The 5: The Remarkable Sequel

This Week on The 5:  Worthy Sequels


Story by Leslie Coffin

Its the summer of sequels, but there are some which don’t deal with space, superheroes, or cars. Some are remarkable human dramas which use the time difference to allow the filmmakers, actors and audience to extend and grow with the characters and have turned remarkable films into true classics. Here are five of the most impressive uses of the sequel in film.

The Before Trilogy

Released against not one but two sequels this Memorial Weekend, Before Midnight is the latest, but apparently not the last in the Richard Linklater romances. Before Sunrise focused on 90s era “slackers” and Before Sunrise showed the same characters as young adults building lives of their own, Before Midnight is the first to show the characters of Jess and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) in a longterm relationship. Each film deals with only one day on vacation in their lives, and according to Linklater, he would like to keep coming back to the characters every decade of their lives to see where they are in their lives and relationship. There is one other part of this series, a segment featuring the characters in the experimental rotoscope film Waking Life.

. . .

Godfather Part 1 and 2

How can you not include The Godfather films in a list of great sequels. The incredible thing about The Godfather pairing is each can stand on their own as pure pieces of classic cinema. But when watched together (preferably in one sitting), there is a depth which is specific to that experience. And what’s more impressive is the fact that the prequel within Godfather 2 about Vito’s journey to America not only adds depth to what you’ve just seen of Brando’s Vito, but the comparisons made to Vito and Michael’s love of the family turns the mob movie into one of the great stories of an American family. Sure Part 3 isn’t great, but lets all ignore it and just think of the greatest sequel ever made.

. . .

Toy Story Trilogy

Ironically, for a lot of audiences and critics, Toy Story 3 was the best in the series. If you don’t like cartoon movies, there is no reason to look at these films. However Toy Story accomplished two things of great importance in the family film marketplace. Pixar maintained the quality of story, animation, and voice talents in an increasing direct-to-dvd system. And they told a story about growing up which would allow kids who first saw Toy Story in theaters connect to and share with their children.

. . .

The Up Series

The documentary series by Michael Apted (originally Paul Almond) is already on their 8th film and shows know signs of stopping. Every seven years, Apted and his crew turn their cameras on the same group of former seven year olds to check in on their lives. Divorce, financial struggles, mental problems, professional achievements and disappointments are all addressed in the interviews, sometimes with the participants getting upset that they are disrupting their lives and some have even refused to participate. But each film is a fascinating snapshot of aging and the time in history, and in recent films provides a study on the long term effects of reality fame.

. . .

The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

It is the film which brought the French New Wave to the public, but Francis Truffaut wasn’t done with his protagonist after 400 Blows, his autobiographic tale of a preteen French school boy. After becoming one of the most successful French filmmakers in history, he reunited with former child actor Jean Pierre Leaud, and turned him into the iconic face of French cinema for the world. From childhood drama to romantic comedy-dramas, they made the short film “Love at 20 (aka Antoine and Colette),” and feature films “Stolen Kisses,” “Bed and Board,” and “Love on the Run.” Audiences watched him go from delinquent child to immature young man to unprepared husband and father, always referencing back to the selfish child being ignored by his mother and “father.”


  1. YotaruVegeta

    June 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    The Up series could be my favorite film series period, and I don’t even like watching documentaries.

    • Mister Obvious

      June 5, 2013 at 2:42 am

      YotaruVegeta yeah when that house takes off into the sky because so many balloons are tied to it…magic

  2. Glynyrd

    June 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

    No love for Back to the Future!?


      June 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Back to the Future was more like installments of one movie, wasn’t it?

  3. DBA

    June 5, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Bill and ted 2 was superior.

  4. FanBoy1

    June 5, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Waynes world?

  5. Maybrick

    June 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Horror movie speaking.
    Friday the 13th 2 (1981)
     Aliens (1986)
    Dawn of the Dead (1978)  
    Day of the Dead (1985)

    Psycho 2 (1983)  Laugh if you want to, it’s a great movie.

  6. FanBoy1

    June 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Empire strikes back.

  7. shrekkalove

    June 5, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Paradise Lost series (about the West Memphis Three)

  8. psumek

    June 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Now Die Hard w/ a Vengeance is my favorite of the three(I don’t recognize the latest two abortions).  Maybe I just like Sam Jackson.

  9. Kendall in Texas

    June 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Teen Wolf 2.

  10. Saskopite

    June 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I preferred “Debbie does Ft. Worth” to the original. Though really they are basically the same movie.

  11. BadNewsJeff

    June 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    No love for the squeakqual?

  12. TheBMD1

    June 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Caddy Shack 2 is remarkably bad, but that still makes it a remarkable sequel, right?

  13. RonsCigar

    June 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Why was Godfather III left off?! Just when I thought I was out, they pull me right back in!

  14. FanBoy1

    June 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Clerks 2?

  15. Vickroy

    June 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Ever hear of Madea? WTF
    (I’m proud to say I’ve never seen one Tyler Perry movie)

  16. Narc Zito

    June 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    You missed the Matrix sequels?  EPIC FAIL.

    • FanBoy1

      June 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Narc Zito no they didnt.

  17. Dewan grotzky

    June 8, 2013 at 1:23 am

    The Ethan Hawke movies are really fuckin great,, if you have any depth of intelligence check then out