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Franchise Decline 
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Post Franchise Decline
Inspired by the Die Hard thread:

What's the all-time greatest drop in quality between the first and final film in a series or franchise? While there are certainly many contenders, I'm thinking Jaws.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Superman (1978 - 1987) has to be right up there. The first film is superlative: a pre-Lucas/Spielberg slice of epic adventure movie storytelling. The second, at best, fitfully recaptures that greatness and mostly stumbles. The third is embarrassingly empty-headed. The fourth is an abominable low-budget shambling wreck.

I've been tempted to forgive some of Superman IV's flaws given that it is built on a good idea (Superman tackles nuclear war? Cool!), but that idea is badly wasted here.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
The Pink Panther films became legendarily bad. (Not counting the Steve Martin films, which rebooted the series.)

The Neverending Story III: Escape from Fantasia is apparently very bad.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Alien to Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is enough to make you cry. Especially considering how good Aliens is.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:23 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
At certain times throughout its 50 year history, a case could have been made for the James Bond franchise, but 007 has a habit of recovering from his worst moments in spectacular fashion.

Indiana Jones is probably a contender here.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
I enjoyed all the sequels to Alien, Jaws and Superman.

Anyways I guess I would have to say Basic Instinct 2, the first one was a classic, but the sequel was one that nobody asked for and was just embarassingly stupid in almost every regard.

There are some terrible 007 entries, the worst ones being Live And Let Die and Man With The Golden. Both of which were astoundingly awful in almost every regard.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Agreed on the Jaws and Alien series. With Jaws they could easily have stopped at the first one and not been worse the wear for it. Alien I've discussed previously. Also won't dwell on the Hannibal Lecter movies as we already have a thread on those.

A prime example of declines is the Halloween movies. Now that series went in the same direction that Jaws and Alien did. The original Halloween is if not quite at the top of best horror movies, in the top 5.Halloween II was a massive step-down. But at least it was true to the original. By III, it was sinking fast. I still love the original Halloween. But I maintain that the best way to enjoy it is to filter out all the sequels (with the possible exception of II) and Rob Zombie's remakes.

Also in the horror realm is Scream. When I saw the original in 1997 I considered it to be great, a brilliant mix of terror and humor. Watched it several times over the course of the late 90s. The sequels however didn't work. as well. Scream 2 was okay. But Scream 3 was a massive letdown. I still have yet to see Scream 4. But I can't muster up much enthusiasm for it. Recently I re-watched the original Scream for the first time in a few years and found my assesment of it to be good albeit not great. This is primarily thanks to those sequels. But also because the approach it took back in 1996 was still fresh. Today it's been done to death.

Similar in some regards to what happened to Scream is Shrek. The original Shrek I considered to be one of the top 5 of 2001, one of the best of the decade and one of the best animated films of all-time. Shrek 2, while it lacked the novelty and freshness of the original, was still filled with enough fun elements to be enjoyable. Shrek The Third was a massive step downone that made the series all but indistinguishable from the likes of Happily Never After. Shrek Forever After was a slight improvement. But I still maintian that the Shrek franchise could have ended at 2 with no loss to the moviegoing public. While I still like the original Shrek, the lesser sequels have tarnished it somewhat.

The Crow and Highlander are two that should have ended at one.

A comment on Franchise Declines would not be complete without a few words on the original Batman series. The first two Burton helmed ones were not as true to the comic book as Nolan's entries were. But they still were close. Unfortunately, the darkness was too much for some people. So Joel Schumacher was brought in to make them more family friendly. It was obvious that his reference point was less the comic books and more the 60s TV campfest. Unfortunately, he turned Batman into a campfest of his own that almost killed the series. His two entries painted Batman into a corner and so we had to wait for Christopher Nolan to resurrect him.

Finally a few words on Spiderman. The first two entries in Sam Raimi's trilogy were truly great. The third, while a major step-down from the first two, was not quite the full fledged disaster so many people seem to see it as. However it also indicated that the series was running out of gas. Raimi walked away when he did because he realized there were no more stories left to tell. I have yet to see the re-boot and am in no hurry to do so.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:28 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
There are tons of Spider-Man stories to be told. Raimi walked away because he was at the point where he should have had plenty of clout to do what he wanted, and he was instead forced to shoehorn a bunch of stuff into his movie that he had no interest in and never intended to do.

I thought the reboot was pretty damn good. It's a less pop-conscious, more fundamental take on the character. Both approaches work, but Raimi's studio overlords ended up screwing the pooch on the former.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
How about Psycho?

I actually enjoy Halloweens 4 and 5. I think the first Halloween is pretty overrated; in my opinion, an example of a film's focus being actually just far too narrow.

Scream 3 is frighteningly bad. My favorite is the 2nd entry, I thought the first was overrated.

Godfather 3 has its supporters, but I'm not one of them so I'd include it here.

What about the Omen?

2nd is so bad I shut it off after 10 minutes. Still, I begin to have mixed feelings about the first one. Certain aspects haven't aged well at all.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
MGamesCook wrote:
How about Psycho?

I actually enjoy Halloweens 4 and 5. I think the first Halloween is pretty overrated; in my opinion, an example of a film's focus being actually just far too narrow.

Scream 3 is frighteningly bad. My favorite is the 2nd entry, I thought the first was overrated.

Godfather 3 has its supporters, but I'm not one of them so I'd include it here.


Psycho's a good example. If you prefer Halloween 5 to Halloween, my condolences.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:20 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
I don't think they are better than the original, but I happen to like elements of Halloween 4 and 5. Part 6, on the other hand, was atrocious. H20 was a decent return to form.

As for Omen, I like the second one a lot. The third one is pretty bad though.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Thief12 wrote:
I don't think they are better than the original, but I happen to like elements of Halloween 4 and 5. Part 6, on the other hand, was atrocious. H20 was a decent return to form.

As for Omen, I like the second one a lot. The third one is pretty bad though.


I was a huge Halloween fan as a kid. 4 always had parts that worked for me, but 5 was always a slog. 6, by contrast, is so terrible that it has some fun moments.

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:36 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Quote:
I was a huge Halloween fan as a kid. 4 always had parts that worked for me, but 5 was always a slog. 6, by contrast, is so terrible that it has some fun moments.


If pressed, I would say that the first Halloween is easily the best, but I don't think it's a masterpiece of cinema by any means, or even a great a piece of horror. The opening shot for instance, is cool on the one hand, but there was always something underwhelming about it for me. I think because it simply isn't that interesting. It's overly basic and primitive. I'm more interested in the psychology behind Michael. My favorite scene is Dr. Loomis's monologue about his experience with Michael. The question that sparks my interest is, if you pared evil down to its basic core in a man, what would it look like, how would it behave? That question was thrillingly explored by Hitchcock and Demme, for instance. Carpenter doesn't seem to care about that though. He cares more about the idea of paring a horror movie down to its basic core, which to me is many times less interesting.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:57 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
I don't think they are better than the original, but I happen to like elements of Halloween 4 and 5. Part 6, on the other hand, was atrocious. H20 was a decent return to form.

As for Omen, I like the second one a lot. The third one is pretty bad though.


I was a huge Halloween fan as a kid. 4 always had parts that worked for me, but 5 was always a slog. 6, by contrast, is so terrible that it has some fun moments.

I enjoyed all the Halloween sequels except for part 3.

Enjoyed the Scream sequels as well, though part 3 wasn't nearly as good as the others.

I actually liked Godfather 3 better then the 2nd film.

Psycho 2 and 3 were decent films, though Psycho was terrible beoynd belief. Haven't seen the remake and have no desire to.

About the Batman films, Schumacher isn't entirely to blame, he intially wanted to do an adaption of Batman-Year One, but the studio shot it down, and Batman Forever was supposed to be considerably darker then what we got, but the studio execs cut out a bunch of important scenes. Schumacher lamented that the execs saw Batman as nothing more then a toy commercial and has apologized for Batman And Robin, though I personally found it to be somewhat enjoyable.

Crow and Highlander were a mixed bag, with the former, Salvation was a very good sequel, Wicked Prayer and City Of Angels weren't outright bad, but they weren't that good either. With Highlander, parts 3 and 4 were good, and the renegade version of part 2 was OK, but The Source was absolutely horrible.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Quote:
Psycho 2 and 3 were decent films, though Psycho was terrible beoynd belief.


Typo?


Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:09 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
Psycho 2 and 3 were decent films, though Psycho was terrible beyond belief.


Typo?

yeah.

Also, never really liked any of the Omen films except for the remake.


Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Does Rob Zombie's Halloween remake and it's atrocious piece of crap of a sequel count? If so then I'd say that for sure! I'm not as in love with John Carpenter's original as most people are. I liked it but didn't love it. But compared to Rob Zombie's monstrosities, it's a masterpiece.

Loved The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. But The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was damn near unwatchable.

The Highlander movies were never good, so I don't agree with their inclusion and yes, that does include the first film.

Jaws, on the other hand, I definitely agree. Jaws 3 is a guilty pleasure but Jaws: The Revenge? Holy crap, that movie stinks.

It pains me to have to include Die Hard on this list. But the latest Die Hard movie just isn't good.

And of course there is Batman & Robin. I actually loved Batman Forever, but Batman & Robin, unfortunately, is every bit as bad as it's reputation suggests.

I don't agree with Shrek because I actually liked Shrek 4 more than the first one. 2 and 3 did suck. But I thought the franchise rebounded quite nicely with Shrek Forever After.

Also, I gotta say, a part from Aliens, which I did love, I was never a huge fan of the franchise. Resurrection was okay. I need to give Alien 3 another rewatch. But the first film was rather so-so IMO. And the AVP movies aren't as bad as most people say. I actually kind of enjoyed Requiem. Again, it was a guilty pleasure.


What about the Resident Evil movies? The first one was just okay, but I actually liked the second one. However, the series really sunk after that one. Extinction and Afterlife were mediocre and Retribution was absolutely terrible!


Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:13 am
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
I enjoyed the Halloween remake and it's sequel, I thought it was an interesting take on Myers.

Didn't like a single one of the Mummy films.

I liked the Shrek sequels well enough.

Disagree on Resident Evil, I think that series has gotten better with every film, Extinction, Aftetlife and Retribution were all awesome films.


Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:23 am
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
Quote:
Disagree on Resident Evil, I think that series has gotten better with every film, Extinction, Aftetlife and Retribution were all awesome films.


Absolutely. Anderson's stylistic verve and attention to detail shame the passionless superhero vehicles.


Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:26 am
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Post Re: Franchise Decline
JamesKunz wrote:
Alien to Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is enough to make you cry. Especially considering how good Aliens is.



This is true, but I don't even think of them being in the same Universe.

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Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:55 am
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