Blues Brothers 2000

Why the hate?

Arriving 18 years after the original, and 16 years after the death of John Belushi, this sequel was dumped on from all sides.

I just don’t get the bile.

Not saying it’s the equal of the first film — few follow-ups this side of The Empire Strikes Back are — but everything is in place for a good time.

It’s funny, there are a ton of songs, and having the peerless John Goodman slap on the shades and ride along with Dan Aykroyd is a master move.

So maybe pull the stick out of your rump and get over yourself, haters.

 

Clerks II

“There’s only one return, OK, and it ain’t of the king, it’s of the jedi!”

Delivering a slap-down to dirty hobbit-lovers everywhere (basically doing the Lord’s work), writer/director Kevin Smith delivers a sequel with zip.

Everything is bigger — color film instead of black-and-white, real movie stars like Rosario Dawson — yet, at its heart, part deux is just as profane and low-rent as its predecessor.

It’s easy to hate on Smith. Lord knows a lot of people do.

But, from a guy who spent 15 years in a video store, I’ve always had a soft spot for the real-life Silent Bob.

 

Aliens

One mad mama trumps 100 space marines.

When the alien acid really hits the fan, the trained killers start screaming (and dying) like first-time rookies.

Game over, man, indeed.

Instead, it’s the far-tougher-than-she-looks Ellen Ripley who straps on the weapons of war and heads out to kick some ass to protect those she loves.

Ridley Scott’s original built big-time suspense with its cat-and-mouse games on the edge of the galaxy, while James Cameron comes in and ramps up the action the second time around.

Honoring what came before while finding a creative reason to continue the story — a sequel done right.

 

The Return of the Living Dead

I was a teenage idiot.

Before you say, “Not much has changed over the years, has it?,” let me respond, “ha ha.”

But head back to the late ’80s and I and a fellow young ruffian were standing in the aisles of the still fairly-new Tumwater Video.

Our mission – bring back a VHS tape for our class to see.

Ignoring rational thought, we chose this bloody, funny zombie flick — a sort-of sequel to George Romero’s classic chiller — which features Linnea Quigley dancing topless on a grave.

Our teachers were not amused.

But we were legends.

In our minds, at least.

 

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

The night Michael Myers doesn’t come home.

Switching things up, the series tried to take things in a different direction, subbing in mind control, androids, and Tom Atkins kickin’ butt for the same-old-same-old of The Shape stabbing folks.

While it failed at the box office, forcing producers to revert back to standard slashers, this sequel in name only remains a fascinating, creepy lil’ spookfest.

Maybe if they had just called it Season of the Witch and not tried to draft off the success of a previously-formed franchise?

Approach it with an open mind, and it’s all treat, no trick.