Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten On Tuesday

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10 Movie Sequels That Almost Killed Their Franchise


The Phantom Menace


We waited 14 years from the time Return of The Jedi was released in theatres to find out how Darth Vader came to be.  Crazy fans, myself included, went bananas when we heard that George Lucas was FINALLY going to tell us the story of the first three episodes of his phenomenal story.  Expectations were very high, and for good reason.  And then it was released.  Are you kidding me?  Yes, Jar Jar Binks is one of the worst characters ever created, but this movie just sucked from the moment it started til the moment it FINALLY ended!  People were so disappointed that it was simply a CGI movie, and there was really no story.  We all hoped that the next movie would redeem this horrible, depressing, complete waste of time.


Attack Of The Clones


The next movie did nothing to help us feel any better! 

Our expectations were MUCH lower after the horror that is now known as The Phantom Menace, but there was still a lot of hope that the franchise would be able to break free of the previous movie.  The ridiculous, creepy "love story", completely stupid Roman Gladiator battle scene, and Yoda fighting like an idiot proved to us that George Lucas had lost his ability to tell a great story...and that everyone who works for him is afraid to speak up and tell him that! 


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Gee, I see a George Lucas patttern here!

It hurts my heart to put this movie on this list, but it simply has to be here.  Again, fans of one of the greatest adventure heroes waited 18 years for another story.  We were teased, being constantly told that once Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford could come up with a great story that everyone agreed on, Indiana Jones would be back.  20 years later and this is what they came up with?  A nuclear explosion that should've killed Indiana, (even if there happened to be a lead lined refridgerator handy), killer ants, and mythological crystal skulls that make people crazy?  COME ON!  I know many people thought the franchise was dead when Temple of Doom came out and was much darker than Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it recovered and The Last Crusade was, in my opinion, the greatest movie of all four.  Let's face it, Harrison Ford is no spring chicken, and where he continues to say he'd make another one, I think audiences will be EXTREMELY skeptical.  So, so sad.


Batman and Robin


Finally, we break the George Lucas streak! 

Were these actors so desperate for money that they thought this script would work?  One look at the "newly improved" genetically enhanced costumes should've been a big warning!  There is always a lot going on in the early Batman movies, (plots and subplots) but this one was simply all over the place.  Poorly acted, a ridiculous plot, this movie made it clear that the Batman franchise seriously needed a reboot if it was going to survive! 


Men in Black 2



When "K" (Tommy Lee Jones) had his memory wiped in the first movie, I figured a sequel would be pointless.  How, and why, would he come back?  But, the inevitable happened:  the movie was a success, so a sequel HAD to be made.  Why?  To make more money, of course!  But the sequel was AWFUL!  10 years later, we await the release of yet another Men in Black movie.  I am already skeptical, and unsure about whether or not I'm going to pay too much money to see this in the theatres.

Back to the Future 2


Is it just me, or was this movie too confusing to keep up with?  Between constantly going from past to future, and switching from one possible reality to another, it was just too much.  Luckily, the third installment, when they travel to the old west, redeemed this franchise for me, and again, I felt it was the best of all three.


The Lost World:  Jurassic Park



Why is it that when the first movie makes zillions of dollars a sequel must be made?  Has Hollywood learned nothing from past experience? 

Such was the case with the Jurassic Park franchise.  First movie:  one of the most incredible movies ever made.  Second movie:  was this made by the same director?  Does this now mean we have a Steven Spielberg pattern?  Jeff Goldblum coming back as Malcolm was great.  I always thought his character was hiliarious.  But the whole concept of his daughter being there, simply to provide reasons to have to rescue her, and her being a gymnast, to provide the opportunity for her to "show off" her uneven bar skills, was really stupid.  And are we really supposed to believe that there are people dumb enough who would actually bring dinosaurs back to San Diego?  Oh boy, I hope not.  The movie just didn't work.  Jurassic Park 3 was slightly better, simply because it was shorter in length, didn't have much dialogue, brought back Sam Neill as Dr. Grant, and was 90 minutes of being chased by dinosaurs.  Oh, and it wasn't directed by Steven Spielberg.


Shrek The Third


Why, why, why?  I love Shrek.  Talk about a fairy tale that had never been made, this is hilarious, and it has a lot of heart.  After its success, they tried a sequel which actually turned out to be just as fun as the first.  New characters, Fiona's father was actually a frog, turning the fairy godmother into the villian, it was great.  And then came the third installment of the franchise.  Shrek goes looking for the true heir to the throne since he doesn't want to be king, and finds Arthur.  This movie lacked the excitement and fun of the first two, and simply made me wish it had never been made....or that I had never seen it.


Wayne's World 2



Saturday Night Live struck gold with Dana Carvey and Mike Myers.  I was a teenager when they were on the show, and in my opinion, those were the best years of that show.  Wayne's World was a skit that they did periodically, and they were always very funny.  So the natural thing was to make a movie about them.  The first movie, Wayne's World, was hilarious.  They managed to find all the elements that made the sketches so funny, and bring them into the movie.  It was a hit.  So, why not make a second one?  Ooops, I guess they missed that memo.  The second one was not funny.  It felt like they were using jokes we'd already heard, and just didn't have the same magic to it.  Consequently, most movies made from Saturday Night Live sketch characters have also been awful.  Just shows that you can't always strike gold twice.


Revenge of the Sith

I tried SO HARD to keep this title from appearing here.  Where there are MANY problems with this movie too, I don't feel like throwing up when I'm done watching it like I do if I have to sit through The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones (unless I get into a mood where all I want to do is talk about the stupid things that are happening during the movie:  then I want to puke). 

General Grievous is a dumb character.  Why does a machine have whooping cough?  And why does it have a heart? (and I mean that literally for those of you who aren't familiar with him)  It could've been a great villian if not for the cough that constantly reminded you of the stupidity of the character.  Padme dies because she "looses the will to live"?  Seriously, that's your reason?  Anakin changes all his values, beliefs, his entire upbringing, within five minutes because he doesn't want Padme to die?

Anyway, the reason this was almost spared from the list was because of Ewan McGregor.  Best performance of the movie as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Star Wars fans who had been waiting years for the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin finally got to see a pretty decent fight.  Even if they both should've caught on fire because of how close they were standing to the lava, that battle lived up to the standards that Star Wars fans expect.

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