47 Video Game Movies Ranked Worst to Best

It was in 1993 that Hollywood realized the dream of putting a video game movie up on the big screen with Super Mario Bros., and setting the stage for a long legacy of questionable choices, troubled productions, and gamers’ pixel tears left in their wake. But like the kid who just has to pump in one more quarter to reach for that high score, the studios keep on trying (while the fans just keep on hoping), and we’re celebrating that sort of sheer tenacity with this guide to the best video game movies (and plenty of the worst) ranked by Tomatometer!

Here, you will find the near-decent (Rampage, Resident Evil), the should’ve-been-goods (Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft), the ridiculous-but-we-love-thems (Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill), and the ones made by Uwe Boll, who deserves his own category (Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead). We’re using a 20-review minimum cutoff for inclusion from theatrical releases only, because it’s not just enough to make a questionable movie, critics need to witness the aftermath, too.

And in May 2019, Detective Pikachu officially broke the video game curse! Fitting that Nintendo, whose Super Mario Bros. movie started all this trouble, would be the one to end it. And in another surprise 2019 development, the second Angry Birds movie has slingshot the naysayers by racking up plenty of critical praise, toppling Pikachu mere months after its release.

Then in 2020, when it didn’t seem it had a chili dog’s chance in hell, Sonic the Hedgehog to general critics enthusiasm, marking three Fresh video game movies in two years. And then, in 2021, Werewolves Within went Certified Fresh, establishing it as by-far the best-reviewed video game movie! See all the high scores (and lots and lots of the lows) with our guide to 46 video game movies, ranked worst to best!

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When the investigations of supernatural detective Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) lead him to uncover a long-lost tribe called the Abskani,... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 4395%
Critics Consensus: A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs.
Synopsis: Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) meet a group of friends and set out to attend a rave on... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#45
Adjusted Score: 4735%
Critics Consensus: The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.
Synopsis: In Bangkok, Bison (Neal McDonough), a crime boss, and his henchmen (Michael Clarke Duncan, Josie Ho, Taboo) begin a bid... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak

#44
Adjusted Score: 5813%
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Directed By: John R. Leonetti

#43
Adjusted Score: 4331%
Critics Consensus: Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.
Synopsis: As war looms in an idyllic kingdom, a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) begins a heroic quest to find his... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#42

BloodRayne (2005)

#42
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 12828%
Critics Consensus: Hitman: Agent 47 fails to clear the low bar set by its predecessor, forsaking thrilling action in favor of a sleekly hollow mélange of dull violence and product placement.
Synopsis: Genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, he's the culmination of decades of research, endowed with unprecedented... [More]
Directed By: Aleksander Bach

#40

Postal (2007)
9%

#40
Adjusted Score: 9062%
Critics Consensus: An attempt at political satire that lacks any wit or relevance, Postal is nonetheless one of Uwe Boll's more successful films -- for what it's worth.
Synopsis: A phony cult leader (Dave Foley) hires a jobless trailer-park denizen (Zack Ward) to help him carry out his plot... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#39

Wing Commander (1999)
10%

#39
Adjusted Score: 10622%
Critics Consensus: The low budget may explain Wing Commander's cheesy special effects, but can't excuse the lame dialogue or the movie's obsessive reliance on sci-fi cliches.
Synopsis: A space pilot (Freddie Prinze Jr.) with an encoded message, his sidekick (Matthew Lillard) and their superior (Saffron Burrows) fight... [More]
Directed By: Chris Roberts

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 11825%
Critics Consensus: Mediocre effort even by the standards of video game adaptations, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D features weak characters and an incomprehensible plot with a shortage of scares.
Synopsis: For many years, Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father, Harry (Sean Bean), have been on the run from dangerous... [More]
Directed By: Michael J. Bassett

#37

Street Fighter (1994)
12%

#37
Adjusted Score: 14247%
Critics Consensus: Though it offers mild entertainment through campy one-liners and the overacting of the late Raul Julia, Street Fighter's nonstop action sequences are not enough to make up for a predictable, uneven storyline.
Synopsis: Gen. Bison (Raul Julia), the evil dictator of Shadaloo, captures a busload of relief workers and holds them for ransom.... [More]
Directed By: Steven E. de Souza

#36

Max Payne (2008)
15%

#36
Adjusted Score: 20098%
Critics Consensus: While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.
Synopsis: After the murders of his family and his partner, maverick cop Max (Mark Wahlberg) becomes hell-bent on revenge. Teamed with... [More]
Directed By: John Moore

#35

Pokémon 4Ever (2002)
16%

#35
Adjusted Score: 15440%
Critics Consensus: Only for diehard Pokemon fans.
Synopsis: Ash and his friends travel to an island to search for a rare species of Pokemon that has the power... [More]

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 19679%
Critics Consensus: Audiences other than children will find very little to entertain them.
Synopsis: Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu face Mewtwo, a bioengineered Pokémon, and the super-Pokémon it has created. With short "Pikachu's Vacation."... [More]

#33

Hitman (2007)
16%

#33
Adjusted Score: 20072%
Critics Consensus: Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.
Synopsis: A professional assassin known only as Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) gets caught up in a dangerous political takeover. He flees... [More]
Directed By: Xavier Gens

#32

Pokémon Heroes (2003)
17%

#32
Adjusted Score: 17610%
Critics Consensus: This series isn't getting any better.
Synopsis: Two thieves go to an island city to steal a giant jewel that was once used to defend the canal... [More]
Directed By: Larry Juris

#31

Doom (2005)

#31
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A team of space marines known as the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, led by Sarge (The Rock), is sent to... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak

#30

Assassin's Creed (2016)
18%

#30
Adjusted Score: 31963%
Critics Consensus: Assassin's Creed is arguably better made (and certainly better cast) than most video game adaptations; unfortunately, the CGI-fueled end result still is still a joylessly overplotted slog.
Synopsis: Cal Lynch travels back in time to 15th-century Spain through a revolutionary technology that unlocks the genetic memories contained in... [More]
Directed By: Justin Kurzel

#29
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ash's adventure begins when a powerful storm beaches him and his friends on Shamouti Island just as the islanders are... [More]
Directed By: Michael Haigney

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A deadly virus from a secret Umbrella Corporation laboratory underneath Raccoon City is exposed to the world. Umbrella seals off... [More]
Directed By: Alexander B. Witt

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 26312%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.
Synopsis: This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 22557%
Critics Consensus: Critics say that the third Pokemon movie has a better plot than its two predecessors. This is not enough, however, to recommend it to those not already fans of the franchise.
Synopsis: Young Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum and his loyal friends journey to the beautiful mountain town of Greenfield, where they will... [More]
Directed By: Kunihiko Yuyama

#25

Ratchet & Clank (2016)
21%

#25
Adjusted Score: 24410%
Critics Consensus: Ratchet & Clank may satisfy very young viewers, but compared to the many superior options available to families and animation enthusiasts, it offers little to truly recommend.
Synopsis: Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy lombax who grew up without a family. Clank is a pint-sized... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Munroe

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 24540%
Critics Consensus: As dim-witted and lifeless as its undead antagonists, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a wholly unnecessary addition to the franchise.
Synopsis: In a world overrun with the walking dead, Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her battle against Umbrella Corp., rounding up survivors... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#23

Need for Speed (2014)
22%

#23
Adjusted Score: 29780%
Critics Consensus: With stock characters and a preposterous plot, this noisily diverting video game adaptation fulfills a Need for Speed and little else.
Synopsis: Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a mechanic, races muscle cars in an underground circuit. Struggling to keep his business afloat, he... [More]
Directed By: Scott Waugh

#22
Adjusted Score: 28911%
Critics Consensus: Though the sequel is an improvement over the first movie, it's still lacking in thrills.
Synopsis: Fearless explorer Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) tries to locate Pandora's box before criminals Jonathan Reiss (Ciarán Hinds) and Chen Lo... [More]
Directed By: Jan de Bont

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 27833%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Extinction is more of the same; its few impressive action sequences unable to compensate for the pedestrian plot.
Synopsis: Captured by the Umbrella Corp., Alice (Milla Jovovich) receives genetic alterations that leave her with superhuman abilities. Hiding out in... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#20
Adjusted Score: 33704%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an affectionately faithful adaptation that further proves its source material is ill-suited to the big screen.
Synopsis: Returning to the origins of the massively popular RESIDENT EVIL franchise, fan and filmmaker Johannes Roberts brings the games to... [More]
Directed By: Johannes Roberts

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 30167%
Critics Consensus: Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.
Synopsis: Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Alberto Leguizamo) rescue Princess Daisy from King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) and the... [More]
Directed By: Rocky Morton

#18
Adjusted Score: 30484%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: Retribution offers everything one might reasonably expect from the fifth installment in a heavily action-dependent franchise -- which means very little beyond stylishly hollow CGI-enhanced set pieces.
Synopsis: As Umbrella Corp.'s deadly T-virus continues to turn the world's population into legions of flesh-eating zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich), the... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#17

Warcraft (2016)
28%

#17
Adjusted Score: 42373%
Critics Consensus: Warcraft has visual thrills to spare, but they -- and director Duncan Jones' distinctive gifts -- are wasted on a sluggish and derivative adaptation of a bestselling game with little evident cinematic value.
Synopsis: Looking to escape from his dying world, the orc shaman Gul'dan utilizes dark magic to open a portal to the... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#16

Silent Hill (2006)
32%

#16
Adjusted Score: 35908%
Critics Consensus: Silent Hill is visually impressive, but as with many video game adaptations, it's plagued by inane dialogue, a muddled plot, and an overlong runtime.
Synopsis: Unable to accept the fact that her daughter is dying, Rose (Radha Mitchell) decides to take the girl to a... [More]
Directed By: Christophe Gans

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 33201%
Critics Consensus: With a ridiculous plot and comical acting, checking one's brain at the door is required before watching DOA: Dead or Alive.
Synopsis: Four beautiful rivals at an invitation-only martial-arts tournament join forces against a sinister threat. Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) is an... [More]
Directed By: Corey Yuen

#14

Resident Evil (2002)
36%

#14
Adjusted Score: 38967%
Critics Consensus: Like other video game adapations, Resident Evil is loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy.
Synopsis: Based on the popular video game, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#13
Adjusted Score: 44002%
Critics Consensus: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may prove mind-numbingly chaotic for the unconverted, but for fans of the venerable franchise, it offers a fittingly kinetic conclusion to its violent post-apocalyptic saga.
Synopsis: The T-virus unleashed by the evil Umbrella Corp. has spread to every corner of the globe, infesting the planet with... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#12
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the holy city of Alamut resides the Sands of Time, which gives mortals the power to turn back time.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 52714%
Critics Consensus: The Angry Birds Movie is substantially more entertaining than any film adapted from an app has any right to be -- which may or may not be much of an endorsement.
Synopsis: Flightless birds lead a mostly happy existence, except for Red (Jason Sudeikis), who just can't get past the daily annoyances... [More]
Directed By: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Blurring the lines between reality and computer animation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is the first feature-length motion picture that... [More]
Directed By: Hironobu Sakaguchi

#9

Mortal Kombat (1995)
45%

#9
Adjusted Score: 47417%
Critics Consensus: Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.
Synopsis: Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert) handpicks three martial artists -- federal agent Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), Shaolin monk Lui Kang (Robin... [More]
Directed By: Paul Anderson

#8

Monster Hunter (2020)
45%

#8
Adjusted Score: 51052%
Critics Consensus: Monster Hunter is mostly a mindless blur of action, held together by the slenderest threads of dialogue and plot -- and exactly what many viewers will be looking for.
Synopsis: Behind our world, there is another -- a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly... [More]
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

#7

Rampage (2018)
51%

#7
Adjusted Score: 68247%
Critics Consensus: Rampage isn't as fun as its source material, but the movie's sheer button-mashing abandon might satisfy audiences in the mood for a brainless blockbuster.
Synopsis: Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla that's been in his care since... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

#6

Tomb Raider (2018)
52%

#6
Adjusted Score: 71691%
Critics Consensus: Tomb Raider reboots the franchise with a more grounded approach and a star who's clearly more than up to the task -- neither of which are well served by an uninspired origin story.
Synopsis: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery... [More]
Directed By: Roar Uthaug

#5

Mortal Kombat (2021)
54%

#5
Adjusted Score: 69978%
Critics Consensus: Largely for fans of the source material but far from fatal(ity) flawed, Mortal Kombat revives the franchise in appropriately violent fashion.
Synopsis: In "Mortal Kombat," MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage--or why... [More]
Directed By: Simon McQuoid

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 79105%
Critics Consensus: Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy -- and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career.
Synopsis: The world needed a hero -- it got a hedgehog. Powered with incredible speed, Sonic embraces his new home on... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Fowler

#3
Adjusted Score: 86484%
Critics Consensus: Pokémon Detective Pikachu may not take its wonderfully bizarre premise as far as it could have, but this offbeat adaptation should catch most -- if not all -- of the franchise's fans.
Synopsis: Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 78221%
Critics Consensus: Like its non-aerodynamic title characters, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes improbable yet delightfully entertaining flight, landing humorous hits along the way.
Synopsis: Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put... [More]
Directed By: Thurop Van Orman

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 92182%
Critics Consensus: Werewolves Within is the rare horror comedy that offers equal helpings of either genre -- and adds up to a whole lot of fun in the bargain.
Synopsis: After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside... [More]
Directed By: Josh Ruben

DC Super-Villains video game trailer screencap (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

(Photo by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

The 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo offered some promising new titles inspired by our favorite films and television shows when it hit the Los Angeles Convention Center June 12-14. Games based on movies and serialized TV are nothing new, but the genre has a history of pushing out products more focused on promoting an IP than offering a quality interactive experience.

That’s changing. Game developers, passionate about the same titles as the rest of us, are shelving the marketing-spun schlock in favor of crafting ambitious projects that put us in our favorite fictional worlds.

Here are 10 we can’t wait to play!


JURASSIC WORLD EVOLUTION


Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: Available now
As fans of the Jurassic Park franchise films are well aware, the movies are primarily action-ratcheting affairs focused on dinos unleashing all kinds of hell on unsuspecting park-goers. Jurassic World Evolution, however, trades epic destruction for careful construction, as it tasks players with planning, building, managing, and monitoring their very own prehistoric theme park. While the game’s more of a cerebral stimulation, it’ll still spike your adrenaline when, say, your burgeoning management skills accidentally let a velociraptor loose in the food court.


LEGO THE INCREDIBLES


Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Available now
If seeing Incredibles 2 hasn’t completely satisfied your craving for the superhero family’s unique brand of crime-fighting fun, you may want to suit-up for LEGO The Incredibles. Brimming with block-y bad guys, brick-based puzzles, and the LEGO series’ signature personality and humor, this latest plastic toy-packed adventure lets fans relive the best moments from both entries in the popular Pixar franchise. Tons of playable characters – including fan-favorite Edna Mode – and special moves, requiring the entire Parr crew to participate, round out this family-friendly romp.


MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN


Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Systems: PlayStation 4
Release Date: September 7, 2018
Set in a sprawling, open-world New York City, this original Spider-Man tale – from veteran developer Insomniac Games – forgoes the origin story slog in favor of putting players behind the shooting webs, acrobatic combat, and wisecracking sense of humor of a more seasoned Spidey. An eye-popping visual presentation, adrenaline-spiking set pieces, fluid action, and more iconic villains than you can cram into Raft prison complement the cinematic wall-crawling, web-spinning action.


WORLD WAR Z


Developer: Saber Interactive
Publisher: Paramount Pictures
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 2018
Plenty of games task players with shooting zombies, scavenging for supplies, and generally doing whatever it takes to survive the undead apocalypse. World War Z – which borrows more from the Brad Pitt film than Max Brooks’ book – breaths some fresh life into the rotting corpse genre, however, by putting up to 500 flesh-eating freaks on screen simultaneously. Of course, these hungry hordes can also form horrifying zombie pyramids, making it more difficult for you and your co-op partners to fend them off and live another day.


SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER


Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Fans of the Tomb Raider films and games can expect to meet a very different Lara Croft in this trilogy-capping entry. More Predator than Indiana Jones, Shadow of the Tomb Raider sees a confident, capable, vengeance-craving Croft camouflaged in mud and employing brutal combat tactics to turn exotic jungle locales into goon graveyards. Though Shadow isn’t your typical relic-hunting romp, players can still expect seat-of-the-pants storytelling, cinematic set pieces, and, yes, plenty of tombs to raid.


LEGO DC SUPER-VILLAINS


Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: October 16, 2018
TT Games has no less than three Batman-starring installments in their stable of brick-busting LEGO adventures, but their latest DC entry is taking a decidedly different approach to the iconic comic book universe. As its title suggests, LEGO DC Super-Villains is all about the bad guys, from Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor to Poison Ivy and the Crown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker. Rather than playing as these iconic foes though, players will join them as their very own, fully customizable and upgradeable evildoer.


OVERKILL’S THE WALKING DEAD


Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: Starbreeze Studios/505 Games
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Hundreds of games have pitted players against hordes of foot-shuffling foes, and a handful of those have even unfolded in Robert Kirkman’s walker-infested world. Overkill’s The Walking Dead separates itself from the brain-craving bunch, however, by translating the unforgiving world of the comic books into thumb-blistering gameplay. For fans, this means strategically cooperating with three other players to not only survive brutally difficult encounters with the undead, but also joining forces to fight the game’s most challenging enemies, a human faction dubbed “The Family.”


HITMAN 2


Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: WBIE
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 13, 2018
We haven’t seen the bald, bar-coded assassin on the big screen since Rupert Friend wore his signature sharp suit and red tie in 2015’s Hitman: Agent 47. Fans needn’t wait for a film sequel to be reunited with their favorite hired killer, however, as Hitman 2 is headed to game consoles this fall. Assuming the role of the titular professional, stealthy players will travel to stunningly-realized exotic locales, don disguises, and incorporate improvised weapons – such as rat poison, frying pans, and frozen fish – to permanently silence high-level targets.


RESIDENT EVIL 2


Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Long before zombie shooters and apocalypse survival sims spread through the video game world like a population-wiping plague, players were fighting virally-infected canines and gobbling up green herbs in Resident Evil. Now, Capcom is inviting fans back to Raccoon City to relive what’s widely considered the seminal survival horror series’ best entry. More than a mere remaster though, Resident Evil 2 is a completely rebuilt re-imagining, featuring brand new visuals, audio, controls, and a nerve-fraying narrative to rival any contemporary take on the walking corpse genre.


KINGDOM HEARTS III


Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: January 29, 2019
The Kingdom Hearts series has always been defined by its appealing, if unlikely, mash-up of Disney and Final Fantasy characters. Its long-awaited sequel though, is doubling down on the Disney – and Pixar – content, inviting fans to explore worlds and interact with heroes and villains from a variety of favorite films from Walt’s vault. From Frozen, Tangled, and Toy Story to Hercules, Wreck-It Ralph, and Pirates of the Caribbean, this fan-servicing sequel has something for Disney and Pixar enthusiasts of all stripes.

Ratchet & Clank: Recently re-imagined for your PlayStation 4, now appearing on the big screen for the first time. The movie invites viewers back to see the origin team-up of the duo (one a robot, the other a bobcat-ish thing, probably a descendant of prolific serial killer Bubsy), which inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery: a history of video games-based movies by Tomatometer!

Survivors-Hall-of-Fame

The most successful horror franchises tend to feature protagonists audiences can root for — heroes that viewers hope will beat the odds and emerge from their respective situations victorious and, well, alive. With that in mind, we here at RT decided to look back at some of cinema’s most stubborn survivors, those characters that somehow managed to avoid being offed in multiple horror movies.

Needless to say, you may want to avoid what follows below if you’re allergic to spoilers. Without further ado, here are our choices for the Horror Movie Survivor Hall of Fame!


Ellen Ripley

Ellen-Ripley

Survived: The Alien Franchise

You can’t keep a good woman down. Case in point: Ellen Ripley. Even if she only survived two-and-three-quarters of the first three Alien films, the DNA in her blood cells was enough to create a pretty killer replica (which gives us all hope for future Chuck Norris clones, but we digress).

Ripley could have gone the way of Dr. Frank Poole a whole bunch of times throughout the series. As the only survivor of the Nostromo (not counting Jones the cat), she still could have been torn to shreds when the alien hid on her shuttle. In Aliens, Ripley and a few of her compatriots survived a tough battle with the Alien Queen aboard the Sulaco. Even a universe-saving suicide in Alien 3 barely slows Ripley down — the follow-up isn’t called Alien Resurrection for nothing. How does she do it? Our guess is those decades-long stasis naps do a body good.


Ash Williams

Ash-Williams

Survived: The Evil Dead Franchise

You can possess him with a few demons. You can chop off his hand. Hell, you can even send him back through time. But the one thing you cannot do to Ashley “Ash” Williams: keep him down for good.The same can’t be said of Ash’s friends, who, in the first two Evil Deads offer up a survival rate of exactly zero. Ash is actually supposed to have died in the final frames of The Evil Dead, but the sequel retcons the whole thing, causing him to re-endure a gory getaway in the forest cabin. In the process, he loses his hand, but hey, chainsaw hand as replacement.

In the final Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Ash is sent to 1300 AD. His only way to get back to the present time and his job at S-Mart: Going through a horde of the undead (led by an Ash clone) to retrieve the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. Groovy.


 Dr. Frankenstein

Dr-Frankenstein

Survived: The Frankenstein Series by Hammer Films

Some folks just don’t know when to quit. You’d think that Baron Victor von Frankenstein would reconsider his diabolical experiments in reanimation after nearly getting his dome lopped off in The Curse of Frankenstein, but no; this guy’s got a one-track mind. Unlike the Frankenstein of Mary Shelley and the Universal movies, our man Vic (played with eyebrow-raised relish by Peter Cushing) doesn’t evolve from hubristic to guilt-ridden — he’s pretty much a murderous mad scientist from minute one. After surviving the guillotine in The Curse of Frankenstein, the Baron continued his artificial life experiments in a bunch of Hammer films (either five or six, depending on whether you count the Cushing-free The Horror of Frankenstein as part of the cannon — many don’t). It’s pretty amazing that Frankenstein can perpetually stay one step ahead of death, given that angry townspeople, public officials, and even his own stitched-up creations are always trying to kill him.


Tommy Jarvis

Tommy-Jarvis

Survived: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th, Part V – A New Beginning, Friday the 13th, Part VI – Jason Lives

The Friday the 13th series only had two protagonists who would carry themselves into sequels. The first was the original camp survivor who would be unceremoniously offed in Part II‘s opening sequence. The other: Tommy Jarvis. He first appeared in arguably the series’ best installment, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, as a young boy vacationing with his single mother and sister. With a penchant for masks, he and his sister succeed in confusing Jason, before Tommy is taken over by madness and hacks poor ol’ Jason Voorhees to death. The ambigious final shot of The Final Chapter suggests he has taken on an evil spirit.

In the godawful sequel, A New Beginning, Tommy is a taciturn mental patient, drifting in and out of institutions. As copycat murders begin around him, he suspects that his psychosis is taking over under the cover of night. Turns out the killer was just a disgruntled paramedic. In his final appearance, Jason Lives, Tommy attempts to tear Jason’s corpse asunder, but a steel pipe left in his heart attracts a bolt of lightning and Jason is resurrected. Ultimately, Tommy lures him back to the lake and to a watery grave. But we all know how long the dead stay dead in horror movies, don’t we?


Laurie Strode

Laurie-Strode

Survived: Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween H20Halloween (2007)

It’s no wonder that Laurie Strode takes a breather every couple of Halloween installments; neither sleep nor time nor even a franchise reboot can rid her of Michael Myers. In the original Halloween, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) survived the babysitting gig from hell, successfully keeping Michael Myers at bay (though he killed a couple of her friends). In Halloween II, she learned why she’d been stalked — it turned out that she was a blood relative of the knife-wielding psycho.

Laurie lay low for the next four Halloweens, but reemerged in Halloween H2O; she had faked her own death and changed her name, but she couldn’t stay hidden from her brother forever. Unfortunately, Myers finally got the best of Laurie in Halloween: Resurrection. Rob Zombie’s 2007 franchise reboot began at the beginning of the Laurie Strode story, with Scout Taylor-Compton stepping into the role; whether this incarnation of Laurie Strode shows the same survival instinct as the first remains to be seen.


Dr. Loomis

Dr-Loomis

Survived: The Halloween Franchise

Most psychology PhDs don’t receive gun training in school, tranquilizer or otherwise. Not sure about cursed zombie entrapment (that could be covered during mandatory intern hours), but Dr. Samuel James Loomis is somehow capable of all these things. At one point in Halloween 4, he agilely escaped death by diving behind some convenient barrels while his unkillable former patient took out a gas tank with a truck, causing a near-fatal explosion.

Dr. Loomis’ constant attempts at shooting Michael Myers really only impeded the guy’s momentum. It only took the first two films for Loomis to realize that bullets just wouldn’t work. At the end of II, he decided to be the martyr and blow both Michael and himself up using a combo of oxygen and ether.

Oh wait… but they both survive — somehow. Maybe Loomis got the explosive recipe wrong. But that’s great because then we got him for four more films! In those films we saw him use Michael’s female prey as bait to lure him into a trap consisting of a metal net, a tranquilizer gun, and his fists. But it was when he used his shrink skills to reason with the monster that we thought, “Oh yeah, that’s what he was trained to do.”


Kirsty Cotton

Kristy-Cotton

Survived: The Hellraiser Franchise

Puzzle boxes were all the rage in the 1980s. Of course, when Kirsty Cotton played with one, she suffered the consequences: the opening of another realm filled with sado-masochistic Cenobytes led by none other than Pinhead himself. Pinhead’s posse included Butterball, Chatterer, and the Female. After attacks from a deceptive dead-skin-wearing uncle, a group of deal-reneging “explorers” from another realm, and a stepmother hell-bent on devouring her boyfriend, Kirsty even withstood a trip to the Cenobyte realm. In Hellraiser III, she existed only through old interview footage, but she returned in Hellseeker with some gruesome tricks up her sleeve.

Being orphaned could inspire one to focus on new hobbies and interests, like mastering such a puzzle box, incidentally called the “Lament Configuration.” That, and a propensity for turning the tables on your loved ones, could be all you need to survive when confronted by violent unearthly beings that thrive on the pleasures of pain.


Nancy Thompson

Nancy-Thompson

Survived: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

How exactly does one defeat a nemesis who manifests himself in the dream world and makes nightmares come true? Nancy Thompson seemed to have figured out the trick, but not before notorious burn victim Freddy Krueger dispatched a good number of her friends and family in gruesome ways.

After Freddy skewered her BFFs and effectively turned her boyfriend into a bloody geyser in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy somehow managed to escape, only to meet her end in Part 3: Dream Warriors. But here’s the kicker: Freddy actually came after the actress who played Nancy, Heather Langenkamp, in Wes Craven’s [very meta] New Nightmare, in which he also terrorized director Craven himself and the man who portrayed him in the movies, Robert Englund. Whoa… And maybe, you might think, a name change would help protect poor Nancy, but Freddy’s too smart for that.


Jill Tuck

Jill-Tuck

Survived: Saw III through Saw 3D

Throughout all the twists and turns of the Saw franchise, one woman emerged as the series’ unlikely hero (seriously, the bad guys got waaay more screen time than the goodies): Jill Tuck, the ex-wife of serial killer Jigsaw. Jill was a rehabilitation clinic director who suffered a miscarriage after an assault from a junkie, prompting Jigsaw’s descent into madness.

Despite the Saw series’ brutally high body count, Jill survived five filmed appearances. After Jigsaw’s death in Saw III, she received a mysterious box via his will. For a while, her role as either protagonist or antagonist was up in the air, making her the most compelling character outside of Jigsaw himself. Then it was revealed her final role in Jigsaw’s twisted blueprint was to “test” his apprentice, crazy corrupt cop Mark Hoffman. Jill almost took him out, but was eventually killed in the final Saw with the infamous reverse bear trap.


Cindy Campbell

Cindy-Campbell

Survived: The first four Scary Movie movies

A high-school-student-turned-college-student-turned-anchorwoman-turned-professional-boxer-turned-caregiver, Cindy Campbell knows how to throw down and maybe even snap some necks. Her response to a home-attack by Ghostface? What else? Throw a HOUSE PARTY! That would be the safest thing to do, right? But everyone ended up dead. Go figure. Her Matrix-like aerial fighting skills got her through another night, but could she survive a wedgie in Scary Movie 2? Turns out… she could and did!

This one was handy though. Only Cindy Campbell could MacGyver random objects into a tractor, allowing her to crash through the door of a refrigerator she was locked in. Even a UN nude-ray couldn’t stop this savvy ingénue. At one point, an alien Command tripod ensnared her with Venus flytraps in a grimy old bathroom, and she was instructed to find the key to free herself and her friend Brenda. The key was located behind her eye, but it wasn’t a problem for Cindy. She’s got a glass eye (old bar fight injury).

Cindy has survived a lot. She’s slick and sagacious. But we’re still not sure whether she’s still with us, since she sat out Scary Movie 5.


Sidney Prescott

Sidney-Prescott

Survived: The Scream Franchise

Poor Sidney Prescott. She survived an entire franchise dedicated to her demise, and it really all came down to reasons that were far beyond her control. What’s that saying about “the sins of the father” (or, in this case, mother)? Yeah, Sidney sort of represents the epitome of the adage.

Consider this: Sidney’s own boyfriend, Billy, played the long con on her and ultimately tried to off her in the first Scream because Sidney’s mom broke apart his parents’ marriage — yikes. But it got worse: who should come around for revenge in Scream 2 but Billy’s mom herself, understandably upset, along with an accomplice who just wanted to be famous for killing Sidney. Scream 3 saw Sidney terrorized by a half brother she never knew she had, upset about being rejected by their mother, and 4‘s Ghostface Killer turned out to be Sidney’s own cousin, itching to get a taste of Sidney’s fame. Sidney is safe and sound as of now, of course, but you never know; there might be a great granduncle or a step-niece just rarin’ for a go at her.


Alice

Alice

Survived: The Resident Evil Franchise

At first, it wouldn’t appear that the Umbrella Corporation of the Resident Evil films planned very well for a possible outbreak of their zombifying T-virus. In fact, the soldiers sent to Umbrella’s secret lab in 2002’s Resident Evil spent most of their time simply trying to survive.

But even in the face of this population-decimating epidemic, there was one particular survivor who eventually went on the offensive for the good of all mankind, and her name was Alice. The folks at Umbrella must have spotted her potential, too, because in Apocalypse (2004), they outfitted Alice with some genetic modifications, and in Extinction (2007), they even cloned her in hopes of building a butt-kicking army. She’s survived attacks by all kinds of mutations, speedy, strong, and grotesque, but she hasn’t fallen yet. Alice and Umbrella both know the whole ordeal is Umbrella’s fault, and her quest to bring them to justice continues through to the franchise’s sixth installment, which is scheduled to open next year.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is out in theaters this week, inspiring this week’s 24 Frames gallery: a visual bloody guide to the history of zombies in film and on your television. Brrraaaaaiinnsss….


En español: Read this article in Spanish at Tomatazos.com.

The 3D zombie sequel
Resident
Evil: Afterlife
easily topped the North American box office on its
opening frame leading a sluggish marketplace that delivered the worst ticket
sales in over two years. Grossing more than the next six films combined, the
R-rated action pic from Sony’s Screen Gems unit debuted to an estimated $27.7M
helped, of course, by 3D surcharges. The fourth in the successful line of
Milla Jovovich
films averaged a muscular $8,648 from 3,203 theaters outgunning the $23.7M of
the last film in the series, 2007’s
Resident
Evil: Extinction
, which was the previous franchise high. Admissions
remained mostly the same with just over three million tickets sold.

Shot in 3D and offering a popular brand and formula,
Afterlife
attracted fans that have enjoyed the film series and video game over the
years. According to studio research, 58% of the crowd was male while those over
and under 25 were about even. Over 2,000 of the playdates offered 3D screens
including 141 digital IMAX venues charging as much as $18 per ticket. Facing
zero competition thanks to a mix of no new wide releases and aging holdovers
made the newest Alice flick the only game in town. Afterlife also
generated the seventh best September opening ever and was not screened in
advance for critics.

Overseas, the zombie pic was a big hit pulling in an impressive $45.5M which was
two-and-a-half times bigger than the openings of the last Evil film in
the same markets. Leading the way were Japan with a massive $15.5M and Russia
with $9.5M. Afterlife was directed by
Paul W.S.
Anderson
who has plenty of experience in bringing video game fun to the big
screen having helmed 1995’s
Mortal Kombat
,
2004’s Alien vs.
Predator
, and 2002’s original
Resident Evil
.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237119[/rtimage]

Sony and Screen Gems seized second place too with the hit heist pic
Takers
which held its
position with an estimated $6.1M dropping by only 44%. After 17 days, the PG-13
film has taken in an impressive $48.1M and could be headed north of $60M which
nobody thought was possible just a few weeks ago.

Following its mild Labor Day debut which was good enough for the top spot,
George Clooney‘s
assassin drama The
American
declined by a disturbing 55% to an estimated $5.9M for a 12-day
total of $28.3M. It was the second highest drop for any film in the top ten and
was especially large for a film that caters to an older crowd that typically
doesn’t rush out on the first weekend. Add in the fact that American‘s
Wednesday launch meant its opening weekend gross did not include the opening day
tally and the fact that no new films targeting its mature adult audience opened
this weekend and the 55% fall becomes quite troubling. It can only be attributed
to poor word-of-mouth. A final of $38-40M could result.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237121[/rtimage]

The Mexploitation actioner
Machete
fell a sharp
63% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.2M for Fox. After ten days, the
Robert
Rodriguez
film has cut up $20.8M – about even with the film that
inspired it, 2007’s
Grindhouse
, which also dropped by 63% in its sophomore frame with $4.3M
and $19.8M in ten days. The double feature ended with $25M and Machete should
end a bit above the same amount.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237120[/rtimage]

The rest of the top ten was filled with summer holdovers that finished in a
tight range within $1M of each other. Final grosses to be reported on Monday may
see some rankings change. Fifth place went to the R-rated romantic comedy
Going the
Distance
which dropped a moderate 44% in its second weekend to an
estimated $3.8M. The ten-day total for Warner Bros. is only $14M and a $22-24M
final is likely. Will Ferrell’s latest hit
The Other Guys

fell just 32% to an estimated $3.6M bumping Sony’s cume to $112.7M.

A pair of Lionsgate titles followed. The fright flick
The Last Exorcism

grossed an estimated $3.5M, off 53%, and has scared up $38.2M to date. Sylvester
Stallone’s action flick
The Expendables

inched closer to the century club with an estimated $3.3M, down 51%, for a
$98.5M total.

Spending its ninth weekend in the top ten, the sci-fi thriller
Inception
slipped
34% to an estimated $3M giving Warner Bros. $282.4M thus far. Surpassing $290M
should be easy but reaching $300M seems unlikely without some sort of
re-release. Eat Pray
Love
placed tenth with an estimated $2.9M, down 40%, and a $74.6M sum
for Sony which had four films in the top ten.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $63.9M which was down 11% from last year
when I
Can Do Bad All By Myself
opened in the top spot with $23.4M; and down
22% from 2008 when
Burn After Reading

debuted at number one with $19.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

The 3D zombie sequel
Resident
Evil: Afterlife
easily topped the North American box office on its
opening frame leading a sluggish marketplace that delivered the worst ticket
sales in over two years. Grossing more than the next six films combined, the
R-rated action pic from Sony’s Screen Gems unit debuted to an estimated $27.7M
helped, of course, by 3D surcharges. The fourth in the successful line of
Milla Jovovich
films averaged a muscular $8,648 from 3,203 theaters outgunning the $23.7M of
the last film in the series, 2007’s
Resident
Evil: Extinction
, which was the previous franchise high. Admissions
remained mostly the same with just over three million tickets sold.

Shot in 3D and offering a popular brand and formula,
Afterlife
attracted fans that have enjoyed the film series and video game over the
years. According to studio research, 58% of the crowd was male while those over
and under 25 were about even. Over 2,000 of the playdates offered 3D screens
including 141 digital IMAX venues charging as much as $18 per ticket. Facing
zero competition thanks to a mix of no new wide releases and aging holdovers
made the newest Alice flick the only game in town. Afterlife also
generated the seventh best September opening ever and was not screened in
advance for critics.

Overseas, the zombie pic was a big hit pulling in an impressive $45.5M which was
two-and-a-half times bigger than the openings of the last Evil film in
the same markets. Leading the way were Japan with a massive $15.5M and Russia
with $9.5M. Afterlife was directed by
Paul W.S.
Anderson
who has plenty of experience in bringing video game fun to the big
screen having helmed 1995’s
Mortal Kombat
,
2004’s Alien vs.
Predator
, and 2002’s original
Resident Evil
.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237119[/rtimage]

Sony and Screen Gems seized second place too with the hit heist pic
Takers
which held its
position with an estimated $6.1M dropping by only 44%. After 17 days, the PG-13
film has taken in an impressive $48.1M and could be headed north of $60M which
nobody thought was possible just a few weeks ago.

Following its mild Labor Day debut which was good enough for the top spot,
George Clooney‘s
assassin drama The
American
declined by a disturbing 55% to an estimated $5.9M for a 12-day
total of $28.3M. It was the second highest drop for any film in the top ten and
was especially large for a film that caters to an older crowd that typically
doesn’t rush out on the first weekend. Add in the fact that American‘s
Wednesday launch meant its opening weekend gross did not include the opening day
tally and the fact that no new films targeting its mature adult audience opened
this weekend and the 55% fall becomes quite troubling. It can only be attributed
to poor word-of-mouth. A final of $38-40M could result.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237121[/rtimage]

The Mexploitation actioner
Machete
fell a sharp
63% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.2M for Fox. After ten days, the
Robert
Rodriguez
film has cut up $20.8M – about even with the film that
inspired it, 2007’s
Grindhouse
, which also dropped by 63% in its sophomore frame with $4.3M
and $19.8M in ten days. The double feature ended with $25M and Machete should
end a bit above the same amount.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10237120[/rtimage]

The rest of the top ten was filled with summer holdovers that finished in a
tight range within $1M of each other. Final grosses to be reported on Monday may
see some rankings change. Fifth place went to the R-rated romantic comedy
Going the
Distance
which dropped a moderate 44% in its second weekend to an
estimated $3.8M. The ten-day total for Warner Bros. is only $14M and a $22-24M
final is likely. Will Ferrell’s latest hit
The Other Guys

fell just 32% to an estimated $3.6M bumping Sony’s cume to $112.7M.

A pair of Lionsgate titles followed. The fright flick
The Last Exorcism

grossed an estimated $3.5M, off 53%, and has scared up $38.2M to date. Sylvester
Stallone’s action flick
The Expendables

inched closer to the century club with an estimated $3.3M, down 51%, for a
$98.5M total.

Spending its ninth weekend in the top ten, the sci-fi thriller
Inception
slipped
34% to an estimated $3M giving Warner Bros. $282.4M thus far. Surpassing $290M
should be easy but reaching $300M seems unlikely without some sort of
re-release. Eat Pray
Love
placed tenth with an estimated $2.9M, down 40%, and a $74.6M sum
for Sony which had four films in the top ten.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $63.9M which was down 11% from last year
when I
Can Do Bad All By Myself
opened in the top spot with $23.4M; and down
22% from 2008 when
Burn After Reading

debuted at number one with $19.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

KT

After a long hiatus from the Resident Evil director’s chair, Paul W.S. Anderson returns with Afterlife, fourth in the series, which sees survivors Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) mowing down zombies and monsters and entering their most horrific location yet: Los Angeles. Between the original Resident Evil and Afterlife, Anderson directed AVP: Alien vs. Predator and Death Race, all part of a long body of fanboy work that includes early efforts like Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon. With Afterlife hitting theaters this Friday, Rotten Tomatoes sat down with Anderson to talk about what compelled him to return to direct this installment and what it was like working with James Cameron’s 3D technology.

Paul W.S. Anderson’s Five Favorite Films, listed in no particular order:


Rotten Tomatoes: What brought you back to the director’s chair for this one?

Paul W.S. Anderson: A couple of things. One is, basically, I really miss the fun of directing Resident Evil. I loved making the first movie as a director, and… I mean, I’d written and produced the other movies, but I kind of missed the fun of directing them. I wanted that fun again, and I wanted the experience of making a movie with Milla [Jovovich] again. So I very much wanted to come back. And also, added to that, it was like, “Why another Resident Evil movie? Why are we going to get people to come back and see it one more time?” And I felt, if we were going to make another Resident Evil movie, the only thing to do was to make the biggest and the best Resident Evil yet, and to really kind of elevate the franchise. Just raise the bar. You know, I was very influenced by what [James] Cameron had done with the Terminator franchise, where you saw the difference between Terminator and T2, where it’s the same franchise with the same characters and it’s the same story, but the movie’s on a much more epic scale. And I thought that’s what we should do with our movie and with our franchise, and I felt I was the right filmmaker with the right skill set to do that.

How do you get more epic than the third part, which was reasonably epic…

“Reasonably epic.” We’re going for “epically epic.” Well, I think there’s a couple of ways. I think the 3D was one aspect of it. I thought, “We’ll make it 3D.” That will open up the movie, because it will make it a more immersive movie, and a more immersive experience, which, I think for action and for horror, the more immersive you can be, the better it is. You know, 3D is obviously not as suited to drama and romantic comedies. But for what I do, I felt that 3D was a very, very appropriate technology.

And the other is, just to kind of, to make the movie more of a globetrotting movie with more epic imagery in it. So, to that end, we shot in Tokyo, we shot on these fantastic glaciers in Alaska, we shot in Hollywood, we shot in Long Beach, we shot in Canada. I mean, it really became a movie with a much broader, more epic scope.


[rtimage]siteImageId=10237071[/rtimage]

Having not seen the movie, I assume Alice is now battling zombies across the globe, then?

Yes. The first act all takes place in Tokyo. I mean, all of them have had one environment, really. The first one was very much kind of a chamber piece horror that took place in the hive, in a very contained time period. The second one kind of broadened out a little bit, but it was all in one city in one night.

So this is more like a James Bond zombie movie, with locations across the world?

It’s more globetrotting. It’s a more epic film. Yeah, it’s definitely… It’s an epic of the undead genre, that’s for sure.

Was it harder to work with the 3D cameras? This is quite new technology, having just been used by James Cameron. What were the challenges?

Well, Cameron screened a chunk of Avatar for us over a year ago, and I loved the quality of the 3D imagery that he was getting with this camera system. That’s what persuaded me to use the Cameron/Pace camera system and to really go 3D with the movie. Because I’d seen a lot of 3D movies before, and to be honest, I always felt that it was an idea that was waiting for the technology to catch up with it. Great idea, but no one had really executed it correctly. When I saw the imagery they were getting with the Cameron/Pace rigs, I was like, “Now they’ve cracked it, finally. This is what 3D should look like.”

And I think people are still confused about what 3D should look like. As good as Avatar looked, you know, really the next real, live-action 3D movie to come out would be Resident Evil, because everything else that’s been released this year has been a dimensionalization. It’s become a post-production process, which, to me, I always refer to them as “2-and-a-half-D.” You know, it’s not 2D, but it’s not really, true 3D either. True 3D is, you have to kind of originate the images in three dimensions. I know from the footage we’ve shown to people… We did a big press junket in Cancun a few weeks ago, and the press were like, “Wow, I finally see what 3D is supposed to look like.” It’s supposed to look like what it looked like in Avatar, where there’s incredible depth, and it’s really crisp, and it looked really slick.


[rtimage]siteImageId=10237073[/rtimage]

Do you think once audiences get used to that, they won’t accept any more conversions?

I think so. I really believe that, as filmmakers, we have a duty, which is, if we’re asking people to pay a premium price for a 3D ticket, we have a duty to deliver a premium product. And I feel that the premium product is delivered by really shooting a proper 3D movie. And it’s expensive, there’s no doubt about it; it’s cheaper and it’s easier to shoot a 2D movie and dimensionalize it. But you have to shoot in real 3D to get the real 3D quality, I think.



Resident Evil: Afterlife, starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Wentworth Miller, opens this weekend in the US. For more reviews and information on the film, check back on the Resident Evil: Afterlife page!

This week at the movies brings only one wide release: The fourth installment of the zombie-infested sci-fi/action Resident Evil franchise (Resident Evil: Afterlife, starring Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MovieID=770816172[/tomatometer]

Resident Evil: Afterlife

We’d love to give you the lowdown on the latest entry in the venerable Resident Evil franchise, but Afterlife wasn’t screened for critics — which, given that the best-reviewed entry in the series is at 34 percent, was probably a wise move. Milla Jovovich is back as Alice, a one-woman zombie-killing force; this time out, she’s headed to Los Angeles to stop the latest dastardly deeds by the evil Umbrella Corporation. It’s time to play guess the Tomatometer! (Plus, we’ve got tons of Resident Evil-related stuff, including Five Favorite Films with director Paul WS Anderson and star Wentworth Miller. And be sure to check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we take a look at some of the best and worst part fours in movie history.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

Indiana Jones

It’s no secret that Hollywood loves sequels — but studios are also pretty quick to abandon franchises when they start running out of steam at the box office, so if a series can make it past three installments, it’s an achievement worth noticing. Of course, noticing and commending are two different things — but while we tend to be cynical about sequels, particularly later ones, not all fourth film chapters are created equal. In honor of Resident Evil: Afterlife‘s impending bow, we decided to dedicate this week’s column to some of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) third sequels. Direct-to-video titles were, as always, off limits, and we mostly ignored the many sequel-friendly (and drearily similar) horror franchises — but that still left plenty of films to choose from. From the maligned to the honored, from the wildly successful to the all-but-forgotten, it’s time to Total Recall…tetralogically!


[tomatometer]MovieID=770684789[/tomatometer]

The Magnificent Seven Ride!

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Get seven mercenaries together in the Wild West, load up their pistols, and you’ve got yourself countless stories to tell — and as long as they keep their hats on, it’s harder for audiences to tell that you’ve replaced the entire original cast.

Major Changes: Lee Van Cleef stars here as Chris Adams, taking over the lead role from Yul Brynner and George Kennedy. Other than that, this is fairly standard ridin’ and shootin’.

Does the Saga Continue? Not unless you count the short-lived Magnificent Seven series that ran on CBS during the late 1990s.


[tomatometer]MovieID=9797[/tomatometer]

Herbie Goes Bananas

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because once you’ve gotten people to line up for a movie about a Volkswagen Beetle that can think for itself, science pretty much demands that you keep on doing it until they lose interest.

Major Changes: Having traveled to Monte Carlo in the previous sequel, Herbie heads for Mexico, where he meets up with an irascible young pickpocket (named Paco, natch), foils a scheme to steal Incan treasure, and, uh, bullfights. Cloris Leachman, still six years away from scraping the barrel with The Facts of Life, appears, as does a clearly pained Harvey Korman.

Does the Saga Continue? Pretty much. Two years later, Herbie made his way to television via the quickly canceled Herbie the Matchmaker; then, in 2005, Lindsay Lohan got behind the wheel for Herbie: Fully Loaded.


[tomatometer]MovieID=12457[/tomatometer]

Police Academy 4 – Citizens on Patrol

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because George Gaynes needed something to do on his Punky Brewster hiatus. Besides, the law clearly stated that Steve Guttenberg had to be in at least a dozen films in 1987.

Major Changes: For the fourth Academy, our bumbling officers are paired up with ordinary citizens through the Citizens on Patrol program (COP — get it?). Gaynes, regrettably, doesn’t appear in much of the movie, thanks to a gaggle of screen-hogging new recruits that include a young David Spade (and Sharon Stone, busily touring many of the worst films of the late 1980s).

Does the Saga Continue? Yes — for quite awhile, in fact. The series slowed down after 1989’s Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, but it resurfaced for a seventh installment with 1994’s Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, and a franchise reboot has been rumored for years.


[tomatometer]MovieID=12623[/tomatometer]

Jaws 4 – The Revenge

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Three reasons: 1) Sharks are always scary, 2) 1983’s Jaws 3-D grossed almost $90 million against an $18 million budget, and 3) Jaws 3-D was so bad that almost anything else had to be better. Enter this 1987 aquatic turkey, along with one of the most infamous taglines ever: “This time it’s personal.”

Major Changes: Pretending Jaws 3-D didn’t exist, Jaws: The Revenge returned the franchise’s focus to the Brody family, the shark-killing clan headed up by Roy Scheider in the first two films. Scheider disavowed the series after Jaws 2, so the story centered on his widow (Lorraine Gary, reprising her role) and her discovery that a shark is, uh, stalking her family. After enlisting a free-spirited pilot (Academy Award winner Michael Caine) to help her end the carnage once and for all, Ellen impales the great white…at which point it explodes.

Does the Saga Continue? Absolutely not. But in today’s reboot-crazy climate (and the renewed viability of creature features like Piranha 3D), it’s probably only a matter of time before the original oceanic baddie returns to reclaim its crown.


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The Next Karate Kid

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: It’s difficult to say, given that The Karate Kid Part III was disliked by critics, ignored by audiences, and mocked by the 1989 Golden Raspberry Awards, where it received five nominations (including Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Actor).

Major Changes: After Ralph Macchio decided he was finished playing Daniel-san (and director John G. Avildsen left the franchise to direct 8 Seconds), the studio opted for a fresh start, transplanting Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) from L.A. to Boston and giving him an angry teenage girl (Hilary Swank) to train. Also new: The Next Karate Kid‘s pitiful $15 million gross.

Does the Saga Continue? Sort of. After lying dormant for 16 years, the franchise was revived in early 2010 with a reboot starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan — and given that the new Karate Kid has earned almost $300 million, another sequel is already in the works.


[tomatometer]MovieID=11847[/tomatometer]

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because not even the garish silliness of 1983’s Richard Pryor-assisted Superman III was enough to kill the franchise. That would take the foul might of Superman IV‘s ludicrous villain, Nuclear Man.

Major Changes: Jon Cryer joins the cast as Lex Luthor’s teenage nephew Lenny, and Mariel Hemingway bats her eyes as the would-be Super seductress Lacy Warfield. But most importantly, there’s the well-intentioned (but woefully, woefully misguided) storyline, which finds Superman on a quest to rid the Earth of nuclear weapons.

Does the Saga Continue? This chunk of cinematic Kryptonite was enough to keep the franchise in suspended animation until 2006, when Brandon Routh donned the cape for Superman Returns…only to watch Warners put the Man of Steel back in development hell.


[tomatometer]MovieID=11169[/tomatometer]

Batman & Robin

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Even with a new Batman (Val Kilmer, taking over for Michael Keaton) and a decidedly mixed response from critics, 1995’s Batman Forever lived up to its title, besting Batman Returns‘ $266 million worldwide gross — so a fourth film was inevitable, even if it meant switching stars again.

Major Changes: Kilmer wasn’t available when Warner Bros. wanted to film Batman and Robin, so George Clooney donned the cowl and stood alongside Robin (a returning Chris O’Donnell) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) against the menace of the diabolical Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

Does the Saga Continue? Yes, but it took eight years and a whole bunch of false starts before the studio finally settled on Christopher Nolan to reboot the franchise with 2005’s Batman Begins. We think you’ll agree they chose wisely.


[tomatometer]MovieID=463044103[/tomatometer]

Hannibal Rising

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because after The Silence of the Lambs proved that Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter character was irresistible to movie audiences, he did the sensible thing and kept right on cranking out Lecter books for years — and the film adaptations kept coming too.

Major Changes: For the first time since 1986’s Manhunter (which we’re not counting here anyway), Lecter wasn’t played by Anthony Hopkins — because no matter how great an actor he is, he wasn’t the right guy to portray Lecter during his transformation from impressionable Lithuanian youth to murderous cannibal.

Does the Saga Continue? No, and it doesn’t seem likely that it will — at least not for another ten years or so, when some enterprising producer gets the itch to reboot the whole series.


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Death Wish IV: The Crackdown

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: It really probably should have been, but the Death Wish movies were a modest cash cow for Cannon — 1985’s wonderfully over-the-top Death Wish 3 turned a profit despite its paltry $16 million gross.

Major Changes: Tireless vigilante Paul Kersey (Bronson) heads to L.A., because there’s a major drug problem, and he’s the only one man enough to wipe out the dealers. With grenades.

Does the Saga Continue? Sadly, yes. Bronson was somehow lured back to the franchise for 1994’s ghastly Death Wish V: The Face of Death, which ended up grossing less than $2 million during its brief theatrical run.


[tomatometer]MovieID=770670441[/tomatometer]

The Concorde … Airport ’79

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because throwing a bunch of B-list stars into an enclosed space and making them act out a ridiculous storyline never gets old. (Also: George Kennedy, who appeared as Renaissance man Joe Petroni in all of the Airport movies, had bills to pay.)

Major Changes: The Airport series started slipping into the realm of the bizarre with the Bermuda Triangle-set Airport ’77, but here it careens into sci-fi with a storyline involving a crazed arms dealer (Robert Wagner) trying to destroy a Concorde jet. Charo, Martha Raye, and Jimmie Walker are involved.

Does the Saga Continue? Did you read the words “Charo, Martha Raye, and Jimmie Walker”? Airport ’79 was the final nail in the franchise — as well as the disaster-movie fad of the ’70s, so ripe for parody at this point that the spoof Airplane! was a bigger hit (and a better film).


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Fast and Furious

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because fast cars are awesome. It also didn’t hurt that the stars of the original (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster) reprised their roles, restoring continuity to a series that had undergone plenty of cast turnover.

Major Changes: There’s an important death that, ahem, fuels the plot, but other than that, this is not a franchise that values change. It’s fast and it’s furious — what else do you expect?

Does the Saga Continue? The fifth installment, currently titled Fast Five, is filming now with Diesel and Walker, as well as Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, and Dwayne Johnson.


[tomatometer]MovieID=770676948[/tomatometer]

Terminator Salvation

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because when you’ve got a franchise big enough to support a head-scratching, time-traveling storyline, multiple studio deaths, and a short-lived TV spinoff, you don’t stop until your killer robots are completely out of juice. Plus, there’s that whole “$1.4 billion in worldwide box office” thing to consider.

Major Changes: Christian Bale stepped into the role of resistance leader/Chosen One John Connor, taking over for Nick Stahl (Terminator 3) and Edward Furlong (Terminator 2); Bryce Dallas Howard inherited the role of Kate Brewster Connor from Terminator 3‘s Claire Danes. But the most important addition was undoubtedly Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, the unwitting cyborg who helps Connor keep Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) alive long enough to head back in time…where he’ll become Connor’s father. Wait, what?

Does the Saga Continue? Not yet — another studio bankruptcy has postponed further development of the “new trilogy” that Salvation was supposed to begin — but we’re pretty sure the machines will rise again.


[tomatometer]MovieID=770670295[/tomatometer]

Rambo

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because after 20 years, the guilt of being responsible for 1988’s extraordinarily silly Rambo III was too much for Sylvester Stallone to bear.

Major Changes: Well, Rambo is 20 years older, for starters — and while the years have been kind to his sculpted physique, they’ve taken a brutal toll on his spiritual well-being. As Rambo begins, he’s basically a snarling hermit who yells at the missionary (Julie Benz) who asks him for a ferry ride into Burma. He eventually changes his mind, of course…and lays thrilling waste to dozens upon dozens of bad guys.

Does the Saga Continue? For awhile, it looked like Stallone was gearing up for a fifth installment — at one point, it was even rumored that Rambo would fight a genetically engineered super-beast — but his most recent statements seem to indicate that he’s done with the character. Of course, that doesn’t mean the franchise couldn’t be rebooted without him.

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Bride of Chucky

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because when you’re dealing with a series of films about the soul of a psychotic killer inside a freaky-looking doll, the possibilities are endless. (Two words: Doll sex.)

Major Changes: The introduction of Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), the ding-a-ling whose undying love for the executed Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) drives her to stitch together the mangled Chucky doll in the hopes of bringing him back to life once and for all. Tiffany gets axed, naturally, only to find new life in the body of another doll, which leads to a kooky body-switching scheme involving Katherine Heigl. And doll sex.

Does the Saga Continue? Are you saying you haven’t seen 2004’s majestically insane Seed of Chucky? For shame.


[tomatometer]MovieID=12590[/tomatometer]

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because between 1968 and 1975, people were Apes crazy — the original film spawned multiple sequels, a short-lived television series, and even a Saturday morning cartoon. Talking apes! What could be more entertaining?

Major Changes: Conquest takes the series back to the beginning, sort of, with the culmination of a twisty, time-traveling storyline that’s far too involved to explain here. Suffice it to say that Caesar (Roddy McDowall), the child of civilized apes from the future, finds himself torn from his kindly master Armondo (Ricardo Montalban), made a slave, and subjected to torture — at which point he has no choice but to start the simian uprising that led to the events of the original Planet of the Apes.

Does the Saga Continue? It did, in fact, with the fifth film (1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes), as well as the aforementioned TV series and cartoon — not to mention Tim Burton’s reboot and the next in the series, Rise of the Apes, currently scheduled for a 2011 release. Clearly, we still love our talking apes.


[tomatometer]MovieID=11576[/tomatometer]

Rocky IV

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because once the Italian Stallion whupped Mr. T in the ring, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do — including ending the Cold War with his fists. And anyway, Rocky III was the highest-grossing installment in the series to that point.

Major Changes: Continuing the theme established with Rocky III and the tragic death of his crusty trainer, Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), Rocky IV does away with Rocky’s longtime frenemy Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the first reel — via a charity match against the towering Soviet boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Also, Rocky grows a beard at one point.

Does the Saga Continue? Indeed. And although 1990’s Rocky V initially looked like a miserable end to a once-mighty film series, Sylvester Stallone brought Rocky out of retirement one more time for 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which restored a good deal of the franchise’s lost critical luster (and didn’t do too poorly at the box office, either).


[tomatometer]MovieID=13559[/tomatometer]

Lethal Weapon 4

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: The American box office totals for Lethal Weapon 3 were a slight step down from Lethal Weapon 2, but foreign grosses helped make it the most successful entry in the series by far — and even after a six-year break between sequels, there was still plenty of interest in the further adventures of LAPD Detectives Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover).

Major Changes: You can’t have a buddy cop sequel without an awesome villain, and wushu champion Jet Li — making his American film debut — added a new martial arts element to the franchise’s usual action thrills. But quips were always just as important as gunfights and explosions in the Lethal Weapon series, and to shore up the fourth installment’s comedic quotient, Chris Rock joined the cast as Murtaugh’s secret son-in-law (and fellow cop), Lee Butters.

Does the Saga Continue? Rumors of a fifth Lethal Weapon surface from time to time, but as of this writing, it appears Murtaugh really meant it the last time he vowed he was getting too old for this.


[tomatometer]MovieID=13889[/tomatometer]

Alien Resurrection

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Everyone was pretty unhappy with the lackluster Alien 3, including Sigourney Weaver, who seemed an unlikely bet to return to the franchise — not least because her character, Ripley, killed herself at the end of the film. But thanks to Fox’s cajoling, and a Joss Whedon script that cloned sci-fi’s most tenacious heroine, Resurrection brought fans Ripley reborn.

Major Changes: Resurrection fast-forwards the Alien timeline by 200 years, and gives us a Ripley clone with hybrid human/alien blood. Also along for the sequel is Winona Ryder, who plays the mysterious mercenary known as Call.

Does the Saga Continue? Sort of, although as far as most fans are concerned, the Alien vs. Predator movies don’t really count (and aren’t worth remembering).


[tomatometer]MovieID=770810590[/tomatometer]

Shrek Forever After

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Well, it isn’t like there’s any shortage of fairy tales to parody, or pop culture references to drop. And while their overall record has been rather uneven, DreamWorks Animation has always been able to count on Shrek movies delivering decent reviews and healthy box office returns.

Major Changes: This time around, Shrek falls prey to Rumpelstiltskin, who vows revenge after Shrek unwittingly ruins one of his cons. The resulting adventure mirrors It’s a Wonderful Life, with the newly domesticated Shrek wishing he could return to his former lifestyle — and the shifty Rumpelstiltskin only too happy to oblige.

Does the Saga Continue? Allegedly, no; the studio says Shrek Forever After will conclude the saga. But given that the franchise has grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide, that should probably be taken with an ogre-sized grain of salt.


[tomatometer]MovieID=14929[/tomatometer]

Sudden Impact

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because scum needed cleaning up — and because Harry Callahan had yet to utter the famous words “Go ahead, make my day.”

Major Changes: It’s a Dirty Harry movie, so not much changes, but the big difference for Sudden Impact is that Callahan’s exasperated captain exiles him to the fictional town of San Paulo (Santa Cruz in disguise), where he’s tasked with solving an unusually grisly murder. The major addition to the cast? A bulldog named Meathead.

Does the Saga Continue? Yes, but not for long: Clint Eastwood made his final Dirty Harry movie with the fifth installment in the franchise, 1988’s The Dead Pool.


[tomatometer]MovieID=10008[/tomatometer]

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because not only did the first three Star Wars movies define the intergalactic daydreams of a generation, they barely hinted at the possibilities of the huge story they told. As far back as the 1980s, George Lucas was rumored to be working on prequel and sequel trilogies, and when The Phantom Menace finally arrived in theaters in 1999, it was a true cinematic event.

Major Changes: Just about everything, really — where Return of the Jedi ended with the death of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, The Phantom Menace backtracked to Anakin’s youth as a slave on Tatooine, and the adventures of young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) with his Jedi mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). There was also this one goofy Gungan character, but the less meesa says about him, the better.

Does the Saga Continue? Most definitely — and although the Star Wars prequel trilogy never really captured the zeitgeist the same way the original films had, they all dominated the box office. Lucas now says he never intended to make a third trilogy, but you never know…


[tomatometer]MovieID=1785[/tomatometer]

Land of the Dead

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: What else do you expect from George Romero?

Major Changes: All of the Dead films are only loosely related (with zombies, of course, being the main thing they have in common); 2005’s Land of the Dead, following 20 years after Day of the Dead, follows the tyranny and eventual destruction of the iron-fisted postapocalyptic warlord Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper, natch), who rules over the brutal class warfare in post-zombie Pittsburgh.

Does the Saga Continue? Like Romero’s zombies, the Dead series continues lumbering on; the sixth installment, Survival of the Dead, was released earlier this year.


[tomatometer]MovieID=769964099[/tomatometer]

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because even after almost 20 years, people wouldn’t stop bugging Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford for more whip-cracking Indiana Jones adventures. And after a decade of duds, Ford needed a movie that would really take advantage of his way with a fedora and a snappy one-liner.

Major Changes: Young actor du jour Shia LaBeouf joined the cast as scrappy sidekick Mutt Williams, the son Indy never knew he had with old flame Marion Ravenwood (the long-missed Karen Allen). Leading up the bad guys was Cate Blanchett as Soviet agent Irina Spalko, whose quest for world domination leads the whole gang to Brazil…and an encounter with the supernatural.

Does the Saga Continue? Not yet, but Lucas and Ford say a fifth installment is in the works.


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Live Free or Die Hard

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Like Harrison Ford with Indiana Jones, Bruce Willis will always be Detective John McClane to many filmgoers — and like Ford, Willis spent years answering questions about when he’d return to the franchise. The fact that the first three films grossed nearly $750 million worldwide didn’t hurt, either.

Major Changes: McClane is older and balder in this installment, which finds him trying to build a relationship with his hostile daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) while saving the world from a gang of hacker terrorists led by the nefarious Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) — and trading barbs with good guy hacker Matt Farrell (Justin Long).

Does the Saga Continue? It hasn’t yet, but the wheels are in motion on a fifth Die Hard, currently being scripted by Skip Woods (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra).


[tomatometer]MovieID=12428[/tomatometer]

Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Have you ever seen a Trekkie going through sequel withdrawal? It isn’t pretty. And unlike many of the films on this list, Star Trek IV actually felt somewhat necessary, as it continued the larger story from Star Trek II and III.

Major Changes: Space might have been the final frontier, but by this point, it had lost a little of its novelty — hence a storyline that sent the Enterprise’s crew back in time on a quest to bring Earth’s whales back from extinction. (Dodos, alas, were not part of the mission.)

Does the Saga Continue? At 11 films and counting, the Star Trek series is still going strong — and the last Trek, 2009’s J.J. Abrams-directed reboot, reinvigorated the franchise after the lackluster 1990s.


[tomatometer]MovieID=9272[/tomatometer]

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because millions of Potter fans would have stormed the studio if Warner Bros. had decided to stop adapting the series partway through. More importantly, the Harry Potter movies make tons and tons of money.

Major Changes: It wouldn’t be a Harry Potter sequel without a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher; this time around, it’s Alastor Moody (Brendan Gleeson), who — surprise! — may not be quite what he seems. On the storyline front, Goblet‘s main focus is the Triwizard Tournament, which pits competitors from three schools against one another for the titular prize.

Does the Saga Continue? Of course — in fact, the first half of the franchise’s final chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, will arrive in theaters this fall.


[tomatometer]MovieID=10900[/tomatometer]

Thunderball

Why Three Just Wasn’t Enough: Because even in 1965, the world knew James Bond was too suave for a measly trilogy.

Major Changes: Oh, the usual array of new gadgets (rocket belt, underwater jet pack/spear gun) and babes (Claudine Auger, Molly Peters). Bond has always been all about formula, not change — and it’s a formula that’s worked exceedingly well.

Does the Saga Continue? And how. The 23rd film in the series is currently in studio limbo due to MGM’s financial woes, but in Hollywood, Bond’s license to kill has come with a license to print money for nearly 50 years.


Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for Resident Evil: Afterlife.

Finally, here’s an ode to the number four from one of its biggest fans — Leslie Feist:

KT

Wentworth Miller rose to recognition with his role in TV’s hit series Prison Break, in which he played the jailhouse architect trying to bust out his falsely imprisoned brother. He’s no stranger to horror franchises, though, having appeared in 2003’s vampires-versus-werewolves showdown Underworld, and this week he’s back among the land of the undead in Resident Evil: Afterlife — the fourth installment of the enduring video game-inspired series. In Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3-D actioner, Miller is Chris Redfield, older brother to Ali Larter’s Claire — and, not incidentally, one of the original heroes from the very first Resident Evil game. We recently spoke to the amiable (and absurdly well-toned) Miller and asked him to name his all-time Five Favorite Films.

The Shining (1980,
87% Tomatometer)



The Shining

The Shining. I’m a huge horror fan, classic horror specifically, and there’s just something about them. Carrie, The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby. They’re horrifying, and they’re definitely frightening, but they’re also elegant, and they also show patience. And they’re also discreet in certain ways. When the horror comes, they’ve set it up so that there’s more of a payoff, because what’s come before has been executed in such a way that it doesn’t feel like… You know, you watch a horror movie that’s produced today, and they’re trying to scare you or freak you out, or they’ve got cats jumping out of the cupboards in the first five minutes. There’s no gradual build-up; it’s as though they don’t trust that the audience is going to hang in there and wait for the impact coming sixty or ninety minutes into the movie. They want to give it to you in the first ten minutes, which I think is kind of shoddy storytelling, and disrespectful to the audience.

You said patience, which is interesting. Do you think patience is a difficult thing to sell to the studios?

Maybe. I think, if anything, the way that you would convince a studio that patience is not only out there but it’s essential to good storytelling and only right to expect from an audience is that your average serialized drama – like LOST, 24, Prison Break – that sort of thing takes a serious amount of investment. You’ve got fans that are putting in time each and every week for years, sometimes, on end. So I think the desire is out there, the willingness is out there, to be taken along on a patient journey where the crumbs are kind of sprinkled throughout. They’re not dumped on your plate in the first ten minutes.

Carrie (1976,
90% Tomatometer)



Carrie

[See response to The Shining]

Time Bandits (1981,
94% Tomatometer)



Time Bandits

I think there’s something anarchic about it, which appealed to me as a kid, and appeals to me now. It’s Terry Gilliam, a phenomenal imagination, some brilliant performances. I think there’s something, obviously, very enticing and compelling about the story of a little boy swept up into a foreign land, having an extraordinary experience. I think that journey is kind of at the root of a lot of sci-fi narratives, and it’s easy to see the appeal. That kind of vicarious journey that you get to go on, but not actually experience, like the jaws of the dragon. It’s a thrill.

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973,
57% Tomatometer)



Jesus Christ Superstar

It’s Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson, 1973 if I’m not mistaken. It’s basically, he’s out in the desert, singing and dancing. It’s almost a little acid trippy, and yet, within these very campy elements and this big musical production, there’s obviously an impactful story and some great performances.

Bullets Over Broadway (1994,
96% Tomatometer)



Bullets Over Broadway

Fantastic cast, such smart writing, really quick-fire storytelling. Woody Allen is someone who doesn’t, I think, dumb down his pictures for an audience. He gives his audience credit, and I appreciate that. I enjoy that feeling that the director’s respecting me as an audience member; he’s not feeling as though I can’t potentially keep up with the pace that he’s setting or the story he’s laying down.

Would that be a badge of honor for you, working with Woody Allen?

Maybe so, maybe so, although I understand that if you’re asked to participate in a Woody Allen gig, you don’t see the script until very soon before shooting, which is actually kind of nerve-wracking. But at the same time, it’s this sort of dynamic that’s designed to keep you awake and alert and on your feet. It’s not difficult to understand why he gets such great performances from everyone who shows up in his films.


RT: It’s your first time with Resident Evil; how would you sum up the experience? Did you have fun?

Wentworth Miller: I did. I think what attracted me to the movie was that it’s got a nice balance between special effects and stunts, and character and story. I love the fact that it’s shot in 3D, and I think that’s going to be an exciting element for a lot of people, but I’m not an actor that geeks out on the technical side of things. I’ve always been more interested in the story that we’re telling, rather than by what means we’re telling that story. So the fact that it’s got characters and relationships you can believe in and care about and that deepen the overall narrative, as well as, you know, split-headed zombie dogs, that’s a nice balance that’s difficult to find. Empty fireworks in the sky don’t mean anything.



Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth installment in the video game-based franchise starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Wentworth Miller, opens on September 10th. Be sure to check back on RT’s Resident Evil: Afterlife page as reviews come in, and see what Ali Larter had to say about the movie and her own Five Favorite Films HERE.

Happy Friday Harvest, a weekly round-up of the
best pictures, posters, and videos that have become available for
viewing/download on Rotten Tomatoes. Each section features the favorite or most
interesting item we’ve
added for the week, along with several other new highlights. Enjoy!


Pictures


Picture Gallery of the Week:


Never Let Me Go

Not only is this an adaptation of one of Kazuo Ishiguro’s more opulent
novels, but it’s also the first film from One Hour Photo director Mark
Romanek in eight years. The movie seems to have to have the same calculated
pristine surface of One Hour Photo, which makes this sci-fi cautionary tale
more odd and sad.
Browse the gallery.

More New Pictures












The Last
Exorcism


New pics

Tangled

More pics


Going the Distance


Justin Long distance romcom


Resident Evil


Afterlife
Stone

Ed Norton in badass mode


Posters


Posters of the Week:

Buried

Well, it’s pretty easy to see why this poster is so effective isn’t?.
View the poster.

More New Posters












My Soul to Take

Craven new horror?

Hatchet II

In extra sharp 3D
Skyline

The title sounds like a SNES game
The Tempest

From Julie Taymor

Vanishing
on 7th Street


Fron director of The Machinist


Videos


Video of the Week:


Unstoppable trailer

Denzel Washington is back on a train. With Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
director Tony Scott back at the helm. While Pelham didn’t make any money,
they’re hoping second time around will make this a…runaway success.
Watch the video.

More New Videos












Harry Potter


Behind the scenes


I Spit On Your Grave


Trailer



Skyline


Trailer



The Virginity Hit


Mockumentary


Want to keep up to date on ALL the pictures, posters, and videos that are added to Rotten Tomatoes throughout the week? Then check out the
Trailers & Pictures page,
which is automatically updated as material is uploaded.

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