GFT Blog: Our Favourite Sequels


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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (3D) screens Tuesday 29 August

In the average summer it’s not unusual to see sequels filling up the schedules in most cinemas, but finding a genuinely good one is a rare occasion to be celebrated. For the Sequels We Love season this August, we’ve picked four sequels from the last few decades that we love and are giving them another big screen outing. Here, some of the Glasgow Film team talk about some more sequels they love...

Write to us marketing@glasgowfilm.org and tell us your favourite sequel and why - and we'll publish a second blog with audience choices! Suggestions must be received by Tuesday 15 August to be included.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Every time I am frustrated my internal monologue shouts KHAAAAAN!! Much to the irritation of my colleagues this also manifests itself orally as well. I think I first saw it when I was 9 or 10, which says a lot about the film that it has permeated my consciousness to such a degree (or it says more about me). Wrath of Khan remains the best of the Star Trek films despite the 35 years since its release. It’s superbly plotted, maintaining an intense atmosphere with action and spectacle whilst exploring complex themes of age, mortality, obsession and trust. One of the gripes that old-school trekkers have with the new films is that they don’t emphasise ingenuity or intelligence enough. Speed of mind being usurped by explosions and bombastic music. In this sense, Wrath of Khan marks a high-point in the “beat them with your mind” philosophy of the TV series. We see the Enterprise crew truly tested by a formidable enemy (Ricardo Montalban’s pecks). Kirk and crew use their wits and experience rather than the more gung-ho attitude of the more recent generation’s incarnations. This all culminates in a fantastic finale, which is tense and thoughtful. Wrath of Khan has been and always will be your friend… and mine.

Gavin Crosby
Design and Digital Coordinator

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Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit 

So I couldn't decide between The Godfather II and Toy Story 2 for my entry, but in the end I went high-brow and decided on Sister Act 2. Mother Superior (Maggie Smith looking like she is having the absolute time of her life) seeks out Las Vegas showgirl Delores (Whoopi Goldberg) - alter ego Sister Mary Clarence (see: Sister Act) - to head-up a singing class at a doomed school filled with unruly pupils. Turns out, the kids have golden singing voices and the school choir makes it to the state championship. Cue a group of angry old monks determined to stop them from success… Okay, so it may not be a masterpiece, but I think it is a genuinely entertaining sequel (“we haven't got the balls for that”) with some cracking feel-good musical numbers and frankly I can’t deny that I just really enjoy it. Sue me!

Margaret Smith
Marketing & Press Co-ordinator

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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Eleven years after Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth widened education on the state of the planet, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power arrives. Much of the film was shot during the US election campaign (when the prospect of President Trump felt like nightmare that you could still wake up from) and the style of filmmaking is much more fly-on-the-wall, immersing you in the issues we can't ignore, than the 'presentational' style of the first. As a sandwich filler, it's a palatable munch but the reason why I chose it as a mentionable sequel is because it’s still worth a watch. Largely for the fascinating interviews of people on the ground, people who are knowledgeable and experienced in struggling to manage the effects of climate change on their cities, towns and streets, plus a TV interview talking place in Paris interrupted by the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan Theatre. This documentary is not just an important sequel, but an essential piece of filmmaking about now. This is about what it means to live now and be awake now.

Jodie Wilkinson
Public Engagement Coordinator

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power plus Q&A with Al Gore will be live broadcast to GFT on Friday 11 August. 

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Batman Returns

For a franchise which has gone through this many changes – in casting, plot, narrative structure, look and even tone – it’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the series’ conflicted hero and the glorious villains he must defeat that people are still willing to take off on another Bat adventure. However, sometimes it’s better to stay put with an old favourite instead.

Tim Burton’s second Batman feature retains the gothic elegance of its predecessor, with a plot which brings together a fresh gang of tortured souls, and plenty of moody shots of darkly opulent Gotham City captured by cinematographer Stefan Czapsky. But a sense of fun has been injected this time, primarily due to the inclusion of Danny DeVito’s sardonic Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s pissed-off Catwoman. Both steal the film with performances which are at one moment tragic, the next comedic; always over-the-top, but not grating (Memo to: Joel Schumacher).

Some may say that this time around, style wins over substance. Substance be damned. When everything looks this good, what does it matter? Undoubtedly, Christopher Nolan’s epic interpretations stand alone as definitive pieces of a great trilogy, but when it comes to Batman Returns, everything feels so much yummier.

David Rush
GFT Volunteer

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Manon Des Sources

Powerful, often funny, but ultimately heartbreaking, this isn’t just one of my favourite sequels, it’s one of my favourite ever films. The plot is too rich to condense into a few sentences, so all I will say about it is that there are few films which manage to pull off an ending as satisfying and as quietly devastating as this one. Along with Jean de Florette, this is a film that has a special place in my heart because it introduced me back in the late-1980s to Daniel Auteuil, Yves Montand, and Emmanuelle Béart (be still, my impressionable 15-year-old heart!), to French cinema in general and to the GFT in particular.

David Gattens
Finance/Commercial Director

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Before Sunset

Richard Linklater’s second collaboration with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy took the romantic concept of Before Sunrise – the chance meeting with that person who could just turn out to be your soul mate - and asked ‘what happens next?’ In this context, ‘next’ turns out to be 9 years later, when Jesse and Celine reconnect in another chance meeting (or at least, so it initially seems) in Paris while he is on a book tour.

The brilliant thing about this sequel was how all involved, both in front and behind the camera, seemed to so effortlessly re-inhabit their roles from almost a decade earlier. Hawke and Delpy’s connection – so palpable in the first film – feels even deeper and more genuine, thanks to Sunset’s even slighter plotting than Sunrise. Linklater allows them to simply be these characters, finding each other again, for an all-too-brief 77 minutes. It’s the rare sequel that takes a ‘less is more’ approach, but here it works perfectly.

Paul Gallagher
Marketing Manager

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

The Griswold Family epitomised the slapstick-tastic, suburban middle-class all-American family in ‘80s comedy, and out of the many National Lampoon films that I watched with my father as a child, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation stood out as a seasonal favourite. Looking back, we can see that Chevy Chase's comedy would not stand the test of time in terms of gender equality necessarily, but this film still manages to tickle me not least because I could see similarities with the bumbling, technologically-challenged Clark Griswold and my own father (sorry dad!). While National Lampoon's Vacation where the Griswolds' road trip to Wally World goes awry is a classic, Christmas Vacation still remains my childhood favourite.

Maija Hietala
Industry Coordinator

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Rocky V

It’s safe to say that Rocky V won’t make most people’s list of favourite films. But it’s better than almost everyone gives it credit for.

Oscar winning director John G. Avildsen returned to the franchise for the first time since the 1976 original, to strip away the pomp and tackiness of Rocky’s III and IV, to refocus on what Rocky had started as – a film about a boxer, not a film about boxing.

After being left bankrupt by his brother-in-law’s inept dealings with a dubious lawyer, Rocky returns to his old neighbourhood to start again. After life changing injuries leftover from Rocky IV, he can no longer box, so instead turns his hand to training, where he discovers young protégé Tommy “The Machine” Gunn. Finding he has more in common with Tommy, Rocky forms a father-son relationship leaving his actual son (played by Stallone’s real life son Sage) feeling neglected and having to deal with the school bullies by himself.

With Tommy quickly rising through the ranks his head is turned by the riches and title opportunities on offer by potential new manager, George Washington Duke. But feeling he will never be out of Rocky’s shadow, Tommy wants to fight his mentor to prove he is better than him. Thus setting up the classic street fight between teacher and pupil that everyone associates with this film.

This film is one of my favourite sequels because it brings back what I loved about the original. It may not have the punch of the first film, but it does have its heart.

Bryan Wilson
Finance Officer

Write to us marketing@glasgowfilm.org and tell us your favourite sequel and why - and we'll publish a second blog with audience choices! Suggestions must be received by Tuesday 15 August to be included.

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