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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Workout DVD #2: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Verdict: Not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark.

More like “Indiana Jones: The Ride” or “Fear Factor: India”.

The first movie had a great story, great characters, lots of action (but nothing over the top), and locations which, while clearly “Hollywoodized”, had some air of authenticity to them. The second movie, not so much.

Spielberg and Lucas were clearly in the mindset of “more is better” when they made this one. Everything was more intense, more gross, more ridiculous.

This was made around the same time as “Return of the Jedi,” and you can clearly see that George Lucas has begun his descent towards the Dark Side, with stupid, slapstick stunts that lengthen the movie but add nothing to the story (and make little sense in context), and of course, lots of little Ewoks children who manage to defeat the evil Stormtroopers Nazis Cultists.

Most sequels fail to be as good as the original blockbusters. They tend to fall into two categories: retreads of the original (only more!), or completely different stories that leave you scratching your head. I can think of a few that are actually better than the original:

The Empire Strikes Back: Most people feel this was simply a better film than Star Wars, and in many ways it was superior, but really it was a different kind of movie.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: It wouldn’t be hard to surpass the snoozefest that was Star Trek: The Motion Picture (although I liked it for purely geeky reasons), but this was actually a great flick. It had action, it had camp, and it had one of my top ten film lines of all time, “Khaaaaaaaaaannnnn!!!!!"

A Shot in the Dark: Very funny sequel to the only wryly humorous original, which of course you all know and don’t need me to name. Also, the only film in the series without the words “The Pink Panther” in the title, probably explaining its relative obscurity.

I'm opening up the comments for your choice of 3 categories:

1. Sequels that were much better than the originals

2. Sequels that were much worse than the originals (not just disappointments)

3. Classic movies that should have had sequels which were never made


Ezzie said...

For (2), I'm going with the Matrix. Ugh. Horrible!

Chaim said...

1) Jaws 2 and Godfather 2 were better then the first ones.

X-Men 2 & Spider Man 2 were much better then the original. (I'm hoping Fantastic Four 2 is better then the original - it looks better)

2) On the other hand X-Men 3 was a major stinker. Rush Hour 2 stunk, Bad Boys II was not nearly as good as BB1, plus that whole ending was like another even worse movie.

3) Goonies!!!! No sequel love whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

how about remakes that were worse than the original?

PsychoToddler said...

Bring it on.

Shifra said...

Although Predator was a HORRIBLE movie Predator II was, in my opinion the WORST movie of all times.

Neil Harris said...

3) Logan's Run (While William Nolan wrote two other Logan novels, the TV series just didn't cut it.) and Blade Runner
Aside from the fact that Logan's Run was the prototype story of baalei teshuva who discover another way to live when they realized that they grew up with was basically a complete sham (also similar to Luke discovering the Force and all three Matix movies.)

Anonymous said...

I really liked 2010, but it wasn't better than 2001, so that doesn't really answer your question. Fletch was the best movie of all time, but I didn't see the sequel, so that doesn't really answer your question either.

Moreover, the old blogspot ate my sign-in, and I can't be bothered to make a new one. I guess that means I may be annonymous forever. Sad, but I can live with it.

-- Doctor Bean

Elie said...

Besides the ones already mentioned:

Sequels better than originals:
- Superman II - close call, but I put it just ahead of I. III was pathetic, though.
- Kill Bill Part 2: Not sure if this counts b/c it was designed as a two-part movie from the git-go, but I'm in the minority that likes part 2 better.

Much-worse sequels - too many to list, but the ones that come to mind:
- Jaws 2, 3, ad infinitem
- Back to the Future 2 and 3
- Pirates of the Caribbean 2
- Die Hard 2 and 3
- Airplane 2
- Hannibal
- Any of the numerous "straight to Video/DVD" sequels to classic Disney movies.

Movies that should have had sequels:
- The Incredibles
- The Frisco Kid
- And Justice For All

Ralphie said...

Back to the movie for a second... I agree with your assessment in general, but you have to agree that the spiky chamber scene was classic.

yellojkt said...

The worst sequel ever is Grease 2. How Michelle Pfeiffer's career survived that I will never know. Maxwell Caulfield's didn't.

Erachet said...

Remakes that were worse than the original - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Johnny Depp one is just SCARY.

And whoever mentioned Goonies up there, THAT IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES EVER, EVER, EVER. But would a sequel ruin it? I mean, what would happen in it?

Mrs. Balabusta said...

superman II was best, also I would have liked to see the Frisco kid part II, but jurassic park II was nist git.

Jack's Shack said...

Police Academy 25-28 were really bad.

Ralphie said...

When's the last time you Superman 2 fans actually saw the movie? I rented it last year before I saw Superman Returns and it is just awful. I was surprised because I had fond memories as well.

Jack's Shack said...

Bow to Zod. Part of the problem with watching Superman II is that the special effects look so very bad now.

PsychoToddler said...

Rather than respond to commenters, let me list the suggestions so far:

Good Sequels:

Godfather 2: It’s a great movie, but by no means better than the original. I do think this is a fine way to go for a sequel (a little past, a little future), but not the classic that the Brando version was. How can I tell? Quick: How many lines can you recite from the first film off the top of your head? Now how many from part 2?

Spiderman 2: Eh. A competent follow up, but not any better than the first. Follows the “more of the same, but more” formula. Doc Oc and wife seem like they were moonlighting from a Fiddler on the Roof revival.

FF4 2? I’m one of the few people out there who liked the original, so I’m hoping for a little more this time. A little more Jessica Alba….rrrrrrrrrRRRR

Superman II: It was a good movie, different from the original (which had to set up the whole “origin of superman” thing), but tighter and more fun to watch. It may not stand the test of time from a technical standpoint, but c’mon, Terence Stamp..! However I don’t know if it qualifies as a true sequel. It was filmed at the same time as the first one! III and IV were evil, evil creations.

Kill Bill II: I haven’t seen any of these (I soured on Tarantino after I was lured into watching that terrible “From Dusk Till Dawn”), but I think it falls under the Superman II category of long films that were subdivided.

Bad Sequels:

Matrix Reloaded (or was that Revolutions?): Agreed. Neither was as good as the original. But the original was so mind-blowingly good, how could anything measure up? Also, once the whole “the real world is really a computer program” is revealed, there’s pretty much nothing left to say. And yet, there is SOOO much talking….

Jaws 2: Chaim, are you demented? Jaws 2? Jaws 2???? With Dennis Quaid?? Without Richard Dreyfus? Without Richard Shaw (Hooper!)??

X-Men 2: Sorry, Chaim, you need to see a neurologist. No way near as good as the first. And WTF happened to Storm’s accent?

Rush Hour 2: Didn’t see either one

Bad Boys 2: See Rush Hour 2

Predator 2: Shifra, I disagree violently with your premise. Any film that has Ahnold uttering “If it blids, ve cahn khill it” is an instant classic. However, I agree, the follow up sucked big time.

2010: Survey says: Baaaaaaaad! How can you even compare it to the original? They’re not even in the same genre? The first film was so artsy, so terse, so obscure, so apolitical. The sequel was so…not all those things. And what’s with casting a Jewish guy like Bob Balaban as the Indian Dr. Chandra? Hello?

Fletch: Don’t remember the sequel either. I guess that tells you what you need to know.

Back to the Futures: Ugh.

Pirates of the Caribbeans: Ugh UGH. How can you screw up a film where all you have to do is point the camera at Johnny Depp for two hours and then call it a wrap?

Die Harderer: Yes, the first one was a classic. They should have quit while they were ahead.

Airplane 2 was so bad that even the makers of Airplane 1 didn’t want to have anything to do with it. The jokes were all the same! Only done…again! But Bill Shatner was fun.

Hannibal: Didn’t see it. I'm not so into cannibalism.

Disney sequels: Basically parents getting mugged by Disney.

Grease 2: Adrien! Adrian! How do you spell Zmed’s first name!

Jurassic Park 2: Yes, I must agree with my wife. Not a terrible flick, but the original was much, much better. Again, formula: “more of the same, just more”

Police Academy etc. Arrested Development.

Needed Sequels:

Goonies: Wasn’t there already some sequel for this? Gremlins or something? It seems like every film Spielberg made during this period was more or less the same.

Logan’s Run: I really liked this film (saw it recently) but it is VERY dated now! I always thought the series was a “sequel” and it kind of wore out its welcome. Wasn’t Roddy McDowell in that? Usually a Shark-Jumping moment.

Blade Runner: Awesome, awesome flick, but a sequel would only be good if Ridley Scott did it.

The Incredibles: Please please please please please make one and make sure Pixar does it!

The Frisco Kid: The Good, The Bad, and the Unkosher.

And Justice for All: A sequel?

Bad remakes:

Charlie: Yes very creepy.

Holy Hyrax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

They were thinking of getting the gang back together for a Goonies sequel, I dont know what happened to that one.

Scream 1 was great, sequels sucked.

Movies that need a sequel?: Borat

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and the back to the future movies were awsome. You guys are sniffing glue or something. Speaking of Back to the future


Ralphie said...

Here's a very obscure entry for the horrible sequel category: Beyond the Walls 2. Beyond the Walls was an Academy Award-nominated Israeli film about Jews and Arabs in prison in Israel. It was gritty, political, and realistic.

The sequel was bizarre, embarassing, and stupefying. If I recall correctly, the two leads escaped prison and invaded a home, taking the family hostage. But the whole thing was played for laughs - it was like a terrible, slapsticky sitcom. I can't imagine what anyone involved was thinking.

Elie said...

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and the back to the future movies were awsome. You guys are sniffing glue or something. Speaking of Back to the future

Neither BTTF 2 nor POTC 2 were terrible movies in their own right; certainly not in Superman 3, Jaws 3, or "Batman and Robin" territory. But they were both far inferior to their respective predecessors, which were both among my top 20 or so favorite movies. The main problem with those two sequels, like so many, is that they cashed in on, and thus cheapened, the charm and freshness of the originals, turning what was once funny/thrilling into a cliche and self-parody. These two sequels in particular also both suffered from being overly convoluted and confusing.

Halfnutcase said...

Critters! :-)

and troll

Soccer Dad said...

The problem with POTC II is that it was incomprehensible. What was the point?

Speaking of Johnny Depp and sequels, anyone have a kind word for Nightmare on Elm Street? The original was spooky and had an internal logic. The sequel was awful. (I didn't see past II.)

psachya said...

Worst remakes ever: Any movie in which the original features Hayley Mills and the remake features Lindsay Lohan. Make that any remake that features Lindsey Lohan. Make that any movie that features Lindsay Lohan.

Movie that should have had a sequel: The Princess Bride. Those characters were too good, and the lines too amazing, to be trapped in only one movie. (Then again, it could only get worse - it certainly couldn't get any better.)

Best sequel: Home Alone 3, for the one & only reason that it stars someone other than Macaulay Culkin. (I saw HA1 in the theater, & I was probably the only one there rooting for the bad guys. Seriously.)

Worst sequel: I'll hit the Star Wars saga, but not Return of the Jedi, which was still kind of fun. ("I love you." "I know.") No, my supreme disappointment was with the first of the new/older ones. I mean, the queen changes identities with her maid, so that if she's attacked, the maid gets it instead of her, right? And what does the queen/maid do but stand right next to the maid/queen the whole freakin' movie!!! I mean, what exactly have we accomplished here?!! (And don't even get me started on Jar Jar Binks.)