make your own trilogy


The Expeditions Trilogy

Don’t lie, these were three of your favorite movies in childhood. Unfortunately none of them had great financial success at the box office, which left them as stand alone films. Apparently had El Dorado done well there were going to be more Miguel and Tulio films featuring them visiting other marvels of civilization conducting various con jobs. Atlantis was going to have an animated TV series and Disney World attractions that got scuttled after the movie performed poorly. Treasure Planet apparently almost got a sequel too but that’s all we know about that. Thematically, all they have in common are expeditions to hidden places for legendary secrets, but dammit if they don’t fit together perfectly. One thing is for certain though, no one should have to watch Atlantis: Milo’s Return.

The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Treasure Planet (2002)


The Found Footage Trilogy

There are a lot of found footage movies. Some great (ex: Troll Hunter), a lot more pretty bad. But there is something about these three films that makes me think of them as one unit. They don’t share any cast, they aren’t directed by the same people, they weren’t even produced by the same studio. To be perfectly honest all these films share in common is a filming style and a poster style. Project Almanac has yet to be released and it has gone through a few title changes along the way (it used to be called “Welcome to Yesterday”) but its looking pretty good as a found footage time travel movie. Chronicle is the best one of the bunch by a country mile with its homegrown superhero origin story. Project X is probably the worst of the three, having a baffling terrible title and a morally bankrupt main cast of characters. But all three of these films represent a series of important lessons to an amateur filmmaker, namely what can and cannot be done with a small amount of resources. 

Project X (2012)
Chronicle (2012)
Project Almanac (2015)


The Desecrated Earth Trilogy

Neill Blomkamp has a very distinct visual style. A native South African, he makes no qualms about his homeland or any metropolitan area in terms of the present level of griminess. District 9 is loosely built as a metaphor for Aparthied, Elysium is a pretty heavy-handed comment on immigration and free healthcare, and Chappie has a lot to say about AI sentience and automated soldiers. To be completely honest, Blomkamp’s best film remains District 9. But the other films have a lot to like about them. Honestly I struggled to come up with a name for this trilogy. “Desecration” seems like a good word because the filth and grime present in these films, as well as their socio-political underpinnings, represent some stark comments on the state of the world and where it is going to be in the next few decades. Even Blomkamp has stated that these films are linked: 

“I have an idea for District 10, which is really cool. The problem is I feel like Chappie is the end of three films that have a similar stylistic approach to them. Chappie is the odd one out in that is has no socio-political underpinnings. It doesn’t have my experiences as a kid in South Africa incorporated into it. And Elysium– although it doesn’t have my experiences as a kid in South Africa, it has the same notion of oppressor in the elites, and the large population base beneath it. And Chappie doesn’t, but they are still part of a trilogy.”

And now we look forward to Blomkamp’s Alien movie.

District 9 (2009)
Elysium (2013)
Chappie (2015)


The Modern Princess Trilogy

A pure but sheltered girl rails against the life her mother has determined for her and captures the heart of a wayward man, a rebellious princess rejects her dress and title because of their constraints and grows closer to her mother, two sisters grieve their lost parents and question the idea of love at first sight. The three most recent Disney princess movies showcase one thing perfectly, that the Disney princess of yesteryear before the Disney Renaissance is long gone. These movies give the power to the princesses rather than resting it on the princes. Rapunzel doesn’t need Flynn to save her, she just wants him there. Merida is content to live with her bow and arrow, and Elsa and Anna wind up in two very different places while contemplating what they should do with their lives with the weight of their country on their shoulders. It’s a wonderful reclamation of the princess genre.

Tangled (2010)
Brave (2012)
Frozen (2013)


The True Crime: Boston Trilogy

By no means are these the only crime films set in Boston, but they’re three amazing standouts. Each examines an aspect of criminality in the city of Boston, Massachusetts whether it be the morality of allowing a crime to go unpunished if it ultimately was the best decision for a child, the two sides of the law and their equal corruption, or a criminal trying to make it all right.

Gone Baby Gone (2007)
The Departed (2006)
The Town (2010)