Three Things To Consider For An Unbreakable Sequel To Work

While it’s good news that M. Night Shyamalan is finally getting around to producing a sequel to his Bruce Willis/Sam Jackson-led Unbreakable, three problems in particular come to mind. 

1.  The original Unbreakable came out 17 years ago.

The point being that a lot of people aren’t going to get fired up for a sequel to a movie that came out before they were born. This is why Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson must reprise their roles.  The two leads returning will help to bridge not only the gap in people’s minds, but  the very real gap between the original and the sequel. 

Could the movie work without Willis and Jackson?  Maybe, though why take the chance?  After all, many believe that one reason in particular  Independence Day: Resurgence tanked (which is perhaps too strong a word for a movie that earned almost $390 million worldwide) was because Will Smith did not return to the role that catapulted him to A-list stardom.   

2. Will we be seeing the ‘Blumhouse’ Shyamalan, or the ‘Lady In The Water’ Shyamalan?

I could have written the ‘AfterEarth’ Shyamalan, though the meaning would have been the same, namely I’m talking about the period of time when Shyamalan was seemingly driven more by ego than creativity, and it showed in vanity projects like Lady In The Water,  AfterEarth and The Last Airbender. 

While the ‘Blumhouse Shyamalan, ’ where the resurgence of his career began with movies like The Visit and Split

Lean, relatively small-budgeted features (pretty much the only type of movies Blumhouse Pictures makes), managed to reign in Shyamalan’s excesses though I suspect he won’t have a Jason Blum to keep an eye on things for an Unbreakable 2.

Though considering we’re talking about Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson, I suspect that neither will come cheap. 

3. How will Unbreakable 2 differentiate itself from all the other superhero movies?

When Unbreakable came out the idea of superhero films was relatively uncommon, which is why the original could work as a superhero film despite being relatively action-free.  Such an approach would likely not work today, so how can Shyamalan create a drastically different-looking superhero story, while not drifting too far afield of what made the original so engrossing and worthy of revisiting is a question worth pondering. 

If Shyamalan can address these three points, it by no means guarantees that Unbreakable 2 will be a success, though what it does mean is that it will likely find a receptive audience, one way or another.  

Logan – Trailer# 2

Twentieth Century Fox’s Logan is indicative of their problems managing their X-Men franchise.  

Supposedly it’s going to be R-rated, not because Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a mutant who’s primarily features are a healing factor, Adamantium-coated claws and a bestial nature to match, but because Deadpool had an R- rating, and it gave Fox almost 800,00 reasons to do the same.

Money see, money do.

So it’s not as if the executives actually understand the character, because if they did they would have had him be PG-13 in the X-Men movies, and R in the context of his own features.

Which isn’t for a moment to imply that the character can’t work as PG-13, only that he’s better suited for a harder rating. 

Colossal –Trailer

I’ve seen Nacho Vigalondo‘s Timecrimes and Open Windows, both very idiosyncratic movies, so let’s just say I find very little surprise when his latest–Colossal–features a kaiju that’s seemingly the personification of a stressed woman’s ego not all that surprising.  

Though what concerns me is that hopefully the movie winds up being more than a clever conceit. 

The Future Is Fantastic! – Modular Eagle Project, Update# 3

Currently King_Arthur’s Modular Eagle Transporter project over at LEGO Ideas has 2373 supporters–which is awesome and shows not only support for the great work he has done but much love for one of the most iconic spacecraft in science fiction.  

Above is a photo of the Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999

And here’re King_Arthur’s LEGO-used version

It’s a pretty remarkable likeness, which is particularly significant when you take into account the Eagle is in places pretty curvy, which is not something LEGOS are known for.  

The next benchmark King_Arthur’s project has to reach is 5000 supporters and with your help it might do just that (when it reaches 10,000 supporters LEGO will create a kit based on his work, which will be made available  in stores)!

If you’re a fan of Anderson’s show, or just like LEGOs, this project is a way to have your cake and eat it too!

Santa Clara Diet – Official Trailer

Netflix is hitting it out of the park as far as their work producing superhero-based action series is concerned (their pact wirh Marvel Television will soon introduce Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders–though as far as Frank Castle goes, perhaps ‘reintroduce’ would be a better choice of words since he played a prominent role in Season two of Daredevil) though their horror offerings?  

Not too impressive.  We got two seasons of Hemlock Grove, which started out promisingly, then jumped the shark relatively quickly. 

Their latest entry has it’s tongue firmly in cheek as Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) play a couple that lets nothing–including Sheila being a zombie–get in the way of their love because the family that slays together, stays together. 

The trailer is hilarious, though what’s particularly novel is that–as opposed to being something to be shunned–their children seem to have adapted amazingly well to their mom’s altered state (it helps that she looks pretty healthy, minus the whole ‘no heartbeat’ thing.

The title is also particularly clever in that it not only refers to the often goofy diet fads that tend to emanate from the West Coast, but Sheila’s somewhat unique dietary requirements. 

Movie Magic: The Black Panther (Captain America: Civil War)

These days as a mover goer I know full well that practical effects combined with CGI can create virtually any type of effect imaginable. 

Though what I find infinitely more interesting is when a movie’s special effects are so seamless that I don’t know that what I happen to be looking at is a special effect, which brings me to Captain America: Civil War.  

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There were two scenes where I recall the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a full-on CGI character: when he was sliding down the side of a building when chasing the Winter Soldoer (Sebastian Stan) and another when he was slowing hinself down after momentum carried him beyond the Soldier in a second confrontation.

Beyond those two instances, I assumed that the character–as well as many of the locations–were entirely practical.  

Imagine my surprise to learn that virtually every scene featuring the Panther had three or four layers of CGI over a practical stuntman, and most of the locations were CGI enhanced as well!

Movie magic indeed.  

XX – Official Trailer

XX, not to be confused with XXX: The Return of Zander Cage, is likely named after the female sex chromosome, an indicator this anthology (in this instance a movie composed of a series of shorts) will be directed by entirely by women.  

Though what I am most concerned about is if the movie will be consistently scary because anthologies are notoriously difficult to do well due to they’re only as strong as their weakest entry (one reason Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone is one of the best of the breed is that it originally aired on network television, an episode at a time.  This meant that strong stories weren’t shown directly before or after weaker ones, enabling viewers to judge them each on their own merits, as opposed to being directly compared against what aired only minutes before).  

And having the whole project based around the fact that the directors are women?  Not too sure that that’s a great idea because I would think that it’s only relevant if their sex informs what we’re seeing on screen in identifiable ways (who we are as individuals informs everything that we do, but in this particular instance the choice of female directors need to bring some sort of additional insight–for instance, I suspect Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook would be an entirely different movie in terms of its narrative thrust as well as its priorities, if it were directed by a man) that enhance what we’re seeing on screen. 

Though if nothing about the vignettes that make up XX brings the distinctiveness I spoke to earlier, then I am unsure that there’s a point.