Tag Archives: threequels

My Top Ten Favourite Sequels

20140324-072540.jpg

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)

fds3
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)

r234fd

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)

t44wsdf

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)

fgrq

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)

rtw33

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)

ert3

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)

rtwxcxc

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)

rq3

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)

fgws241

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)

fawr

“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.


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.


“We Can Remake It, Make It Stronger”

I’m a film lover. No questions asked. However, I can honestly admit that I hate going to cinemas to watch films. Not really without the risk of disappointment – it’s actually from loss of enthusiasm.
And that’s due to one word. One word that has plagued and addled my brain for the last 5 or so years…
REMAKE

They can sometimes fill us with woe and sometimes make us salivate with anticipation. But bearing in mind that this is now a big market in cinema – is it just alienating cinema-goers, or is it proving to be the best vehicle for bringing those films into the 21st century?
Case and point 1:- Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman’ trilogy

Nineteen years on and still going strong

The idea of a character study Batman film had never been committed to film until Nolan’s 2005 film ‘Batman Begins’. Previous directors, Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher (guhhhh) had released interpretations that were visual-heavy, and tone-heavy with no real substance to the characters. Fleshing out had gone out of fashion. Not to deny that Burton’s flicks weren’t in any way impressive – but on the other hand, they were at an extreme where you had to embrace the inability of believability, and let the ‘comic’ itself steer your perception of the films. Schumacher’s on the other hand took it to a whole other level. Instead of cleverly using the best parts of Burton’s work, he took the bad parts… and made them worse. Or worser than worse. A couple of hammy, campy and shockingly homo-erotic schlock-fests with one that would subsequently become the widely-voted ‘Worst Film Ever Made’.
With two out of the way, and a third in pre-production – Nolan’s films have solidified the Batman revival as one of the greatest in recent film history.
Case and point 2:- Horror Remakes. Why?

"One, two, this film will be poo"

How many times do we go down this road? If anything has never worked in Hollywood, it’s horror remakes. A cheap, lousy homage to some of the best films we’ve seen. And it’s not an exagerration….
Here’s the lowdown of remakes, their revenue, and average rating from Rotten Tomatoes (out of 100%).

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – $107 million – 36%
2. Halloween – $80 million – 26%
3. Friday The 13th – $91 million – 26%
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street – $115 million – 13%

This is an endless list. I kid you not. The main trend is not only the low critical reception, but also the gross revenue. Yeah $100 million bucks is a hell of a lot of money to us folk. But in Hollywood, it’s pretty much just nickels and dimes. They’re barely breaking even with the film’s budget, which would probably lead to low DVD sales, decreased chances of a sequel, and also a great way to polish off a 25 year old actress’ career.
The common problem with Horror in the 2000’s has been what I like to refer to as the ‘Unholy Quadruped’ of film-making…
*Stupid dialogue
*Stupid actors
*Stupid plot
*Stupid endings
Horror remakes flesh out all of those to great effect, on a constant basis. It’s a great discomfort when I actually saw the amount of famous slasher/thriller flicks that have been redone in the last 10 years. Just try thinking of one film that scared the crap out of you as a child, and it’s been remade. It sucks as hell because it just (metaphorically) sucked the life out of everything that made the originals memorable and literally picks the film up, and shakes it tell it’s dead and blue in the face.
And somewhere, somehow Tyler Mane always has something to do with it….(Liev Schriber took his other job…)
So, just how longer will studios go funding these films? Progressively numbing our minds with their visual PCP, and rubbing their collective hands in the process? Probably never. Although I really do wish that if there does ever come a time when films like the above are remade, they’re done with a little more class, and a little more thought.
—————————————————————————–
So there, a viewpoint from both sides of the fence. Personally, I really, really loathe the idea of remakes. Sure, everyone likes a good horror flick. But when you just put in jump-scare after jump-scare it really loses it’s purpose, and that’s a mainstay in these Hollywood remakes. Dramatics with little to no effect. It’s such a waste of our money and precious time – entertain us, for fucks sake!
On the other hand though some people can get it right and change things for the better. Giving us movies that are recognisable, but still fresh. With a lasting appeal and producing a great homage to previous work. It’s just not happening enough for me to think that way.
It’s high time that production companies should be looking outside the box, and not keeping cosy on the inside – Eventually they’ll be gasping for help.

%d bloggers like this: