Welcome to the first of Malc & Benjy’s Top Ten – our blog feature where we take the ten most personal entries in a specific category and analyse the crap out of them.
For our inaugural blog posting, we’ve chosen to look at Trilogies – partly because Trilogies are awesome, partly because our next Podcast involves Trilogies and partly because Empire Magazine just published a feature and we don’t necessarily agree.
So, without too much preamble, here are the OFFICIAL Top Ten Trilogies.
1) The Original Star Wars Trilogy
· This is without doubt the Greatest Film Trilogy. It’s the reason we love trilogies (as long as they not be Prequels). Before Star Wars, there were people who loved films and people who loved the number 3, but since The Return of the Jedi, these people are one. Even though the high point is Empire, anyone who denounces Jedi is clearly a Bear Racist as there is nothing wrong with the Ewoks. Seriously. Nothing! Gary Kurtz recently revealed how the trilogy was to end, and it was a much more mature, sombre tone with death and spiritual release, and Luke walking off into the sunset, but being truly honest if that had been the end, and we’d waited six years for it, we’d have been livid. The only way to end such a grandiose fantasy was with the happy Kodak moment we got.
2) The Indiana Jones Trilogy (Raiders to Crusade)
· To be A Man is to wish you were Indiana Jones. Even more so than Star Wars, Indiana Jones is the most pure fun you can have in the cinema, and this includes every single moving image recorded since – Toys, Pirates, Transforming Robots, and Dinosaurs be damned! The reason for this is probably because Lucas – an ideas man who can’t really write or direct – is in charge of Ideas whilst Spielberg – a man who can’t really come up with decent ideas (A.I.?) but can direct the socks off any other individual you care to name – is directing. Also, John Williams.
3) The Bourne Trilogy
· This is that rarest of things, a trilogy which only improves with each successive chapter, the Law of Diminishing returns being roundly met by Jason Bourne’s middle finger. This guy could probably whup Chuck Norris. While Star Wars and Indiana Jones are the definition of “Cinema”, Bourne actually has so few flaws as to be a near perfect series of action films.
4) The Lord of the Rings
· While of a consistently high quality, what really pushes LOTR into the upper echelons is its ambition. Let’s face it, nothing in this film was new – Gollum was the child of Jar-Jar, most of the design was from Ralph Bakshi or hippie calendars and the violence was a polished version of Meet the Feebles. What really stands out is the care, the beauty, the scale and the scope of this wondrous series of films. These films are second only to Star Wars for creating a living, breathing, fully realised world that you would actually want to live in.
5) Back to the Future
· Okay, let’s get one thing straight. If you altered the timeline so your parents never had kids you would cease to have even been. You would not slowly fade, body part by body part. However, the brilliance of Back to the Future can be seen no more clearly than when we ignore all paradoxes and actually start wishing George and Lorraine would kiss. If we could choose one historical period to go to, we may not have chosen the fifties – but we’re really glad that Robert Zemeckis did! Marty, Doc Brown and Biff would top their respective character lists (Top Bratty Teens, Top Mad Scientists and Top Jock Thugs) and there aren’t many trilogies that can say that.*
6) The Dollars Trilogy
· While The Bourne Trilogy are the best examples of films that get better as the series progresses, they are by no means the only ones. These Westerns, absolutely radical at the time for their depiction of violence and cynical tone, stand the test of time better than most other period films, let alone westerns, with characters, plot devices and camera work which even today influences countless film makers. There are two kinds of men in this world, my friend; those that like the Dollars trilogy and those that haven’t yet seen it.
7) The Alien Trilogy (1 – 3)
· This is one of the first examples of a sequel taking the first one, and then doing everything it didn’t to create a truly different kind of experience. Alien was a truly brilliant horror that could never be topped – wisely, James Cameron didn’t even try. Instead, he went and made a sci-fi actioner that is without peer. Sigourney Weaver is the action Heroine, never mind your Angelina Jolie tosh. She is beautiful without being glamorous, tough without being masculine and independent without being a bitch. Of all the trilogies in this list, this one has the weakest single link with Alien 3 – but it’s not all that bad, and the first two are so rippin’ it doesn’t really matter.
8) Toy Story
· It’s possible to view these films as films about toys. It’s possible to view them as metaphors for modern living – part one is about being the new guy in a job, part two is about being promoted beyond the position you loved and part three is about retirement and facing your own mortality. This is the genius of Pixar – a colourful happy film about toys made us depressed that one day we’re going to grow old and die.
9) Mad Max
· We don’t want to live in a Post-apocalyptic world where we’re forced to fight for our lives, scavenge for food and treat every resource as if our existence depended upon it. But if we did, we’d like to do it here. Plus, his car is bitchin’.
10) Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
· Because, come on. Y’know? Come on.
These films missed out on the top ten because of a significant weak link (or two) in the series. Whilst all of these have at least one film that may have been excellent in its own right, we are doing a feature on trilogies. So get over it! (Kidding.)
The Terminator Trilogy (1-3)
Terminator 3 – T2 as remade by the Chuckle Brothers (Inflatable Boobs? Talk to the Hand? Punching a Car? What?!)
The Die Hard Trilogy (1 – Vengeance)
Die Hard 2: Die Harder! (At least 3 and 4 weren’t called Die Harderer and Die Hardest) It’s the opposite of the Alien films, where the sequel does just do the same as the original but not as good. Saved by a surprising part 3 – see the Podcast for details!
The Godfather Trilogy
Sometimes a brace is better than a hat trick.
The Evil Dead Trilogy
Evil Dead, for all its charm and the fact that it gave its key players a career, isn’t really that good which is why they remade it for Evil Dead 2.
F*ck you, John Woo. MI:2 doesn’t suck in its own right, but it sucks as a spy movie. It’s a subtle as Michael Bay taking a fart in a lift... then blowing it up in slo-mo as its hair wafts in the backdraft.
A legendary classic, bookended by two mediocre adaptations.
The Matrix Trilogy
We think we all live in the Matrix. We think that the rebels made The Matrix. We think that the success and popularity of the Matrix scared the Machines, and to send us back to sleep and ignore the world-defining knowledge that was within our grasp, made the Matrix Sequels. This is why they suck.
Pirates of the Caribbean
You’ve made a brilliant action adventure movie which has defied all expectation and is being hailed as the new Indiana Jones. What do you take as your template for the sequels? That’s right. The Matrix sequels. Top notch.
Malcolm was kicking off that there were no Superhero movies in the top ten (Batman doesn't count) so we decided to work out which is the top Superhero trilogies.
Whilst neither X-Men nor Spider-man get into the top ten (owing to dodgy third chapters), Malc and Benjy are utterly unified on the mini-list of “In what order of quality do these six films sit.” The undisputable (maybe) list is;
1) X2: X-Men United
4) Spider-Man 2
5) X-Men – The Last Stand
6) Spider-Man 3
On the basis that it contains the single best film (by a very narrow margin) and the rest are all kind of on a par with each other (i.e. 3 with 4 and 5 with 6) then we deem X-Men the greatest Superhero Movie Trilogy.