Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #61: Movie Sequels

Thirteen Movie Sequels

Earlier this week I did a post about reports of a possible sequel to "Bull Durham". That got me to thinking about other follow-up films. I've heard many people say that they are against sequels. I won't go that far because there have been some that are worthy follow-ups to the original film. On the other hand, most seem to exist for the sole purpose of padding a star's bank account.

Below (in alphabetical order) are 13 random sequels that I've seen over the years. They run the gamut from being exceptional to being straight up garbagio. For the most part, I steered clear of obvious film franchises such as Star Wars and Batman.

Along with any thoughts regarding the 13 follow-ups I've listed below, please also include in the comments section your choices for the best sequel you've seen and the worst you've seen.

Also, if you haven't voted in the RRHOF poll (in the top part of the left sidebar), please feel free to do so.

1. Aliens (1986)- Because of the 7 year gap between this and the original, any skepticism was understandable. However, this is one of the few sequels that arguably either matches or surpasses the original. It helped that the director of Alien (James Cameron) as well as star Sigourney Weaver were both back onboard.

2. The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training (1977)- Without stars Matthau and Tatum or director Michael Ritchie, what was the point?

3. Blues Brothers 2000 (1999)- Belushi's dead, 'nuff said.

4. Bride of Chucky (1998)- Several months ago, I was channel surfing late Friday/early Saturday and caught this on the USA Network. Normally I don't watch theatrical movies on commercial TV, but I couldn't bring myself to turn the channel. Not only does this "so bad, it's good" movie feature John Ritter in a surprise borderline cameo appearance, but it also contains a love scene between Chucky and his bride (voiced by Jennifer Tilly). If you didn't lost your breakfast, lunch, and dinner after reading the last part of the previous sentence, props to you. The next time that Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl complains about the quality of her storyline on the hit show (which might be tomorrow), the producers need to point out that she could do a lot worse (Bride of Chucky was one of her early films).

5. Grease 2 (1982)- When Danny and Sandy went flying off into the sunset via automobile (wtf was that all about?) in the 1978 original, that should have been the end of it. If you bring this film up to Michelle, I wonder if she'll be c-o-o-l about it or put a beatdown on you Catwoman-style.

6. House Party 2: The Pajama Jam! (1991)- We went to see this at the theater anticipating a lively follow-up to 1990's House Party. Although it was OK, it was a huge void missing... the late, great Robin Harris (who played Kid's father in the original). They tried to compensate by using clips of Harris via flashback, but it wasn't the same.

7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)- Another sequel that I think lives up to the original. Hiring Sean Connery to play Indy's dad was a brilliant move because he and Harrison Ford played off each other extremely well. Thanks to the opening sequence featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy, the movie It was also answered some questions about our hero (how he obtained his scar, fedora, etc.).

8. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)- About the best thing that can be said about this mess is that it effectively put an end to the franchise... for now anyways. Co-star Michael Caine once said of the movie: "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!" Hey, at least he's honest.

9. The Karate Kid Part III (1989)- This third installment was a big comedown from both the 1984 original and the 1986 follow-up. One of my lasting memories of part III is that Ralph Macchio was pushing 30 at the time and looked every bit of it (the so-called "kid" had a gut that was visible throughout most of the movie).

10. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) - This follow-up to the surprise 1988 original didn't let me down. When I see that director David Zucker and writer Jim Abrahams are attached to a film, I look at it like Smucker's ... it has to be good.

11. Rocky III (1982)- Although not a great film, it's a definite improvement over the dreary first sequel. A lot of that has to do with Mr. T. as Rock's opponent Clubber Lang, who delivers some of the best lines in the film:

"Getting out while you can? Don't give this sucker no statue. Give him guts! I told you I wasn't going away. You got your shot, now give me mine. "

"Dead meat! "

and of course...

"No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got! "

12. Superman II (1981) - As good as 1978's Superman: The Movie was, this was better! One plus was that it gave The Man of Steel three formidable foes, led by Terence Stamp as the arrogant General Zod. Also, it was great to see Clark Kent get his revenge at the end of the movie on the truck driver who gave him a beatdown during the time that Clark gave up his powers to be with Lois... what the hell was he thinking when he did that?!

13. A Very Brady Sequel (1996) - 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie is one of the best adaptations of a TV show because it spoofed the ripe-for-parody sitcom by moving the stuck-in-the-1970s Bradys into the 1990s. The sequel continues in the same vein with several funny references to not only the TV series, but also addresses the "what if" question surrounding the attraction between step-siblings Greg and Marcia.

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Hootin' Anni said...

#7! yes.

And #9...I really liked how it picked up from the original at the very beginning!!

My T-13 is posted too. This week, it's about only ONE book...for the season. Stop by if you can find time.

Unknown said...

Aliens was awesome and I think better than the first one. It's because of Newt and the Terminator Hottie! The Brady Bunch Movie was awesome. Gary Cole had Mike Brady down cold!

I must take exception to your remarks about Grease II. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that movie! I know all the songs and can even do the Cool Rider dance! So can my Aunt Kim and her daughter. They had a song about bowling/sex. What's not to love?

I gave you an "award". Check out my blog for the info.

Meju said...

It is the rare movie that produces a good sequel. Back to the Future was a favorite of mine. Happy TT.

Candy Minx said...

The Brady movies are really one of my favourites. I think the what if they lived in the 90's was pure genius! I own it.

I loved Aliens and Indy movies too.

I love the sequel to "Before Sunrise" with Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, very emotional and lived up to the first movie.

Diehard movies. The Evil Dead II. The Road Warrior. For A Few Dollars More. Bourne Supremacy (but why did she have to die?) Return of the Thin Man. Shanghai Knights.

Here is my TT list:

pussreboots said...

Interesting list. I've only seen the Bad News Bears, the Indiana Jones movie and Naked Gun 2 1/2.

I'm talking about books set in California this week.

Anonymous said...

I agree with almost everything you said - but I absolutely love Blues Brothers 2000! The music is great, and I love the contest and jam session at the end. One of the best versions of "New Orleans" I've heard.

Jaws 4 was awful, but I admit to enjoying Jaws 2.

Moondancer said...

1 and 7 are my fav, though I think 13 gave me nightmares.

Happy TT

DrillerAA said...

Very interesting list. Aliens was an absolutely incredible movie and you're right Sean Connery in The Last Crusade was brilliant.
Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful TT.

Lori said...

Even though I'm often suckered into watching a sequel, I can't think of any I really enjoyed. The absolute WORST had to be the Matrix. I loved the first one so much, the 2nd one was just a sad disppointment and the 3rd? I'm not sure why they even bothered.

colleen said...

I recently saw Invasion with Nicole Kidman. Watched the whole thing and only found out at end in the special menu that it was a remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," which I saw in the 70's and which scared the heck out of me. I thought it seemed familiar.

That was not me on Halloween. I was in the black mask. Just a costume, no one in particular.

Carol said...

I'm a big Indiana Jones fan, so that one gets my vote for best. Dunno about worst since I haven't seen them all.

Good T-13!

Eimi said...

My favorite in the sequels is the Die Hards because Die Hard 3 and 4 are better than the first 2 to me! =) I love them!! Thanks for visiting and yes, I do know of that annoying message-- I have to wait while blogger makes sure my blog is legit.

The Rock Chick said...

I have to go with the Indiana Jones and Die Hards as my faves. I also have to vote that one Chucky movie was enough! LOL

Happy TT!

Qtpies7 said...

I enjoyed all the Indiana Jones except the last one. While it was good, it was not up to par.
I have a love/hate relationship with sequels. I expect them to be good, and they are not always.
Grease 2 was beyond lame.

David Amulet said...

Superman II is a good call--much better than #1, I think. Zod rocks.

What about Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo?!?

And Empire kicked Star Wars' ass.

Calliope said...

Least favorite sequel? Oh dear. How about Highlander 2?

Good sequels include the other 2 Back to the Future Films and the second Mummy film.

I can't seem to include Return to Witch Mountain as a it was made from a book, just as the first film was. One of the closest adaptations I've seen, by the way.


clnmike said...

Aliens and Rocky III were pretty damn good to me.

mielikki said...

I think the Grease 2 has to be the worst sequel that I have ever seen. And my favorite was the last Rocky, because it gave closure to the whole thing, and it came back around full circle.
I like your TT!

Bryan said...

this is a subject that i could go on forever about ...

worst sequels in my book are:
1) godfather 3
2) return of the jedi
3) starship troopers 2
4) rocky 4 is far worse than rocky 3
5) road house 2

sequels better than the original
1) godfather 2
2) empire strikes back
3) rocky 2
4) lord of the rings: 2 towers
5) clear & present danger

Jessica said...

I agree with most on your list. I was so upset with Grease of those movies that didn't need a sequel.

I love all of the Child's Play movies! I can't help it. :)

One bad sequel that comes to mind now is a more recent movie--Spider-Man 3. So bad.

Anonymous said...

I remember thinking that Karate Kid III was pretty good, but when I rewatched it recently on free pay per view, it seemed a little silly. But, I will always love parts 1 and 2.

With the exception of 1-4, and 6, I think I've seen the rest on your list. Good idea for this week!

Malcolm said...

Hootin' Anni: Before the latest Indy movie (which I haven't seen), I felt that the first 3 films made up one of the best trilogies in film history.

Kristi: I liked Newt because nothing fazed her. I totally agree with you about Gary Cole's portrayal of Mike Brady. It was as if he had channeled the spirit of Robert Reed.

Your comments about Grease 2 remind me of Drew Barrymore. Did you ever see the documentary "My Date With Drew"? If not, check this clip out and go to the 5:25 mark:

Also, thanks again for the award. I will be posting about it later this week.

Meju: It's odd that I never saw either of the Back To the Future sequels because I enjoyed the original so much.

Candy: I heard that Before Sunrise and Before Sunset were really good. Since I enjoy dialogue driven films, I need to make an effort to check these out.

Although I haven't seen them all, I have liked the films I've checked out in the "Thin Man" series. William Powell and Myrna Loy made quite a team.

Pussreboots: Unless you are morbidly curious, you don't have to bother with the 2nd and 3rd films in the Bad News Bears series.

Cooking Mom: The only thing that made Blues Brothers 2000 almost bearable for me was the music. In addition to the "New Orleans" segment that you mentioned, it was also cool to see one of my favorite singers (Wilson Pickett) again after all those years.

I actually saw "Jaws 2" at the theater when I was a kid. I haven't seen it since, but I remember liking it.

Moondancer: Wow, you must have really had a disliking for "A Very Brady Sequel" for it to have given you nightmares.

Drilleraa: Thanks

Lori: One of the worst movie experiences is sitting through a crappy sequel to an excellent movie. That's the way I felt when I watched the sequel to "Friday" (a movie for which I know you have zero love). I was so disappointed that I didn't even fool with the third one, although I heard it was an improvement over the second one.

Colleen: Thanks for answering my question regarding the Halloween photo on your blog.

Carol: You didn't have to stick with just the movies on my list to name a best/worst sequel. :-) Still, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Eimi: I saw "Die Hard" and that was it. I've heard that the franchise as a whole is solid, so maybe I will get around to watching the other 3. I hope that Blogger has determined that your blog is legit by now.

The Rock Chick: Something that I found funny when watching "Bride of Chucky" is that the digital cable guide listed it as a horror movie. I'm like come on, that movie was practically pure comedy... who would take it seriously as a horror film?

Qtpies 7: I feel the same as you about sequels. It's almost like a Pandora's Box. Even though you are pretty sure that what's inside is bad, you can't resist opening it.

David: "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" was pretty bad from what I remember. If I saw it now, I might be able to enjoy it in a "so bad, it's good" way.

Episodes 4, 5, and 6 of the Star Wars saga was storytelling at it's best. On the other hand, 1, 2, and 3 were Dullsville. Although it was sorta cool to see how Anakin became Darth Vader.

Calliope: Wow, you are a purist. :-)

Personally, I think you can count the Witch Mountain movies even though they were adapted from books. After all, "The Godfather" films were adapted from literature too. Speaking of "Escape To Witch Mountain", I was channel surfing and caught a part of it about a week ago. It was the scene where Tony and Tia escape from jail thanks to Tony making a broom attack the sheriff.

Clnmike: One of my favorite parts of Rocky III is the montage near the beginning where we see scenes of how Rocky has become soft due to his success interspersed with shots of a hungry Clubber Lang training hard and knocking bums out. "I want Balboa... I want Balboa!!"

Mielikki: When I saw the trailer for "Rocky Balboa", I was like, "Wow, this might actually be good". One of these days I will get around to seeing it. Your mentioning that it brings the story full circle makes me want to see it even more.

Bryan: Because there are so many films from which to choose, I will likely do a sequel to this Thursday Thirteen. I am already prepared for jokes from people who will say that it didn't live up to the original Thursday Thirteen.

You'll get no argument from me on Rocky IV being worse than Rocky III. While I thoroughly enjoyed Rocky III, I thought the follow up was a lot of Reagan-era propaganda.

Although I won't go out of my way to see it, I will give "Road House 2" a look if the situation presents itself.

Even though I heard it sucked, I still want to see all of "The Godfather III". I've only seen parts of it while channel surfing.

Jessica: Those "Child's Play" movies are a lot of fun. I'm actually hoping to catch "Seed of Chucky" on TV one of these nights. By the way, did you know that they are planning a remake of the original "Child's Play"? It's scheduled for release in late 2009.

Thriving Holly: Even though I've seen parts 1 and 2 many times, I still cheer during the climaxes when Daniel-san triumphs over his opponent.

If ever you are in the mood for a guilty pleasure, I recommend "Bride of Chucky". Chucky and Tiffany (his bride) exchange some pretty funny zingers.

Jessica said...

I had heard about that..I have mixed feelings though, the original is such an 80s gem! :)

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