Sequel Or Equal
Entertainment Weekly has some fun with the worst movie sequels. (Following EW trendiness, all of them were made this side of 1970.) It's hard to argue with most of the choices.
But then, it's easy enough to beat up on bad sequels. The idea of a sequel itself is bad. If a film is good, you probably already said what you had to say. Besides, it's some kind of miracle when everything comes together to make a hit--expecting to duplicate the experience is like hoping to get fire twice from a match.
I'm more troubled by their sidebar of good sequels. These do occur, occasionally, but I feel the implication is these films are better, and I don't agree.
Toy Story, while it may be Pixar's first feature, is still its best. Toy Story 2 is fine, but while it may be technologically superior, the first story is still fresher and more entertaining.
Godfather II is a great film, certainly, but it doesn't have the classic structure of the first Godfather.
Then there's the biggest mistake of all, placing The Empire Strikes Back above the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. Yes, Empire is wonderful, but A New Hope created the entire universe that Empire played around in. Empire is darker--that's the story--but it can't match the delight of the original.
When sequels are superior, it's usually because the original stinks. Star Treks II and IV are a lot of fun, but stay away from the first one. And I've always found Alien to be, for the most part, a cheap slasher film in outer space, while the sequel, Aliens, is a superior action film.