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In talking about The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and Kill Bill, my friends and I argue about the definition of a sequel. What's yours? -- Jeff Bazarko Oh, good, Jeff, word games! Per the dictionary, a sequel is ''a literary or cinematic work continuing the course of a story begun in a preceding one.'' And by such a ruling, subsequent installments of all three of your examples qualify. But since each progresses to the planned conclusion of a larger story, I'd call them ''chapters'' and reserve ''sequel'' to describe what happens when a self-contained movie makes money and some studio wizard suggests, ''Hey, how about 2 Fast 2 Furious?''

What was the last movie you saw that was so funny it made you cry? -- Andrew Lynch I hiccuped with hysteria when I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and felt lucky to be sitting upright: The guy next to me slid out of his seat -- literally -- in a puddle of mirth. It was like something out of...a cartoon.

Originally posted Feb 20, 2004 Published in issue #752 Feb 20, 2004 Order article reprints

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