Vol. 2 isn't anywhere near as self-indulgent as its predecessor, but it still plays like the work of a man too in love with his creations to decide which of his darlings to kill - so he ended up with merely a very good movie.
Sequels don't get much better - or smarter - than the action-, drama-, romance- and comedy-packed Spider-Man 2, which miraculously improves on the webslinger's hugely popular first screen adventure in every imaginable department.
Like Roald Dahl's book, Tim Burton's splendidly imaginative and visually stunning - and often very dark and creepy - new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is squarely aimed more at children than their parents.
A remarkably assured feature debut by Bennett Miller, a longtime director of commercials (and the documentary "The Cruise") whose no-frills style trusts that the powerful material and the uniformly excellent performances need little embellishment.