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Sliding Sequels

3 May 2012

While keeping an eye on a sick canine today (she has a corneal ulcer and needs regular medication), I noticed that the first Matrix film was on TV. I watched it, and it still holds up.

Then they followed it with Matrix: Reloaded. I made it through about ten minutes of that one before I said “meh” and turned off the TV.

It’s not that the second movie was all that bad, really. It was OK — it just wasn’t what a lot of us were expecting or wanted out of a second Matrix film, and the same goes for the third. It’s great that the first film stands on its own, and I’ll watch that one any day of the week… but I just can’t justify the time expense for all three.

Then I thought: “What if someone who really liked 47 Echo feels te same way about Supercritical?” I mean, I love the second book. But I doubt the Wachowski brothers looked at the second film when it was done and said “Eh, it’s all right, I guess.”

I showed Supercritical to a few beta readers, and I’m sure Reloaded screened before test audiences. My beta-reader feedback was good — even from some people who had been outspoken in not liking the first book. That’s how I knew I was on the right track.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough, as the book should release to critics and reviewers any day now. I’m optimistic — I think I’ve written a very decent story.

What about you, folks? Apart from the Matrix stories, which continuing stories disappointed you?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Nate permalink
    3 May 2012 1244

    I think the Highlander has probably been the most disappointing continuing story of them all. The first movie holds up on its own pretty well, but it’s a miracle that Highlander 2: The Quickening didn’t put a bullet in the franchise. It not only had an incomprehensible plot, but it demythologized everything there was to love about the original in the worst possible way.

    And after that, you hit all sorts of continuity problems. Highlander 3 wasn’t exactly terrible, but it more or less eliminated the possibility of Highlander 2 happening. By the time the fourth movie came out, I think we were more or less expected to just forget that 2 & 3 had happened to regard the events of the original film as being the beginning of The Gathering, rather than the end. Not only that, the series introduced a whole bunch of other elements of the mythos that just didn’t fit together with canon established in the movies. It was just a garbled mess.

    • 3 May 2012 1315

      And then there’s The Source, which is baffling and abysmal.

      • Nate permalink
        3 May 2012 1329

        Yeah, I’ve fallen asleep every time I’ve tried to watch that.

        You know, with all the franchise reboots happening lately, I’m surprised they haven’t rebooted the Highlander. There is so much to like about the concept, not to mention “there can be only one” is a catch phrase that could get a hell of a lot of mileage in a time wherein thoughts are often condensed into 140 characters or less.

      • 3 May 2012 1343

        I wouldn’t mind seeing a new version of Highlander, perhaps with Christopher Lambert in the Sean Connery role.

  2. Nate permalink
    3 May 2012 1320

    I would also add, that as one of the few people who still enjoys Matrix: Reloaded quite a bit, the latter two films are tainted by the “all this has happened before and will happen again” revelation that occurs in the scene with the Architect.

    That’s a plot device that has always felt like the lazy escape route of writers who came up with a cool idea that never had an endgame in place. I felt the same way about the somewhat-recent Battlestar Galactica series.

    • 3 May 2012 1339

      That’s an excellent point. “All this has happened before” kind of takes some of the punch out of the series. If Neo is just the next in a long line of people who were “The One,” it kills some of the tension in the story.

      • Nate permalink
        3 May 2012 1350

        Yes, exactly. It’s pretty much the reason I don’t have any interest in reading the new Dark Tower story that Stephen King recently released.

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