First off, an apology; it’s been forever since I last wrote. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas or the will to write, far from it, but unfortunately as a student I’ve been consumed with revision for Big Bad Exams. However, I feel it’s time for a break from the monotony of note making (for my own sanity if nothing else) to write about something a little more interesting than language processing.
Lots of things are better the second time round. Left-over roast beef, sex, marriage (maybe for some people) And then there are things that are definitely best left as a one-time thing, like going back somewhere you loved and finding it’s changed, or wine when it comes back up in the morning. Most people feel that films fit somewhere into the latter category. So an intriguing question then is why do so many directors feel the opposite, and give us numerous sequels, prequels, trilogies, and more? With the impending release of Anchorman 2, Men in Black 3, Monsters. Inc 2 and Despicable Me 2, it seems relevant to ask, is there really a need?
Now I have to agree, some films are best left alone. Take the all-time classic, best musical ever, Grease. As I’ve previously mentioned, I fail to see how anyone could not love Grease. But why oh why did someone decided it was a good idea to make a sequel? Now I’ve never seen Grease 2, although I am acquainted with the cheese-tastic song ‘Reproduction’, but a quick scan of IMDB revealed a dismal rating of 3.7. The same view can be taken for the Saw films. Why are there 7 of them? I mean I wasn’t impressed by the first one, and I have to question how many times people “want to play a game?”. And if you’ve ever seen Ocean’s Twelve, you can truly understand the meaning of snore-fest.
HOWEVER. There are exceptions to this rule, and I plan to list a few.
Sister Act 2
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I love Sister Act. What’s not to love about a musical where a Vegas showgirl pretends to be a nun while hiding from her gangster boyfriend, meanwhile reforming the church choir? In my opinion, Sister Act 2 is just as good, in fact it may even be slightly better than the original. It has the same fun theme as before, but with better songs and a younger cast, as well as the well-loved original characters. Amazing feel good film, times 2.
Toy Story 2 and 3
Now I love Disney as much as the next geek, but I have to admit they don’t have the best track record with sequels. Take The Jungle Book 2 for example, which I saw for the first time at Christmas. I was not impressed. However, Toy Story 2 and 3 are absolutely brilliant films. In my opinion they are Disney at its best, with funny lines, heart-wrenching storylines and lovable characters. I especially enjoyed Toy Story 3, as Andy had aged along with the original audience, which I thought was a nice touch.
Lion King 2
Now I was very skeptical about this one, not least because I remember watching the straight-to-video epic Lion King 3 *shudder*. But I was coerced into viewing it by my lovely fiance and Lion King super fan, Jon O’Keefe. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not as good as the first one (“What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula? HULA!”), but it still raised a smile with original characters Timon, Pumba, Zazu and Rafiki, as well as the inevitable children of Simba and Scar.
I know they are a series of films, so strictly might not count as “sequels”, but I still thought they were worth a mention. I think as well as being part of a series, most of the films are enjoyable as stand-alone movies. And while it’s fun to laugh at the bad child acting in the first couple, I actually think that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the best one, and it comes 5th in the series, so it goes to prove that first isn’t always best.
Personally I’ve never seen this one, but I have seen the first Spiderman film, which I liked. However, I have information from a reliable source (Lion King superfan AND Spiderman official, Jon O’Keefe), that the second one is considerably better. According to my source, the second film made the characters more likeable, had a better villain and was overall a better film. So there you go.
So what can we expect from the sequels of 2012? Well I don’t know, to be perfectly honest. I tend to think it’s better to leave a well-loved film alone, but who knows, a sequel may well be a good move. And to look on the positive side, at least they aren’t being released straight-to-DVD, so they can’t be that bad…I hope.