Posts

The 10 Most Thrilling Chase Sequences In The Star Wars Saga, Ranked

All of the Star Wars movies are packed with exhilarating action sequences, from the destruction of the Death Star to the saga’s many lightsaber duels. Due to the characters’ use of spacecraft and landspeeders, a lot of those action sequences are chases. There have even been some great chases on foot in this galaxy far, far away.

RELATED: 10 Most Shocking Plot Twists In The Star Wars Saga

Although the fan reception has dipped up and down from the original trilogy to the prequel trilogy to the sequel trilogy, one thing is apparent in all three: exciting well-crafted action sequences. So, here are The 10 Most Thrilling Chase Sequences In The Star Wars Saga, Ranked.

10 Obi-Wan chasing General Grievous’ wheelbike on a varactyl

Few Star Wars fans would argue that Revenge of the Sith is the best prequel. When Obi-Wan arrives at General Grievous’ base on Utapau, he’s faced with four MagnaGuards, and while they seem to be a threat at first, he manages to crush three of them by dislodging an air vent above them with the Force before decapitating the fourth. Then, he faces Grievous himself.

After severing a few of Grievous’ robotic limbs, the General relents and hops on his wheelbike. Obi-Wan won’t let him get away, so he hops on his varactyl, Boga, and chases him through the wilderness of Utapau.

9 TIE fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon away from the Death Star

Against all odds, Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, and the droids managed to escape from the Death Star – albeit without Obi-Wan, who died fighting Darth Vader – after rescuing the princess from captivity and retrieving the plans for the Rebels. As they left in the Millennium Falcon, they were pursued by a couple of TIE fighters.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon’s 10 Finest Moments

Luke and Han went down to fire the blaster cannons on the bottom of the ship at them, and managed to pick them off. When Luke managed to blow up one of the TIE fighters, he bragged about it, until Han uttered the immortal words, “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.”

8 Anakin’s podrace

“Now, this is podracing!” While this is technically more of a race than a chase, it is an exhilarating vehicular sequence involving two opposing parties, so it’s basically a chase. As soon as the podrace boils down to Anakin and Sebulba’s intense rivalry, it becomes a chase.

A lot of Star Wars fans were disappointed with The Phantom Menace, because it took their childhood and reduced it to political commentary on trade deals, but as the movie’s big action sequence at its midpoint, the podrace is pretty exciting – and it also introduced the idea of spectator sports in the Star Wars universe, which was an interesting development.

7 TIE fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon through the wreckage of a Star Destroyer

The distinction of the airborne action sequences in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that they take place in the skies of various planets as opposed to space. Whether the Resistance was blowing up Starkiller Base from inside its atmosphere or arriving to battle the First Order at Maz Kanata’s castle, the dogfights looked more like real dogfights, because they took place in the skies.

Another example is when Rey and Finn flee Jakku in the Millennium Falcon and get pursued through the downed wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer by a couple of TIE fighters. It was a spectacular sequence.

6 Anakin and Obi-Wan chasing Zam Wesell across Coruscant

Despite being mostly maligned by the Star Wars fan base, Attack of the Clones has a few great action sequences, like the scene in which a captured Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme are forced to fight malicious alien creatures in a gladiatorial arena. One of the early sequences sees Anakin and Obi-Wan chasing a bounty hunter named Zam Wesell across the urban landscapes of Coruscant.

With neo-noir visuals inspired by Blade Runner and whizzing camera movements, George Lucas created a chase scene that’s as beautiful as it is thrilling. It also builds on Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship as a Padawan and his Master.

5 Jango Fett chasing Obi-Wan from Kamino

Obi-Wan heads to the rainy planet of Kamino when he discovers that it has been erased from the Jedi Archives. There, he finds that the bounty hunter Jango Fett has been cloned to create a mysterious army. Jango and his son, Boba, pursue Obi-Wan through an asteroid field and Obi-Wan manages to avoid Jango’s detection by landing on the side of an asteroid and hiding in plain sight.

Boba takes note of this, and it explains how he later knows that Han Solo had landed the Millennium Falcon on the side of a Star Destroyer to avoid being captured by the Empire.

4 The Death Star trench run

In his quest to destroy the Death Star, Luke Skywalker was pursued by a couple of TIE fighters along the superweapon’s trenches. These TIE fighters included an experimental TIE fighter prototype piloted by Darth Vader. Vader was able to use the ship’s blaster cannons combined with the Force to obliterate a bunch of Rebel ships – but not Luke’s.

At one point, it seemed like Luke might not make it to the air shaft he needed to shoot in order to blow the thing up, but then Han and Chewie gloriously returned to show off their newfound heroism and shoot the TIE fighters off Luke’s tail.

3 Han and Qi’ra escape Corellia in a speeder

Although Solo: A Star Wars Story was criticized by fans because its existence wasn’t strictly necessary, it was a rollicking intergalactic adventure set in everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away, so why complain? The movie opens with Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo and Emilia Clarke’s femme fatale Qi’ra escaping from a Corellian gang that they owe money to by hopping into a speeder and gunning it out of there.

RELATED: Every Star Wars Opening Scene, Ranked

The scene was great fun – like a Star Wars-ian car chase – with the only downside being that it led to the two splitting up to fight for Imperial forces, which dragged down the movie’s second act.

2 The speeder bike chase through the forests of Endor

Luke spends a lot of the final battle in Return of the Jedi up on the second Death Star, dueling with his father in the Emperor’s throne room. However, when it all kicks off, he’s down on the surface of Endor.

The Rebels have to take out a couple of Scout Troopers that are guarding the Empire’s tech, and part of this involves Luke and Leia hopping on a couple of speeder bikes and racing the troops through the woods. The bad guys all end up crashing into trees or flying from their speeder bikes, but Luke and Leia’s Force sensitivity keeps them safe.

1 The Empire pursuing the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field

Despite the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field being 3,720 to one, as C-3PO points out, Han Solo decides to try his luck. The Empire is close on the Millennium Falcon’s tail and the chances of making it out alive are looking slim, so Han decides to give navigating an asteroid field a go.

Most of the TIE fighters don’t make it through to the other side, but then TIE fighter pilots don’t tend to be as skilled at the controls of a starship as Han Solo. The Empire Strikes Back is full of exciting action sequences – this is just one of them.

NEXT: 10 Greatest Battle Sequences In The Star Wars Saga


2019-07-19 01:07:06

Ben Sherlock

Elaine Chase Interview: Magic Arena Jumps Into Esports

Vice President, Esports for Magic: The Gathering Elaine Chase is ready for Magic to kick the door down and enter the world of esports in a big way. After over twenty years spent working for Wizards of the Coast, Chase is a veteran of the gaming industry and has been integral in Magic’s growth into the dominant tabletop presence it is today. Now, her and the rest of the company have their eyes set on an even bigger prize: the lucrative and burgeoning esports scene, which was tagged to make upwards of $900 million in revenue in 2018 alone. That’s why Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are launching Magic esports, an esports program that will infuse Magic: The Gathering Arena and paper Magic with an extra $10 million in prizes in 2019.

We spoke with Chase about the launch of Magic esports and the company’s lofty goals regarding Magic’s place within the online scene, and she revealed some exciting details about how the new program will dramatically alter the landscape of Magic – both in its digital and paper forms. With the esports industry growing at a rapid pace, Chase and Wizards of the Coast are finally ready to launch Magic: The Gathering into the future of competitive gaming.

Related: Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast Announce Magic esports

Obviously this announcement is a lot to unpack, so the first thing I wanted to ask was just, how long has the decision to launch Magic esports been in the works?

Elaine Chase: So, as you know Magic has been around for 25 years, we’re in our 25th anniversary, and we’ve been pioneers in a lot of different spaces over those 25 years right – we’re the first, and I think the best, TCG in the world, we were the first digital TCG when Magic Online released in 2002, we were the first competitive gaming with the Pro Tour when it launched in 1996 – but for us, coming out with MTG Arena as a new, modern digital platform, to be able to play the awesome game of Magic, is a perfect opportunity for us to expand on our legacy in competitive gaming and with Magic and really make a big splash and a big push into esports proper.

So it’s something that you’ve been planning for a number of years at this point?

Elaine Chase: Yeah, it’s really been baked into the entire strategy of MTG Arena. MTG Arena was built from the ground up to be just as much fun to stream and watch it as it is to play it, and it is going to  be that entry into esports for us.

How much of Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast’s stance on Magic: The Gathering and esports, and how much it is going to impact the future of Magic, has changed with the reception of Magic Arena?

Elaine Chase: We’re very much building a system that in 2019 has ten million dollars in prizes on the line across both MTG Arena and tabletop. We’re building the system to leverage our legacy that we have in tabletop competitive gaming and even amplify that as we build it side by side with the MTG Arena Esports program, so the two of them kind of intertwine and compliment each other.

Was it always the plan to split the prize pools for this evenly between paper and Arena, or did that change because Arena has become so popular so quickly?

Elaine Chase: It’s always been the plan for us to kind of look at both MTG Arena and tabletop as key pillars of the business. To be honest, one isn’t more important than the other, we want players to be able to play Magic when and where they want to play Magic, and we want to be able to support their choice either way.

Magic esports is described as allowing “all Magic players the opportunity to compete.” Are you referring to both casual and competitive players, and how will you get both those groups to compete?

Elaine Chase: Our program has two main pillars to it. One pillar is the formation of the Magic Pro League, which is us creating a new level of professional play, with a league that’s comprised of 32 of the highest ranked players from around the world. So those players are going to be kind of the core of what you see stories built around as the events unfold over the course of 2019. But those MPL players will be playing against challengers from the community who have a chance to qualify both in tabletop and in MTG Arena and to be able to play in those Mythic Championships and challenge those MPL players.

The 32 players are going to be a major part of this program. Is this a new step in player branding for Wizards?

Elaine Chase: Certainly! We want to be able to take our players who have proven themselves as the world’s greatest Magic players throughout our tabletop competitive scene and kind of help them with the transition into MTG Arena esports.

Quick question on the 32 as well – is there already a system built into place on how you’re going to determine the 32 initially

Elaine Chase: We’ll be talking about the player roster over the next couple of weeks.

Now with Arena being a major point of focus – and I know this has been asked several times before but maybe not in the context of Magic esports – where does Hasbro and Wizards see Magic: The Gathering Online fitting into this?

Elaine Chase: Magic Online offers a fundamentally different experience than MTG Arena. Magic Online continues to offer all of the cards throughout Magic’s robust history and lots of different formats in play that MTG Arena doesn’t focus on. MTG Arena is really focusing on the best fun way to play front list Magic and all the new cards that are coming out. So Magic Online will continue to exist and to support that kind of extended card list and format play.

That being said, Modern continues to be one of the most popular formats in Magic. Is there any kind of inclination or planning that might see that implemented in Magic Arena in the future?

Elaine Chase: Right now we’re focusing on getting the game through open beta and leading up to our wide launch and we’ll consider other kinds of formats and card sets and things like that in the future.

I know that there’s been a lot of discussion within the pro player community about how Magic can help its players out, how it can push esports further, and Magic kind of responded to that recently with the introduction of Pro Player Consultants. How much input did they have in the way Magic Pro League is being structured?

Elaine Chase: Significant. We’ve been working very closely with them, they’ve been giving us blunt and brutal and honest feedback as we’ve built the program, which has been wonderful. It’s really given us a pipeline into the players’ thoughts and minds and wishes and desires.

Is there any information yet on how Magic esports is going to affect things like the Pro Player Club?

Elaine Chase: Players in the MPL, and other players who are the challengers who are able to rise through the ranks and have good finishes in those Mythic Championships, will end up getting ranked based on their performances in those Mythic events, and the Pro Club itself will end up phasing out over 2019.

So the pros and challengers will be ranked by Mythic events – is there going to be a ranking system for the vast majority of Arena players [who might not play these events] as well?

Elaine Chase: Over the next couple weeks we’ll be talking more about MTG Arena ranking systems.

Arena is eventually going to have to deal with Standard rotation and players having cards that aren’t useable anymore. Are there any plans in place already on how Wizards is going to handle that?

Elaine Chase: Our intent for sure is to have Arena’s Standard plus format. We don’t have any details to share on exactly what that looks like but don’t worry, players will still be able to use all their cards that rotate out.

You said that there were a lot of changes coming for the Pro Players club. Does that mean there are a lot of changes coming for Grand Prix and Pro Tours as well?

Elaine Chase: The Grand Prix schedule for 2019 is going to remain exactly how it has been announced. It’s still a very critical part of our program and rewards 2 and a half million dollars in prizes alone by itself in its dozens of events that it has throughout the world. The Pro Tours themselves are actually going to be transitioning into Mythic Championships themselves. We’re making it different because we really want to separate out the professional Magic players in the MPL from the tournaments that are open to the public that can come in and challenge them. So we’re unifying all our flagship championship events under the banner of Mythic Championships whether they’re in tabletop or MTG Arena.

Will the World Championships still be separate from that banner?

Elaine Chase: The end of 2019, the capstone event is going to be a spectacular World Championship event, and we’ll have more to talk about [regarding] that as the year starts up.

Does this mean we’ll see less of the top professional players playing paper Magic?

Elaine Chase: All of the players in the MPL are also invited to all of the tabletop Mythic Championships so you’ll see them playing in both platforms.

Will the Mythic Championships that are online and the paper ones coincide in any way or are they separate from each other?

Elaine Chase: They’re separate events.

We’ve got this big outline for 2019 for Magic Arena, obviously there’s a lot that’s going on and that hasn’t been announced yet, but what does the next year look like? Where do we see Arena in five years?

Elaine Chase: MTG Arena is really going to move forward as becoming the best digital experience of the Magic trading card game as it can possibly be and that means figuring out what are the features and experiences and formats that players want that we can respond to most effectively. In terms of esports, our restructuring here of our entire program is really a long-term commitment to a comprehensive esports program – but I will say the one thing I know for sure is that we don’t know everything. Because with such a massive undertaking, and the introduction of something as big as MTG Arena esports, I’m sure there are things we’re going to learn this year and we’re going to want to adapt and be flexible as we move into 2020 and the future.

Are there any sponsorships lined up for the esports program? Is it entirely Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro?

Elaine Chase: We don’t have any sponsorships to announce at this time.

How much internal discussion and work is going into MTG Arena on mobile and Mac? Especially with the esports announcement, being accessible to be a big priority now.

Elaine Chase: Being accessible certainly is. As I said before though, we’re really focused on getting the PC version of MTG Arena up and running and the best it possibly can be to go to a wide launch and then we’ll start talking about other platforms after that.

Do you have any target windows for wide launch on MTG Arena yet?

Elaine Chase: Nothing to talk about at this time.

Are there any concerns right now that the overlap of Arena, Magic Online, and paper Magic is going to burn players out and maybe cause a bit of cannibalization in any of those areas?

Elaine Chase: Actually it’s the exact opposite. We find that when players can choose when and where to play Magic on their own schedule and in the way that makes the most sense to them they actually get more engaged and we see players who pick up Magic in a digital form start going into picking up physical cards and moving into Friday Night Magic and vice versa.

With the introduction of Magic esports, will we see Magic Arena at other online venues, things like Dreamhack – I know Magic’s already had a presence at some of those, are you looking to get Arena as a major competitor there too?

Elaine Chase: We don’t have anything to announce at this time, but I will say that both this and the sponsor question that you had before, we’ve definitely built our esports program to be something that’s attractive and lucrative for everyone from the pros to players and to partners, so nothing to announce now but we’ll see what happens.

Ok, so at the very least, player sponsorships are on the table.

Elaine Chase: Yep, correct.

Do you anticipate there being more Arena and paper Magic crossover the way we had Guilds of Ravnica prerelease kits give out digital codes for Magic: The Gathering Arena?

Elaine Chase: The digital codes in the prerelease kits were very popular and were very successful. So we’re going to be looking for ways to make sure that players are able to sample both platforms and figure out what makes the most sense for them.

Who does Wizards see, if anybody, as their competitors in esports right now?

Elaine Chase: Well, there’s a lot of competitors in esports. Esports has really grown over the last couple years especially, but we wanted to make sure that when we came into this space, we were able to come in in a very big and bold way and kind of reassert our dominance in the TCG space. Like I said before, we were the first, and I still believe the best, TCG out there and I expect nothing less from our esports presence.

Are there any plans to reach out to some of the pros who have kind of lapsed into other games but are still an online presence for Magic as well? Guys like Brian Kibler, Stan Cifka?

Elaine Chase: The first big kick-off event that we have at PAX East in March is going to be a million dollar prize pool invitational. The 32 players in the MPL are going to be participating in that, and then we’ll be talking about who else is invited to that elusive tournament as we get into January.

We’ve been talking about the formats a little bit on Magic Arena and what’s going on there. I know that the Streamer Events got introduced recently – what’s been the feedback from players so far on that?

Elaine Chase: The Streamer Events have been received super positively both from the streamers themselves and the players who get to participate in these cool, unique formats. We are really fully embracing our streamer community and trying to do everything we can to help amplify them and their love for MTG Arena.

Do you think in the future there’s a possibility we’re going to see events that are not necessarily streamers but are the pro players themselves as well?

Elaine Chase: It could be a possibility.

I was just curious – how much of the esports league and the Magic Pro League was influenced by the very vocal players over the past year in professional Magic, thinking specifically of Gerry Thompson’s protest of Worlds?

Elaine Chase: To be honest, we’ve been working on this esports program ever since we started working on MTG Arena. So this has been in the works for a very long time.

So no real influence there, just kind of business as usual?

Elaine Chase: Well, I mean we’re always trying to be responsive and listen to our players, and kind of understand where there friction points are and how we can make things better.

With these new Magic Pro League standings, or the 32 players involved, will there be more opportunities for these players to kind of jump into streaming with partnerships with Wizards?

Elaine Chase: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, the players in the MPL have been offered contracts that are both a combination of play and streaming contracts that are worth $75,000. So you’ll be able to follow all of your favourite pros and watch them stream.

Is that $75,000 annually for the contract?

Elaine Chase: For 2019.

Do you know how rotation of those 32 players is going to be handled, or is that something that’s going to come up later?

Elaine Chase: That’s something that’s going to come up later. As I said, we want to make sure that we’re being very flexible and ready to adapt as we learn, as we go through this year.

With the introduction of player contracts, is this kind of Wizards finally saying, being a professional Magic player is something you can do full time on your own?

Elaine Chase: Well this is us creating a new level of professional play and a way to give players a platform and a model to kind of build their own brand, build their own skills, to let them comfortably play Magic and build up their streaming presence at the same time.

Are there any plans in those contracts to have these players produce written content for Wizards as well?

Elaine Chase: Not at this time, although many of them on their own already have contracts with some of our biggest Magic strategy sites.

Are there any plans to introduce something like the Holiday Cube drafts that we see on Magic Online into Arena?

Elaine Chase: I don’t have any information to share on that.

How do you envision this Magic esports 2019 season impacting the future of Magic as a brand?

Elaine Chase: I very much see Magic esports being a thing that can help us introduce Magic, especially via MTG Arena, to a whole host of new players. Especially players who might play TCGs today but have never really tried Magic. Being able to have the content and the events that are broadcast out on Twitch and have our players out there streaming, I really see it as a way to get Magic in front of a whole new audience of potential players.

Will ChannelFireball be involved in these Mythic Championship events as well?

Elaine Chase: ChannelFireball is responsible for all the Grand Prix events, and as we’ve previously announced those tabletop Mythic Championships will be held at the MagicFests that they host.

So online is going to be handled separately then?

Elaine Chase: Yes, MTG Arena events will be handled separately.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Elaine Chase: We’re really looking forward to that $1 million dollar prize pool Invitational kick-off at PAX East, and the biggest thing I would say to people out there who want to get involved is to download MTG Arena and to start building up your skills and your reputation today and get ready. I hope to see you in game!

Thank you!

More: Magic Arena Gets Overdue Friend Challenges



Source link
2018-12-07 01:12:10

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!



Source link
2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Assassin’s Creed: 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the latest installment in Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game franchise – has finally landed on shelves. Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey gives players the opportunity to assume the role of a mercenary from either Athens or Sparta, and to take part in a mythology-infused recreation of the Peloponnesian War.

The game features an even greater emphasis on the RPG elements first introduced in its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and boasts multiple endings that are triggered by the player’s actions. Odyssey also sees the return of the controversial Hitbox combat engine which debuted in Origins – albeit in a significantly enhanced form. Thanks to these and other challenging core mechanics – not to mention the daunting size of the game’s virtual environment – Odyssey should prove suitably tough for more casual gamers. But for seasoned veterans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise? Not so much.

Indeed, gamers who have followed the series since the very first entry way back in 2007 aren’t likely to struggle. On the contrary, we expect them to flourish, putting to good use the skills and knowledge they’ve gleaned from the past 11 games in the series – not to mention the six spin-off entries – to finish the main quest in record time.  This will leave them free to start focusing on tracking down Odyssey’s hidden Easter eggs, secret areas, and other bonus content clueless rookies don’t have a chance of tracking down unaided.

Here’s a list of 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

20 Find The Legend Of Zelda Easter Egg

Of all the many classic video game franchises, few are as unanimously beloved by both gamers and developers alike as The Legend of Zelda series. The team at Ubisoft clearly rank amongst this iconic Nintendo series’ admirers – as the easter egg they tucked away in Odyssey proves.

In a tip of the hat to the most recent Zelda instalment, Breath of the Wild, a Korok – a small humanoid figure made out of clay, flower petals and twigs – can be found on the Pandora’s Cove coastline. Although this hidden tribute is now the most well-known Easter egg in the game, experts had no trouble tracking it down on their own within mere days of Odyssey’s release!

19 Achieve The Secret Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks a dramatic change in direction for the franchise – from purely action/adventure outings to something closer to an action/RPG hybrid. This is reflected in how important the player’s actions are to the game’s overall narrative, and in particular, how that narrative reaches its climax.

Indeed, what the player decides to do – or just as importantly, say – will determine how events unfold next, and ultimately determine which of the game’s multiple endings they achieve.

Most players should be able to reach at least one ending.

If you complete every side quest and make all of the right decisions to unlock the secret, ultra ending, ensuring the best possible finale for your mercenary.

18 Visit Atlantis

As soon as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting was announced, fans immediately began speculating over whether the fabled lost city of Atlantis would be part of its virtual environment. The good news is that Ubisoft hasn’t missed a trick, and Atlantis does indeed count among the many sunken locations scattered across the game’s humongous map. The bad news? It’s highly likely that only experts will be capable of uncovering the most eagerly anticipated (not to mention coolest) secret area in Odyssey.

The steps involved are extremely taxing, requiring players to traverse treacherous terrain, solve fiendish riddles posed by the Sphinx and dispatch a bevy of mythological horrors like Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur!

17 Recruit Legendary NPCs Early

Over the course of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can enlist NPCs to serve as crew members aboard their ship, the Adrestia. Recruiting a high calibre crew is a great way to upgrade the Adrestia – so the trick is to bring legendary NPCs into the fold. Casual gamers will wait until they unlock these characters by completing quests, however experts are aware of a hidden mechanic that speeds up the whole process.

There’s a less publicized gameplay mechanic which enables you to recruit legendary NPCs by defeating them in combat using non-lethal takedowns.

Better yet, once your ship’s roster is made up entirely of legendary NPCs, you unlock the “Argonauts” trophy, too!

16 Regain The Cyclops Eye

One of the most frustrating moments in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives early on, when you’re forced to give up the Cyclops’ Eye during Sequence 1. It’s not exactly the most classy of disposals, either: to put it bluntly, you squeeze it up the rear end of a poor, unsuspecting goat. If you’re scratching your head over this last revelation, then just trust us: it makes sense at the time!

Rookies will write off the Eye as a lost cause, but experts up to speed on the game’s secrets won’t give up so quickly. By engaging in an exhaustive goat-hunting expedition in Kephallonia, they’ll recover this valuable artifact, earning the dubious “Stink Eye” achievement, as well.

15 Change Their Ship’s Figurehead

Long-time fans of the series will recall that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you could easily customize your ship’s decorative figurehead as part of the normal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that carries over to Odyssey – and only expert players are likely to work out the secret method of doing this.

For starters, you need to defeat a boss – not exactly a walk in the park itself, by the way – and then behead them.

Once this has been take care of, if you scroll through the inventory of ship upgrade options, you’ll see your new souvenir listed. Select it, and voila! The Adrestia will have itself a brand new (and rather creepy) figurehead!

14 Track Down All Of The Cultist Clues

The underlying mythology of the Assassin’s Creed franchise incorporates several shadowy organisations – and Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the series introduces the nefarious Cult of Kosmos, and players aiming to get the most out of game’s story need to track down and eliminate key members of the group. In order to do so, they’ll have to swap their mercenary’s helmet for their detective’s cap, as the cultists’ whereabouts are only revealed by clues sprinkled through Odyssey’s sprawling Ancient Greece setting.

Some of these hints can be uncovered with little effort, whereas others will prove elusive to all but the most seasoned of gamers!

On the plus side, all of this running around pays off, as only players who chase down every single cultist will get to experience the game’s whole story.

13 Unlock Evie Frye

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – the ninth video game in the main series – is headlined by twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Of the two siblings, Evie is arguably the more memorable – which is probably why she’s an unlockable character in Odyssey. Now, before you get too excited, bear in mind that Evie is a legendary NPC, so you won’t get to play as her directly.

Still, it’s incredibly cool to recruit her as a crew member on your ship, provided you’re an Ubisoft Club member with enough XP to afford her. See, unlocking Evie requires players to part with 7,500 XP in exchange for the “Master Assassin” badge, which only long-time fans of the franchise will have amassed!

12 Access Battle Royale Mode

Battle royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are currently the hottest thing on the block. Making the most of modern online multiplayer capabilities, games in this genre pit a pack of players against each other in thrilling, last-man-standing contests.

Obviously, this stands in stark contrast to the single-player, open world experience offered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – until experts stumble across the “Call to Arms” sidequest. Found by scouring the island of Melos, this mission – which requires skilled players to wipe out 99 consecutive enemies – represents a thinly-veiled attempt by Ubisoft to acknowledge (or should that be “cash in on”?) the popularity of the battle royale genre!

11 Find The Black Panther Easter Egg

Black Panther is currently the second highest grossing film of 2018, and with that success comes a considerable fanbase, too. At least some of the developers at Ubisoft fall within that category, if the Black Panther Easter egg included in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything to go by. As experts will have no doubt already discovered, the game contains a fairly faithful recreation of Black Panther’s two most notable scenes: the duels that occur at the base of a waterfall.

This is staged at the Gortyn Waterfall, where players can first spectate on the melee using Eagle Vision.

That’s not all, though: it’s also possible to clamber up the cliff where the fight is going down, and actually confront the pair of brawlers yourself!

10 Discover Sam Fisher’s Goggles

So far we’ve focused solely on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting – which disregards the fact that certain sections of the game are set in a present day safe house. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise’s convoluted (some would say downright insane) science fiction elements, just trust us when we say that this does make sense.

Regardless of whether or not you buy into this more far-fetched aspect of the Assassin’s Creed mythology, there are multiple Easter eggs to dig up during these segments. Not all of these relate to the franchise either – just ask the experts who’ve unearthed the iconic, three-lensed night vision goggles worn by Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell games!

9 Stumble Across The Sword In The Stone

The team at Ubisoft has done a remarkable job of recreating an utterly convincing (albeit wildly fantastical) rendition of Ancient Greece in Odyssey. This awesome attention to detail is reflected in almost every aspect of the virtual environment, particularly the character and weapon design. We say “almost”, because at least one item experts will undoubtedly come across whilst roaming the game map definitely does not fit the time period depicted: the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian legend. Fortunately, this gag is an intentional mistake on the developer’s part.

Unfortunately, you can’t remove this legendary blade from its Lakonia resting place.

That’s a real shame: historical accuracy be damned – there’s always a place for Excalibur in our armory!

8 Locate The Rabbid Figure

Another easter egg squirrelled away in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s modern era safe house setting, the Rabbid figure is hard to spot if players blitz through these sequences. However, experts tend to favor a more methodical approach – even when confronted by the franchise’s moments of less than engaging gameplay.

These long-time campaigners will cast their eyes over every inch of the safe house, which means snooping around each room, no matter how empty it appears to be. This will eventually lead them to the shelves of a particularly untidy room. Here, they’ll spy the Rabbid toy – a cute shout-out to Ubisoft’s all-ages Rayman franchise, accompanied by a line of dialogue (“Bwaah?”) associated with these bunny-like characters.

7 Acquire The Epic Unicorn Skin

It doesn’t matter what mythology we’re talking about: unicorns are invariably treated as an incredibly rare species. Certainly, this carries over to the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where players can indeed transform their horse into one of these awe-inspiring creatures – provided they can get their hands on a unicorn pelt.

They sport an eye-watering 6,400 Drachmae price tag!

Rookies who are feeling flush will plump for either the Black Unicorn or undeniably amazing (though sadly, non-flying) Pegasus skins, purchased with real-world cash from the Ubisoft Store. On the other hand, genuine experts prefer to earn their keep, and will trawl merchant stalls for the appropriately named, randomly-spawing Epic Unicorn skin, which leaves rainbow hoof prints.

6 Home Town Pride

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hail from Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters, based in Quebec. Like the citizens of any city or town, these guys and gals are proud of the place they call home – so much so that they managed to sneak a Quebec-related easter egg into the game!

It’s something that will almost certainly go unnoticed by less observant gamers, but experienced players – the type of people who scan the entire game environment for secret material – will discover a travel magazine whilst rifling through the safe house. The destination this mag is promoting? Why, Quebec, of course! True, it’s not exactly the most exciting bonus content in Odyssey, but it’s a nice touch all the same.

5 Put The Arena Spikes To Good Use

A key trait which separates veteran Assassin’s Creed players from newcomers is the willingness of the former to experiment with their surroundings. Take the spikes that dotted around the Arena in Odyssey.

Rookies will probably dismiss these as mere set dressing and completely ignore them once the fighting breaks out.

Don’t expect experts to make the same mistake, though. Already clued up on just how interactive the game worlds in the franchise can be, these gamers will immediately identify the potential for the spikes to deal damage to their opponents. The next thing you know, the edges of the Arena will begin to resemble a shish kebab vendor who trades in skewered would-be gladiatorial champions!

4 Reminisce About The Frye Twins

It turns out Assassin’s Creed Syndicate isn’t the only instalment in the franchise to take place in London – Odyssey does, too. True, the vast majority of the game is set in Ancient Greece, but its modern era sections unfold in London, something that won’t come as a shock to more attentive players.

After all, just by gazing out of the safe house windows, you can take in a decent view of London’s famous skyline, with what tourists would recognize as Big Beg especially prominent. What’s more, if you allow yourself a moment to properly contemplate the sight before your eyes, you’ll even trigger a line of dialogue that references Jacob and Evie Frye, the lead characters in Syndicate!

3 Discover All Of The Underwater Locations

As you might expect from a virtual environment that recreates the entire Aegean Sea, Atlantis isn’t the only submerged area on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey map.

The ocean floor of Ubisoft’s vision of Ancient Greece is littered with dozens of hidden locations brimming with valuable treasure.

Anyone prepared to embrace their inner Jacques Cousteau will be in for a real treat. That said, given the sheer amount of exploration required to pinpoint all of these sunken locations – fun fact: at 130km², Odyssey’s map is 62% bigger than the already massive world of Origins – we’d wager only experts will visit all of them.

2 Get All Of The Other Endings As Well

Sure, everybody wants to get the best possible Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ending – you know: the super secret, totally awesome one we mentioned earlier. Even so, part of being an expert is also having a completist streak, which is why we think they’ll figure out how to achieve Odyssey’s eight other possible endings, as well.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a feat, for two main reasons. First of all, this game is absurdly long – the main quest alone clocks in at 40 hours of gameplay – so repeating it again and again is no picnic. Secondly, they’ll need to ensure they get every single word and deed right, in order to arrive at their desired conclusion!

1 Climb Up The Naked Statue

Full disclosure: this entry is unashamedly juvenile in nature, given it revolves around players scaling up a male statue and dangling from part of its anatomy (three guesses which part). Regardless, we’re positive that even the most mature expert will decide to do just that, when they pass by this landmark early on in Odyssey – honestly, it’s just too hard to resist.

You’ll be rewarded for your childish antics if you do.

Performing this act initiates a wry line of dialogue from the player’s mercenary, which just goes to show that Ubisoft definitely predicted this becoming a thing. Although to be honest, they hardly needed the talents of one of Ancient Greece’s oracles to foresee it!

Did we miss out any other things that only experts know how to do in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!



Source link
2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped)

There are many forms of entertainment, but television is one of the most popular. Watching TV has been a popular pastime ever since the television was created in 1927. Programs can often bring families together or can even give people an escape from reality while they binge-watch their new favorite show. People used to have to pay for cable to watch their favorite shows, but now, watching TV is easier than ever with the mass amount of streaming services that have become available, such as Hulu and Netflix.

Some of the best shows are even exclusive to streaming services such as these. Even YouTube has expanded to include TV shows that come in a variety of genres. Needless to say, there is now a seemingly endless amount of programming that will entertain anybody and everybody.

Much like movies, there are a wide variety of TV shows and genres to pick from. TV networks seem to come out with a variety of different shows each year including sitcoms. While a network might release a few different sitcoms each year, a lot of them seem to flop and be forever forgotten by viewers. Other sitcoms stick around for several years resulting in many seasons worth of laughs.

Some of these shows have stuck around longer than they probably should have, but others were so terrible that they were canceled after only one season.

 Here are the 15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped). 

30 Massive Hit: The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory may have not launched any of the main actors acting careers, but the show certainly boosted them into the spotlight. The Big Bang Theory came on the air in 2007 thanks to creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. The show centers around a group of geeky and socially awkward friends who hang out with a waitress named Penny.

The show has become incredibly popular during its twelve seasons on the air, with many celebrities making cameos on the show.

The Big Bang Theory became so popular that it even received a spinoff about a young Sheldon Cooper.

29 Flopped: Caveman

The Cavemen were a popular marketing image used by the auto insurance company GEICO starting in 2004. While people don’t see a lot of the Cavemen anymore, they used to be incredibly popular. ABC thought they were so popular that they should launch a sitcom featuring the GEICO Cavemen.

The show was a massive failure with viewers and critics and was therefore canceled after one season. Thirteen episodes were created for the first season; however, only six of them aired in the U.S. Caveman was such a flop that it didn’t even get a DVD release to try and make some money back. 

28 Massive Hit: Friends

Friends was a massive win for NBC and ran for ten years from 1994 to 2004. The show just follows the lives of six friends living in Manhattan, but many people loved the idea of the show.

Friends was, and still is, adored by fans and critics. The show even landed the #24 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series. The sitcom did a lot for all of the actors involved in the series, but is often considered a turning point for Jennifer Aniston’s career. 

27 Flopped: Ferris Bueller

John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick was a hit back in 1986. Fans still love the movie to this day and even launched a “Ferris Fest” in Chicago to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. While the film was successful, the TV series was not.

The show titled Ferris Bueller followed Ferris and his friends’ everyday life at high school. What made the first movie fun was that Ferris wasn’t in school, but NBC apparently didn’t get that since they picked up the series in the ‘90s. The show didn’t bring back any of the original cast members and ended after one season. 

26 Massive Hit: That ‘70s Show

When That ‘70s Show first came on the air, there was no guarantee that the show would succeed. The show starred primarily new young actors, with little to no acting experience. That ‘70s Show was even the very first acting job for Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon. Thankfully, the risk paid off for Fox and became a massive hit.

The series lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. Besides, Kutcher, Grace, and Prepon, the show also starred Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, and Wilmer Valderrama. The cast did a phenomenal job for a total of 200 episodes, and then went on to have even more enriching careers in Hollywood. 

25 Flopped: That ‘80s Show

While That ‘70s Show was a massive hit, the success could not be repeated for That ‘80s Show. Even when Fox was still broadcasting new episodes of That ‘70s Show, they created a show about the ‘80s in 2002.

The show isn’t a direct sequel to the first show and the only way it connects to That ‘70s Show is that the main character, Corey Howard, is supposed to be Eric Forman’s cousin.

The show was created because of the popularity of That ‘70s Show, but people just weren’t interested in another show about a different decade. 

24 Massive Hit: The Office

The original The Office debuted on the BBC in 2001 and only stuck around for two seasons and a Christmas special. The concept for the show, however, was adapted eight different times for countries across the world.

One of the more popular versions of The Office came in 2005. The show starred Steve Carell as Michael Scott and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert. These two men have probably had the biggest career after the show ended, but the entire cast made a memorable group of characters that kept fans laughing for nine seasons. 

23 Flopped: George

George Foreman may be known for his impressive boxing career or even the famous George Foreman Grill, but he also got his own TV show in the ‘90s. The show ran for ten episodes, only nine of which actually ended up on the air. The show starred Foreman as a retired boxer who took care of troubled kids after school.

While Foreman’s show may have flopped, there is no doubt denying he was an impressive boxer especially since he won a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. 

22 Massive Hit: How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was a romantic comedy that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014. The show centered around Ted Mosby, who would narrate the adventures that led up to him meeting his wife.

Apart from Ted, played by Josh Radnor, the series had several other memorable characters played by Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan. While the majority of the series was met with critical acclaim, the final two seasons are often criticized for the way it wrapped up the show. A spinoff titled How I Met Your Dad or How I Met Your Father have been in development before, but the spinoff has had some trouble taking off. 

21 Flopped: 1600 Penn

NBC has had some hits over the years, but 1600 Penn was not one of them. The series was about a dysfunctional family who lived in the White House with their father.

Bill Pullman played the President of the United States starring alongside with Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, and Martha MacIsaac. The show ultimately didn’t do well with critics who slammed the show for having too many sitcom stereotypes and being a failed parody attempt of The West Wing. The show was canceled after one season and people aren’t really begging NBC to bring it back. 

20 Massive Hit: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

There has always been an abundance of cop dramas on TV, but not as many cop sitcoms. Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars the singer of the comedy band The Lonely Island Andy Samberg, as well as Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, and Stephanie Beatriz.

In May, Fox decided to cancel the show, but the very next day, NBC picked it up and renewed it for a sixth season.

So far, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has won two Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for several other awards.

19 Flopped: Dads

The show Dads was created by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and premiered on Fox in 2013. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi starred as two video game developers whose fathers move in with them. Not only was the show canceled after only one season, but it also got ripped apart by critics.

The series became known for depending on offensive gags to get laughs and having an array of unlikable characters. Along with Green and Ribisi, Brenda Song and Vanessa Lachey had recurring roles on the show.

18 Massive Hit: Modern Family

Modern Family is about three different families living in Los Angeles. Much like The Office, Modern Family was created as a mockumentary type sitcom. The series was created in 2009 and is still running on ABC. The show has won an impressive 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, which is partly because of the incredible cast.

Actors such as Ed O’Neil, Sofía Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet are some of the many talented people in the cast. While the series has been a massive hit so far, there are rumors that the show could be ending after season 10. 

17 Flopped: My Big Fat Greek Life

It isn’t every day that a romantic comedy will spawn its own TV show, but it certainly happens. My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002 and starred Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.

The movie revolved around the struggles that Vardalos’ character Toula had by marrying someone who wasn’t Greek. The TV series took place after the first film and starred Vardalos, but Corbett did not return. At first, the series had incredible ratings, but by the second episode, people had started to tune out, which led to CBS canceling the show. 

16 Massive Hit: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was created by Rob McElhenney in 2005 and is currently still running on FXX. The comedy is about five friends who run an Irish Bar in Philadelphia. McElhenney stars in the show alongside fellow comedians Charlie Day, Danny Devito, Kaitlin Olson, and Glenn Howerton. The show began with low ratings, which is why FX forced the show to add a big name actor.

Devito was added to the cast and they haven’t looked back since. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has received critical acclaim since the beginning, and now thirteen seasons later, it has become one of the longest-running live action comedies ever. 

15 Flopped: Joey

Many fans were disappointed to see Friends go off the air in 2004. While most of the cast moved on to other acting roles, one friend stuck around to try and get more laughs for NBC.

After Friends ended, Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani in the spinoff show titled Joey.

The show saw Joey move on with his life and try to make it big in Hollywood as an actor. The show couldn’t live up to the success that NBC saw with the first series and it was ultimately canceled after two seasons. 

14 Massive Hit: Arrested Development 

Arrested Development has been bringing on the laughs ever since the first episode aired in 2003. The show originally ran for three seasons on Fox but was then later picked up by Netflix. Netflix released season four in 2013 and the first half of season five this year.

The show truly has an ensemble cast, including actors Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Will Arnett. Tony Hale and David Cross also have the fan-favorite roles of Buster Bluth and Tobias Fünke. The entire series can be found on Netflix. 

13 Flopped: Bad Judge

While shows like Judge Judy or The People’s Court may be hilarious already, NBC set out to make an actual sitcom about a judge in 2014.

Kate Walsh stars as Judge Rebecca Wright, who works at the Los Angeles County Circuit Court by day, but is a party animal by night. NBC canceled the show before the season had even gotten halfway through, although the rest of the series came on the air as planned. Most people gave the show negative reviews, mainly criticizing Walsh’s performance and the fact that the show just wasn’t funny. 

12 Massive Hit: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation, or simply Parks and Rec., was a massive hit for a couple different reasons. Not only was the show a sitcom, but it doubled as political satire and a mockumentary.

The show ran for a total of seven seasons, but for many people, that wasn’t enough. Parks and Rec. had an incredible cast and memorable characters that only got more hilarious as the series continued. This show most notably included Chris Pratt who has recently blown up in Hollywood, starring in many massive summer blockbusters. 

11 Flopped: Mulaney

John Mulaney is no doubt a funny guy. He is a stand-up comedian and even wrote on Saturday Night Live; however, the sitcom he created in 2014 couldn’t grab people’s attention. The show starred Mulaney himself as a comedian in New York. However, people were concerned about the show before it even came on the air.

The show had an obvious resemblance to Seinfeld and concerns were solidified when the show premiered. With Mulaney doing poorly with critics and with not a lot of people tuning in, the show was canceled after only one season.

10 Massive Hit: Community

Community’s premise centers on Jeff Winger, who is a lawyer who lied about having a bachelor’s degree and is forced to attend a community college. Community lasted for six seasons, five of which aired on NBC and the last on Yahoo! Screen.

The show became a massive hit not just because of the impressive writing team, but because of its cast.

Veteran comedian Chevy Chase stars in the show alongside actors like Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover. The show also succeeded by parodying several television and movie clichés. 

9 Flopped: Rob

Some actors have a certain time in the spotlight before they fall out of it completely. Fans have seen this happen with Adam Sandler, despite his attempt to stay relevant, and also with his friend and co-worker Rob Schneider.

Schneider attempted to make a sitcom back in 2012 simply titled Rob and CBS actually picked it up. The show focused on Rob, a former bachelor who works as a landscape architect with OCD and who recently got married. Rob was canceled after eight episodes once the show was flooded with horrible reviews pointing out the show’s use of Mexican stereotypes and the weak supporting cast. 

8 Massive Hit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Before Will Smith was a massive Hollywood star, he starred in a show on NBC called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show was a huge hit and spawned a total of six seasons and 148 episodes. Will Smith starred as a fictionalized version of himself who goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air after he gets into one little fight and his mom gets scared. We all know how the rest of the story goes.

Besides Smith, the show is known for the talented cast members, the unique story, and the wide range of celebrity cameos.

7 Flopped: AfterMASH

After the show M*A*S*H ended, CBS came out with AfterMASH. Adequately titled, AfterMASH centered around Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulch who end up in a veteran’s hospital after the Korean War ended.

While M*A*S*H did quite well for the eleven seasons it was on the air, AfterMASH only lasted two seasons before getting canceled. AfterMASH just couldn’t capture what made the first show great, but that didn’t stop CBS from trying again. The TV network would try again in 1984 with WALTER, but thankfully that show didn’t even get picked up. 

6 Massive Hit: The Middle

The Middle was just an average show about a lower middle-class family, yet it still became a massive hit. The series was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who previously worked on shows like Roseanne and Murphy Brown.

The show was praised for accurately capturing the lives of a middle-class family while still delivering a hilarious story and unique characters. The Middle lasted for nine seasons before going off the air this year. While the show might be over, a spinoff revolving around Eden Sher’s character Sue Heck is currently in the works. 

5 Flopped: Angel From Hell

Those who don’t remember the sitcom Angel From Hell will be forgiven since the show wasn’t really anything to write home about. In the show Angel From Hell, Jane Lynch stars as a guardian angel for a girl named Allison, who was played by Maggie Lawson.

The show came after Lynch starred in the massively popular Glee, yet Angel From Hell didn’t get as big of a fan base.

The show was canceled by CBS after only five episodes at the beginning of 2016. While CBS didn’t initially air the remaining eight episodes, the rest of the season was released starting in July 2016. 

4 Massive Hit: Two and a Half Men

Even though Two and a Half Men often got mixed reviews, it was still a massive hit for CBS. The show ran for twelve seasons before going off the air, but the show started with Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen, and a young Angus T. Jones.

There was a lot of drama surrounding the show, especially after Sheen’s crazed antics, but the show continued never the less. After a feud with show co-creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was replaced on the show with Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher stayed on for the rest of the series until the show ended in 2015. 

3 Flopped: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Another one of Fox’s TV shows that flopped was called I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The show was about a pair of moms, played by Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran, who began to notice that their daughters were turning into the kind of teenagers who had bullied them in high school.

The show began its thirteen episode run in November 2011 and ended it in May 2012. After Fox decided to cancel the show, the remaining six episodes were never released in the U.S., but based on viewership, nobody was really watching anyway.

2 Massive Hit: Seinfeld

Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the show Seinfeld began in 1989 and lasted for nine seasons. The show was about a fictionalized version of Jerry Seinfeld who lived in New York and spent time with his friends. The show is often called one of the greatest sitcoms ever made and even landed the #2 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series.

Many shows have since tried to copy Seinfeld’s success, but none have been as original as this NBC hit. 

1 Flopped: My Mother the Car

As strange as it sounds, My Mother the Car was an actual sitcom back in the ‘60s. The show follows David Crabtree, who purchases a car that happens to be a reincarnation of his mother who passed away.

The show aired on NBC and starred Dick Van Dyke’s little brother Jerry, but even the Van Dyke gene couldn’t save the show. My Mother the Car was as strange as it was horrible, and not very many people cared for the show. NBC decided to cancel the program after just one season. 

Are there any other sitcoms that should have made the list? Sound off in the comments!



Source link
2018-10-07 04:10:06 – Christopher Fiduccia

Venom’s OTHER End-Credits Scene Explained

Venom not only has a mid-credits scene that overtly sets up a sequel with Cletus Kasady a.k.a. Carnage as the villain – it also has a post-credits scene that offers a sneak peek at upcoming animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Unlike the careful cohesion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures’ stable of Marvel properties are a little more complicated. Venom may or may not be in the same live-action universe as a slate of upcoming Spider-Man-adjacent movies like Silver Sable, Black Cat and the Jared Leto-starring Morbius, the Living Vampire. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, however, is explicitly set in a different universe (though possibly within the same multiverse).

Related: How Venom Sets Up A (Much Better) Sequel

Let’s break down the hilarity and action of the Into the Spider-Verse scene that follows Venom‘s end-credits, what it tells us about the world of young Miles Morales, and the insight it offers into Sony’s approach to marketing superhero movies.

  • This Page: Into the Spider-Verse and Miles Morales’ Universe
  • Page 2: What Happens In The Post-Credits Scene

Spider-Verse Is NOT Connected To Venom

Barring a surprise cameo by Tom Hardy, bursting into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like Eddie Valiant arriving in Toontown, it’s safe to say that Venom and Into the Spider-Verse do not share any continuity. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, and produced by The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Into the Spider-Verse embraces the Marvel Comics concept of a superhero multiverse by bringing many different versions of Spider-Man into the same universe.

Based on the most recent trailer, it looks like this crossing-over of universes is triggered by the Kingpin’s use of a super-collider. The protagonist of the movie is Miles Morales, a Brooklyn teen who was introduced in the Ultimate Marvel comics back in 2011, and takes up the mantle of Spider-Man in his universe after Peter Parker dies. Into the Spider-Verse is about Miles discovering that there’s an entire multiverse full of weird and diverse Spider-People out there, and working together with them to stop Kingpin from destroying Brooklyn.

We’re expecting to see a lot of cameos and references to the many versions of Spider-Man in the movie, but the trailers so far have introduced a group of six main Spider-People: Miles himself; a version of Peter Parker from a different universe; Spider-Gwen (a version of Gwen Stacy from a universe where she was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter); Spider-Man Noir (a black-clad Peter Parker from a noir-themed 1930s universe); Peni Parker (an anime schoolgirl who operates a spider mech suit); and Spider-Ham, a spider who was bitten by a radioactive pig.

Related: Every VENOM Easter Egg & Marvel Secret You Missed

Peter Parker Is Dead (In Miles Morales’ Universe)

As mentioned before, Miles Morales hails from the Ultimate Universe and was introduced after a story arc called The Death of Spider-Man, in which (you guessed it) Spider-Man dies. Specifically, Peter Parker dies in battle with the Green Goblin, saving Aunt May in the process and, in his mind, redeeming himself for failing to save Uncle Ben. Not long afterwards, Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider stolen from Oscorp, and develops all of Spider-Man’s powers – plus a couple of extras: camouflage, and the ability to fire a blast of energy from his hands, called a venom strike.

Venom‘s post-credits scene confirms that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be adhering closely to the Ultimate comics, as it shows Miles kneeling by Peter Parker’s grave – making it clear that the Peter Parker in his universe is dead. In the comics, Miles takes up the mantle of Spider-Man (despite having some qualms that it might be in “bad taste”) to honor the late Peter Parker. It seems as though the Miles of Into the Spider-Verse has done the same, but worries that he’s not a good enough Spider-Man to live up to Peter’s legacy.

The post-credits scene then takes a turn for the weird. As Miles is mourning Peter Parker, who should sneak up behind him in the graveyard but… another Peter Parker!

Page 2: What Happens In The Post-Credits Scene

What The Spider-Verse Post-Credits Tease Shows

The first meeting between Miles and Peter does not go well. Miles accidentally knocks Peter out and ends out attached to him by a string of webbing. Before he can untangle himself, the cops show up in the graveyard and – mistakenly thinking that Miles is carrying a dead body – start coming after him. Panicking, Miles flees the graveyard with the unconscious Peter in tow, but the extra weight slows him down. Peter’s body manages to get webbed to a passing train, and the train drags his body along with Miles – still stuck to Peter – dragged along behind.

What ensues is a downright hilarious chase through the streets of New York with the cops trying to keep up as Miles and Peter are pulled helplessly along by the train. Miles attempts to keep Peter from coming to harm, but he bounces off cars and other objects, getting increasingly beat-up. At one point he crashes into a snowman and gets the snowman head stuck on his own head, creating quite a bizarre spectacle for the citizens of New York as he passes by. Peter regains consciousness just as the train finally slows to a stop, and the scene ends there.

Related: Spider-Verse Theory: Peter Parker Is Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man

Overall it’s a pretty revealing clip – setting up the first meeting between Miles and Peter, and effectively communicating the premise of the movie to audience members who may not have been aware of Into the Spider-Verse‘s existence. Some fans may be dissatisfied with it – perhaps hoping for a glimpse at one of Sony’s other upcoming movies, or even a clip that teases Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, it’s smart for Sony to promote their next comic book movie wherever possible, and the Into the Spider-Verse clip is arguably a lot better than Venom‘s mid-credits scene.

Venom’s Mid-Credits Scene Sets Up Venom 2

Before wrapping up, it’s worth touching on Venom‘s mid-credits scene as well. This is a much more standard use of the mid-credits scene gimmick, overtly setting up Venom 2 (which seems like an inevitability, based on the first movie’s strong box office performance). It was all but confirmed that Woody Harrelson would be playing Cletus Kasady, the host of Venom’s symbiote offspring Carnage, but the mid-credits scene offers a first look at Harrelson in the role… and wearing a comically bad red wig.

Eddie Brock scores a hot interview with Cletus, a serial killer with many gruesome murders under his belt, and is taken to San Quentin Prison. There, Cletus is being held in a maximum security cell (a similar set-up to Harley Quinn’s cage in Suicide Squad), and is strapped into a straitjacket for good measure. He’s busy scrawling messages on the wall in his own blood when Eddie arrives, and the two of them confront each other coolly. A smirking Cletus asks if Eddie wants to hear about “the Carnage,” and the scene ends there.

It doesn’t look like Cletus Kasady has yet bonded with Carnage in this scene, but if Eddie’s visiting him in prison that Venom could well give birth to Carnage during the visit (symbiote reproduction is asexual and pretty casual) – thereby unwittingly handing Cletus the key to his escape.

More: Every Spider-Man Villain Confirmed For Into The Spider-Verse (So Far)



Source link
2018-10-07 02:10:15 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

SNL Distances Themselves from Kanye West During Weekend Update

The week after Kanye West’s unaired pro-Trump ramblings during the season 44 premiere of Saturday Night Live, a few of the show’s cast members have made their feelings regarding the incident clear. Though Leslie Jones had previously expressed hope that the show might steer away from politics, that definitely wasn’t the case with this episode, which began with Matt Damon guest starring as Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. And things only got more political from there.

West, who performed as the musical guest for the Adam Driver-hosted episode, donned a “Make America Great Again” hat for his final performance of the night. While performing “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi and 070 Shake, the rapper invited the SNL members up on stage to close out the night. Though the cameras were off by this point, West apparently took a break from singing to launch into an aimless rant that touched on Donald Trump, slavery, and the media that was captured by audience members like Chris Rock. A week later, the Weekly Update team was joined on air by Pete Davidson to discuss what happened.

Related: SNL Weekend Update Defies Censoring with ‘S-Hole’ Trump Sketch

Davidson began by commenting on West’s mental health and calling West’s speech “one of the worst, most awkward things” he’s ever experienced while working on the show, comparing it to an encounter with Chevy Chase. Davidson refutes West’s claim that he was bullied for wearing the MAGA hat but pointed out that everyone wears “stupid” things, including himself.

The comedian continued, addressing West’s belief that slavery isn’t real, and pointing out how wrong that is. He added that West is “a genius, but like, a musical genius,” thus insinuating that he doesn’t want to hear about politics from the rapper. Davidson then addressed the importance of mental health, albeit in joke form. West expressed that the person he is now is “the real” him, because he isn’t taking prescription medications. Davidson, who has been open about his own struggles with bipolar disorder, encouraged West to reconsider getting on medication, mentioning how well it works for him. He sent his point home with a well-received statement: “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jacka**.”

This is far from the first time that West has pushed the buttons of his peers in the entertainment community: a reference to the sunken place from Get Out sparked a tweet from the film’s writer and director Jordan Peele. He also hilariously sparked comparisons to Avengers: Infinity War big bad Thanos last month. West has been on SNL in the past, and this probably isn’t enough to earn him a ban, but considering his choice to shut down his social media accounts following the incident, he may not be willing to go back in the future.

More: Kenan Thompson to Star in New NBC Sitcom, Might Leave SNL

Source: Saturday Night Live





Source link
2018-10-07 01:10:58 – Becca Bleznak

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!



Source link
2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber

Mortal Engines Footage Description: First 25 Minutes Debuts At NYCC

Following The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Peter Jackson returns as a producer on Mortal Engines, and at the movie’s New York Comic Con panel, the first 25 minutes of footage debuted; we offer a brief breakdown of what’s included.

Adapted from Philip Reeve’s novel of the same name, Mortal Engines takes place in a futuristic world where cities are moving beasts that roam the world searching for fuel to keep moving. Meanwhile, smaller also mobile towns have become the prey of larger city-states like London. The film follows Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), a fugitive with a deadly grudge against London’s Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving). Hester runs across historian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) as she attempts to defeat Valentine and protect smaller cities and towns from the insatiable hunger that is London.

Related: Mortal Engines Trailer #2 Debuts At NYCC

Ahead of the film’s release in December, Jackson, Mortal Engines director Christian Rivers and members of the cast appeared on a panel at NYCC. Prior to a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers during the Mortal Engines NYCC panel, Andy Serkis presented the first 25 minutes of the movie. Much of the opening footage focused on building out the world of Mortal Engines. The film kicks off with an opening monologue setting the stage for the post-apocalyptic world (what Jackson refers to as a “post-post-apocalyptic” world) following the 60-Minute War that destroyed society as we know it.

After the voiceover, viewers get to meet Hester, who’s on a cliff and spots the approaching predator city of London. Once she sees the oncoming, mobile city, Hester runs back to a grouping of smaller, mobile towns that break apart and start running from London. Hester is stuck on one town that can’t seem to get its engines started and winds up being the “prey” pursued by London. The town flees across the open land, which Jackson referred to as “the great hunting ground” (essentially, where Europe used to be). The chase sequence continues for much of the opening, as the smaller town is chased by London and attempts to lose the larger city-state amid some foothills. While the sequence is filled with tension, the town is eventually caught by London and “ingested.”

On board London, Tom meets Katherine Valentine (Leila George) at the London Museum, where he shows her some of the artifacts he’s collected to help with her research into the 60-Minute War. Tom shows Katherine a video of a pre-war city being destroyed using some kind of quantum technology. Then, Tom reveals he’s been collecting similarly dangerous technology, some of which has been stolen. Once London ingests the smaller town, Tom is tasked with going down to sort through it for valuable artifacts, and he’s accompanied by Katherine. There, they meet Thaddeus, but Hester is lurking in the crowd of people moving from the town into London. When she has a moment, she attempts to assassinate Thaddeus, but she’s stopped by Tom and has to flee.

The final sequence of the footage screened includes a foot chase through the ingested mining town as Hester runs from Tom and Thaddeus (though the latter is following more slowly due to the injury Hester inflicted). Hester flees from Tom through the town as it’s being destroyed by massive saws and metal jaws. Eventually, she reaches a platform that overlooks a tunnel out of London and she jumps. Tom catches her and Hester tells him to ask Thaddeus about her mother, revealing that Thaddeus murdered her mother. Then she forces Tom to drop her and when Tom does mention to Thaddeus what Hester said, Thaddeus pushes Tom down the tunnel and out of London.

Altogether, the footage shown at NYCC for Mortal Engines introduced an expansive world akin to that of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit with sweeping, beautiful visuals. It remains to be seen if Mortal Engines turns out to be a massive blockbuster success on par with the trilogies for which Jackson is most well known. But, with Jackson on board as a producer and Rivers at the helm, it’s clear Mortal Engines will provide some stunning sequences for moviegoers – which they’ll get to see when the film hits theaters in December.

Next: The Biggest Changes Mortal Engines Makes to the Book



Source link
2018-10-05 12:10:02 – Molly Freeman

Is Venom Too Scary For Kids?

Venom may be rated PG-13, but given that it’s a movie about an alien parasite that forcibly takes over someone’s body and then starts threatening to bite heads and limbs off, parents may be wondering if the movie is too scary for younger children.

Though Sony claims that Venom was always intended to have a PG-13 rating, director Ruben Fleischer was uncertain in August whether or not the movie would ultimately earn an R-rating, and stated that he was agreeable to putting together an unrated director’s cut. Add to this Fleischer’s earlier comments on taking inspiration from the works of body-horror masters John Carpenter and David Cronenberg, and Venom certainly sounds like the kind of movie that could give you nightmares – even without the 40 minutes of deleted scenes.

Related: Venom Review: Tom Hardy’s Superhero Movie is a Weirdly Fun Monster

Ultimately, the MPAA rated Venom PG-13 for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.” The BBFC rated Venom 15 for “strong threat, horror, violence.” Here is a run down of what all that means.

How Violent Is Venom?

Venom‘s violent content makes up the majority of the reason for its rating. The movie contains a lot of intense action sequences, including falls from great heights and a chase through the streets of San Francisco with explosions. There are numerous fights, with guns and tasers being employed. However, many of the on-screen deaths (particularly those caused by the main villain Riot and the two instances of Venom biting someone’s head off) happen very quickly and bloodlessly, and in the case of the bitten-off heads it’s unclear what even happened until characters talk about it afterwards. Overall, the violence is fairly standard for a superhero movie.

The Body Horror Elements

The body horror elements of Venom are far more likely to unsettle younger audiences than its action sequences. Though often played for laughs as Eddie Brock argues with the voice in his head, the idea of having your body taken over against your wishes may be uncomfortable for some viewers. There are various sequences of the slimy symbiotes latching on to their victims and crawling across their struggling bodies, forcing their way in. There’s a further element of revulsion given some of the things Brock does while under the symbiote’s influence, which include biting into a live lobster, eating a chicken out of the garbage, and later throwing up into a clearly unclean toilet. If you have emetophobia, you may want to step out of the theater for a few minutes when Eddie starts raiding his freezer.

Language And Sexual Content

Venom contains several uses of the phrase “Oh s**t” as Eddie Brock is unwillingly dragged from one dangerous situation to the next by the symbiote. There is also one use of the F-word in the lead-up to the final battle. The movie is completely free of nudity and there is no real suggestion of sexual activity apart from one scene where Eddie and his fiancee, Anne Weying, are depicted in bed together, fully-clothed, and a passionate kiss between Eddie and Venom/Anne later in the movie, in which the symbiote transfers from her to him.

More: Venom: The 10 Biggest Spoilers



Source link
2018-10-05 03:10:15 – Matt Morrison