I’m back with the second part of my long conversation with my friend Pete Spiliakos. We talked about girls becoming women in despite of society in ’80s movies last time. In the most surprising way, Pete picked horror movies to show social and psychological realism. Well, he hit it out of the park there, but then our conversation veered to the aesthetic, dramatic art and the political implications of the new business model of sequels and franchises. Like it or not, in an age of sequels and franchises, it’s no longer feasible to ignore the problem of sucky sequels.
You get a bit of Hollywood history of the last two generations. You get Pete’s “margin of suckitude” theory. You get commentary that moves from plot to philosophy and backwards to show what’s going on in popular entertainment. You get Pete’s “first Avenger test” to assess the worth of superhero movies. And you get my ideas about how critics should help writers improve their work.
By the way: What movie sequels are superior to the originals? I know Wrath of Khan. What else?