My wife doesn’t understand ranking things that you like.
She will say silly, absurd things to me like “I don’t know; I just like things. I don’t care if I like it 5th much or 6th much. I just like it if I like it”.
What a foreign philosophy. Obviously you have to rank the things you like! Otherwise… how will you know where… they go… in your…heart? Let’s go with heart.
I’m obviously a big fan of lists and ordering things. It makes my brain happy to compartmentalize shit like that. Sure I like THIS thing, but… as much as I like THAT thing? Let’s consider! And then I do and agonize over minutiae for a while; IT’S GREAT.
But the thing is, for as much as I love lists, you can only get so much enjoyment out of doing them by yourself. Sure, here’s what I like; but what about other folks?
So to that end… I brought in some help. The Nomcast, So Wizard, and A Podcast About Something were all happy to jump on board for the first SWO Draft! I can’t thank them all enough; I love all of their work, and PLEASE check them out at the links in their names.
After going over my admittedly extensive list of topics to consider drafting, the four of us landed on the topic of: Best Movie Sequels. Sequels to great movies are such a hit-or-miss proposition. Sometimes, a sequel builds on what came before it and really sets up the story across a franchise. Sometimes a sequel will turn an idea on its head, change the genre entirely, and prove that you don’t have to stick to a formula to succeed. And sometimes a sequel can just feel like little more than cold leftovers.
We wanted to get into it and see which are the BEST.
We randomized the draft order and recorded our dialogue so that you can feel like you are RIGHT THERE in the action, making the choices with us! The transcript is below! So Wizard chose first and is denoted in red, the The Nomcast was second and is heralded by green, I was third and have no colorful flourish, and APAS had the fourth pick in blue.
Before we ease you into it, this draft brought up some conundrums! So here were our self-designated rules:
-ANY sequel in a series counts. We aren’t STRICTLY talking Part Two’s here.
-When a movie was selected from a series, that series was OFF THE TABLE to anyone else. So drafting Avengers: Endgame would have made it so no one could take Avengers: Infinity War or Age of Ultron.
-Series could be broken down into trilogies, etc. So, theoretically, there was an ability for THREE Star Wars movies to be drafted (Clones or Sith from the prequels, Empire or Jedi from the original, and whatever the last two were called from the sequel trilogy; I don’t watch Star Warses). Likewise, Creed isn’t a sequel to Rocky; it’s the starting point of a new series (and Creed 2 is a sequel that could be considered).
Does that help?
Too bad! Here’s the draft:
With the first pick in the draft, Joey from So Wizard Podcast selects The Empire Strikes Back.
There can be no other # 1 pick. My favorite movie of all time improves on its absolute classic predecessor in every respect. So many classic, iconic moments there is no better sequel in the history of recorded film.
With the 2nd pick in this movie sequel draft, Andrew from The NOMCAST selects Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It’s the best movie of 1991. It’s the best James Cameron movie. It’s the best Schwarzenegger movie in a career FILLED with big budget action blockbusters. It’s a 30 year old movie who’s special EFX STILL stand out and hold up. Incredible performances. Dialogue that permeated pop culture in a big way. HASTA LA VISTA, OTHER DRAFTERS!
Fuck that’s a good pick.
Damn! I was hoping terminator 2 would fall to me.
Sorry, fellas! SKYNET 4 LIFE! That movie was PRO-Robot takeover, right? It’s super old now.
T2 was definitely in my consideration for first pick, and I am glad Empire is off the table so I don’t get shit on for not picking it.
With the third pick on the draft, Stew from the SWO picks… The Dark Knight.
This draft is littered with GREAT options for the first two rounds, and while I was hoping to get T2, I have zero qualms whatsoever with ending up with Nolan’s follow up to Batman Begins instead. I think BB itself is typically underrated, but it just doesn’t have any performances of the caliber of Ledger or Eckhart, so I get why DK is considered the better movie. DK is arguably the greatest comic book movie ever made, and yeah… I am sure it won’t come back to me in round two.
I couldn’t not pick Empire. It’s my favorite movie of all time. Still chasing the dragon from going to see it in theaters when I was 4.
I have never sat through the entirety of it. I assumed I had at some point in my life, but my wife watched it about two years ago and I walked in. I had NO IDEA there was a yeti in it!
Empire was my #1 as well, so it’s the right choice, Joey.
Shit, both of my first picks are gone! I thought it would be ESB, Aliens, and Spiderman 2 in some order. I’ve got to restrategize, I’ll have a pick shortly.
We got him on the ropes!
As in… punch him in the stomach, not… drinks.
Aliens is definitely one of them, but Spiderman 2 is not so I’ve gotta figure something out.
Remember you have two picks in a row! Come back strong.
With the 4th pick of the 1st annual sequel draft, the delegate from A Podcast About Something selects (drumroll): Aliens!
I’m honestly surprised Aliens was available here, but I’ll sure as hell take it! Aliens is not a better movie than Alien, but it did something that few sequels have been able to do successfully. It completely switched genres. Going from the slasher in space to straight up space war but still keeping all of the intensity and suspense of the original is not an easy feat, but Aliens pulls it off with ease. Add in the emotional weight of Ripley’s bond with Newt and some stellar space marine secondary characters and you have one of the greatest action movies and sequels of all time!
Aliens is 100% better than Alien, though. But good pick.
With the 1st pick of the second round, I’m going to take a big series off the board with (drumroll again): Avengers (wait for it)… Infinty War! That’s right, now no one else can take Age of Ultron or more likely Endgame, so take that suckers!
Avengers Infinity War is the superior sequel in the Avengers series, because it’s the Empire Strikes Back of the Avengers series, which we’ve already proved is the number 1 draft pick (rightfully so) of the sequel league. Infinity War is great because it leaves the audience with so many questions: will our favorite heroes ever return? How can they? Can the remaining heroes defeat Thanos? What will the world look like with half the population? Can there be a return to normal after an event like this? Was Thanos right? Does any of it even matter? Endgame answers all of these questions, but I would contend that asking the questions is narratively more significant than answering them. Audiences want to leave a theater with thoughts and feelings about what they just witnessed and Infinity War provided all of that and more with its ending, not to mention the rest of the movie is a top tier superhero movie in its own right. Some of Tony Stark’s best quips are featured in this movie, Tom Holland adds in a forceful turn as Peter Parker in space (referencing my first pick), and we get the return of the Steve/Bucky bromance. Infinity War is amazing.
Fucker!!! Hahaha. I was hoping to steal that later on.
I have a strategy to try to win this, it hinged on T2 and TDK but I think i shifted nicely here.
NO NO NO I thought for SURE I could get Endgame here! You’ve ruined everything!
You should’ve taken it instead of TDK.
I saw you picked, and I didn’t even look at WHAT you chose; I just started researching online scores for Endgame and IW to see which was regarded better. Then I opened this chat and saw the word “Thanos” in your message. MY HEART SANK!
Okay, I know what I WANT to take for pandering purposes, but I can’t personally justify it, so I’ll hold off. With the second pick in the second round, I select… Logan.
Seriously… who saw this flick coming? Fox had mishandled the X-franchise for YEARS by the time the third Wolverine solo movie are out, and I’m pretty sure all we could realistically have hoped for was for it to be adequate. What we got instead was one of the most emotionally charged and well-built comic book films of all time. Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen all put on POWERHOUSE performances. The story eschews action for action’s sake, and instead makes its characters wholly realized humans with struggles and relationships. It’s dark, but hopeful. Funny, yet heartbreaking. And as for what action it DOES have? The reveal of what Laura can do is up there with the airport scene in Civil War for all-time great CBM bits.
My 2nd round is pure strategy even though I really like this movie and I think it’s one of the best MCU movies ever: CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER This movie was such a big upgrade from Captain America: The First Avenger. It has a 70’s spy thriller inspired plot, a great use of HYDRA, Robert Fucking Redford, & some of the best action set pieces around (Elevator Fight anyone?). The Bucky reveal in the highway scene is also amazing. This is a great movie and a great way to take away Civil War.
Aahhhh you fucker.
I feel like round 2 is just going to be taking away series from everyone else and I love the pettiness!!
Well I get two picks now so for the first one I take The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers!!!!!
I’m surprised it took this long.
The best mass battle in cinematic history with Helms Deep, the best chapter in an incredible trilogy.
For my third pick I take the superior sequel to Raiders, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Sean Connery as Dad, the best adventure in the series. It’s Indiana Jones perfection.
Big ups to So Wizard for going far away from my draft board.
Ok NOW I’m mad.
I did have Last Crusade, but I had it pegged as a fourth rounder. Maybe.
It was my pick if I wasn’t going for strategy. Thought you nerds would have skipped that one for a while (Yes I am also a nerd).
I need to rewatch last crusade I’ve only seen it once like 20 years ago. I was doing an Indy rewatch early last year but my legally adjacent copy of Last Crusade was very low quality and I couldn’t get through the first 5 minutes.
My 3rd pick is DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE! The superior sequel to Die Hard 2, DHWAV is such a great cat & mouse game that sprawls all over the more edgy version of NYC in the 90s. Excellent Samuel L. Jackson performance. A movie that was not even supposed to be a Die Hard film, but was adapted to include the John McClane storyline. It’s fun. Best Hangover film pre-The Hangover. Love it.
I feel like every die hard movie after with a vengeance was also not supposed to be a die hard movie but they just shove McClane into it.
Haha could be the case. Sometimes that works amazingly. 21 Jump Street is another example of a great film that only got made bc they adapted it for that IP. The Die Hard sequels past DHWAV are such trash though.
I am left with a really hard choice because there is stuff on the table I did not expect to see there. Do I pick to win or do I pick to mine own self, be true? Hmm.
Blah. I could have gone back and forth forever. With my third pick, I select Thor: Raganrok.
We are already three sequels deep into the MCU! But after two middling Thor movies, Taika Waititi took the reigns of the franchise and gave us a wild, hilarious, epic journey that managed to squeeze in so much—Planet Hulk, Hela, Valkyrie, The Grandmaster, Surtur. It was a blast and never felt as busy as it should have with everything involved.
Not on my list, but definitely some amazing set pieces. The Rainbow Bridge fight & the Thor/Hulk Faceoff are both awesome sequences that will live on in my mind.
Now that it looks like the MCU is mostly out of the way (let’s be real no one is picking an Iron Man sequel), I want to have some fun with my middle round picks and then finish the draft with a hammer. For the final pick of the 3rd round (drumroll, flashing lights, horns, and any other noise you can make… 2 Fast, 2 Furious!
This is by no means the best sequel to be drafted today, and it’s probably not even the best in its franchise (shout out Fast 5), but there isn’t a more fun movie than the return of Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner with new friends Eva Mendes, Ludicrus, and the 2nd best Fast Family member Tyrese Gibson (shout out Han) galavantng around the land of fast cars and beautiful women, Miami FL. 2 Fast 2 Furious ups the octane and never takes itself too seriously, it’s immensely fun and I dare you not to smile when Tyrese screams “Ejecto Seato, cuz!”
God dammit I was going to grab Fast Five.
I can honestly say I had no FF movie on my board, haha.
I just want to ask because I decided I won’t take it since I haven’t ever actually watched it, but… we all know Godfather Part II exists, right?
Never saw it.
Never seen it.
Haha everyone is going to stop reading this article right there!
I fell asleep 7 times Godfather, didn’t think I needed to try the rest.
I saw the original when I was a kid, but I have never watched it since then and never caught Part II. Gangster movies are a HUGE blind spot for me. I also have never gotten past the first twenty minutes of Goodfellas. Never saw Casino.
I like the idea of gangster movies and then anytime I watch one I get incredibly bored incredibly fast.
Godfather II is on my list. It’s better than Godfather 1 to me by a smidge. I still like Goodfellas more than both of them and I get shit for that all the time.
For the first pick of the 4th, we are staying in Miami (and we’ll eschew the drumroll here in exchange for police sirens): Bad Boys 2.
If you want a fun movie, watch one set in Miami. It’s impossible not to have fun in a Miami movie and Bad Boys 2 cranks all of the Miami-ness up to 11. There are clearly some issues in movie critics circles with Michael Bay and I get it, but damn he made a beautiful Miami movie here. Start with the charisma of prime Will Smith and just barely starting his decline Martin Lawrence and prime Gabrielle Union and mix in the second greatest highway chase scene in movie history (shout out Matrix Reloaded) and top it off with the Michael Bay-ness and you’ve got movie that I will stop everything I’m doing to watch anytime it’s on.
Bad Boys 2 is dope AF. Shout out to Henry Rollins haha
Bad Boys 2 just makes me think of Hot Fuzz. That DOES make me happy, though.
We are officially in the next tier of my draft board, so I could go in about seven different directions. But you know what? When there is no more room in round 4, the dead shall walk my next pick. I will be selecting 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. An absolute brilliant and classic horror film with great tension and a solid take down of capitalism and consumerism that holds up even better today. To me, it’s somehow even better than it’s predecessor, Night of the Living Dead. The claustrophobic mall environment and the crazy scene with the biker gang. This movie is so damn fun.
Ok so I’ll take that off the table and go with …
Montalbon is awesome in it. One of the best Sci-Fi bad guys. Spock’s death is in an incredibly touching scene. It’s my favorite Star Trek film by far.
Good pick. That was coming up for me.
It’s almost more or a remake than a true sequel but it’s a classic of horror/comedy, as funny as it is scary. Filled with awesome practical effects and iconic lines and moments, this is Evil Dead 2.
Damn. You guys are vulturing all my picks now. Although I might have gone AoD instead of ED2.
My last pick no one will have. While it’s predecessor was a B movie classic, this is a Bad movie classic. More fever dream than coherent movie, you get breakdance battles, mines, broken limbs cured by the power of dance, and Lucinda Dickey without a bra for the majority of the film…. BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.
Sorry it’s a personal favorite and it was that it Grease 2.
Hey, you do you! I definitively know my next pick unless Nom steals it.
Ok so my next pick is The Godfather Part II. The first sequel to ever win Best Picture at the Oscars. The Italy backstory with DeNiro as a young Brando is solid gold. Fredo’s betrayal. The constantly parodied “I know it was you” speech and Fredo’s death on the fishing boat. All classic stuff from one our best filmmakers in Coppola.
I mean, yeah. Godfather Part II is good. It may even be a top 5 movie of all time. But you know what it doesn’t have?
THE SONG DREAM WARRIORS!
Obviously with my 5th round selection, I will take THE BEST Nightmare on Elm Street movie: Part 3: Dream Warriors! It has a great song. It perfectly balances the scary Freddy with the snarky Freddy. It has such iconic kills (“Welcome to Prime Time, bitch!”, the drug overdose, the marionette, and even the worm monster that doesn’t kill anyone). It was the peak of the franchise before it became TOO jokey and campy.
DREAM WARRIORS! I don’t wanna dream no more!
For these last 2 picks I have to reassert my dominance in a push to actually win this thing, so for the last pick of round 5 (drumroll): Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi.
This pick will most likely alienate some people, but I’m ok with that because TLJ is quite possibly the best Star Wars movie ever. It’s hard to contend with a top 5 lightsaber battle (Duel of the Fates will always be #1) and one of the most hauntingly beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie (the Holdo maneuver). The Last Jedi takes everything you thought you knew about Star Wars and turns it on its head, and I’m here to say, that’s a good thing. The best sequels expand the world of the original(s) in new and exciting ways while creating higher stakes and dramatic tension and TLJ does all of these things perfectly.
We need to start the final round off right, and it’s a travesty that this movie hasn’t been selected yet (get your engine up to 88mph): Back To The Future II!!!! Back to the Future II is the perfect mixture of objectively good and still wildly entertaining. This surprisingly prescient movie expands on BTTF lore by tricking out the DeLorean and taking us 30 years into the future (or 5-6 years into the past depending on how you look at it). Marty and Doc overcome a number of obstacles to restore the balance to their timeline(s) while also giving inventors a nice template for future technology (shout out to bad 3D movies, reverse shout out to voice activated appliances, and I’m still waiting on a REAL hoverboard). Back To The Future II is the only way to kick off this final round and I’m glad I got to be the one to do it.
All right, rounding out Team SWO here, I am going to have to select Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban. The HP movies had kind of an inauspicious start with Stone and Chamber, and the quality dipped substantially from Prince through the ending. But for a stretch from Azkaban to Order of the Phoenix, they had some great flicks. I’ll take the strongest of them, Prisoner of Azkaban as my last pick. This one actually had some proper terror after the first few were more light, and the actors were all truly coming into their own here.
For my last pick, I am picking my all-time favorite comedy sequel and one of my favorite all-time comedies that is OVERFILLED with jokes and PACKED with some of our finest comic actors: WAYNE’S WORLD 2. Myers & Carvey are even better in this one than they are in the original. Christopher Walken replaces Rob Lowe as the prestigious counter to Wayne trying to steal Cassandra away. An outstanding Chris Farley performance. Waynestock, Kevin Pollack’s weird eye, Charleton Heston, & a finale that spoofs the entire ending from The Graduate. And I didn’t even mention one of the best Kim Bassinger performances that definitely deserves multiple SCHWINGS! I love this movie and I don’t care who knows it. Zang!
My last pick is still Grease 2. CLEARLY the superior Grease film, it’s an all time bad movie classic. Despite not examining the impact of flying cars on society after the first movie, we get better (worse) songs, a worse story, Michelle Pfeiffer riding a ladder like a motorcycle and more.
This is the only way this draft could have ended and should have ended.
I’m just glad we all got some bad movies in there!
Didn’t quite keep up with all that? No worries! I made some handy-dandy cheat sheets:
A PODCAST ABOUT SOMETHING
By the way: the vote isn’t over yet! You’ve got 24 more hours to get in and choose your favorite. And, uh, APAS and I could really use your help!
And while you are there, let us know what you think! Who did the best? What was the biggest steal? What movie or series did we forget entirely?! Let us know in the comments!
Until next time… take care!