More American Graffiti

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by {Quantum/MIDI}, May 6, 2016.

  1. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    I just re-watched this movie and I never realized how much better it is than the first.

    However, I go look at reviews and many bash it.

    I never really understood this. I mean, I get it, people expect this sequel to follow more in line with 1 but it does it even better!

    I mean, every different segment of the movie is filmed differently! How unique is that?

    Truly, another underrated Lucas gem.
    Huttese 101 likes this.
  2. Stoneymonster Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 4
    It wasn't written or directed by Lucas, so I'm cornfused.
  3. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2005
    star 4
    It was executive produced by him, so it's still a Lucas film ;)

    Apparently, Howard Kazanjian produced it. That's a neat piece of trivia!
    Huttese 101 likes this.
  4. gezvader28 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 5
    I always liked it , not as good as the first but it's got plenty of good stuff in it , its been an awfully long time since I last saw it tho , I remember Toad's story in Viet-nam was particularly good .
  5. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    It's a good film, but it's also very unconventional/experimental in its style, hence why it was a commercial flop and wasn't received well by fans of the original. The appeal of American Graffiti was due to both nostalgia (for those who lived through that era) and the way it presented an authentic view of what life was really like for teenagers, as opposed to previous 'teen films' - utterly unrealistic fluff (dumb beach party nonsense and so on), or similarly unrealistic 'WARNING!!!' films about the dangers of drugs/sex/biker gangs/everything.

    More American Graffiti didn't really take the original any further, it merely followed the same characters later in life - by which time they'd ceased to necessarily be the archetypes so many had related to in 1973. It was a sequel in fact, but not in essence.
    There's nothing wrong with the film itself, it just doesn't work on the same level as its predecessor, which never demanded any sort of continuation, really just being a sort of time capsule.

    As far as GL's involvement is concerned, pretty sure he was aware of what was going on and gave his blessing, but was far more involved with 'Star Wars 2' at the time. In all honesty, I don't think that would have mattered - it's an enjoyable, interesting and well-made film, so he probably would have been happy with it, regardless. Without the SW juggernaut dominating his existence, however, he might have been more closely involved, so it could have turned out somewhat differently, although I imagine he still would have liked and encouraged the more experimental aspects.

    IIRC, George Lucas/Lucasfilm 'owed' Universal another film of some sort, due to contractual obligations, hence why this film came about in the first place. A sequel to the massive hit American Graffiti was an obvious, easy option for all concerned.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jun 2, 2016
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  6. Huttese 101 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2016
    star 4
    @Ezon Pin I only know two things about More American Graffiti:
    1. That it's a sequel to American Graffiti.
    2. That my father saw it when it came out and says it's one of the worst movies he's ever seen.

    Personally, I haven't seen it so I'd have to reserve judgment until I do.

    I have seen Grease 2 and that was pretty bad. [face_laugh]
  7. ATMachine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 4
    One good thing about More American Graffiti is it provided an acting role for Will Seltzer, whom GL nearly cast as Luke Skywalker in late 1975, before Mark Hamill showed up at virtually the last audition session. Not that that was planned from the get-go; Seltzer's part (the politically active brother to Cindy Williams' character) only came in as a replacement for Richard Dreyfuss' character when he refused to return for a sequel.
    Ezon Pin likes this.
  8. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    Unlike so many 'unnecessary' sequels to classic films (Texasville, The Two Jakes, The French Connection 2, the list goes on), More American Graffiti is a worthy film in its own right, but it's somewhat disconnected to its predecessor in both essence and style - plus, American Graffiti never needed or even suggested a sequel. That's the problem.
    Its merits are solely its own - the fact that it's a sequel is a drawback to what might have otherwise been an interesting and innovative film. Put that aside and it's well worth a look.
    Tosche_Station likes this.
  9. Kuro Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2015
    star 3
    I literally know nothing about this film aside from the fact that it exists, it bombed, and everyone immediately forgot about it.

    I also have to admit that the first film has never really been a favorite of mine. Don’t get me wrong. I think AMERICAN GRAFFITI is an excellent film. It’s well-crafted, well-written, well-acted and does a pretty good job of portraying the era (or at least the era as George Lucas nostalgically remembers it). But it’s not my era and it really doesn’t reflect my experience. Just on a purely personal level, it’s a bit too pure and innocent to really connect with how I remember that time in my life, which involved alot more sex, smoking, drinking, swearing, and pot. I mean, I'm glad that George Lucas remembers that time of his life so fondly. I’m glad that he has some nice memories that he cherishes and holds dear. And I’m glad that he was able to convey that joy to so many others. But I appreciate the film much more than I like it. I also have to admit that the soundtrack, while not bad, isn’t really my taste in music (I like the black music from the era, and I like Roy Orbison, but other than that, I really don’t like much pre-Beatles pop music at all). Again, I can’t really think of anything about it that was bad. It certainly succeeded in what it set out to do. AMERICAN GRAFFITI is certainly a very good film, and arguably a great one, but it just really isn’t my taste. It just never really hit me or connected with me, although I certainly understand why it connected with so many others. I just kinda have a hard time relating to this movie, since it really doesn’t reflect any of my experiences. So I really have no desire to see a lackluster sequel to a film that I never really cared for in the first place.

    Martin Scorsese actually made a film around the same time, MEAN STREETS, that actually reflects my experiences and my taste in music much better. I was never involved with gangsters or anything, but that sort of male bonding that you see in that film, the constant smoking, swearing, ball-busting, etc. really reminds me of my college years. The only thing missing is the pot. And FAST TIMES AT RIDGMONT HIGH is pretty much spot-on in terms of how I remember high school (I don’t remember anyone ever ordering a pizza delivered to the classroom, but aside from that, it really doesn’t exaggerate anything).
    ATMachine likes this.
  10. ezekiel22x Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I love More American Graffiti. Does a great job of retaining the goofy charm of the original while also managing to be more serious in theme. Plus it's pretty ingeniously structured, with the four stories played across four years and the different aspect ratios (or whatever you call them) for each section. Most underrated Lucas-related film next to the prequels.
  11. Morgan Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2000
    star 1
    If anything, More American Graffiti brought the "Milner Racing Team" t-shirt into existence. I love wearing mine to car shows. :cool:
  12. Skywalker Family Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2017
    star 1
    This movie was alright but the first one was much better.

    Harrison Ford plays a cop in the movie for 2 minutes.

    I don't think the sequel was needed.

    It might have been better if we had not been told what happened to the characters at the end of the American Graffiti.

    That locked them in with what they could do with the characters.
    Last edited by Skywalker Family, Mar 20, 2017