New Shaft films have been in and out of theaters five times over the past forty-eight years, and that’s one hell of an accomplishment for any franchise. It’s made even more impressive and unprecedented, though, by the realization that the same actor has brought John Shaft to life through those five films and across nearly five decades. That’s a feat not even the Star Wars films can claim yet. Richard Roundtree headlines the first three films – Shaft (1971), Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), Shaft in Africa (1973) – and while he’s only a supporting player in the most recent two, both named Shaft (2000, 2019) for Hollywood reasons, his presence is still an important one.

Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie Usher take the lead in those later films as Shaft Jr. and Shaft III, respectively, and with a changing of the guard comes more than a few changes in approach and tone. While two entries in the 70s trilogy fit the mold of the decade’s blaxploitation films with plots involving street thugs and mobsters both black and white, the third takes Shaft on a James Bond-like adventure around the globe. The ones from 2000 and 2019, though, are shaped more for their respective times. Shaft (2000) is a sex-less action/thriller touching on racism and police corruption, while Shaft (2019) is an action/comedy – with an emphasis on the comedy – involving disgruntled military vets, booty, and drug trafficking. They’re entirely different beasts from that original trilogy, but the common thread between them all remains the cool cat whose name is in the title.

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Rambo 5 - Sylvester Stallone

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Robert Rodriguez would be interested in directing an Alita sequel.
  • Rambo: Last Blood might not take the “last” part of its title literally.
  • Shaft director Tim Story wants to make another Shaft movie, presumably just called Shaft again.
  • Shocking! Two Harry Potter actors who don’t have very big careers now would like to come back for more Harry Potter.
  • While training for Bond 25, Daniel Craig shows off his muscles, and leg injury.
  • There’s a Descendants 3! You must watch the trailer. No excuses.
  • Downton Abbey character posters are posh as hell.
  • The Sopranos prequel movie has wrapped.

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Men in Black International Box Office

It’s a cruel summer at the box office this year. Avengers: Endgame may have started off the blockbuster season with loads of cash and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum may be surpassing its predecessors on the charts with great success, but most of the other sequels are crashing and burning spectacularly. And despite topping the box office this past weekend, Men in Black International is another one of those disappointments.

The Men in Black International box office debuted with only $28.5 million from a whopping 4,224 screens. That’s massively disappointing, especially since it’s a record-low opening for the Men in Black franchise. It’s even below what analysts expected for the movie, showing that audiences aren’t attracted to summer movies simply because they have previously established intellectual property involved.  Read More »

shaft review

In 2019’s Shaft, the latest film to take on the name of the 1971 Blaxploitation classic, Samuel L. Jackson‘s John Shaft II bemoans the softening-up of the younger generation, and their fixation with tight pants, coconut water, and lemon towers. “Men need to be men,” he declares to his straight-laced son John Shaft Jr. (Jessie Usher), mourning the good old days when real men shot first and asked questions later. But there’s something to mourn about the new Shaft‘s shift from a cop thriller to sitcom, and how it spends more time making digs at the very millennial audience that it’s supposedly appealing to than reminding the us of why we dug Shaft in the first place.

Shaft trades the franchise’s Blaxploitation action for a buddy-cop routine that only works by the sheer force of Samuel L. Jackson’s charisma. But even Jackson can’t will this movie into being more than a creaky action-comedy that zaps out everything that made the original Shaft such a vibrant and time-honored classic.

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shaft red band trailer

Hey, did you know there’s a new Shaft movie coming out this month? If you didn’t, that might be because the marketing for the movie has been oddly lax. Now, with mere weeks to go, a new Shaft red band trailer is here, giving Samuel L. Jackson a chance to do one of the things he does best: say the F-word a lot.  Despite its title, his new film isn’t actually a Shaft remake. Instead, this is a sequel, to both the 2000 Shaft, and the original Shaft from 1971. Why are all three movies called Shaft? Who knows! Watch the trailer below.

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shaft trailer

Get ready for three times the Shaft. The long-dormant Shaft franchise is getting a new sequel from director Tim Story (2005’s Fantastic FourRide Along) with actor Richard Roundtree back to reprise his role from the original 1970s blaxploitation movies. But this time he’s accompanied by Samuel L. Jackson back as his nephew, John Shaft II, from the 2000 sequel, as well as the youngest member of the family is Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence). The three generations of Shaft unite in the first Shaft trailer, which you can watch below.

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Three Generations of ‘Shaft’ Unite in First Look Photo

shaft first look

Director Tim Story (2005’s Fantastic Four, Ride Along) is resurrecting the long-dormant Shaft franchise with a new movie next summer, bringing actor Richard Roundtree back to reprise his role from the original 1970s blaxploitation movies and luring Samuel L. Jackson back as his nephew, John Shaft II, from the 2000 sequel. Joining them as the youngest member of the family is Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence), and a new photo shows all three of them together for the first time. Check it out below.
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Best Movies Streaming Right Now June 21

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Attention streaming movie fans: I’ve gathered up 10 must-stream movies to make your life easier. You’re welcome. In this edition of Now Stream This, you’ll find a wild Western from Sam Raimi; the directorial debut of Kelly Reichardt; the acting debut of Edward Norton; not one but two Ralph Fiennes films; an underrated ghost movie; a documentary about one of the worst films ever made, and more!

These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

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The ‘Shaft’ Reboot Adds Method Man to Cast

Shaft Reboot Cast

The somewhat strange Shaft reboot, which takes the Samuel L. Jackson Shaft reboot from 2000 and reboots it again as a comedy, just added a new cast member: Cliff “Method Man” Smith. The Wu-Tang Clan member will be playing an old friend of Samuel L. Jackson’s John Shaft. Barbershop director Tim Story is helming the film, which may or may not be called Son of Shaft. Read on for more details on the Shaft reboot cast.

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Lethal Weapon Sequel Bits

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Lethal Weapon 5 is close to being a real thing
  • The Halloween reboot gets a new leading lady
  • Regina Hall joins the sequel to Shaft
  • A new poster for The Strangers: Prey at Night
  • Kingsman 3 apparently already in the works

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