Recently, movie theaters have turned summer into the season of sequels. Each time a sequel is announced a familiar statement is made: “It won’t be as good as the first.” Ticket sales, however, say otherwise.
Whether it’s the third “Despicable Me” film, a "Spiderman" reboot or yet another "Transformers" movie, there still seems to be a lingering curiosity to see if sequels, prequels or remakes will live up to the hype of the first film.
Below are quick descriptions of some of this summer’s sequels and more. Even if you haven’t seen these movies, it’s not too late to check out the latest addition to several of these popular film series.
'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 82 percent
The second installment of Marvel’s “Guardians” finds the heroes of the franchise saving the galaxy once again. Like the original film, the sequel includes a good deal of comedy, but in Vol. 2 there are also more serious moments.
The audience learns that Starlord Peter Quill actually has feelings, which in this movie actually relates to saving the world. While Quill is the main character, Baby Groot steals the show as an adorable sapling who is incapable of following directions. Although not as funny as the first film, the sequel is nearly as entertaining.
'War for the Planet of the Apes'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93 percent
This summer saw the release of one of the best threequels in years. It was “War for the Planet of the Ape,” which tells the story of a hyper-intelligent chimpanzee named Caesar, who leads a group of apes to freedom. The movie succeeded as an entertaining experience on its own, while also providing a satisfying end to the trilogy.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 67 percent
The haunting origin of the doll from the 2014 film “Annabelle” surfaces in a prequel that came out this summer, “Annabelle: Creation.” The Mullins couple, a doll-maker and his wife, lose their daughter at a young age after she is run over by a car.
Quickly after her death, a recurring presence convinces the parents that it is their daughter’s spirit seeking host within one of the dolls the father has made. The parents discover too late that it’s a demon living within the doll. The Mullins lock away the possessed porcelain creation in their house, until a nun and several girls from an orphanage seek shelter in their house and Annabelle’s story truly begins. While critics confirm that the film has a few solid jump scares, many still deem the movie sightly predictable.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92 percent
Many people might disagree, but we thought this was the better version in comparison to the Andre Garfield ones. We loved his version, but this felt more true to the comics. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” revived our once-waning interest in a series surrounding one of the most prolific superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The critically-acclaimed film reboots the story of Peter Parker as a lanky, overzealous high-school-aged dork, which is precisely who he is supposed to be. The overall feel of the movie stays true to the comics, too.
'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 20 percent
While there are over 10 books in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, the majority of viewers seems to feel that the films should stop at four. The fourth installment of “the Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series returns with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” As the title implies, young Greg Heffley and his family are going on a road trip. The Heffley family heads to Meemaw’s 90th birthday party, which begins to shift off course as Greg develops a plan to somehow get to a video gaming convention taking place nearby.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 68 percent
Cars 3 was much better than it had any right to be. After a mediocre-at-best second film, the final movie in the "Cars" franchise returned to its roots. The story was unexpectedly moving, detailing the poignant and nostalgic end to star racer Lightning McQueen’s career. Pixar’s animation, as always, was stunning. "Cars 3" made for an enjoyable 90 minutes.
'Transformers: The Last Knight'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 15 percent
The fifth addition to the “Transformers” series, “Transformers: The Last Knight” stars Mark Wahlberg. War is taking place on earth among Decepticons and Autobots. Optimus Prime is on his own mission trying to find his creator. However, what Optimus Prime ends up finding is the future of earth at jeopardy. The majority of viewers reiterated that the film felt tired and that this series' time is up.
'Despicable Me 3'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 61 percent
Gru and his minion crew are back in “Despicable Me 3.” Gru has been fired from the Anti-Villain League. Shortly after being let go, he receives news of his twin brother named Dru. Gru decides to visit his long-lost brother, and upon his arrival Dru tries to convince Gru to embark on one final criminal adventure. The majority of critics said “Despicable Me 3” fits the bill for a decent family film with a couple laughs, but that the franchise may be running out of steam.
'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 29 percent
In the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” trailer it said, “the final adventure,” hinting at the possibility that the fifth film in this series may be the last. Jack Sparrow’s mission to find the trident of Poseidon faces challenges as a dead sea captain who appears to be very much alive returns with his crewmates seeking revenge on Sparrow. While the original storyline of the Pirates of the Caribbean series started strong, once again, most critics are becoming bored with the franchaise that they feel should've ended movies ago.
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The conference will focus on musical improvisation from the Middle Ages onward.
Tickets start at $35 and go on sale in August.
The group will make its way to Bloomington for a show at 9 p.m. tonight.