12.31.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART EIGHT

















YOUR ARGUMENT
Another Dark Knight situation - obviously better, but wouldn't work as a standalone movie.
Also, it's another Kill Bill situation - all six movies really add up to one.
MY ARGUMENT
If all six are, in fact, one movie, then this would be the most exciting part. It's everything Revenge of the Sith should've been (& almost was).
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
Initially, this was the movie that introduced Yoda, Boba Fett, & The Emperor.
In many ways, it still is.

12.30.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART SEVEN



















YOUR ARGUMENT
Hardly a sequel, speaking technically. Even so, while a decent movie with those couple memorable moments, Dawn of the Dead remains THE zombie movie (AND the better sequel in its own right).
MY ARGUMENT
Fulci's Zombi 2 (or simply Zombie here in the States) is structurally & thematically as much a sequel as Dawn is (being that, they both have no real correlation to their respective predecessors). So its cred as a sequel is not in question.
Dawn of the Dead is a lotta fun - it's fun to watch. Scary? Not in any way. & while 'scary/not scary' has never truly been a solid criteria for a great horror movie, it could have been terrifying. Or at least suspenseful. But it's not. It's a wonderful metaphor & has great makeup fx (though the zombies themselves are quite laughable).
& that's just the thing - the general campiness & intentional satire feels tired (even if Romero invented it) & results in a decent comedy. This may also be the movie that started the "intentional camp" horror genre - something that's squashing it to this day.
Sometimes I don't want a comedy - I want a zombie movie.
Zombi 2 is not only the first movie that brought the goods - for me anyway - it's one of the last. While Zombie 3, 4, & 5, as well as Zombie Holocaust (aka Doctor Butcher) come close to getting it right, the only other true zombie experience out there is ...Michael's Jackson's Thriller.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
Forget Zombie vs. Shark or the wooden stake through the eye. This is one of the few movies where a corpse rises full-body out of the dirt of its own grave and immediately goes teeth-first into a terrified woman - still standing over the loose soil. If it doesn't have that (or Michael Peters' dance choreography), it's not a zombie movie.


Operator

performed by Bodega Girls

12.29.2008

the films of michael mann pt.1

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART SIX


















YOUR ARGUMENT
Well...yeah. Not really much of a revelation - everyone thinks that. However, the first one is great, and without it, the overall tone of the second has less significance.
MY ARGUMENT
Not all of the movies on the list warrant a push & pull argument, & certainly none of them root from any kinda 'shock value.' There's also no point in rehashing the exhausted praise the movie and its star(s) have received. I will say that, given its placement in the 'series' (assuming there will be more) & the inclusion of the most important villain in the story (if not the comic book world, & arguably all fiction ever), it would have been hard for it NOT to be great.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
Box office take & serious Oscar buzz.


12.27.2008

Please come in

music by Forbidden Ensemble

12.23.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART FIVE



















YOUR ARGUMENT
The original good cop/bad cop, mismatched buddy, fish outta water action dramedy has Mel pulling a suicidal jumper off of a building & Gary Busey holding his arm over a Bic lighter.
MY ARGUMENT
The first movie is tight, clever & structurally flawless. Groundbreaking? Certainly not. But that doesn't make it any less of a movie, & that's not what this is about. This is also not about the quality of first installments - it's about sequels.
One of a couple things that weakened part 3 was a completely forgettable bad guy. Busey's hard to top, & Arjen & Vorstedt can at least match him - & there's also a twist that reveals a correlation to the setup of the first movie.
Admittedly, the addition of Joe Pesci is weak & desperate in it's own right, but as far as comic relief sidekicks go, you could do worse.
Patsy Kensit is certainly a nice addition as well.
One device that works well in any movie is: when the story, character development, EVERYTHING comes to halt to deal with one situation (in Silence of the Lambs, it's the escape of Hannibal Lecter). In this movie, it's a toilet bomb.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
The first 20 seconds (including the Warner Brothers logo) is enough to make it a worthy sequel. "Cheer Down" by George Harrison is enough to make it better than the first.

12.22.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART FOUR


















YOUR ARGUMENT
The first is pure Spielbreg-produced Americana: terrifying, funny, close to home. The second is overproduced, over-the-top slapstick that has next to nothing to do with the original.
MY ARGUMENT
And how! While Joe Dante directed both films, the first is Spielberg through & through - and what that means is: suburbia with a sci-fi edge (Back to the Future, The Goonies, Poltergeist). And there's nothing wrong with that.
Like most of the movies on this list, the first generally has a very specific job: establishment. Once we know the characters & what the 'gremlins' are/do, the sky's the limit. & Dante took that sentiment to heart with no apologies.
On a subjective note - and this applies to most sequels - there should be a perfect balance of familiar characters with a complete change of tone, setting, and/or structure. The New Batch nails it.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
The film concludes with Dante regular Robert Picardo getting loved up by a female gremlin. So...there.


12.21.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART THREE





















YOUR ARGUMENT
They really ran out of gas by part 4, & each sequel was worse than the next. & besides, the original is THE classic slasher movie.
MY ARGUMENT
Parts 1 & 2 are like white noise, & could have easily been combined into one movie. In fact, 1 through 4 could have been one movie.
The first two movies only had one victim -- 'campers.' It wasn't until part 3 when characters started to emerge (& by characters, I mean broad caricatures).
Jason's 'death' in part 4 (The Final Chapter) was less than satisfactory; he was stabbed in the head (...?) While in 7, he's electrocuted, drowned, & exploded. Not enough, but the noblest attempt of any movie.
Part 5 is the Halloween III of the series (though I like both movies) & part 6 is the second best.
Kane Hodder took the role of Jason in part 7 - proving that it actually is possible to have personality behind the mask, & that it makes a difference as to who's wearing it. & with the exception of his maggot-covered face in 6, this is the first time in the series Jason doesn't look vaguely like The Goonies' Sloth. The idea of Jason (or his mother) killing actual Crystal Lake Campers was more or less abandoned from part 5 on, & by part 7, the kids look more like vacationers from Elm Street. But by this point, that's what we wanna see. In part 8 (Jason Takes Manhattan) Jason didn't really take Manhattan at all. & while that's a great turn for the series to take, it's best executed in this installment.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
speaking of executing, the famous 'sleeping bag kill' - arguably the best death of the series - is in this one. As well as Terry Kiser of Weekend at Bernie's fame - good luck convincing anyone he's still alive after what becomes of him in this.

12.20.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART TWO















YOUR ARGUEMENT
Martin Brest, Bronson Pinchot, banana in my tailpipe.
MY ARGUMENT
Tony Scott, Bob Seger, Brigette Nielsen, and, of course, Allen Garfield.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
Not to say that Tony Scott is above Martin Brest, but Tony brings the look these movies need. In fact, any action movie between 1984 & 1989 needs a Tony Scott look.
The soundtrack is considerably better & has more presence (Bob Seger's "Shakedown" plays over one of the greatest title sequences of all time), but still doesn't skimp on the Faltermeyer.
The absence of Serge is a minus (even though he woulda totally been out of place in this one), but his appearance in the lackluster third film creates some sorta balance.
And, of course, Allen Garfield.


12.19.2008

TEN SEQUELS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL : PART ONE















YOUR ARGUMENT
They're kinda one movie, so it's unfair to judge Volumes 1 & 2 separately.
Though, in Volume 2, all the ass-kicking & kung-fuing was replaced with a lotta long-talking
MY ARGUMENT
But they are two movies - running time & studio politics aside, they work too well as sequels ---- and I may be the only one who believes they should stay that way.
Anyone who complains about the dialogue - I have to wonder how/why they became Quentin fans in the first place. What was it exactly about Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction you enjoyed? I ain't asking rhetorically. & the same question applies alongside the bafflingly unpopular Death Proof.
ALWAYS BE CLOSING
Vivica A. Fox & Lucy Liu are cool, but no match for Michael Madsen, Sid Haig, Sam Jackson, David Carradine, & an amazing cameo by Larry Bishop.


12.14.2008

12.07.2008

12.06.2008

graffiti lady

performed by Bodega Girls

12.03.2008

12.02.2008

PRIMETIME SEXCRIME

performed by Bodega Girls
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