Blog, League — April 18, 2013 11:14 am

First Impressions of Second Times Around

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It’s that magical time again.  The sun is out, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and a new topic from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers has been released!  So, what is it this time?  You never get a second chance at a first impression–what moment in pop culture had you saying “Now, that’s how you make an introduction!”

Well, it’s a mouthful and one we had to think about.  As usual, we each came up with the same idea, so we’re doing another dual-author article.  I’m not sure if I’m concerned about or cool with us always having the same ideas.

We came to realize our first impressions of some popular movie franchises were actually most people’s second impression.  The original movies, such as Ghostbusters and Terminator, were released just slightly before we developed memories.  So, the first time we experienced these classic franchises was via the sequels.  So, now that we’ve completely confused our readers… here we go:


Batman Returns

I’ve always been a Batman fan, but it all started with 1992’s Batman Returns. Why I would watch a film tagged with “Returns” and not (at the time) acknowledge that I should research this fabled Batman prior to his Return is beyond me. I was 9 years old, lay off me.

And the only one who can save this city is a creature of the night… and yeah, I’d still hit that.

The magic of Catwoman’s relationship with Batman as well as the creepiness of The Penguin and the cuteness of the penguins totally sold me on this film. This was standard sleepover fare. The score on this film is unmistakeable and I bet when you think of Batman, you’ve got this playing in the back of your brain. I’ve since watched the 1989 Batman film, and yeah, it’s great and all, but maybe because I watched Batman Returns first, it just doesn’t hold up in the same magical way for me.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The first Terminator movie is my all-time favorite movie… of all time. I will argue to the death that the first Terminator film has everything a film should have to appeal to everyone—robots, time travel, time traveling robots, Linda Hamilton’s boobs, and for the ladies: a romantic relationship between Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese. But before I watched that, I watched Terminator 2: Judgment Day. What a hook!

Now there’s two… Terminator 2! Not a strong tag line.

I was 8 when Terminator 2 came out, and probably about 10 when I watched it at home with my best friend. We counted how many times characters dropped the F-bomb, and while I don’t recall the exact amount, it must have been significant to prompt us to count in the first place. Many cite Terminator 2 as the superior film in the Terminator series (let’s be honest, it’s not like anyone is picking Terminator 3), and while it was an incredibly worthy introduction to the franchise, my heart will forever belong to Terminator 1. Mostly, Kyle Reese who time travels to bang his boss’ mom and become his boss’ father. How badass is that?! But, Terminator 2 has a Guns ‘N Roses reference AND (at the time) teen heartthrob Edward Furlong uses an Atari to hack into an ATM. After writing that out, I’m not so sure which film my heart belongs to anymore.

Honorable Mention: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park, the original film, is an honorable mention here because well, it’s not a sequel. But, after watching the film and learning that there was going to be a sequel, I freaking lost it.

Re-witness: The Goldblum.

In 1993, I was 10 years old and absolutely stoked for Jurassic Park. This was exciting. Even Teen Beat Magazine was telling me this was thrilling, and usually they just went on about Mark Wahlberg and Jonathan Brandis (R.I.P.) When it was announced there would be a sequel to Jurassic Park in another four years, I couldn’t even comprehend it—how was I going to wait FOUR years to see this masterpiece? I practically started counting down for four years as a ball of anxiety. Except, when it came out, I completely forgot about it. And now, 16 years after Jurassic Park II was released, I still haven’t seen it. So, sequel fail on my part, but what an amazing movie anyway. That scene where the dinosaur is coming and the water ripples? The guy on the toilet that gets eaten by a dinosaur? Or Jeff Goldblum as a whole? All brilliant.

There was a third installment in 2000, which starred Tea Leoni, who I hated because she was boning David Duchovny, but it later turned out that everyone was boning David Duchovny. A fourth movie is planned to be released in 2014. I might just stick with the original on this one.


Ghostbusters II

Wow, what a great movie!  Well, at least I liked the sequel.  Perhaps, that’s because it was the first one I got to live through the hype.  I still remember wishing I had a diaper on the first time I saw a commercial for the second Ghostbusters movie.  At that point, I had never heard of a sequel.  I love the original movie, had every Real Ghostbusters toy that the Kenner factory cranked out, and had absolutely no idea that there could be even more of something I held so dear to my heart.

 This teaser trailer was my key to happiness for several weeks.  I probably watched it 200 times.

The release of Ghostbusters II marked the first time I ever experienced a marketing campaign.  I saw it all from TV teasers to fast food tie-ins to coloring books to free flexi-discs included with cereal.  By the time the movie hit theaters, I could already quote lines.  Finally being able to see the movie blew me away, so much so that I saw it several more times at the theater.  I still remember when I saw it at the dollar theater, knowing it would be the last time I’d see it on the big screen.  I brought the Ecto-1A that came free with a pack of film.  I still have the plastic cups and posters I obtained during the movie’s promotion time.

They didn’t fool me!  That’s cartoon Egon… with… Raphael???

Ghostbusters II entered my life in a big way because of the marketing campaign… wow, what an entrance!

Back to the Future Part III

I had a similar experience with the Back to the Future sequels.  I can’t remember a time in which I never knew and loved the original film.  My mind had already been blown by one additional Ghostbusters movie.  To find out that my other favorite movie was getting a sequel, too, was fantastic.  Little did I know that a third movie was being put together concurrently.  My reaction at the time:  “TWO NEW MOVIES?!!?!?!?!?!  Whoooooooaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh *mind explosion*”

The last movie of the trilogy made quite the entrance when a preview trailer was shown immediately after the second movie ended.  To go from a cliffhanger ending to immediate promise of a conclusion in a matter of seconds was stunning to say the least.

Totally unexpected.

I realize Back to the Future Part III is often considered less exciting than the first two films, but I will always remember the first impression I had.  If you haven’t watched it in a while, I’d recommend giving it another chance.  I’ve made that suggestion to several people who always thought less of the third movie and they’re usually surprised by how much they enjoy it now.


On a related note, as excited as I was to get two new Back to the Future movies, I was equally devastated when the third movie flashed the words “THE END” after the final scene.  I was a little too old to cry about something like that when I saw it, but… I did… and still do.

What else made a big impression on The League?

Space for Rent is all about Superman

Stunt Zombie is also all about Superman!

Nerd Rage Against the Machine recognizes the awesomeness that is Doctor Who (9th is so underrated!)

Retro Toy Safari is lovin’ that original Star Wars!

Diary of a Dorkette is sweet on She-Ra

Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks is all up on Thundercats HOOOOOOO!

The Batcave Toy Room thought Superman made quite the entrance

Infinite Hollywood’s mind was blown thanks to Super Mario Bros. 3!

Shezcrafti cites a lesser-known Johnny Depp movie as her favorite first impression

3B’s Toy Hive talks about Batman. You had Linz at “hello.”

The Mos Espa Collection has some more Batman love!

Cool & Collected, home of The League, breaks down the top 10 greatest 80s rock intros. Gn’R takes two spots, making this list Pop Rewind-approved.

Cavalcade of AWesome writes about one of his favorite movies– Krush Groove

Geek Chunks breaks out some sweet cartoon intros and even Today’s Special, which brought a big smile to Linz’s flappy Canadian head


  • I too have never seen any of the Jurassic Park sequels. I’ve seen a snippet here or there, but not much. It’s made me kind of interested in watching them before the new one comes out.

    • NewtonGimmick At the time, I liked them. The second one holds up well, but I think the third one just took it a little too far. Like I said, the first time through I was still feeling the hype, but looking back on the third movie now… eh. I don’t care to ever see it again.

  • I obviously grew up with all these movies as well. It seems like the writers must be the same age as me or maybe a year older, because I feel exactly the same about most if not all of these flicks!

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