January 2013 + 5 Films That Deserve Sequels

I’ve decided to give these monthly updates a mini overhaul for 2013, to make them more interesting and engaging for you, dear reader. That means a variety of regular sections beyond just the list of films I watched. I’ll introduce them as we go, so without further ado…

What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

I introduced this the other day, so look there for a full explanation. Naturally enough, I’ll be giving monthly updates on my progress.

So, I know, the suspense must have been killing you since Monday — but I can now reveal that this month’s selection from the “12 for 2013” is… City Lights.

I’m not intending to progress through the films in any particular order, but this is both the oldest (1931) and shortest (83 minutes on PAL DVD). Next in age is Bicycle Thieves, and in length is… Bicycle Thieves. So, there you go.

January’s films

The full list for January includes…

It Happened One Night#1 Underworld: Awakening (2012)
#2 It Happened One Night (1934)
#2a A Trip to the Moon (1902)
#3 The Extraordinary Voyage (2011)
#4 Django (1966)
#5 Underdog (2007)
Dredd#6 Dredd (2012)
#7 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part II (2013)
#7a You Only Live Twice (1967)
#8 Armored Car Robbery (1950)
#9 The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)
#10 City Lights (1931)


Rather than just list the films, isn’t it more interesting to try to ascertain what — if anything — that means? I think so. So here’s putting that in perspective, as to how I normally get on and the such like.

Sometimes statistics can be very revealing, displaying correlations you might not expect but are evidently there. Unfortunately, my January viewing is not one of those times. You might think how many films I watched, or even how quickly I watched my first film, would be an indicator of how high my final tally will be, but past years show this just isn’t the case. For example, on four years I’ve watched film #1 on New Year’s Day — 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012. Their respective totals were 129, 100, 94 and 97. The two years I didn’t (2010 and 2011) were my most successful Januarys ever, both reaching 12 films. In 2010 my final total was 122; in 2011, it was 100.

With a total of 10 for January, 2013 stands two ahead of target pace (the speed which would see me reach precisely 100 films in precisely 365 days), is double 2008 and 2009, and equal to last year. Should I keep up this pace, I’ll end the year having seen 120 new films. Then again, one of the few correlations you can see is that January’s total has never been an accurate indicator of my average viewing.

But hey, there’s a first time for everything.

Finally, each month I’m going to compile an informal little list on a topic inspired by a film (or films) in that month’s viewing. This month it’s…

5 Films That Deserve Sequels

  1. Dredd
    DreddFans have waited decades for a decent cinematic translation of the iconic 2000 AD lawman, and they finally got it last year. The filmmakers mooted a trilogy; the pathetic US box office take seemed to put the brakes on that; but now it’s doing great business on DVD and Blu-ray. Who knows if we’ll get a sequel, then, but the exciting future world depicted in the first film deserves further exploration.
  2. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-SecAnother mooted trilogy that seems to be in limbo — when you look into the first film, no obvious quotes crop up denying a sequel, but the first was released in 2010 and there’s no sign of a follow-up being in the works. I don’t know how well it went down in its native France, but I thought it was a daft, exciting, funny entertainment and I’d love to see more.
  3. Eastern Promises
    Eastern PromisesA sequel has been on and off ever since David Cronenberg’s London-set Russian gangster thriller gained some popularity on its release back in 2007. Though the original resolves its main plot, it leaves many others tantalisingly dangling. I only quite liked the film, but I was left salivating at the potential for some kind of crime epic held by a continuation.
  4. The X Files: I Want to Believe
    The X Files I Want to BelieveI don’t really mean a sequel to the standalone(-ish) second X Files movie, but a third film in the series — more a direct sequel to the first movie and the end of the TV series. 2012 would’ve been the perfect year for it, but a poor critical and box office reception for the second film (coming up to five years ago now) seems to have killed any chance.
  5. Unbreakable
    UnbreakableM. Night Shyamalan’s leftfield take on the superhero genre is, for my money, the best of his films. Ever since it first came out he’s talked about how the entire movie was originally just act one of a longer piece, and that he might produce the rest as the next two films in a trilogy. Instead, he’s made numerous unrelated but increasingly bad films. Time to return to your last great one, M.?

And one that doesn’t — well, shouldn’t get one:

    Toy Story 3
    Toy Story 3As Christopher Nolan said while describing his decision to make The Dark Knight Rises, “how many good sequels are there? …are there any great second sequels?” Whether he bottled lightning three times is widely open for debate, but there’s little doubt that Pixar managed it. Toy Story is a brilliant film; in my estimation, Toy Story 2 is even better; and Toy Story 3 is their equal, a beautiful capper to a generation-defining trilogy. So if managing to make a good sequel is rare, and managing to make a good second sequel is nigh impossible, why even consider trying it again? Nonetheless, there’s been rumours of a fourth Toy Story. I sincerely hope it never happens.

Agree? Disagree? That’s what there’s a comments section for! Which films do you think should (or, indeed, shouldn’t) get the sequel treatment?

Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

The year’s shortest month is often one of my best for total viewing, usually finishing in the low to mid twenties. How will 2013 fare? It can’t be any worse than 2009, when I only reached seven.

Plus, it’s the Oscars, which means I’ll sign up for Sky Movies for a bit at some point. Actually, that’s probably why February usually does so well…

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