Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sequels, Can they Measure up?: When the Success Started

Well, I just started reading "The Girl who Played with Fire" the sequel to the Steig Larsson book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  As I was in Barnes and Noble the other day deciding which book to pick out, I had the sequel debate in my head.  Will this book be as good as the first?  Can this book bring something new to the table?  I am about 60 pages in, and I must go on a book rant before I talk about movie sequels.  Mr. Larsson, and current authors if you ever read this (which I doubt you will) stop with the exposition from your first book!!  The author is who has done this most is Stephanie Meyer (yes I read the Twilight books); she explained who Bella, Edward, and Jacob were and their qualities too many times in each of her novels.  If a person is stupid enough not to read the first book first or not remember the details, then they need to take notes in the margin!  In the beginning of The Girl Who Played with Fire, Larsson briefly is guilty of this and reminisces about things that happened in his first book.  I hope the whole first part of this book is not retread from the first, otherwise I will be angry.

With movie sequels, there is often a gamble as to how creative they will get or how often they will go into details that make them different from their first film.  The best sequel ever, is probably The Godfather Part II.  Coppola knows the material well, and creates a continuation of the first part of his story, that makes us enjoy the first film.  The Godfather Part II (1974) is the start of the possibility for sequels to surpass their predecessor.  Now that American Film Institute has ranked The Godfather higher on their list, but I think this is a mistake because while The Godfather is great, the second film is much tighter and puts the story into perspective.

Then within the Stars Trilogy (the original trilogy) everyone was awestruck by the visual effects, but
empirevaderbeckonslpq5.jpgthey fail to remember that Empire Strikes (1980) back is the best film in that trilogy.  The second film has Luke understanding the Jedi ways with Yoda, the revelation of Darth Vader as his father, Billy D. Williams, and Hans Solo frozen in carbonate.   Like with the The Godfather II, Empire Strikes back tightens up the story, and does a job of creating more for the characters than any of the other films ever did.  I could sit and watch Empire Strikes back over and over again.  There may be some debate about this film being the best, but i know many of the people I know state that this film not only surpasses the original, but also does a good job adding to the original.

Here comes the debate in my mind, I want to go the Hangover 2 (2011) but I have heard mixed things from people.  Some people have told me it hilarious, some people have told the jokes are the same.  My friend Lauren told me that the story was exactly the same, but it was still hilarious.  Should i go pay ten dollars to see the same movie I own?  Does this film add the story of one of my favorite film trios?  Today's discussion about sequels is about   posing that eternal question, is it worth it?

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