The Signal: The Alien City Ending Explained | ScreenRant

The Signal’s ending was literally out of this world – here’s the alien test city explained. The Signal is a 2014 sci-fi thriller starring Brenton Thwaites and Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal). The story revolves around three MIT students who try to track down a rival hacker, only to end up in a mysterious facility run by Dr. Damon (Fishburne). Apparently, the three students have been exposed to a signal of extraterrestrial origin, but it’s up to main character Nic to figure out the truth behind the signal and why he’s being held.

The Signal is a low-budget sci-fi movie that features some great performances, an emotional story, and a shocking twist ending. The entire story builds towards the final reveal, and it’s satisfying to rewatch the movie and see all the clues that were seeded throughout. Despite the modest budget, The Signal also features some impressive visuals and special effects.

Related: The Blackcoat’s Daughter Timeline & Ending Explained

Most of The Signal plays out like a mystery, with Nic eventually coming to believe he’s being held in Area 51. His logic is backed once he realizes his legs have been amputated and replaced with artificial limbs made of alien technology. Nic eventually breaks himself and his girlfriend Haley, played by Ready Player One’s Olivia Cooke, out of the facility using his new powers. The pair are chased across the desert and encounter a number of strange characters in the outside world, but the final scene finds Nic cornered by Damon and his men on a road. Haley is taken away and a furious Nic uses his new alien limbs to run right past Damon’s roadblock – only to smash through a glass barrier.

The final moments of The Signal find Nic in a strange, warehouse-style area, and he looks back to see Damon remove his hazmat helmet to reveal he’s some kind of alien wearing a human face. Nic then looks outside the window in front of him to see he’s in outer space, realizing he was abducted by aliens for the purpose of integrating human beings will with their technology. The final shot reveals he’s inside an alien test city, built to look like Earth, which is part of a larger spaceship.

The Signal’s twist recalls 1998’s Dark City, which featured a similar premise involving aliens constructing a city to use as a test environment for human beings. Some critics found the reveal too abrupt and reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, but in hindsight, the story was building towards this reveal the whole time and uses the concept to flesh out its themes of emotion overcoming logic. The movie also regularly pulls the rug out from viewers, so it only makes sense to end on the biggest rug pull of all.

Next: What To Expect From The Twilight Zone Season 2

2019-07-13 05:07:27

Padraig Cotter

Men in Black: International Trailer #2 Reveals a New Alien Threat

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are saving the world (and looking good) in the new trailer for Men in Black: International. In the years since Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith finished their run on the Men in Black trilogy, Sony has toyed with various ideas for continuing the franchise. The studio came shockingly close to crossing the property over with their Jump Street movies at one point, but ultimately abandoned the concept in favor of a more traditional continuation with International.

International is set in the same continuity as the first Men in Black trilogy, but takes place at the MIB organization’s UK branch (rather than the U.S.) Emma Thompson is reprising her Men in Black 3 role as Agent O here, with F. Gary Gray (The Italian JobFate of the Furious) directing, and Thor: Ragnarok duo Hemsworth and Thompson filling the hole left by Jones and Smith. With less than two months to go before the movie hits theaters, its marketing machine is revving up again.

Related: Thor 4 Directed by Taika Waititi Has Been Pitched, Says Tessa Thompson

The previous Men in Black: International trailer introduced Thompson as M, a new MIB recruit who gets partnered with the more experienced and laid-back Agent H (Hemsworth). Overall, the trailer focused less on the film’s plot and more on the sci-fi gizmos and gadgets that M and H used to fight all manner of law-breaking aliens on their adventures. Sony has now unveiled a new promo that shines the spotlight on the actual narrative, as you can see below.

As mentioned, the new trailer delves a little deeper into the plot-line here, including M’s backstory and how she comes to join the Men in Black in the first place. The preview further highlights Liam Neeson as High T, the head of MIB’s UK branch, and Kumail Nanjiani as the voice of the tiny alien Pawny, along with a fresh threat in the form of shape-shifting extraterrestrials that are capable of impersonating MIB agents. And as you might expect, there are jokes that play on the cultural differences between the UK and U.S. (see: the steering wheel bit), as well as the fact that it’s called the “Men in Black”, yet features several women among its ranks.

On the whole, Sony appears to have taken an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to continuing the Men in Black franchise here. It’s not necessarily a bad strategy, either; there’s still plenty of fun to be had with this universe – from its zany aliens to its equally over the top sci-fi technology – and the addition of new actors (especially Hemsworth and Thompson, who continue to have great onscreen chemistry) should help to liven up the formula in International. That being said, the film is clearly aiming to kick off a new series of movies following M and H, so we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s really something audiences are interested in.

NEXT: 2019 Summer Movie Preview – The 20 Films to See

Source: Sony

2019-04-25 03:04:08

Sandy Schaefer

Alien: Covenant Neomorph – Origin, Life Cycle & Xenonomorph Differences

Alien: Covenant introduced the Neomorph, a terrifying, albino take on the classic monster, but where did this creature come from and how is it different from the original Xenomorph? The filmmakers behind the original Alien had a hard time coming up with a unique design for the creature until screenwriter Dan O’Bannon introduced director Ridley Scott to the artwork of H.R. Giger. Scott was instantly taken with Giger’s disturbing imagery, with the title beast based off his painting Necronom IV.

When Ridley Scott returned to the franchise with 2012’s Prometheus, he wanted to avoid bringing the original creature back. He felt decades of sequels and overexposure had rendered the beast harmless, so the movie became more of a spinoff than a true sequel. While Alien: Covenant started life as Prometheus 2, fan complaints about the lack of the Xenomorph led the studio to insist the creature return. This is why Covenant became something of a fusion between Prometheus and Alien.

Related: How H.R. Giger’s Disturbing Alien Concept Art Changed The Movie

Alien: Covenant also introduced a new monster dubbed the Neomorph. The notion of an albino creature first appeared in the original draft of James Cameron’s Aliens, where white drones were in charge of cocooning victims in the hive; this concept was ultimately dropped. While the Neomorph’s share similarities with the Xenomorph, they’re also quite different.

Like the original creature, the Neomorph has a complex life cycle. They are found on Planet 4 by the Covenant’s crew, where the local flora and fauna has been infected by the Engineer’s black goo, following villainous android David 8 (Michael Fassbender) unleashing the weapon on the planet’s previous inhabitants. This caused the growth of the Neomorph egg sack, a seemingly benign fungal growth that unleashes spores if disturbed. These almost invisible spores then target and enter an available host. This leads to the rapid development and growth of a Bloodbuster sack, which quickly erupts and kills the host after a few hours.

These newborns rapidly form into Neomorphs, which like the Xenomorph is eyeless and incredibly violent. Alien: Covenant shows they lack the intelligence of the title monster, however, and mindlessly attack any available target. They lack the iconic inner jaw of the Xenomorph and instead have detachable mouths like a Goblin Shark and are easier to kill, with some well-aimed rifle fire enough to put them down. Since the two Neomorph’s found in Covenant don’t last long, it’s unknown if they share other Xenomorph characteristics like producing eggs or cocooning victims.

The design for the Neomorph itself came from the first draft of Prometheus when it was known as Alien: Engineers. Engineers was a direct Alien prequel and featured eggs, facehuggers and a new take on the original creature called the Beluga-Xenomorph, a white creature that could squeeze itself through tight spaces. The notion of a xenovirus is also borrowed from author William Gibson’s unused draft of Alien III, where an airborne contagion can rewrite the DNA of victims and create human/xeno hybrids. Like the Neomorph, this virus also came from a fungal, egg-like sack.

The Neomorphs also form part of David 8’s experiments on Planet 4 with the black goo, in his attempt to build his “perfect” creation. Alien: Covenant somewhat controversially suggests it was actually David who created the Xenomorph, though its possible he just refined an Engineer design. The Neomorph proved to be a creepy new addition to the Alien life cycle and proved H.R. Giger’s original design is endlessly flexible.

Next: Alien: Isolation TV Series Suggests Ripley Didn’t Kill Original Xenomorph

2019-04-22 04:04:24

Padraig Cotter

How H.R. Giger’s Disturbing Alien Concept Art Changed The Movie

The Alien concept art designed by artist H.R. Giger helped transform the project from a b-movie into a genre classic. Given the lifecycle of the xenomorph itself, its somewhat fitting Alien also had a difficult birth. The idea was first conceived by writer Dan O’Bannon, who collaborated with director John Carpenter (Halloween) on a low-budget sci-fi comedy called Dark Star in 1974. The movie followed the aimless misadventures of a crew of astronauts, with one sequence finding Pinback – also played by O’Bannon – chasing a small alien creature through the ship’s vents.

This gave O’Bannon the idea of writing a scary movie based around the concept. During this period he also collaborated on director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s famously unproduced version of the novel Dune, where he came across the work of Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Giger’s concept art for Dune, which depicted his trademark biomechanical style, made a huge impression on O’Bannon. When that version of Dune collapsed O’Bannon concentrated on writing Alien with collaborator Ron Shusett instead.

Related: Alien: Isolation TV Series Suggests Ripley Didn’t Kill Original Xenomorph

The original version of the script was dubbed Star Beast, which was later changed to Alien based on the number of times the word appeared in the script. O’Bannon and Shusett had a hard time thinking of a unique way for the creature to get onboard the spaceship until the latter conceived of a parasite implanting an embryo into a crew member, which later eats its way out. The duo had trouble selling their script, with veteran low-budget producer Roger Corman (Death Race) the only one willing to make it, until the original Star Wars became a big hit in 1977. This led to a studio frenzy to greenlight any space scripts they had.

Alien producers Walter Hill (48 Hours) and David Giler rewrote the script and introduced Ripley, who was originally written as a male character. Without a doubt, the biggest design issue facing the project was the title monster itself. A number of artists took a stab at conceiving of the monster, but it wasn’t until O’Bannon introduced director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) to Giger’s work that it all clicked. Scott fell in love with the artist’s unique, nightmarish style, and felt his painting Necronom IV represented what the creature should look like.

Giger was thus hired as a designer, with his Alien concept art defining the lifecycle of the monster and the derelict craft. Giger’s beautifully designed monster suit still looked like a man in a rubber costume, but Scott decided to only show the creature in pieces so the audience’s imagination could fill in the gaps, making it even more terrifying. Giger’s Alien concept art is also responsible for the dead Space Jockey – a creature whose origins would be explored further in Scott’s 2012 Alien prequel Prometheus.

H.R. Giger’s Alien concept art helped transform the movie from something the studio considered a b-level monster flick to a classy, landmark sci-movie. Of course, the combination of script, direction, and casting played an important role too, but if it wasn’t for the Swiss artist’s singular Alien concept art the movie may never have captured audiences imagination the way it did. In fact, it’s doubtful the Alien franchise itself would have blossomed without his one of a kind version.

Next: Every Movie In The Alien Franchise, Ranked

2019-04-11 07:04:20

Padraig Cotter

Disney & Fox Promise More Alien & Planet of the Apes Movies

Today at CinemaCon, Disney laid out the future of its recently acquired 20th Century Fox movie franchises, and gave assurances that there is a future for the Planet of the Apes and Alien movies – among others. Disney recently acquired Fox (minus a few TV networks) for $71 billion, and the merger has left many who follow the film industry anxious, not only about Disney’s growing dominance and the inevitable layoffs that will follow the deal, but also about the future of Fox’s franchises.

Disney has carefully crafted its image as a family-friendly studio, focusing on films that are suitable for all ages. By contrast, Fox has a plethora of franchises built around R-rated movies, like Deadpool, Alien, and Predator. It seemed unlikely that Disney would simply leave these properties to stagnate after spending so much money acquiring them, and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn has previously said that Disney will use Fox as a way to make the kind of R-rated movies that it could never have made with a Disney label attached.

Related: Hobbs & Shaw CinemaCon Footage Description

Horn used much of Disney’s CinemaCon panel as an opportunity to lay out Disney’s plans for Fox movies. Emma Watts, Vice Chair of 20th Century Fox Film, also spoke positively about what Fox can do with the “vast resources” of Disney at its disposal. She promised that Fox “will continue to create new stories,” and listed a number of franchises that the studio considers to still have life in them, including Alien, Planet of the Apes, Kingsman, and Maze Runner. While this probably doesn’t mean that Fox has Alien or Planet of the Apes movies in active development, it is a sign that the studio is interested in building upon those franchises in the near future.

Part of the presentation was a sizzle reel that blended footage from Disney and Fox movies, both past and upcoming, to highlight the biggest successes of both studios. Overall, the CinemaCon presentation gave a clearer picture of how Disney and Fox will operate going forward. While Disney may select certain properties to absorb into the family-friendly side of the business (specifically, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four eventually joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Fox will be maintained as a separate brand that’s able to produce R-rated films and other projects that don’t quite fit with Disney’s image.

The Alien movie franchise is currently on hold following the disappointing box office performance of Alien: Covenant, though there are rumors of Alien TV shows being in development for a streaming platform. Meanwhile, the recent Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy firmly wrapped up its story at the end of War for the Planet of the Apes, but there’s obviously potential for more stories to be told in that world – for example, the apes building their new world without humans to interfere.

More: Alien Movies & TV Shows: The Franchise’s Future Explained

2019-04-03 09:04:35

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Students Remake Alien with Mind-Blowing High School Play

Students have remade Alien into a mind-blowing high school play. Ridley Scott’s legendary 1979 sci-fi horror film has inspired untold numbers of filmmakers and actors alike over the years, spawning a franchise that helped launch the career of Sigourney Weaver and utilizing the visions of such notable directors as James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet in successive installments.

This year marks the 40th year anniversary of Alien’s initial release and fans worldwide have been gearing up for that first ill-fated space journey by revisiting the film in participating theaters or at home, creating commemorative artwork and more. For their part, Twentieth Century Fox has already announced the screening of six original Alien-inspired short films, created by amateur filmmakers, as well as a brand new 4K restoration of the film on Blu-ray. Beyond this, there’s bound to be numerous surprises along the way, with some fans ready to go that extra distance to commemorate their favorite space-based horror film.

Related: James Cameron Hints At Potential Return To Alien Franchise

One group of Alien enthusiasts in particular have now taken the iconic film into some rather uncharted territory. According to The A.V. Club, a high school drama club in New Jersey has realized Alien as a stage production. The North Bergen High School Drama Club students built their own props, sets, and costumes out of recycled materials, painstakingly recreated to resemble those that appear in the original film. Check out the video below for a glimpse of the production’s Xenomorph costume as Ripley battles the deadly space creature, high school drama club style:

For anyone who’s ever seen Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, the similarities between that film’s precocious teen Max Fischer directing a stage production of Serpico and this ambitious Alien project are enough to put an instant smile on a lot of faces. The play ran for two nights, and judging by the amount of media attention it received, there were bound to be a lot proud parents and delighted audience members in attendance. Apparently, the creation of the play’s costumes, props, and sets took students eight months to complete, and as images of the finished products went viral, even celebrities like Patton Oswalt, Josh Gad, and Adam Savage were impressed enough to pass on their congratulations and praise via Twitter.

Aside from providing countless hours of entertainment, one of the greatest things about a film as revered as Alien is that it continues to inspire people decades after its release. Forty years on, the film still feels fresh and groundbreaking, influencing new generations to realize their creative impulses and to challenge the established norms. And while it may be true that in space, no one can hear you scream, as far as the North Bergen High School Drama Club’s brilliant stage production of Alien is concerned, on stage everyone can see you shine.

More: 14 Most Memorable Alien Species In TV and Movies

Source: The A.V. Club

2019-03-24 03:03:22

Mike Jones

Official Fan-Made Alien Short Films Releasing For 40th Anniversary

Official fan-made Alien short films will be released for the film’s 40th anniversary. Ever since its release in 1979, Ridley Scott’s Alien has taken on a life of its own. With its genuinely frightening build up of tension and classic jump scares, the sci-fi horror film eschewed any sort of premiere and quietly arrived on the scene to face a future unlike anything anyone could have predicted.

In time, Alien went from a single hit film to a billion dollar franchise that has, to date, morphed into everything from comic books to video games to clothing and action figures. What’s more, the original film’s basic premise – that an alien being finds its way aboard a space shuttle returning to earth after a seven year mission, and proceeds to wreak havoc upon its crew – has been so thoroughly mimicked by sci-fi-horror filmmaking in the years since 1979 as to render it a clichéd tactic in today’s films. And perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of Alien’s success has been the legitimization of its disgusting, horrific Xenomorph as an extremely popular and, even in some cases, beloved character.

Related: James Cameron Hints At Potential Return To Alien Franchise

Now, some 40 years since its initial release, Alien has once again inspired another generation of filmmakers. According to a press release from Fox, six filmmakers were chosen from 550 applicants on the crowdsourcing site, Tongal, to create their own short film based in the world of Alien. The six films are due to screen at Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, Chicago’s C2E2, and Anaheim’s Wondercon. Check out the teaser trailer below:

The filmmakers were given unprecedented access to the Alien franchise, including creatures and characters that they could incorporate into their own films. Once all six shorts have screened their way through the various conventions, a weekly release schedule has been set up with IGN as of March 29, after which the shorts will be available starting May 3 on the @AlienAnthology social channels, as well as The six films are: ALIEN: Alone, ALIEN: Containment, ALIEN: Harvest, ALIEN: Night Shift, ALIEN: Ore, and ALIEN: Specimen. Below are the synopses for each film:

ALIEN: Alone – Hope, an abandoned crew member aboard the derelict chemical hauler Otranto, has spent a year trying to keep her ship and herself alive as both slowly fall apart. After discovering hidden cargo, she risks it all to power up the broken ship in search of human life.

ALIEN: Containment – Four survivors find themselves stranded aboard a small escape pod in deep space. Trying to piece together the details around the outbreak that led to their ship’s destruction, they find themselves unsure to trust whether or not one of them might be infected.

ALIEN: Harvest  The surviving crew of a damaged deep-space harvester have minutes to reach the emergency evacuation shuttle. A motion sensor is their only navigation tool leading them to safety while a creature in the shadows terrorizes the crew. However, the greatest threat might have been hiding in plain sight all along.

ALIEN: Night Shift – When a missing space trucker is discovered hungover and disoriented, his co-worker suggests a nightcap as a remedy. Near closing time, they are reluctantly allowed inside the colony supply depot where the trucker’s condition worsens, leaving a young supply worker alone to take matters into her own hands.

ALIEN: Ore – As a hard-working miner of a planet mining colony, Lorraine longs to make a better life for her daughter and grandchildren. When her shift uncovers the death of a fellow miner under mysterious circumstances, Lorraine is forced to choose between escape or defying management orders and facing her fears to fight for the safety of her family.

ALIEN: Specimen – It’s the night shift in a colony greenhouse, and Julie, a botanist, does her best to contain suspicious soil samples that have triggered her sensitive lab dog. Despite her best efforts the lab unexpectedly goes into full shutdown and she is trapped inside. Little does she know, an alien specimen has escaped the mysterious cargo, and a game of cat and mouse ensues as the creature searches for a host.

If the trailer is anything to go by, these shorts look as though they’ve been well put together, with quality sets and effects to preserve the look and feel of the Alien franchise. It’s a unique way to celebrate 40 years of Alien, as well as a reminder of how relevant and inspirational the film remains, even today.

More: Alien Movies & TV Shows: The Franchise’s Future Explained

Source: Fox

2019-03-13 03:03:49

Mike Jones

Mysterious Social Media Posts Tease Alien Franchise Expansion in 2019

Social media accounts for Alien are teasing a major expansion of the series is happening in 2019. The xenomorph at the heart of the Alien series has been terrifying audiences since 1979, and has appeared in just about every medium imaginable; movies, video games, comic books, novels and even Funko Pop toys. Fans can’t seem to get enough of H.R. Giger’s nightmarish creation, but the movie franchise is currently in flux.

While Ridley Scott’s return to the series with 2012’s Prometheus was highly anticipated, it was met with very mixed reactions. Some loved that it was a big-budget, R-rated sci-fi movie that asked some big questions, but the screenplay and frequent lapses in logic frustrated viewers. While the film was more of a spinoff than a direct sequel, 2017’s Alien: Covenant attempted to bridge that gap, bringing back the title beast while continuing the storyline established in Prometheus. Sadly, Covenant’s polarized response and underwhelming box-office showed audiences weren’t taken with Scott’s bleak vision for the franchise’s future.

Related: There Is Reportedly No Script For Alien: Awakening

While Scott’s planned third prequel Alien: Awakening hasn’t officially been cancelled, it seems very unlikely to move forwards now. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the original movie, and now the official Alien Instagram account has posted a series of images detailing some nefarious experiments on the part of Weyland – Yutani. These images also tease that the Alien universe will expand in 2019.

There’s no solid indication of what these images are teasing, but three of them come with the hashtag Amanda Ripley, the daughter of franchise heroine Ellen (Sigourney Weaver). Amanda was the lead character in 2013’s acclaimed video game Alien: Isolation and is due to appear in the upcoming comic Alien: Resistance, in addition to a novelization of Isolation. These images are likely promoting the Resistance comic series, which launches January 2019. That said, reports indicate 2019 will be a big year of celebration for the series, with rumors of a new TV series coming to an unnamed streaming service, and a new game titled Alien: Blackout.

Perhaps these images are teasing some major Alien transmedia project, but fans likely won’t find out until 2019. While there’s seemingly no movement on a new movie, it appears Fox seriously considered ending The Predator with a tease indicating a future crossover. A Facehugger-style prop was built for an alternate ending, but they ultimately decided not to shoot this sequence. The future of the Predator and Alien movies is somewhat uncertain when Disney take over ownership of both properties next year, but reports suggest the company will focus on more family-friendly projects instead.

More: The Predator Alternate Ending Had Alien Franchise Connections

Source: Alien Anthology/Instagram

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2018-12-23 01:12:04

18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Daredevil Faces Kingpin & Bullseye In Stunning Season 3 Fan Poster

Matt Murdock finds himself in the crosshairs of Bullseye and Kingpin, thanks to a new fan poster for season 3 of Daredevil. The wait for new episodes has been a long one. The first series dropped on Netflix in early 2015 to critical acclaim. A second season rapidly followed, premiering less than a year later. The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen was last seen, however, forming The Defenders with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand. The series was met with a lukewarm reaction, with even star Charlie Cox criticizing the pace. Regardless, the team-up show ended on a huge cliffhanger, setting up promising things for Daredevil season 3.

Daredevil will pick up with the world still believing Matt and Daredevil to be dead. Secretly, however, he will still be recovering from his injuries at a nunnery. Wilson Fisk’s release from prison – despite still being in FBI custody – however, will draw him back from the shadows and into conflict with a nemesis that fans have been eager to see since the show was first announced. Bullseye was teased via an Easter egg in season 1 but has officially been confirmed as a season 3 villain. A recent teaser even offered a first look at Bullseye in action.

Related: Daredevil Season 3 Villain Bullseye’s Comic Book Origins

A new fan poster created and uploaded on Twitter by artist Rico Jr plays out this dual threat in stunning fashion. The image finds Daredevil, in his full red outfit, staring down the literal bullseye of the iconic villain’s trademark symbol. The shadowy silhouette of Wilson Fisk looms large behind him, no doubt referencing his being the architect of Matt Murdock’s upcoming suffering. Check out the full image below:

The image is a striking one that fans will surely want hanging on their walls. As well as perfectly summing up the dynamics that will be on display in season 3, it looks like something itself straight from a comic.

In terms of the comic, season 3 will apparently put the more mythological elements such as The Hand on the backburner. Instead, Daredevil will serve as more of a crime thriller. This feels like as wise a choice as the brushstrokes that went into crafting the above image. The Netflix/Marvel shows were, after all, originally billed as a gritty, street-level interpretation of superheroes. While such mystical elements are, to a degree, able to work on Iron Fist, it only served to complicate the tone in past seasons of Daredevil.

Although the Netflix heroes technically exist in the world of The Avengers and alien invasions, the shows are best when exploring more character-driven stories. Rather than tackling immortal ninjas, Daredevil is better served using the concept of superheroes to explore relatable themes and issues, much like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones before it.

More: Screen Rant’s Daredevil Season 3 Set Visit Report

Daredevil season 3 releases October 19 on Netflix.

Source: Rico Jr/Twitter

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2018-10-10 01:10:09 – John Atkinson