Sequels…

The announcement that a Top Gun sequel is being planned prompted thoughts about sequels.

They are difficult to execute because the only reason there’s a sequel in the first place is because the original was a hit. Thus, a high bar has been established.

The Godfather Part II remains the standard. If you’re trying to create a sequel, follow The Godfather Part II playbook. The same characters made up the story, but they were shown in different stages of their lives. In the end you had more understanding of these characters.

A lot of bad sequels dot the Hollywood landscape. Rocky II remains at the top of my list. I always felt that had there not been a sequel to Rocky, it would be remembered with more critical acclaim. Instead, Rocky became a franchise. The second one really wasn’t good. Fortunately, most of those that followed were.

Talk about being able to write, Michael Crichton has a top 5 USA Today best seller — Dragon Teeth, and he’s been dead almost a decade. Not only that, it’s Crichton’s second best seller since he died in 2008. Pirate Latitudes hit No. 9 in 2009. Of course, Crichton is best known for Jurassic Park.

Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorites. Yes, I like his books, but I love the stories about Hemingway far more than anything he wrote. Now we have Mary V. Dearborn’s Hemingway’s Brain, which delves into the physical traumas that led to his suicide in 1961.

Finally, my latest novel, Retrouvailles, was released this week. Writing this one was different for me, so I’d appreciate any feedback, and I’d particularly appreciate a review on the Amazon site.

Nashivlle Predators fan Jacob Waddell caused a stir for throwing a catfish onto the ice during the Stanley Cup Final opener in Pittsburgh. That act prompted criminal charges to be brought against him. When those charges were dismissed, the Nashville Tennessean called it a case of “Catch and release.”

After ex-Packers running back Eddie Lacey tipped  the scales at 253 pounds during an offseason weigh-in with the Seahawks, Mike Hart of the Milwauke Journal-Sentinel wrote: “He will be running wide.”

And, speaking of the NFL…

The league has reduced overtime periods by five minutes for the coming season in the name of “player safety.” However, the league would like to add two more game to the schedule. Safety first, right?

bchastain19@gmail.com

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