April 2014 Movie Prequel Guide: A Checklist
Today marks the beginning of April and with that comes this month’s Prequel Guide. Below you can find, in chronological order, a list of the “prequel materials” you need before seeing this month’s non-original movies. With an array of book adaptations, sequels, prequels, remakes, and so forth each month, this is your opportunity to see the originals before seeing the new releases.
As always, I’ll categorize the releases as either Essential, Useful, or Extra (depending on the movie).
Captain America: The First Avenger – Before the latest Marvel movie, it seems pretty obvious you need to know what happened in all the movies leading up to Captain America; The Winter Soldier. I’d start with Joe Johnston’s (Jurassic Park III) 2011 film The First Avenger.
The Avengers – Since Captain America played a big role in the 2012 film The Avengers, I’d also check that film out.
Comics – Just like all the other comic book and superhero movies, there is an obvious source material some folks like to read before the movie. Captain America, as a comic book character, has been around for a long time; therefore, there are a lot of comics to wade through. It appears The Winter Soldier was influenced the most by “Three Days of the Condor”, “The Parallax View,” and “Marathon Man,” so I’d start with those.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe films – The events of The Winter Soldier will play into The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Therefore, it may not be a bad idea to check out all the films leading up to The Avengers and follow it. These movies include The Incredible Hulk, Iron-Man, Iron-Man 2, Iron-Man 3, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World.
Films – Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was a 1944 film serial and a 1990 film by Albert Pyun (The Sword and the Sorcerer).
TV Series – There are various superhero TV series that feature Cap, too. Good luck getting through all of them.
Video Games – I also found 27 versions of his character in video games you could check out. Obviously, these won’t have a lot of connection to the movie.
Nymphomaniac: Volume I – Before Volume II, I’d watch Lars von Trier’s Volume I. I haven’t seen either movie yet, but it seems interesting to say the least.
“Under the Skin” by Michel Faber – Jonathan Glazer’s (Birth) latest film, which stars Scarlett Johansson, is based on a novel by Michel Faber. His novel, which came out in 2000, seemed to be well-received at the time.
“Joe” by Larry Brown – David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) film Joe is also based on a book by Larry Brown. You may want to power through this adaptation before the movie.
“The Railway Man” by Eric Lomax – Yet another book-to-film adaptation is based on Eric Lomax’s autobiographical book. Also titled “The Railway Man,” this book probably goes more in-depth into the amazing story.
Rio – It isn’t very often a sequel doesn’t (or shouldn’t) require you to watch the first film. For me, I’ll have to check out Rio before seeing its sequel, Rio 2.
“Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent – Perhaps the most popular movie adaptation of a book goes to Heaven Is For Real. Based on the 2010 New York Times Bestseller, the Christian adaptation will come out right before Easter.
A Haunted House – Although earlier I said it isn’t very often you don’t need to see the original before the sequel, A Haunted House 2 is an exception. The first film, A Haunted House, won’t carry a lot over in terms of storyline…and this is probably because it is a spoof movie. This genre isn’t exactly known for doing this.
District 13 – Although I didn’t know this when I first heard about Brick Mansions, I now know the film is actually a remake of a 2004 French action film. If you want to compare the two movies, I’d look into Pierre Morel’s film first.
There you go – four sequels, four film adaptations of books, and an English remake. It’ll be a busy month for non-original films.
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