As I continue to flail away at mine, I’m thinking about trilogies 24/7 these days. Dan Meth (great name) posted on the subject recently, assessing twenty-one Hollywood trilogies, and arguing that the second movie is often the best (e.g., EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), and the third is usually the worst (e.g., TERMINATOR 3). I pretty much agree with his ratings, with the following exceptions:

—Spiderman 2 was overrated.

—the Matrix sequels were good-not-great-but-certainly-not-putrid. I’m not the first to note that the second disappeared up its own philosophical arsehole, but the third made up for a lot of lost ground, and worked for me as a finale.

—I haven’t seen Die Hard 3 yet, but I fully intend to.

—Alien 3 is worth a second look. Though I sure wish they had gone with William Gibson’s version.

My novel MIRRORED HEAVENS is now available in mass-market at Amazon.

10 Responses to “Trilogies”

  1. jW Says:

    Curious why you found Spiderman 2 so repulsive. IMO it was much more emotionally engaging than 1 and 3. And a decent job with Doc Ock’s special effects to boot.

  2. Tia Nevitt Says:

    I watch the Spider-Man movies nowadays for J. Jonah Jamison. He’s the best actor in the bunch, ouside of the guy who played Harry, who they unfortunately (maybe, considering the permanence of Marvel deaths) killed off.

    In books–for me–the second most often is a disappointment, but the third novel often redeems any shortcomings of the second novel. Therefore, even when I didn’t like a second novel, I will usually give the third novel a chance. This is ASSUMING that the series is a trilogy, and not one of those neverending series.

  3. meesh Says:

    was die hard three “die harder”?
    reminds me that i went to see the band bruce willis is in once in philly. i was a bit drunk and my friend diane and i kept yelling ‘die harder die harder’ he winked at us.


  4. Melinda Says:

    I love Spiderman 2, if only because it made Dr. Octopus look intimidating for the first time ever. (Green turtleneck and yellow jumpsuit? Seriously?)

    I have heard it said (though now I can’t remember where) that if someone tells you they liked Alien better than the sequal Aliens that is
    “probably someone worth knowing.” As a statistical test, it’s pretty specific, though not all that sensitive, but it has worked for me.

  5. David Williams Says:

    @JW: I definitely found the Doc Ock special effects a lot more compelling than his ultraquick transition to supervillain. Hmm. How did Doc Ock die in the original comic anyway?

    @Tia: yeah, book twos are always the big challenge. Can’t start anything major, can’t end anything major. I’ll be curious to see if you think BURNING SKIES evades that trap. : ) But I assure you it all ends with book three, I’m not into endless N+1 series either!

    @Meesh: I wonder which is better, Bruce Willis’ band or Keanu Reeves’ band?

  6. David Williams Says:

    @Melinda: I think Alien was a better movie, cinematically speaking . . but imho Aliens beats it out on pure kinetics. : )

  7. meesh Says:

    i can safely say that bruce rocked the harmonica but that was about it…he played all this blues shit….but i haven’t seen keanu’s band but that just sounds scary!
    guten nacht!

  8. Brian Says:

    I would have thought first of the trilogy would rank best in aggregate, but it’s actually the second in the trilogy that does best.

    I assigned an 1-3 ranking for where each movie fell per Dan’s ranking and then added the result for each. Ties were assigned the highest score of the tied result. 1st movie got a total of 51 points. 2nd, 53 and 3rd an abysmal 28 points.

  9. Joni Says:

    With Die Hard films it is a downhill from 1-3 and then a steep up at 4.0 but then again 4.0 is a fourth film :)

    The first Matrix film was golden but the rest of them just didn’t do it for me. Granted, they told the story but somehow left a hollow feeling unlike the first movie that really made me wonder about all the turns and parallel realities.

    Still, there is this one trilogy that keeps better from 1-3, namely Bourne trilogy. I like all of them and while each movie told more about the overall story arch they put up more speed to each sequel that I personally liked.

  10. Polter Says:

    Agree with your star wars assessment, what did you think of the prequil trilogy though?

    I remember writing you about trilogies earlier, got ya thinkin eh? :P

    Here’s hoping you make it hard to pick between 2 and 3 like Empire and Jedi (less Ewoks would have made Jedi better but the rest worked pretty well)

    I think Empire still has it because of that

    Looking forward to your future installments