TRILOGY TIME PART 1: The Journey Begins.

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With the release of the newest and final installment in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy (is that the official name we're calling it?) people have been quick to label it "the best trilogy ever." Hold your horses! I think a few beloved cinema trilogies have something to say about that. And so, Emily declared that there would be......A BATTLE OF THE TRILOGIES. A fight to the death to prove each ones greatness. The fiirrrrst annnnnuallll HUNNNNNGER GAMES. (Wait. that's not on this list!) Okay, I'll admit...it's not much of a fair fight since I already have a huge bias and anyone that knows me already knows which series I'm going to pick. So I'll do my best to actually give reasons for why it wins in my eyes and besides.. the fight for second place should be interesting right?....right??? Plus I'll break these up into interesting categories that will make it not only easier to compare, but  to debate each of the factors amongst yourselves. AND I'm including my first ever polls, so even if you disagree, you can have your say too. I have a lot to say, so fittingly I'm going to spare you a giant post, and instead split it into THREE POSTS. (See what I did there?) Also right now I gotta give props to Amelia for creating all of the great banners you'll be seeing in this 3 parts series.

Now when trying to decide which series deserved inclusion I decided I needed some sort of criteria. Firstly I needed to have seen the series right? No brainer. So if you're wondering why famous, well reviewed trilogies such as The Godfather and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (which apparently that trilogy is called The Dollars Trilogy) aren't here it's because I have unfortunately not seen them. Next it was a matter of deciding which trilogies were actually contenders. Both Spider-man and X-men had two fantastic installments to their trilogies, but their third chapters both fell a bit short. So I decided that each movie in their respective trilogies needed to be well received both by the people as well as the critics. (By this criteria, I'm going to leave the Star Wars prequel trilogy out of this, because I don't want to ignite the hater flame. Also I will admit, I am cheating with the Back to the Future trilogy because the second one doesn't have the greatest score on rottentomatoes, but I wanted it to compete anyway. Also cheating by including Indiana Jones since its illegitimate sequel came along...but we'll just pretend it doesn't exist... ) So without further ado, let's rumble. The movies that made it into contention are these: The Dark Knight trilogy, Toy Story trilogy, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Back to the Future trilogy, Indiana Jones trilogy, and finally the Star Wars trilogy. We'll go by category.


BATMAN. First up is Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. The dark knight is very heroic and very cool. He is definitely someone that pretty much the entire male gender, at any age, wishes they could be (and possibly pretends to be when no one is looking.) He is strong,courageous and never gives up. He's also very handsome. I definitely think I prefer him as Bruce even though he is very cool as Batman...Bruce is the humanity and I love that. I know I use the word a lot, but he does have a very good screen presence too...definitely the presence of a hero.

WOODY. I really only consider him to be the full protagonist in the first film, because after that he and Buzz become equal leaders. In fact, I must be honest...I have kind of come to prefer Buzz to Woody as THE hero. Woody's plight in the first film is definitely relatable, but not all that honorable if that makes sense at all. Even in the second one after he is supposed to have learned all these lessons from the first movie, he still kind of has his selfish moments. Thankfully in 3 I think he is a true hero. Hanks does a good job bringing him to life, but obviously his character is in a different league entirely than the rest of his competition, so it's hardly comparable.....but for his films he is very good.

FRODO. Okay here's another one that is technically the main hero of the story, but to me isn't the TRUE hero (that title easily goes to Sam.) Frodo, is portrayed as very human and incredibly flawed when under the power of the ring...rather ironic since he's a hobbit right? We see him tested emotionally and mentally by his burden, and sometimes he doesn't always make the best choices. In fact it seems that in his final moment of truth....the moment he'd been waiting for the entire trilogy... he failed. But luckily, his loyal friend was there to help make things right (that and a crazed Gollum who inadvertently did the right thing through all his selfishness.) Easy for me to call him weak as I wasn't in his shoes, and thankfully unless some weird shiz goes down and I get transported to Middle Earth, I won't ever be. But I will say his determination is admirable. He probably would have had an easier time if his task was a littler simpler.. say something like this:

MARTY MCFLY. He is without a doubt the most relatable, down to earth of our heroes. Michael J. Fox has wonderful comic timing and you cannot picture anyone else in his role and making it work the way he does (whereas the previous heroes I just mentioned maybe could have been played successfully by someone else.) Not only is he the most accessible hero, he is probably the funniest as well. He is a very good hero, but I think a lot of that is more due to luck than himself....meaning if I was in a tiff I'd feel more comfortable with Indy getting me out of the jam than someone like Marty. And that leads us to...

INDIANA JONES. (as said in the same tone Marion uses when she sees him...) I think Indy has the most charisma and screen presence of all our heroes. There is something about Harrison as Indy in these films, and it is magical. Like the previous category, NO ONE could have played him the same way...the movies would not have worked. I know I should be gushing with endless examples about it since he's so awesome...but it's just like a fact. I mean, what else is there to say but Indiana is the man? His character personifies a big screen movie hero and he might just beat out my beloved in the next entry...

LUKE SKYWALKER. I absolutely love Luke Skywalker. I just do. Everything about him, whininess included. I see the most character development in him over the course of his trilogy than compared to all of the other heroes in theirs and he definitely has the most compassion. He sees the best in people and never gives up on them and THAT is a true hero. He's courageous and loyal and will do anything necessary to save the day. But, while I think he is a fantastic hero, it can be a detriment to him that he does have to compete for attention with Harrison Ford's Han Solo (full of just as much charisma as his Indiana Jones) at times...and doesn't always win in that matchup (even if he is my favorite character overall..) Therefore...I'd say they winner is:


Who is your favorite movie Trilogy hero?
Batman/Bruce Wayne
Marty McFly
Indiana Jones
Luke Skywalker
I can't pick one!
Create your own poll

DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY: The Batman trilogy has an array of some very impressive and solid villains. From Batman Begins we have Liam Neeson's Ras Al Guhl, Tom Wilkinson's Carmine Falcone, and Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow. All are great, I particularly thought Cillian's Scarecrow was horrifying and only wish he had more screentime and was better used in the sequels. The Dark Knight gave us the unforgettable and oscar-winning performance of Heath Ledger. His Joker was downright chilling. It is a travesty he died for many reasons, but I can't help but wonder how different (and possibly better) the finale would have been had he been in it. TDK also features the strong performance of Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent and later, his alter ego: Two Face. I think he did a great job and wished we would have gotten to see more of his villainous side. Finally in The Dark Knight Rises we have Bane and [spoiler] Talia Al Guhl. [/spoiler] Both are very effective I would say, and Bane's brute strength is terrifying in its own way...but perhaps not as effective as the psychological damage that the Joker does, in my opinion. I enjoyed the villains in each installment (and switching up villains is a very comic book thing to do so I definitely understand why they did..), but as far as trilogies go....I think I prefer it when there's one central threat that ties the three films together ie the Empire or Sauron.

TOY STORY TRILOGY: In the first film we have Sid, a punk kid from next door whose hobby it is to destroy toys. For an animated film I think he is a very effective villain and much better than the villains they had for the sequels. Actually I don't mind Stinky Pete, the prospector...but what I don't like is how the villain in 3 feels like a carbon copy of him. Oh... the seemingly nice short and stalky toy you don't expect to, turns out to have a dastardly plot of keeping the toys apart all this time! The second installment also features Wayne Knight as Al, the toy collector and he would certainly be seen as a villain too, even if a somehwat comical one. The villains in Toy Story serve their purpose, but aside from Sid aren't all that memorable.

LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY: There are two main villains in the Lord of the Rings trilogy...but I don't really see them as characters, (especially Sauron..) so much as representations of pure evil in the form of corruption and greed. Due to the rings power, the threat we feel from them always feels urgent and real. Aside from Sauron, you also have all of the creepy people doing his bidding. Orcs, ring wraths, a witch king and Wormtongue. A lot of creepy people indeed that are very much perfect for the world in which it is set. And oh my gooooosh what am I thinking? I haven't even mentioned Gollum. He's fantastic. He makes this trilogy a true contender too. Creepy little guy..... yet somehow you, like Frodo, want his redemption.

BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY: Biff is a great character. But an incredibly menacing villain? Not really. He's kind of a buffoon that we all love seeing misfortune smile upon. Having him stir up trouble over and over again is fine because I can't really picture anyone else making trouble in the Back to the Future world. Still though...probably not the strongest villain. That's not to say he doesn't have his moments though, but he's more of a douchebag than a terror.

INDIANA JONES TRILOGY: A whole bunch of nazis and some crazies from Temple of Doom. I'm not gonna lie, I could really use a refresher on the Indiana Jones trilogy to be able to say more on this subject. But since I really can't remember toooo much about it, it's hard for me to really argue that this portion is one of the huge strengths. They're good enough and serve their purpose, but don't have the iconicness of the villains in the next category.

STAR WARS TRILOGY: Darth freaking Vader. He is THE villain. The Joker was able to terrify with only a laugh (and seriously, much credit I give him)....but all Vader has to do is breathe to send chills down the audiences spine. He is one of the greatest villains of all time, and I think it's safe to say that he served as a model for many villains thereafter. But what's great about him isn't just how scary he was, but actually how human he was....and that there was more to him than met the eye. He was an evil person that made you actually look at his humanity. He had a family, he had a life before. What made him do what he did? And how could he ever come back? And that's not even getting started with the Emperor from Return of the Jedi. He is absolutely terrifying and incredibly powerful. His cackle, his look, and his love of evil made him one of the greatest villains of all....the pure personification of evil, the cinematic representation of the devil himself almost. Oh and there's also that creepy slimeball Jabba. He's great too. "I know that laugh...."

WINNER: STAR WARS TRILOGY. But Heath, your Joker alone makes the Dark Knight trilogy an incredibly close runner up, with Lord of the Rings coming in third.

What movie trilogy has the best villains?
The Dark Knight Trilogy
The Toy Story Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Back to the Future Trilogy
The Indiana Jones Trilogy
The Star Wars Trilogy
I can't choose just one!
Create your own poll


THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY: Yeah. There's a reason I didn't put any incarnation of Rachel Dawes in that heart and you know why. Her and her relationship with Bruce is definitely one of the weakest parts of the trilogy, and unfortunately once she's gone he jumps right into another blah "relationship" with Miranda Tate (okay maybe not right after, first we get his memory of her being his one true love shoved down our throats.) Luckily though a spicy catwoman is there to save the day and actually make it a contender in this category. Her and Bruce have some great chemistry and had she somehow found her way into the second film (or at least had some interactions expanded on in the third more), I think they would have had a pretty decent love story. As it is, the damage Rachel did is too much for the trilogy to overcome and win this category.

TOY STORY TRILOGY. Here we have the established-before-the-film couple of Woody and Bo-Peep. Along the way, Buzz finds love with the cowgirl Jesse. I think both little love stories are cute even if there's not much to them, (minus Bo and Woody's tragic end). The real epic love story here though? Barbie and Ken. Hilariousness ensues.

LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY: The main love story here is Arwen and Aragon (with Eowyn acting as the third point in the triangle in The Two Towers), and in the extended  version we get treated to Eowyn and Faramir. I think I like Arwen and Aragorn best at the very end of Return of the King when Arwen actually shows some vulnerability and humanity. Everything previously was a little too other wordly and zoned out for me to be completely in love with them as a couple...but I do appreciate their scenes. Like I said that last scene of Return of the King is just great. Oh...and Sam marrying that hobbit girl makes me happy too :)

BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY: An array of relationships here. George and Lorraine, Lorraine and Biff, Marty and Jennifer, Marty and Doc, Lorraine with Marty (eep.) Okay I was kidding on the last two....and Biff and Lorraine. Jennifer was always likable, but pre-established relationships aren't as fun to watch as seeing people fall in love. Therefore the strongest love story in the movies is probably Marty's parents. Too bad Crispin wasn't in the sequels. The scene of them at the dance is a great movie moment. Oh and again...not even talking about Clara Clayton and Doc. Bleh. Oh and Marty and his mom? Gives me the heebie jeebies.

INDIANA JONES TRILOGY: A different installment, a different lady for Indy. The James Bond approach. As a female, I gotta admit that isn't my favorite and it kind of cheapens each love story individually. I thought him and Marion had some great scenes, but if he's going to be making out with a blonde nazi a few years later what's the point really? Is he actually capable of loving only one woman? And I gotta say, while many people hated Willie I always found her pretty entertaining and their romance decent....but obviously it didn't last.

STAR WARS TRILOGY: Bingo. At least one of the Harrison's is a loyal guy. I think this is definitely the best love story of the bunch. Han and Leia have great chemistry together and their scenes in Empire is just filled with unresolved tension between the two. Their bantering has just the right amount of sass and sweet and has you rooting for them the entire way through. Plus how quotable is: "I love you." "I know." We will just not even mention the whole Luke/Leia stuff....

WINNER: STAR WARS TRILOGY. I mean come on....they're even a perfect couple in lego form.

Which is your favorite love story from a trilogy?
Bruce and Rachel
Bruce and Selina
Woody and Bo
Buzz and Jessie
Barbie and Ken
Aragorn and Arwen
Marty and Jennifer
George and Lorraine
Indiana and Marion
Indiana and Willie
Han and Leia
I can't pick one!
Create your own poll

Well that's it for part 1....and trust me there's plenty more where that came from. Next installment will be out Wednesday where I'll discuss side characters, plots and worlds. In the meantime, please feel free to share your opinions below on who you picked for each category and why!


Kenny D said...

You knew I'd be all over this. So here I am. To be honest, Indiana Jones would be victorious in quite a few categories but he no longer qualifies. (see: Crystal Skull/4th film)
Star Wars cannot win best love because of the awkwardness that no one will be able to unsee.
When it comes to overall heroes, LOTR would win easily, but heroism is one form is Bruce Wayne, sacrificing life, relationships, and sanity for the sake of others.

Emily said...

In my eyes crystal skull is a SEQUEL to a trilogy. Haha

Sarah said...

I can't believe they actually made a publicity shot of Leia and Luke kissing. Shiver. That's so not right.

Sometimes I think it's hard to pit movie against movie because what was perfect for one movie isn't perfect for another.

Of course Biff would be completely powerless against Indiana Jones, but he's quite menacing to George and Lorraine when he has the power. I mean, if George hadn't come along to save the day, he would have been a rapist!

I like all of these trilogies. But Toy Story...being a kids' movie...isn't on the same level of competition. It's in a class all its own. So, while it would definitely blow Shrek out of the water, it stands no chance against Lord of the Rings. :)

Very entertaining as always!

Mom said...

Marty McFly all the way.....except for the love story. And, actually, it should have been Clara and Doc. That was the real love story. :)

Emily said...

I hate clock! Clock = clara/doc

Joey said...

Oh, and that picture of Marty and Jennifer together...the first one, not the Elizabeth Shue stand-in....he is so cute!!!!

Movies For Lunch Guys said...

This is a fantastic blog!! I was just referred here by Kenny D last week and read the entire thing back to the beginning. I thought the Spider-man comparison post was genius. I love how much you appreciate (and love) Star Wars and its prequels. And your constant (500) Days of Summer references crack me up!

As for this post, I picked Batman as the ultimate hero even over my beloved Indy because he was never in it for himself. Batman again for the villains because they messed with my head more and seemed like a bigger actual threat to me. And Han and Leia all the way for the love story. Although I was a little surprised you left off Mr. and Mrs. Potato-Head.

This blog makes me feel inadequate as an amateur movie reviewer and blogger. Anyway, chalk up another fan for your blog. Would love to hear some feedback on my blog if you get the chance: http://www.moviesforlunch.blogspot.com. Or at least have someone other than a few friends read it.

-Dan from Movies for Lunch Guys

P.S. I hate Clara Clayton too! She absolutely ruined how cool part 3 would/could have been.

Emily said...

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Always good meeting fellow movie lovers and blog supporters. I just love movies and especially MY movies (gotta praise Star Wars and 500 days of Summer whenever I can haha).

Good point about Batman even though of course I'm still going for Darth Vader and The Emperor (they don't seem as big of a threat because they ALREADY have complete control..), but I'm glad you at least agreed with Han and Leia :) I can't believe I forgot the Potatoheads though!

Thanks again and I'll definitely be visiting your blog too!

Unknown said...

"Arwen actually shows some vulnerability and humanity." But, she's an elf!
Okay, joking aside, these polls are quite fun. :)