Star Wars is coming back and is preparing to kick off its third trilogy (to add on to the animated TV shows and expanded universe). Marvel is owning Hollywood right now with one of the best movie franchises of all time. Peter Jackson is releasing the final episode of his six-picture Hobbit/LOTR franchise this week.
Basically, movie franchises are a big deal and are big money for Hollywood. They are also some of the most popular movies of all time, from Star Wars and Star Trek to Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. With that in mind, the staff of Renegade Cinema names our favorite movie franchises of all time.
Check out what we chose and then let us know your favorites in the comment section below.
Ruby Le Rouge: Ooh, this is a hard one. Either James Bond or Indiana Jones….hmm. I think I’ll go with Bond. It’s a family tradition to have a James Bond marathon every Christmas. In the role of 007, My favorite will always be Sean Connery, though I like where the more recent films with Daniel Craig have taken him. Whenever a new actor steps into the role, it’s a little scary. It’s been kind of hit and miss, they don’t seem to have the same luck as Doctor Who, where the actors seem to get possessed by the spirit of the character. Daniel Craig though has been an excellent bond, and I look forward to future flicks with the infamous agent of MI6.
Caleb Masters: Is there really any competition out there? Star Wars is the franchise that preceded all blockbuster franchises. The original trilogy gave us heroes, villains, adventure, and shaped an entire generation of filmmakers now working in Hollywood. It’s not just the lightsaber duels, dogfights, and cool special effects that make Star Wars something special. It’s the characters as they struggle to find hope, redemption, and a life worth living that makes this the fun, relatable, and mesmerizing space fantasy that swept us away into a galaxy far far away all of those years ago.
Star Wars was the first live action film I fell in love with and the franchise has continued to follow through on the promise of A New Hope in the video games, comic books, TV shows, and yes…even prequel trilogy. It’s not perfect, but I’m totally in love with Star Wars George Lucas shaped flaws and all.
Caliber Winfield: Arguably the most flawless series of films ever created. The first one is a masterpiece, with a sequel that’s almost as good. What soon follows are two of the greatest action films ever, followed by somewhat disappointing entry, although still good, and finally a return to form with a gorgeous, and fantastic cap of the series.
The Rocky franchise has introduced countless classic character & archetypes, along with making the careers of quite a few people. Beyond that, they’re the most inspirational films ever with arguably the greatest combined soundtrack ever. There’s something from each film that is an indelible, pitch perfect scene that could inspire anyone to literally do anything great.
I’d say all those things combined earn Rocky the title of the greatest film franchise ever. Suck it, Skywalker.
Derek Johns: Regardless of how much I love a movie, 95% of the time I will see a movie once in theaters and wait until the DVD release before watching it again. The most common exception to this rule has always been Harry Potter. Over the years, I made a point of seeing every movie in the series at least twice (or four times in the case of Sorcerer’s Stone). While admittedly, this is partially due to my love of the books, the movies themselves are remarkable in their own right and in the case of Order of the Phoenix the movie is actually better. I also find it remarkable that the series was able to keep the majority of it’s cast intact with a couple rather unavoidable exceptions.
Bethany Lewis: The Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes films from the 1940s. While the first two films were produced by 20th Century Fox and set in the original Victorian London setting, the next twelve of the fourteen film franchise brought the characters of Holmes and Watson into the contemporary 1940s. It was among the first Holmesian adaptations to modernize the setting, stories, and characters, and was the initial inspiration for Moffat and Gatiss to produce their own modern spin on Sherlock Holmes. While the films lack a certain depth that current audiences demand and Bruce’s unfortunate but endearing Watson is a childish bumbler, who can resist the idea of Sherlock Holmes fighting Nazis – not to mention the beauty and grace of Rathbone’s Holmes. For a series of fourteen movies produced between 1939 and 1946, the quality of the various films is fairly consistent and always enjoyable. But beware of some of the middle films in which some devious hairdresser commits terrible atrocities upon Rathbone’s perfect head – the quality of these films matches the hair.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Shawn S. Lealos: I feel this is a franchise because all the movies tie in together in a larger shared universe – kind of like how the Universal Monsters used to do back in the 30s. It all started with Iron Man, and that movie set a bar so high that it seemed like the following movies would struggle to reach it. Despite some growth pains (the lackluster box office of the first Captain America and Thor movies and an average-at-best Hulk movie), things really kicked off with The Avengers. Since then, it has been full steam ahead, with Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy three of the best comic book movies made. Yeah, I said Iron Man 3 – suck it.