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,Β 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?? πŸ™‚

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 SpecialΒ 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.

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

    1. Back already. I guess I will say the James Bond films. We started watching them all a couple of years ago now (I guess about the time Daniel Craig took over), prior to which I had only seen a couple of the Pierce Brosnan ones. I have definitely not loved them, for the most part, but they’re fun and interesting to watch. Looking forward to Timothy Dalton, who is currently sitting on the coffee table at home, waiting for it to be cool enough in our hot little apartment to sit down and watch him without the fans drowning him out!

      1. Oooh Bond films! How timely, I have something in my draft folder about that. I grew up watching the Roger Moore versions, but I LOVE Dalton (as you know). I hope you like his gritty portrayal, as he’s the closest to Ian Flemming’s vision in his books. Plus, he’s just such major eye candy!!

        P.S. Watch for young Benicio Del Toro in Licence to Kill, if you recognize him that is πŸ™‚

      2. elroyl

        I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any Bond film all the way through, though I may have caught bits and pieces here and there from time to time, and I’m a 35 year old male.
        But the question was late to the party ..well I guess I missed that party all-together then didn’t I.

      1. Yep, been an HP fan for a long time, although I signed on for the books kind of late. I went to a midnight showing of the very first movie … wow, that was a long time ago.

        Def. looking forward to Dalton – I hated Roger Moore. So smarmy!

        I realize there are lots of television shows I was late to sign on for, bc I never watch TV … Buffy, Firefly (OMG WATCH IMMEDIATELY), and currently Veronica Mars. Good stuff.

        1. mcarteratthemovies

          The day “Veronica Mars” got canned was a sad day in my life. I already liked film noir, but I credit that show with turning a liking into an obsession!

        2. Smarmy is the word, Sam! Dalton is a complete departure from that, which is so refreshing. Craig’s version is very similar to his interpretation. He once said it’s impossible to take a 007 character seriously the moment an airplane comes out of a horse’s arse… Guess which movie that’s from? (Andy from Fandango Groovers surely knows the answer) πŸ™‚

  1. PrairieGirl

    I liked Fargo (the Cohen brothers), still, in some places it was kinda way over the top for me. But I loved Burn After Reading and A Serious Man. Any other Cohen Bros films I shouldn’t miss?

    1. mcarteratthemovies

      “Blood Simple” and “No Country for Old Men” are the absolute best the Coens have to offer. “The Big Lebowski” and “Raising Arizona” are the top comedies … but really, aside from “Intolerable Cruelty” and “The Lady Killers,” you can’t go wrong watching ANY Coen film!

  2. Vince

    Ok – one series that took me way too long to get to was Firefly (later concluded in movie form with Serenity) by Joss Whedon. I still cannot pinpoint it but there is something about the show that kept me watching…

    Also, one of the most intriguing series I’ve ever seen is the Japanese show Evangelion, a 26 episode anime directed by Hideaki Anno. This is the holy grail among anime circles but being outside of that, the show had a unique mish mash of philosophy, psychodrama, horror, humor and just plain strange. Not your typical Japanese cartoon. Worth checking out with an open mind.

    1. My friend actually lent me the whole Firefly dvd box set that we still got to watch. I think I’ve only seen a few episodes but they’re a lot of fun!

      Never heard of Evangelion, but I’ve never been into anime. Aren’t they all kind of on the strange side? πŸ™‚

      1. Vince

        Right you are πŸ™‚ Kristina thought so too but she started watching it (Evangelion) and totally got into it! Hard to explain – after the series concluded, many fans were not satisfied with the ending that the director received death threats. That’s nuts!

        1. Lewis Coleman

          Death threats are going way too far, but I was indeed greatly disappointed with how the series ended. Even though I respect and understand the reasons for it. I have high hopes for the Rebuild of Evangelion.

  3. mcarteratthemovies

    One franchise I’ve just latched onto is the Rocky movies. I’d seen the original and the third one eons ago, but I started working my way through the others.

    1. Interesting. I think I’ve only seen the first one, but I actually played Adrian in a little skit in an ESL class once, and my ‘Rocky’ was a tall, blond, blue-eyed Swiss guy πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Random Thoughts: What popular movie franchise(s) did you just … « Franchisingez

  5. Huge Harry Potter fan – have been since the mid nineties. But I suppose that’s the problem. I was into Potter back then and have stuck with the movies for the most part, but I really haven’t been interested in what they’ve been offering lately. The books were so big, way bigger than a movie could contain. So I’ve fallen off a bit, even if I’m still gonna go and check out the final film(s).

    As far as franchises I’ve caught onto late, I’ll be honest, there aren’t that many. I make it a habit of seeking out this kind of stuff way in advance, and have a terrible habit of ploughing through it way too fast. I do the same thing with TV series too. If I’m not mistaken I made it through the second season of 24 in under 24 hours.

    I think maybe Neil Marshall’s work was something I caught onto late in the game. Horror’s not really my bag, but The Descent was so good, and I didn’t even realize he’d directed Dog Soliders which I totally loved. It set me up for Doomsday, which not many people liked, but I thought was signature Marshall. It’s got me pumped for Centurion – which I also hear people didn’t like, but I have a feeling I’m going to love.

    My co-host Brian didn’t watch the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter until this past year. I don’t know how he slipped through the cracks and wound up sitting across from me in the radio booth.

    1. I can see that fans of the books might have a different opinion than those who’ve only seen the movie versions. I can’t say that the movies ‘live up to’ the book as I haven’t read them, but given Rowling’s close involvement, I imagine they try to be as faithful as possible.

      That’s amazing you’ve gone through the entire season of 24 in a day, well I guess it makes you ‘relate’ more to Jack Bauer’s crazy whirlwind of a life, eh? πŸ™‚

      Heard good things about Neil Marshall, I will check out his latest ‘Centurion’ on account of Michael Fassbender, but I don’t think I’ll ever see his horror flicks.

      Haven’t seen LOTR?? What’s up with that?? Well hopefully he will do so eventually.

    2. elroyl

      I’ve never been that big on Potter, it interested me at the beginning I suppose, but to me the franchise has been losing a lot of steam as of late (just as well that it’s ending soon), though I do admit I am curious to see the ending. The most recent movie truly bored me however, the 1st of the series to really do that to me.

      LOTR on the other hand, is absolutely fab!!! But then, I’m a major Jackson nut (a WingNut ..ha ha!!) though, so go figure!!

  6. That would be Twilight… Don’t judge, it was dark and I crumbled under peer pressure. I hope I don’t live to regret it in years to come, like buying a giant Twilight mug or something (eh Roisin, eh πŸ˜‰

    1. As they say ‘For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged’ … no worries, so what if you liked ’em? But if you start collecting all the paraphernalia or wear Team Jacob/Edward t-shirt, that’s a whole different story πŸ™‚

    2. elroyl

      I’ve never been interested in Twilight. The only reason I’ve even seen them at all is because my niece won’t stop watching them, unfortunately.

  7. I was late to the Harry Potter party, and I also left early. I think maybe being late might be the reason I didn’t like it so much, being behind on the scoop and lively buzz with the franchise, it just felt a little flat to me. (Films 4-5 are the only ones I have watched). Though Ralph Fiennes nose still freaks me out as Voldermort.

    I am pretty up to speed with movie franchises, but that means I am always behind on TV shows, which is why I am watching Mad Men and True Blood on DVD.

    1. I thought that his nose is the best part about Voldermont πŸ™‚ Haven’t seen Ralphie yet, I’m gonna watch #4 tonight.

      I don’t watch TV so naturally I’m so behind with all the shows. The last franchise I watched was BSG, and my hubby was into LOST in the last season (thank goodness for those recaps!) I did watch the first season of ROME and loved it, but lost interest after Caesar died.

  8. Mike B.

    Great post! I and a GF once did a Daniel Day Louis film festival of our own. Granted many of the films are 20 years old. The body of his work is pretty amazing.

    1. Oooh, a DDL festival sounds great, what an amazing ‘library’ that guy has. Just saw Age of Innocence recently, he’s just so amazing in it. Btw, have you seen A Room with a View yet?

        1. I haven’t seen it either, that’s the next one for our monthly gals’ movie nite. I think you both would enjoy the love story in Age of Innocence, it’s just so beautifully acted and shot… and the story is heart-wrenching!

  9. I think I’m the only one who is not HP fan, I watched two movies and couldn’t bring myself to watch the rest of the franchise.

    1. Fairportfan

      I haven’t seen even *one* Harry Potter film – i only read the first two books and then gave up on the series entirely.

      Diana Wynne Jones has been doing the same thing, and a lot better, for a lot longer.

  10. It took me quite a while to finally get to the ‘Firefly’ series, and i’m sure glad that I did.

    Huge Harry Potter fan here as well. The first couple movies are ‘meh’, but that’s how the books start off as well. It wasn’t until the 3rd book that the series took a major turn for the better, and the movies are the same way.

    Ideally, I thought they should’ve split 6 and 7 into three movies instead of what they did, but that’s just being nitpicky. I liked the last one better than most, but that’s probably because I’ve fell so in love with the production aspects of the movies. The artwork, cinematography, music…all of it is high grade stuff. Oh, and Helena B. Carter was easily one of my favorite and fun characters of last year.

    1. Ok, ok, I think I’ve got enough promptings now to finally fire up those Firefly dvd set that’s been sitting on the counter.

      I agree that the 6th one could’ve been elaborated further, isn’t that the longest book? Helena B. always steals scenes in a lot of things she’s in, doesn’t she? Btw, how do you feel about Michael Gambon replacing Richard Harris? I warmed up to him eventually but I miss Harris’ style a lot.

  11. I got away from HP, since it’s getting more and more ‘darker’ and more evil.. Nemocrancy, trans-meditation,conjuring up the dead, etc. It gets darker and darker from the first and second one. It creep me out.
    But I’m hooked on JJ Abrams’ movie and show now (Lost, Fringe, etc). I found his shows and movies intriguing, unusual. πŸ™‚ I am waiting for his next one come out “Cloverfield Sequel”.

    1. Hi Von, that’s understandable. I had trepidations about it too, especially all the wizardy stuff. It is dark, but those are the villains in the movie, who are contrasted with the good wizards who are told to use their powers for good.

      You told me about Fringe before, you like that stuff huh? It’s kinda like X-Files right? I haven’t seen it yet, but then again I don’t watch TV much anymore. I didn’t know you like Cloverfield, I’ve never seen it. Looks like JJ Abrams had another monster/creature movie Super 8, the trailer was really cryptic, like Cloverfield. Btw, did you see Star Trek? I quite like that one though I never watch the tv show.

  12. You know what? I was totally talking smack. You know what I just caught onto? Scott Pilgrim, yeah I know it’s not a movie yet, and the movie isn’t a series, but the books are freaking awesome! They even take place in Toronto. The other thing I totally caught onto in the past week is the Millenium series. I just got home from Girl Who Played With Fire (which was pretty good, not as great as Dragon Tattoo) and I’m itching to sink my teeth into the third one.

    1. You know, I still have no idea what Scott Pilgrim is about, but I generally like Edgar Wright’s work. That’s cool that it was partly filmed in your neck of the woods. Aren’t they making movies out of those ‘Girl’ series? Sounds interesting indeed.

  13. Fairportfan

    I got into “Babylon 5” rather late; enjoyed the hell out of it.

    To this day, some people probably have no clue why i give them a little finger-wiggling wave.

    But Vir would know.

    Can’t think of any other s that i came to late – no, i tell a lie – “Dead Like Me” and “Veronica Mars”, come to think – but there are a number of them that i’ve given up on over the years.

    That might make a good question – “What series have you given up on part-way?”

    1. Hi Fairportfan, wow you watch a lot of TV πŸ™‚ I had to google what Babylon 5 were, sorry. That’s a great question, about the series we give up part-way? For me, recently it was Castle. Not the fault of the series itself, as I like Nathan Fillion, I just don’t have time to watch TV these days.

  14. CW

    I had seen bits and pieces over the years, but it’s just been in the past year that I’ve really gotten into Doctor Who. So now I’m watching the Matt Smith episodes every week while Netflixing whatever I can of the other 10 Doctors.

    I was surprised at how solid and effective the writing was, although I really shouldn’t have been. A franchise that’s still going strong after almost 50 years has to be doing something right.

    1. Cate

      The Lord of the Rings films are my favorite movies of all time, so I am always looking for new series in the fantasy/science fiction genre. I also just started watching the new Dr Who, Matt Smith. I am really enjoying it so far, and like you, I have added the 9th and 10th Doctors to my Netflix queue. Ditto with Torchwood.

      But even though it’s not a movie franchise per se, I recently fell in love with Firefly and its follow-up film, Serenity. I lament it ran only one season. What was Fox thinking? So now I am tracking down other Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion projects. Already a Castle fan, but Buffy will be next….

  15. I am a loyal HP fan since years, the HP movies are awesome too, except Order fo the Phoenix and Goblet of fire, which are way too below expectations.

    A movie franchise I’ve watched lately is the “Red Riding” trilogy, a set of Brit films about corruption in cops. Apart from that I’ve recently watched Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Santa Sangre”, me being a huge surrealism fan I absolute loved that movie.

    LOTR? 12 Hours? Gosh, the very thought makes me shiver in fright πŸ˜€

    1. What amazed me about HP is that all seven movies are pretty well-made. Of course there will be variations here and there and some movies will be better than others, but generally they’re good quality IMO.

      That’s cool that you started watching Red Riding, I posted the trailer a while ago (http://wp.me/pxXPC-OO) and that definitely intrigued me. I will watch those one day.

      Oh trust me, that’s what Prairiegirl said too, but as she’d tell you, LOTR is worth the time investment. I LOVE the world that Tolkien built… HP is just scratching the surface compared to how in-depth LOTR were.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Was LORT really 12 hours? I never checked or looked, but watched all 3 extended versions and barely noticed the time. They really were excellent films, and seeing them on DVD means I could fast forward through all the battle scenes πŸ™‚ and just focus on the outcome.

  16. chaosinabox

    I’m always amazed at the conversion of my best friend. Back in the day, when “Phantom Menace” was about to come out, he was blase about the whole thing…just couldn’t care less about “Star Wars.” But then, when “Attack of the Clones” came around, he was a total convert, having immersed himself in every expanded universe thing he could get his hands on, watched the original trilogy several bazillion times, and showed up to the theatre in full Darth Maul costume.

    1. Ha..ha.. that is bizarre, especially since the later Star Wars flicks aren’t as highly regarded as the first three. You just never know though, sometimes there might be conversation or some random occurrence that sparked one’s interest, much like what happens with my hubby & I on HP. I don’t think I’ll consider us ‘Muggles’ yet but for sure we’ll be up for seeing the next movie in the theater, which will be the first time for HP.

  17. Mike

    I only just discovered “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” about a year ago, and watched my first episode of “Mad Men” about three days ago. I tend to be late to the party on a lot of great TV shows.

    But movies? I’m usually pretty up-to-date. I’d never seen a Rambo movie until earlier this year, so I guess I’ll go with that.

  18. lka

    Just discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I wonder how is it possible that I never watched it. I know, I know, it is a tv show and you said movies, but Buffy was based an a movie so I think it sort-of counts.
    LOVE HP!

    1. It’s fine Ika, I’m not going to banish commenters who don’t answer the exact question πŸ˜€ It’s fascinating how vampire flicks never really go away, I won’t be surprised if that series will be resurrected/rebooted before you know it (or it might already be in the works!)

  19. suzidoll

    Interesting that many people are equating television series with movie franchises. Not the same medium. But, young viewers have been “trained” by studio marketers to accept the idea that every blockbuster or popular movie will spawn sequels and series. At one time, sequels and series were relegated to b-moviemaking; major films were single releases that stood on their own. This was before the marketing term “franchises” was applied to film; marketing teams treat film (which is a popular art, not product) like McDonald’s. You could essentially call Harry Potter, Batman, Iron Man, etc. “Mcmovies, and that is not a compliment. FlixChatter is obviously hyping Harry Potter with this article: Note how both images are from the Potter films. If it was really about all franchises, they could have easily included an image from another series. This is little more than ad for the film, probably masterminded by someone’s marketing team. Feel manipulated? You should.

    1. suzidoll, you’re right I was wondering more about movie franchises, not TV, but that’s ok if people include that medium also.

      I would like to clarify though that this is NOT a paid blog, if you take time to browse around before you cast your accusation, you’ll realize that. I’m not ‘hyping’ HP for I don’t get a penny for that franchise or any movie title or actor I happen to mention on my blog. I just include those particular images because I just recently discovered that particular ‘franchise’ or series (whatever you want to call it) and there happens to be a new HP movie coming up this year. That is the sole and only reason I put those photos there. As I indicated above, this post is simply a question if others have experienced the same thing I do, that they discover a popular franchise later than most people. Nobody ‘mastermind’ anything here, so your ‘manipulated’ worry is utterly baseless.

    2. Lewis Coleman

      Someone has their tinfoil conspiracy hat on a little too tight today.

      In regards to the question posted by rtm, I used to disregard period dramas, but my love for Keira Knightley has gotten me to watch movies like The Duchess and Pride & Prejudice, and I’ve found that I really enjoy some of them. I never would have watched something like The Young Victoria or Elizabeth, a few years ago.

      I also used to be averse to any movie made before the 90’s, but I decided to start watching Alfred Hitchcock’s movies late last year, and they’ve completely (and thankfully) changed my opinion about classic movies. Now, Rear Window and Notorious are among my favorite films, and half my Netflix queue is populated by movies made before 1970. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and I’m looking forward to it.

      1. Fairportfan

        Okay, having been in my 40s in the 90s, i find it hard to get my head aroused the idea of of being “averse to any movie made before the 90β€²s”.

        Personally, ever since i was old enough to actually *have* an opinion, i’ve been at least as interested in older films, even films made before i was born, as in newer ones.

        Might i put in a plug for some of my medium-old favourite films, BTW – the “Once Upon a Time” trilogy of Sergio Leone – “Once Upon a Time in the West” “Duck You Sucker”/”A Fistful of Dynamite” [“Once Upon a Time: The Revolution”] and “Once Upon a Time in America”?

        (Once you watch “…in America”, you may never look at “The Untouchables” in the same way again…)

    3. PrairieGirl

      suzidoll, it’s perfectly OK for you to not like “McMovies.” But as an avid reader of FC from day one, and knowing the author, rtm, very well, I can assure there’s no manipulation by her going on. She writes about movies from her very own unique and interesting perspective – there is NO marketing team behind her, just some loyal FC friends, readers and guest bloggers. She simply found a series of movies she enjoyed and is letting her readers know and asking to hear from them about their own experiences.

      And maybe you missed the paragraph I wrote about how I encountered the Lord of the Rings series in the same post? Lighten up! If you don’t enjoy movie “franchises”, thats just fine, and feel free to say so, but to come to the conclusion that some behind-the-scenes professional marketing guru is behind ANY post on Flixchatter is to be quite mistaken, that’s for sure.

  20. whitestar77

    HP fans call themselves ‘Muggles’.

    I’ve been an HP fan for years. At one point in college, I was volunteering in an elementary school, and just after lunch (in order to settle the class down) the teacher had a “story time”. I ended up doing a couple chapters of the end of ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ complete with voices. (The teacher had started them on it about two weeks before I arrived, and it was my first exposure to the books; this was just after Prisoner of Azkaban came out.) I got really into it after that, and actually went to midnight release parties for Phoenix, HBP, and Deathly Hallows.

    Also really big on Babylon 5. I started watching it back when it was new, and it’s never worn out. Am currently running a B5-themed alliance (and we’re not the only one) on a sci-fi themed Facebook app.

    1. Oh is that right? Muggles… well, better than Pott-heads I suppose πŸ˜€ I might try to read the books if I can find the time, just ’cause the nature of movies are so limited in time that it felt rushed at times. For example, I was hoping to get some closure as to what happen between Harry and Cho, which the book addressed (from what I gather from Google research), but the movie left it so abruptly that it really bugged me.

  21. Iron man

    It took me forever to get into Quentin Tarantino’s work. Despite having seen and enjoyed “Pulp Fiction,” and to a far lesser extent “Deathproof,” I still couldn’t get into him. I tried “Kill Bill 1” and “Reservoir Dogs” and just couldn’t find a way in. It wasn’t until the opening scene of “Inglourious Basterds” that I was finally hooked. Since then I’ve gone back and watched, and loved, Kill Bill 1 & 2, and I can’t wait to see the rest of his work.

    It was the same way with Kevin Smith’s films. He was a little before my time, so even though I had seen “Dogma” and “Zach & Miri,” I wasn’t hooked until I saw “Clerks II.” Now I own several of his movies and hope to have the rest soon.

    I’ll probably get into Harry Potter eventually. Once all the final movies have been out on DVD for a couple of years, and the craze has died down a bit.

    Television series I got into late:
    Lost (regretted this one though)

    1. Hey Iron man, we’ve got something in common! I too, started to get interested in QT’s work after watching Inglourious Basterds. I was blown away by that movie, I just couldn’t praise it enough (see my review here: http://wp.me/pxXPC-X9). I’ve since watched Kill Bill I, and hopefully the second one soon.

      As for Kevin Smith, I’ve never been interested in him and not sure I ever will.

      The last TV series I followed closely was the vampire series Moonlight, which was prematurely canceled just at the cusp of Twilight hysteria. Since then I haven’t taken up any new show to watch, we’ll see what’ll be the next BSG for me.

  22. Ray Anselmo

    Not a movie franchise per se, but my recent discovery has been “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

    I’m something of a Luddite in some ways — for most of my life, I haven’t had cable. (How do I fill my time? Books and the ‘Net. Cheaper too.) So it’s only recently that — thanks to Netflix’s online play feature — I’ve immersed myself in the subversive genius that is MST3K. The wonderful snarky humor and an addictive low-budget “hey, let’s put on a show” vibe have made insomniac evenings a delight.

    I hope I won’t offend longtime Satellite of Love devotees when I say that I prefer Mike Nelson to Joel Hodgson — Joel is a bit TOO nerdy and fidgety in front of the camera, while Mike’s Everyman persona and willingness to roll with any premise give Crow and Servo room to be even wackier. And of the various villains, Pearl is my favorite — Mary Jo Pehl could make a career out of hamming her way through any role from neurotic moms to Mimi Bobeck-type antagonists, and it’s a cruel injustice that it hasn’t happened yet.

    I haven’t tried “Firefly” yet, but the day is coming …

    1. I don’t watch TV either Ray, not even those on regular network! I only turn on the telly to watch news and dvds. That’s why I usually catch up on a certain TV series much later on dvd. I’ve got Firefly dvd set sitting in my entertainment room that my friend lent me… who knows when I’ll have time to finally see them all (I’ve only seen a few episodes).

  23. Titianhairedbeauty

    I just discovered the Michael Caine Harry Palmer film franchise that began in the 60’s with “The Ipcress File”. I like its very Britishness and its workaday approach to espionage. Michael Caine’s Palmer is a frustrated gourmand who just happens to work for the government as a spy, which he rather resents. It is a nice counterpoint to the overblown, theatricality of the Bond films.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Sounds intriguing, love Michael Caine (and the Bond films not so much either), so will check these out!

    2. Fairportfan

      According to some people i know, the third Palmer film, “Billion Dollar Brain”, was so over-the-top for what the studio thought was going to be a more-or-less straight spy film that it almost destroyed Ken Russel’s career as a director before it was well started.

  24. shirlgirl13

    I am all signed up for STARZ as they will be showing the 8 hr. mini-series, PILLARS OF THE EARTH on July 23rd (first 2 hrs.). This was a wonderful book and I can’t wiat for the mini-series to air. I think this will be a blockbuster !!

    1. PrairieGirl

      OMG! I’m awaiting POTE too! Never read the book, but my fav actor EVER is in it (Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder). Will have to wait for the DVD, however, cause just can’t bring myself to order more cable channels upon cable channels. I’m envious – enjoy!

  25. suzidoll

    rtm: If you want to stay objective as a blogger, you should consider the subtext of some of your decisions. Using only images from Harry Potter for your post within a few weeks of the next film’s release is free publicity for the film, whether you did it intentionally, or not. Marketers look for and take advantage of this kind of thing, whether you are aware of it, or not. In essence, you are helping them do their work, but you have no control over how your work will be used or considered. Just the fact that you legitimized the term “franchise” in your blog, instead of the using the more neutral term “series” is a clue that you don’t see the negative impact something like your blog can have. I know because I work in marketing, and I am aware of certain tactics that manipulate Internet scribes, bloggers, and their readers. I have seen everything from quote manipulation to planted letters in Q&A columns used as ancillary publicity. It adds to “buzz,” which Hollywood marketers prize over good reviews and intelligent commentary on their films. Buzz is superficial and artificial but can add to the box office of a film. Buzz in and itself is not bad, but sadly, for small films that can’t afford to hire big-time marketers, buzz for Harry Potter or other McMovies overwhelms smaller films that also need attention. Audiences who might like these smaller films don’t hear about them because they are drowned out by the buzz for McMovies. Without room for all types of films for all audiences in the marketplace to influence and inspire directors, the aesthetic quality of the popular movie becomes more and more narrow, unoriginal, and even lackluster in craftsmanship–something trade mags and critics have been noting for years. It doesn’t matter whether I personally like McMovies, or not. That’s not my point. The issue is the need to create a space in the market for other types of movies, so they have a fair shake at the box office and for writers in all media to understand how they help or hinder that.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Hey again suzidoll, this blog post was rtm’s personal opinion, to share, nothing more, nothing less, like everything else here on Flixchatter. Sounds like maybe you need your own blog?

    2. IM

      suzidoll, a few things:

      1) A definition of blog (Mirriam Webster): “a Web site that contains an online PERSONAL journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.”

      The last thing I want people to tell me what to do on my *personal* journal is to be objective.

      2) To rephrase what you said: Marketers look for and take advantage of EVERYTHING, whether you’re aware of it or not. But of course you know that because you work in marketing. I work in an advertising/marketing agency. Now if some bloggers write some personal thoughts/opinions on an ad campaign done by other agencies (aka, our competitors), do I take notice? Maybe. But do I go to every single blogger’s website to discourage them for “adding to the buzz”? Heck no. I got life. I got better things to do, thank you very much.

      I’ve seen many good, brilliant smaller budget/independent movies that don’t have all the buzz nor worldwide campaigns like Hollywood movies. And what got me to watch these are mainly because of rave reviews or people recommendations–not because of any promotional campaign. The point is: if whatever you’re marketing (product or service) is really THAT good, people WILL take notice.

      We have enough negative campaign in politics. Movies are for entertainment.

      So tell me, suzidoll…what is YOUR kind of entertainment?? Or are you a vigilante trying to save the world from the domination of Mc(fill-in-the-blank)…??

    3. todd


      “Buzz” isn’t superficial. “Hype” is. Buzz is organic. f you work in marketing, you should know this.

    4. mckraut

      The fact that you find this person’s blog damaging to the movie business is kind of stupid. I wonder if you comment with the same kind of passion to people that use their blogs to damage other people’s lives like Perez (easily the biggest target in the blogoshere). When did you last comment to those types of people as opposed to a smaller blog such as this. I’m sure that there are other even more damaging blogs than his as well, but I don’t know of them because I rarely read blogs as they are not news or respected media. They are just one person’s opinions. An ant in the wide universe.

  26. The movie franchise I’ve always enjoyed is the “Inspector Maigret” series, a series of three films starring the legendary French movie tough guy, Jean Gabin.

    The movies in the series are:

    “Maigret tend un piege” (or, “Maigret Sets a Trap,”1957) — it was released in the US, by United Artists, as “Woman Bait.”

    “Maigret et l’affaire Saint Fiacre” (1960)


    “Maigret voit rouge” (or, “Maigret Sees Red,”1964)

    It’s no wonder that Jean Gabin, who is considered to be ‘the French Humphrey Bogart,’ is THE WORLD’S COOLEST MOVIE STAR.


    And I should know because I wrote a book about Jean Gabin. It’s called WORLD’S COOLEST MOVIE STAR. Brigitte Bardot wrote the foreword and David Mamet wrote the afterword.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Chuck. WOW, what an honor to get a comment from the likes of you. Thanks for the tidbit about Jean Gabin, that’s awesome to have Bardot and Mamet to contribute to your book!

  27. If you’re into watching foreign films and cartoonish violence, check out the Lone Wolf and Cub series. They were made during the 70’s so there is some gratuitous nudity. All in all, very entertaining series to watch and very easy to watch during a long weekend (80 minutes on average).

  28. Peter

    I just discovered Battlestar Galactica and it is awesome!

    As for movie franchises, if you haven’t watched Nolan’s Batman movies (the one or two of you out there), then give them a shot, they are great. I also can’t wait for Inception. Maybe this discussion could branch out into Great Directors.

    Suzidoll – lighten up. Not everything is a conspiracy. For instance, my previous paragraph was a massive brown nose to the director Chris Nolan, and you know what? I didn’t get a cent.

    1. It is awesome indeed! That’s the last tv series I watched on dvd. Oh yes, I LOVE Nolan’s Batman flicks, and I just saw Inception yesterday. That’s a nifty idea about branching out into directors, I’ll probably do that one day.

      He..he.. I was brown nosing Nolan all last week too, as do every other blogger I know. If I had a nickle for every time I praise that guy, I can quit my day job πŸ™‚

  29. Poor Prairiegirl…missing the awesomeness of The Losrd of The Rings that long πŸ˜‰

    Interesting question.
    Popular movie franchise that I discovered recently was The Incredible Hulk and as you’ve know already, I really like that one, even more than the first one.
    For me, almost all superhero movies are ‘discovered’ way late than the released date.

    On contrary, Harry Potter was something I undiscover .. meaning I watched 1 to 5 and completely drop 6 and 7.

  30. Pingback: The Harry Potter Phenomenon

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