Top Film Trilogies
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Many things have a habit of coming in threes. Whether it's visually-impaired rodents, points on your brand new driving license or the number of deadlines you've got coming up tomorrow, you can't beat a good old threesome.
Never is this more true than in the world of film and here we look at some of the very best movie trilogies ever made. Christopher Nolan's upcoming third Batman instalment may well upset this list but, for the moment, these films are some of the best.
1) The Lord of the Rings - “For Frodo!”
The tale of Frodo Baggins and his quest to destroy the One Ring is famous the world over, thanks to Peter Jackson's epic vision of Tolkien's original novels and he has certainly created one of the most successful film series of all time. Whether it's down to the sweeping shots of New Zealand's landscapes, the sumptuous production design or Viggo Mortensen's smouldering Aragorn, all three films in The Lord of the Rings trilogy are pretty much perfect. A fantastic international cast and a masterful soundtrack from Howard Shore enhance Jackson's ability to balance intense battle scenes with a focus on loyalty and friendship – something which makes this trilogy all the more engaging and moving. We all know someone who could have played Gollum but the ground-breaking motion capture technology used to film Andy Serkis' performance and the thrilling CGI set a new standard for fantasy films. With each film hitting the three hour mark, it's perhaps not such a good idea to pop The Return of the King on just before heading out on a Friday night: better instead to watch all three back-to-back on a Sunday. Bliss.
2) Toy Story - “That wasn't flying, that was falling with style!”
Few things allow you to re-live your childhood to such a great extent than Disney Pixar's trio of animated delights. With the first released in 1995, the Toy Story films have matured with their original audiences. Perfectly-crafted plots and dynamic vocal performances have delighted both children and adults (yes, don't say you didn't shed a tear at the end of the last film), who have all fallen in love with the delightful characters and their adventures out of the toy box. Perhaps Toy Story's biggest achievement is the fact that every film improved on the last and the fifteen years between the second and third just go to show that good things come to those who wait. A trio of films with genuine heart and which prove that, sometimes, it's okay to be a big kid.
3) The Godfather - “I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse”
Okay, before we start, we all know that the third film in this Mafia trilogy is rather a let down. In fact, it comes no where near to the first two. However, the fact that this trilogy has made it on to the list is testament to just how good The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II are. Francis Ford Coppola's exposition of the fallacy of the American dream and the dark loyalties of family and crime create two films which are beautiful to look at and are unsettlingly atmospheric. Hailed by some as a tragic hero and by others as an iconic film villain, Al Pacino as Corleone is faultless and certainly commands the screen with a fierce intensity. If the films taught us one thing, it's don't get on the wrong side of Corleones, or waking up with a horse's head may be the least of your worries.
4) Bourne - “How could I forget about you? You're the only person I know”
Depending on your point of view, Matt Damon's Jason Bourne is either the poor-man's Bond or a tougher and more believable action hero. So successful have the Bourne films been, elements of their edgy cinematography and gritty realism can be found in the most recent Bond films and Damon's performance garnered praise from audiences and critics alike. Graphic violence and the sense of real-world action of a man on the run is perhaps the trilogy's most recognisable hallmark and offers a thrilling and exciting spectacle in each film. All three instalments are well-crafted and exhilarating but, given the choice, we'd still rather be Bond any day.
5) Indiana Jones - “I told you, don't call me Junior!”
Let's pretend that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, like last night with your flatmate, never happened. The first three outings for Indy, however, are nothing short of genius. With everything from archaeology to melting Nazis, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the darker sequel The Temple of Doom and the humorous The Last Crusade are perfect Saturday night viewing, combining action, wit and a bit of silly history. Harrison Ford as the whip-cracking academic with a fear of snakes is convincing both dressed up in tweed and in a fedora and will certainly appeal to your Mum. Sean Connery's appearance in The Last Crusade tops of what is a hugely-entertaining film and cements the trilogy into the history books as one of Spielberg's finest accomplishments. The first three Indiana Jones films are unpretentious and timeless in equal measure and make us wish that all our lecturers were as cool as Dr Jones.