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Bitch please: Movie sequels

BY KELLY DIGGINS AND CAROLINE BERG | MAY 11, 2009 7:26 AM

Bitch Please is a place where two DI staffers argue about all that is wonderful in the entertainment world.

Bring on the sequels

The recent successful releases Fast and Furious and X-Men Origins: Wolverine gave studios two reasons to green-light another film for each franchise and giving the American public what it wants. I welcome franchises that refuse to end successful box-office runs and add sequels for the fans. These movies provide a kind of entertainment everyone can enjoy. The best thing people can do to take their minds off all the other crap going on in their lives (swine flu, the economy, Bret Michaels) is become absorbed in watching Vin Diesel speed down a sunny highway in an amazing car. Going to the movies is a source of (relatively) cheap entertainment. People aren’t going on lengthy car trips or big vacations, but they are spending some quality family time at the multiplex in the company of Hugh Jackman and Shia LaBeouf. So these popcorn flicks aren’t art-house films with social messages; they give people a few hours of enjoyment.

Know when to end

Hollywood has a disease of dragging out story lines as long as the box office tallies remain high. The industry gets lazy with an initial working idea and then falls back on bringing back the same plot except with half the effort and twice the budget for each successive sequel. I am very loyal to the original Ace Ventura: Pet Detective ; it’s an indisputable classic. The sequel is not. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was as much of a letdown as expecting to drink fresh milk out of the carton only to discover cottage cheese. And what’s this about producing straight-to-video Disney sequels? Beauty and the Beast is a gloriously complete story on its own. No one wants to see second-rate animation describing how Belle gets on after the fact. Movies should celebrate creativity and diversity of ideas and perspectives, not resort to dull and robotic formulas.


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