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Project 45 Remix

Page history last edited by Hannah Livernois 9 years, 4 months ago

Hannah Livernois

Jared Grogan

English 1020

November 21, 2011

The Revenge of the Unnecessary Sequels

This summer saw the year of the sequel. Many movies that came to theatres from May to Labor Day were sequels. Sequels are not always a bad thing as they provide the answers to the cliff hangers left at the end of the prequel. Unfortunately, some sequels are not ideal and are simply rushed to fulfill the public demand for one.  Movie production companies want money and the more money they have, the more successful their other movies will be. The bottom line is if production companies are considering or in the process of making a sequel, they need to take their time and focus on a good, interesting plot.

There are two types of sequels. Type A are continuous story lines, which provide an ongoing plot with feature subplots. Although the subplots are solved, the main plot may take several movies to find its solution. The Lord of the Rings is a good example because the characters face small problems on their journey to solve the major problem. The other type of sequel is type B. Type B is where the characters are the same but they are facing a different plot. An example are the Scooby Doo Movies where the gang returns in every movie but each movie has a different plot.

Recently, moviegoers have witnessed bad sequels, a sad excuse to the first movie.  As seen in the Transformers sequels. Both Transformers 2 and 3 feature the same plot line and actions followed through by the characters. Optimums Prime wants the human race to know about them and understand them and they in return will protect them. However, when the elite group of people forget to explain to the public, the robots in return tend to wreak havoc on the city and until they are exposed.  Not a horrible plot line, but the effort and the editing make the movie seem pointless and repetitive.  Directors and actors names are being put on this piece of garbage. All that is accomplished through this are their names and careers are slightly tarnished because they will be remembered for the horrible acting job and the lack of direction throughout the movie.

Why do movie production companies make sequels? Simply because mass amounts of people go and watch the movies, notice how I didn’t mention enjoy. Not all movies are the cat’s pajamas.  Sometimes people suffer through bad renditions of their favorite movie, an unnecessary sequel. With the horrible plot lines, bad acting, atrocious editing, who would sit through a piece of garbage?

But, there is a simple explanation. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer came up with a simply theory, the Culture Industry. This theory states “the emancipation of the consumer from the tyranny of the producers by inducing the consumer to question beliefsandideologies.”  This theory has been the fundamental mentality of sequels for years. “Adomo claims that enlightenment was supposed to bringpluralismand demystification but instead society is said to have suffered a major fall as it is corrupted by a capitalist industry with exploitative motives.” In simple terms, if you make the movie, people will see it.

Many of my peers have felt cheated when basing a movie off of the trailer. Katherine Czopek, 18, was excited to view Tarzan and Jane, after being captivated by its prequel Tarzan, a Disney Classic. However, to her dismay, she felt cheated and rushed. Katherine states “I feel if they put the effort into Tarzan and Jane as they did to Tarzan, this movie could have been really amazing, but with the lame effects and poor soundtrack I feel this was just a waste of time.”

Another peer was ecstatic to be viewing The Santa Clause 2, after being a fan of many Christmas movies and Christmas being her favorite holiday, how could she not be over-excited for the return of the Santa Clause franchise. Jessica Leydet, 15, felt the Santa Clause 2 was a huge let down. She claims, “The cheesy one liners are not as funny as in the first one. I felt that although the characters all returned and everyone was in for a real treat, the plot line lacked depth to keep my attention.”

We can avoid the whole process of watching bad sequels through a simple five step process, which will save you time and money. This process will also bring the movie critic out in you. You will understand the meaning of the movie and possible plot and message before experiencing the worst movie of your life. I mean how could we forget “Nacho Libre”?

Another one of my main concerns is: Are the actors really happy with the work that is put out for review and viewing? Although, they may not be, they have a clause in their contracts that forbids them to speak of their movie in a negative light. However, Megan Fox from the Transformers franchise said she was not proud of the first Transformers because she felt that her acting was inexperienced and that she was embarrassed at how the first one came out.  This was said in the press junket for Transformers 2. Long story short, she was not asked to return for “Transformers 3.”

Step 1, select your movie. For argument sake, I am going with “Transformers 2”. As a fan of Transformers, I was excited to see Transformers 2.  I was ecstatic to witness what I was going to believe to be sheer genius. Unfortunately, I did not consider the possibility that this movie could be rushed and Megan Fox was just a pretty face, with horrible acting skills, but apparently Americans like that sort of thing, right Kristen Stewart? So upon seeing the trailer for Transformers 2, I was ready to purchase my tickets from movietickets.com and save all that hassle in line yada, yada, yada. But, what I should have done was reviewed the movie a little further.

Step 2, look up movie on rottentomatoes.com. Although it may be opening weekend at the box office, the critics already saw the movie at the premiere and can give you a reliable opinion that you can take or leave on the internet. In my case, “Much of the movie is computer-generated hash, weightless even with nonstop BOOMS and METAL GROANS and THUDS”, as reported by David Endelstein from the New York Times. Most movies are computer generated these days because action shots have come a long way since the model plane on a string. But, if you agree with the review, see it if it is good, or if the review is bad, don’t see it. Or simply move on to step 3.

Step 3, look up the actors who are starred in the movie. For example Shia Labeouf, he was a great actor in the hit 90’s television classic “Even Stevens”, however, no one was really impressed with his work in the latest installment of “Indiana Jones”. So, I will move on to the next actor, Josh Duhamel. Duhamel is a great actor. His movies have received excellent reviews. Now, I am tied for good and bad actors. Megan Fox, not the best actress in the world, but I find the female input in this movie excellent.

Step 4, look up desired movie plot line. Most of the time plot lines are thought up last in the sequel process, production companies are more concerned with making sure all the actors are able to return, because statistics have shown the majority of people do go see a movie because of who is in it over a plot line. However, this thought process should change. The plot line should be the whole reason you are there. So save yourself the time and money by simply looking up the plot line. By looking up the plot line, you can also see how often your favorite character is in the movie. Example, Josh Duhamel is not in Transformers 2 all that often, thus leaving me to give the second installment another minus sign.

Step 5, watch your movie trailer again but keep your newfound research in mind. Is your favorite actor convincible in the trailer; is he even in the trailer? Does the trailer feel like those are the only good scenes in the movies or does it seem like there is more? If you answered no, to one or both these questions, you should just wait and rent the movie or skip it in general. No movie deserves to be tarnished by its horrible sequel. It’s like a horrible little brother that won’t leave you alone while you try to write your college term paper. So these steps might actually keep the reputation of the movie a little more positive and might scare production companies to produce a little bit better movies.

Using this five step program could really change the way production companies make movies and how the consumer views them. If the general public based their ideas off the trailer, then the movie production company successfully did their job. But, if the consumer thought about the movie and analyzed the trailer and combined it with the reviews of peers and critics alike, think about how much can be saved.

With this outlook on terrible sequels, people feel that sequels should be taken away and simply left with one good movie. I concur and I feel that sequels are stupid, putting it simply. Why on Earth, would I waste my time and money to witness a horrible movie that might turn me off to the original movie? It does not make sense. Production companies please enlighten me on the importance of the sequel; besides money what are you gaining? From the outside, it just makes you look like you completed horrible work and won’t that tarnish your reputation? Who would want to work with you if all you do is produce a crap of a movie? Simple solution: “Don’t go see the [movies] in masses and they will stop” (Taylor Monacelli). In fact, there was even a study based upon this horrible sequel theory, “If sequels are subject to satiation and consumers quickly tire of them, we should observe that sequels do worse than their contemporaneous non-sequels, and their weekly box office collections drop faster relative to their contemporaneous non-sequels.” This is completely true, “The Hangover” received 277 million in the national box office, and however, “The Hangover Part II” received only 254.5 million in the national box office.

However, I understand that you need sequels in some cases.  “Sequels are also necessary because they can be the beginning or the end to a movie, so you need them” (Jonathan Buchowski). It is exactly that simple. Look at the “Star Wars” Trilogy and how was the public going to be satisfied with one movie if nothing was accomplished and if it left unanswered questions. As Sanjay Sood and Xavier Dreze report “consumers may prefer that experiential attributes such as the story line of the sequel include different genres from the original because people do not want to see the parent movie again in the sequel.” Many people want to know what happens and want to see their favorite character return in a new adventure. But, that does not mean or give the right for the production company to speed up the movie and to rush it, so people will not lose interest in the film. True fans will wait no matter how long it takes.

The only way to fix whether or not you witness one of the worst sequels of all time is that you pay attention to what you are watching based off the trailer. The five step process will help you as a guide but will not make your decision for you. Yes, it is important that movies have sequels but they do not need to replicate the parent movie in anyway. Consumers simply do not want that in a movie. It is important to remember that movie production companies are strictly in it for the money, after all it is their job. But, you do not have to view them if you feel it is a horrible movie. 



Smeesters, Dirk, and Naomi Mandel. "Positive and Negative Media Image Effects on the Self."Journal of Consumer Research32.4 (2006): 576-82. Print.

"Culture Industry."Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_industry>.

Noble, Stephanie M., Diana L. Haytko, and Joanna Phillips. "What Drives College-age Generation Y Consumers?"Journal of Business Research62.6 (2009): 617-28. Print.

Movies | Movie Trailers | Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes. Web. 07 Dec. 2011

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com>.



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