8.03.2012

TRILOGY TIME PART 3: THE EPIC CONCLUSION

Welcome to part 3 of my trilogy exploration. This shall be the final post and I hope you have enjoyed it, even if I haven't been exactly fair the whole time... Anywho though...no time to waste. Let's get a move on! Oh and let me give a huge thank you to Courtney. Minus the first two banners which Amelia did (thanks for that too!), Courtney realized my vision and created all the rest of the wonderful graphics.


MUSIC:


THE DARK KNIGHT RISES TRILOGY:




This is not a bad theme, and I think a lot of the music in the newest installment was very good. However, when you compare it to all of the themes below....this is one of the few categories where I strongly feel that it's not in the same league. Completely fitting for the films it is featured in, but not the kind of tune that really gets you excited the second you hear it. Ask the average film buff and they'd be able to hum any of the others, but this one is kind of forgettable, unless you are in the middle of watching it.


THE TOY STORY TRILOGY




Randy Newman's best and most memorable. Hard to compare to the others because like the film itself, it is completely different than all of its competition. But it's great for what it is and is a huge factor in Toy Story's charm.


LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY


This theme, as well as the general Lord of the Rings theme is both beautiful and memorable. This score, like the remaining three on the list, adds A LOT to the atmosphere of their respective trilogies. The themes are diverse and deep. Also to note, the themes perfectly match the imagery that they go along with. The second you hear any of the themes, you can almost picture the precise moment it went with in the film.


BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY






Another fantastic theme that really amps things up during the film's climax. As I said, music adds a lot and during the finale this theme is invaluable. It makes you really root for the hero and hope that they can accomplish the impossible. The soundtrack is good, and there are definitely other great themes too...but probably not as wide an array as Star WarsIndiana Jones or Lord of the Rings.


INDIANA JONES TRILOGY:






This truly is one of the great themes in cinema history. It just makes you feel something and somehow it personifies perfectly its hero. It's reckless and exciting, and it makes you feel ready to take on an adventure too...or at least perfectly excited to witness Indy take on the adventure!


STAR WARS TRILOGY:





 

Yep I put two. I could have put 3, or 4 or 7 themes from the original Star Wars alone. John Williams made some incredible themes here and they absolutely put their mark on not only these films but also the world of pop culture and cinema in general. When you think of Star Wars, you most likely think of one of the many songs that decorate the trilogy. Also, the opening credits have to be probably the coolest and most iconic in all of film.  

WINNER: STAR WARS. Indiana's theme second, then Back to the Future, then Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings probably over takes Indy's and BTTF's score as a WHOLE, but I like the main themes better in the others.
Which trilogy has the best musical score?
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 one!
Create your own poll


VERSUS!!


A fight to the death!! Between the strongest installments and the weakest! The best of the best! And...well the worst of the best/worst!



STRONGEST INSTALLMENTS RANKED: 
1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
2. Back to the Future
3. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
4. The Dark Knight
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
6. Toy Story 2

All incredibly strong films and among the greats in cinema history. The Dark Knight is probably one of the best comic book movies ever made, but as I said in my recent Star Wars blog...Empire is one of the best films ever made of any genre. It's a perfect film and it changed so much about the way films are made today. In fact, I think TDK as well as many second installments of any franchise, took quite a bit from itIts impact will be forever felt because of what it was and what it continues to be: a fantastic film and a perfect sequel. It made the trilogy. Return of the King was an amazing film and very strong too, especially as a member of a trilogy...it was the perfect finale and was recognized as such by everyone and their dog when the awards shows came. Whereas Back to the Future is just a downright great FILM....one of my all time favorites in fact, there is no doubt it is the best in its trilogy...so good that it makes the rest of the trilogy seem completely inferior and that it should almost just be a stand alone. And I know people will disagree on Toy Story 2 being the best, but I don't know that there's a clear winner here and this one actually is my favorite. I guess it shows how similar in quality all the films are that they can all be argued either way.






WEAKEST INSTALLMENTS RANKED (LEAST WEAK LAST): 
1. Back to the Future III
2. Toy Story
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
5. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
6. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


I guess there's no "winners" here, but which is the least weak of these films. I actually think Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is verrrry entertaining, so it's probably between that and the original Star Wars which on rewatch is the slowest paced of the films, but very solid and influential in its own right. Oh then there's Fellowship of the Ring....pretty dang solid and probabbbbbly holds up the best. The Dark Knight Rises wouldn't have fallen into this category had the script in the middle been tighter, including a better setup...had that occurred Batman Begins would have taken this spot, and it would have won I think. It's a very solid film.

RECEPTION:



No need for me to explain, we'll let the stats speak for themselves...




WINNER: CRITICS - TOY STORY TRILOGY & LORD OF THE RINGS, AUDIENCE - DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY & LORD OF THE RINGS

LEGACY: 



This is a really hard category for me believe it or not, because I truly believe that all of these trilogies have left their mark on the world.

THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY: What will this trilogy be remembered as in ten years? Impossible to see...the future is. Wait a minute...wrong trilogy. But it should be interesting when the reboots (and/or possible spinoffs) inevitably come. I think Christopher Nolan is a masterful filmmaker and his trilogy will be remembered in a very positive light as forever changing the superhero genre. Heath's performance has already gone down in history as being unforgettable for both his portrayal and the fact that it was his last completed performance. Unfortunately too though these films will have a somewhat marred legacy because I don't think they'll be able to be remembered without thinking of Heath's untimely death as well as the tragedy surrounding the Colorado midnight shooting. Definitely not anyone's fault there because they are incidents outside of the films...not anything to do with the actual films themselves. I do believe in general they will still have a VERY positive legacy...however I'm still not really even sure that they'll be remembered as Christopher Nolan's crowning achievement... I think Inception already holds that honor (and I still think whatever he does in the future has the chance to top all his previous work as well...sky's the limit!)




TOY STORY TRILOGY: Toy Story leaves itself a pretty good legacy too. In fact....it's kind of the Star Wars of CG animated films....for better or for worse. Yeah Disney was up to their no good dollar grabbing sequel ways BEFORE Pixar came along, but Toy Story 2 was the movie that proved that children's franchises could exist and actually be successful. And now look at all the wonderful children franchise we have.... ugh. But seriously Toy Story changed a LOT. It was after all, the first Pixar film and spawned a whole legacy on just that, as well as its own franchise. But it changed children's films altogether (not that I'm sure it was completely for the positive...) Before this everything was hand drawn animation, now we're lucky to get The Princess and the Frog once in a blue moon. So I don't think there's any denying that Toy Story and Toy Story 2 forever changed film in its own right.... but as a trilogy did they make a world of difference? Did Toy Story 3 change the world? Maybe not...but proved that Pixar could make good sequels even if they were forced into making them... oh wait.... Cars 2. Nevermind.

 Toy Story, you are responsible for this!

LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY:  I think Lord of the Rings has already left a pretty nice legacy. Batman has the superhero legacy, Toy Story has the animated legacy and Lord of the Rings gets the adapted literature legacy (though maybe some Harry Potter fans might argue that...or maybe they wouldn't since they all love to complain about their adaptations.) I have never read the books, so I can't speak for it...but I know people who have and they just rave about it. Color me jealous since my favorite series, The Chronicles of Narnia was so poorly adapted and might never see the light of screen again. By their films Narnia is kind of a forgettable and GENERIC fantasy land that no one seems eager to visit again (QUITE the contrary in C.S. Lewis' fantastic books..) whereas Middle Earth was definitely an unforgettable and at times beautiful place (haha it could be pretty ugly too though.) This was a very tightly made trilogy and it shows...the filmmakers definitely took a lot of care in making it and they were certainly rewarded with a boat-load of awards. Deservedly so, since I must admit that Return of the King is a beautiful film and reflects a beautiful series. Cinema changing? Well... I think it's arguable either way...





BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY: I prayyyyyyyyy this series never gets remade. The original film is so perfect. A perfect popcorn movie. It's hard to say what exactly is it's legacy other than being a universally well loved film/series of the 1980's. I think it was very influential, but it's a lot harder to pinpoint its exact influence like it is with the other series. It definitely had its own magic though in that first movie...a magic that was even hard for themselves to completely duplicate the next time around. That's why I think a remake would be such a mistake... lightning doesn't strike twice... See what I did there?




INDIANA JONES TRILOGY: This is another harder trilogy to pinpoint exact influence, but probably still a little easier than Back to the Future. Why? Because here you can definitely see the knockoffs trying to duplicate the exact winning formula. But again....they can't quite do it because Nicolas Cage (excuse me while I laugh straight for 5 minutes!) or Brendan Fraser (sorry Sarah) are no Harrison Ford. I think it definitely had an impact on the pure action/adventure genre... but as of late it's kind of a dying genre, and the fourth installment didn't really bring it back. It's a lot easier to adapt some superhero... ANY superhero than to come up with an original hero like Indiana Jones....because after Jones, they all just seem like wannabes anyway. The references to Indy in pop culture are quite numerable.. if you go to HERE and scroll down the 'referenced in' section, it goes on foreeeeeeeeeeever. Same as our next series on the list. Here's one of my favorites:

 

STAR WARS TRILOGY:  Alrighty... cue the haters singing "Star Wars that I used to know" and "George ruined everything blah blah blah blah BLAH." Yes I will admit that the legacy of Star Wars to the general public has become very mixed in the last two decades and I get it...I do. But it really doesn't change what he, alone with his own imagination, was able to create on film and the fact that his story changed EVERYTHING. In fact, the mere reality that so many people STILL spend their time complaining about it goes to show something doesn't it? People care about these movies. They made an impact...and I argue that they made THE impact. I don't think any of these other trilogies on this list would even exist if it weren't for the fact that Star Wars came first and paved the way. We know Indiana Jones wouldn't have.. and I'm pretty sure no one would have ever attempted to adapt Lord of the Rings on the grand scale that they did if Star Wars hadn't shown people that a story on such a huge scale could be done. It changed special effects, it changed franchises, it changed trilogies, the entire world of film in general and it created movie fandoms. And its references in pop culture are somehow even more endless. It's always around...it never goes away. It always finds its way to still exist through references by people or media...something comes online on youtube or written in an article...where people keep bring it back and comparing it to anything and everything. I don't care who you are, and what you think of George...but you have to admit, that's huge. The following videos are just uploaded by mere humans, and not even the countless references done by the rest of the entertainment world...and there's plenty there I could upload too.






Which trilogy left the greatest mark on the world?
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 pick one!
Create your own poll


WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Sorry, like I said...if you knew me, you already knew the second you started reading this blog what my pick was going to be and I admit my bias showed the whole way through. But Star Wars is the winner of my heart...always will be. I think Lord of the Rings takes second place with The Dark Knight in third. But here's what I REALLY think: YOU'RE ALL WINNERS!!!


At about :32 in :)


5 comments:

courtney wightman said...

bravo my friend, bravo.

Sarah said...

I'm sticking with the answer that I have gotten teased for and about my entire life. I like them all. They are all different. :)

I think they have all been very influential films and will continue to be.

One thing you forgot to mention in regards to the legacy that was left by Indiana Jones...it was the release of Temple of Doom and Gremlins that caused the PG-13 rating to come to pass. Before that, you only had G, PG, and R. And the "good" folks in Hollywood did everything they could to avoid that R rating...at times that meant that a lot of nudity, swearing, adult situations, drugs, etc. made it into PG movies. It was a pretty wide gap.

As for the music, I really love all of the themes.

And you have to hand it to these composers. They are talented and they know their stuff.

I mean, look at John Williams' resume alone. He is listed as the composer of 142 movies and has had over 40 Oscar nominations. He has written some of the most memorable music in our recollection over the past few decades. Some of his most famous movie scores include: Jaws, Star Wars movies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman movies, Indiana Jones movies, Jurassic Park, and the first 3 Harry Potter movies.

James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer share composer credits for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but it appears that Hans Zimmer is the only composer for the final film.

But James Newton Howard composed the music for Dave (trust me, you've heard this music...it was used in just about every preview for a good number of years), The Fugitive, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, among many others.

Hans Zimmer is listed as the composer for the following movies: The Lion King, Muppet Treasure Island, Gladiator, Pearl Harbor, The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, 3 and 4, Inception, Kung Fu Panda, The Madagascar movies, and he's the composer for the upcoming Superman flick, Man of Steel.

Randy Newman has composed The Natural, Avalon, Awakenings, Toy Story trilogy, Pleasantville (the music is much better than the movie), Monsters Inc., Cars, and The Princess and the Frog.

Howard Shore has composed a number of movie scores, though interestingly enough for how breathtaking I find the Lord of the Rings music, I'm not really familiar with many of his other film scores.

Alan Silvestri composed the music for Romancing the Stone, the Back to the Future trilogy, Father of the Bride, Forest Gump, Cast Away, and the Avengers.

Anyway, thanks for letting me have my music geek-out moment. I always find it interesting to see what other films each composer has scored. Some have a definite niche and others are all over the board in terms of musical genres.

Thanks for your blog. Though you definitely have a bias and a very strong opinion, you make very good points and you are entertaining as always!

Sarah said...

Oh, and by the way, that video of Frodo and Gollum as roommates is about one of the funniest things I have ever seen! I laughed and laughed!

And I always love The Flight of the Conchords. :)

Mom said...

From one who lived the history, I can't say how much of a turnaround both Star Wars and Indiana Jones had on the movies. Seriously, pull up movies of the early 70's to mid 70's and they stank. Even the ones marked 4 stars often don't hold up well. Everyone refers to the 80's as the "Me Generation" but the 70's were pretty self-absorbed. However, it was all about "the message." Granted, I haven't seen some of the darker movies like "Taxi Driver" or "Midnight Cowboy." But a lot of the good movies were dark. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" comes to mind. It was all about telling the world what was wrong "Klute," "The Deer Hunter," etc.

Along come Star Wars, and even more so, Indiana Jones and people realized that the movies could also be about a good time. It cycles around again and again. From the escapism movies of the 30's to the big melodramas and epics of the 50's to the popcorn movies of the 80's, at some point people really remember that it's entertainment. And entertaining people when the world is dark is no small thing.

The timing of the first Star Wars movies and Indiana Jones when the economy was going dark is no accident.

So much as I love Back to the Future, historically the other two trilogies I mentioned had a lot of impact because they brought Hollywood back to it's roots after a decade of self-importance.

Oh, and Sarah was right about the musical talent involved in these movies. John Williams alone may stand as the Richard Strauss of his generation. There is no one else who has created such masterful classical music that will stand the test of time. And I think a lot of it will and does stand alone.

Go, Indy!

Movies For Lunch Guys said...

Reading the comments here, I'm glad I'm not the only one that loves movie scores as well. It was a tough decision here, but I have to go with Star Wars on both polls. I have listened to the music for Star Wars and seen the movies so many times that I know exactly what part of the movie they all appear in as well as what the next musical cues are. John Williams is A-MAZING. I echo everything that's been said about the movie music he has written. As for the legacy of these movies, there is no way that any of the rest of these movies has had near the cultural impact that Star Wars has.

Fantastic blog entries and analysis. These movies and others like them are the reason that I love movies.

-Dan from Movies for Lunch