Random Thoughts: What popular movie franchise(s) did you just recently ‘discover?’

Film is such a vast art form that most people are likely only accustomed to a small fraction of all the genres out there. Even within the contemporary category, there are a bunch of movie franchises I either haven’t got around to seeing or simply have no interest in seeing. One of them was Harry Potter, well, until recently that is. I’ve never read the novels and I always thought these were geared for kids. Besides, even though I quite like the fantasy genre, I didn’t think HP would have the substance and depth like say, The Lord of the Rings. Well, be that as it may, now that I’ve seen three out of the seven movies that have been released so far, they’re actually quite good.

Not sure what started it exactly. I guess my hubby and I have been curious about it for a while, but perhaps my recent conversation with FC’s classic flix contributor Rockerdad might’ve triggered us to finally check it out. He’s a fan of the series and amongst the wonderful things he said about the franchise was that the movies got lots of great British thespians in it, always a very good thing in my book. It’s not the first time he got my husband and I hooked on a show, he also got us watching Battlestar Galactica just as the whole series was on its final season.

In any case, now that the trailer for the last installment of the series, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, has just been released, we’re playing catch-up to make sure we’re ready for it come November. Thanks to IMDb and Wikipedia, we’ve sort of ‘educated’ ourselves with the the wizardry world of Harry Potter and I think we can now properly converse with Potter fans. Speaking of which, what are they called exactly? If Twilight fans are Twi-hards, are HP fans called Pott-heads?? 🙂

Kidding aside, I must say I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far. Unlike Twilight, which I’ve seen only once (one time too many IMO), the Harry Potter franchise is in a whole different league. The then-unknown young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were perfect in their roles and quite believable despite their lack of experience. But I think the best part of it is the script and the level of production that was nothing short of magical. Plus, the massively talented British supporting cast the likes of Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes definitely add gravitas that elevates the quality of the movies even more.

Fairly recently, my good friend Prairiegirl also just recently ‘discovered’ The Lord of the Rings franchise:

I decided to see LOTR trilogy after seeing so many positive reviews about the Commentary portion of it on FC and since rtm owned the Special Extended Edition set, she made it easy so I told her to bring it in. Well, fantasy/action thrillers are not my genre, but after watching all (haven’t gotten to the Special Features or Commentaries yet, but will), I’m glad I did, even if just to not be clueless when discussions of Mithril or Gondor inevitably arise ;). I can’t say I loved it, but the New Zealand scenery was arresting, it was very creatively executed and Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) did tickle my fancy all the way through. And lastly, I got a lot of chuckles out of the sneaky and bipolar Gollum/Smeagol.

Well, it got me curious now whether the same thing have happened to you. So what popular franchise(s) that you suddenly started watching long after seemingly everyone else have embraced them? It doesn’t even have to be a franchise, but perhaps a certain genre you don’t normally watch or a particular director’s body of work. Please do share in the comment section.