Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sequels Gone Bad: CTJ

Look For These Horrible Excuses for Film in a Theater Near You

By Chad T. Johnston
“Schindler’s List 2” – This time Oscar Schindler is going grocery shopping, and he left his list at home. Will he buy whole milk, or 2%? He cannot remember. As the remnants of the Nazi regime are being punished at the Nuremberg Trials, Schindler is plagued by forgetfulness, and his only salvation is the Jews he saved, who begin to show up with one item after the other: First asparagus, then Zwieback, then haggis. It’s a reunion that knocks the ball right out of the ballpark. Meryl Streep reprises her role from Sophie’s Choice, and this time she chooses canned yams over fresh ones.

"Lord of the Rings IV: Hollaback Frodo" – In the wake of Peter Jackson’s success with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dre and Snoop decided to make a fourth film in the series, a lush, epic offering set in scenic Miami. This time, Frodo (a.k.a. Frizzle-b-dizzle, played by Ghostface Killa) has an evil ringtone on his cellphone, and he must throw it into the radiation-disposal vault at Yucca Mountain if he is to protect the world from it. Meanwhile, Dre and Snoop ride in their hoopties to knock the cellphone towers “outtie commih-SHUN, y’all BOOOOOYAH!”

“Trudy” – This sequel to feel-good football film Rudy is the feminist equivalent of its predecessor, with the leading role of Trudy played Keira Knightley. Despite the fact that she is so bony and birdlike, she is admitted to the Notre Dame football team because, to quote her Coach, “She could probably throw some ferocious elbow jabs with those sharp, pointy elbows of hers, which are as wiry as coat hangers and strong as steel pylons.” Knightley must overcome objections to her gender, and she must also overcome obstacles like doors, turnstyles, coffeetables, and rugs, all of which are difficult for her fragile, frail frame to encounter. In the final scene in the film, just after Knightley is brutally killed when a pair of cotton slippers fall off of an overhead shelf and onto her fragile, not-yet-fully-formed fontanels, the team celebrates the power of scarily thin women who make baklava seem like it is reinforced with concrete rebar.

"Ordinary People Again” – Mary Tyler Moore is back! This time she’s no cold-hearted Mama. She’s a detective who’s on the trail of a pet theft in Waukegan, MI. Between the original film directed by Robert Redford in 1980 and this sequel, directed by Michael Bay, Moore’s character’s son Buck threw himself into a wheat compactor and her husband, played by then-young Donald Sutherland, became an electronics salesman at Fek-Mart. Abe Vigoda costars as Lampy, a mop-topped comedic character who is Moore’s father.

“The Big Chill VI” – Kevin Costner is still laying dead in that coffin, only this time the director had to pay him $17,000,000. When the friends gather together again – for the 6th time for the funeral of a friend – they get understandably despondent and commit suicide en masse, drinking Gatorade that has been laced with ant-killer.

“Tron 2” – Those 80s computer graphics are BACK! This time when Jeff Bridges gets sucked into the computer he brings a bag of Doritos with him. Not content to compete in the LightCycle arena, Bridges’ character instead opts to exchange existential banter with a RAM chip and the Mario Bros., who have given up plumbing in favor of becoming celebrity trout fishermen. Commenting on the film, George Lucas says, “Geez, man. I think they actually made this sequel on the same computer as the original. My sense of innovation and progress has been violated. I am now going to feed myself to the nearest Bantha.”

“Star Wars VII: Lookee Go Bye-Bye” – As Lucas’ scriptwriting abilities become increasingly elementary, Luke, Leia, Han, and friends also become increasingly two-dimensional. As Han Solo says in one scene, “Me gots dookie in bafroom. Da da googie?” When primary-colored building blocks begin to attack the merry band of interstellar friends, they are saved by a baby and a troop of kittens and puppies who are armed with musicboxes, Lunchables, and construction-paper origami swans. Shot on location in a blue-screen room in Deluth, ND, the whole production has all the warmth of an industrial freezer.

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