In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Bob Iger talks the future of Avatar.
  • Check out a new image from Toy Story 4.
  • Watch a comic book-style trailer for Glass.
  • Will there be a Bird Box sequel?
  • The Amityville Murders trailer takes you back to that famous haunted house.
  • Kevin Smith pitched a Mallrats sequel series to Hulu, Netflix and more.
  • Behold a new poster for The LEGO Movie 2
  • Mary Poppins Returns sequel in early development.
  • Sylvester Stallone shares yet another Rambo 5 image.

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First Man VFX Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, check out the amazing visual effects work that went into creating the moon landing and more from First Man. Plus, watch as director Rob Marshall breaks down a vibrant scene from Mary Poppins Returns, and Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly enter The New Yorker‘s cartoon caption contest just for fun. Read More »

Sequels Made Decades Later

There are hundreds if not thousands of sequels out there in the ether, and while they’re not inherently good or bad their existence typically makes sense. A movie is popular, and within a couple years it gets a sequel. It’s basic Hollywood math as studios and filmmakers understandably want to strike while they still have the public’s attention. Sometimes, though, for all manner of reasons, the wait for a sequel is far, far longer.

Mary Poppins Returns hit theaters a whopping 54 years after the original, and it’s still a bit too soon to say if the half-century gamble was a wise one. The critical reception has seen something of a stumble, but Disney’s coffers will most likely be filling up over the next few weeks. It helps that like most classic Disney films, Mary Poppins (1964) has remained in the public eye since its release making the character’s return to the big screen an easy sell. Most delayed sequels don’t have that same advantage.

There are just over forty sequels (by my count) that arrived more than ten years after the preceding film, and only a quarter of them managed to meet or exceed the earlier film’s critical reception. The results are better on the commercial front with just over half of the sequels earning big even if they don’t always overcome their predecessor’s take at the box-office. Is there a common thread between the success stories or the duds? Some shared factor explaining why some find an audience again while others are ignored? A conclusive revelation suggesting the necessary ingredients for a worthwhile sequel?

Let’s find out together.

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Annihilation Video Essay

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, new video essay explores how Annihilation comes to terms with the concept of self-destruction. Plus, see what Lord of the Rings might look like if it was a cheesy sitcom on ABC, and listen as awards contenders Emily Blunt and Hugh Jackman interview each other for over 40 minutes. Read More »

weekend box office aquaman

The final weekend of 2018 came and went, and Aquaman continued to sit at the top of the box office. January tends to be a dumping ground for studios, so it’s unlikely that James Wan’s submerged superhero will be washed away anytime soon – unless audiences really get a craving for Escape Room. The rest of the weekend box office remained predictable: Mary Poppins Returns held on at second, and Bumblebee is stuck at third.  Read More »

mary poppins returns featurette musical number

Mary Poppins Returns is now playing in theaters everywhere, and if you caught the Disney musical over the holiday weekend, you likely noticed the biggest production number revolved around the song “Trip A Little Light Fantastic.” A new Mary Poppins Returns featurette goes behind the scenes to show you how much work went into making this number a reality.

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Movies to Watch With Mary Poppins Returns

It has taken Mary Poppins a really long time to return. Like, “avoiding the statute of limitations” long. She flew off into the clouds over a half century ago, and now she’s returned with a new look, some new music, and several impossible leaps forward in animation technology.

Mary Poppins Returns also enters our lives after the semi-true Saving Mr. Banks gave us some insight into why author P.L. Travers resisted selling the rights to Walt Disney for so long, as well as her disappointment at the finished product. Julie Andrews was too young, too bubbly, and too likable for her taste. Of course she was perfect (not just practically) for everyone else. Andrews owned the role, making it almost unthinkable that someone else could take up the mantel.

Emily Blunt has that honor/horror. She has to simultaneously make us remember Andrews and be comfortable without her. To evoke the spirit of the character as so many remember her without stepping on her toes or clinging too closely. There’s only room for one under that umbrella. The rest is effervescent nostalgia. For bad cockney accents. For sidewalk dance routines. For chalk.

Here are some movies with interesting connections to Mary Poppins Returns to keep that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vibe going.

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Marvel Movie Poster Designs

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a professional movie poster designer explains the artistic motivation behind the movie posters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, The Grinch delivers a creepy and unnerving ASMR session, and Mary Poppins Returns star Lin Manuel-Miranda answers the web’s most searched questions about himself. Read More »

Flesh and Ink: A Century of Live-Action/Animation Hybrids

Mary Poppins Returns isn’t just the return of a beloved character. The film is a throwback to filmmaking styles of yesteryear, where films could be frothy and whimsical excuses to simply have a nice time. But it’s also notable for its inclusion of a technique rarely seen today, and indeed across cinema: the blending of live-action footage with traditional animation.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Mary Poppins Honest Trailer

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, in honor of the opening of Mary Poppins Returns, the folks at Honest Trailers take aim at the original Mary Poppins from 1964. Plus, find out some things you might not have known about the Disney musical, and see how the book by P.L. Travers compares to the film adaptation. Read More »