Terminator: Genisys is coming to theaters this week. Now, I’m not a fan of the Terminator movies but I believe they made excellent choices when they cast Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney. Let’s just hope that they can save the franchise because everything after Terminator: Judgement Day were disappointing.
Today, I want to talk about my favorite movie franchises. Please note that these are my choices and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. If you like, you can comment on this post with your own Top 12 and I’ll give you my two cents on your list. Let’s start with:
12. High School Musical
I know, I know – this choice would probably draw the most ire especially as the full list unfolds and your favorite franchise doesn’t get chosen. But I’m sticking with this Disney original because of its re-watch-ability and the songs that automatically get stuck in your head. Aside from that, Ashley Tisdale gives an iconic performance as Sharpay Evans that people would always remember her for that.
11. Step Up
I must be getting on some people’s nerves. However, this slew of movies revolving around dancers always delivered. The stories might be corny or generic. But you don’t watch it for that. You go to cinemas to watch Step Up because you want to see people dance. I am all smiles walking out of the theater after watching these films because I’ve just been entertained.
Christopher Nolan did a great job in rebooting the franchise. The third one almost ruined the trilogy but overall we’ll be holding all future Batman films to that standard for now. You might be asking why I ranked it so low. The caped crusader is one of my favorite characters of all time but there were a lot of bad movies made based on it. *cough* *Batman and Robin* *cough*
9. Pirates of the Carribean
Who doesn’t like a good pirate franchise? Come to think of it, we need more good pirate movies. Captain Jack Sparrow and the gang’s adventures are filled with lots of action and humor. While the fourth film was a bit strange (Did you see what I did there?), it did deliver when it came to what we love about the previous three installments – over-the-top chase scenes and witty banter between beloved characters.
8. Mission Impossible
I have to credit Brad Bird for this one. He elevated the franchise to a whole new level with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I loved the original because of Jon Voight but the fourth film centered on Agent Ethan Hunt was a great action movie. Who could forget that hotel sequence in Dubai where Tom Cruise’s character was climbing on windows followed by a ridiculous chase scene in a sandstorm? The trailer for the supposedly last movie has already been released and it’s looking to be another homerun.
7. The Fast and the Furious
Speaking of chase scenes, this franchise seems to have the best car chases. What started out as a cat-and-mouse story between Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has evolved into fan favorite because of the crazy stunts they are able to pull off while driving. It’s tragic that Walker died prior to the most recent one’s release. However, the franchise is still going strong with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and is in the process of making their 8th film.
When people grew tired of the James Bond movies starring Pierce Brosnan, that was when Bourne Identity came around and revolutionized the spy genre. Matt Damon shines as Jason Bourne and the close-quarter fight scenes from the trilogy were sick! Although some of scenes were filmed in the Philippines, I believe Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy did not hold up to the standard of the previous movies. It was good but not that great.
5. Toy Story
We all know how Pixar saved Disney with the original Toy Story. The last good Disney animation was Mulan and movies like Brother Bear and The Emperor’s New Groove were just okay. Some would even argue that they were not Disney-caliber. But the collaboration was a blockbuster and it spawned two sequels that were even better than the original. It also ushered a new era of animation that gave us awesome movies like Finding Nemo and Up.
4. Star Wars
This would’ve been my number one movie if not for the prequels. Star Wars Episode 4 was supposed to be just a stand-alone. But its success gave rise to probably the best sequel of all-time, Empire Strikes Back. Even now, we remember the characters – Luke and Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca, the Ewoks, Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, etc. I think you can’t make a Top 10 list of movie franchises without Star Wars even if you’re a Star Trek fan.
3. Harry Potter
Based on the books of J.K. Rowling, the strength of the franchise is in its casting. I only knew of Alan Rickman because of these films. I didn’t he was such a great actor. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and my dear Emma Watson grew into their characters and they’ll always be remembered as Harry, Ron and Hermione. Severus Snape remains to be my favorite character, though.
When I was a kid, every Friday I would go home early to catch the latest episode of The Amazing Spider-Man Animated Series. When I was in college and I heard that they made a live action film, I was beside myself! Tobey Maguire played Peter Parker really well. However, I didn’t make it my top pick because of Spider-Man 3. Let’s not talk more about it, please. Anyway, the first two Spider-Man movies were really good considering they weren’t produced by Marvel.
Before I unveil my favorite movie franchise, let me give a few honorable mentions:
Kung Fu Panda
1. The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s books win it for me out of sheer awesomeness. Seriously, what’s not to love about three of the best movies of all-time? We have unforgettable characters in Aragorn, Legolas, Frodo, Gandalf, and so much more! The adaptation into films was superbly done and you could watch these movies over and over again. Yes, they have moments where you could fall asleep because it’s all dialogue or endless traveling. But the jam-packed action sequences and epic battles more than make up for the ‘boring’ stuff. What Jackson did was instead of bringing Middle-Earth to us, he transported us into the world of elves, dwarves and magic. When a movie does that to you, it’s a whole new experience.
There you have it! Again, these choices are purely mine. I feel that I have to defend why I didn’t choose any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films but let’s just say that they’re a special case and deserves their own list from me. Anyway, what are your favorite movie franchises? Did you agree or disagree with what I chose? Leave your comments below. 🙂