Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Franchise Decade

This past decade of film, unlike any other, was all about the franchise. Film studios were no longer wanting one shot films, but rather films that could spawn sequels upon sequels. Part of this is due to the rise of the comic book film, but even still there were many other all-star franchises that had no connection to the realm of comic books. I've decided to celebrate the end of the franchise decade to count down what I think to be the 10 Best Franchises from this Past Decade. Let's get started:

10. The Chronicles of Narnia- While not as high grossing as The Lord of the Rings films, these fantasy epics were told in truth to their book counterparts. The Chronicles of Narnia films still managed to make an impact and succeeded in bringing these richly tapestried children's stories to the big screen.

9. James Bond - 007 returned big time this past decade, thanks entirely to his 2006 outing, Casino Royale, the finest Bond film ever produced in my opinion. Actor Daniel Craig assumed the classic role of Bond, James Bond, and proved once more why we all loved this character to begin with, being only second best to Sir Sean Connery himself.

8. The Bourne Series - These high octane action films influenced nearly every action movie made since. The crazy smash cuts, the documentary-styled action sequences, there is no denying these film's impact, as well they were all very well made films.

7. X-Men - The X-Men finally made it the big screen this past decade and have spawned four films. While the second X-Men film is still the best in the series, they were all solid action films that made tons of money at the box office.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean - Whether you liked the sequels or not, the first Pirates was one of the better action/adventure films of the past decade and the trilogy made enough money at the bank to probably build its own Pirate-themed amusement park. Wait?

5. Star Wars - It doesn't matter if you like the Star Wars prequels or not, there is no denying that they were some of the biggest films of the past decade (personally I enjoyed them, but I still find the original trilogy slightly better). They brought back Star Wars in a big way, the impact still being felt with the animated series on Cartoon Network.

4. Batman - This one only holds two films in its current franchise, but I think it would be ridiculous not to include the highest grossing film of the decade, The Dark Knight. Both Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight, were superb pieces of filmmaking, and Heath Ledger's Joker became a pop culture phenomenon, driving this film franchise to the top of the box office.

3. Spider-man - Say what you want about the third Spidey film, but the first two are still two of the finer superhero films ever produced. Spidey's impact was immense on this decade of film. After its success, countless other superhero films were put into production, but none were ever truly as successful as Spider-man.

2. The Lord of the Rings - Was there any doubt that this one wouldn't make the list? The Lord of the Rings films were the seminal films of the decade. It started the craze of the epic fantasy film. After this we got The Chronicles of Narnia, Eragon, and even more recently, Avatar. There is no denying the impact of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, not to mention they were some of the finer films of the decade anyways.

1. Harry Potter - I don't think there is any other franchise that has lasted as long as this one and managed to maintain the quality of the original throughout. While there are certain films in the franchise that I like more than others, there is no denying that the Harry Potter franchise is one of those rarities much like Star Wars or James Bond before it. This is one film franchise that will be remembered for years to come.

That does it. What do you think?

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