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The Watchable Trilogy
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A few summers ago, I decided to watch a movie trilogy straight through, with only periodic bathroom breaks. I had some criteria before attempting the feat.
  1. The movies had to have a fairly linear and all-encompassing story line. In other words, the story that's started in movie one is completed on movie three.
  2. The trilogy would have to be watched, in entirety, within a day.
  3. It could only be three movies, no more, no less. So, it would be the Star Wars prequels or the original trilogy, not both.
I decided on the Matrix trilogy, if for no other reason than, perhaps, taking it as a whole would bring more understanding to the architect's speech at the end of film 2. I'd considered The Lord of the Rings, but felt it would be too long. Same thing for the Godfather trilogy. Which brings me to today's topic of conversation. Using the criteria above, and if given the time and chance, which trilogy would you watch and why?

As an added benefit, I found this kick-ass trilogy meter provided by Aaron Rutledge after the jump.

trilogy_meter_ybnby.jpg
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26 Comments

I would have to go with the Bourne trilogy.

They are all good.

said SurprisingWoman on February 17, 2009 11:07 AM.

Back to the Future, by far.

said Bedheaded on February 17, 2009 11:08 AM.

I have done it with the Back to the Future trilogy once, and it was way better than watching each one as a separate film.
The "goings" and "getting backs" made more sense when watching them as it was seen as one big film.

I'd like to do it with the Bourne trilogy--I think it would make a lot more of sense--, as well as Matrix (same reason as yours) and LOTR just because.
I am planning to do it with the Godfather trilogy too. It's a little embarrassing, but I haven't watched none of the three films.

Uh, I've watched to the Planet of the Apes at once too, but as I rented the 5 films box, it doesn't count as trilogy... It was a cold weekend and my wife had traveled to visit her parents... what else could I do?
OK, I could have slept, but since I didn't know when the full box would be available all together again, I had to go for it.

I'd never do a trilogy session with Spiderman and X-Men. I'm a huge fan of the comics, and their films have just ruined my good memories from the time I read them. After Spiderman movies, I started hating Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirten Dunst.
And the only good thing on the X-Men movies is Wolverine, and maybe Nightcrawler... Hugh Jackman has been doing a hell of a work with the character. The others were just there, and added nothing...
I'm looking forward to the Wolvie's solo movie. I don't like Ryan Reinolds, I maybe hate him but I'm not sure, so, I deep heartedly hope he'll not fuck up with the film.

said Leonardo Carvalho on February 17, 2009 11:18 AM.

With "The Godfather", you would do well to lay your hands on the the 1992 "Godfather Trilogy" release. Coppola had re-edited parts 1 and 2 into chronological order for airing on NBC in 1977, with 27 additional scenes (for instance, the young Vito Corleone meeting Hyman Roth). I thought it substantially improved the movie, if you can believe it. The 1992 release uses that version.

said Kevin L. on February 17, 2009 11:45 AM.

How the heck did Terminator 2 surpass the original, and get a full bar, to boot? That's ridiculous. I never bought the wet robot or whatever it was, though, so maybe it is just me. I didn't by the proto-Annakin kid bit, either.

Anyway - The one I would watch in one sitting is probably the Evil Dead Trilogy.

I have watched back-to-back-to-back extended cuts of Lord of the Rings, and it was great, but very likely impossible to ever re-enact in my lifetime.

The Matrix "Trilogy" would be about the last one I would pick, although the third Aliens film makes it a close call.

said Don't Swayze Bro on February 17, 2009 11:46 AM.

Ugh, I don't know how you could watch the 2nd and 3rd matrix movies again.

LotR is good stuff, but not a single day exercise.
You'd have to go with Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, or Star Wars (4-6).

Although, Die Hard would be good too.

said kbk on February 17, 2009 11:53 AM.

I have done the Matrix trilogy in one sitting and the only way I can resolve the inconsistencies between the plot and the Architect's speeches is to assume that none of the previous Ones made the same choice as Neo. The Architect therefore does not know what would really happen if Trinity is saved.

The third only satisfies my desire for plot and storyline if I assume the whole trilogy is about a self-centered, non-social intellectual becoming a self-sacrificing, value driven hero. I also like that Neo recognizes the real battle is not between the Humans and the machines, but between the Architect and his creations.

As singular experiences, the second was a disappointment and the third was uninteresting.

said Edward on February 17, 2009 11:56 AM.

I heavily considered watching the Back to the Future trilogy, but seeing as the first film is one of my all-time favorite movies, I thought it would help if I expanded my horizons a bit.

I will, without a doubt, watch the extended LOTR back-to-back one of these days. (I have to do it before the Hobbit films come out)

And, with the Matrix, watching all three made me appreciate the trilogy as a whole much more. I found myself more invested in the characters.

said Echowood on February 17, 2009 12:09 PM.

LOTR trilogy. It is the One Trilogy that rules them all. A close second would be Star Wars. Although the Ewoks almost ruin the third one.

But the matrix...please. The only good one was the first one.

said TimPundit on February 17, 2009 1:03 PM.

Mood makes a huge difference, if you want cheesy, action, horror, etc.

I had a cheese horror fest and watched the Resident Evil movies, campy and cheesy but entertaining at least.

said Friggan on February 17, 2009 2:53 PM.

It doesn't actually meet your criteria (yet) because the third part has not been released stateside, but the Nightwatch/Daywatch/Duskwatch series by director Timor Bekmambetov would definitely be in my list. If you haven't seen the first two yet, you are missing out on some of the best contemporary fantasy out there.

And in case you are still skeptical, the same director did Wanted last year.

said Will on February 17, 2009 3:31 PM.

i KNOW this doesn't count but i'd be remiss if i didn't mention The Cure - Trilogy.

3 great Cure albums played in their entirety on 2 DVD's mmm..

said mobudaki on February 17, 2009 3:35 PM.

Fuck it
I'm doing it. The LOTR trilogy. I'm getting super comfortable for this one

said FoolishMortal on February 17, 2009 3:41 PM.

Leo, you must invest time in watching the 1992 release of the Godfather, as Kevin L. suggests. I guarantee it won't be the last time you watch it.

said Tim on February 17, 2009 3:44 PM.

Foolish - check back in with us in a few days and let us know how it went.

said Echowood on February 17, 2009 3:48 PM.

I'll do that Tim... I'm looking for that already... think it'll be hard to find this release on the blockbuster... maybe I'll need to download it.

said Leonardo Carvalho on February 17, 2009 3:52 PM.

Sometime when I have a whole weekend free, I'm going to commit to watching the entire Ken Burns' Civil War and Baseball documentaries again.

said Tim on February 17, 2009 4:22 PM.

Tim - I'd throw Band of Brothers on that list as well.

said Echowood on February 17, 2009 4:24 PM.

I recently rewatched the Coppola restorations of The Godfather 1, 2 and 3 on blu ray back to back, and with those movies, it's always the same. One is magnificent, Two is always even better than you remember, and then, during 2 you say to yourself "well, maybe 3 isn't as bad as I remember because it's Coppola, Willis, Pacino"...

But it is, it always is. You look at Pacino's character and it's just not Michael Corleone, it's like a caricature of the Frank from Scent of a Woman. It's like you want to squint your eyes and squint your brain until Scarface kind of looks like the sequel to Godfather 2.

said Scaramouch on February 17, 2009 6:03 PM.

That's a great point, Echo. I haven't seen that straight through either.

Scaramouch - I had the same feeling with G3, but I got some satisfaction out of Garcia's character. I guess that's what happens when you wait 15 years to make a sequel.

said Tim on February 17, 2009 7:13 PM.

Or you can toss in any Kevin Cosner movee, you'd sware you just watched a trilogy.........

said Friggan on February 17, 2009 7:20 PM.

Echo--I figured out the real reason you asked this question....

it's because High School Musical 3 came out on dvd today....you wanted the guys to give you permission to watch all three back to back!!!

(note--I have yet to see any of them myself because I have no kids and my soon to be niece lives out of state)

said sarcastic one on February 17, 2009 10:05 PM.

20+ years ago, there was a "Sit Long and Prosper" Star Trek marathon of the first 5 movies at the actual Theatre. That was extra cool to see them back to back on the big screen. It really makes 3 and 5 much better to see in context. These movies improve in a row.

I think the change of actresses would be jarring with the Back to the Future trilogy. And, I prefer to watch the 1st Matrix only. It is better than the sum of the three. Indiana Jones, Die Hard, etc tend to lose steam later on. If you skip a movie or two they both work well.

As for Star Wars, I think they should be seen as 4, 1, 5, 2, 3, 6 -- You MUST be introduced to SW with Luke Skywalker, and have Darth Vader spill the beans before you see 2 or 3.

So, who votes to allow reordering (or dropping from) series...

said Tom on February 17, 2009 11:18 PM.

Now I'm wondering if there's a good night to be had with The Omen trilogy or maybe Die Hard.

Plus the fact that many of those on the list are not actually a trilogy (PotA, Star Trek) means - if it's open to the first three movies in a series, I have to go with Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger.

Which leads us to a question over in the forums...

said Scaramouch on February 18, 2009 12:06 AM.

Friggan, after what he has done in Waterworld and Wyatt Earp, watching any of his films looks more like you're watching an entire season of "simple life" in a row...

said Leonardo Carvalho on February 18, 2009 8:34 AM.

Echo- I actually DID all three LOTR movies in the theater when the third one came out. Oh, Trilogy Tuesday, how fun you were.... I think it took almost 10-12 hours? i forget. But still, if you attempt it, good luck!! stock up on some energy drinks to stay awake! ^.^

said T on February 19, 2009 5:03 AM.
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