Screenplay

[First draft, but I think it only really needs a light polish…]

INT Mission control room, lots of scanners and a big map of the world on one wall, overlaid with the path of a satellite or two in whatever that orbit is called. Let’s have two SCIENTISTS and a GENERAL
SCIENTIST 1: Sir, it appears that China have just launched a satellite.
GENERAL: Do we know what was on it?
SCIENTIST 2: No sir, but state media are claiming it is important for ensuring the security of the Chinese people
GENERAL: What does that mean?
CUT TO shot of Chinese spy satellite; CUT TO CHINESE SCIENTISTS watching footage of troops guarding Fort Knox or whatever. CUT TO another satellite with Chinese writing on dropping out of the sky and landing at Fort Knox. Chinese looking soldiers emerge, overpower the guards, and steal all of the gold, which they take in a convoy of lorries.

INT Pentagon. Various HIGH-RANKING TYPES are arguing. PRESIDENT ERIC LASSARD enters, carrying a goldfish in a bowl, places it on the table.
PRESIDENT LASSARD: Gentlemen, it appears that a very, very bad thing has been done. What are we going to do about it?
ARMY GUY: I say we nuke Shanghai!
PRESIDENT LASSARD: What has Portugal got to do with this?
AIDE: Shanghai is in China, sir.
PRESIDENT LASSARD: Right, yes, of course. Can we nuke China?
AIDE: It would be suicidal, sir. China would surely retaliate in kind, and wipe us off the face of the earth.
PRESIDENT LASSARD: (thinks, looks at fish)
NASA BOSS: The attack came from space, sir. I suggest we send a team into orbit to find the spy satellite and disable it.
PRESIDENT LASSARD: Excellent suggestion!
Everyone starts shouting at once.
PRESIDENT LASSARD: Quiet, gentlemen. I have decided. And so we shall send a team into space, to find out who did this thing, and to stop them from doing it again.

EXT New York Street. CAPTAIN TACKLEBERRY is on patrol. He hears message on the radio about a grocery store robbery, and pulls out a RIDICULOUS GUN and steps out of the car. He then gets another message:
RADIO (HOOKS): Tackleberry, Tackleberry! It’s President Lassard. He wants us to report immediately to Kennedy Space Center!

Titles:

POLICE ACADEMY
IN SPACE

DeLorean Stats

In the climactic scene of 1985’s Back to the Future, Doc Brown says he’s calculated the precise distance Marty has to drive the DeLorean in order to hit the wire strung across the road at 88 miles per hour at the exact moment the lightning hits the clock tower (anyone who hasn’t seen BTTF: SPOILERS, also  (b) HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED THIS?) taking into account the “acceleration speed and wind resistance”.

Anyway, this got me thinking. How does Doc know what the acceleration/aerodynamic stats of a DeLorean are? It’s not like he can look them up in 1955. And even if he could, the Time Machine DeLorean has been so heavily modified the book stats would be useless. And Marty’s only experience of driving it was while he was being chased by Libyan terrorists, and the film doesn’t show him checking the 0-90 on a stopwatch.

There is only one explanation: in a deleted scene, Doc spends several hours during the middle of the night (so he won’t be seen) hooning the DeLorean around the back streets of Hill Valley calculating the necessary figures. Perhaps alongside his mad scientist character, he is also a sportscar obsessive – he does say that he built the Time Machine into a DeLorean at least partially to do it in style.

Is it too late to get a spin-off series where Doc Brown travels through time to race various sports cars from different eras? TV Companies: this is what we all want to see, I’m pretty sure.

Sequeltology IV: The Finals

Here, here, here and here. And now we’re here – the semi finals, and further down, the grand final to decide what the best sequel of all time is.

Semi Final 1:

Godfather Part II vs Empire Strikes Back

Two men struggling under the shadow of their father and his intentions for what they should become, trying to be clean and right, but battered by the forces of the universe. So far, so equal. But ESB has our hero lose his hand, and the other heroes betrayed and trapped, imprisoned in carbonite. How are you going to top that, Godfather? Oh, right, Michael is betrayed by his own brother, his wife tells him the baby she lost was aborted because she didn’t want to bring another child into the life they have. What’s that? Oh, and Robert de Niro as young Vito, yeah. Not that it’s fair on Empire to compare young Vito with young Anakin in the prequels but someone just got stabbed in the guts as they were enjoying the late afternoon sun.

Semi final 2:

Terminator 2 vs Toy Story 3

Humanity contains the seed of its own destruction, yeah? No fate but what we make? Skynet, yeah? But Terminator has some genuinely touching scenes (although it could do without some of Sarah Connor’s voiceover nonsense) and the final fight in the  steelworks is amazing every time. Toy Story 3 doesn’t really get to the same level of tension ever (and no one gets stabbed in the eye as they’re drinking a coffee) but it does complete the journey of a group of characters that we really love in a way that is completely satisfying – everyone gets what they deserve, which may be Hollywood, but it is a film. The problem T2 has as a sequel is that it’s pretty hard to really love Sarah, who is a tad obsessive, and she’s the only character who was in the first film. And again, it’s hard to blame Terminator 2 for the later films in the series, but still, it should have been the end.

So, we have our final. And it’s controversial! Is it? Who cares!

Godfather Part II vs Toy Story 3

Does an animated film featuring the adventures of a toy cowboy have what it takes to face the might of one of the most powerful mob families in the US? Can Buzz Lightyear succeed where Hyman Roth failed? No, don’t be stupid. This whole thing is stupid. The Godfather Part II is one of the best films ever made. Toy Story 3 is great and all, but it can only cover a fraction of the range of human emotions because it’s made to be watched by children. And 95% of the characters are toys. They’re toys with characters, yes, but still.

Winner: Godfather Part II, obviously.

Sequeltology 3

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8305649/tournament-determine-greatest-movie-sequel-all-time

OK, Grantland, best sequel of all time. And I can’t count. Round One, Round Two. Here are the quarter finals:

Godfather Part II vs Rocky IV

Even if Rocky and Ivan Drago teamed up and fought for justice and freedom, or whatever (and who wouldn’t want to watch that… should have been Rocky V, or at least Rocky: The Animated Series) they would still be no match for Mike, and you know they’d end up in a boat on the lake, saying a Hail Mary.

Empire Strikes Back vs Back to the Future II

As much as I love Back to the Future II, you can’t argue with Empire here. Our heroes are split up, in serious trouble, it looks like their best efforts are going to come to nothing and they will be crushed by an evil overlord. And Luke finds out the baddest dude in the galaxy is his dad and he’s just like him. Whereas Marty McFly’s main problem is that he doesn’t like his mom’s new husband. Not even a hoverboard can fix that.

The Dark Knight vs Terminator 2

Contrasting characters in the leads here – an emotionless cyborg being taught to be a father vs a deeply disturbed lunatic tearing a city apart to see what noise it makes (don’t pretend TDK is about Batman). For me, T2 has the more interesting story, and that edges it.

Toy Story 3 vs Rocky III

A movie about forgetting why you do something you used to love, changing yourself to be better and running on the beach in short shorts to get the eye of the tiger. A movie about growing up, about being a child and never stopping being a friend. I was going to give this to Rocky, but man, just thinking about the ending of Toy Story 3 is getting me a bit misty here, so I’m going to have to give it to the toys.

So now we have the semi final line-up:

Godfather Part II vs Empire Strikes Back

Terminator 2 vs Toy Story 3

Sequeltology: Part II

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8305649/tournament-determine-greatest-movie-sequel-all-time

Grantland are running a tournament to find the best movie sequel off all time. So am I. OK, so the first round is over. Let’s crack on with the quarters:

Godfather Part II vs Beverly Hills Cop II

One of these films has Robert de Niro playing a young Marlon Brando playing a young Vito Corleone. The other one has Judge Reinhold.

Return of the Jedi vs Rocky IV

I can’t really stand the Ewoks, and I love the bearded Rocky training montage in the mountains vs Drago in the high-tech gym.

Empire Strikes Back vs Rocky II

In another Star Wars vs Rocky tussle, I’ve got to go with “Try not. Only do or do not. There is no try”

Die Hard With A Vengeance vs Back to the Future II

Back to the Future II may have a confusing plot and have promised us all hoverboards, and DHWAV does have Samuel L. Jackson solving puzzles in the park with Bruce Willis, but “Who you calling butthead, butthead?” is a line that deserves to live in movie history forever.

The Dark Knight vs Color of Money

OK, now I’m voting against Tom Cruise on principle. Well, that and that The Dark Knight is a great film, but Color of Money… isn’t.

Superman II vs Terminator 2

Hasta la vista, Supes.

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey vs Toy Story 3

How much better would Toy Story 3 have been if Woody had melvinned Lotso? OK, that doesn’t work here. Toy Story 3 advances. I will miss the good robot usses vs the bad robot usses.

Rocky III vs Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

One of these films has Sean Connery fighting Nazis, the other has Mr T with a feather earring. My prediction? Pain.

OK, so we’re done with the quarters, now the real test begins. These guys are all contenders now (not really, we all know who will win). Semi final line-up:

Godfather Part II vs Rocky IV

Empire Strikes Back vs Back to the Future II

The Dark Knight vs Terminator 2

Toy Story 3 vs Rocky III

Grantland’s Sequeltology Round 1

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8305649/tournament-determine-greatest-movie-sequel-all-time

Grantland has decided to run a tournament to decide what the best movie sequel of all time is. I am lazy and impatient and I’m not waiting for their results – I’m going to run the tournament myself and get the answer right. There’s some debate over there about what is and isn’t a sequel and they did the draw (including seeding) but I’m just going to run the match-ups and see where we get to.

Godfather Part II vs Jackass Number Two

Steve-O, you’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother, you’re not a friend. I don’t want to know you or what you do.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation vs Beverly Hills Cop II

Beverly Hills > Europe. Haha, no. But seriously, BHC2 was a pretty OK movie.

Return of the Jedi vs Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I couldn’t even stay awake through the first Lord of the Rings. The Ewoks win it!

Rocky IV vs Naked Gun 2 1/2

This is the first difficult call. I’m going to award it to Rocky because James Brown.

Empire Strikes Back vs Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Which one was the Return of King? Who cares… ESB is both my favourite Star Wars film and my favourite beer. Sometimes.

Bad Boys II vs Rocky II

I’m pretty sure I’ve watched Bad Boys II. I’m pretty sure I won’t watch it again. Rocky II all day.

Die Hard With A Vengeance vs The Dark Knight Rises

I don’t think history has given us the perspective required to judge TDKR. Which is my way of saying I haven’t seen it. Die Hard By Default (which I now offer as a possible title for Die Hard V)

Back to the Future II vs Spider-Man 2

Does Spider-Man 2 feature the Cafe 80s, self-lacing boots and Michael J. Fox as 3 members of his own family? Probably not.

The Dark Knight vs National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

History has given us plenty of perspective to judge Christmas Vacation. I still haven’t watched it. Get out.

The Color of Money vs Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

KHAAAAAN! I was severely disappointed by the Color of Money, but at least I have seen it.

Fast Five vs Superman II

I’m awarding this to Superman II on account of I at least know that it is a film. Were there 4 other movies in the Fast series?

Terminator II vs Ocean’s Thirteen

I liked Ocean’s Eleven despite Don Cheadle, but I couldn’t understand why anyone wanted to watch one sequel, let alone a second one.

Aliens vs Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

How much better would Aliens have been if Ripley had melvinned the queen? I’m giving this one to B&T.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom vs Toy Story 3

Some bits of TS3 are weaker than TS2, but it’s still a much better film than Dr Jones’ thing.

Rocky III vs Mission Impossible II: Ghost Protocol

Anyone who thinks I’m voting out Tom Cruise films on principle: I pity the fool.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade vs Wayne’s World 2

Another example of Mike Myers not realising that a character has outlived his welcome.

OK, so the first round is over. Let’s look at the line-ups for the quarters:

Godfather Part II vs Beverly Hills Cop II

Return of the Jedi vs Rocky IV

Empire Strikes Back vs Rocky II

Die Hard With A Vengeance vs Back to the Future II

The Dark Knight vs Color of Money

Superman II vs Terminator II

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey vs Toy Story 3

Rocky III vs Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Come back soon for Part II. Ha ha, geddit?!?!