Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top 10: Movie Franchises

The movie franchise has become pretty popular, especially nowadays. In my opinion the movie cannot formally be called a franchise, at least, until three movies are made - and are pretty successful.

This was a hard one to narrow down to just 10, as there are tons of movies out there that qualify, and a handful of others that I actually enjoy.

So here are my Top 10 (in reverse order), but first a list of honorable mentions that didn't quite make the list, but I still enjoy.

Honorable Mentions: American Pie, Lethal Weapon, Scream, Beverly Hills Cop, Batman, The Bourne Trilogy, Mighty Ducks, Austin Powers, Fast & the Furious, Shrek, Santa Clause, The Matrix, Jurassic Park, The Mummy, Police Academy, Die Hard and The Karate Kid.

10) Pirates of the Caribbean
Synopsis: The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Curse of the Black Pearl, was a bit of a sleeper hit, as it was not expected to do as well as it did in the theater. But, of course, once it was two more movies were rushed into production. I have to admit that Black Pearl was the best of the trilogy, but Dead Man's Chest and the finale, At World's End, were both very well done follow up movies.

Why to see them: Johnny Depp, obviously. He is truly what makes this movie what it is. His portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow is masterfully done. Also, Keira Knightley - this was my first real glance at the British beauty, and I was very impressed.

9) Lord of the Rings
Synopsis: The movies that started this run of epic releases. The Lord of the Rings is a true work of art. The first movie really draws you in, as you start to truly develop a relationship with these characters. Two Towers sort of teases you, as there is no real beginning or end, because it is obviously the middle of a trilogy. Return of the King, really delivers as the final piece to a wonderfully constructed puzzle.

Why to watch them: The scenery is beautiful, and the battle scenes are epic. Sean Astin, who plays Sam, does an amazing job in this film - as does Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

8) Ocean's Trilogy
Synopsis: All three movies are about criminals. It's truly amazing how much you root for the bad guys. Ocean's 11 starts off the trilogy with a casino heist in Las Vegas, but not just any casino heist - three casinos at once. The first Ocean's is by far the most superior, Ocean's 12 definitely took a step backwards, but it was enjoyable nontheless. The crew heads back to Vegas for Ocean's 13, and the return really helps as the third is better than the second.

Why to see them: The heists are pretty elaborate and planned out to perfection. It's amazing to see how some things are pulled off. Plus the chemistry from such a huge group of talented actors is superb, and hard to pull off.

7) Spider-Man
Synopsis: The first Spider-Man movie is basically the creation of Spider-Man himself. The best movie of the bunch is Spider-Man 2, however, as Spidey has to battle Doc-Oc. Spider-Man 3 had all the makings to be a spectacular film, but it ended up being the worst of the three, although I still enjoyed it - it may have had too many villains at once.

Why to see them: Like the original Batman movies, Spider-Man is for the comic book fan, and fan of action movies. It's odd, going into a movie you think 'how can this actor pull this off?', but now, I can't imagine someone else taking over for Tobey Maguire.

6) X-Men
Synopsis: X-Men really surprised me. I was not a fan of the comic books growing up, but I had obviously heard of Wolverine. The movie is very well done, and it's sequel, X-Men 2, may have even surpassed it. X-Men 3, however, took a giant step back. Again, though, I am still a fan of the final movie, it just wasn't as good as it's predecessors.

Why to see them: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is probably the main reason to watch, and most likely why there is a soon-to-be movie about the character. I also found the Magneto and Prof. Xavier mind battles to pretty enjoyable.

5) Star Trek
Synopsis: It's pretty odd that when talking about a movie franchise that you aren't really a fan of the original, but in the case of Star Trek, that is exactly what happened. The original Star Trek movie is pretty unwatchable, but they really got it right with The Wrath of Kahn. Honestly, the first movie is the only one I am not really a fan of - the rest, including those with the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, are very enjoyable.

Why to see them: My favorite parts of all the movies are the scenes that involved William Shatner (Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and DeForest Kelly (Bones). The battle between the villain(s) is always pretty enjoyable as well. Check out the new Star Trek film some time next year.

4) Harry Potter
Synopsis: Obviously, the movies are based off of the books. I myself am not reading the books (although I might when all the movies are finished), because I don't want to be spoiled. The movies are about a young boy, who is apparently the chosen to defeat Lord Voldemort.

Why to see them: Although the movies started off geared more towards children (ie. the first two), the movies have really taken a darker tone since Prisoner of Azkaban. Also, Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) have developed amazing chemistry together. The Weasley twins are pretty funny as well.

3) Indiana Jones
Synopsis: Indiana Jones is a history teacher that doubles as an archaeologist/whip yielding badass. Raiders of the Lost Arc is a pretty amazing tale, that starts off Indiana's journey. I was not as impressed with Temple of Doom, but I still enjoy it. I did not like the female character in the film. The Last Crusade is probably my favorite of the three, with Sean Connery joining the crew as Indiana's father.

Why to see them: There's a pretty entertaining story in all three films. The dry wit and action really keeps you entertained throughout. It's hard to go wrong with Harrison Ford, he is at the top of his game as his portrayal of Indiana Jones.

2) Back to the Future
Synopsis: The original Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a pretty interesting topic, traveling back in time and seeing your parents when they were your age. The second film heads to the near future, and is pretty well done. I like the third movie, but I feel the romance between Doc and Clara pulled the movie down a little.

Why to see them: Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, without a doubt. The casting director gets an A+ for their job in casting these two, they were outstanding in all three films. The character Biff was also done very well. The premise of the movie - time travel - has always been very entertaining.

1) Star Wars
Synopsis: Was there truly any doubt. Star Wars is without a doubt the most influential trilogy of all time. I am including all six movies in this as well. Although Phantom Menace is a bit of a downer, I think the movie was still needed to introduce Anakin - plus Darth Maul is an excellent villain. The original trilogy obviously stands out above the new one, but Revenge of the Sith is an amazing film.

Why to see them: If you haven't seen at least the original trilogy already, then you probably are never going to. The movies are iconic in so many ways. I can't really pick a favorite, because I feel each film brings something to the table. I know people were disappointed with Episodes I-III, but I was not. I enjoy all six of the movies.

1 comment:

  1. You are a fool to put LOTR so low . . .