chilling, dark comedy will remind you just how much you love those cinematic shades of
gray.

*Unfortunately, the trailer for this couldn’t be embedded but the link is below!*

http://youtu.be/fYTxIw6kjZ0

Ki Arnould is a sometimes-teacher, begrudging barista, scatter-brained writer, and
pop culture researcher with a penchant for film, fandom, and white chocolate toffee
cookies (not necessarily in that order).