Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anatomy of a Sequel: Part I

The sports and entertainment website Grantland.com is currently running a tournament-style competition for its readers to name the best sequel off all-time. The tournament consists of 32 sequels that were chosen by the writers of the website. The top seeds of the four “regions” are The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, and Aliens. Other films in the tournament include multiple Rocky movies (III and IV), both Lord of the Rings sequels, two Indiana Jones sequels (mercifully not The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The tournament, while clearly just for entertainment purposes, shines a light on the different types of sequels and what makes a sequel successful. Some sequels bring depth to the original film. Others tell a different, stand-alone story with basically the same characters. Finally, the third, and often least successful type of sequel is basically a retelling of the original story, sometimes going as far as to be basically the exact same movie as the original.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Curious Case of Kevin Spacey

Bryan Singer’s timeless mystery film “The Usual Suspects” has been on HBO quite a bit over the past month. For those unaware, “The Usual Suspects” redefined the mystery genre in the 1990s and was voted as the #10 greatest mystery film of all-time by the American Film Institute. Kevin Spacey ultimately won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role his the MS-stricken felon Verbal Kint, which began one of the most impressive five-year runs that any actor has had in recent memory.*
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