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Those Never Ending Series


In the modern day, Cinema (like most things) is driven by money. If a film does well, it is likely a sequel will come along. Sometimes, a series is planned. It does really well, and so a prequel is written, or additional films in the franchise come alone. And then we have those who have the bizarre idea to bring film series back to life even though they ended perfectly well. In this blog, I look at those series that ended too late, or need to end.

In no particular order...

Indiana Jones was a brilliant new idea in the 1980's. Following on the lead of Star Wars, it drew in a big fan base. As seen in my previous post, the second of the the original trilogy flopped a bit but it was a resounding success all around. Then nearly 30 years later they brought out a fourth and in 2023 the fifth (and supposed final) installment "graced" our screens. The fifth was not needed, and neither was the fourth, really.

Star Wars is one of those classic films that has been tampered with by outsiders. It was a revolution in cinema really, one of the first big franchises. Then, in the early 2000's there was this run of epic films coming out as series and the team behind Star Wars felt they couldn't just let us forget it is there. So Mr. Lucas gave us a prequel trilogy, about the origins of Darth Vadar. Ultimately, not a terrible set of films, but there were a number of areas that could have been improved. And then we get to the mid-2010's and three more are given to us. All for the sake of Mickey Mouse buying the rights and believing they could do better. Now they won't leave it alone. There are countless series around being produced and "spin-off" films, it is too much to keep up with. Also, with all the books around it, there are a number of points that cause silly debates with fans because of contradictions between films, TV series and books. Just seems too much and needs to stop.

Pirates of the Caribbean was introduced to us as a water ride in the Disneyland Parks around the world, and is a rare example of a film being inspired by something other than a book or news story. It became a huge hit in 2003, being a far more accurate and less romanticised portrayal of the golden age of piracy. The soundtrack became an instant classic and it is one of the first films where actors playing CGI roles acted on set. The first film was written as a standalone film, but allowed for a sequel to come into play without forcing any particular story-arch. The second and third films kept with the style and feel of the original, and made the trilogy a real achievement. But then they got greedy. The fourth movie, playing on truer historical influences, wanted to take the series into a new direction but flopped. It wasn't very good because it did not tie into the trilogy. Then, in a desperate attempt to claw back some credibility, a fifth film was made which, though better than the fourth, still tried to do the same as the fourth. A new couple was introduced, a new curse and some new faces. But it contradicted a rather key point from the original trilogy and a cringe-worthy cameo from Sir Paul McCartney just sealed it. They should have left it at three, but after 2017's fifth installment, a sixth was announced in 2018. There is no news on a release date or any other information, and has been hampered with issues. Johnny Depp's recent turmoil has complicated matters, so whether he is involved is still unconfirmed, but it is looking like it might become a series of three too many.

Jurassic World neé Park just needs to give it a rest. We get it - HUMANS DON'T LEARN. I am also very surprised at the fact that in all the films, there is no talk of the Dinosaurs that have escaped being anywhere else in the world. Now with the ending of Jurassic World Dominion implying that dinosaurs are loose in America, I am expecting the seventh (Yes, there is a seventh planned for 2025), to be called "Jurassic Planet of the Raptors". The original series was fun and played on taking the mick out of itself by the end. Jeff Goldblum was iconic and they built up such a thing of him being in the sixth but there is barely anything from him. The idea of the newer trilogy that Dinosaurs can be genetically made and it is a good idea is poor writing. Plus they made a big deal of showing an aquatic Dinosaur escaping but nothing comes of it. Why? It's becoming a waste of time and repetitive nonsense really. Dinosaurs are targeted by greedy humans, it all goes wrong and we don't learn, but we try again later. Oh, and when we do try again, we are somehow more equipped to deal with it but we've created a more resistant Dinosaur so we fail. It needs to stop. There is no longer enough Jeff Goldblum to make it worth while.

Marvel is in its own world, literally. They have these "Phases" where they have planned out which films they are going to make and since Avengers Assemble, where all the different characters and films refer to each other, it seems like in order to understand each new film, you have to have watched the three dozen of so TV series they've made in order to know what is going on in any new film. I lost interest after Avengers Endgame, as that seemed to be a natural stopping point for it all but no, of course it isn't. 40 films and 26 series all intertwine and if you haven't kept up, you aren't going to catch up. Marvel have tried to become the Cinematic version of the Comic Books, quite literally.

The Matrix was another series that seemed to push the expectations of cinema. However, it felt that it lacked any punch after the first film. It was clearly written with a series in mind, and that first installment was a good outing. However, the same old sequences were used and it became a cop-out in as much as it was everyone died but as it's all a film we can make anything happen, so the good guys win. And then a fourth episode appeared in 2021, which I watched and don't remember much about except that everything has been reset and now they are discovering it all over again - a cheap way of saying "everyone is rebooting their franchises but we have no new ideas because WE ENDED THE F***ING SERIES but I want to get in on the fad". It was poor and another waste. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother is in it, though.

I am sure I will come up with more franchises that need to stop or stopped too late, but we will have to wait. I don't want to follow in these films paths by stopping too late.

Or maybe I have already. Should I have ended the blog on that last paragraph? Oh, what the heck. Another line won't hurt.

Anyone watch Downton Abbey? They have dogs! I might review the two movies they did soon!

Downton Abbey has nothing to do with this article

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