Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poll Results - OVERALL best movie franchise

Here are the poll results:

What movie franchise has the best OVERALL movies?

Lord of the Rings = 3 votes
Star Wars = 3 votes
Alien = 0 votes
Rocky = 1 vote
Star Trek = 2 votes

I think two of you are letting one good movie (released this summer) sway your opinions, but I won't mention which one.

I will admit that I tried to cheat with my vote on this poll. I voted from my computer at work. At home I was going to vote from that computer. I wasn't going to vote for the same movie either. I just couldn't make up my mind which one I wanted to cast a final vote for.

I never got around to voting from home so only my vote at work counted. That was for Star Wars. How could I NOT vote for Star Wars? I have a whole bookcase dedicated to Star Wars books, a closet full of Star Wars toys and I own the original trilogy in at least 4 different versions/formats . . . possibly more.

What made me doubt the overall integrity of the Star Wars films was there were some very horrid things about the last two that I didn't like. I'll get to that later.

My other vote would have gone for Lord of the Rings. I think those are great movies. They're engrossing, entertaining, imaginative, beautifully filmed and solidly cohesive as a franchise. They are long (especially if you get the extended, director's cut editions) and are not for those with bladder control issues who can't sit still long to watch them uninterrupted. And they're worth every minute too. I would have gladly sat through a four hour movie in the theaters if the results would have been the same. I will admit that I might be a little biased about these movies, but not in the way that you think.

See, I haven't read the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet. I've read The Hobbit at least 3 times, but I've never gotten around to reading the other books. I own them, just haven't read them. So why does that make me biased? Because I haven't read the books I don't have any expectations to the story. No, what did they leave out? Or, that doesn't happen in that order. I walked into those movies with no preconceived notions as to what to expect. And I wasn't disappointed.

I wasn't surprised at getting votes for Star Trek. Although I haven't seen all those movies I hear they are either really good or just plain horrible. Since this question asked for the "overall" result I had to eliminate Star Trek (and not because I'm a Star Wars fan).

I was a little surprised that Rocky got one vote and Alien didn't get any. These are two other franchises where I haven't seen all the movies. I heard Rocky movies went downhill fast, except for this last one which I heard was okay. The first Alien movie scared the bejeezies out of me. There was no way I was going to see a sequel . . . especially in a theater. But I've heard they're pretty good. And I'm not counting the Alien vs. Predator movie as part of that franchise. I thought for sure that Alien would get at least one vote because of how well it did at the box office and the scary/creepy factor. Oh well.

But back to Star Wars.

I loved the first trilogy (I think I've already established that) and I couldn't wait for The Phantom Menace to come out. I think I saw it 30 times in the theaters that summer before I stopped saving my ticket stubs. It was different than the original movies (they were so much more chatty) but I liked it. And Jar Jar Binks doesn't bother me as much as he does other people.

When The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith came out I equally as excited. And then I was disappointed. I don't want to get into a debate about every little detail of the films but let me point out some high (or should that be low) lights as I saw them.

1) I don't think Hayen Christenson did a very good job as Anakin. It's more than his hair is curly where as Jake Lloyds was straight. He over acted his part. I would have much preferred to see Ryan Phillipe in the role instead. I think he would have brought that quiet menacing aura to him that I think Darth Vadar needs to have (even though he wasn't Darth Vadar yet).

2) the dialogue was horrible. The worst line (at least to me) is when Obi-Wan and Anakin are trying to rescue the Chancellor and they finally get surrounded by droidekas. Obi-Wan says "Come on, we're better than this". Cheesy. Lame. And so unlike the witty, sharp dialogue of the other movies. And so unlike the Jedi. I cringe every time I hear it. And unfortunately that isn't the only line that is bad. There are many more so I won't quote them. I wish those that helped make the first trilogy so great could have worked on the scripts for the second trilogy.

3) the movies looked too digital. The first trilogy was shot on location, real people were used in real costumes, that may or may not have been easy to move in. The movies looked like they were full of real life, in a real galaxy, far, far away. For the most part the second trilogy (especially the last two movies) were all shot on a sound stage and the backgrounds filled in digitally. TPM had locations shots and maybe that's why I like it better than the others. When Padme and Anakin frolic through the hills of Naboo it's almost the only scene shot outside. I think the whole of the last movies was shot inside. Yes, I know they can do things with lighting and digital effects to make it look they are outside, but to me it comes off more as a painting than an actual place teeming with life. I just miss that in the later films. Not filming "on location" might have kept those costs down so they could apply that money to the digital budget, but I don't think it necessarily made the movies better.

I could go on, but I won't. I don't hate the Star Wars movies. I think they offer more to imagine and wonder at than the Lord of the Rings movies. Besides, those were based on an existing story. The blueprint to the tell the story was already created. Star Wars, on the other hand, was created especially for the screen. It wasn't based on anything so it could be free to explore or do things without being constrained to an existing structure. For that imaginative quality (have you watched the movie just to stare at the people going to the theater, or in the bar scene?) I have to say Star Wars gets the edge over Lord of the Rings. Even if I tried to cheat and vote for both of them.


metallicorphan said...

if you wanna be fussy about it,the original Star Wars plot was pretty much taken from Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden i haven't seen it either

but then again,you could also argue that Star wars is pretty much a fairy tale with sci-fi wrapped around it(knight in shining armour saving the princess from the evil guy in his tower)that we have all heard a million times before...but still the way it was done,and the effects that are still more impressive when you know they didn't have computers back then(or like they do now)

yeah LOTR films have got a bit missing,and moved around(Boromir dies at the beginning of book 3(there are 6 books in 3 volumes....3 and 4 are the second volume The Two Towers)

sometimes for the best(that stupid singing hippy in the fellowship book isn't in the film,but then again damn,neither is his wife)

and sometimes for the worse(the ending to ROTK movie,sucks balls,compared to the book...Frodo has a cup of tea in his hand for christ sakes)..i have no idea why Peter Jackson didn't do the books ending,really is a great ending

right now to important stuff..are you telling me Penny,that you have never seen Aliens?
damn Penny you are missing out on a great film there,like i said in the other blog...Alien is for suspense Aliens is for action,its not that scary...and its one of few sequels that at least in my eyes is on par with the original film,others say its better

Pengwenn said...

I love scary movies. They're just not so fun to watch alone. Whose arm am I going to dig my nails into when that creepy alien jumps onto the screen, drooling and looking to kill someone?