Hollywood is a business. Like any business they find an idea that makes them money and then milk that idea for all it’s worth. Nothing works better as a business model than sequels or less commonly prequels. Think about it, they just hire mostly the same team that collaborated on the previous film, use the same sets when possible and it’s all very easy to organise and produce. Sadly sequels are often abused and provide no real meaningfulness to the universe within the films, sometimes they trash what has come before (cough- Star Wars prequels-cough). Not all sequels are bad of course, The Dark Knight being the best example. That film continues and evolves a satisfying story while providing a better visual spectacle and more dynamic characters. However it’s just that I find there are more bad sides to the sequel phenomenon than good.
Even sequels that critics say are worse than the films before them usually pull more money than the previous entry in the series. Iron Man for example was very well received and pulled $318M U.S dollars at the Box Office while Iron Man 2 being a poorer film made just as much money. The problem with this is the movie studios realising that they can just pump out sequels and despite the quality they will still fill the seats in the cinema. Transformers is the token example of this trend, the last two films were absolutely god-awful. Despite this, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the fifth highest grossing film of all time and my goodness is it gross. I know all of this is very obvious but with these examples we arrive at why I intensely dislike this “safe bet” business model we now have in the industry. Hollywood is afraid of taking on new ideas. There is a distinct lack of original storytelling and overall bravery on show. Would Stanley Kubrick be able to make his filmography today? Probably not, it would be deemed too much of a “financial risk”. In this economy where the American dollar is still making its way back after the 2008 crisis Hollywood are afraid of fresh starts. I’m sick of adaptations, sequels and prequels. Give me something like Mad Max, a crazy gamble that pays off. Instead of something fantastic and imaginative we get Men In Black 3. When was the last time one of your friends said “What I really want to see is a third Men In Black movie with two actors who should know better by now”? Thats right, never. We are in trouble people.With this in mind let’s take a look at some of the sequels, prequels and everything else headed your way and why I think they are worth your time or not.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Marc Webb’s not-really-needed reboot that no-one really asked for. Not excited because it’s just too damn soon and the trailer did not really grab me. I really like Andrew Garfield, he gave a solid performance in The Social Network and I’m sure he will do fine here. Emma Stone will also probably be good as a love interest that ISN’T Mary-Jane Watson. I think the main problem with this film will be that it’s just too soon. Ask me again in five years?
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Easily my most anticipated film of the year. If this is anything less than brilliant I will withdraw from society to a small cave on the remote Welsh coast pondering where it all went wrong. Let’s face it though; we are in very capable hands here. Christopher Nolan and co. obviously have a very clear vision for their conclusion. By the way I think Anne Hathaway will make a perfect Catwoman.
THE BOURNE LEGACY
I was not excited for this but then I remembered how great Jeremy Renner was in The Hurt Locker and I think that he can bring the action intensity that this film will need. Should be surprisingly good.
THE EXPENDABLES 2
I must admit I didn’t like the first film. It was rather like ordering a Jack and Coke only to find more Coke than Jack. It was nowhere near violent enough and was filled with clunky dialogue. This entry, however, is much more promising with extended rolls for Schwarzenegger and Willis. Worth your time.
It’s Liam Neeson at his most badass and the first one was fantastic fun. I have high hopes for this.
Even though Sam Mendes doesn’t seem a logical choice to direct Bond I have extremely high hopes for this after the debacle that was Quantum of Solace. Check out the trailer, it looks like a proper modern Bond film. Ralph Fiennes will make a worthy addition to the series. I also think Daniel Craig is almost the perfect Bond.
Releases: October-November (TBA)
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
Yes, Lord of the Rings was amazing but I have this terrible feeling that we shouldn’t be making a return to Middle-Earth yet. Press recently were invited to view parts of the film, parts which notably are played at 48FPS (Frames per Second) and were not impressed. I just have a bad feeling about this one nowhere near living up to the hype. It’ll still be good I’m sure, just not LOTR good.