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Avatar Sequels Will Be

Charmaine Blake





Toward the end of Robert Redford‘s Quiz Show, Martin Scorsese shows up to play a powerful executive who snorts at the very real allegations of corruption leveled at him. At the end of the scene, he comments that audiences never really care about televised contests or quiz shows, that all they really wanted to do was watch the money being spent, teased, lost, or won.


Image via Fox

It’s hard not to liken this observation to the movies — the most expensive movies tend to make the most money in the long run. The idea is even harder to ignore in the face of comments made by 21st Century Fox honcho Lachlan Murdoch to Variety in which he claimed that the upcoming Avatar sequels with constitute “the most expensive movies of all time.” Indeed, with a reported budget of $1 billion dollars, James Cameron‘s planned quartet of sequels will seemingly cost $250 million each, a number that would have really blown your hair back about five years ago.

In 2017, however, $250 billion is not out of bounds in any realistic way. And reliance on American audiences to cough up money to watch blue environmentalist aliens frolic once more is only remotely important in this gambit. The Fate of the Furious cost exactly $250 million before marketing and only crept up to $225 million at the domestic box office. Across the oceans, however, the movie brought in over a billion, making the entire venture worth the costs in the long run.


Image via Twentieth Century Fox

When Avatar 2 arrives in theaters on December 18th, 2020, it’s likely that natural curiosity and genuine fandom for the original film will drive healthy attendance both at home and abroad. Avatar remains the second most lucrative domestic film in history, toppled only by Star Wars: The Force Awakens and well over $100 million ahead of Cameron’s Titanic in third place. As long as reviews aren’t top-to-bottom toxic, and they almost certainly won’t be, Avatar 2 has a good chance of cleaning up but this isn’t just about the next movie. To truly make this billion dollars worth it, international audiences will have to show up for all four planned movies with equal vigor. That is a little more difficult to envision and if things really go south, it could create some inexplicably bad situations.

Still, this is James Cameron. The guy has proven himself at the box office enough for people to believe that he could pull this five-picture-deal off and he’s clearly not one to worry too much about the fact that plenty of people’s opinion of the original Avatar has soured a bit with time. He’s a big-screen filmmaker living in an age when most big-studio movies look like total trash on the big screen, largely due to a newfound reliance on directors who have worked largely in TV. By the time the Avatar sequels hit the theaters, the big studios will have put together a VOD option for their releases. If nothing else, Cameron’s forge with these Avatar sequels feels like a bid to make the theater experience genuinely exhilarating again. Here’s hoping he’s successful.

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Movie Gossip

Cantina Talk: No, Kathleen Kennedy Isn’t Leaving Lucasfilm

Charmaine Blake



“Stick a fork in it: Solo: A Star Wars Story is pretty much officially a flop. Its performance hasn’t improved since its unimpressive debut and shows no sign of getting a boost. Moreover, judging from the fallout, the movie had more of an impact amongst conspiracy theorists than anyone else. Want proof? Read on.

Is Kathleen Kennedy Leaving Lucasfilm?

The Source: Random online gossipmongers

Probability of Accuracy: Not even slightly true.

The Real Deal: Lets start with something thats quite clearly wishful thinking on the part of a number of Star Wars fans: For the last couple of weeks, there have been rumors that Kathleen Kennedy is stepping down as Lucasfilm president, with Marvels Kevin Feige being named as her potential replacement. This is, to be blunt, complete and utter banthawash. (Look, we’re trying to keep it clean and on-topic.) Yes, Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed, but thats just one failure after three of the most successful movies in recent memory, and Solo had extenuating circumstancesnamely, losing its original directors, which forced a reshoot of pretty much the entire movie. The idea that Kennedy would be forced to step down after thator that fans need to speak up to save her jobis ridiculous, and betrays…..”

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Movie Gossip

The movie Gotti Earns a 0% score from Rotten Tomatoes



Image: Brian Douglas/Lionsgate/Emmet/Furla Oasis Films/new york times

The reviews are in for the mobster movie Gotti which profiles the life of notorious crime boss John Gotti. Following the laundry list of excellent mob movies this should be an easy win, but Gotti‘s reviews are apparently the only entertaining thing about it.

The movie currently has a 0 percent Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right, zero.

Tomatometer ratings are based on “the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show,” provided there are at least five reviews. Personally, I didn’t even know a 0 was possible. 

Among the 18 approved “Tomato Critics,” not one gave Gotti a positive, or “fresh,” review, though we should note that the audience score is currently at 82 percent, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 from 6,678 reviews at the time this story was published

Regardless, here are some of the best snippets from the reviews. 

1. “He may have been a murderer, but even Gotti deserved better than this.”

 – Brian Tallerico for

2. “There’s not really a story here. It’s more a series of recognizable scenes from any number of gangster movies…” 

-Mark Dujsik for

3.”Gotti ends up feeling like a kitschy assemblage of other directors’ ideas.”

-Gary Thompson for

3. There are 44 credited producers on the picture (good. lord.), and not one person had the nerve to question just what kind of derivative, borderline nonsensical film was being made.

-Brian Orndorf for

4.  You don’t put the “Theme From ‘Shaft’” in a movie that is not “Shaft.” Come on.

– Glenn Kenny for the New York Times

5. “… the picture is a chaotic assemblage of short, disconnected scenes interrupted by snippets of archival footage, bits of narration and even moments when Travolta breaks the fourth wall by talking directly into the camera.” 

– Frank Swietek for One Guy’s Opinion

6. “While Travolta has his moments, the woefully uneven film too often settles for mobster stereotypes rather than providing meaningful insight into its subject.” 

– Todd Jorgenson for Cinemalogue

7. “John Travolta and E from Entourage turn infamous mob boss Gotti into a scowling bore.”

– Mike D’Angelo AVClub

(Writer’s note: This is just the headline, but OMG what a headline.)

8.  “… the vibrant, rap-infused score by Pitbull, which features three solo tracks by the popular artist, doesn’t quite jibe with the movie’s general style and tone.”

 – Gary Goldstein for the Los Angeles Times

9. “…Gotti is a connect-the-dots disaster — the don’s greatest hits, so to speak — without discernible theme or cohesive narrative.”

-Franke Lovece for Newsday

10.”[Director Kevin] Connolly’s in too much of a rush to get somewhere and doesn’t seem to know what that destination is.” 

– Chris Nashawaty for Entertainment Weekly

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Movie Gossip

Let’s talk about the shocking ending of ‘Hereditary’



“Let’s pore over the details of Hereditary like it’s an overdue art project based on our tragic lives.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Hereditary.

Hereditary is the kind of film you need to sit with.

It’s not just that it has a lot of shocking twists, though it does, or that the scares linger in your psyche, though they do. It’s also that Hereditary is dense with details that only reveal themselves upon closer examination and careful thought… or at least a deep dive into an explainer like this one.

Here’s everything you missed in Hereditary.

1. Yes, King Paimon is real

And people really do worship him.

To be clear, Paimon is “real” in the sense that he was not invented by writer-director Ari Aster for this film. Whether you think he’s actually, literally real depends on whether you believe demons and spirits are real. For what it’s worth, mentions of Paimon go back centuries – he’s even included in the 17th century grimoire Lesser Key of Solomon.

“I’m not tied in any way to the occult, so the research was disturbing, but I knew that I had to go there and I knew that I wanted the ritual elements of the film, which are held at a distance and you only get pieces of them, I knew I wanted them to be rooted in something real,” he said to Thrillist. “I was lead to witchcraft manuals that are instructing people on how to cast spells and this and that.”

2. Charlie has never really been Charlie

From the moment we meet her, it’s obvious there’s something off about Charlie. What exactly that is takes a while to reveal itself.

Early in the film, Annie (Toni Collette) explains that when her son Peter was born, she kept him away from her mother, Ellen. When her daughter Charlie was born, though, Annie relented and “gave” her to Ellen. Ellen…..”

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