Watch the original film or films before seeing the sequel
With all of the sequels coming out these days, you really have to try and keep up with the continuing stories. For example, if I was going to see The Simpsons Movie and I didn’t already know what to expect, the movie would probably shock me. Maybe, that is a good thing. If comedy doesn’t shock you, it can become dull and uninteresting. If you’ve never seen a Harry Potter film, you might get lost when you run to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the 5th film in the extremely popular series).
That’s obviously is an example of that shock going wrong. If no one in the theater knows anything about the story, the characters or even the subject matter and the film doesn’t re-educate it’s newest viewers, the audience can start scratching their heads in confusion. Hollywood is not about to follow the James Cameron (Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day) rules for making great movie sequels. You have to brush up on the sequel or sequels yourself. It will help you enjoy yourself more.
Personal note: With every sequel that comes out, whether it be great like Terminator 2 or crappy like Alien 3, I’ll always check out the originals the day before they open. I do it to catch up on things, and maybe learn something new I didn’t see before.
Watch the actors and actresses in their previous roles
Don’t go to the newest film starring Demi Moore without knowing who she is. You have to see Ghost or even G.I. Jane to find her best talents. Audiences love popular actors more than old and sometimes even forgotten actors trying to re-establish their career. It’s like going to see the new Goldie Hawn movie without ever seeing her star alongside Kurt Russell in Overboard.
Then you really need to know if an actor or actors have any talent. If you go to see Rob Schneider in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and expect to see some great acting, I will bet money that you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you see Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or even Batman starring Michael Keaton, you’ll find it easy and you’ll be better prepared to enjoy or criticize his next great performance. Knowing how talented Jack Nicholson is, knowing that he can save a flop like Mars Attacks from being completely stupid, I doubt you’ll be criticizing too harshly.
Watch the actors or actresses grow into a better performer. I’m not talking about Elijah Wood or Sean Astin of Lord of The Rings fame growing from being child stars in movies like North and The Goonies into a pair of hobbits in their 30s. I’m talking about watching Ben Affleck – wait, excuse me, that’s a bad example. I’m talking about watching Brad Pitt mature from being strictly a sex object in Legends of The Fall to being a deep, and profound actor in such films as Ocean’s Eleven, Fight Club and Babel.
Personal note: Sometimes I have to remind myself why I go to see Leonardo DiCraprio at the movies, so I throw on James Cameron’s Titanic and watch that self-obsessed moron at his best.
Watch the films previously made by the director
Directing is a tricky business anymore. Film is changing so dramatically nowadays, modern directors are having trouble finding decent work or really understanding their own visions. Audiences are demanding more effects in such movies as Pirates of The Caribbean and demanding more story development from movies like Spider-Man 3. It’s hectic to predict what an audience wants anymore to say the least. Audiences are even having a harder time finding a movie with merit. Compared to the award-winning Titanic and Forrest Gump, Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer looks like a joke Hollywood thought they could pull on audiences. They were wrong. We want merit; such as, great effects, great storytelling, and character development.
Directors all have different visions and ideas on what a great film. Find out who is directing the film, read up on their past, go to the video store, and pick up a couple of their previous efforts. It’ll help you find out who’s got talent and who doesn’t, who’s vision you like and who’s you don’t. You can figure out what kind of subject matter the filmmaker likes to deal with. For example, Martin Scorsese likes to deal in violence – mafia violence especially. Plus, you can figure out where the director is great and where they are weak, and keep from being surprised at any faults in the newest film.
You’ll also be able to tell if the third installment is directed by the same person that did the last sequel or the original ( Ridley Scott’s Alien is entirely different than James Cameron’s masterpiece Aliens and they’re both even more different than David Fincher’s Alien 3 crap-o-thon).
Personal note: I do this a lot. Whether it’s my least favorite director like Oliver Stone (Platoon) or Steven Spielberg (Jaws, ET, Schindler’s List), I’ll throw in their best work to experience the thing or things that make them great.
Study up on the movie or movies
You can research actors, directors or movie titles by browsing their name on Google or here at Associated Content. We AC Producers have written a great deal about certain movies, whether it be an old title or new title. There’s really very few actors you won’t know from top to bottom by browsing AC. But then again, some actors will be overlooked by AC Producers and that means you’ll have to go to Google. Since Google is probably the greatest search engine online, you probably won’t have any trouble finding information about – say, Sam Worthington or god-forbid, Chris O’Donnell.
On most websites, they’ll give a complete rundown of the actors, directors, writers, costume designer and just about everyone else associated with the film. This is where you might find those previous movies to check out at the video store. On most of these sites, you’ll also be able to find reviews, trailers, and ratings.
Read the book before seeing the film adaptation
Many book readers can tear a film apart because it did not meet with their previously conceived vision of their favorite story. This isn’t the case with many fans of The Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter series of movies. John Grisham (The Rainmaker) and Michael Crighton (Jurassic Park) fans are very demanding when it comes to a film adaptation. In some ways, I suggest you be too. Hollywood needs to learn to respect the vision of its adaptation audiences. Read the books before you see the movie to better understand the story and the characters. You might not get everything you got out of the book, but it can’t be any worse than that adaptation of Michael Crighton’s Congo.
More things to do
Make some popcorn and take it with you
Check out the times
Find out how packed the film is going to be
Find out how long the film is going to be
Study up on the theater or theaters in your area