March 2014 Movie Prequel Guide: A Checklist
Just as we did a short month ago, it is time to switch over to the next movie month. With the Oscars Sunday night and the impending schedule of releases, March is looking like the first true movie month. No offense to January and February, but this year has been very underwhelming (even given the months). With the exception of The LEGO Movie, I’ve yet to see anything of real merit.
Below you won’t find a full list of releases (look for the weekly posts for those); however, I will be going through all of the “prequel materials” which include everything you need to do before seeing a movie. This includes books, prequels, remakes, and etc.
Like other weeks, I’ve categorized these as Essential, Useful, and Extra. In chronological order, here you go:
300 – Most of the time we see sequels or prequels. It isn’t often we see a bit of both, and 300: Rise of an Empire is being considered a “side-quel.” It’ll sort of continue the story of 300, hence why you should see it, but it will add to the beginning and end of the story. Still, you should watch Zack Snyder’s movie…it is glorious.
“300” by Frank Miller – Unfortunately, the “source material” for Rise of an Empire is an unpublished work by Frank Miller (titled “Xerses”). However, you can get your hands on the original graphic novel and I’d highly suggest it.
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show TV Series – Although it isn’t necessary at all, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the characters in one of my favorite shows growing up. If you want, or just need, an excuse to watch The Rocky Bullwinkle Show, here is your chance.
Need for Speed video game franchise – Since we’ve seen video games turned into movies (with success) and because, well, we’re out of ideas, Need for Speed (the movie) exists. There won’t be a lot of transfer from the game to the movies, but if you really want to play the games, you better get a few consoles. There are total of 20 games ranging from PC to Xbox 360 to mobile devices.
Veronica Mars TV Series – The much-anticipated Veronica Mars film adaptation will apparently take place nine years after the events of Season 3. Therefore, it seems like you should’ve actually seen the show first.
“Divergent” by Veronica Roth – There is no way you absolutely have to read the book before you see the movie, but I would always suggest it. Since the Divergent series looks to be the next huge YA adaptation, I would especially urge it here. Even I’m doing it!
“Divergent” trilogy by Veronica Roth – To really latch on to some of the recurring themes through the series, and to fully appreciate the movie, it probably is best to have the end in mind. For some, they’d rather take it one book at a time.
The Muppets – Although it is a direct sequel to the 2011 film The Muppets, this is a rare time where I’d count seeing the original non-essential. The new film doesn’t return the first (human) stars and adds a new cast of misfits. The Muppets are the same, but the story doesn’t seem to be all that connected.
The Muppet Show TV Series – How can you fully appreciate Muppets Most Wanted without revisiting The Muppet Show? You can’t.
The Muppets Film Franchise – 2011’s The Muppets wasn’t the first film to feature the iconic characters. If you want the full experience, check out the six other films, two TV films, and two direct-to-video releases.
Other TV Series – There are also five other TV series that celebrate the Muppets. Check them out if you have time!
Genesis Chapters 6-9 – This is a tough one because early reviews are saying Darren Aronfsky’s biblical epic, Noah, is going to divide audiences. I would still check out the source material, found primarily in Genesis Ch. 6-9, before seeing the film. I know I’m going to.
The Raid: Redemption – There are two reasons you should see The Raid: Redemption. First off, it is the first movie in a planned trilogy that is being continued by The Raid 2: Berandal. Secondly, it is a fantastic martial arts movie! Seriously, you’ll be blown away.
Merantau – If you want to see more martial arts with director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais, this is your chance! However, narratively, there is no connection.
As you can see, this week is a little low on the book-to-film adaptations. However, the one (Divergent) is a doozy. Check that and some of the original movies (like 300 and The Raid) before seeing the next respective films.
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