Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ep. 1 — BACK TO THE FUTURE — June 2010

Featuring special guest Cody Clark, film critic of the Daily Herald newspaper, and an exclusive interview with UVU Film Program Coordinator Dr. Rick Moody

Considering the Sequels is a monthly film podcast that examines the merits and weaknesses of specific movie franchises. Right-click the title of this post to download this episode free.

In Episode 1 we consider Robert Zemeckis’s “Back to the Future” trilogy. This episode also includes a concept discussion where we talk about excerpts from an interview with Dr. Moody, in which he discusses characteristics of strong and weak sequels. And, of course, we each give mini reviews of recent film releases and whatever else we’ve been watching lately.

Your hosts are Andy Howell, Bill Barnes and Jason Pyles. Download this show and hear what provokes Cody Clark to call the three of us “negg-heads.”


I. Mini Reviews

Andy — The Wire: Season 4 (01:45), The Maiden Heist (02:02)

Cody — The A-Team (02:30), Friday Night Lights: Season 2 (03:20), Survivor: Season 1 (03:39)

Jason — Splice (04:36)

Bill — Shrek Forever After (07:42), The Road (08:48), Friday Night Lights: Season 4 (09:36)

II. Concept Discussion with Dr. Moody (11:52)

- The Inherent Problem With Sequels (13:13)

- Most Sequels Rely on Gimmicks (19:23)

- How Sequels Can Work (21:58)

— A Quick Word About Our Sponsor, Heftel Studios (25:33)

III. Considering the Sequels: Back to the Future

- Back to the Future (27:09)

- Back to the Future Part II (42:09)

- Back to the Future Part III (57:15)

- Franchise Overview (1:10:46)

Wrap-Up (1:14:33)

End Time: (1:17:31)

Cody, Andy, Bill and Jason give their collective verdict on this franchise, from 0 to 100:

Back to the Future = 89.5

Back to the Future Part II = 52

Back to the Future Part III = 53

Overall Franchise = 79

Contact us:

E-mail us with questions, comments, suggestions:, or catch up with us on Facebook by searching "Considering the Sequels." Visit Andy and Jason’s Considering the Cinema discussion blog where we write about unusual films. And if you’re really bored, follow Jason’s mostly film-related thoughts on Twitter.


Thanks to our official sponsor, Heftel Studios. Thanks to the Dave Eaton Element for the use of Dave’s music. Thanks to Cody Clark and Rick Moody for appearing on the show. Thanks to Bill Barnes and Kara Brewer for their artistic vision and graphic design, respectively. Thanks to Rob Booker for his support. Thanks to The /Filmcast and the Creative Screenwriting Magazine podcast for their inspiration.

Episode 1 was recorded on June 13, 2010, and the interview with Dr. Moody was recorded June 9, 2010.


  1. Just for the record, in the poll at right that asks which host / guest we agree with most, I voted for Andy.

  2. I'm going to need to find a really good ringtone in case I ever guest star on one of your podcasts.

  3. @linda: the bar has been set pretty freakin' high...

  4. Bill,
    I didn't get to ask you during the show: During your mini review of "Shrek Forever After," you said Rumpelstiltskin was "oddly portrayed." What did you mean by that? Is there a classic, characteristic portrayal of Rumpel, as there is with, say, Ebenezer Scrooge?

  5. no classic portrayal of which i'm aware... the shrek 4 portrayal was just odd, in my opinion. kind of whiney and weenie-ish instead of wily and evil-geniusy, which is what i expected...

  6. During this episode, Andy refers to "The Lord of the Rings" franchise, and he rightly suggests that there should be some kind of distinction between "Lord of the Rings"-type films and episodic properties like the James Bond series.

    Well, it turns out that indeed there is such a distinction, I just didn't get a chance to discuss it during the show. Here it is now:

    "The Lord of the Rings" films would be considered story-based properties, because when combined as a whole, they have a set plot line with a set beginning and a set ending; whereas, the James Bond films are franchise-based properties, because they're episodic and could (and do) go on and on indefinitely.

    So, the distinction Andy was talking about is Story-Based versus Franchise-Based. Even so, we still generically refer to movies with sequels as franchises.

  7. I thought the first episode was a great way to kick off the podcast. Good job, all!

  8. This comment is from the great Dr. Moody:

    Dr. Moody wrote:

    I guess what I needed to make clear — and an idea that you commentators brought up — is that my ideas regarded films that were originally designed to "stand alone." Thus sequels must be contrived. If you are doing a film which is planned as a three "episode" arc — such as Lord of the Rings, then of course the only problem is trying to decide how to structure it so as to come up with "mini" plot structures which will maintain momentum and keep the audience "chomping at the bit" to get to the next film.

    But it occured to me that one idea that can work to create sequels from "stand alone" films — if the character has an addiction they can relapse. Again addicts are ALWAYS addicts the experts tell us. So ... if the new external conflict is traumatizing enough, they may relapse due to the pressure. Then SIGNIFICANT suspense is derived by the question of "will they or won't they" succumb? will they overdose and die this time? will they end up an addict from this time forward? will they recover again?

    This sort of story line can wield an even STRONGER grip on the audience ... as we know what hell they went through before ... and what it took for them to "kick it." This was a constant with the character of Andy Sipowicz in the tv show "NYPD BLUE." He was a cop who was also a recovered alcoholic w. years of sobriety. Yet sometimes situations DID cause him to relapse and we were right there with him hoping — somewhat like emotionally invested family members of the addict — that he would recover. Fortunately he always did.

  9. Look Boys, we're ahead of our "time" this year: