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 »
2009 was a banner year for science fiction, one of the best for the genre in recent memory. It brought us franchise resurrections (J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek, McG‘s Terminator Salvation), critically-heralded indie gems (Duncan Jones‘ Moon), and, indeed, Oscar cred with, not one, but two Best Picture nominations. Which brings us to, arguably, two of the best sci-fi movies of the past decade, and this edition of Reel Rumbles: James Cameron‘s Avatar vs. Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9.
It’s a true David vs. Goliath story: Avatar is both the most expensive movie in film history, and the highest-grossing. District 9 is the little indie that could, proportionately achieving financial success somewhat comparable to Avatar‘s with a much more meager budget. One was directed by one of the most successful directors in cinematic history (who already had the previous highest-grossing film of all time, Titanic , under his belt), and one was helmed by a first-time feature film director whom producer Peter “The Lord of the Rings” Jackson had taken under his belt. And yet, for two films on such opposite ends of the financial and professional spectrum, they actually share a surprising number of similarities.
But which film is superior? Does box office domination translate to better filmmaking? Step into the ring and find out…
If you’re an avid Flickcharter, you’ve no doubt got a list of hundreds — if not thousands — of films ranked. From your all-time favorites to the dregs of cinema that you only wish you could un-see, to those middle-of-the-chart, ho-hum, so-so films whose ranks, while fun to try and get into their proper order, become somewhat interchangeable as they all share a common air of mediocrity.
Indeed, when it comes to your Flickchart, do you truly care whether Movie #667 is better than Movie #668? Does it even matter if Movie #236 is better than Movie #247?
What about global rankings? Does it matter to you if Flickchart’s users have V for Vendetta ranked higher than There Will Be Blood? Or that District 9 ranks higher than Best Picture Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker? Be honest: Does it really, really concern you that The Dark Knight outranks Star Wars as the #1 movie of all-time? As a movie fan, you know this fact to be either true or false; global rankings can be very useful in helping you find good movies that you haven’t seen yet, but when it comes to the films you do and don’t like, they aren’t necessarily going to sway your opinion.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet that, for most Flickcharters, the only list that really matters is that one that stares you in the face every time you come to the site: your personal Top 20. It’s the list that’s on-screen every time you rank; either causing you to constantly question it, or reaffirm that yes, yes these are, in fact, my favorite movies of all-time. The cream of the crop. The films that will smack down any others they come against in your Flickchart rankings.