Shot of young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) gaining his first taste with murder as he is about to shoot public enemy Don Fanucci in the Godfather Part II
1) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991)- Perhaps the greatest action flick of all time and certainly a milestone for special effects. An overall fun time by all!
2) The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)- One of the greatest (summer) blockbusters of modern times. You couldn’t turn your head without hearing a patron poorly imitating the Joker’s, “why so serious?” Action was entertaining, characters were well developed, dialogue was memorable, and the story closely followed the original comics. All in all, far more enjoyable than it’s predecessor. RIP Heath Ledger
3) Clerks II (Kevin Smith, 2006)- Quite frankly, I was shocked this film was so marvelous! Being a huge fan of the original Clerks (1994) (# 3 on my list of all time favorites), I honestly did not anticipate Smith’s sequel to the live up to the first film’s greatness, but I was dead wrong. The unlikely duo of Dante (Brian O’ Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are just as funny and pathetic (perhaps more pathetic!) in their 30s as they were in their 20s. Smith maintains the witty raunchiness we love in our View Askew joints and simultaneous creates a heartfelt masterpiece.
4) The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)- How do you top The Godfather (1972) arguably the greatest film in cinematic history? Well, you can’t! On the other hand, audiences fell in love with this sequel and many fans favor it over numero uno. In fact, it was awarded Best Picture at the Academy Awards, I believe the only sequel to do such a thing. Anyway, this picture continues the disturbing story of Michael Corleone and follows him into his darkest hour. By the end of the film, Michael is truly all alone with his sinister self.
5) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kirshner, 1980)- The darkest and for many the greatest of the original Star Wars Trilogy. There are no victories, no happy endings and no cuddily ewoks. This time the good guys don’t win, but it leaves we, the viewers lingering for more, like any good story should. With the introduction of the incredibly small, but sagacious Jedi Master, Yoda, the shocking revelation that Darth Vader is actually Luke Skywalker’s papa, and the badassness of Boba Fett, Empire is Fantasy Drama at it’s finest.
Note: Technically, Kill Bill Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004) should be number one, but I do not think of it as a sequel, rather I view both Volume 1 and 2 as an entire, epic masterpiece.