Similar to “Spider-Man 3” (2007), so much is going on in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014) that – even if all that stuff is pretty good on its own – a viewer can’t appreciate any of it as much as he should. In this sequel that probably was not intended to be the final statement in the “Amazing” series but ended up that way when Spidey got rebooted over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), director Marc Webb and a team of four writers cram in a ton of ideas.
2017 featured one of the longest time gaps between an original and a sequel when “Blade Runner” (1982) was followed with “Blade Runner 2049.” That franchise thus overshadowed “Jumanji” (1995) and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (now available on home video). But in terms of quality, there aren’t many sequels that have made such a long leap from the original.
Later this week, “Independence Day: Resurgence” will likely deliver the biggest alien invasion spectacle in what is turning out to be the year of the alien. In addition to the return of “The X-Files,” we also got “The 5th Wave,” which is perhaps a simpler and smaller tale than we’ll get from “IDR,” although it also has some nice effects.
Most shows are naturally constrained by their narrative — sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book where every choice is locked in once it happens. But at the staff meetings for “Fringe” (8 p.m. Central Fridays on Fox), I imagine that if a writer says “What if this were to happen?,” he never hears “Oh, that can’t happen” as a response.
Here are my first impressions of the Season 3 premiere of “Fringe” (8 p.m. Central Thursdays on Fox).
A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly examined networks’ efforts to find the next “Lost,” in terms of both quality and ratings, and determined that nothing fits the bill. I disagree: “Fringe” (8 p.m. Thursdays on Fox) — like “Lost,” produced by J.J. Abrams — is as good as “Lost” (maybe better), and it’s successful enough that it has been renewed for a third season.