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Sequelizer: Fuqua Resurrects Vintage TV Series to Maudlin Effect
Upon the project’s official announcement, it may not have seemed a necessarily surprising or even awful idea to resurrect the mid-80s television series The Equalizer to be retrofitted as an action vehicle for Denzel Washington. In fact, in a day of dodgy remakes, reinterpretations, and constant regurgitations, it seemed an inspired bit of casting. After initial names backed out and it landed in the hands of Antoine Fuqua, who would then be reunited with his Training Day star, anticipation kicked into high gear in what seemed a perfect remedy to wash away the cornball melodrama of Olympus Has Fallen in Fuqua’s otherwise gritty and often hard-hitting filmography. Unfortunately, though sporting some considerably violent sequences, it is pure studio fodder, suffering from some miscasting, a bloated running time, and a flat lined screenplay. That said, Washington is a winning presence, »
- Nicholas Bell
Summer movie season is a magic time of year when Hollywood traditionally rolls out its most appealing merchandise. It’s true that some summer movie seasons are better than others. This is our ranking of all the summer movie seasons since 1980 from worst to best.
On January 20th, 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios released Jaws. The movie landscape would be forever changed from that date. Jaws is widely credited as being the first blockbuster film because it was the first movie to make over $100 million (non-adjusted). The fact that the film had a meager $8 million budget meant that it was a huge cash cow for the studio and rocketed Spielberg to the the forefront of a new generation of filmmakers for a new era of movie mass-consumption. George Lucas and Spielberg followed up in 1977 with Star Wars, which became a sensational and very profitable hit. It helped to convince production »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
September 2014 will see the customary slowdown in terms of film offerings, as we transition away from summer blockbusters to end of year tentpoles and awards-season contenders. Still, there are a handful of new releases that might be worth checking out this month, and The Equalizer – a modern big screen reboot of the 1980s TV show that reunites Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington – is the September newcomer with (arguably) the greatest potential.
Equalizer, as scripted by Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2), stars Washington as Robert McCall, a former black ops agent who has done his best to leave behind his old life. However, when Robert crosses paths with a young woman named Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is under the control of dangerous Russian mobsters, he chooses to resume his old habit of being a modern-day knight in ...
- Sandy Schaefer
After the teaser trailer showed Jennifer Lawrence arriving in the District 13 rebel stronghold, Lionsgate has revealed a look at the warriors who will step up to help fight the revolution against the Capitol in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I. A small batch of new posters have arrived with a completely different aesthetic than the previous District 13 character posters. Liam Hemsworth doesn't look much different than he did suited up in The Expendables 2, but the other posters give us a first look at Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Messalla (Evan Ross), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Castor (Wes Chatham) and Pollux (Elden Henson). They all look pretty bad ass, so check them all out below! Here's the new posters for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I from Wired: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I is the first movie in the two-part finale of The Hunger Games franchise, »
- Ethan Anderton
The Universal Soldier films are a strange case of life imitating art. Much like how series protagonist Luc Deveraux is killed in action then resurrected into something post-human, Universal was a pretty standard 90s action film which crashed and burned when it came to sequels, but became something unique and beautiful when it was reanimated for the straight to DVD market.
It’s a hushed secret among genre fans, but Universal Solder 3 and 4 (or possibly 5 and 6, it’s complicated) are some of the most remarkable action sci-fi films of the 21st century so far. Yes, really. I actually watched the series backwards when I first saw them, after being blown away by Universal Solder Day Of Reckoning and deciding to work my way back, and Roland Emmerich’s perfectly acceptable 1992 blockbuster »
While promoting the The Expendables 3, Sylvester Stallone has been talking about how he wants to turn The Expendables into an Avengers-like franchise, calling it an on-going project. However, it seems that the movie leaking online just weeks before its official release has had some impact on ticket sales as not only did the third entry have a bad opening weekend, it was beaten by an R-rated comedy movie made for a fraction of its budget.
It could be a case of diminishing returns as it landed in a disappointing fourth in the Us box office and its $16.2 million doesn’t even come close to the original Expendables opening of $34.8 or The Expendables 2‘s $29 million. It should do well globally, but its got a long way to go if it wants to catch up with the other movies in the franchise.
Helped by a Tuesday night opening, R-rated comedy »
- Luke Owen
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy held on to the top two spots at the box office this weekend, handily defeating the disappointing Expendables 3.The Top 12 earned an estimated $128.8 million this weekend, which is up six percent from the same frame last year. This August remains on track to be the biggest ever at the domestic box office with around $1 billion.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell 57 percent to an estimated $28.4 million. The movie avoided the 60-percent-plus drop of many of Summer 2014's blockbusters, which is a solid win considering the poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth. Turtles has so far earned $117.6 million, and will pass G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($122.5 million) in the next few days.In its third weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy eased 41 percent to $24.7 million. On Saturday, it eclipsed Thor: The Dark World's domestic total; with $222.3 million in the bank already, Guardians is going to have »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It was expected that "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" would weather the storm of three new releases to remain at the top of the box office. No one expected, however, that "The Expendables 3," "The Giver" and "Let's Be Cops!" would disappoint so dramatically. Remaining no. 1 for the second weekend in a row was Paramount's reboot of "Tmnt." The comedy adventure earned another $28.4 million for $117.6 million in just 10 days. With over $185 million already globally, "Tmnt" came just in time to make up for the loses on another Paramount summer release, "Hercules." It's also possible "Turtles" could keep the top spot next weekend when the only competition is "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." Still going strong at no. 2 is Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy." With another $24.7 million, the James Gunn adventure has crossed the $200 million mark with $222.2 million to date. "Guardians" is still on track to becoming the no. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The top two spots on the box office chart remained unchanged for a second weekend, as audiences favored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy over a handful of new releases. But in something of a surprise, the strongest of those new films turned out to be Let’s Be Cops. The R-rated comedy has moved ahead of The Expendables 3 since Friday, which might say more about the weakness of the latter rather than the strength of the former. Title Weekend Total 1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $28,400,000 $117.6 2. Guardians of the Galaxy $24,735,000 $222.2 3. Let’s Be Cops $17,700,000 $26.1 4. The Expendables 3 $16,200,000 $16.2 5. The Giver $12,760,000 $12.7 6. Into the Storm $7,720,000 $31.3 7. The Hundred-Foot Journey $7,109,000 $23.6 8. Lucy $5,317,000 $107.5 9. Step Up All In $2,700,000 $11.8 10. Boyhood $2,150,000 $13.8 Full story after the jump. No one was expecting The Expendables 3 to open in first place this weekend – the term “franchise fatigue” seems to have been written specifically to apply to this four year-old series. »
- Nicole Pedersen
No big surprise this weekend, at least not at the top, where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took the #1 spot for a second weekend in a row with $28.4 million as its domestic cume climbs to $117.6 million while Guardians of the Galaxy was closely behind in second with $24.7 million as it is now over $222.3 million domestically. We find the first of the weekend's new releases in third and no, it doesn't star Sylvester Stallone and a rag tag group of aging action stars. It's Let's Be Cops, a comedy Fox didn't even screen for critics here in Seattle, and while it brought in $17.7 million, falling short of the $20+ million tracking, I'd say it's doing decently after a big start on Wednesday, bringing in $26.1 million total over the last five days. The "B" CinemaScore suggests it will drop as pretty much all films drop, maybe a little faster, but with a $17 million budget »
- Brad Brevet
With The reelase of The Expendables 3 [read our reviews here and here] and the news that he’s set to return to the character of John J. Rambo for Rambo V, this week we’ve decided to put your knowledge of Sylvester Stallone movies to the test in the latest Sunday Quiz. So, if you know your Rocky from your Rambo and your Demolition Man from your… erm… Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, then take the quiz below and don’t forgot to share your results to see how you stack up against your friends…
Question 8 The Expendables 3 »
- Gary Collinson
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy buried newcomer The Expendables 3 in the Friday box office results, setting up a second consecutive weekend in which those Heroes in a Half-Shell will come out on top. Let's Be Cops is on track to finish the weekend in third place, while The Giver is following in the footsteps of other young adult adaptations that fizzled in their box office debuts.
It didn't matter how many aging action stars Sylvester Stallone packed into The Expendables 3. An unwise step back from the R-rating of the previous two films combined with franchise burnout led to a $5.88 million opening day Friday, nearly half of what The Expendables 2 earned in its debut. $15 million looks probable for the three-day opening and should all but guarantee there won't be a The Expendables 4.
Those beatboxing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will win the weekend after »
Over the past few years, we’ve heard on several occasions that martial arts superstar Jackie Chan was set to join the roster of action stars in The Expendables, only for him to be absent when the latest instalment rolled around. It happened with The Expendables 2, it happened with The Expendables 3, and we’ll no doubt hear the same thing if and when The Expendables 4 arrives.
In fact, speaking to Den of Geek, Chan has confirmed that he’s already been approached by Sylvester Stallone for a part in the planned fourth movie, and it sounds like he’ll be turning it down once more, unless Stallone can come up with a big enough role for the Hong Kong action legend:
“This morning I did hear – the office called – Sly [Stallone] wants me for Expendables 4. I said, ‘Okay.’ Because they already asked me to be in two and three, »
- Gary Collinson
The Expendables 3 is the latest installment of the cheese-tastic, 1980s style, throwback action franchise. You may not think of this series of films as anything more than an exercise in geriatric yoga for the addled action stars of yore. But, the fact is The Expendables (2010) made $275M on an $80M budget and The Expendables 2 (2012) made $305M on a $100M budget. And that is serious worldwide box-office business.
The Expendables 3 involves some unfinished business. As it turns out, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), had a partner who co-founded the group with him (a new background detail sheds some light on the team’s bloody history), Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who is out to wipe out the entire team – especially Barney. The film is directed by Patrick Hughes, a young filmmaker with only two prior films to his credit. (No you never heard of either of them.) The writing team is led by Sylvester Stallone, »
- Steven Gahm
For such mindless entertainment, the Expendables movies sure can get the brain working if you’re interested in the nostalgic samples they’re selling. Sylvester Stallone is a smart guy who knows how to work on multiple levels, and of course his most brilliant act is to make it all seem dumb as hell without pandering to the audience that can appreciate that. He’s the male modern Marilyn Monroe in a way. With this series he has assembled more all-star action heroes than good plot ideas, but the simplicity of the storytelling is just to provide a lot of bullets and explosions for the mindless crowd and a bunch of reflexive call-backs to the cast’s earlier movies for those who like to play the spot-the-allusion game. Most of the latter is cheap references through repurposed dialogue and slightly altered character names. But The Expendables 2 kind of beat that whole thing to death with its »
- Christopher Campbell
I really wanted to like The Expendables 3 but for them… 3 is not a magic number.
In The Expendables 3, Barney Ross(Sylvester Stallone) is back, along with his good pal Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lungren), Yin Yang (Jet Li), and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), along with some new pals to take on former Expendable Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who has traded in his title and became an arms dealer. After almost being killed by his pal Barney before, Stonebanks has made it his mission put to end The Expendables, and Barney is prepared. He beefs up his gang of misfits with new members, and gives their old-school style a reboot. Together, the team must find Stonebanks before he finds them! Despite uniting some of the biggest stars of the past few decades, the first warning sign should have been the PG-13 rating. This film feels extremely »
- Melissa Howland
With The Expendables 3 bombing, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy easily held on to the top two spots at the box office on Friday. Ninja Turtles fell 69 percent to an estimated $7.9 million. That drop is roughly on par with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which was off 68 percent at the same point. Turtles will pass $100 million sometime today; for the weekend, it should wind up anywhere from $24 to $27 million.Guardians of the Galaxy eased 44 percent to $6.95 million. It passed $200 million yesterday, and in the process moved ahead of Summer 2014 releases Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. For the weekend, Guardians will likely earn around $24 million.The Expendables 3 opened in third place with an estimated $5.88 million. That's down 44 percent from The Expendables 2, which is a horrible drop for a closely-timed sequel. For the weekend, the third Expendables »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
This weekend will see the release of The Expendables 3, the latest in a series featuring all your favorite action stars from the 80s and 90s in the same movie. This series is a one trick pony – all your favorite action stars from the past reuniting to relive their collective glory days – but it is a trick I’d happily watch for seven more films. I remember when the first film came out I told my dad I went to see it and loved it, and when he asked what it was I just named the cast. He remarked that that movie would sound cool if it was made in the 90s. I replied oblivious to the dig with “Yeah, it’s awesome, right?” – The fact that these were all action heroes past their prime was the point.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing and thinking about the »
- Dylan Griffin
Friday Am Update: The Expendables 3 earned an estimated $875,000 from Thursday night shows beginning at 7 p.m. In comparison, the first Expendables grossed $870,000, while The Expendables 2 took in $685,000. In both of those earlier cases, though, showings didn't begin until midnight. A better comparison might be last week's Into The Storm, which took in $800,000 from late Thursday shows. That went on to earn $17.3 million in its opening weekend; a tally closer to $20 million seems like a likely outcome for The Expendables 3.Forecast: The Expendables 3 storms in to theaters this weekend, though this gang of geriatric action stars will probably lose out to a bunch of teenage turtles.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will likely wind up with $25 to $30 million in its second weekend. That should be enough to fend off the latest installment in the Expendables series, which could open as low as $20 million.Other new releases include young-adult »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The first The Expendables delivered when it came to violence, but the story was extraordinarily lacking in the way troubled origin stories typically are, trying to build too much back-story, forgetting why the audience is there in the first place. The Expendables 2 was a complete and utter mess, the ensemble cast grew, but that ultimately became its downfall as story gave way to characters popping up out of nowhere in an attempt to give reason for their casting, which often proved to be no more than making sure they could deliver a punchline or classic character one-liners. This trend would suggest The Expendables 3 would be damn near unwatchable as the franchise now tosses aside the R-rating and goes for a more audience friendly PG-13, which is a disappointing revelation as one of the only remaining reasons to watch these films was the elaborate violence as story never seemed to be a priority. »
- Brad Brevet
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