Jumanji is Getting the Reboot Treatment
Source: AV Club
In some of the most unexpected and surprising news of the week, Columbia has announced that they’re rebooting the classic kids’ movie, Jumanji. In an attempt to “appeal to a younger audience”, the studio is bringing the game of Jumanji back to the big screen with a modern twist. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any stupider, I was pleasantly surprised.
See, this doesn’t work for many, many reasons. The first one being that a plot involving two kids playing a glorified Ouija Board with a mysterious man is probably not something we need to revisit in theaters. Oh, wait just a goddamn minute. We did see a Jumanji reboot except it was called Zathura and it had a lot of Kristen Stewart doing what Kristen Stewart does. And as much as we’d like to admit that maybe technologically advanced visual effects will improve cult classic remakes, let’s take a look at the quality of such films as the Conan the Barbarian and Dark Shadows. Yeah….no.
21 Jump Street Sequel in the Works
Anyone who saw 21 Jump Street this year was more likely than not pleasantly surprised by how well-made it was. From the extremely clever script by Michael Bacall to the immense chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, who showed a new found strength as an actor, 21 Jump Street was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year other than the other Channing Tatum vehicles of 2012, The Vow and Magic Mike. Don’t hate on me for liking The Vow. You liked it too. Don’t lie.
Anyway, word has hit the streets (or actually, the “twitter-sphere” as Captain Dickson says in the film) that a sequel to the film is in the works. The news came from C-Tates himself after a fan asked him if he thought that a sequel to 21 Jump Street would be a good idea.
Personally, I’m conflicted. 21 Jump Street was such a great comedy and it should/would/could work beautifully as a standalone stroke of genius. But of course, in the consumerist Hollywood that we live in, that’s just not an option. The ending of the first film even left the possibility of a sequel open, but I always hoped it could be left to the viewers’ imaginations. With that being said, if done as well as the first film, I’d be totally open to a sequel. The first film did a great job at avoiding tired cliches and actually just…farting in the general direction of conventional storytelling.
Bringing back the original writer, Michael Bacall, and directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, would be the best idea, because no one else would be able to handle the characters like they did. Also, the entire cast would have to return or else it just wouldn’t work. And for the love of all that is holy, please make sure that Jonah Hill and Brie Larson stay together as a couple throughout the sequel. Please.
Men in Black IV Approaching as a Reality
Source: AV Club
Will Smith, the guy who says he “doesn’t want to be the sequel guy”, is in talks to star in Hancock II, Bad Boys III, and now Men in Black IV. Seems legit. Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad says that he believes the Men in Black series is “an ongoing franchise” but, “We don’t have clarity yet on how it should be done.” Again, seems legit. If you ask me, I think this is code for: Will Smith is pushing 50 and he’s going to hand down the franchise to his son, Jaden Smith, like it was his Grandfather’s watch.
Personally, the Men in Black formula only truly worked for the first film which is, in every way possible, a perfect sci-fi comedy. Few films have been able to reach the level of the original Men in Black, but the two sequels just kind of ruin the legacy and if they keep making them it’s just going to bury the original even more. As for other Will/Jaden Smith projects, we’ve got After Earth coming up, a film written and directed by the infamous M. Night Shyamalan.
M. Night gets a bad reputation for making The Last Airbender, a film I refuse to watch. But I think almost everything else he does is really quite fascinating. I’m one of the few defenders of The Happening and Signs is one of my favorite films. He has a chance to make this a really interesting movie, but judging by the viral video, this may end up being Will Smith’s first truly abysmal film that reaches (or degrades itself) to the levels of Battlefield Earth.
Abe Lincoln no longer hunting Vampires
In the most unpredictable decision made so far this year (please note the sarcasm), the Spielberg-directed Lincoln, starring Daniel-Day Lewis as our 16th President, is set to release on November 9th, three days after Election Day as well as in the midst of awards season. Does this news surprise me? Not at all, am I still excited to see Daniel-Day Lewis in a movie? Always, but it’ll be difficult for an actor even of his skill to top Bill Oberst Jr.’s portrayal of Lincoln, something he’s been doing for years now on stage.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this movie, especially because the cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adam Driver, Jackie Earle Haley, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, and James Spader, but Spielberg has lost his touch in recent years and period pieces have to be done to perfection to truly work. Due to this, I remain skeptical. I just hope it’s not another “Oh, look! Daniel-Day Lewis is in this and we’re releasing it during Oscar season so GIVE US A BEST PICTURE NOMINATION PLEASE!!!!” If you want a perfect example of that, watch Nine. Well, don’t watch it…but, yeah. Nine. That.