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Movie series in constant decline?

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#1 of 40 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted May 22 2004 - 02:31 AM

That's not a great header for what I intend, but here's what I want to hear: series of movies in which each entry was worse than the prior one. I thought of this when I saw mention of Lethal Weapon 4 elsewhere. I think that there's a drop-off from each film to the next: LW2 is noticeably worse than the original, LW3 is worse than 2, and LW4 is worse than 3. I'd also pick the Godfather series. 2 is excellent, but it's not as good as the first flick, and 3 marks a big drop. I'd NOT pick either the Alien or Terminator series. I like Aliens and T2 best in those. Jaws would probably work. 2 is clearly inferior to the original, and 3 drops even more. Is 4 worse than 3? Probably, but both are so bad this may be nitpicking. What other series would folks nominate? Ground rules: the series needs at least three movies to qualify - if there's only one sequel, it's not enough. Lets' hear some choices!
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#2 of 40 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE



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Posted May 22 2004 - 03:02 AM

Jaws is the best example. Death Wish Superman

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Adam_ME


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Posted May 22 2004 - 03:41 AM

I disagree about Legal Wreckin. Aside from the stupid plot twist about the South Africans having killed Riggs' wife, I thought the 2nd film was on par with the 1st one. Die Hard is a series I'd nominate. I did really like the 2nd one, but it was inferior to the 1st film and the 3rd film was definitely the worst of the bunch IMO. And while we're discussing Joel Silver-produced action series, how about The Matrix? Each one got progressively worse.
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#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted May 22 2004 - 03:47 AM

I definitely second Adam_ME on the Matrix movies. I actually liked Reloaded, it seemed like a solid sequel to me, although not as good as the original. Then Revolutions was just a total disaster.

#5 of 40 OFFLINE   Matt Butler

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Posted May 22 2004 - 03:56 AM

I liked all the LW films and the Die Hard series was good. I thought DH2 was the weakest of the three though. Series that got worse: Jaws Batman Haggai, Revolutions wasnt THAT BAD; I actually liked it.
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#6 of 40 OFFLINE   BretWeaver


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Posted May 22 2004 - 04:10 AM

franchises that got worse: Kickboxer Jaws Universal soldier (not that the first one was good, but the sequels were horrid) Halloween Robocop ...thats all that comes to the top of the old brain for now

#7 of 40 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted May 22 2004 - 04:25 AM

Police Academy.

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted May 22 2004 - 04:27 AM

Heh, to each his own, Matt Butler. But I definitely agree with you on Batman: Batman--stylish, not flawless, but ambitious and exciting Batman Returns--Sort of a re-hash, not bad, but a notch lower than the first Batman Forever--Cartoonish, maybe kinda fun in parts, but not really any good Batman And Robin--Catastrophic, one of the worst mainstream movies of the past decade

#9 of 40 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted May 22 2004 - 04:36 AM

As far as declining sequels go, Star Wars (1977) was the first and still the best of the quintet IMO, it was '633 Squadron' set in space, no muppets, silly aliens or teddybears in sight.

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#10 of 40 OFFLINE   Matthew Chmiel

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Posted May 22 2004 - 04:50 AM

Nightmare on Elm Street - original and innovative horror film.
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 - unoriginal and cookie cutter slasher film that somehow has a many homosexual undertones.
Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - considered one (of the best) sequels in the series, it's fun and scary at the same time.
Nightmare on Elm Street 4 - complete style over substance, but it's fun.
Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - a complete trainwreck of a film.
Nightmare on Elm Street 6 - since part five was meant to be taken seriously, this one takes itself as a comedy more than a horror film. Most people call it the worst behind 2 and 5.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare - bombed at the box office, but the best sequel out of the bunch.
Freddy Vs. Jason - took the groundwork the first, third, and seventh film set-up for Freddy and proceeds to rape it.

Friday the 13th EASILY comes to mind, but I do have a soft spot for Jason X.

#11 of 40 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted May 22 2004 - 05:25 AM

Matthew, I don't think Nightmare fits the question, as you clearly liked 3 more than 2 - 3 needed to be worse than 2 to qualify. (Then 4 worse than 3, 5 worse than 4, etc.) I don't agree with the Batman series, mainly because I feel Returns is the best of the bunch - it's a close call between it and the first, but I prefer the sequel. I also like Die Hard with a Vengeance better than Die Harder, so I can't concur with that choice...
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#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Kevin Grey

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Posted May 22 2004 - 06:37 AM

Don't agree about Lethal Weapon. LW2 is my favorite of the series.

#13 of 40 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted May 22 2004 - 06:56 AM

Many film critics think Godfather 2 was better than the first one and regarding some valid points, I have to agree with that opinion. Also, I too liked LW2 better than LW1. Crawdaddy

#14 of 40 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted May 22 2004 - 07:35 AM

Same here. ~Edwin
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#15 of 40 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted May 22 2004 - 12:06 PM

I agree it's a close call - I simply prefer the first. Nonetheless, it's not a great selection for this list - it technically qualifies under my criteria, but it's not like the descending staircase that is the Jaws flicks...
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#16 of 40 OFFLINE   CoreyII


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Posted May 22 2004 - 12:07 PM

I don't know Colin, I don't think you're going to get a lot of people to agree on the Lethal series. Actually Lethal Weapon 3 is probably the worst simply because it didn't really have a memorable villain like the other films. When it's all said and done everyone remembers Gary Busey as Mr. Joshua, the "Adolf" guy who murdered Riggs wife and his boss Mr."Diplomatic Immunity"(Joss Ackland) and of course Jet"Bad Ass" Li as Wa Xing Ku (or whatever his name was in Lethal4). Not to many people remember the rouge cop with the armor piercing bullets what was his name Jack Travis or something like that. I agree with the other members on this panel, Lethal 2 is as good as the original and in some ways even better.

#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted May 22 2004 - 12:10 PM

Oh, it can't be as bad as 4 - that movie was such a mess! I've not seen any 2 or 3 since their theatrical runs, so I can't make many personal comments. I know I did like the original most and I enjoyed each subsequent release less and less. I was under the impression most fans liked the first best and they went gradually down from there - maybe not! Still, since this poll is meant to be idiosyncratic, there aren't any right or wrong answers. (Well, unless you say "Movie Y was worse than Movie X but Movie Z was better than Movie Y" - that'd violate the constant downward spiral the movies need to achieve...)
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#18 of 40 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens



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Posted May 22 2004 - 02:48 PM

because I really couldn't remember him. Even after Corey jogged my memory, all I can remember is the final fight in a building site. Damned if I can remember what he looks like. 4 wasdefinitely a mess, but it was at least memorable because of Jet Li.

#19 of 40 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens



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Posted May 22 2004 - 03:03 PM

I'm also one of those that thinks that Batman Returns is definitely better than Batman. The only criticsm I would offer is that it started the whole multiple villains idea that bloated the later films, and contributed tho their general awfulness. Some of the ideas in the film were silly, true, but is the kidnapping of the children any worse than the Smilex gas? In any case, Returns was darker, richer, and more fascinating than Batman. I also found the characters a hell of a lot more interesting.

Writing this, I was reminded of something I read on Ain't It Cool years ago - a piece of writing about this film that really impressed me. So I have braved that site to find the item. It comes from Moriarty's list of Great Films of the 90s, and contrary to much that appears on that site, I think it is worth reading.

#20 of 40 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted May 23 2004 - 06:51 AM

I also think BR is the best Batfilm. Its the only one I can sit through.(About 2 years ago I bought Batman on DVD when Best Buy had it for $8 after not seeing it for years -I fast fowarded thru most it and ended up giving it away,realizing I never wanted to see it again). Im probaly the only one who thinks this, but I also thought Devitos Penguin was much more entertaining than Nicholsons Joker.

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