When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.
This year Warner Bros and DC Entertainment has unleashed a flurry of their banner television shows which should help ease the boredom of folks still in quarantine. With a lot of what’s been released, there are long awaited releases, and of course big releases of some of the biggest events of the year. COVID may have ground everything to a halt, but DC is still delivering on animated movies and season sets.
With many calling the death of physical media and some studios switching over to streaming for some of their titles, the market for collectors is as interesting as ever. What with the theaters closing, studios are rushing to release a lot of their films on new formats or present them in a new way for movie fans. Sadly there haven’t been a lot of really big unveilings in terms of titles unleashed. Save for a few surprises here and there (“Rad,” “The Gate II,” “36.15 Code Père Noël”), it’s all more of the same ad nauseum (Do we really need yet another edition of “E.T.” or “Back to the Future”?) there are still so many movies out there that have yet to see a release on Blu-Ray, 4K UHD, and yes, even Standard DVD.
That said, these are five very good movies that deserve a home media release.
Was “The Crow” cursed? Did “Poltergeist” bring a hex upon the entire cast? Were there real satanic forces behind “The Exorcist”? Did “Twilight Zone: The Movie” conjure up bad luck and ultimately a curse? Well, hell no on all fronts. The thing about “Cursed Films” (now on Blu-Ray from Shudder and Image Entertainment), is that if you’re a movie buff and horror fan, you’ve heard about literally everything that’s explored in “Cursed Films.” At five episodes and thirty minutes an episode, “Cursed Films” basically goes over the same material we’ve seen or read about a thousand times but in greater length.
Most recently, the sequel to “The Big Lebowski” was released in theaters without much fanfare and much of a response, if we’re going to be honest. I wasn’t even aware there was a sequel in the works until I came across the trailer online by accident. “The Jesus Rolls” lacks just about everything “The Big Lebowski” brought to cult cinema, and John Turturro never makes much of an argument for why Jesus Quintana deserved a sequel/spin off during the entire film. It is pretty sad, considering I wouldn’t have minded if Jesus ended up sparking a cult classic in the same league as The Dude.
That said, here are five other sequels that came years (sometimes decades) later, and flopped big time.
Before the over-the-top mayhem and dark humor of Amazon’s The Boys, before the post-apocalyptic nightmare of The Walking Dead, before the sprawling space adventure of Avengers: Endgame, there was MARS ATTACKS! The original pulp sci-fi card set, released by Topps in 1962, influenced them all.
Now nearly six decades later, The Topps Company has licensed Mars Attacks to SideKick Lab, who will develop, produce, and publish a new series of Mars Attacks trading cards, which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. This campaign was fully funded in just over an hour!
With director JJ Abrams returning to the “Star Wars” universe once again (taking the reins for Rian Johnson), he’s able to repeat history of generations’ past. He offers fans the final film of a three movie saga that never quite hits the high bar set by the previous films. “The Rise of Skywalker” is a great movie in its own right, but like “Return of the Jedi” it is held back due to many unfortunate screenplay inconsistencies, characters that don’t do much of anything, and blatant retconning that Abrams commits to at the expense of the story. “The Rise of Skywalker” is a very good movie and great closer to the Skywalker saga, warts and all.
Larry Cohen’s “The Stuff” is one of those “so bad its good” horror comedies that’s managed to creep in to the collective consciousness of movie buffs since its release and for good reason. While much of the movie is so painfully ridiculous, it also kind of comes packed with a still very relevant message about consumerism and our obsession with junk food. You could mock it all you want, but when the credits roll, its message is a lot more sophisticated than bad green screen and horrendous sound design. Cohen’s film is wildly uneven in tone and never really decides if it wants to be sci-fi, horror, comedy, or complete satire.