Movie Roundup: Are you Excited that Pixar is Focusing on Making More Sequels?
Pixar’s line up of sequels includes the summer blockbuster Finding Dory and will carry through 2019 with Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and the long-anticipated The Incredibles 2. From 2020, there are no further sequels planned. Pixar president Jim Morris recently shared some thoughts about why certain sequels don’t happen. “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,” Morris explains. “A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”
What do you think about Pixar’s approach to making sequels? Which Pixar movie would you love to see a sequel?
Movie Roundup is a feature where I give quick impressions on some films I recently watched and/or on movie related topics.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Spanky Taylor, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, L. Ron Hubbard
I obviously enjoy pop culture entertainment and I’m interested in why and how certain celebrities become demonized. Tom Cruise brought a lot of it on himself, although I never got caught up on the jumping on Oprah’s couch incident. Maybe it’s the way it’s edited in Going Clear, but archival footage of Tom manically laughing in a interview clip is really, really weird. However, Going Clear isn’t a TMZ style documentary, it’s an eye-opening and critical look at the history and controversy surrounding the religion. Going Clear does a good job of inter-cutting interviews of former high-ranking members of Scientology with explaining a lot of the terminology. What the documentary also does well is getting the perspective, straight from screenwriter/ filmmaker Paul Haggis himself, of how a seemingly rational, intelligent person could get into this religion. Did I mention it’s weird and creepy? I would recommend this documentary as there are many shocking things that’ll blow your mind, especially if you don’t know much about Scientology.
Sidenote: According to news reports, Tom hasn’t seen or spoken to his daughter Suri in close to three years.
Director: Patricia Riggen
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas, Jacob Vargas, Juan Pablo Raba
33 is another example of how a real story about miners buried alive over a 1000 feet underground is far more incredible than fiction. This is a good, heart-warming film. It takes a well known news story and tries to capture what it is like for both the miners and their families up above. While we can understand why this story caught the attention of people around the world, 33 could have done a better job of capturing why these miners were the beating heart of Chile for over 3 months. Juliette Binoche is an usual casting choice to play a Chilean but her performance is solid as is the rest of the main cast.
Sidenote: There is an on-line petition to help the 33 miners who were cheated out of their film royalties.
Ip Man 3
Director: Wilson Yip
Cast: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson, Patrick Tam, Kwok-Kwan (Danny) Chan
The problem often with sequels is that they are too similar or way too different from the original. Ip Man 2 fell into the former category but the third installment finds a better balance. If you think of the first film as about a statement against a foreign invasion or occupation and the second film as about standing up for your cultural identity, Ip Man 3 takes a closer look inward into Yip Man, the real life martial arts teacher of Bruce Lee. Of course, being an action film, the personal journey manifests outward into some pretty good fights. The main antagonist is better set up than I expected, he represents a darker version of Yip Man himself. Mike Tyson’s cameo is cool although we’ve seen Yip Man already face a boxer in Ip Man 2. Bruce Lee’s cameo is great, just wished they found a way to use him more in the story.
Sidenote: According to IMDB, the real Bruce Lee began learning Wing Chun from Ip Man when he was 16 years old, and passed away when he was 32. Danny Chan, who plays Bruce seeking Ip to be his master in the movie, was 40 at the time of filming.
The Good Dinosaur
Director: Peter Sohn
Voice Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot, Steve Zahn
The Good Dinosaur might be considered Pixar’s first box office failure. That’s too bad because it’s a pretty good movie which I really enjoyed. There’s some touching moments that’ll pull on the heart strings. There’s also the good-natured humor you’d expect from a Disney-Pixar movie. The knock on the Good Dinosaur is that the story is on the generic side. In comparison, Inside Out which came out the same year had a wonderfully explored, innovative concept. The main characters, the timid dinosaur Arlo and the feral human kid Spot, are likable but I don’t think kids are rushing out to buy their action figures like a Buzz Lightyear.
Sidenote: Aside from 2017’s Coco, The Good Dinosaur is the last non-sequel Pixar feature film until probably 2020.
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Posted on July 1, 2016, in Movies, Review and tagged Bruce Lee, Cars 3, Donnie Yen, Finding Dory, Going Clear, Inside Out, Ip Man 3, Movie Reviews, Movie Roundup, Scientology, The Good Dinosaur, The Incredibles 2, Tom Cruise, Toy Story 4. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.