Sequels (Not to be confused with sequins)

28 07 2011

Once, there was a movie about a group of young dinosaurs:

1988 Film 'Land Before Time'

Then, something horrible went wrong.  The movie makers couldn’t stop making more movies about them.

2000 film Land Before Time XII

Six films later, and the little dinosaurs are all still young.  Apparently, they were the original finders of the fountain of youth.  The filmmakers were also running out of names, as the ‘stone of cold fire’ is pretty much nonsense and can’t possibly make a good movie.  The studio still wasn’t done though.  They decided that big complicated roman numerals were difficult to read.  So, they ditched them.

2007 Land Before Time XIII

By the 13th (and most recent) film, it has clearly become the ‘land during time’ or possibly even the ‘land after time’, but studio makers didn’t think those were as catchy, regardless of the obvious continuity issues that arise from still calling the 13th film a ‘land before time’ movie.  Also, the writers don’t really have anything else to say, so they apparently decided to base the movie around a ridiculously cheesy, positive catchphrase.  Friends can have wisdom, yeah.  But in reality, most of the time your friends tell you to do something its of the ‘Hey Littlefoot, run into that thorn bush over there and I’ll give you five DinoDollars’ variety.  But Littlefoot’s friends are of course wise like Yoda.  See that pink one on the left?  The picture of wisdom right there.

Ah, sequels.  We love them and hate them.  There are basically two kinds of sequels.  The first kind is technically a ‘sequel,’ but its not exactly a sequel.  These are additional books, movies, or whatever that continue the storyline from the first.  If the first film/whatever cannot truly be considered its own story without gaping plot holes unaddressed, then the sequels are necessary and therefore don’t really count.  The Lord of the Rings is this way, as is the Inheritance Cycle, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials Trilogy, and any other series you can think of that needs its sequels.  In this case, the sequels are part of the whole story.  They continue the story, and therefore can even be seen as the original, as each of the things I just mentioned is one whole, and the ‘sequels’ are just more individual parts in that whole.  These sequels are necessary, and therefore don’t receive much criticism.

This is how you do a sequel, folks

Then, there are they evil sequels, the ones that aren’t necessary.  This type includes the second and fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, The second and third Transformers, Cars 2, The Chronicles of Narnia, Indiana Jones, all of the Star Trek movies, and almost every superhero thing ever.  These are often the offensive ones, and when you think of bad sequels, usually its of this variety.  How many times has this happened: the original occurs and is very good.  It does well financially, and the powers that be decide to make another one.  People flock to partake in the sequel-y goodness, but are disappointed because, by its very nature, it does not contain the parts (namely, the story) that made the first one good.  The sequel is unnecessary, and is a money-grabber.  People buy a product they are familiar with.  But, this discourages originality.  I loved last year’s Inception, and I also loved 2009’s District 9.  Both were a breath of fresh air and original.  However, in both cases, I think the possible sequels would be subpar, because they can’t replicate that wonder that the first ones had.  So, next time you decide to go see the next Saw movie, think:  “Is it really worth it?  Or should I spend money on some original entertainment?”



Original entertainment right here




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