Just a discussion question I decided to raise and hopefully get some good response.
When I was younger, I used to dread a sequel to a movie. They would always seem like shallow replications of the original. Nowadays, they really don't seem that bad. In fact, many times we come across sequels being better than the original.
Are they getting better? Is Hollywood putting more time and thought into them? Do you ever dread a sequel nowadays?
I don't think better sequels is a recent phenomenon. There have been a number of sequels better than the original. The Godfather Part II. The Empire Strikes Back. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Lethal Weapon 2. Terminator 2. Toy Story 2. Spider-Man 2. X2: X-Men United. The Dark Knight. Those come to mind. Admittedly, the last few are more recent.
It's always about the creative team, who's writing, who's directing, and usually - especially in the case of superhero movies - eschewing the burden of telling an origin story and explaining who everyone is and why frees them up to go in better directions. The training wheels come off. There are of course plenty of lousy sequels too. It's always about creative first and foremost.
Often also, the temptation is to recycle whatever worked in the original, which creates a pale imitation. I know it doesn't float everyone's boat, but I really like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom because it abandons the Raiders formula and does something completely different. (Of course, Temple is set a year before Raiders and is technically a prequel.) I also vastly prefer Batman Returns to Batman '89, but that tends to be a minority opinion.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaI know it doesn't float everyone's boat, but I really like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom because it abandons the Raiders formula and does something completely different.
Except for the gun joke, which doesn't make sense....?
I remember a big thing a couple years ago about how this report showed that movies with subtitles far outgross movies with numerical sequel numbers. Now, you know, most of the sequels have that, probably based on that number crunching.
It's funny though, I remember at the time I read that I looked at the numbers again, but without the Lord of the Ring trilogy (which arguably aren't sequels), and the whole point was moot, they were pretty much the same.
So I ask you now....would you count the Marvel Cinematic Universe as sequels? Is James Bond a sequel? Is Oz the Great and Powerful? Man of Steel?
At what point, regardless of John's point about having a GOOD creative team in place, does having a DIFFERENT creative team in place stop something from being a sequel?
Also, certainly there are a lot MORE sequels than there used to be, but what are the averages like? Does your thoughts about sequels being better take into account Grown Ups 2? The Smurfs 2? Die Hard 5? etc?
You realize that it's things like this thread that is giving us a 2015 that looks like this:
Fantastic 4 - 3 Cinderella (Live Action) Madagascar....4? Avengers 2 Jurassic Park 4 Ted 2 Terminator 5 Independence Day 2 Despicable Me 3 Man of Steel 2 Smurfs 3 Hotel Transylvania 2 James Bond 24 Hunger Games 3 Star Wars 7 Kung Fu Panda 3 Mission Impossible 5 Snow White and the Huntsman 2
I think it has more to do with films eying up to be franchises making weaker first films. Batman Begins is my favorite out of the series, but it doesn't go all out. Dark Knight and Rises does. Patrick Stewart said it best about X-Men 1, it was a trailer for X-Men 2. That is what a lot of films are doing. Green Lantern is the prime example of this. Instead having the movie be all about Hal vs. Sinestro like it should have been. They went out of their way to make Parallex and Hector fucking Hammond as the villains and that is one of the reasons it sucked.
Look at Hobbit, its a 200 plus book and its three films for no reason. It could be two films with everything in the book, but that it is pretty much it. Studios are bankrupt with ideas of their own, so they are trying to milk every dollar out of all their films. They also know that if three or four of these tanks, their studio is done. So, they are being more cautious about going all in these films. Sure, they are besting a $100 million on these things, but the risk is low, because of the built in fanbase as well as the international market exploding.
I do think the sequels are getting better, but its the third film that seem to less than spectacular. Even though I love Jedi, Rises and Revolution, ok I like Revolutions due to how bad Reloaded was. Yet, Spidey, X-Men and even Iron Man sucked. I would add Return of the King as a giant disappointed as well, but the Academy says otherwise. They should have given it to Fellowship which was the best one.
(edited by lotjx on 10.11.13 1758) The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Originally posted by thereminDo you count the Marvel Cinematic Universe as sequels? Is James Bond a sequel? Is Oz the Great and Powerful? Man of Steel?
I do count the Marvel films as sequels. The Avengers wasn't really because it aimed to do something different with all of those characters by making them all work together, so it was a new entity that didn't continue the individual characters' stories from their movies. Iron Man 2 and 3, The Dark World, The Winter Soldier, they are sequels. Avengers: Age of Ultron is a sequel.
Man of Steel is a reboot, not a sequel. It doesn't continue anything from a previous Superman movie, it starts anew. Superman Returns was a sequel to Superman: The Movie and Superman II as well as an homage.
James Bond's franchise can be viewed as stand alone films, but broken down into the components of each Bond actor, they are in fact, sequels. The intention for all of the Bonds before Casino Royale was that they were all the adventures of the same man, though played by different actors through the decades. Dr. No to Die Another Day is supposed to be one long story of James Bond, 007.
But broken down into components, as I mentioned, if you watch the films in order, they are very much sequels. Sean Connery's movies from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice are a continuous story of Bond's adventures. Bond gets married in On Her Majesty's Secret Service when Bond was played by George Lazenby, and when Tracy Bond is murdered, Sean Connery's return in Diamonds Are Forever picks up the story thread as Connery plays Bond on a manhunt to kill Blofeld, who killed Tracy. Roger Moore takes over from there and it's still intended to be the same Bond. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Tracy Bond and her death are mentioned, and Moore's Bond changes the subject. Then at the start of For Your Eyes Only, Moore's Bond visits Tracy's grave and finally kills Blofeld once and for all. This same James Bond character continues on played by Timothy Dalton and then when the Cold War is over, Pierce Brosnan plays him as "a relic of the Cold War" in Goldeneye and he even mentions how many world conquering villains he's defeated. This Bond's story ends in Die Another Day.
Daniel Craig's debut in Casino Royale is a reboot of James Bond. None of those previous movies happened. We meet Craig's Bond just as he's getting his 00 license to kill, and from then on, through Quantum of Solace and Skyfall to whatever comes next, those are new adventures of a new James Bond. But everything following Casino is very much a sequel.
Creative teams come and go. The entities that manage the properties are the studios that own them and they determine whether their films/franchises are sequels or are reboots.
The point of my questions were a little more encompassing than that. If James Bond gets to be sequels, why don't ALL the MCU titles get to be sequels? They are continuing stories in the same universe, involving the same people or things (Thor's hammer is in Iron Man 2, does that make Thor a sequel?)
Maybe for the question in the thread title, it would be more fair to separate sequels and franchises.
To clarify, I don't know if sequels are better now than they have been, but I was hoping to dig a little deeper into the idea of...if they are, why are they? Is Harry Potter something we consider great sequels? Does that have something to do with one person deciding where all the stories go?
If we break down all the sequels from the last three years, and say 2000-2003, will we notice a better ratio now?
I'd say that sequels these days are simply a bit better planned out. They're no more or less mercenary than they've always been, but back in say, the 80s, the idea was to pump out a sequel quickly in order to cash in on the remaining good will from the first film (and I'd argue the quality of the Terminator sequel with you any day, John). These days, they greenlight the sequel before they even know if they have a hit on their hands, and everybody's thinking in terms of three-picture deals. While you're still hoping to have that reserve of positive thinking for your main character, each film is now its own film, for good or ill, and is given a lot more time in preproduction and a much better chance at a higher level of quality - which still doesn't keep things like Terminator: Salvation from happening, but it's still a step in the right direction.
My knee jerk reaction would be no, sequels aren't better, because there are a lot of sequels that are just thrown out there to make money without any thought. But after looking at 2013 versus 2003 I think my mind has been changed. They might not be GREAT movies but in 2013 I've enjoyed Iron Man 3, GI Joe Retaliation, Fast and the Furious 6, Thor: The Dark World and Star Trek into Darkness. There are still plenty of duds like Smurfs 2, Hangover III, Scary Movie 5 and so on but when I looked a 2003 it was almost all duds: Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, X-Men 2 (I know a lot of people liked it but I didn't), Scary Movie 3, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Bad Boys II, Legally Blonde II.
My best guess as to the reasoning is that while sequels have always been used as a way to make a money grab they are more frequent than ever. That means that studios are actually depending on the success of sequels more so at least SOME of those studios want to make the best sequel possible.