It seems like every movie Hollywood makes these days has to be part of an epic multi-part franchise of endless sequels and prequels and reboots. As home theater fans, what movie franchises do you feel compelled to collect in their entirety on Blu-ray or DVD?
This week’s Roundtable topic has two components:
- What movie franchises are you a completist collector for, even if you don’t like all of the movies in them?
- What franchises break your completist collecting urge, because some entries are so bad you refuse to own them?
As far as a franchise I’m a completist for, I’ll go with the granddaddy of them all and select the James Bond series. Fortunately, there are more good Bond films than bad, although that doesn’t make it any easier to sit through entries like ‘A View to a Kill’, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ or ‘Quantum of Solace’.
For a franchise I’ve broken up with, it’s definitely the ‘Fast and Furious‘ series. There was a time when I collected all the entries in this series, even the pretty awful second and third chapters. However, around the time that ‘Fast Five’ hit home video, I realized that these were the kind of movies I’d watch once and never again, so I stopped buying them and just started renting the new ones (or waiting for their cable debuts). I even sold back the first four entries I had collected. Another interesting tidbit here is that I have yet to see an ‘F&F’ movie in the theater. In fact, I didn’t see the sixth entry until the week before Part 7 came out. I find the movies entertaining but pretty dumb, which is probably why I’ve decided to nix collecting them and just wait and catch them on Netflix, VUDU or pay cable at a later date.
There are a few franchises that require I own all the films in the series, even if I hate one or more of them. The three that come to mind right off the bat are the Bond movies, ‘Star Wars‘ and of course ‘Indiana Jones‘ (and not because of any nuclear fridge; I’ve always detested ‘Temple of Doom’).
With other series, if I really hate a particular entry, I have no problem skipping the films I know I’ll never watch again. The first movie to come to mind in this department is ‘Ocean’s Twelve‘. I enjoyed ‘Eleven’ and ‘Thirteen’ quite a bit, but I hope to never again sit through the annoying second film.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
A line had to be drawn in the sand. I said yes to ‘Leprechaun‘. I said yes to ‘Leprechaun 2’. I said yes to ‘Leprechaun 3′, the one where Warwick Davis’ maniacal little monster wrought all sorts of havoc in Las Vegas. I absolutely said yes to ‘Leprechaun 4’, which shifts the setting to the far-flung reaches of space in what’s essentially a no-budget, tongue-in-cheek remake of ‘Aliens’. Woe upon me, however, for I said yes to ‘Leprechaun in the Hood’. I should be all over a movie with a rapping leprechaun, a joint tainted with four-leaf clovers, and a magic flute that’s the gateway to hip-hop stardom, but it’s so much more laughless, boring and forgettable than a movie titled ‘Leprechaun in the Hood’ has any right to be. I refused to subject myself to more of the same in ‘Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood’, and the same goes for the all-but-leprechaun-less reboot ‘Leprechaun: Origins’. Still, ‘Leprechaun 4: In Space’ is one of my all-time camp favorites, and I’ll probably wind up with the complete ‘Leprechaun’ box set on Blu-ray soon enough.
There are franchises where I’ll wade through all sorts of dreck to get to the good stuff. Although several of the ‘Friday the 13th‘ sequels are a struggle for me to get through, I’ll watch anything where a guy in a hockey mask (or a burlap sack, or not a guy at all) is hacking apart nubile twenty-somethings with a machete. ‘Jason Takes Manhattan’ and ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ in particular push my fandom to the breaking point, but I keep lining up to take that abuse year after year and on format after format.
Confession: I’m a reformed fan of the ‘Highlander‘ series. Back in the days of VHS and DVD, I collected all the different cuts and releases of the first three movies. I was fascinated by the six-season TV series and (in a different way) the animated series. I even went out of my way to watch both ‘Highlander: Endgame’ and ‘Highlander: The Search for Vengeance’. With ‘Endgame’, I bought the dual-cut DVD, watched both versions, and tried to decide how best to get rid of the set I had just bought.
Ultimately, I decided that the original movie was the only ‘Highlander’ Blu-ray for me. The rest is really just a series of curiosities and jokes. On the one hand, it’s great that pretty much every version of ‘Highlander 2’ was disregarded by latter sequels, but on the other hand, those sequels are all kinds of terrible and don’t even have vintage Sean Connery to prop up the narrative.
Although I hate what Mike Newell did (or didn’t do) with ‘The Goblet of Fire’, I’m a totally sucker for the ‘Harry Potter‘ franchise. I bought them on DVD all the way through ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ (my wife already had the first four on DVD when we got married), then I purchased the final three on Blu-ray, as well as picked up the original five on Blu-ray. Then, after the hype died down, I picked up the giant Hogwarts Collector’s Edition set when that appeared as Amazon’s Gold Box deal. We gave away the DVDs long ago, but still have the individual Blu-ray releases and use those discs as loaners when friends ask to borrow them.
There are a few franchises that I’ve given up on and started selectively picking up the titles. I quit buying the ‘Iron Man‘ movies when ‘Iron Man 3’ turned out to be a major stinker. I’m still up in the air about whether I’ll pick up ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, which is a horrible blend of Michael Bay and the third ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie, when it hits video.
Like some of our other contributors, I’m a total sucker for the James Bond franchise. I unreservedly love and can endlessly rewatch all the Bond films, even the bad ones. I feel similarly about the ‘Star Trek‘ movies. Even though some entries like ‘Insurrection’ and ‘Into Darkness’ strain my patience, I’ll surely watch them again from time to time.
Some franchises I feel obligated to complete just for the sake of doing so. I own all the ‘Harry Potter‘ movies on Blu-ray, but cannot possibly foresee a time when I’ll voluntarily watch the first two Chris Columbus entries ever again.
The ‘Alien‘ saga falls into a gray area. I have the Anthology collection of the first four movies, all of which I love, but don’t consider either of the ‘AvP’ crossovers or the horrid ‘Prometheus’ to be part of the same franchise. I exclude those from consideration.
‘Die Hard‘ breaks my heart. I’m glad to own the first four movies (yes, I even like ‘Live Free or Die Hard’), but ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ is so terrible that I refuse to acknowledge its existence. I will never own that one.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming a problem. I’ve dutifully purchased most of the movies, even importing fancy SteelBook editions from overseas, only for some entries like ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Thor 2’ to sit on my shelf still unwatched. The first ‘Captain America’ movie bored me so senseless that I can’t bring myself to own it, which is awkward because it means that the sequel is sitting all by itself mixed in with the rest of the Marvel productions.
Are you a completist collector for any movie franchises? Tell us in the Comments.