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Trilogies (1 Viewer)

Zack Scott

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You know, after getting the Godfather trilogy and revisiting each movie one at a time I noticed a distinct pattern. The third movie in a trilogy is usually the weaker one. I mean look at other trilogies. In the Evil Dead Trilogy...Army of Darkness may have it's moments but compared to Evil Dead 2 it doesn't stand a chance. The same goes for Star Wars also. Return of the Jedi seems like a cop out in terms of story telling quality compaered to Empire and even Star Wars.
Mabey it's because of Our expectations of how the story is going to end. ANd then when we see it on the screen it just doesn't fit.
Is this what you guys think or do I gotta lay off the crack?
 

Andy Sheets

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Perhaps by the time you get to the third film, it's not just audience expectations, but the fact that the series is old by then and the impulse to commercialize it and make it family friendly is stronger? This probably isn't true of the Godfather films - the third one was simply made after Coppola was past his prime - but something like Star Wars would fit the bill.
While I think Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is actually underrated, it is true that many fans resent it for having a sense of humor that the other films lacked, and the children in the film probably gave people Ewok vibes :)
And I think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is better than the second film, but it's also undeniably fluffy compared to the first two films. I remember seeing the first one when I was a kid and couldn't stand the sight of blood. I *loved* the movie but the gruesome finale actually made me vomit :) The second film features a guy getting his still-beating heart ripped out. All the third film has is a guy turning to dust in a pretty fake-looking effect.
I read somewhere recently that Joel Silver, in discussing the Matrix sequels, was swearing that the films would stay true to their R ratings and not wuss out like previous film trilogies...
 

Gary Tooze

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Afraid the theory doesn't hold true for Kieslowski's Three Colours... Blue, White, Red... with Red being the last and most acclaimed...
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Rain

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The third movie in a trilogy is usually the weaker one.
Also not the case with the Back to the Future series, IMHO. I think Part III is leaps and bounds ahead of the first two. Even if you don't agree with that, you must surely admit it was much better than Part II, no?
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MichaelPe

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That's funny. As soon as I read that "the third movie in a trilogy is usually the weaker one", I immediately thought of Back To The Future (my least favorite was #3). :)
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Chad R

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I think the reasons why the third one may be considered weaker vaires from series to series.
For instance, Return of the Jedi suffered from being the conclusion to a three act structure. The set up (act 1) is interesting because it introduces the whole thing. The development (act 2) is where all the surprises come and that leaves the wrap up for act 3. So all the fun stuff is over and act 3 is left with the loose ends to tie up.
But take the Scream trilogy. The third one sucked because Kevin Williamson wasn't involved and it lost its bite.
Godfather 3 was really just an unneccessary film. The tragedy of Michael Coreone was over after 2. I mean how could he sink any further than what he does at the end of 2? Sure 3 could be a redemption story, but should he be redeemed? Isn't that counter productive to the idea of a tragedy?
Mostly third films are just one too many trips to the well, but exactly why is really left up to each individual series.
 

Dan Paolozza

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At first, I tend to agree. But really, when I think about it, it isn't so much of a blanket-issue.
I would have a lot of difficulty choosing which Back to the Future I liked "best." Technically speaking, I think 3 was the tightest movie, but other (less technical) reasons persuade me to "enjoy" the others just as much, if not more. (Depends on the mood, the weather, whatever).
Indiana Jones - #2 damn near sucked compared to 1 and 3. True, the first two were less fluffy, but the fluff wasn't a weakness in #3. The repetitiveness and template-feel of #2 did far more to drop in in my books, from the other two.
Godfather #3 was a wash. The only value it had going into it was to wrap up Michael's tragic life - which wasn't enough to make a whole movie out of. And what they used to fill in the rest of the movie...well, shall we say "substandard."
Return of the Jedi had the basic backbone to be a very interesting and rewarding wrap-up, but the dumb-down job it employed around that backbone blew chunks.
Evil Deads? Well, #1 didn't fulfill it's own goals, I felt. #2 was classic and a great production. However, I liked Army of Darkness best - different, but it's still an amazing flick.
 

SteveGon

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No, the third film in a trilogy isn't always the weakest. As Gary said, and I agree with him, Red is the best of the Three Colors trilogy. And count me as among the few that think Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is underrated. On the other hand, among the other trilogies discussed, I prefer The Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future II, and Godfather II. :)
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Simon Massey

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this doesn't look good for SW Episode 3
And that is the one I most want to see out of the new ones
 

Jim_K

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Here are some more 3rd installments of trilogies that don't suck.
DUEL AT GANRYU ISLAND - part III of Hiroshi Inagaki's classic SAMURAI Trilogy
DIE HARD WITH A VENGENCE - much better than the Renny Harlin cheesefest that was DIE HARDER.
GOLDFINGER - hey the Bond movies were a trilogy back in 1964.
GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY - The best of Leone's Man with no name trilogy.
 

Cees Alons

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I think Jim has some good counterexamples. And don't forget this: the odds are against sequels, because a very bad movie will seldom become a first of a trilogy. It's the good, and very successful movies that give rise to sequels. And a totally disastrous second will diminish the chances for the creation of a third one.
Cees
[Edited last by Cees Alons on October 13, 2001 at 05:26 PM]
 

Nick White

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I agree that all three BttF films are excellent. The DVDs cannot come sooner.
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[Edited last by Nick White on October 13, 2001 at 11:55 PM]
 

Brian Harnish

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I agree regarding the Back To The Future Trilogy. Every film was true to the previous film that was before it. BTTF tied into BTTF II and BTTF II tied into III. IMO, that is the reason that BTTF is one of the only trilogies out there that became the success that it is. Great scripts and great performances, all coupled with a great director made for one hell of an adventure through time!
Now release the DVDs already!!
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Zack Scott

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Of corse there are exceptions to the rule like Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy. BUt in general most part three's in a trilogy aren't as good as the original.
 

TheoGB

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Yeah I'd have to say I liked BTTF II more than III but neither is as good as the first. Empire is a better movie than Star Wars but I think Jedi suffered because of losing Gary Kurtz. For me its a fantastic classic Star Wars movie until they leave Tattooine.
Last Crusade is the best Indy movie for me. I think Raiders makes a great initial impression but on rewatching I always find the chase for the Ark is pretty boring. It goes on for ages with almost no dialogue and lots of continued punching a so on. Last Crusade has some fantastic dialogue and set pieces with some great actors and so it stands the test of time that bit better for me.
I think the danger with the third film of a trilogy is often that it leads up to something big. I'm sure if I watched the SW trilogy again for the first time I wouldn't notice the weakness of Jedi particularly because those space battles are so good but when you watch again they are not as interesting, yet another movie like Empire to finish the saga could be really disaterous.
Maybe it's the 'middle' of an arc that makes something great. Technically Temple of Doom is the first Indy film (1935) so that might work. Certainly I expect SW 3 to be really excellent and maybe even Episode II will kick arse.
Theo
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Mitty

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Two things here:
Some movies are specifically designed as trilogies. In these ones, the third movie always suffers from "wrap it up" syndrome. These movies typically have a lot of ground to cover, and it's a big effort to resolve not one, but three movies' worth of plot in a satisfying way. Conversely, part 2 always has the added advantage of leaving you breathless with a vague conclusion, leaving an audience with plenty of fodder for discussion. Even a satisfying part 3 closes off most speculative discussion.
For the movies that aren't specifically designed as trilogies, the third movie is invariably the worst one for the obvious reason that it's the one that killed the series. Duh! :)
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Jeff Kleist

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Also not the case with the Back to the Future series, IMHO. I think Part III is leaps and bounds ahead of the first two. Even if you don't agree with that, you must surely admit it was much better than Part II, no?
Seemed to me that 2 and 3 were the same movie, with "coincidences" that were supposed to be funny
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Here's a little obscure one for you
Space Battleship Yamato movie 3 was clearly better than the first film, but the third TV series is by far the weakest of all the material
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