You know what they say, “Ain’t nothing like the real thang, baby,” and it’s an absolute fact.
But in the terms we’re talking about today, it’s movies and their sequels.
Now we’ve all been in the position where we hit the squinting confused face, when we see a trailer for a second addition, to our favorite films.
Then again, a few times and on a rare occasion, the sequels turn out better than we expected, maybe even equally good or better, and that’s what we’re establishing today.
Here’s a breakdown of some of our favorite films that were followed by a sequel or even a reach to a third (or upcoming fourth), and which one was single-handedly, “the real thang baby.”
The Best Man (1999) | The Best Man Holiday (2013)
The original “Best Man,” was a pool of drama as the past came back to bite, once writer Harper Stewart’s best-selling novel, got in the hands of his best friend who eventually found out while reading, his wife-to-be, and best friend had a fling in college. But what also drew the audience to this Spike Lee production, was the versatility of personality, through this group of long-time, black and successful, group of friends. It taught us more lessons than a few in the importance of loyalty in any relationship you carry, and brotherhood and honesty, no matter how much the truth hurts. Plus, we can’t forget Lance being two seconds away from throwing Harper over a ledge, and Murch getting a taste of “Candy.” But we’re truly thankful for this film allowing us to see the light in forgiveness, although it may take a while to actually forgive.
Now “The Best Man Holiday,” exceeded the level of trials and tribulations we were introduced to between these college friends in the original, whereas if it was almost like you were right there, enjoying the not so holiday cheer, with them. Here we had Mia (Calhoun), the angel and peacemaker of the group wanting to bring everyone together for the holidays, with almost everyone unknowingly being aware, of the medical battle she was fighting. Lance (Chestnut) still has a grudge against Harper (Diggs) (who’s a father to be due to Robin’s pregnancy), for what he did years ago, Murch (Perrineau) and Candance (Hall) are building a business with a barrier, due to Candance’s exotic dancing past, Jordan is taking a dip in the swirl and Quentin and Shelby, are still wiping their skin off from their shared, one night stand. But it’s the power of family and love that glistens through the emotional turn of the film, how important it is to have genuine support systems and good energy around you in times of need. We were more than happy to see Lance and Harper finally mend their mistakes against one another, but also sad to see our beloved Mia go and in the end, even after the turn of everyone’s life, love and the original concept of forgiveness, won.
Which film won the battle: ISSA TIE
Stomp the Yard (2007) | Stomp the Yard: Homecoming (2010)
Ok. I know some of yall are still stuck on the fact that Chris Brown spent about a millisecond in the movie, but look on the bright side, he made it count with the moves.
After losing his brother after a violent fight breaks out, DJ (Short), moves to Atlanta with his aunt and uncle to get away from the troubles of dealing with his brother’s death. In the A, he enrolls in Truth University, where he starts to slowly but surely gain back his passion for dance, but in another form of physical movement, stepping, as he joins one of the most popular fraternities on campus, Theta Nu Theta. His past of street dancing, turns into an advantage for the Thetas, as he becomes the team’s ticket to winning the gold, from the fact that he brings something unique, to the table. Along the way, he picks up the HBCU relationship we all dream of with Meghan Good’s character, April, while learning about the importance of brotherhood and keeping his own brother’s legacy alive.
And I have to drop one of the most memorable moments in film history, in here, for the culture.
There’s not much to say about the follow-up of the 07′ original. Similar storylines but different conflicts, as the more main character Chance, stirred away from trouble, the more it seemed to follow him. For those who were DJ fans, we did get a cameo from actor Columbus Short and also “The Game,” watchers got to see our favorite fictional football player, Derwin Davis, professionally known as Pooch Hall, take on the lead of the Thetas in this sequel. The film didn’t carry as much choreography and cinematic appeal as the first, but we’ll let our favorite, fit, fashionista Ms.Teyana Talor appearance, make up for that.
Which film won the battle: Stomp the Yard
Honey (2003) | Honey 2 (2011)
Not only did we get some of best cameos ever in a film, from hip-hop artist and “Queen of Visuals,” Missy Elliot, R&B singers Tweet and Ginuwine, producer Rodney Jerkins and New York’s finest, Jadakiss, but we also received some pretty solid choreography and a lit soundtrack. The story followed Honey Daniels (Alba), an inspiring choreographer and famous dancer, who wants to do good for her community, while trying to make it out at the same time. She meets famous music video director, Micheal Ellis, who gives her a ton of great opportunities that are too good to be true, when he takes her kindness and ambition for a chance to make a pass at her, which she righteously declines. But her brief downfall of being blackballed is an instant bounce back as she gains her own dance studio and a major client to follow, the legendary, Missy Elliot. What I loved about Honey was the direct message it gave viewers, about never giving up in what you believe in, and never forgetting where you came from. Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands to get what we want, but it’s the faith and passion in doing what we love, that’ll eventually allow it all to work out.
As the second film came around, we were introduced to Maria Bennett (Graham), whose relationship to Honey, came from the fact that she took classes in her dance studio when she was younger. Also, currently residing in the Daniels’ home, with Honey’s mother. Fresh out of prison and trying to get her life on track, Bennett decides to score a job and revamp her love for dance, with a street crew called HD, who she at first, tends to butt heads with. Soon enough, they learn how to play nice, securing their spot as one of the hottest dance group in the city, while also gaining a few enemies but overcoming the pressure in the end. I won’t say this follow-up was terrible, but it just wasn’t what the original brought to the table, musically and within the dancing. I’m all here for a good lesson on fresh starts, which Maria worked hard toward in the film, but it didn’t match up to Honey’s triumphant glow-up, in the industry.
FYI: I’m well aware there was a third film, and as much as I love Cassie, I wasn’t feeling the new addition to “Honey,” at all, as it strayed away from the roots of New York Hip-Hop, incorporated in dance. And if you want to go beyond that, in April there will even be a fourth release starring Teyana Taylor and Empire’s Bryshere Gray. Lemme know how that goes.
Which film won the battle: Do we really have to ask? Honey
Friday (1995) | Next Friday (2000)
“I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this. But I’m gonna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got sh*t to do.”
There are so many lines we still can recite word for word from this movie, scenes we could reenact to perfection, and we all remember the first time we first saw “Friday.”
Craig (Cube) has just lost his job, and his best friend Smokey (Tucker), sees no other way for him to forget the mishap, then lighting up a joint and getting into some unwanted trouble. The characters that Ice Cube was able to create within this film alone, from Felicia the begger to Deebo, the hood bully, was the start of Cube’s growing talent as an actor, writer and producer of a selection, of Blockbuster films. Let’s not forget the ending we all waited for, Craig’s step into becoming a man, with fighting with his fist rather than a gun to beat down Deebo, and using his bravery, as his most violent weapon. True classic.
I’ll take the dynamic duo, Craig and Smokey any day, but comedian Mike Epps addition to the second “Friday” film, was almost as funny with his wit and ability to make the character “Day-Day,” seem like the goofy cousin we all have. Craig’s short stay for the weekend with cousin Day-Day, Uncle Elroy and his wild girlfriend Auntie Suga, was a twist and turn of events, which Craig can’t seem to escape, being as they always have nothing to do with him. We also got introduced to pimp of the suburbs, Pinky, who made a special appearance in the third film “Friday After Next,” along with his greasy Jheri curls that could stand-in for lotion or baby oil, for a whole week.
Word on the street is a fourth is in the works for 2018. Fingers crossed it’s not only true, but we’re also getting a return from Smokey.
Which film won the battle: Friday “And you know this man!”
Why Did I Get Married? (2007) | Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)
After seeing this film, I promised myself I would make it a goal to go on a couples retreat, of course, once my friends and I find someone to put a ring on it and then we’re off to our weekend trip in Jamaica; sounds about right.
“Why Did I Get Married?” showed the perspective of four different couples at completely different stages of their marriage. First, there’s Terry (Tyler Perry) and Diane (Sharon Leal), who both have good jobs, but one allows their job to take up more time, that they should be spending, with the other. Next, it’s Gavin (Malik Yoba) and Patricia (Janet Jackson), who are the “perfect,” pair out of all the couples, they are the marriage counselors of the group and the go-to individuals for help, from their friends. Then we have Angela (Tasha Smith) and Marcus (Michael Jai White), who argue about literally everything, with some new conflict with one another every other day, while also carrying major trust issues on Angela’s part. And last and certainly least, there’s Mike (Richard T. Jones) and Sheila (Jill Scott), with their plus one, Trina (Denis Boutte), who’s more than a friend, especially with Mike, who has no interest in his wife anymore. Three out of four of these couples ended up finding that there were more reasons to stay together than fall apart, while Sheila bounced out of her abusive relationship, as she should’ve, to go on to bigger and better things, marrying sweetheart deputy, Troy (Lamman Rucker).
I’ll never forget that dinner table scene. Oh, that infamous dinner table scene. Tensions were high and secrets were spilled like evening tea. Woo.
I wasn’t mentally or physically (hence the tears), prepared for what film number too gave and showed us. To look back on the plotlines of each couple in the first, to what Perry created this time around, was a complete plot twist and a series of unexpected events.
Who would’ve known that everyone’s favorite couple, Pat and Gavin, would end in utter devastation from their marriage suddenly crumbling, due to a lack of communication and simply, growing apart? I have to give props to Ms. Janet Jackson, sis acting chops were on point and she delivered that character development to a tee. Along with the rest of the cast stepping out of their comfort zones, due to the new directions of their marriages on screen, for instance, Gavin’s careless and disrespectful behavior toward Pat, Mike’s complete change in attitude as he took on kindness, in response to his unexpected medical condition. But leave it to Marcus and Angela to keep the debates flowing, trust issues going and guns swinging in the air, due to Angela’s never-ending suspicions. Oh, while we’re speaking of suspicion, Terry had a correct one of Diane’s possible infidelity, another plot twist that added on to the already, too much to handle. It’s unfortunate that it took someone losing their life for everyone to come together, but sometimes we have to go through the worst, to get back to the best of who we are. The way the cast and Perry himself were able to turn around a simple story of miscommunication and roadblocks in everyday marriages, into something more in-depth, real and raw, was a great transition and exceeded all expectations of what a sequel could do.
Which film won the battle: For the very first time, issa sequel-Why Did I Get Married Too.