Monday, June 13, 2005

Can I have some more, please?

Entertainment Weekly has an article this week on the return of the blockbuster sequel, following a couple of years with a comparatively small number of them. (Whether Batman Begins qualifies however, is debatable; I’d personally consider it the kick-off of a new, discrete series.)

One reason that the sequel might be resurgent is that recently we’ve seen *gasp* quite a run of good ones. The follow-ups to Spider-Man, X-Men, Shrek, The Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, etc., have all stood up pretty well, and in some cases may have improved on the first film.

Of course, after awhile the series that are currently strong (Spider-Man, X-Men, the Harry Potter films, etc.) will either degrade in quality or just lose audience interest. This always happens with whatever the ‘hot’ sort of film is, as with comic book movies now. We’ll still see some good ones in the next couple of years, but I expect to start seeing more mediocre flicks of the Fantastic Four variety.

Indeed, some of the aforementioned series are showing danger signs. Bryan Singer has left the X-Men skein to reinvent Superman for the silver screen, and now Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) is taking over. That doesn’t fill a lot of us with confidence, especially in a series in which each new chapter seems to increase the number of characters exponentially. Moreover, with a 2006 release date locked in, Ratner will basically just have to shoot whatever script is currently available.

Meanwhile, some are hoping that the end of the Star Wars cycle means that things might actually start going forward on a new Indiana Jones film. Given the Spielberg seems an increasingly inappropriate director for a fun and lightheartedly violent action series, however, it might be better if they just let things lay.


At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Chadzilla said...

What, no mention of Land of the Dead? Granted Romero's series isn't 'blockbuster' material, but it is a return to form for a genre legend.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous twitterpate said...

The trouble seems to start when a talented, imaginative filmmaker does the first film or two. Then, the suits seem to get the idea "Hey, First Director made it look easy - it must BE easy! So, any hack who's best known for creating a 3-minute Britney Spears video should be able to do the next one, with a lot less hassle than First Director."


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