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July 08, 2009


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Tung Yin

James Cameron did a nifty job with "Aliens." It's a little hard to compare it to "Alien," since the first one is more of a pure sci-fi horror flick, while the sequel is an adrenaline-charged thriller. For me, though, "Alien" is kind of boring to watch after the first time, whereas "Aliens" has holds up on repeated viewings.

I'd also say that "Goldfinger" (aka James Bond #3) was clearly superior to "Dr. No," and probably ranks as the best Bond movie ever. And if you subdivide within Bond movies to focus only on the Pierce Brosnan ones, then "Tomorrow Never Dies" (Brosnan Bond #2) was better than "Goldeneye." Similarly, "Licence to Kill" (Timothy Dalton Bond #2) was better than "The Living Daylights."

And finally, "The Empire Strikes Back" (Star Wars #5, but #2 per actual release order) was better than "A New Hope." If you go by George Lucas's chronology, then the second movie, "Attack of the Clones" -- while putridly bad -- was still much better than the disaster known as "The Phantom Menace."

Jacqueline Lipton

Nice to hear from you, Tung. I take your point re Aliens although I'd have to beg to differ on The Empire Strikes back. I really liked the first Star Wars the best (ie the first one made, not the stupid Part 1 that came later on). What's your take on "Return of the Jedi"? Also must agree on Tomorrow Never Dies, although Goldeneye did grow on me when I watched it again on TV...


Damn! I was going to mention the James Bond movies. On the other hand, Len Deighton's Harry Palmer films became looser after the great "Ipcress File". So that leaves me with Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns, "Fistful of Dollars", "A Few Dollars More", and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". And the last was particularly insightful on aspects of the Civil War, helped by superb music from Morricone.

Colin Miller

Before Sunset
The Bourne Supremacy
Gremlins 2
The Godfather: Part II
Dawn of the Dead
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Evil Dead II
Batman Returns
Spider-Man 2

Jacqueline Lipton

Okay, I have to grant you Batman Returns and Spiderman 2 (and maybe, just maybe, Gremlins 2), but X2? Really? (I still have Before Sunrise and Before Sunset on my Netflix list so I'll have to trust you on that one.)

Colin Miller

I don't think it's a perfect gauge, but Rotten Tomatoes has X-Men at 80% fresh with an average rating of 6.9/10 and X2 at 88% fresh with an average rating of 7.5/10. Personally, I think that X-Men suffered a bit from being gutted (there are a lot of deleted scenes on the DVD, and Singer has talked about being unsatisfied with the final cut based upon all of the edits he had to make) while X2 is a more complete movie.

Also, I would highly recommend Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, especially if you generally enjoy Richard Linklater's movies.

Jacqueline Lipton

Now I'll have to take out the X-Men DVD and look at the deleted scenes - this blog has really turned out to be educational for me in many unexpected ways!

Colin Miller

If you're really interested in all that went on with X-Men, there is also the special edition, X-Men 1.5

But I think that the regular DVD has all of the deleted scenes.


I thought Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey was, frankly, pretty bogus. (The first one was amusing and sometimes very clever, but the second was pretty tedious and failed to get as much out of it's 7th seal jokes as it should have.)

I thought The Road Warrior was better than Mad Max. But how can you not like a movie that features "The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla", the Lord Humungus.


Arguable candidates:

Godfather, Part II
Lord of the Rings, Return of the King
The new Star Trek movie (if it counts as a "sequel")

Kim Krawiec

I second (third) the votes for Godfather II. Don't know that I'd say it was better than the first (personally, I didn't care so much for the Lake Tahoe story line, but loved the "early Vito" flashbacks), but it was darn good and a lot better than okay. Don't get me started on III, though. I won't allow the trilogy box set in the house.

Tung Yin

"Return of the Jedi" was pretty good for the first 40 minutes (the Jabba the Hut sequence) and then became wildly uneven. The absolute ridiculousness of the Ewoks wiped out the intense darkness of the Luke-Darth Vader fight.

Someone else mentioned Bill and Ted -- I saw "Bogus Journey" first and liked it quite a bit, and found "Excellent Adventure" bland by comparison.

Also, "Superman 2" > "Superman" (speaking of the original Christopher Reeves version).

David Bernstein

Rambo was better than First Blood.

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