411 Fact or Fiction Movies/TV 09.13.13: Week 399
Posted by Ben Piper on 09.13.2013
Will Insidious 2 be better than the original? Are people stoked for more Sons Of Anarchy? Will The Family turn out to be a decent mob comedy? 411's Sean Garmer and Jeremy Wilson debate these topics and more!
So I went to Costco today, and I was browsing through their assorted DVD's that they had on sale. I went there to purchase Star Trek Into Darkness but found they only had the Blu-ray DVD combo pack, and seeing as I don't have a Blue-ray player and wanted a DVD only copy, I decided against it. But then I happened to notice that they had Justified season sets. So long story short, I got the first two seasons for 12 bucks apiece. Score!
This week in Fact or Fiction, we've got Sean Garmer and Jeremy Wilson to provide to us their insight. Let's see what they have to say
1. Insidious: Chapter 2 will be better than the original.
Sean Garmer:Fiction. I watched the first Insidious on Netflix Instant and was very surprised with how much I enjoyed it. My favorite part was that they took a different approach on spirits and the supernatural than you normally see in these types of films. When the film ended I felt we could see an Insidious 2. So, I'm not surprised at all we have this, but horror films tend to start deteriorating the moment it becomes a franchise. Mainly because a lot of them feel the need to start making third, fourth, fifth, and prequel editions of the original film and then you just completely forget there was a good first film at some point. I hope Insidious 2 is good, but the fact is, it probably will either overkill what made the first one great or not capture the essence of the original.
Jeremy Wilson:Fiction. As far as creepy, jump scare-filled horror films go, Insidious' first hour was more than a little effective. Unfortunately, I (and a few others) felt the gains it made in its first half unraveled rather rapidly during its third act, where it started to resemble a funhouse ride more than a genuine horror film. The first film borrowed a lot from a number of horror films, Poltergeist in particular, but it just couldn't stick the landing. Seeing that after The Conjuring obviously colors my feelings for both films from director James Wan, but it's hard not to look at the first Insidious as something of a warm-up for The Conjuring. Neither film was all that intelligent (a nice way of saying both are basically dumb horror), but The Conjuring was at least consistent, whereas Insidious let up exactly when it should have been turning the screws even tighter and digging the fingernails even deeper. If Insidious: Chapter 2 can match the consistency of Wan's other 2013 horror film, it has a chance to eclipse its predecessor. However, as Sean said, the list of horror sequels that even match their predecessors much less better them is short. Very, very short.
Score: 1 for 1
2. Elizabeth Olson is a great choice to play Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Sean Garmer:Fact. Of all the Marvel characters, I'm not that familiar with Scarlet Witch that much. So, I am probably not the authority to ask this question to. There probably was a big name actress you could put here to join the rest of the now "name" cast. However, I have total faith in Joss Whedon at this point and if he feels the younger sister of the Olsen Twins will be great for Scarlet Witch than I'm good with it. Also, with how much Disney has to pay the other actors, they probably deserve to save some money with having Olsen join the cast.
Jeremy Wilson:Fact. Boy am I the wrong guy to talk about comic books. However, I make a habit of approving of anything that casts Elizabeth Olsen and, like Sean, I give Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige a pretty long leash. It's interesting in that it follows Marvel's pattern of late (except for a couple notable exceptions) regarding casting actors and actresses who have some name cache within the film industry, but perhaps haven't quite had that one mainstream breakout role. Olsen came out of nowhere and became one of Young Hollywood's new "It" girls a couple years ago after starring in the critically beloved indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene. She's featured in some smaller films of late, but that's about to change as Olsen will star in Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy (releasing in November) and Gareth Edwards' massive Godzilla reboot/remake coming out next summer. It's a shrewd move on Whedon and Marvel's part, another instance of signing up an actor whose career is on the upswing. Plus, with the way that Joss handles female characters and actresses, Olsen could join the pantheon of Great Whedon heroines. I admittedly don't know much about the character, but Olsen seems to be the real deal and I like it if it comes true.
Score: 2 for 2
3. You're stoked that Sons Of Anarchy is back.
Sean Garmer:Fact. Hell Yes!!! This is one of my favorite shows on television and every season it just gets more dramatic and enthralling. There are still many questions to be answered in this season and I have complete faith in Kurt Sutter to answer them in his unique fashion. Katey Sagal has resurrected here career on this show, Maggie Siff is great, and of course Charlie Hunnam continues to improve each season. The cast as a whole is terrific and each season somebody stands out as the all-star. I just can't wait anymore! I need to go watch some of last season to quench my thirst.
Jeremy Wilson:Fact. SOA has grown on me the past couple of years, as I couldn't get into it the first time I watched it. However, there's no denying the quality of the show's cast and Kurt Sutter's talents and vision. I've been a fan of Sutter since his start on the writing staff of The Shield (one of my favorites and one of the best shows I've ever seen) and his work on Sons of Anarchy has only reinforced his status as one of the best showrunners in TV. The buzz and good word of mouth only increases with every successive season, so maybe this will be the year Sons of Anarchy really gets its due.
Score: 3 for 3
4. The Family will turn out to be a pretty decent mob comedy.
Jeremy Wilson:Fiction. You'll excuse me if Robert De Niro doesn't get the benefit of a doubt anymore. It only takes a quick glance at De Niro's IMDb page to realize how far the actor's career has fallen in the last 13-14 years. I blame Analyze This for convincing him he was funny and Meet the Parents for convincing one of the best dramatic actors this country has ever produced to become some sort of Hollywood dancing monkey. Anyway, the trailer for The Family makes me feel like I've already seen the whole movie, but maybe Luc Besson can inject some cool set pieces into the proceedings (doubtful), because the humor doesn't appear to be all that great. He's a mobster in witness protection...IN FRANCE! What wacky hijinks will they get into?! Has all the makings of a movie showing up on TNT in three years.
Sean Garmer: Fact. Pardon me, but I liked Robert De Niro in Analyze This, Meet The Parents, and I thought he did his role extremely well in Silver Linings Playbook as well. De Niro is probably one of my favorite actors, yes he probably has quite a few stinkers, but I'm not willing to just crap on The Family just yet. I will agree with Jeremy that it seems like a lot of the funny parts are in the trailer. However, when you add the rest of the cast in there it should be good fun. I must say it's nice to Dianna Agron, after missing her on glee for most of last season.
Score: 3 for 4
5. The new trailer for the Robocop remake does not install confidence that the end result will be any good.
Jeremy Wilson:Fact. Wait, were there people who actually had confidence that the Robocop remake would be good? Because that is not the sentiment I've been reading since oh I don't know the whole thing was announced. Personally, the only thing I'm confident in saying is that the most interesting thing stemming from the film is the whole Team Silver Robocop vs. Team Black Robocop. Personally, I'm hoping it'll be the Twilight-like fan feud of 2014, because nothing else about the trailer really gave me much hope that it'll match Verhoeven's original. A February release date doesn't help my enthusiasm and I still think Joel Kinnaman is a wild card. I'm not out-and-out hostile to this, but like many, I haven't been able to get excited about a seemingly unnecessary remake of a film that really does stand as a product of the '80s, a time when urban crime was an out of control problem and before technology had asserted itself to the degree it has today. I would have said something nice about the rest of the cast, but I'm still getting over Gary Oldman in Paranoia, so I'm not exactly in the mood.
Sean Garmer: Fiction. I say fiction because it is not the trailer that bothers me. It is the fact that this is being made period. I don't know that urban crime is significantly any less now than it is today. Aren't we hearing about kids being killed in Chicago pretty much every day? My issue is similar to another thing that Jeremy said, "the film is a product of the 80's." When I think of 80's movies Back To The Future and Robocop are some of the first ones that come to mind. I know we pretty much say this about every remake now, but I think this really fits, this film doesn't need to be remade.
Score: 3 for 5
6. You'd tune in to a Burn Notice spin-off starring Bruce Campbell and Coby Bell.
Jeremy Wilson:Fiction. While I've never watched Burn Notice regularly, I have caught a number of episodes while flipping channels or looking for something decent to watch after Midnight. It's been on for 6 years now and other than the fact that Michael Westen was a former CIA operative who got "burned" and now goes running around as the 21st century version of MacGyver, I couldn't tell you one other storyline. I would never say "no thanks, I don't want Bruce Campbell on my TV", but I have no idea how his and Coby Bell's characters interact or how they'd do headlining their own show. I imagine I'd come across it the same way I do with Burn Notice flipping channels late at night, looking for something loud and action-oriented.
Sean Garmer:Fact. I don't really know what Bruce Campbell's character does in Burn Notice. However, I will watch Bruce Campbell in anything so I would be interested. I've always wanted to watch Burn Notice, but there are too many episodes for me to try to catch up before the Series Finale this year. So, I just decided this would be a show I would check out once Netflix received the final episodes later this year.
Final Score: 3 for 6
And there you go. Jeremy and Sean split the difference this week. Thanks to them for playing, and see you all again next week!