Blogathon Announcement – ‘Decades’

Decades Blogathon Banner

Tom from the second-to-none Digital Shortbread and I are jointly hosting a brand spanking new blogathon… but it can only be great if you join us!

We’re already halfway through the 2010s and we thought it would be a good time to run a blogathon focusing on movies that were released in the fifth year of the decade.

We’re calling it – originally enough – the ‘Decades’ blogathon.

Is there a film you’ve always wanted to review that was released in 1995, 1945, 1975 or the fifth year of any other decade? If so, then we’d love you to get involved. Hell, go back to 1905 if you like (I’ve already got dibs on 1985’s Back To The Future, though, sorry)!

Jaws

Jaws

These blogathons are only as good as the entries they receive, so we’re looking forward to receiving some fantastic contributions.

Night Of The Hunter

Night Of The Hunter

So what’ll it be? Michael Mann’s Heat from 1995? Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws? The unforgettable Night Of The Hunter from 1955? The choices are huge!

We’re hoping to run the blogathon from Monday, 18 May. We’re keeping the number of entries limited to about 15 or so to stop it getting too unwieldy, so please make sure to get in touch ASAP to avoid disappointment by either dropping me an email at threerowsback@gmail.com or emailing Tom at tomlittle2011@gmail.com letting us know which film you’d like to cover (just so we don’t get duplicate posts) or for more info.

We’re both really excited to receiving your posts for what we’re hoping will be a diverse and absorbing blogathon. Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you soon! Most importantly, though, GET INVOLVED!

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Sequels Schmequels

A little piece of my soul died when I finally ignored my better judgement and watched with increasing dismay as Bruce Willis took the pay cheque and trampled over one of my favourite movie franchises (fully justifying the title in the process) with A Good Day To Die Hard.

"What are we doing here again?" - The lazy cash-in that is A Good Day To Die Hard

“What are we doing here again?” – The lazy cash-in that is A Good Day To Die Hard

A very pale shadow of the classic 1988 original – arguably the greatest action movie ever made – this fifth very bad day for John McClane sees him joined by his son (who’s suddenly come out of the woodwork) to “put a whuppin'” on a cabal of evil Ruskies.

It’s fair to say that none of Die Hard‘s follow-ups has matched that film’s ridiculously high standards, but the laziness and empty-headed cynicism of A Good Day To Die Hard would be incredible if it wasn’t so insulting.

A Good Day To Die Hard (we’re being promised a sixth film in the same way that children are promised a smack for being naughty) is just one of many, many terrible sequels that have soiled the good name of the original film they were so hoping to cash-in on.

In no particular order, here are five that unfortunately came to mind, although I’d love to know what you think are the worst sequels ever made.

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Speed 2

Keanu Reeves has made some very questionable career choices over the years (Johnny Mnemonic, anyone?), but even he had the foresight to give a wide berth to this woeful ‘action’ film that, bizarrely for a film with the word ‘speed’ in it, was largely set on a boat capable of travelling only slightly faster than the milk float used in Father Ted‘s hilarious homage to Speed. Sandra Bullock at least had the stones to admit it was terrible, although to claim anything else would have been unwise.

The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Exorcist 2

Never has a title been so accurate. William Friedkin’s 1973 original is still regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever and still has the ability to unnerve 40 years later. The only thing memorable about John Boorman’s follow-up, however, is just how massively ill-judged it is. Not even Richard Burton can save what ended up being an unruly mess of confused and conflicting themes thrown together by a director who recut the film, but found out to his cost that a stinker’s a stinker whichever way you package it.

Son Of The Mask (2005)

Son of the Mask

Although hardly a work of art, 1994’s The Mask did at least boast star-making turns from Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz and a zany plot that matched its lead’s hyperactive temperament. This afterthought made more than a decade on sees Jamie Kennedy donning the mask while impregnating his wife, with the resulting baby-related ‘comedy’ being more unnerving than anything else. It’s safe to say Kennedy’s no Carrey and this is about as far from “smmmookin’!” as you can get.

Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991)

Highlander 2

Currently in that special club of films with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s unlikely this sequel to the cult 1986 original (which itself lost money) is going to win critics over from now until the end of time. As well as having a plot so nuts you’ve got to wonder how on Earth (or the Highlander’s home planet Zeist) it ever got the green light, Christopher Lambert can’t act, Sean Connery (who had his head lopped off in the first film, lest we forget) can’t be bothered and Michael Ironside can’t be controlled. Who wants to live forever? After watching this, not me.

Jaws 4: The Revenge (1987)

Jaws 4

We were told that ‘This Time It’s Personal’. Hollywood movies have never tried too hard to strive for authenticity, but dreaming up a storyline in which a great white shark stalks the Brody clan from the United States to the Bahamas in a bloodthirsty attempt at revenge is pushing it. The film co-stars Michael Caine (who at the time would have read the phone book had there been money involved), who had this to say: “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!”

Batman And Robin (1997)

Batman and Robin

Thank god for Christopher Nolan. Before Batman Begins reinvented the comic book movie, director Joel Schumacher was busy burying the Dark Knight under a garish pile of camp costumes, ridiculous plotlines, bad acting and terrible Arnie one-liners with what in effect was one long advert for peddling lunch boxes to kids. Summing it up better than I ever could, comedian Michael J. Nelson wrote in his book Movie Megacheese: “Batman & Robin is not the worst movie ever. No, indeed. It’s the worst thing ever. Yes, it’s the single worst thing that we as human beings have ever produced in recorded history.”

There are lots more awful sequels to choose from, unfortunately? What are yours?