Thursday Movie Picks #54: Sequels

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy Thursday everyone! This is another entry to the weekly Thursday Movie Picks that’s spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog. Here’s the gist:

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… 


Since I have to pick only three out of a possible 10-20 sequels that have become my favorites, I have to set some sort of parameter to narrow things down. So for this particular list, I’m focusing on live-action movie sequels of the last decade. So that means I’ll be excluding some great animated movie sequels like Toy Story 2 and How To Train Your Dragon 2, as well as some of my all time favorites like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman II, X-Men 2, Terminator 2, The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, or even Spider-man II as that was released eleven years ago. Interestingly, I ended up picking three that are part of a trilogy (the final film of the rebooted ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie, War of the Planet of the Apes, is in the works for 2017).

So without further ado, here are my picks of three favorite sequels of the last 10 years:

Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless CIA official and his agents from a new assassination program while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer.

For some reason I had not reviewed any of the original Bourne trilogy but they certainly are superior than Bourne Legacy. For one thing, Jeremy Renner just isn’t charismatic or intriguing enough as a super spy. Matt Damon on the other hand, somehow fits the role of Jason Bourne perfectly. I actually wasn’t a big fan of the actor until I saw Bourne Identity, but Damon absolutely killed it as a trained killer. The final third chapter of Bourne’s journey is one relentless thrill ride, featuring some of the craziest car chases ever filmed thanks to Paul Greengrass’ phenomenal camera work. The film also benefited David Strathairn and Joan Allen’s performances in the supporting role. Plus the music by Moby is awesome, I’ve done a Music Break on that a couple of years ago.

s I….

The Dark Knight (2008)TMP_Sequels_TheDarkKnight

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice.

When you’re talking about best sequels of the last decade, you can’t possibly overlook this masterpiece by Christopher Nolan. I have seen it half a dozen times and I’m always in awe every single time. It’s SO much more than just popcorn entertainment, though there are fun action scenes abound like the awesome truck-flip sequence (one of those scenes I could watch over and over). But what really riled me up and stayed with me for days after is THIS interrogation scene between Batman & The Joker. Two of this generation’s finest actors together in one room, Christian Bale & Heath Ledger were in top form here, each giving an Oscar-caliber performance. Ledger won a Best Actor award posthumously, but even if he hadn’t passed away, he deserved at least a nomination for that riveting performance.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)TMP_Sequels_DawnPlanetApes

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

I never thought I’d like this *intelligent apes* story when I saw the first film, as I hadn’t even seen the original Charlton Heston movie by then. But I was so taken by Caesar’s story, played brilliantly by mo-cap maestro Andy Serkis. The second film proved to be an even more emotional journey for Caesar, I teared up on that scene when he saw the house he grew up in. The film isn’t perfect, i.e. what’s up with Gary Oldman’s screaming matches, but overall it was a truly immersive experience. Matt Reeves created a wonderfully atmospheric loaded with genuine suspense and terror, as gripping as it is emotionally-gratifying. [my full review]. Glad he’ll be back for the third film.


What do you think of my SEQUELS picks this week? Have you seen any of these films?

37 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #54: Sequels

  1. Cool picks. The Dark Knight? Absolutely! Using your criteria I would also toss in Cap America: The Winter Soldier. Can’t get enough of it.

    1. Hey Keith! I was thisclose to pick Winter Soldier, but I wanted a variety of picks, not just superhero movies. But yeah, I LOVE that film too, in fact I love both Captain America films.

      1. I figured that’s why it may have been left off. Variety is always good. Besides I know you’ve mentioned Winter Soldier quite a bit elsewhere.

  2. Speaking of spies, the original Bourne Trilogy is great, except I thought that the second one was the weakest if my memory is right. The Dark Knight and Dawn are amazing sequels that surpassed the initial film in the franchise by good margin for me. Great picks, I actually saw all these films haha.

    1. I think the entire Bourne trilogy is excellent. I like both kinds of spy films, once in a while it’s good to see the more realistic espionage film like A Most Wanted Man. But yeah, Bourne is fantastic because it’s full of action but also very smart & cerebral. Glad you agree w/ all my picks Eddie, high five!

  3. All great picks there, I’ve watched The Bourne Ultimatum (Supremacy is my favorite though) and The Dark Knight countless times. Dawn of the Apes was better than the first film but it still felt like a rush project because it was rushed into production. Thankfully for the third sequel, the studio is giving Reeves more time to work on it, so I have high hopes for next one.

    It’s going to be tough to just pick best sequels within the last decade, I think The Winter Soldier, Days of Future Past and Skyfall are my current favorites.

    1. I think I like Ultimatum just slightly more than Supremacy but both are superb. Yep, TDK is phenomenal, a masterpiece. Good to hear Reeves getting more time for the final ‘Apes’ film.

      Those are three excellent picks Ted, can’t argue w/ any of them!

  4. Bourne Ultimatum! Yes! And I LOVE The Dark Knight. It is quite simply the best sequel ever made and one of the best crime dramas ever made as well. I used it on a previous Thursday, so I didn’t go with it this week. But it is always the first one that comes up. I’ve never seen, nor desired to see, a Planet of the Apes movie. They just look sort of silly to me. I have heard the new ones are great though.

    1. Hi Kevin! Ahah, I used to think the same like you about the ‘Apes’ movies, but give it a shot, the newer one I mean, they’re surprisingly very good!

  5. Love all the Matt Damon Bourne films. I think the first is my favorite but I enjoyed all of them, with just one reservation-Julia Stiles as the European liaison. I’m not a fan of that particular actress but I think the casting of a mid-20’s performer was a bad choice. She’s supposedly the head of the network who is handling his situation in a foreign land, that would not be an American grad student. Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling or a host of other mature European actresses would have made more sense. Okay rant over, it’s just always seemed a weakness in an otherwise excellent series of films.

    I finally watched Dark Knight about a month ago and while I didn’t love it the film is well made with some good work. Ledger was quite brilliant in it.

    I’ve never seen your third choice. I watched all the original Planet of the Apes including the short lived TV series when I was a kid but after seeing the weak Mark Wahlberg version years ago it killed my interest in the new redos, especially with James Franco in the lead. I did consider the sequel to the original Charlton Heston Planet of the Apes when I was compiling my list but it’s been so long since I watched any of them I decided to look elsewhere.

    I did go waaaaaaaaay back for one of my picks but it was on when I was thinking of titles and having never seen it but being familiar with the original and it fitting the theme so well I gave it a shot. It was an interesting experience of a certain type of star power but not much else.

    Here’s my three (plus an extra I was sure would be everywhere but didn’t turn up at all):

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)-When a probe causes havoc throughout the galaxy the crew of the Starship Enterprise return via time travel to the San Francisco of the mid-eighties in search of a pair of humpback whales to repopulate the species and save the universe! Relying on a blend of humor and nostalgia this is one of the best sequels in the series.

    Father’s Little Dividend (1951)-In this sequel to Father of the Bride shortly after the wedding of the first film young bride Elizabeth Taylor announces that she is expecting a baby. Everyone one is delighted except granddad-to-be Spencer Tracy who goes into a tailspin. The gist of the film deals with how he works his way through the panic of impending grandfatherhood.

    Son of the Sheik (1926)-In his last film before his sudden death at 31 Rudolph Valentino plays a dual role of the sheik from the original film that made him a star and his son who falls in love with Egyptian dancing girl Yasmin-silent star Vilma Bánky, completely unconvincing as an Egyptian but apparently Valentino expressly requested her, who he is led to believe has betrayed him. Much riding through the desert and sword fights follow, an interesting artifact of a bygone era and a chance to see the man who was at the time the biggest star in the world but not much of a film.

    Honorable Mention-Aliens (1986)-In this brilliant kinetic sequel to Alien the recently awakened Ripley, after being in hyper sleep for 57 years, returns to LV-426 with a team of marines when contact with the human colony that has been established is lost. What follows is an action packed fun ride fantastically directed by James Cameron during which Sigourney Weaver could not be tougher and the cast that surrounds her offers terrific support.

  6. Dan

    Good picks Ruth. The Dark Knight really is incredible. Still haven’t caught up with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes yet though.

  7. I second your choice on Dawn of the planet of the apes…it was simply an amazing sequel! Love it a lot.

    I would add Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno in my list along with Terminator 2

    1. Glad you agree Nov! I’d have included T2 if I expanded my list beyond 10 yrs, that’s a bloody great sequel. They should’ve stopped there as the newer Terminator movies get worse and worse.

    1. Thanks Fernando! Oh you should see Bourne Ultimatum, I take it you’ve seen the previous two? It’s such an excellent trilogy. Glad you love my other two picks, yes they’re both amazing!

  8. abbiosbiston

    I’m a big fan of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. My list would have Aliens and Mad Max: The Road Warrior on it.

  9. Late to the post Ruth but The Dark Knight would be my number one pick by a great margin. Saw it like 4 times in the theater because I kept taking people to see it… in IMAX no less. LOL.

    Probably The Bourne Ultimatum too. Paul Greengrass brought his documentary style to the action movie to great success. Would love to see him make the book he co-wrote called Spycatcher about the candid exploits of Peter Wright, a former officer and Assistant Director with the MI5, from the mid 50’s to the mid 70’s. A really great read. Read it in one day!

    Even though I’ve been really impressed with The Planet of The Apes movies (especially with Andy Serkus as Caesar)… I’d pick The Raid 2. The story may leave a little to be desired but it puts most American action movies to shame when it comes to pure action. Kill Bill meets John Woo’s Hong Kong films with a touch of Oldboy. Awe inspiring cinematography and fight choreography. Violent to a fault… action movies don’t get more visceral than The Raid 2.

    1. Hello Dave! No such thing as a late comment my friend 😉

      That’s cool that you saw TDK four times on the big screen, wow. I saw TDKR on IMAX, boy that was a beauty. But TDK I think is the better film, and the best of the trilogy though I do have a soft spot for Batman Begins as it’s more about the hero and his journey to become one.

      I LOVE the Damon Bourne films and ULTIMATUM is freakin’ awesome. SOOO many great iconic action scenes in there. Oh I hadn’t heard about Spycatcher! Would you do a review of it and mention how you’d like Greengrass to adapt it into a film? I’d love to post that Dave, if you can find the time 😀

      Y’know, I wish I have the stomach for The Raid movies. After all it’s set in my hometown Jakarta and starred some Indonesian actors. But I don’t think I can handle SO much violence which I heard is extremely brutal.

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