Top 20 Movie Franchises of All-Time: #5 – 1

5. Rocky

Rocky (1976) – 10/10
Rocky II (2002) – 9/10
Rocky III (2004) – 8.5/10
Rocky IV (2005) – 8/10
Rocky V (2007) – 7/10
Rocky Balboa (2009) – 8/10

Why I love them so much: Did they get cheesier and hammier and whatever other breakfast foodier as the series went along? Of course they did, but who cares? Rocky is the ultimate underdog story, and the character himself is pretty incredible if you stop to analyze him. The Italian Stallion is a rough and tough boxer from the streets of Philly, but he’s ultimately a romantic at heart. He’s a bit of a dummy, but he’s such a sweet spirit that you don’t even care. He becomes a millionaire, but he never forgets his roots and where he came from. He’s a big goofball who tells corny jokes, but he gets dead serious and will bash your face in if you mess with his loved ones. He’s a family man, a fiercely loyal friend, and a patriotic American. And he’s got the Eye of the Tiger.

Favorite moment of the series: When Rocky clobbers Apollo Creed. No, when Rocky shows no pity to the fool Mr. T. Nahhhh. When Rocky hulks out on Hulk Hogan. Hmmm. Maybe when Rocky KO-GB’s Ivan Drago and the entire metaphorical Soviet Union. Or when Rocky takes it to the streets to whip up on former real life Great White Hope, Tommy Morrison. Okay, enough with the shenanigans, blog boy, give us the good stuff! In a collection full of epic boxing brawls, the best moment comes from the least likely source: a frail wife, sick in bed. When Adrian tells Rocky she just wants him to do one thing, and that is to, “Win Rocky… win!”, Rocky, Mickey, and every single one of us felt like we could take on the entire world.

Hottie Alert: pre-crazy Brigitte Nielsen

My geeky confession: To this day, if I see a big, long flight of concrete stairs leading up to a building, I sprint up them while simultaneously punching my fists in the air, and once at the top, I bounce around with my arms raised in victory over my head while singing, or more accurately doo-doo-doo’ing, “Gonna Fly Now”.

Twitter status update: Yo, @DanaWhite, I wanna shot at da UFC belt. Saturdayz ain’t good 4 me cuz it’s Bingo nite at the nursery home. Holla back later, I gotta take a nap.

4. Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – 10/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) – 7/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) – 9/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) – 7/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) – 7/10
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)- 7/10
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) – 8.5/10
Freddy vs. Jason (2003) – 9/10 (Yes, I’m serious.)

Why I love them so much: Freddy Krueger has done some horrifying things to small children over the course of his lifetime, but he did have a positive impact on at least one little boy. It’s fairly obvious to those paying attention to this list that I’m a horror movie nut, and I have Freddy to thank for planting that seed. Just remind me to never try to thank him in person.

Favorite moment of the series: As tempted as I am to drop an awesome Freddy one-liner from one of the sequels where Freddy became some sort of a cheesy Dave Chappelle meets Norman Bates comic/serial killer morphing so that I can get a cheap laugh, I’ll stick with the original. Ya know, the scary one. The Tina in a bodybag, whispering for Nancy, proceeding to be dragged down the hallway by no one in particular, leaving a bloody trail behind scene is one of the all-time creepiest of my movie watching history. Okay, cheap laugh time: “Welcome to prime time, b****!”

Hottie Alert (for the ladies): Johnny Depp

My geeky confession: I’ve been a Freddy fan since I was nine years old. NINE! The original Freddy flick hit theaters in 1984, but the Mini-Me version of myself caught it on VHS the following year (true story, younggins—it used to take a full year for movies to be released to home video). I was horrified, but I also couldn’t get enough. How I didn’t grow up to be some sick, twisted serial killer is some sort of slight miracle. Heck, I can’t even watch those real life surgery shows cause my sissy tummy can’t hack the real stuff. I’ve been watching a child murderer slice teenagers up with finger knives for 25 years, but I get faint at the sight of a needle taking blood. Go figure.

Twitter status update: 1, 2 Freddy I love u. 3, 4 there’s lots of gore. 5, 6 I like ur taste in chicks. 7, 8 killing Jack Sparrow was great. 9, 10 don’t do a remake again.

3. Back To The Future

Back To The Future (1985) – 10/10
Back To The Future II (1989) – 9.5/10
Back To The Future III (1990) – 8/10

Why I love them so much: Action? Check. Adventure? Check. Comedy? Check. Romance? Check. Fantasy? Check. Sci-Fi? Check. Drama? Check. Rad soundtrack featuring Huey Lewis and the News? Check. Alex P. Keaton? Check. Young, super hot Elisabeth Shue? Check.

Favorite moment of the series: The very first time Marty McFly arrives in 1955. For a generation of film fanatics, this was also the very first time that we too were blown away by the possibility of what time travel could mean. Sure, other movies did it before, but not to the level and scope of Doc Brown. In the quarter of a century since McFly ventured back in time, we’ve been oversaturated with time travel stories. From Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to Field of Dreams to Timecop to Lost, we now know all the rules and risks of time travel. But this moment was our first lesson.

Hottie Alert: Elisabeth Shue

My geeky confession: In the 80’s, I had such a big mancrush on Michael J. Fox that I vividly remember going to Fantastic Sam’s when I was 10 years old and asking the hairstylist to cut my hair like Marty McFly’s. I’m still convinced that I’ve never looked sexier before or since.

Twitter status update: Hey 2011 peeps, I’m tweeting from 2055 via a microchip in my brain! Guess what.. STILL NO HOVERBOARDS! But Cowboys win next 40 Super Bowls!

2. Spider-Man

Spider-Man (2002) – 10/10
Spider-Man 2 (2004) – 10/10
Spider-Man 3 (2007) – 8/10

Why I love them so much: Spider-Man was, is, and always will be my hero. Growing up on the cartoons, the comics, and even the cheesy live action television series, I’d waited 20 long years to see a big screen version of my favorite costumed crusader. And Sam Raimi did not disappoint. Without question, the first Spidey was my most anticipated movie experience of all-time… and probably my favorite.

Favorite moment of the series: The train scene in Spider-Man II. In the space of about 5 minutes, we see what separates Spider-Man from the other superhero icons. He uses his superhuman strength to stop a train (something Batman could never do), but it is physically torturous on his body (something Superman would never understand). As his body goes limp, the crowd of survivors see that this amazing superhero is… just a boy. And yet, he was willing to lay his life down to save them and was unafraid to sacrifice his identity being revealed if it meant helping others. Arguably the greatest action sequence AND the greatest dramatic sequence of the entire series all rolled up into one.

Hottie Alert: Elizabeth Banks

My geeky confession: Go through my mom’s old photo albums and you’ll find the answer. Almost every picture of me from ages 2-5, I am either shirtless and wearing Spidey underoos or I am pantless and wearing a Spidey shirt. Good thing she doesn’t have any pictures of me ages 25-34 in those albums, cause they’d be exactly the same.

Twitter status update: Memo 2 @MarcWebb, @AndrewGarfield, & writers of my new franchise reboot: I am FUNNY AND WITTY. And I am NOT a crybaby! #DontPullaRaimi

And before I reveal my #1 Favorite Film Franchise of All-Time, a quick break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you the following messages…

My Oh-So-Close Honorable Mentions: The Evil Dead, The Dollars Trilogy, Batman, The Universal Monsters Collection.

  • Yes, I did leave out Indiana Jones. I like them just fine, but have never fully loved them. Between you, me, and all the Indy fans who happened upon this blog via Google search, I just don’t care for Harrison Ford. Feel free to send hate mail to brandon@grabbagok.com or just leave nasty messages in the comments section.
  • Yes, I did leave out the slightly overrated Bourne Trilogy. Is his name Jason Bourne? Will he finally discover who he is? Why are all of these movies the exact same? I don’t care if I never get the answers to any of those questions.
  • Yes, I did leave out the absurdly overrated Pirates of the Caribbean. Or as I like to refer to them, much to my readers’ apparent confusion, My Bits of the Hair Lovey Bun.

And now, back to our reguarly scheduled program…

1. The Godfather Trilogy

The Godfather (1972) – 10/10
The Godfather II (1974) – 10/10
The Godfather III (1990) – 9.5/10

Why I love them so much: Simply put, these are the greatest films of all time. Yes, even Part III.

Favorite moment of the series: Insert the obligatory “it’s like asking a mother who her favorite child is” statement here. Really, though, there are so many iconic scenes and so many quotable lines, you’d think this was a 10 part series. I thought about saying “My favorite moment starts with the opening ‘I believe in America’ monologue and ends with a lonely, sorrowful Michael Corleone quietly passing away in his death chair”, but I decided to man up and pick ONE moment. For me, it’s Michael’s Vegas standoff with Moe Green. One of the greatest transformations in film history comes full circle, as the sweet, innocent war hero has been completely stripped away and for the first time, we see the cold, calculated mob boss. Pacino can say more with a slight look of his eyes than most actors will express in their entire filmography, and when he confronts Moe about slapping his brother Fredo around, I realized that Michael Corleone was the single most badass character in all of film and that Al Pacino the single most badass actor I’d ever seen.

Hottie Alert (for the ladies): Al Pacino

My geeky confession: Too many to count. I could list all the different ways I plan on using The Godfather theme in my life (it will be my wedding song, my funeral song and my intro music when I become a professional wrestler). I could tell you how watching The Godfather made me want to become an actor (hey, don’t knock it, my performance as “Soldier #1” in Deer Creek High School’s 1994 production of “Wizard of Oz” earned rave reviews… from my mom). I could confess that I’ve told my girlfriend that I will not propose to her until she watches all three Godfather films (she’s only 1/3 of the way there). I could tell you how I have a fantasy football team named The Godfathers, how my avatar on any message board is Michael Corleone, or how my friend and I actually made spaghetti using Clemenza’s spoken recipe and feasted while having our annual Godfather marathon. I only wish that I would’ve been a Godfather fan when Part III came out so I could’ve shown up to the midnight showing dressed like Luca Brasi.

Twitter status update: We were just named the #1 Film Franchise of All Time by @grabbagok! Better than all our Oscars, AFI lists, and IMDB rankings combined! Gratsi!

Coming up: Top 10 Movies That Shouldn’t Have Made Me Cry… But Did