The sequel is entertainment's idea of striking while the iron is hot, or Jumping the Shark as it usually happens.
While in the theater, before the movie, we saw a movie poster for Sex and the City 2, a sequel that I will never see to a movie that I have and never will see, and Katie has been henceforth advised as of this scribe.
Part of me would be inclined to have to complain that sequels have been an ongoing problem with movies for the whole of my existence, what with the "trilogies" or longer series of my childhood. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Rambo, Rocky and Terminator come to mind immediately. Horror movies are another example, but I am not terribly into those. The thing, with these, as they were, is that the stories were usually long since written BEFORE the first movies in them were made and the balance of production was greenlit on the strength of the initial.
In extreme cases -- as in ANYTHING involving well known douche nozzle George Lucas -- a back story is totally pulled out of the writer and/or directors' ass(es) and a "prequel" is released 22 years later under the accepted explanation that "they were written all along, but not released," which I REFUSE to buy, if only for the reason of Jar-Jar Binks...
Coonin' was not invented on that level in the early 70s.
Cool, the original Indiana Jones trilogy went backward in points in time, I understand that. They even went back and fucked THAT idea over with a 19-year-later ACTUAL sequel that I refuse to view, but was not enjoyed by a SINGLE individual I know.
[Phlip note - and as I type that, I am sure one person will come at me with "hey, I liked that movie" and I will not be surprised]
Even that being said, the original as-released movies suggest an earnest intention to carry things through as presented, we just need to suspend the opinion of the bullshit that led to the latter releases.
Compared to now...
If you see a sequel to a movie nowadays, go right ahead and bet the farm that the ONLY reason it even got WRITTEN was because of the success of the original.
Keep in mind, as well, that from 11/05/2007 through 02/12/2008, the Writer's Guild of America was on strike. While it might seem that now, 2 years and 3 weeks later, that this would no longer be an issue, but look at the number of movies based on comic books, books written 50, 80, even 122(!?) years prior. I would LIKE to think that the effects of the strike were behind us, but that was followed with the meltdown of the economy. Money had to be saved somewhere. Not only do we have live with there having existed shitty Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, now we have to see a second edition.
Disney is another repeat offender, often recycling old stories and calling them sequels.
Alice in Wonderland comes to mind in where *SPOILER ALERT!!!* Alice RETURNS to Wonderland as an adult to fulfill her prophesied reasoning to be there, thus making it a sequel and not a reboot/remake in my opinion. Sequels coming 10 (Toy Story) or 11 (The Little Mermaid) years after the last in the series are not terribly uncommon, nor is stretching said series out 15 or even 21 years (both as named above, respectively) with a small number of releases in the franchise.
To Disney's credit, at least they use the same characters and develop the characters over the course of the movies, unlike the list of movies I named a few paragraphs back, and adding the Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop movies as well. In fact, "buddy cop" movies are NOTORIOUS for this shit. I find myself waiting on a gritty reboot of The Last Boyscout with no one initially involved and ignoring the fact that the major antagonist got blowed the fuck up.
Speaking of jumping the shark, what of series rendered to running pop-culture jokes by the public being bludgeoned to shit with sequels? Well, just to name a few, there was...
- Police Academy
[A franchise that had 4 'good' movies -- all of which subscribed to the DMX release strategy, releasing within the first 3 years... This cow was milked for SEVEN, and an animated series. I am most angry that the animated series did not feature Leslie Easterbrook's epic titties]
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
[this one was 'dedicated to the memory of puppeteer Jim Henson, but pissed on his grave by being Vanilla Ice's debut film]
['Leprechaun in the Hood' and I need say no more... Anytime ANY series needs go in the 'hood' it is dead in the water]
[The quality and box office take of this one show the fact that the main characters didn't want to do it... Rumors of an Ackroyd-penned 3rd installment are bubbling, and I hope it bursts]
- Robo Cop
[Look, the first film was not good at all, just that there was nothing like it. The irony that CREATED RoboCop in the first place was funny, but the special effects make me want to throw up now... And they HAD to make a second?]
- The Matrix
[Set themselves up for epic phail... The first was SO good that all subsequent just would not hold a candle to it... I STILL want my money back for Revolutions even though I got in free]
I could go on and on and on, but some people will have seen their favorite movies in this and will shit their pants in an in-vain attempt to argue with me about it.
I was GOING to do this post tying album sequels to movie sequels, but as of the end of THIS sentence, I am over 1,100-ish words -- 5,800-ish characters with spaces and not including any links -- in MS Word and we all have short attention spans.
While their have been some sequels to movies we loved, or even some that we just so happened to miss altogether in their never having been made.
[Phlip note - The Running Man, anyone? Okay, maybe not... I understand]
Here's to me hoping that sometime in the near future that Hollywood writers learn to fucking WRITE again. Or that someone discovers and acknowledges me.