How To Fix Your Broken Movie Franchises
If you’re reading this then you’re likely just as big a movie geek as we are here at Weirdworm. In fact, if it weren’t for ridiculous responsibilities such as “jobs” and “grocery shopping” you’d be hard pressed to find a reason not to be planted in front of the television 24/7. Go ahead; take a proud look at your prized DVD/Blu-ray collection (you know you want to). Where others may see only a disturbing obsession with film, you likely see endless hours of entertainment, special features, deleted scenes and fascinating director commentaries.
Okay, now we’d specifically like you to check out your “ultra-collector edition anthologies”. Here’s where you’ll notice a frustrating trend. Many of those sequels and prequels simply aren’t worth your precious viewing time. Yet thanks to the miracle of “the box-set” or your own obsessive, completion-ist nature, you are stuck with them. Well we here at Weirdworm have decided (on your behalf) that it’s time for you to let go of all of those lackluster movies souring your favorite sagas. Today we’re going to be doing some housecleaning and helping you “fix” your broken movie franchises. We should mention that by “fix” we don’t mean creating fan-edits as many have done online. We also are not advising you to just accept the films for what they are and ignore them. That would be way too mature and easy. Nope, we are literally suggesting that you dispose of the following films in the nearest garbage can.
Right about now you may be thinking “Wait I spent my hard earned money (or my parents hard earned money) on these movies and box sets, I’m not going to just throw them into the trash because some website told me to!” Well believe us; it’s for your own damn good. In fact, you’ll thank us for the extra shelf space. You’ll especially appreciate our effort when your next movie marathon comes around. Never again will you be forced to endure the agony of a subpar or flat out bad sequel simply out of some strange obligation. Okay freaks, break out the hefty bags…its go time.
Right upfront let’s fast forward through the nerdy denial because we’re going to be tossing away all three Star Wars prequels. Yeah you read that right. All three. We’re not even giving Revenge of the Sith a pass. Face it, the only parts of the prequel films you likely look forward to are the light saber duels from Phantom Menace, Natalie Portman’s torn shirt in Attack of the Clones or Anakin being burnt alive in Episode III. That’s simply not enough of a reason to keep these. You may as well visit YouTube for the clips in that case. At this point we should all accept that the original trilogy is the only half of the saga anyone really needs to watch. Anything beyond that is dangerous Gungan territory.
STORY GAPS – Prior to the release of the prequels everyone simply began the Star Wars saga with Episode IV. If that viewing order functioned well enough for a generation, it’ll work for you too. Not to mention that witnessing Luke and Leia born together in Episode III only made their kiss in Empire even more awkward than it already was.
Up next for our trash bin is Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Live Free or Die Hard. This was a bit of a tough call because John McClane is one of the coolest f***ing action heroes in existence. But even his mere presence wasn’t enough to save the even numbered entries in the Die Hard series. Let’s face facts action geeks, the sequel was pretty much a complete retread of the first Die Hard and the pointless cameo from the fat dad from Family Matters didn’t help.
The fourth entry in the Die Hard series wasn’t a complete disaster but it was rated PG-13 which by default made it kick infinitely less ass. We’re going to suggest tossing it as well merely out of principle. We don’t care if it’s the “unrated cut”, toss it damn it!
STORY GAPS – Each Die Hard film was a self contained story featuring Bruce Willis cracking wise, blowing sh** up and saving the world from terrorists. There aren’t necessarily any plot issues should you skip the second or fourth films. Actually, watching the third movie after the first one works better because of the cool tie to the movies lead villains. We won’t spoil the surprise for anyone who hasn’t seen Die Hard with a Vengeance…even though it came out in 1995. Really, if you haven’t seen it by now then consider your procrastination a personal insult to Samuel L Jackson.
The consensus among many Harry Potter fans is that first two films are the worst of the bunch. The CGI was still rough, the tone of the adaptations was dry and the young actors had yet to find their groove. Also, there’s the fact that the first two flicks were in a class of boring so epic that they required an entirely new scale be invented so as to accurately determine their seemingly incalculable capacity to bore. Also, the villain in the second film was a living book that turned into a ghost. Seriously.
STORY GAPS – The question is; can a person simply begin the Harry Potter series with the third entry, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? In this case we’re going to suggest reading the books to fill in the missing pieces that would arise from doing so. Or the lazier among you can at least check out the cliff notes.
We realize tossing away half of the Rocky saga seems a tad extreme but allow us to explain. Granted, Rocky III-V contained some awesome fights and memorable moments (okay mostly awesome fights); however the bad simply outweighed the good. For example, Mr. T was a decent enough villain (albeit one dimensional) but his bad-assery was over shadowed by a metric ton of idiocy. We had to put up with a cheesy appearance by Hulk Hogan, Adrian and Paulie relegated to background scenery and Rocky’s character morphing from a dumb but lovable underdog into a fairly unlikable and inexplicably smarter version of his former self. Rocky IV was basically a 1980’s soundtrack with two boxing matches tacked on for kicks. We won’t even go into the awfulness of Rocky V.
STORY GAPS – So what is left? Rocky, Rocky II and Rocky Balboa. Surprisingly these three movies would work brilliantly as a trilogy. There would be no major story gaps since most the continuity issues actually occurred in the three movies we suggest tossing out. At the conclusion of Rocky II we saw Rocky become heavyweight champ…then we’d jump ahead numerous years and witness an aging and long retired Rocky reclaim his former glory. Heck, old Rocky was even living in the same neighborhood in the final film. Dumping parts III-V would rid us of a rapidly aging Rocky Jr, Paulie’s ridiculous robot, a warped timeline, cringe inducing 80’s music and several other crappy inclusions to the saga.
Are there any Trek fans left who don’t already kick-start their personal marathons with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? We suggest just making it official already and tossing out the first movie altogether. It’s not that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a bad film exactly. Yeah, it is somewhat dull and the pacing is excruciatingly slow at times, but if anything it plays like an extended episode of the classic series. The next film in the franchise we’d toss without hesitation though is Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This entry is already infamous among fans as the worst of the series for far too many reasons to even delve into. For anyone wondering why we wouldn’t also toss part III…well let’s just say that Doc Brown playing a bat-sh** crazy Klingon delights us to no end.
STORY GAPS – Skipping the first film in the series isn’t too jarring. The sequel could work as an introduction for any new viewers and is an interesting alternate starting point. Losing part V surprisingly isn’t much of a problem either since it’s a stand alone story.
To finish things off we decided to simply toss out a ton of other mediocre and bad sequels in one fell swoop. Our previously mentioned franchises involved us removing individual films but that’s not the case for the following batch. For the rest of our collection we’re only going to be trimming the fat off the ends of popular film series. Therefore, the following franchises can at last conclude on higher notes. As opposed to coughing and wheezing their ways to slow dusty deaths. With that in mind, we bid a fond farewell to the following shi**y sequels. May they never again diminish the overall quality of our beloved movie franchises.
Bon voyage to Spiderman 3, Godfather III, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, Alien(s) vs. Predator, Robocop 2, Robocop 3 (also the tv series just to be safe), Spiderman 3, anything after the first Saw movie, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Spiderman 3, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, all the way up to Rob Zombies’ latest abominations, Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, Jaws: The Revenge, Spiderman 3, Mission Impossible 2, Mission Impossible 3, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Home Alone 3 and Home Alone 4 (seriously though, why would you have even bought any of those?)