No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
One Trilogy to Rule Them All

Firefilm | 10 Dec 2012 16:00
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Last week, the guys discussed which trilogy reigned supreme, and they continue the discussion for your reading enjoyment.

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Chris: There's something special when a trio of movies can surface that all share both a common connection in characters, setting, or story, as well as overall quality. If the comments from last week's No Right Answer are any indication, those conditions are very rarely ever met, despite how hard movie studios like to try. Apparently, people mostly agree with the three choices we debated, with Toy Story, Nolan's Batman, and Evil Dead all getting a huge bump. But what people dove into the most was The Lord of the Rings. At this point, I don't even know what I believe there anymore, but I might as well try to work through it here.

My comment at the very end of the episode had the desired effect of causing a ripple, so it did its job, but I didn't adequately give my explanation besides the obvious "Eat it." Personally, I don't believe LotR is a trilogy when you get right down to it, though I'm not calling its quality into question at all. The way I see it, LotR is one movie, broken into three parts, purely because it's a story that can't be told out of order or individually. Star Wars can have the three movies stand by themselves for the most part as they each have clearly defined beginnings, middles, and ends, and the first movie is wholly separate. Even Back to the Future is mostly three separate movies, only connected with the basic framing narrative of "Hey Doc, what's this Delorean and why can it travel through time?"

This goes to support my Indiana Jones argument as it's the only one that is entirely unique every time without losing its core. LotR is beautiful, sprawling, and every bit as wonderful as a true fan will tell you, but each movie depends on its place in the overall narrative. Sure, you can understand the story if you were plunked down in Two Towers without having seen Fellowship, but you miss a lot of the context for why certain characters behave the way they do and why other things are important. Anything can still be understood with enough nodding along or asking, but do you really want to be that guy that constantly asks, "Hey, who's that guy? Why is he doing that? Which side is he working for?" No, you don't.

So with that said, what about some other trilogies mentioned? Toy Story is one such example I can get behind, and actually almost chose. I definitely would have if we hadn't already talked Pixar into the ground in previous episodes. Nolan's Batman series doesn't really do it for me like it does for others, partly because while I think all three movies are good, they don't really want or expect you to have any fun. In fact, they're so gritty and grounded in some sort of slant reality that if you do have any fun, it probably wasn't the film's intention. And I just straight up haven't seen the first two Evil Dead movies and didn't care for Army of Darkness, so I suppose I have nothing to say in that regard.

You know what really surprised me? That we didn't get that many snarky answers. I saw a few Matrix trilogy answers thrown around, and maybe a hint of X-Men, but where was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Where was Spider-Man? Where was The Transporter? That last one is so easy! I expect more snark from everyone next week.

And by the way, if we were talking video games, if you aren't bringing either the Metroid Prime or Donkey Kong Country trilogies into the discussion, you have some games to catch up on, post haste!

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