Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Best Things Come In Threes

Stellar Four is three years old! Before you know it we'll be walking and talking and going to kindergarten and slowly taking over the world. Wait, what do you mean that's children and not websites? Anyway...

To showcase the fact that all the best things in the world come in threes, I wanted to highlight some of the best science fiction and fantasy movie trilogies! There's nothing better than a good movie trilogy. When done right, they're cohesive stories, well told and well imagined. It's a delight to marathon them. These are the trilogies you can't pull away from if you see them on TV on a lazy Saturday afternoon. You know for a fact that the next nine hours will be spent on the couch. It doesn't matter how many times you've seen these films, you can't help watching them all over again. And again. And again.

Check out the best movie trilogies after the jump!

Star Wars (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi): This is the trilogy I think of immediately when I think of movie trilogy. The original three Star Wars movies are spectacular feats of storytelling. The first one sets up the universe and leaves you hungry for more. The second film fills in all the gaps, fleshes out the story and introduces some nail biting cliffhangers. The final film brings all the loose ends together and brings us a real resolution. Watching all three is a completely enrapturing experience. Well done, George Lucas! What the hell happened with the prequels?

Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King): Now THIS is how you do a trilogy! While I've never been a big fan of the novels (too many asides and poems and descriptions of meadows and family lineages for me), these movies are absolutely beautiful. What was especially cool is that all three movies were filmed at the same time. Everything felt incredibly cohesive and it wasn't plagued with some of the problems other trilogies can encounter (actors dying, actors being recast, etc). It was the same actors, director, writers, filming locations, etc. Completely flawless.

Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade): Hahaha... what do you mean there are four Indiana Jones movies? I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan. Don't you think if there was a fourth movie I would have preordered tickets and seen it at a midnight showing? I'm sure I wouldn't have been incredibly disappointed or upset at all. It's Indiana Jones! No, these films are clearly a trilogy AND YOU WON'T CONVINCE ME DIFFERENTLY. 

Back to the Future: I have to admit, I am not a fan of the Back to the Future movies but my sister is obsessed with them so I have listened to many a long spiel about how glorious they are. They're a teenage time travel staple, making Marty McFly (McFly? Really? Seriously?) the inventor of everything from rock music to hoverboards. I will say these films have an impressive sense of continuity and they also never take themselves too seriously. Considering how fans salivate over the mere idea of McFly's self-tying shoe laces and hoverboard, these films made one hell of a lasting impact.

Iron Man: The Iron Man trilogy proved that Marvel had staying power and knew exactly what it was doing. While it suffered from difficult actor recasting, it still shines as an example of a superhero trilogy done right. The first Iron Man film blew audiences away and while Iron Man 2 suffered from second film syndrome, the third outing in the franchise was a smashing return to form. 

Batman (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises): Now THESE are Batman movies. Christopher Nolan hit it out of the park with this trilogy. This trilogy also bucks the normal trilogy trend since it's the second film and not the second that is the best film in the series. The Dark Knight Rises was a bit of a let down, unable to stand under the weight of all the gravitas it had accumilated. The Dark Knight was perfect and Heath Ledger's haunting portrayal of the Joker will go down in film history.

Evil Dead (Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness): Sara suggested this trilogy and she's 100% correct that it's awesome. If you're looking for a fantastic horror movie trilogy, you can't do better than the Evil Dead series. It made Bruce Campbell (and Bruce Campbell's chin) a household name in shlocky horror movies. How groovy.

The Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End): Alright, so this can be called a trilogy in only the loosest way possible, but I think it still counts. All three films take place in the same movie universe, involve the same actors and director and are linked by certain thematic details and jokes. Simon Pegg says they're a trilogy. Do you want to argue with Simon Pegg?

Toy Story: These films, which introduced Pixar to the world, have become animated classics. The incredibly human stories about love, loss, loyalty and friendship may have been told through toys but they hit home for many, many people. They gave a whole generation of children a new way to look at their plush and plastic best friends and brought even adults to tears. Seriously, my father sobbed watching the final installment. Andy may have given the toys away (to a good home!), but we'll keep these films in our hearts forever.

Honorable mentions: The "Night of the Living Dead" trilogy from George Romero, Pirates of the Caribbean (quickly degraded in quality but still insanely fun), The Blade trilogy (the third was awful), The Godfather (not sci-fi enough, but still awesome!), the Terminator trilogy (the first was best), The X-Men Trilogy (could have been so much better, though...), Scream trilogy (the first one was the best), Spider Man trilogy (ehhhh), Alien trilogy (the first is the best, still), The Matrix (needs no explanation).
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