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The FilmDebate Contributors Collaborate – Our Three Favourite Trilogies…


Posted August 26, 2016 by

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Our Three Favourite Trilogies

The sixth in our ‘contributors collaborate’ monthly feature…this time, we discuss our three favourite trilogies

Adam Snowden

1. Lord Of The Rings – Cinematic masterpiece. To achieve the level of entertainment and engagement throughout one film is incredible, but three is just something else entirely. I love everything about Lord Of The Rings, performance, casting, direction, writing, music, etc the list goes on and on…

2. Toy Story – Well done Pixar, smashed it out the park with these three films…effortlessly entertaining for all ages. Never overlook the quality of the Toy Story films. Pioneering. Timeless.

3. The Dark Knight Trilogy – I love Batman, always have, and when I first saw Batman Begins I knew it was the start of something big…then came The Dark Knight, which completely blew me away. Only to top it all off with The Dark Knight Rises. I do ask myself though, if it wasn’t for the villains in these films, where would they be? They would still be excellent I’m sure, but take the likes of Heath Ledger as the Joker and Tom Hardy as Bane away, and what do you have? Something to think about!

Nick Price

1. Back To The Future – Timeless Classic! (No pun intended)

2. The Dark Knight Trilogy – Directing, Cinematic and Superhero perfection!

3. Toy Story – Pixar’s animated journey which has taken me right from my early years up until my late teens and still kept me captivated and wanting more throughout. I will never hand over my Woody and Buzz!

Jonathan Eig

1. Leone’s Dollars – The first three. Once Upon a Time in the West is better than any of the trilogy, but the trilogy is just awesome.

2. Kaurismaki’s Proletariat – Just a hair better than Finland, in part because Matti Pellonpaa died in 1995.

3. Tie – Bergman’s faith trilogy, the most emotionally searing trio I’ve ever seen, and Romero’s original Living Dead threesome, back when zombies were zombies. Full disclosure, I kind of picked these because I wanted Bergman and Romero to tie for something. –

Ruben R. Diaz

1. Vengeance Trilogy from Chan-wook Park – I guess technically not a trilogy in the traditional sense, Chan-wook Park took the theme of revenge and crafted three pieces of action movie art. The first in the series, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE is “revenge gone wrong” and it takes viewers on an ride that’s packed with action and emotion. Next is OLDBOY, one of the greatest action movies ever made. It’s “revenge or else” and offers the biggest and best twists of the series. Park’s directing is brilliant throughout making parts of this action movie feel like moving paintings. Last is LADY VENGEANCE which is, for lack of a better phrase, “revenge porn.” It’s flashy, it’s sexy, and it’s absolutely gruesome.

2. Three Colors Trilogy from Krzysztof Kieslowski – BLUE, WHITE, RED … those three colors are represented in the French flag and stand for liberty, equality, and fraternity. Each film in Kielsowki’s trilogy stars a different woman who represents these three qualities. This series of films is both technically brilliant and philosophically in-depth. Color palettes are precise through each movie to match the tone, the mood, and even the title. Zbigniew Preisner’s score accentuates ambitious and successful camera work. If Rotten Tomatoes rankings are your thing … BLUE and RED are rated 100% and WHITE is 90%. ‘Nuff said.

3. Star Wars (Original) – What is there to say? Love them or hate them, NEW HOPE, EMPIRE, and RETURN are three of the most influential films in the history of filmmaking. Period. Don’t even try to argue it. They ended the era of gritty, experimental 70s Hollywood with a bang and super-fueled the blockbuster train that’s become a filmmaking killing machine today. Star Wars was decades ahead of every movie of its time when it comes to special effects. The space opera borrowed HEAVILY from Kurosawa’s HIDDEN FORTRESS, but changed the setting from Feudal Japan to a galaxy far, far away. Lucas used archetypal characters to tell a classic story of a hero’s rise. But it also features the growth of Han who goes from scoundrel, space pirate to a leader over the course of the trilogy. And then there’s John Williams’ perfect score.

Louis Skye

1. Back To The Future – In the words if Marty McFly – It’s a classic! I never tire of watching it. The jokes never get old. The story still enthralls. The characters still endure. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

2. The Dark Knight Trilogy – Christopher Nolan is pitch perfect with this trilogy. Thrilling from beginning to end, this trilogy gives us a DC universe that feels like it came right out of the comic books. The films have everything – plots with twists and turns, believable characters and stunning visuals. The music by Hans Zimmer adds to the brilliance (I’m still listening to it).

3. Star Wars – The trilogy to beat them all. Star Wars is an enduring classic that we can’t help but be in love with. Special effects and storytelling that has shaped cinema and inspired many minds, Star Wars is one of the greatest things that ever happened to film.

Lestat de Lioncourt

1. Star Wars (Original) – The sci-fi trilogy to beat them all. Star Wars has made such an impact on cinema that we are still trying to rekindle that original magic. For those of us who missed the hype when it was first released, the ability to watch its successors has been just as spectacular a feeling. The original films are fun, inspiring and eternal. Luke, Han and Leia still remain our favourite heroes and their camaraderie is hard to match. The stories are universal and relatable. These are every day heroes saving an entire galaxy. Add to that the series has an unforgettable score by John Williams – still listening and loving this music today. George Lucas may have done a lot of things wrong ever since, but we will always be grateful to him for bringing this series to life. Let’s hope the new trilogy and the one million spin-offs can do justice to the premise of the originals.

2. Back To The Future – This is the fun-loving 80s at its peak. There’s no denying the joy ride that is these three films. Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s adventures through time are glorious. The comic timing of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd is hard to compete with. The stories are written to perfection – you’ll catch some new plot devices or some extra foreshadowing every time you watch it. Doesn’t matter if we’re in 1985, 1885, 1915 or 2015, we are on a rollercoaster ride like no other. Over three decades since its release and we are still talking about it and we’re still in love with it. It’s the kind of time-travel story that is impossible to replicate.

3. Captain America Trilogy – Call me obsessed, but writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus successfully made this character likeable, believable and relatable. Despite the character’s title and origins, they made Steve Rogers and his goals universal. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ is a fun, pacey film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also produced Marvel’s finest female hero – the fantastic Peggy Carter, who deserved much more than she got. I’ve written before about the perfection of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, a spy film with superheroes, filled with political allegories and emotion. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ may be the trilogy’s biggest entry, but it fizzles in comparison to the others. Despite that, it is a great watch and successfully addresses several issues in the Marvel universe. I foresee myself going back to these films for a long time coming.

Daniel Smith – Rowsey

1. Lord Of The Rings – There’s more here than most groups of three movies can even imagine, and all done with a bravura, fearless style that still raises the pulse even as it chills the bone. I love Star Wars, but Star Wars doesn’t make you care about the fates and choices of ten different characters the way this does. Gollum remains one of the most audacious feats ever committed to a strong film, a CGI character – who you never fail to believe – that personifies evil and poisoned humanity in equal measure. It’s odd to think that prior to LOTR, Hollywood was mostly interested in star vehicles and rarely interested in committing a lot of money to literary adaptations (if we’re including comic books as literature). After LOTR, it was all about getting the part right, hiring the right Ian McKellen for the job. Peter Jackson, wizard.

2. The Apu Trilogy – Hey, if no one else is going to stick up for it, I will. Later decried as “poverty porn” by people with lots of money, these movies made the subjects of Italian neorealism look wealthy by comparison…and yet, though their circumstances are horrible, Satyajit Ray’s camera never wallows in pity, only making us feel extraordinary empathy. The images from these films, of people on mats, of tender hanging trees, still linger in the mind, coming up when least expected. These films shine a light on a part of the world that many of us don’t think about, but never preach, only affording us the privilege of hanging out with these people for six precious hours. Intensely humanistic realism at its finest.

3. The ‘Before’ Trilogy – Probably going to be at least a tetralogy eventually, but as of 2016, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy’s Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight constitute a trilogy on gossamer wings, so preciously written and performed that you almost don’t want to say anything about them for fear of scaring them away. I think of the Before films as the part of Generation X white people that “Friends” didn’t cover, the little unsaid, unsayable truths about love and survival in this crazy mixed-up world. Determinedly small, determinedly focused on the inner lives of two people and the third life of their bond, these films make a staggering case that that’s enough.

Adam Laffey

1. The ‘Before’ Trilogy – The genius of these is the simplicity; the camera follows a couple around for the entire film while they debate their lives, picking up at 9-year intervals between films. The great thing about them is that nothing particularly cinematic happens but we engage with and like the characters so much that you can’t look away. There are conversations about love, life and relationships that anyone can relate to, and given the space between films will either seem nostalgic or right on the money, given your age and life experience. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have incredible chemistry, meaning that you get right behind them as a couple and the time invested in them makes for a genuinely moving end to the last film when this perfect couple has a fight. One of the few trilogies where I wouldn’t actually mind a fourth film.

2. The Dark Knight Trilogy – I’m a comic book geek and the downside to many of these films is that they can become so removed from reality that it becomes more about special effects than characters. Chris Nolan went the other way with his grounded (pun intended), troubled Batman. In fact, so rooted in reality are these films that the only jarring moment is the ‘sonar’ sequence which reeks of sci-fi. Great villains, tangible threats and a fantastic Bruce Wayne/Batman from Christian Bale. The only things I can fault is some jittery editing and poor sound design, but who’s counting.

3. Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ Trilogy – Legendary doesn’t even cover it. From the iconic nameless hero, the brutal, countercultural amoral West, and Leone’s visceral direction, these films are about as perfect as they come. My personal highlight is the graveyard shootout that ends The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, which is an object lesson in how to use editing to build tension. To cut from shots of sweeping desert vistas to close ups of Lee Van Cleef’s evil eye is nothing sort of genius.

Kieran Rae

1. The Lord of the Rings – surely cinema doesn’t get better? All three movies expertly juggle many different characters and perfectly both capture and handle the grandeur of the epic tale almost faultlessly to the end. This isn’t just a fantastically directed trilogy, but an expertly casted, solidly written and emotionally wild experience. Oh, and it’s scored by Howard shore.

2. Toy Story – it’s rare an animated film, much less one about toys, can have grown adults crying in a cinema. Though Pixar are known for their tear jerking classics, Toy Story is really the foundation of them all. The three detail what it is to be human, ironically, through toys. The pain of loss, the analogy of parents and children, all this depth complimented with hilarious characters, great plotting and filmmakers that clearly care.

3. The Cornetto Trilogy – Edgar Wright surely deserves some love? He’s a pioneer of visual humour, he uses everything film can offer, from mise en scene gags to unbelievably creative and rapid editing. The casting of pegg and frost allow the films to display development in them as characters, actors and Wright as a director. The screenplays are endlessly clever and witty where every line has a double meaning. There’s even surprising heart, particularly in the World End. For comedy, visuals and editing, the Cornetto Trilogy must surely be considered a great one.

Nolan Sordyl

1. Star Wars

2. Lord Of The Rings

3. The Dark Knight Trilogy

There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times about these movies. Some of my favorite movies ever come from these three trilogies, and all nine of them are the rare film that, as soon as the credits roll, I feel as if I could happily go back to the start and watch the whole thing over again. It’s hard to watch any one of them without also watching the rest of the films from the trilogy.

Tim Buckler

1. Star Trek Trilogy – Wrath Of Khan/Search For Spock/Voyage Home. The only three Trek films that have a linked story, so I consider it a trilogy (They even ave their own stand alone box set!)

2. The Dark Knight Trilogy – Love Batman, and I love how these three films has a definitive beginning, middle and end

3. Star Wars (Original) – Because its the best trilogy ever. Thats my lot, not very original but there ya go!


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