2016 summer movie recap

The summer movie season is over and you know what that means – it’s time to hand out pointless imaginary awards to the best, worst, and weirdest films of the past four months!

Welcome to the 2016 Summer Blockbuster Awards, which is like the Oscars if the Oscars only covered a specific release window, were decided by one person, and were also really dumb. Here’s how this works: I have created 24 categories, from “Best Performance” to “Movie Most in Need of a Hug” and have awarded one winner and one runner-up. At the name of these awards imply, the focus here is on wide releases that arrived between May and August of this year. So while you really should go out of your way to see indie gems like Swiss Army Man and Don’t Think Twice, they won’t be the focus here. Got it? Good. Let’s just dive right in.

Be warned there are spoilers ahead for some of this summer’s films.

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James Wan Leaving Aquaman

We had a one-on-one interview with MacGyver pilot director and executive producer James Wan and showrunner Peter Lenkov before their Television Critics Association panel. In the time between the interview and panel, news broke that the villain of Wan’s Aquaman movie would be Black Manta. After the panel, I asked Wan about choosing Black Manta for the villain.

“I want to know where Wrap got that piece of news from,” Wan laughed. “Come on, I can’t talk about this.”   Read More »

conjuring 2 spin-off

The Conjuring 2 is one of the best horror sequels ever made, which is a brazen statement that I backed up with a couple thousand words earlier this week. It’s not quite as good as The Conjuring, but that film is one of the best horror movies of the millennium so far and the sequel is just a fantastic time at the movies. We can all live with that.

And while the sequel deliberately echoed certain beats of the first film on screen, it’s now echoing it in reality. Much like how The Conjuring inspired a spin-off for Annabelle the possessed doll, The Conjuring 2 has inspired The Nun, which will center around the demonic and blasphemous presence Ed and Lorraine Warren combat in their new movie.

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the conjuring 2 trailer

The Conjuring was one of my favorite films of 2013 and remains a genuine contender for one of the best horror movies of the past decade. At the time, it felt like a summation of everything director James Wan had accomplished until that point: it was a clever crowdpleaser filled with scares, but it was also character-driven and classy, recalling an age where horror movies didn’t have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

The Conjuring 2 ranked high on my most anticipated films of 2016 list and my faith was not displaced. Although not quite as good as the first film, this is one of the best horror sequels ever made, capturing what made the first movie so special and sprinting with it. With Wan taking another break from horror to make Aquaman, this is a perfect and fitting a tribute to the genre that made his career, a gift to people who like horror movies with a little bit of ambition. Let’s take a closer look at what makes The Conjuring 2 work so well…and what holds it back from being as good as the first one. SPOILERS ahead.

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The Conjuring 2 Prank

This weekend brings The Conjuring 2, the latest horror flick from director James Wan, to theaters everywhere. It’s got some good scares and it just might be even more suspenseful and terrifying than the first film, which is saying something. In addition to the spooks provided by his horror sequel, James Wan teamed up with the Brazilian hidden camera prank show Câmera Escondida to pull of a stunt inspired by several scenes The Conjuring 2. Plus, there’s a cameo by a familiar, creepy doll.

Watch The Conjuring 2 prank after the jump. Read More »

The Conjuring 2 James Wan interview

In 2013,  James Wan directed his most successful and critically acclaimed horror film, The Conjuring. Instead of rushing a sequel to a start date, all involved waited for Wan — a filmmaking machine who has had four features come out in the last three years — to come back for the sequel, which sees the return of paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). This time, the couple venture overseas for the Enfield Haunting.

At the press day for The Conjuring 2, Wan discussed with us his career, the pace of the film, working with kid actors, and more. We began our conversation with Wan discussing a striking long take in the sequel, in which Ed communicates with an evil spirit, Old Bill. It’s the kind of seamless long take you don’t know is a long take until it’s over. Below, read our James Wan interview.

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the conjuring 2

In today’s edition of Sequel Bits:

  • A creepy featurette on the story behind The Conjuring 2.
  • Take a first look at Channing Tatum in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
  • March of the Penguins 2: The Call is actually happening.
  • T.J. Miller confirms that he’s back for Deadpool 2.
  • The first poster for Super Troopers 2 is here.
  • Karl Urban is still talking about Dredd 2.
  • Michael Fassbender promises gnarly Xenomoroph happenings in Alien: Covenant.
  • John C. Reilly says Wreck-It Ralph 2 is in development.
  • NBC says it hasn’t given up on that Cruel Intentions sequel series.
  • Scientists are concerned about Finding Dory.
  • Now You See Me 2 will screen in China.

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The Conjuring 2 Featurette

This summer James Wan is bringing plenty of horror to theaters. Lights Out with Teresa Palmer arrives in July to make sure you’re scared of the dark all over again. But before that, the filmmaker is behind the camera again for The Conjuring 2, the sequel to his successful horror flick about the real paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

This time the terror comes from across the pond with the events known as the “strange happenings in Enfield,” and a new featurette focuses on the victims of the real haunting that inspires the film. In addition, the real Lorraine Warren talks about their experience with this particular case. Watch The Conjuring 2 featurette after the jump. Read More »

2016 Summer Movie Preview

This week officially kicks off blockbuster summer with the release of Captain America: Civil War. And the Marvel Studios sequel is just one of a bunch of movies you should be excited to see this season. Later this week we’ll highlight a selection of movies that might be flying under your radar this summer, indie comedies and dramas that may not get the barrage of marketing that studios dish out this season. But this edition of the /Film 2016 Summer Movie Preview will focus on the studio and blockbuster releases you should be excited about. Read More »

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john wick 2 training

In today’s edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Keanu Reeves is already talking about another John Wick movie.
  • Jeff Goldblum explains whether or not he’ll return to the Jurassic Park series.
  • The release date of the next Star Trek Beyond trailer is revealed.
  • Disney releases a new image from Finding Dory.
  • No, there won’t be a Game of Thrones prequel/sequel series.
  • Yes, Fear the Walking Dead is getting a third season.
  • The Tales From the Crypt reboot gets a full season order.
  • The Conjuring 2 debuts a new poster.
  • David Ayer is down for an R-rated Suicide Squad sequel.
  • Here’s a direct connection between Alien: Covenant and Prometheus.
  • Dwayne Johnson welcomes Charlize Theron to Fast 8.
  • Michael Bay has begun scouting locations for Transformers 5.

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