FILM by Shane “Mania” Hnetka
The trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upcoming movie Maggie is out and I have to say it looks interesting. Schwarzenegger plays a father in a world with a zombie outbreak who learns that his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) has been infected and is slowly turning into a zombie. Doesn’t look like there’s a lot of action; it’s mostly about tension and angst. Could be good.
There have been a few sequel announcements lately. Nothing unusual about that; sequels are announced all the time. What makes this recent batch interesting, though, is that these sequels are follow-ups to films released more than a decade ago. Case in point: Zoolander 2. Fourteen years and 137 days between the first and second movie; you have to wonder, why now? Then there’s Independence Day 2 — or ID Forever Part I, which I guess it’s called now — which is coming out in the near future 19 years after the original.
Blade Runner and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure also have sequels lined up. Huh.
Conveniently, Wikipedia has a list of the longest gaps between original films and sequels and (surprise!) it turns out that movies made 10 years or more after an original are generally not good. With a few exceptions — including The Barbarian Invasions (The Decline Of The American Empire) and The Color Of Money (The Hustler), these stale sequels are mediocre to crummy. Did anyone need follow-ups to Bambi, The Killer Shrews, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Easy Rider, The Maltese Falcon, Carrie, The Birds, and heck, even Dumb and Dumber?
And let’s not forget The Phantom Menace (“if only we could,” says everyone).
Besides, after Ridley Scott’s brainless Prometheus, do we want that guy ruining Blade Runner’s legacy? I don’t think so.
A couple of Internet videos caught my eye recently. First was the fan-made yet professional quality Power Rangers short that delighted fans and annoyed copyright holders Saban Entertainment (probably because more money went into the short than Saban has spent on the actual franchise). The second was The Last Days of Mars director Ruairi Robinson’s proof-of-concept short The Leviathan, a special-effects-heavy vignette about space whalers hunting titanic flying creatures which is now going to get made into a full-length science fiction film.
You should Google both and watch them — they’re great. Funny how decent production values, excellent CGI and interesting ideas are a lot more exciting than an Independence Day sequel.
Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes the weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.