Monday, May 07, 2007

No Accounting For Taste

Wow. I'm flabbergasted. I just got done reading an article called "Top Ten Sequels That Are Better Than The Original." While I agree with a few of their choices--very few--the rest are laughable to down right offensive.

  1. Back To The Future 2 - I haven't seen this film since it was at theaters back in 1989. I remember it as being a dismal affair rife with bad make-up aging effects and an endless sequence involving flying skateboards. I'd watch BACK TO THE FUTURE any day of the week. You'd have to tie me down and clamp open my eyelids a la A CLOCKWORK ORANGE or NEXT to make me watch this ill-conceived sequel.
  2. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior - Yeah. That's pretty much right.
  3. Army Of Darkness - I may be unpopular for this but I'm not a big fan of "The Medieval Dead." Give me EVIL DEAD for chills and EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN for laughs but ARMY OF DARKNESS is good for a few soundbytes and not a whole lot else for me.
  4. Die Hard With A Vengeance - John McClane worked hard (die hard) for two movies to save his wife, Holly, only to have him unexpectedly divorced in this film. Couple that with this being set in the dead of summer rather than Christmas and you've got the first two ingredients for a really lame actioner. At least DIE HARD 2 had William Sadler and John Amos.
  5. X-Men 2 - No arguments here. This is one of the strongest superhero sequels ever made. It even beats SPIDERMAN 2. And Hally Berry wasn't even that bad in this one.
  6. Aliens - I can't fully endorse this. While I'll watch ALIENS any day over ALIEN, that comes solely from my age. ALIEN was forbidden fruit as a kid while I caught ALIENS in a theater. While ALIEN was a thriller, ALIENS was an action film. They were two different genres that really only shared the same creature and heroine. That is, ALIEN was apples while ALIENS was oranges.
  7. Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan - I whole-heartedly agree with this. Going back to the original series and bringing back Khan was a stroke of genius. Writer/Director Nicholas Meyer's utilization of Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, et cetera gave the film the weight it deserved.
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day - I can't endorse this. T2 was fun when I saw it the first time but it doesn't hold up. Even the cutting-edge special effects look cheesey as heck now. Worse, Eddie Furlong's performance is the cinematic equivalent of a papercut under lemon juice.
  9. The Godfather 2 - No. Again, this takes the wisdom of the ages to realize that the cross-cutting between Michael and Vito Corleone was a neat idea but that Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro can't match up to Marlon Brando. THE GODFATHER flowed beautifully from end to end. Watching THE GODFATHER 2 feels like going from paved road to gravel and back again.
  10. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Again, I can't say that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is necessarily better than STAR WARS. It's definitely more mature and far different but it's not the popcorn film that STAR WARS was.

If I had to pontificate on this same subject (because I haven't already), I'd have to submit these films for consideration.

  1. For A Few Dollars More - My favorite of the Dollars films.
  2. Sanjuro - Yes, I like this even more than YOJIMBO.
  3. The Color of Money - I found THE HUSTLER to be a bit of a bore while THE COLOR OF MONEY is a goofy romp.
  4. Lone Wolf & Cub 2 - Whenever I introduce people to the Ogami Itto story, I always begin them with the second film because it lack the cross-cutting that makes the first film confusing to new viewers.
  5. Bride of Frankenstein - The love story between the creature and the bride is iconic and feels more faithful to Shelly than the original.
  6. Batman Returns - Far darker than even the original with a lot of Hitchcockian touches and, hey, Christopher Walken.
  7. Batman Begins - Yes, I liked this even better than the Burton films.
  8. Cannonball Run 2 - Two words: "These bleeds."
  9. Dogma - The best of the Jay and Silent Bob films.


1 comment:

Jeff said...

Wow, I think you're pretty spot on. And I used to think the Godfather 2 was clearly superior to the first until watching them again recently. Now I see how much the first one just flows a lot better. However, if the second one just focused only on the DeNiro/Vito era, I may have liked it more.

A few ones you missed : Evil Dead 2, Human Tornado (Dolemite 2), Superman 2, Babe 2, Freeway 2.

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