Tag Archives: 90s

My Top Ten Favourite Sequels


It’s been a while, old friend. But I’m back – blogging, writing, complaining, gushing… Whatever.

As a way to dip my toes back into the world of bloggage, I thought I’d start with a few countdowns. So I took to social networks and I was given a couple of ideas for topics.

This one was suggested by my good pal, Ian Nesbit (@i_nesbot) – who has a lovely little Red Bubble store that you can check out here, for all your filmy, televisiony, comicy, nerdy needs.

Anyway. On with the fucking list.

*NOTE:- This will contain ‘threequels’ in some cases*

10. Evil Dead II (1987. Dir – Sam Raimi)

While I’m totally alienated by the horror genre in general – Sam Raimi’s approach to production and direction – of his horror work in particular, is something I really hold dear. Sure, everyone says there’s a ‘charm’. But there fucking is, ok? Evil Dead II, although is more or less a retread of its predecessor – Actually surpasses it with its downright mental hilarity, creative effects work and offbeat style. Groovy means groovy.

09. Aliens (1986. Dir – Jim Cameron)


Staying with the horror genre, so to speak. Ridley Scott’s beautifully constructed ‘Alien’ is among my favourite movies of all time. But with its sequel, James Cameron fucked that whole concept up the poop schute, and elevated it to gun-toting, ooh-ra chanting heaven. Additionally solidifying Ellen Ripley as a certified bad ass. It’s amazing how two films can be so vastly different, but so ball-achingly awesome aswell.

‘Awesome Jim Cameron’ – RIP

08. Toy Story 3 (2010. Dir – Lee Unkrich)


Oh, Toy Story. You beautiful bastard. No other film series has resonated with or affected me more than this. On surface a kids film, but deep down there’s a whole other level of just how much this series rocks. After two belters, in 2010 they give us the masterpiece. I’m not going to justify by any means why this film is on the list. It should really be on everyone’s. The last 20-15 minutes, in particular, struck a chord with me I believe no other film has ever done. And that, alone, is something as a movie lover I will treasure.

07. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989. Dir. Steven Spielberg)


Welcome to big school. A lot of people seem to shit all over Indy prequel/sequel ‘Temple’, due to its missing sense of ‘adventure’ that was so richly prominent throughout ‘Raiders’. But with ‘Crusade’, there’s a welcome return. Couple that with the addition of Sean Connery in one of his most memorable roles – you’ve got a recipe for success.

06. ‘Lord Of The Rings – The Two Towers’ (2003. Dir – Peter Jackson)


Normally I consider Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy to be one complete body of work. However I felt I needed to include this particular choice on the list or I’d be fussing over whether to edit it or remove it. Whatever.  So, yeah. Helms Deep, Gandalf’s return, Gollum, the rise of Aragorn. It’s all there. And yes, I’ll highly recommend the extended cut, thankyou.

05. ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004. Dir. Sam Raimi)


Raimi again! Where upping the ante is concerned, Spidey 2 is one of the most recent examples of how to get it so perfectly right. Peter’s (Tobey Maguire) dilemmas with being a superhero, caring for his lonely Aunt, his career, his love life, his guilt over events of the first movie and going toe to toe with an idol of his (Fred Molina) – is placed so precisely well throughout the course of the film, that it never seems to lose any traction. Keeping all those elements relevant to the entirety of the film’s plot. The action/effects are also leagues ahead of Raimi’s original. Particularly the train fight between Peter and Octavius. Check out the extended cut on You Tube for certains. Then thank me with money and praisings.

04. ‘The Godfather Part 2’ (1974. Dir – Francis Ford Coppola)


Considered to be one of the greatest films of the 20th century – ‘Godfather 2’ has one of my favourite film stories of all time. I love a good downfall movie. Newly donned…um… Don – Michael, completely unravels in perhaps Al Pacino’s most iconic, and best performance ever. Running parallel with the story of his father Vito’s escape from his hometown and settlement in America. A stellar turn by Bob De Niro. Though I’m a bigger fan of the first film, Godfather 2 is without question one that all filmmakers would aspire to.

03. The Empire Strikes Back (1980. Dir – Irvin Kershner)


Course I was gonna have fucking Star Wars in here…. What I love about Empire is that though tonally it’s drastically different from A New Hope, it seems to just seamlessly blend with past (and future) events. Everyone’s on top form here, particularly Hamill and Ford. The standout aspect for me though is the movie’s dialogue and interaction between characters. The script is sublime. Oh, and there’s awesome fucking battles involving giant mechanical walkers, lightsabers and laser shooters – peow peow!

02. ‘Back To The Future Part II’ (1989. Dir – Robert Zemeckis)


GLOVER REPLACEMENT! WELLS REPLACEMENT! Ah, shut up. This is always a winner for me. Sure there are some questionable elements that a lot of people take criticism with. I adore the filmmaker’s depiction of the future, the ramifications of the now infamous ‘Gray Sports Almanac’, Marty & Doc’s comedically heartwarming and lovable chemistry – in addition to the call backs to the first movie. It’s a time travel movie done right and then some.

01. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008. Dir – Christopher Nolan)


“What about escalation?”…. Quizzed Gary Oldman’s Lt. Jim Gordon at the end of Nolan’s new vision of the Caped Crusader. Yes, escalation is exactly what they aimed for and high-fived that bitch so hard its hand ceased to exist. ‘The Dark Knight’ is by a loooong mile my favourite sequel of all time. A few character nitpicks aside, the story is faultless in my opinion. It deals with an interesting study into Bale’s Bruce Wayne, and how far he could be pushed, as well as the city he protects – to its limits. Though I can gush on about Heath Ledger’s immortal portrayal of The Joker, the movie itself is also benefitted by its superb casting and screenplay by Nolan and his brother Jonathan. The theme of the film is ‘escalation’. And one thing I love about Chris Nolan’s storytelling is how he uses some of his movies as a living example of these themes. (See – ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’). This is another prime example. Here, it feels like a gradual rush – a shot of adrenaline, perhaps. Toward a dizzying high of tension, emotion and unnerving… Until everything comes crashing down in complete devastation. It’s a simple, yet really, really effective and clever method of film making.

My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 3 of 3)

The conclusion….

06. The X-Files


The only entry that’s not a kids show or an animation. The X-Files is in all honesty one of the most influential tv shows I grew up on. A sci-fi/supernatural drama revolving around two FBI agents that investigate series of paranormal activities. The debated theories of the existence of extraterrestrial life used to scare the hell out of me, but watching Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully go to town and kick ass made the idea more exciting to ponder.

There were so many memorable episodes – it’s a must own on DVD. The main story throughout the first few seasons involved Fox (David Duchovny) attempting to prove that aliens are indeed real, and are also responsible for several abductions – including that of his sister. Who went missing, and was presumed dead years prior to the program.

However, it was the filler episodes  that really kept me watching. A generic story of a monster/evil mutant/virus/crazy person terrorising a small town (labelled by fans as ‘Monster of The Week’ episodes), and Mulder & Scully (Gillian Anderson) are called to investigate. Yeah, generic, but the monsters were really unique every week and often brought a hint of a sympathetic nature. Still, although not a part of the main story, there was further exposition into Mulder’s beliefs and Scully’s near-infinite scrutiny surrounding them – not to mention the development of their close friendship and dependence on each other.

The series is a cult phenomenon and has been the bar for many supernatural and sci-fi shows since its end in 2002. During the last few seasons, David Duchovny only appeared in a recurring role, while Scully and their superior AD Walter Skinner became the focal characters. In my opinion, it took a dip – Mulder IS The X-Files. He’s the engine behind the whole series. So to take it away, what would happen? Moan aside, The X-Files did so much for me its ridiculous. It was the first drama I ever watched week after week without missing an episode, and is still on rotation in my DVD collection.

05. Knightmare

You massive helmet...

Aww yeah. This is what I’m talking about! Motherfuckin’ KNIGHTMARE! A UK show broadcast on ITV during after-school hours combining elements of fantasy, knights, goblins, puzzles, computer generated imagery, and saucy elf maidens. Well that last one was slightly misleading…

A lone ‘Dungeoneer’ is given a quest to rescue a person of interest or retrieve an item or relic of importance by Dungeon Master Treguard – who spoke almost all the time in a Shakespearean manner, which was pure awesomeness. However, the Dungeoneer has little to no vision due to the obscuring helmet they must place upon their bonce. A team of 3 friends of the Dungeoneer, normally around 12-16, would then have to guide him/her through the computer generated world created on-screen, as they travel through various rooms, mazes and walkways. Won’t go too in-depth with this one…

It’s great fun to watch some of the retarded kids on there who just cause massive amounts of shit for the Dungeoneer. Has me laughing my arse off half the time. Noah Antwiler (Aka Spoony) did a review on Knightmare a while back. Do check that out on YouTube. It declined in popularity by its eighth series and ended in 1994 😦

A revival is still being petitioned by fans…

04. M.A.S.K

From L-R 'Maple Leaf', 'Oxygen Tank', 'Rear-View Mirror' and 'Old Yella'

A load of blokes… Check. Sweet vehicles with guns n shit… Check. Odd-looking helmets which still kick butt…. Ding ding ding ding!

3. Thundercats

Bunch of pussies....

So, here’s the top 3. At 3rd place, it’s Thundercats. Why? You idiots… Because it’s Thundercats. Awesome theme music, bad-ass characters, amazing manga-style animation, and probably the show with the best base of operations ‘The Cats’ Lair’. Fucking A.

The premise is that the Thundercats are a group of alien refugees from the planet Thundera. When the planet is destroyed the group travel to Earth, or Third Earth, can’t remember – and set up home as thus. But the evil, nearly naked and undead nasty-doer ‘Mumm-Ra’ is on a course to take over the world. Adequately, the Thundercats are tooled up and take his ass out week after week. No biggie.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"That sword's well bowed mate"

If there’s one thing that ruled my childhood, it was the Turtles. I lived, breathed, ate, slept and drank Turtles from the moment I first watched the show. Every Saturday morning, I’d run downstairs, place myself right in front of the TV, turned up the volume, and sat in silence for approximately 20 minutes. I was comatose throughout, loving every single bit that flashed across the screen.

From the heroes themselves to the genius villain The Shredder, every aspect of the show was perfection. I wanted the toys, I got them. I wanted the vehicles, I got them. Hell I even dressed up as a Turtle on Christmas Day one year – that’s how fucking dedicated I was. In all admittance – I can proudly say I was a hardcore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. No other part of pop culture has had such as a profound impact on me as this.

01. Batman: The Animated Series

Giant kestrel in your hip, sir

I chose Batman: TAS over Turtles as my number one because of one thing… Staying power. This cartoon was first broadcast around 1992, after the overwhelming popularity attained by Tim Burton’s Batman movies – from which it is greatly inspired by.

This show is considered the ultimate depiction of Batman in media other than comic books. It’s still as impressive and very timeless in terms of theme, tone and animation. Possibly THE best animated program of the entire decade.

This clip is not from the original series, but from the feature-length film ‘Return Of The Joker’. It encapsulates everything that made the show brilliant.

My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 2 of 3)

Paaart Twooo…. Just to clarify, by the way – I grew up on these shows, and don’t watch them at all anymore. Shows such as South Park, Family Guy & Futurama – which were originally broadcast in the late 90’s are exempt as I still watch them to this day.

11. The Raccoons

Oh The Raccoons, one of my favourites from Saturday mornings. The premise surrounded three raccoon friends that lived in rural land. The lead character Bert, a clumbsy but happy-go-lucky chap, and his two friends – who are married, but I can’t remember their names… They’re a trio of good-doers in the face of environmental and industrial evil manipulated by the cigar chomping, nasty bastard, Cyril Sneer.

There was alot of great ‘Bert moments’, too many to count. He’s just such a loveable character always ending up in an array of mishaps (his bent nose being the result of this, one of his trademarks) but always kept a positive attitude, and his voice actor captures that perfectly.

There’s a lot of environmental-awareness messages in the series, which wasn’t as obvious or right in your face as something like Captain Planet. It’s conjoined with lessons learned over true friendship, care and love. Great times remembering watching this beast. Not to mention the end credits… ‘Run With Us’ = Tune of my childhood. YouTube, do your thing.

10. A.L.F


If you know of our good pal from outer space, Gordon Shumway, HOORAY HAVE BIG PEEERRRTY! If not… shame on you, shame on yoooou. ALF (as he was more commonly known) is one of those cult classics that stay in your heart – A character that just has such a recognisable face, voice and character.

He’s slightly more adherent to getting himself into trouble, all in the name of comedy. But he’s not just some idiotic oaf. He’s also very much a cynic, an extremely human characteristic, as well as being abit of a smart arse. Gordon wasn’t an ‘alien’ as such, he integrated into his new society fairly easily, and there wasn’t those fish out of water buggers lurking around the corner. He just seemed like one of the guys, albeit a ginger alien one…. It was extremely popular, lasting for 4 seasons, along with a TV movie. Definitely a big recommend to check out on DVD.

09. Art Attack

"Hey, shuddupya faaace!"

If there was one British kids show that absolutely everyone loved… it was Art Attack. Hosted by northern bloke Neil Buchanan, the show would involve Neil creating various paintings and pictures using everyday household items, sometimes to crazy effect. Most famously, he’d always use ‘poster paint’ and cotton wool.

The results were always amazing, and I’d constantly demand that my parents bought me the materials so I could emulate what I’d seen. The most famous segment of the the show was ‘Big Art Attack’ – where Neil would create a piece of art across a massive scale. Normally on gravel, grass or a huge fabric. Using various objects instead of conventional paints or crayons. The only one I can remember being genuinely amazed at was his creation of the Queen’s face by using British Sterling notes….

08. Transformers

100% Prime BEEF

I don’t need to go on about this. Every single red-blooded male will agree that this should be on this list. Now, with the formalities out of the way, let us embrace this timeless show. Fuck you, Bay.

07. Ren & Stimpy

Jonah Hill and Michael Cera's opiate experiment didn't fair well

Ren & Stimpy was one of the first animated shows to really push the boundaries. Not only in terms of content, but animation aswell. It’s light years away from what else was on at the time. The obscure and zany characters were complimented by stories just as such. The titular characters, Ren – a crazy, unhinged chihuahua who is extremely hot-headed and short-tempered and probably the only friend he could hope not to have – Stimpy, a dumb, gormless but extremely joyful and happy cat, are two of the most recognisable and talked about fictional characters of the 90’s.

Of course, you’d expect them to not get along and always be fighting etc – but there was so much more to Dog Hate Cat – Cat Hate Dog. These characters were seriously screwed up, and it’s amazing to watch, especially where Stimpy would be oblivious to the effects his actions would have on Ren’s psyche and the ensuing result. The animation was sometimes straight up scary…. Especially Ren’s moments of madness… He truly looked terrifying sometimes by use of extreme distortions of his face for example. Ren & Stimpy was different, fresh, out there and a huge leap for the advancement of animated comedy. T

he show was certainly NOT a kids show – more accessable, but not understandable. So many inclusions of adult themes, like psychological issues, violent scenes and sexual innuendo made Ren & Stimpy subject to censorship and complaints from parents and it was the only of its kind during its original airing.

Although since there has been many copycats trying to capture the essence of the show – Spongebob Squarepants being the most prominent by using similar musical scores and the infamous ‘close up’ shots that would depict something terrifying or disgusting.. However I’d gamble everything I own for another show to come along and do what Ren & Stimpy has done for the world of animation. This scene, captures the show’s tone to absolute perfection…

My Top 15 Nostalgic TV Shows (Part 1 of 3)

Taketh heed. These shows were basically my bread and butter growing up in the 90’s. Occasionally I’ll check out the odd clip on YouTube for reference, or just to remind myself of how cool they were. Bearing in mind, I haven’t watched full episodes of these shows for close to 10 years, alas my knowledge is going to be fairly minimal of the series themselves. Anyway, so… yeah, enjoy!

15. Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors

What d’you get if you cross plants with big fuck-off trucks, Black & Decker power tools and a midget robot knight?

14. Married… With Children

Not sure if I included the correct amount of elipsys there… Married With Children was probably my first foray into the world of the American sitcom. Of course we had Roseanne on Channel 4, but just couldn’t get into its pretty serious tone at times. My brother introduced me to some Al Bundy midi soundbites on a MWC fanpage and I was intrigued to check it out – So I began regularly watching until the final season aired on Sky 1.

At 12 years old, it was kind of difficult to comprehend some of the mysoginistic commentary that Bundy spewed on a weekly basis – But I just loved the selfishness, crudeness and laziness that made him such a funny character. Not the role model you’d want your kids to look upto, however he’s one of the masters of the killer comeback….

13. The Tick


Fell into this one fairly late in my childhood. Channel hopped one evening and stumbled across this puppy on BBC Two. The Tick was a comedy animation that was a precursor to the humour we see today in alot of young teen animation shows. The Tick was a superhero dubbed ‘legally insane’ living in a city full of costumed crimefighters – majority of them a parody of famous Marvel/DC mainstays.

The characters were so unique in all senses, especially Tick himself . His imposing figure, squared jaw but ‘act before think’ mantra and ludicrous monologues were feats of comedic genius throughout, adding further parody to the conventional superhero shows around at the time. Along with sidekick, Arthur the Moth, confused for a rabbit, and his baffling affiliation and hijinx with Tick – they created some of the funniest tv moments I experienced growing up. SPOON!

12. Space Precinct

Creased Shirts, All The Rage

Not alot of people remember this one. A sci-fi/cop show hybrid (with a kick-ass theme song) created by Gerry Anderson that proved pretty popular around Europe during syndication – but extremely short-lived and often-forgotten on the pile of afternoon serials. Personally, I loved the premise of a police force in space, dealing with alien crooks and the like – Awesome fun for after school! Sure, it wasn’t the greatest show of its kind, but it maintains that very Anderson-esque charm which we can all admit to having a soft spot for.


5 Sequels That Ruined Their Predecessor

Ok, just a few picks that I, personally found suitable for this list. I’ll be giving a few thoughts on each one…

1. ‘Evan Almighty’ (Original – ‘Bruce Almighty’)

Awwww... Sheeeeet!

Let me be frank, Bruce Almighty (starring rubber face himself, Jim Carrey) was never a masterpiece, nor was it amazingly funny. But with the film being the jump start for the film career of Steve Carell, it did stir some interest – As a big fan of Carell in The Office, I decided I’d give this film a watch. The end result is a…ugh… ‘comedy’… that doesn’t even touch the sheer stupidity of Jim Carrey’s multi-digited limb. It’s just a damn miracle that Steve Carell is able to shine in other films and become lesser-known for this one.

2. ‘Alien Ressurection’ (Originals – ‘Alien’, ‘Aliens’ & ‘Alien 3’)

Oedipus Complex 101

 A disgustingly horrific way to fully kill one of the best sci-fi franchises of the last 30 years. Alien 3 pretty much ruined it all, but this one was the killing blow…. Actually no, I’m wrong. Alien 3 was the killing blow. This just beat its dead lifeless body down with a massive 40 inch dildo.

3. ‘Everything George Lucas has been involved with since 1999’ (Original – ‘Everything George Lucas was involved with before 1999’)

This picture, tells us exactly what George Lucas, as a filmmaker and what his films represented. Interest, excitement, art, honing a craft, inspiring.

Now, look at what he looks like now… Bloated, boring, egotistical, nonsensical overbearing smugness, dishevelled, piece of crap. These are traits he shares with the films he’s produced in the last decade. George, you killed your baby.

4. ‘TRON: Legacy’ – (Original – ‘TRON’)

"Anyone up for a game of S&M frisbee?"

TRON was one of those ‘kewl’ flicks from the 80’s that we all love. It’s not great now by today’s standards, but that shit was awesome 20 years or so ago. But it’s been slightly shitted on by this long-delayed sequel that would’ve been much better off being produced while technology was not as advanced as now. The first one just seems completely organic in comparison. Again, one of those CGI filled shit-fests that could’ve been so much more.

5. ‘Home Alone 3’ (Originals – ‘Home Alone’ & ‘Home Alone 2’)

Oh, John… John, John, Johnny, John, John…. I wish you could’ve died a happy man.

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