Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Fistful of One Too Many! (Brad's Picks)

Tonight, The Wife & I will be hitting up a midnight screening of Men in Black III.  It's been a decade since the last film and I'm not really sure anyone out there (including the two of us) is all that excited for the third installment.  That second film after all was unforgivably terrible.  I only saw it the once, but it killed any kind of enthusiasm built from the original silly Will Smith (& straight man Tommy Lee Jones) vehicle and I've nearly blocked the visual of Laura Flynn Boyle's groaning plant lady completely from my brain.  It still lurks like a repressed childhood trauma.

That Second Film was definitely unwelcome and probably went one film too far into the franchise.  Can the third film redeem the MIB saga?  Doubtful.  Still, I'm slightly curious to see Josh Brolin's Tommy Lee Jones impersonation and I'm always down for Rick Baker creatures.

It begs the question, what other sequels went where no audience cared?

5.  The Two Jakes:  I just watched this the other night so it's freshly scarred my mind.  The Jack Nicholson directed sequel to Chinatown lacks the noir style of the original, plopping in narration where none is needed and looking horribly flat with that bland 90s lighting.  It's not a terrible film, but where most people site The Godfather Part III as the most heinous sequel to a perfectly contained masterpiece, I'd say The Two Jakes is really the MOST unnecessary sequel in cinema.  That being said, the below films irritate me to an even greater extent cuz it's hard to muster the energy against The Two Jakes since it's just sooooooo easy to ignore...forget.

4.  Rocky V:  After the ridiculously 80s Communist Assault that was Rocky IV, the franchise grinds to a halt with this fifth entry pitting a brain dead Rocky against punk protege Tommy Gun.  Instead of battling it out in the land of the unfree with a must-breaking titan, Rocky takes the fight to the back alleys of the U.S. of A. and slaps a boy around for a bit before the credits roll.  It's just so damn dull after The Wall tumbling climax of part 4.

3.  Alien - Resurrection:  Some might argue that Alien 3 is the one film too many, but there are bits and pieces to that prison break that I enjoy quite a bit.  And truth be told, there are a couple of moments or ideas in Resurrection that I like as well.  But as a whole, this infamously Joss Whedon scripted sequel induces more groans than chills, and when the Newborn rears its ugly ass head at the climax I want to punch the TV screen.  Those stupid blinking eyes and cooing whimpers!  Argh!  It may be a beautiful butterfly, Brad Dourif but I just want to crush it like the gross bug that it is.  And Winona Ryder, yer no Bishop.

2.  Batman Forever:  Christopher Nolan might have saved the Bat saga for the fanboys, but nothing will ever remove the taint left behind by Joel Schumacher's Day-Glo nightmare.  Yes, yes, yes, Batman & Robin is even worse but don't doubt for a second that Batman Forever is a good movie.  Say what you will about the Tim Burton films, but once Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face starts to cackle your eyes will go wide with disbelief and you'll be praying for Danny DeVito's penguin army.  And yeah, Jim Carrey.  I hate you.

1.  The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions:  When they were first released, I tried real hard to love The Matrix sequels.  But after a few rewatches, I just couldn't keep lying to myself.  The first film was a nifty sci-fi actioner that mixed some trippy 60s science-fiction novels with a little classroom zen.  But the sequels are way in love with the banal philosophy.  And man, all that CGI-Fu does not hold up these days.  But you could possibly forgive the doughy fisticuffs if the plot was not so pseudo-religously lame.  It might have been fun to see Neo go from hacker to god in the first film, but watching the god plunder about in parts 2 and 3 pretty much kills any kind of tension.  And it's all just so dang smug.


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