I was sitting in the middle of a film marketing class last year when my professor started class with his weekly catch-up: What did movies did you guys see this week? The girl sitting behind me boasted that she’d gotten an advanced screening to Drive and that it was her favorite film of the year so far. A friend of mine turned around and gushed about how desperate he was to see it. She replied that it was mandatory to see in theaters, even going as far to suggest which theaters within a ten-mile radius were the best. Her criteria for such fastidiousness was not the picture, but the sound. To be frank, I’m not an audio expert and I’ve deliberately stayed away from sound design classes because the technicalities terrify me. I took her enthusiasm to mean that she was just an enthusiast of all things auditory and found this film to be exemplary in that arena. Still, I took her words into account thinking that there were gonna be some amazing sound effects… or something.
In recent years, there’s been a number of once-dormant franchises – particularly franchises that began in the 1980s – being resurrected with a third sequel. Not every franchise warrants a fourth movie, but we’ve recently seen Rambo, Live Free or Die Hard, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…to varying degrees of success. (Surely, it will not be too much longer before some genius decides to make Back to the Future Part IV.)
There are two science fiction franchises, however, that share a very similar pattern of quality in their four movies. The first two films in both series are widely considered classics (and, in fact, all four films rank in the Top 100 of Flickchart’s list of the Best Films of All Time). Both had their reputations tarnished by a lackluster third film (yet even those movies have their defenders). And both had pretty definitive trilogy conclusions blown open by the arrival of a fourth film.
These “fourquels” might be considered unwarranted, even unwanted. One promises “resurrection”, the other “salvation”, but the results may be somewhat less than heavenly. Yet, some people may find them better than the disappointing third movies. And when you are presented with them on Flickchart – and you admit that you’ve seen them – the question is, “Which is better?” Care to find out? Step in to the Reel Rumbles ring as we pit Terminator Salvation vs. Alien Resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »
(DVD & Blu-ray | PG13 | 201)
Flickchart Ranking: #1890
Times Ranked: 3217
Win Percentage: 51%
Top-20 Rankings: 12
Flickchart Ranking: #472
Directed By: Will Gluck
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American movies dominate box offices around the world. Is it because these films are better than those produced by other nations? Hardly. It falls in tune with the dominant role our entertainment culture takes in other fields (music, television, etc.). It is not as if the masses of the USA don’t enjoy foreign made films, such as the Harry Potter & James Bond series, Shakespeare in Love, The Third Man, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary (noticing a Hugh Grant pattern here?), Porky’s, and Crocodile Dundee. All of these films grossed at least 100 million USD (adjusted for inflation). The only problem, is these are all English language films and many have ties to Hollywood production companies.