Thursday, June 17, 2010

Great Threequels

Well, Toy Story 3 will be out tomorrow, and so far its reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, allowing it to overcome the curse of the threequel, which states that the third movie in a series is always a disappointment.

I've thought of some exceptions:

This is sort of the definitive Bond film, with its top-notch villain, original superhuman assassin (Oddjob), and its awesome theme song.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Currently the #4 ranked movie in IMDB.

Rocky III
The critics never really warmed to this one that much, but audiences sure did, and it mad a star out of the iconic Mr. T.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Not really my favorite, but the first choice of many a fan. definitely had the most emotional depth of any of the Indy movies, which I admit is like saying Three Musketeers has the lest fat of any major candy bar.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Since they were filmed all at once, is this really a sequel? Well, yes, it is.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Actually got the series more prestige by getting a top magic realism director.

The Bourne Ultimatum
I saw the original and didn't like it, but audiences and reviewers did.


At 6/20/10, 5:52 AM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

Bad: And then there's 'Son of Frankenstein'. Usually listed among the classics because of a respectable budget, Lugosi's Ygor and Karloff's swan song as the Monster, it's actually a distant third (especially missing Whale's touch) that pointed the way for the portrayal of the monster from then on: not a character - a plot element.

Good: 'Return of the Jedi' has it's faults, but it's really the family friendly film that he intended 'Phantom' to be, and tied up the initial trilogy nicely (despite giving away every surprise nice and early!)

At 6/20/10, 10:51 PM, Blogger Monster, Indeed! said...

I agree with you re: Son of Frankenstein, though I'm sure at the time, it went over better than "Bride," whose story developments were largely disregarded by further films in the series, while Son's "The Monster is sick and needs to lie down until we spark him up" remained a sorry staple of the sequels.

I also agree with you about "Return," but you're comparing it favorably to what followed it, not what preceded it, which is the real measure of a good threequel, and much as I love this movie, its reputation still lags behind "Star Wars" and ""Empire."

At 7/6/10, 5:36 PM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

Well, 'Return' is still an excellent film, and I notice that 'Lost Crusade' made your list, and I'm sure you don't consider that one the best of the bunch.

And I only mentioned 'Phantom' because I believe that the kids movie approach had been made redundant thanks to Return.

Oh, and 'Alien 3' (or whatever they called it) was a MAJOR disappointment after the first two movies!

And (against my will) I recently sat through 'Beethoven', followed by '2nd' and '3rd'. It's amazing that when you think a film series can't get any worse, it can. With '3rd', the series entered the tragic direct to video stage. I think there are about six in the woeful series altogether. I fear they make the beast talk. Worse of all, the family changes completely with '3rd', and you no longer get to imagine Charles Grodin plotting how to slowly kill his agent for putting him in the dog movie. Instead, you have Judge Reinhold, looking grateful for the paycheck!


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