10th: Spider-Man (2002)
Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as the lovely Mary Jane Watson, James Franco as Peter’s friend, Harry Osborn and Willem Dafoe as the villain Norman Osborne aka the Green Goblin.
Distributed by Colombia Pictures and released by Sony, Spider-Man follows the journey of Peter Parker, a nerdy teenager raised by his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), as he is bitten by a genetically engineered spider on a trip to a genetics laboratory, and transforms into a super human with spider-like abilities. And with great power comes not only great responsibility, but also enemies. And now Peter has to fight the Green Goblin and other criminals in order to protect New York, his friends and family.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
In the second film of the trilogy Peter has more problems to deal with as his duty as Spider-Man has estranged him from his love interest Mary Jane and his best friend Harry. As if things were not bad enough, Mary Jane becomes engaged to the son of Peter’s boss, Harry becomes obsessed with killing Spider-Man, whom he sees as his father’s killer, Doctor Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) turns into the diabolical Doctor Octopus and Peter loses his powers.
While he does try living a normal life away from the dangers a superhero is normally exposed to, his duty sense and thirst for justice are stronger than his desire for ordinariness.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Set a couple of weeks after the events of the previous film, Spider-Man 3 is centred on Peter Parker as he gets an extra-terrestrial symbiote attached to him and transforms into a dark Spider-Man. Peter’s life problems re-emerge as his dark side also affects his personality and pushes away Mary Jane, who is jealous on his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard).
At the same time, Peter is following his Uncle Ben’s real killer who has turned into Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), is on a constant competition with Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) who turns into Venom and tries to makes amends with Harry.
Trilogy by Accident?
Both a fourth and a fifth film were planned (and even a script for a sixth movie was asked) with Dr. Curt Connors as the Lizard, the Vulture and Felicia Hardy in the picture. In 2007 a spin-off centred on Venom was set to be filmed, but things just did not work out. The plans were pushed until the movies were actually cancelled. With Sam Raimi withdrawing, the series was rebooted as The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as his love interest, Gwen Stacy.
With at least a trilogy planned and a spin-off, the movie and its sequel shared the same fate, this time due to the rights being shifted from Sony to Marvel. Well… rumour has it that Spider-Man will make an appearance in the next Captain America movie and we are happy to see him again, but we miss for sure Tobey’s version.
9th: The Bourne Identity (2002)
This 2002 action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s eponymous novel stars Matt Damon in the role of Jason Bourne, Franka Potente as Marie Helena Kreutz and Chris Cooper as the head of the CIA program Treadstone, Alexander Conklin. Jason Bourne is a man who tries to find out his real identity as he is suffering from extreme memory loss.
But Jason’s amnesia is only selective and soon realizes that he still knows many foreign languages, advanced combat skills and fragments of the process of memory erase. With men following him to take him down, Jason is constantly on run and looking for clues about his actual identity and purpose.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Set two years in the future, this sequel starts with Bourne recording his returning memories in a notebook, while being in India with Marie Kreutz. But as a former CIA assassin, being persecuted is a thing that will not end too soon.
Therefore, a Russian agent plants evidence to put the blame on Bourne for his robbery and attempts to kill our hero, but only murders Marie by accident. Bourne finds himself once more on the run and plotting revenge. Now does he finally manage to get back his memories?
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Six weeks later after the events in the previous movie, and since one can’t repeat the same story over and over again – except the Taken movie series – but still respecting the same pattern, this time Jason is hunted by the very people who made him what he is. His desire of disappearing is shared by his enemies, but they want to do it differently.
With his lover Marie dead, Bourne has by his side only a former Treadstone technician, Nicolette “Nicky” Parsons (Julia Styles) and the notes of the journalist Simon Ross (Paddy Considine), who was also tracked and killed by the assassin Paz (Edgar Ramirez). Jason’s mission seems to come to an end only when he discovers his real name, birth date and fakes his death.
The Adopted Son or The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The Jason Bourne trilogy has had more than the average 15 minutes of fame. And when such things happen, some feel the urge to take advantage of the situation and make another movie, breaking the perfect circle… or triangle of the holy trilogy. This new chapter is directed by the screenplay writer Tony Gilroy.
With the action set concomitant with the The Bourne Ultimatum, this movie follows Aaron Cross – played Jeremy Renner, better known as Hawkeye from the Avengers –, a member of the Operation Outcome program, who has to run for his life due to the exposure of the Treadstone and Blackbriar operations by Jason Bourne. And while the movie did not rise to the standards of the original trilogy, at least fans enjoyed Renner’s character and the overlap.
8th: The Godfather (1972)
Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece starring the legendary Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, the Don’s third son. Based on Mario Puzo’s eponymous novel and one of the greatest movies in cinematic history, The Godfather follows the process of passing an organized crime dynasty from father (Brando) to son (Pacino).
Despite Michael not being interested in continuing the family business, times are changing and his father and his values cannot change anymore. So when the drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) is refused by Vito Corleone and is not happy about it, leading to him shooting the Don, Michael sees himself obliged by the circumstances to stand up for his family and to begin a mob war against Sollozzo.
The Godfather Part II (1974)
This both sequel and prequel to the first The Godfather film, presents the destinies of the two heads of the Corleone family. On one side, Michael Corleone’s new life as the new Don of his crime family is presented, while on the other side we have the back-story of Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) as a Sicilian boy running away from his village until the founding of his new family business in New York City, after the slaughter of his family. The narrative is set so that the spiritual fall of Michael parallels the rise of the young Vito.
The Godfather Part III (1990)
Although initially intended to be named “The Death of Michael Corleone”, this third part is the epilogue of the trilogy. Set in 1979, the narrative follows Michael Corleone getting closer to his sixth decade of life. Corleone wants to remove himself from the violent mob world and just as he his father did once, he seeks an heir, this time in the young protégé (Andy Garcia) who had has a love affair with his daughter (Sophia Coppola).
3 Movies. 3 Destinies.
The first part was acclaimed, an American cinematic watermark, and Marlon Brandon was one of the reasons – he was the chocolate in the chocolate cake. The sequel was as praised as its predecessor and the Chicago Tribune called it “One of the most ambitious and brilliantly executed American films, a landmark work from one of Hollywood’s top cinema eras”.
The third part was not as loved as the others. In terms of criticism, the film had mixed reviews and the negative ones were mainly directed to Sophia Coppola’s acting. The plot was also perceived as too complicated, strange and dependent on the other parts. But as a trilogy, we cannot help it but adore it.
7th: Toy Story (1995)
Produced by Pixar Animated Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, Toy Story follows the “lives” of little Andy’s toys. When he or any other living creature is around, they are a bunch of ordinary lifeless toys, but as soon as they are left alone, the party starts and they are moving and talking on their own. This first movie is centred on Woody, a cowboy pull-string toy voiced by Tom Hanks, his relationship with Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut superhero action figure who thinks he is a human being (voiced by Tim Allen) and on their adventures as they try to save themselves from Andy’s bully neighbour Sid Phillips.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
This sequel comes with new characters – Jessie, Woody’s female counterpart and crush (voiced by Joan Cusack), the famous idol Barbie (voiced by Jodi Benson), and Mrs. Potato Head (voiced by Estelle Harris) – and with a new story. This time Woody is left behind by Andy when his arm is torn by accident. Put on shelf with other broken toys, Woody expects to wait for Andy, but he is thrown into an adventure loop as he is stolen by a toy collector and finds out that he is more valuable than he ever thought. Woody also starts fearing that Andy will get rid of all his toys, including him, after he grows up.
Toy Story (2010)
Eleven years later, Pixar and Disney bring Toy Story back in its third installment. Now Andy is preparing to go to college and he has not played with toys in a while, fact which makes the toys uneasy about their future. And they do have reasons as soon they find themselves at the Sunnyside Daycare center, an apparently toy paradise which turns out to be pandemonium and all they are left to do is find an escape with a Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, Barbie’s Ken and thespian hedgehog.
Animated Movies are Thing too
Director Terry Gilliam would praise the film as “a work of genius. It got people to understand what toys are about. They’re true to their own character. And that’s just brilliant. It’s got a shot that’s always stuck with me, when Buzz Lightyear discovers he’s a toy. He’s sitting on this landing at the top of the staircase and the camera pulls back and he’s this tiny little figure. He was this guy with a massive ego two seconds before… and it’s stunning.
I’d put that as one of my top ten films, period. Toy Story 2 won a Grammy for Best Song, many Annie Awards and many others, and it surely deserved all of them. Instead of being a carbon copy like sequel, Toy Story 2 has brought to its fans and audience more story and characters background and development. On its side, Toy Story 3 has brought smiles on the faces of not only the parents turned grandparents, children turned parents and their own children.
A. O. Scott of New York Times said about this film that “turns out also to be a long, melancholy meditation on loss, impermanence and that noble, stubborn, foolish thing called love.” Rumor has it that a fourth part is going to be released in 2017, but it will not break the trilogy, being a stand-alone sequel.