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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nolan's Bat trilogy No. 1 all-time

It's often discussed, argued, theorized and often proven throughout motion picture history the third part of a trilogy rarely crosses the finish line with a Triple Crown intact.

Some argue Peter Jackson's three Lord of the Rings films did that. While I respect the fantasy trilogy, the genre just isn't for me. It's a personal preference, so for the haters out there, this is simply one man's list. I admit Jackson knows what filmmaking is about, but so does Christopher Nolan.

What's the making of a perfect trilogy? Avoiding a blunder. It's doesn't have to be a colossal one. A minor one will do the trick.

Which brings us to "Godfather Part III," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," and "The Return of the Jedi," which bring down - albeit by a slim margin - movie trilogies that could arguably lay claim the No. 1 spot on many critic's list.

Still, it's not as if the three previously mentioned flicks rank among such dogs as "Superman 3," "Spider-man 3," "Beverly Hills Cop 3" and "Halloween 3: The Season of The Witch" (No Michael Meyers?)

Godfather III, Doom and Jedi's only faults are the comparisons with the trilogies' other offerings, but when discussing greatness in cinema, it's a difficult grading scale.

In the world of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, there's no such worry. The greatest movie trilogy in film history has a new No. 1, which is interesting because I'm not sure what would have ranked on top before Nolan's Batman series. I'll go with the original Star Wars trilogy.

It doesn't matter now. Nolan's three deep stories analyzing an iconic character has taken movie making to a new level. Put it this way: When 2005's "Batman Begins" is a trilogies' weakest link, that's a nice starting point.

Then there's 2008's "The Dark Knight," which ranks as the No. 1 superhero movie on many critic's list, and, of course, "The Dark Knight Rises," released Friday, which is right on par with Nolan's second Batman installment from this corner.

"The Dark Knight Rises" as the third part of a trilogy is another big victory for Nolan. While so many have come up short or flat-out failed, the director came clean on his promise to close his Batman tale in part 3. He did so with a epic cival-war story hell-bent on destruction, spectacular special affects, several awesome reveals at the film's conclusion and a satisfying sendoff for Bruce Wayne/Batman.

The trilogy did everything one should do: It identified the main character, told his story, his struggles, his triumphs - and then closed the book on that character.

In this case, the trilogy wasn't about Batman. It was Bruce Wayne's journey, and it worked so well, 25 years from now and beyond, these three Nolan films will surely stand the test of time, no matter how critics or fans feel about the trilogy.

There's a scene in the conclusion of "Batman Begins," when Gordon tells Batman, "I never said thank you," which the Dark Knight responds with, "And you'll never have to."

Oh, the irony of that dialogue, and finally, a perfect movie trilogy.

My top 10 movie trilogy list

(Note: Some on this list are part of a movie series, as many as six films, and are not a true trilogy. Examples are Rocky, Indiana Jones, Alien and Die Hard. If I'm breaking the rules, sorry, this is my list.)

1. Batman, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Returns

2. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

4. Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III

5. The Godfather, The Godfather Part Part II, The Godfather Part III

6. Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard with a Vengeance

7. Alien, Aliens, Alien 3

8. Back to the Future, Back to the Future 2, Back to the Future 3

9. Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3

10. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


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