I asked a couple of our writers on staff about what their favorite classic movie series is. I had a few rules. Classic, in this case, means at least 20 years old. Also a series has to be a minimum of 3 films. For example Indiana Jones works because the original trilogy all came out before 1994 however, the newest film does not qualify since it released in 2008. Jurassic Park as a series does not work despite the first film coming out at least 20 years ago. The sequels were released in 1997 and 2001 which means this cannot count as a classic film series yet. With that out of the way, let us look the answers.
I don’t know why I like sports so much… I just do. So when this topic came up, there was only one movie that I can go to. The movie about a mischievous bunch of teens, who rallied together to accomplish great feats on the ice. Mighty Ducks had me hooked as a young lad because my love for sports was at its genesis, and with it being about a hockey team, it was a movie that I could enjoy. However, what kept me coming back to the movie was the comedy. The Bash Brothers, the knuckle puck shot, and of course Goldberg and Averman. The first Mighty Ducks was cool. D3 was okay, but the movie that made this such a hit for me was D2. Who doesn’t like seeing USA conquer other countries? Who wouldn’t want to see a nice game of street hockey in South Central Los Angeles? Granted, the last movie from this series, D3, wasn’t released 20 years ago (It’s been 18. Sue me) and Mighty Ducks might not be my favorite movie from the 90’s (Sandlot baby!!!), but it taught me about adversity at a young age. Such a young age, that I didn’t even know that the word adversity even existed!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II, III (90s Series) One of my favorite classic movie series is the original TMNT movie series. All three parts are great, but the second one (I believe I speak for most fans) is the best one of the series. There are various reasons why it’s so dear to my heart, but the main one is that I can relate to each individual character a little. Myself being born in New York City (Brooklyn), I understood the setting of the movie a little more than some other viewers, and the fact that pizza was such a big deal for them makes a lot of sense, since pizza is in the blood of every New Yorker worth his/her salt. The turtles themselves are funny; each has their own characteristics and development throughout the movies so you get four main characters instead of one. Maybe you don’t like Leonardo, but you’re a geek like me so you enjoy watching Donatello mess around with electronics and try to quantify everything. The action is great too, because you don’t often see so many fight scenes in the same movie, and these are all full of them. It’s nice to see so many moral lessons throughout the movies too, like being together as a family, teamwork, discipline, good vs. evil and standing up for justice. Sure, they are silly and don’t act like the “typical” heroes, but that’s why we love them so much. People are people, and we all have our quirkiness and personalities, which is why we are still seeing the TMNT grow even decades after this classic. If you haven’t seen these movies before, they may seem outdated, but I can promise you will be shouting “COWABUNGA!” by the time you’re finished.
My favorite classic movie series is Star Trek. I’ve been watching Star Trek for almost all my life. I would watch TNG with my parents as a boy, and then when I was older, I would watch the original series recorded on my mom’s VHS tapes. Now, per the rules of this article, I’ll only be covering the movies based on the cast of the original series. The first one I ever actually watched was Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was at the drive-in movie theater, and when I think back, I’m amazed I stayed awake through the entire thing. My mother cried during the credits when they showed the main cast members’ actual signatures written majestically across the giant screen. So, you might say I have Star Trek in my blood. Now, that’s not to say that I’m some sort of Trekker or Trekkie, but I do really enjoy the movies.
Well, let me clarify; I enjoy some of the movies. I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the first time back around 2005, and I fell asleep during it, only to awaken mere moments before the credits. The plot drags and drags, I don’t know where they got those uniforms from, and to be frank, the acting is not on par with the TV show. Subsequent conversations with people who have seen it have told me that I didn’t really miss anything, so I haven’t seen it all the way through yet, and I’m not disappointed.
Only slightly more watchable than Star Trek: The Motion picture is Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The premise is Spock’s brother is an eccentric cult leader who hijacks the Enterprise in order to go to the center of the galaxy because he believes “God” is there. God is of course not there, and is simply a powerful extraplanar being with an axe to grind. Most of the meat of this movie involves the chess game between Sybok and the crew, and then Kirk trying to regain control of ship. Additionally, I would like ask: Why in the world we needed to see a 57 year-old Nichelle Nichols fan-dancing is beyond my comprehension. The only important event of V is the truce struck with the Klingon at the end of the movie, setting the stage for the events of the beginning of VI.
Now I get to talk about the other four movies: the good ones. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country all form the same arc, and can be watched without the other two coming into the mix without feeling like you missed out, at least in my mind. However, I will say there were some aspects of IV that I didn’t like, and when I say some, I primarily mean the odd-looking alien probe (which to me resembles a cigarette) that came looking for the humpback whales. That being said, we get to see the development of one of the greatest – if not the greatest – sci-phi action heroes of all-time. We see a man and how he deals with the pain of loss, the burden of leadership, the resolve of difficult decisions and a little bit of sarcasm every now and then just to keep things light. Over the course of these four films, we see James Tiberius Kirk going through the wringer where Klingon are concerned. In fact, Kirk’s feeling towards the Klingon is an important plot element in the sixth film.
So, if you haven’t seen these treasures, I would urge you to do so, even if you’re not a Star Trek or sci-fi fan.