Top ten movies that still beg for sequels
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Hey Hollywood! Ya missed a few...
From the early days of Hollywood, film studios have believed that if one is good, five or six are better. That seems even truer today, when deals are inked for sequels before the first film even gets released. Even worse, it seems that over the years we’ve been bombarded by terrible sequels or worse, sequels to movies that weren’t all that great to begin with. And yet, there are those movies that are so good, they need – nay, deserve – to have their stories continued on the big screen...
10. Crossroads (1986)
Ralph Macchio plays Eugene Martone, a young guitar prodigy at Julliard who becomes enamored with Robert Johnson, and finds his friend Willie Brown (Joe Seneca) in a minimum security hospital. Eugene believes there is a lost song of Johnson’s, and Willie tricks him into breaking him out in exchange for the song. But in all honesty, Willie wants out so that he can go back to the crossroads in Mississippi where he made his deal with the Devil in order to get his soul back. Along the way they run into Frances (Jami Gertz), a hitchhiker with an attitude whom Eugene falls for. In the end, a skeptical Eugene offers his soul up for a chance at saving Willie’s, which culminates in a guitar duel between Eugene and Scratch’s player Jack Butler (played by a very evil looking Steve Vai). Crossroads shows the story of a young man out of his element, thinking he knew about the blues from reading about it, but learning the real blues out in the real world. In the end, the two new friends walk away into the distance, planning on heading to Chicago.
We don’t know what happened in Chicago, or after, for that matter. And while Scratch tore up Willie’s contract, let’s not forget, he is the Devil. Who’s to say that he is really going to honor such an agreement? It would be great to see whether or not Eugene and Willie made anything of themselves. With the passing of Seneca, the story would be more focused on Eugene, and how he has taken the blues on. It would be an interesting story to tell.
9. The Frighteners (1996)
Peter Jackson’s 1996 film about a contractor-turned-ghost exterminator is a great horror/comedy, starring Michael J. Fox as Frank Bannister, who has been able to see spirits since he survived the car crash that killed his wife. With the enlistment of a ragtag bunch of ghosts, he cons people to make a living by ridding their homes of the plague of the undead. But when the ghost of serial killer Johnny Bartlett comes back to take up his killing spree where he left off – and worse yet, seems to be pinning it on Frank – it’s up to Bannister to stop him before more people die. He just has to get around Bartlett’s still-living girlfriend Patricia (Dee Wallace) and Milton Dammers (the inimitable Jeffery Combs), an FBI agent driven mad by all of the undercover work he has done.
Bannister was just starting to get his life back in order with new love Dr. Lucy Lynskey (Trini Alvarado), who is suddenly in tune with the dearly departed. With Dammers dead, maybe his spirit is out to cause trouble for the happy couple? Fox may not be up to do a feature film these days due to Parkinson’s Disease, but maybe a cameo to get the film started? Perhaps Dammers causes his death, which sets Lucy off on a path to stop the rogue spirit. Let’s face it, sequels have been made from less of a promising start.
8. Explorers (1985)
Three young boys all have strange dreams, which all seem connected. The dreams appear to contain plans to build a space-craft, which subsequently takes the boys on an adventure into space. Here they meet two aliens, a brother and sister who seem to be interested in Earth. It’s a comedy, but it has that heartwarming coming-of-age aspect to it.
The film was actually released unfinished, leaving a very strange ending. That could lead to any number of possibilities as far as a sequel goes. Would the young men ever go back into space? Or, if they stayed on Earth, how would they adjust to life knowing what was out there? If the government found out, how would they intervene? You could even use River Phoenix’s death as a jumping-off point, explaining that his character Wolfgang made a solo trip into space and never returned, with the other two heading to the stars to find him.
7. Doctor Mordrid (1992)
Jeffrey Combs stars in this Doctor Strange knock-off about a sorcerer who lives on Earth as a writer. His life gets complicated when his brother helps him escape from his other-worldly prison, and his neighbor becomes enthralled with him.
It’s a film about a sorcerer. That right there opens up a plethora of possibilities. And the advances in CGI would make for a better quality film than the first one. And let’s face it, there isn’t enough Jeffrey Combs in this world. How about giving this a chance instead of another Re-Animator sequel?
6. Grosse Point Blank (1997)
John Cusack is Martin Black, a hit-man who ran away from his life on prom night, only to be invited back for his ten-year class reunion during the same time that he’s to be in the area for one last contract – the father of the girlfriend he left behind at the prom.
Cusack himself said that if he ever did a sequel, he would set it ten years after, with his character trying to deal with the cut throat world of business after having given up the life of an assassin. As far as I’m concerned, that sounds like a perfect way to continue the story. Maybe we’ll see him married and trying to handle fatherhood. I want to see this happen. And no, whatever Joan Cusack says, War Inc (2008) is not a sequel to GPB (different character names, different characters).
5: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)
Based on the popular animé series, this film throws the bounty-hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop into a manhunt for the man responsible for releasing a virus into the capital city of Mars. However, the man responsible is also being hunted not only by every other bounty hunter, but also by the people responsible for creating the virus. And this leaves the fate of all of Mars in the hands of the Bebop crew.
The series this movie was spun off from only lasted two seasons, ending ambiguously as regards the fate of Spike Spiegel. Although creators Keiko Nobumoto and Shinichirō Watanabe have said that there are no immediate plans to continue the series – much less make a sequel to this film – there were plans in 2008 to go ahead with a Hollywood-made live-action film with Keanu Reeves lined up to play Spike (a travesty on so many parts, as Reeves doesn’t have near the charisma of Spike). I say forget the live action film (I would cite the live action Dragonball film as reason not to do one), and go ahead with an all-new animated film. Please, bring Spike back to all of us!
4. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Kurt Russell is Jack Burton in John Carpenter’s homage to bad Chinese cinema. Burton’s an everyman who is up against an ancient and evil-looking Asian entity keen to take a bride so that he may become young again. Cheesy dialogue, effects, and acting make this one hell of a fun film.
As long as it doesn’t wind up being Escape from L.A., it could be great. It’d be awesome to see Russell hamming it up as only he knows how. And comics about Jack Burton just aren't the same.
3. Mirrormask (2005)
A young girl yearns for a life away from her circus family. She escapes into a mirror world where everything is the opposite. Meanwhile, her doppelganger is in the real world, behaving much differently than she. Neil Gaiman wrote the screenplay for this film, which seems to take many of its cues from Labyrinth (see below).
Dave McKean directed and designed the world of the movie, which was brought to life by the Jim Henson Company. The film does make too much use of CGI, and the story didn’t seem as fleshed-out as it could have been - but perhaps a sequel could help bring more depth to the world that he and Gaiman created. Maybe the doppelgängers are coming into the real world, and causing havoc here. And let’s face it, there’s not nearly enough Neil Gaiman out there.
2. Unbreakable (2001)
David (Bruce Willis), a man whose marriage is falling apart, is coming back from a job interview when the train he is on crashes, killing the other 131 passengers but leaving him unscathed. He is then approached by Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson), a man with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which causes his bones to be extremely brittle. Elijah has sought David out, believing him to be completely invulnerable, because there had to be someone the exact opposite of himself. He helps David hone his skills to become a superhero.
There has been all sorts of talk, but writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has gone on record saying that as currently there are no plans to follow up Unbreakable. Which is a shame, because this film plays out like a brilliant origin story for a hero, and the next movie could be very Nolan-esque in its execution. It could also help Shyamalan’s career. I personally would like to see how things progressed with David’s burgeoning career as a crime fighter.
1. Labyrinth (1986)
Jim Henson and company brought us a magnificent tale of a young girl who struggles with her new step-mother and infant half-brother, and wishes him away to the land of the goblins. There, she meets the Goblin King (played to perfection by David Bowie), who tells her she has 13 hours to traverse the labyrinth, or her brother will join the goblins forever. Add to that several great musical numbers by Bowie and a story that’s dark but still accessible to youngsters.
The original film was visually stunning, with a wide array of characters designed and built by the Jim Henson studios, and mind-bending set pieces. As long as they don’t rely too heavily on CGI like with Mirrormask, they could make just as entertaining a film as the original. Perhaps the Goblin King decided to take revenge on the young woman for winning his unwinnable game. It would be a wild world to revisit.
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