Four Movies That Should Have Sequels and Four That Shouldn’t

“The only reason I would write a sequel is if I were struck by an idea that I felt to be equal to the original. Too many sequels diminish the original.”

–  Dean Koontz

 

My post today is straightforward: first I’ll list four movies that I believe should get sequels. Then I’ll list four more movies that are getting sequels but shouldn’t. Enjoy!

 

Four Movies That Should Get Sequels:

1.  The National Treasure Franchise

This is one of those movie franchises where no one can figure out why a sequel hasn’t been done yet. Maybe not every single person thinks the films are amazing, but enough people thought National Treasure 2 was good to earn it nearly half a billion dollars when it opened. Since then, though, it’s dropped off the face of the Earth. Why? Last I’d heard, Jerry Bruckheimer announced back in 2010 that a script for the movie was finished. Justin Bartha has had time to make the entire Hangover trilogy since the last National Treasure movie. Get going, guys!

2.  The Chronicles of Narnia movies

I get that people either love or hate this series, but I personally love it. I’ve read the books countless times, but this is one of the few cases where I’ve enjoyed every movie better than the novel. I think the team behind this franchise is genius, and Prince Caspian is still one of my favorite movies.

So, what’s the hold-up?

Well, there’s an entire mess of paperwork that has since gotten in the way, and essentially, no studio is allowed to make another Narnia film until 2018. By then the kid actors will most likely be way too old to play their parts in any future films. Which is really annoying, because I don’t think any reboot could top these adaptions.

 3. The Taken series

I know, I know, every character in this series has already been taken at some point or another, and by now there’s literally no one left to kidnap. I know that Taken 2 just barely got by, scraping on the untapped elements of the first movie, and by now there’s really nothing left to do with the franchise. I understand and agree with all of that.

My argument?

Liam. Neeson.

If Apple is so smart, why haven't they made him the voice of SIRI yet?

If Apple is so smart, why haven’t they made him the voice of SIRI yet?

 

 4.  Super 8

Ah, you knew I was going to throw in a personal choice.

I admit that this is the kind of movie where a sequel would probably ruin it. After all, everyone’s stories came to a close, the movie ended on a happy note, and it was a lot of fun. Turning it into a series would feel weird, and to be honest, I probably would be disappointed if that actually happened. But, this is my favorite movie, so I feel like I should hope for a sequel just to give J.J. Abrams a chance to wow me a second time.

 

Four Movies That Shouldn’t Get Sequels (But they are anyway):

 1.  The Transformers series

I like to think of this series as a marathon runner who started off great, tripped and sprained their leg on the second lap, hobbled along for a bit, then recovered enough to make a passable finish. That being said, they shouldn’t be running again anytime soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the Transformers series overall. The first one is a great movie; the second one, not so much, but the third one is decent entertainment. That being said, I don’t see any way to properly make a fourth movie, especially one that dumps the entire human cast. Stay back, producers! Unfortunately, said film already has a release date of June 27, 2014, one year from today.

What’s more unfortunate is that I’ll probably end up seeing it anyway.

2.  Inception

To address the obvious first: Inception is an awesome movie. The concept of breaking into subconscious worlds through dreams is a great one, and the emotions coupled with the action scenes make this an unforgettable film. I love the actors, the story, the twists, and the dynamic bits, even if the whole thing is almost three hours long.

But, let’s be honest. How in the world would Christopher Nolan pull off a sequel that’s better than, or even as good as, this movie? It finishes up all of its subplots, literally ending at the beginning of the story. It’s a closed loop.

So, I don’t know why the entire cast has signed on for sequels. But, luckily it’s in the planning stages, so maybe Nolan will do the smart thing (which he’s good at when it comes to filmmaking) and let this brilliance stay put.

 3.  The Pirates of the Caribbean series

I’ve probably never loved a series this much and wanted so desperately for it to end. Originally, The Curse of the Black Pearl was supposed to be a standalone film, and it worked out well that way. Then the production team decided to make not one but two more sequels.

And guess what? I loved those just as much! In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say the third film is the best (then the first, then the second). They’re all great. By the end of this trilogy, the story truly was finished, tied up in a neat, humorous, heartwarming little bow.

Then On Stranger Tides happened.

I try to keep meanness off my blog, so I won’t get into the fourth PotC movie, but suffice it to say this ruined the series for me. Please, producers: I barely escaped with my life from your fourth movie…don’t finish off the fans with a fifth. I admire Johnny Depp enough to see practically anything he’s in, so don’t trap me!

4.  The Final Destination movies

You’re supposed to write about what you know. Which means I’m not going to go on too long here, because I haven’t seen any of these movies. But just on principle, I don’t think there should be any sequels to this five-film series, even though there are two back-to-back ones in the works.

I’ll let the Philosoraptor meme explain why:

(I didn't make this meme, though I wish I had)

(I didn’t make this meme, though I wish I had)

It’s a good point.

Why Narnia is Awesome (Movie Review: Prince Caspian)

 “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.”

 –  Aslan, to Lucy

 

Prince Caspian PosterAlright, I admit it: I’m a thirteen year old trapped in a seventeen year old’s body.

So what? The Narnia film series is great, and I was quite sad to learn there won’t be any more movies in it. So tonight I’m reviewing the best of the three, Prince Caspian, on the four-year anniversary of its DVD release.

I saw this back in June 2008, when I was thirteen, in the summer before eighth grade. I was just sitting at home, watching the first movie in the series when a few of my friends called, asking if I wanted to see the new one in theaters the next day. It became my new favorite movie (to be knocked down from its pedestal by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009), and here are my spoiler-free thoughts on it.

 The movie has a strong premise to begin with: one year has passed in England since the Pevensie family’s last adventure, but 1300 years have passed in Narnia. Now it’s ruled by a group called the Telmarines, led by King Miraz. Miraz’s son, Caspian, flees the castle to avoid being murdered and sets out to find the original kings and queens, so they can take their world back.

There were many things to love about this movie. For one thing, the screenwriters did a spectacular job of reconstructing the book into a screenplay. The book is, forgive me, quite awful in terms of chronology. Literally half of it is the Pevensies sitting around a fire hearing about all these death-defying adventures Caspian has gone through, and the real story only lasts a few chapters after that. But Andrew Adamson—director, producer and head screenwriter of this fantastic franchise—handles the plot with stunning ease, turning it into an action-packed adventure that remains remarkably faithful to the book.

The rest of the production is great, too. All of the actors return, brilliant as ever, and Ben Barnes is perfectly cast as the titular character. The effects are as sharp as can be. The whole adventure aspect of it is just so much fun, and for some reason it’s cooler to see the kids on their own rather than being guided by the Beavers and Mr. Tumnus.

The battle sequences are much more epic in this than in the first movie, and certainly better than the conclusion to the trilogy, Dawn Treader. The added castle raid was a smart decision on the writers’ part, and the battlefield sequence at the end is pretty awesome. For goodness’ sake, the MPAA says the movie is PG for “epic battle action.”

And of course, Aslan returns! Admittedly, he doesn’t have as much screen time as in the first movie, but he still plays his role with awesomeness (and come on…it’s Liam Neeson!)

I would list some of my favorite scenes, but actually, I loved pretty much the entire movie. If I had to pick one, it would be the resurrection scene, if only because of the acting mixed with great effects.

And despite all of this, my absolute favorite thing about the movie has to be the score. Harry Gregson-Williams is one of my favorite modern-day composers, and this is easily his best work. The Narnia theme music is beautiful, and I still have it on my iPod four years later.

In conclusion: a more than fitting adaption with great effects, quality acting, epic battle sequences and a breathtaking score to encompass it all, this is one movie that pays respect to the genre of meaningful fantasy and manages to have quite a bit of fun doing it, too.

Rate: 8 out of 10.

On Writing: My Writing Persona

 “I sometimes go to my own little world, but that’s okay, they know me there.”

 –  Joel Hodgson

 

Due to the fact that the internet is a large and, at times, rather terrifying place, I have—as you may have noticed—put very little information about myself on this blog. The most I’ve said is that I’m a guy in my senior year of high school, I’ve written several unpublished manuscripts, and I love the movie Super 8 (for which this blog is named).

And no, I’m not going to break that streak of silence tonight by divulging every personal detail. But I am going to tell you a bit about myself as a writer.

As I haven’t told you much about myself, I don’t know what you picture when (if) you think of the person behind this blog when they’re creating its content. Perhaps you imagine a teenager with six friends on Facebook, glasses worthy of Professor Trelawney, and a laptop on which he plays minesweeper for twenty hours of the day.

Or, maybe you picture a sketchy dude in sketchy clothes, sitting in the darkest corner of his basement, typing furiously on a laptop and staring at the WordPress stats pages waiting for views to trickle in.

In both cases you’re incorrect. Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of writing. The depth of that life is questionable, but it exists nonetheless.

Seriously. I don’t do this all the time.

But, I’m actually quite off topic. Today, I wanted to talk to you about my persona as a writer.

Regular me is pretty much average everything, with relatively few quirks other than an unhealthy obsession with the Harry Potter franchise and the need to suck the fun out of my class schedule by drowning it in AP courses.

But then, there’s my writing persona. Which is something that nobody is too familiar with, regardless of whether you know me personally or not.

Well, prepare to be enlightened.

 

The best way to describe my writing persona is to describe the person who sits down at my desk and punches out a chapter, article, blog post, revision…whatever happens to be on the agenda for the day. That person looks the same as me, but if you watch them, you’ll notice a few things.

First of all, they’re more than likely drinking a glass of Welch’s sparkling red grape juice. Nothing makes me feel fancier and more writer-esque than sitting down with a wine glass filled with non-alcoholic wine  as I work. If you’ve never tried this incredible drink, I’d highly recommend it…be sure to check it’s non-alcoholic, obviously. And make sure it’s red grape (white will do in a pinch; it tastes the same but is bright yellow rather than dark red). The taste is as implied…grape juice, but with enough fizz to make your eyes water.

Second of all, this writer is most likely listening to either a) Classical Music or b) Soundtrack.

Classical music relaxes me. I don’t listen to it for fun, or anytime except when I’m sitting down to write…but when I do, it makes me feel more intellectual. My personal favorites are Pachelbel Canon in D and the Bach Double Concerto in D Minor. Vivaldi works, too, which is my current eardrum entertainment.

As for soundtracks…

What can I say? I love movie scores. Especially when they relate to scenes I’m trying to write. For sad, emotional bits I go for “Dumbledore’s Farewell,” “Lily’s Theme” and “Harry and Hermione,” all from the last handful of Harry Potter films. Epic tracks include “The Sinking” from Titanic, “Phoenix Rises” from X-Men: The Last Stand and “Inferi in the Firestorm” from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In addition, two especially emotional songs I’ve listened to more than a few times are “Davy Jones” from the second Pirates and “Arrival at Aslan’s How” from the incredible Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian score.

So that’s how I get myself focused, particularly when writing fiction.

Don’t get me wrong, though…I write regardless of my surroundings, and unless I can find a spare hour or two in the evening, I have to adapt. This means writing in places like a packed gymnasium, empty library, silent corner or cacophonous school bus. I’ve written battle scenes on my phone and death scenes at home while listening to “Gangnam Style.”

Those who do know me personally probably know well that I carry around a dark blue composition notebook, to school and anywhere else I go for more than an hour or two. Most people assume it’s one big story I’m writing, but in reality, it’s just a source of paper. I never have just one project (book, short story, blog post) on my “to do” list, so the pages of my writing journal are spattered with bits of all three. This is all just temporary for when I get home and have the chance to decipher my handwriting mess and type it out in its proper word document.

But, I’ll talk about writing by hand vs. typing later.

So, there you have it. You’ve been introduced to my more intellectual and expressive alter-ego who enjoys writing for fun. He thanks you for taking the time to read this.

If you wanted to follow his blog via email, I’m sure he would be very appreciative, too.