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Author Topic: Movie trilogies that got progressively better  (Read 3257 times)
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Teggy
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« on: June 02, 2008, 05:15:45 PM »

I feel like we have had lots of threads about sequels that were better/worse than their predecessors. However, on my way to lunch I had a random thought (as I often do) and tried to think of a trilogy where each movie was better than the previous one.  I could come up with lots of cases where the third movie blew it (Godfather, X-Men, Spider-man, Star Wars, Alien) and there are plenty of cases where the second movie blew it (Matrix, RoboCop, Back to the Future). The closest I could come up with off the top of my head was the 2nd Star Wars trilogy, but it's not like it ever made it past mediocrity.

Here is a page of reference if you are trying to jog your memory
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 05:17:08 PM »

Lord of the Rings?   Although, they really felt more like one big movie done in 3 installments.
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Teggy
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2008, 05:20:48 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on June 02, 2008, 05:17:08 PM

Lord of the Rings?   Although, they really felt more like one big movie done in 3 installments.

Yeah, I could see a good argument there.  Looking at the list 2 I think could be argued would be Evil Dead, although I doubt you could get consensus there, and maybe the Bourne series.
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008, 05:23:55 PM »

Depending on your taste perhaps the Fistful of Dollars; Few Dollars More; Good, Bad & Ugly trilogy? 
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 05:31:32 PM »

I think the reason movie trilogies tend to not get better as time goes on, where as television shows tend to get better, is the amount of meddling involved in 'fixing' the story, so as to top what came before it.

Most movies, when they've reached sequel/trilogy status feel this need to be 'bigger and better' than what came before it. X-Men 3 is a great example of this. The movie was wall to wall action, with more and more characters on screen, trying to 'wrap up stories', with character deaths, and a good deal less character development, and that's why it was garbage. Other times, you bring in someone who has no idea how to write / direct the movie franchise, and with the change in players you get weaker stories. The first spiderman felt like someone's love letter to spiderman, whereas the second one felt a little more contrived, and the third one felt like 'lets make a spiderman movie' where production started before the script was even finished and polished.

That's rambl-y, but it really just seems like more action sequences are put in to take the place of story.

There have been some movie series that I feel have gotten progressively better. The Harry Potter movies for example - I think I like each one more than the movie that came before it.
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008, 05:37:52 PM »

I didn't see the Home Alone series listed.
Some of those "trilogies" actually have more than three movies in the series.
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 05:45:23 PM »

The only two series I saw that no one has mentioned is the Blade series (which one could argue got better as it went, Jessica Biel's shower scene making the 3rd one better than the others for that reason alone) and the Mexican Series (certainly Desperado was better than the original and Johny Depp steals the show in Once Upon a Time in Mexico).
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 05:46:07 PM »

Unfortunately it doesn't fall into the "trilogy" category, but if liberty were taken to also refer to sequels, I felt Toy Story 2 was a pleasant improvement over the original, which is no small feat as the first was quite good as well.

For me I would say that the Bourne series got progressively better with each installment and went out with an impressive bang.  But I can't think of any other trilogies that didn't jump the shark after the second film (other than Lord of the Rings).    
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 05:55:36 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on June 02, 2008, 05:45:23 PM

the Mexican Series (certainly Desperado was better than the original and Johny Depp steals the show in Once Upon a Time in Mexico).

El Mariachi was brilliant low budget film making. Desperado was typical big budget Hollywood garbage. IMHO
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 06:21:58 PM »

Some of these movies I wouldn't even consider as a trilogy when it comes to them as TV movies or direct to video garbage.
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 06:24:19 PM »

I thought the Problem Child trilogy got progressively better as it went on.  So many unanswered questions were left for the audience after the first film that I knew they'd need a second and perhaps third film to fill in the film's backstory. 

I was happy to see the makers of the films didn't sacrifice their artistic integrity as well.  The depth of emotion displayed during the "fart noise" scene in PC 2 was, imho, a real attempt to revitalize cinema in such a way that hadn't been seen since Citizen Kane or Revenge of the Nerds 2.

All in all, I still blame John Ritter for dying as it effectively brought an end to this series of arthouse hits.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008, 06:27:15 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on June 02, 2008, 05:23:55 PM

Depending on your taste perhaps the Fistful of Dollars; Few Dollars More; Good, Bad & Ugly trilogy? 

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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2008, 06:32:44 PM »

I can't give ally'all LotR even.  The first movie so close to perfect that they others lacked by comparison, which is not to say that they weren't excellent.  However, I don't go all fanboy critical over Fellowship, I do over the other two.  From CGI Legolas to the train wreck that was Faramir they were "worse" even in the special editions.  It just so happens the bar was set so impressively high by the first installment that the others could afford to fall short and still be excellent movies.

Let's see how the new Batman does.  The Dark Knight has me so excited I might just   icon_eek  retard paranoid excuse me.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2008, 06:39:39 PM »

If we can take the first three movies in a series, since at one point they were a trilogy, I think Goldfinger was better than From Russia With Love which was better than Dr. No.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008, 06:48:53 PM »

Perusing the trilogy list:

1)  There was the third Cannonball Run movie.  I might just have to find that.

2)  Aw Man.  I thought Cheetah Girls was going to be some sort of almost legitamate softcore porn thing.  It's a Disney series.

3)  Was Decline Western Civillization III any good.  If so that might get a vote.

4)  If you include the Sinbad movies then hell yeah.  Then you also ought to include the other Harryhausen movies as well.  Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans...  And I swore there was a third.  icon_confused

5)  I loved Once Apon a Time in Mexico
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Remus West2
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 06:53:05 PM »

Wouldn't this be easier if you asked for movie trilogies that did not suck when they got to the third installment?
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 07:32:21 PM »

Quote from: LordMortis on June 02, 2008, 06:32:44 PM

I can't give ally'all LotR even.  The first movie so close to perfect that they others lacked by comparison, which is not to say that they weren't excellent.  However, I don't go all fanboy critical over Fellowship, I do over the other two.  From CGI Legolas to the train wreck that was Faramir they were "worse" even in the special editions.  It just so happens the bar was set so impressively high by the first installment that the others could afford to fall short and still be excellent movies.

Let's see how the new Batman does.  The Dark Knight has me so excited I might just   icon_eek  retard paranoid excuse me.

Agreed.  Considering the extended versions and theatrical releases, Fellowship was by far the best of the three LOTR movies in my opinion.  (all were excellent, however).
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 07:39:06 PM »

Quote
I can't give ally'all LotR even.  The first movie so close to perfect that they others lacked by comparison, which is not to say that they weren't excellent.  However, I don't go all fanboy critical over Fellowship, I do over the other two.  From CGI Legolas to the train wreck that was Faramir they were "worse" even in the special editions.  It just so happens the bar was set so impressively high by the first installment that the others could afford to fall short and still be excellent movies.

Let's see how the new Batman does.  The Dark Knight has me so excited I might just   icon_eek  retard paranoid excuse me.

Agreed.  Considering the extended versions and theatrical releases, Fellowship was by far the best of the three LOTR movies in my opinion.  (all were excellent, however).

I know this is really dorky, but I wish they had included Tom Bombadil in the extended version. His chapter was always one of my favorites in the entire series. He is such a classic character it would have been great to see him on the big screen. That is my biggest complaint with the Fellowship.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 07:44:43 PM »

I liked Bombadil a lot in the books but I don't know how well the "ding a long, dillio dong doo, hey!  Doolabadoo fa la la ring a ding!" lyrics would translate for a modern film audience.
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008, 07:48:49 PM »

Only two movies but one could argue that Toy Story 2 was better then Toy Story 1. We will see how 3 fairs.
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2008, 07:55:51 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on June 02, 2008, 07:48:49 PM

Only two movies but one could argue that Toy Story 2 was better then Toy Story 1. We will see how 3 fairs.

Yes, on could.

Quote from: PeteRock on June 02, 2008, 05:46:07 PM

Unfortunately it doesn't fall into the "trilogy" category, but if liberty were taken to also refer to sequels, I felt Toy Story 2 was a pleasant improvement over the original, which is no small feat as the first was quite good as well.

 icon_wink
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2008, 08:09:01 PM »

Terminator kicked ass.

T2 is the best action movie of all time, imho.
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2008, 08:14:27 PM »

Quote from: SpaceLord on June 02, 2008, 08:09:01 PM

Terminator kicked ass.

T2 is the best action movie of all time, imho.

Yes, and T3 wasn't bad, but not as good as T2.
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2008, 08:16:19 PM »

Quote from: SpaceLord on June 02, 2008, 08:09:01 PM

Terminator kicked ass.

T2 is the best action movie of all time, imho.
Agreed, though I'm a bit wishy-washy on the "best." It's right up there if it isn't the best. I actually thought T3 wasn't as bad as what some people thought, but it definitely wasn't as good as the other 2.

Oh, and Tom Bombadil was highly overrated! He was obviously some drug-induced creation from Tolkien created solely to get the hobbits some safety.
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2008, 08:23:05 PM »

Quote
Oh, and Tom Bombadil was highly overrated! He was obviously some drug-induced creation from Tolkien created solely to get the hobbits some safety.

How dare you Sir. That tree surely would have killed poor Sam and he would have eaten all of Sam's Shire Weed if it hadn't been for Mr. "ding a long, dillio dong doo, hey!  Doolabadoo fa la la ring a ding!"  nod
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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2008, 09:20:24 PM »

I highly doubt anyone would agree with me, but I'd say the Back to the Future movies qualify. They do in my opinion anyways. However, I was too young to see the first one by itself and have to wait for the sequels. The first one is more of a teen comedy, and if I was expecting mostly that from the sequels, I may have been disappointed. Some people say they got "too sci-fi." Well, whatever. I love them all. And I think the sequels improved upon the original.
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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2008, 09:22:59 PM »

Quote from: Kyosho on June 02, 2008, 09:20:24 PM

I highly doubt anyone would agree with me, but I'd say the Back to the Future movies qualify. They do in my opinion anyways. However, I was too young to see the first one by itself and have to wait for the sequels. The first one is more of a teen comedy, and if I was expecting mostly that from the sequels, I may have been disappointed. Some people say they got "too sci-fi." Well, whatever. I love them all. And I think the sequels improved upon the original.

Sorry, I just checked and it turns out that the order of quality for the BttF movies is 1, 3, 2, just as I had suspected. slywink
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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2008, 09:27:43 PM »

Quote from: Kyosho on June 02, 2008, 09:20:24 PM

I highly doubt anyone would agree with me

Trust your doubts.
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« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2008, 09:39:49 PM »

You know, in the few minutes since posting that, I've reconsidered. I don't think they're better than the first. I just think they complement the first quite well. I know it's probably not the same for most people, but in my mind, they're sort of one long movie. I know it was never intended that way originally (the end of the first being a joke, which later became a reality). If you were to watch them today, having never seen them previously, it'd seem like one continuing story that is just split into three parts. Like the LOTR.

Thus is the first and last time BTTF will ever be compared to LOTR.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2008, 10:41:19 PM »

I'm soooo glad Tom Bombadil was not in LOTR in any way, shape or form.  He was always my most hated part of LOTR.  There, I said it.
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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2008, 10:46:05 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on June 02, 2008, 10:41:19 PM

I'm soooo glad Tom Bombadil was not in LOTR in any way, shape or form.  He was always my most hated part of LOTR.  There, I said it.
+1!

Except he wasn't my most hated part. My most hated part was using the damn eagles to get the heroes out of nearly every dangerous situation.
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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2008, 10:58:35 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on June 02, 2008, 10:46:05 PM

My most hated part was using the damn eagles to get the heroes out of nearly every dangerous situation.

When they should have been used in the very beginning.
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« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2008, 11:19:50 PM »

Sorry, but T2 isn't even the best action movie by that director in the decade it was madeicon_biggrin

So, trilogies that got better? Alien, Aliens...Ah crap.  Well, almost.  icon_lol
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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2008, 11:32:32 PM »

It's tough to say that any are better than the first, but the quality stayed high through the first 3:

Dirty Harry
Magnum Force
The Enforcer
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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2008, 11:36:08 PM »

I've also enjoyed the first two movies in this series - I haven't seen the third:

Resident Evil
Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Was Resident Evil: Extinction any good?
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« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2008, 12:37:21 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on June 02, 2008, 08:14:27 PM

Quote from: SpaceLord on June 02, 2008, 08:09:01 PM

Terminator kicked ass.

T2 is the best action movie of all time, imho.

Yes, and T3 wasn't bad, but not as good as T2.

T3 ROCKED!
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« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2008, 12:53:26 AM »

IMHO the only trilogy that fits the title criteria is "The Man with No Name" trilogy, commonly known as A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and the awesomeness that was "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"   All others seem to slip up somewhere.
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2008, 04:10:36 AM »

Quote from: SpaceLord on June 02, 2008, 06:27:15 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 02, 2008, 05:23:55 PM

Depending on your taste perhaps the Fistful of Dollars; Few Dollars More; Good, Bad & Ugly trilogy? 

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+2

Quote from: Teggy on June 02, 2008, 09:27:43 PM

Quote from: Kyosho on June 02, 2008, 09:20:24 PM

I highly doubt anyone would agree with me

Trust your doubts.

+2

Quote from: rshetts2 on June 03, 2008, 12:53:26 AM

IMHO the only trilogy that fits the title criteria is "The Man with No Name" trilogy, commonly known as A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and the awesomeness that was "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"   All others seem to slip up somewhere.

Too late, but what the heck... +4
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« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2008, 04:50:51 AM »

Hope I don't get crucified for this, but what about the Lethal Weapon trilogy?  I know they threw that fourth one in there (which only added to the bad-assness IMO), but I thought it dealt with the aging and maturing of the characters very nicely.  Always thought it was cool how they brought the whole family back for all the movies as well, and not just in bit parts, but roles integral to the main plot.  One of the greatest "buddy cop" film series ever.

Just thought I would throw it out there.
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« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2008, 05:16:08 PM »

Yeah I was going to say that the Resident Evil series seemed to get better and better- at least IMO.  smile

Also - For some reason, I think the Saw series seems to get better and better.  I think there are 4 Saw movies though...
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