Take a look at the photograph above. Go ahead, I'll wait.
For many of us, those three have a special place in our hearts. They put out 8 of some of the best movies I've seen in my lifetime. That being said, they set a standard on what a "novel based film" should be like. Whenever a majority of us go to see a movie that's based on a novel, chances are that we may end up comparing it to "The Lord of the Rings" or "Harry Potter". It's natural for us to draw comparisons between movies of the same genre. But is that really fair to the movies we watch today?
Now we have the two franchises based on novels that are the current buzz. Now, as much as I enjoy "The Hunger Games", it will never be able to compete with "Harry Potter" in my heart. And why is that? Because one set a standard for the other to live up to. Though the two franchises I displayed above have done well at the box office and will most likely continue to do so, we will still continue to draw comparisons. We don't go to the movies to see just another flick, we go because we want to see possibly the best movie out there. How are we to do that when we are trying to compare a franchise to one that conquered a decade of our lives? We head over to Rotten Tomatoes, and you see that the Potter franchise has eight movies that all killed it with the reviews. Even the Girl on Fire is getting hot reviews, minus the most recent one receiving a 65%. But that isn't even a bad score! And yes, that pun a couple sentences back was totally intended. But looking at the "Mockingjay Part 1" score, we see that it's low. Why? When I went and saw it, I thought it wasn't a terrible movie, was drawn out but it's all good from a business perspective. One of my first thoughts though was that it didn't compare at all the what "Deathly Hallows Part 1" brought us. Katniss definitely beat Bella in the Battle of First Parts but not The Chosen One. One of the many reasons that the "Twilight" saga didn't live up is because it came out and tried to compete with "Harry Potter". Sure, there were plenty of other reasons that the vampire-werewolf-love triangle didn't work out, but competing with the big gun was a mistake. So were we really fair whenever it came to judging some of these movies? Results may vary, but whenever I talk to people about movies like these, the comparisons are always drawn.
The next big franchise that battles its own good movies is "Star Wars". Yeah, we are definitely going to a galaxy far, far away with this debatable topic. Let me make something clear, I was nothing yet a thought whenever the original trilogy was released, but shared some of the same judgement whenever the prequels came out. The originals remain to be the best movies for most of the fans out there, and that's why the prequels didn't live up to the hype. People went in and expected Lucas to blow their minds on how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vadar, and were let down whenever it turned out to be him basically being a huge crybaby. Yes, I was saddened by this fact as well. But as a child I was raised on the originals and then saw the prequels, keep in mind I was still a child when those came out. As an innocent kid, I enjoyed the movies just because I didn't care enough to make comparisons between the new and old. I just wanted to see a good movie and as a kid, I didn't know how bad the movie actually was. Sorry Jar Jar. Now, I catch myself saying the originals were miles better and the prequels ruined the franchise like fanboys tend to do. But we all had expectations for the prequels, and some were let down, but some actually paid attention to the story that was unfolding before our eyes. You see how the Sith infiltrated the Senate and took over the political part of the universe while making evil clones to win the war. All of that and they create a monster in Darth Vadar. The story is still captivating but because we compare it to the originals, in the eyes of many it falls flat. My hope is that we don't do the same with the new movie.
On the flip side, let's take a look at some movies that weren't received well back in time but will most likely be now. Netflix is reintroducing "Daredevil", and yes that's a very good thing. The movie was bad because of the script and not the acting but still, it wasn't pretty. But the superhero movie genre in general wasn't popping back then, minus a certain webslinger. "Fantastic Four" wasn't that great if you look back on it. It was a fun movie to watch but overall, let's be serious. Then we go even further back and we have the classic "Keaton/Burton or Bale/Nolan Debate". You just can't compare those two franchises because they took a vastly different approach to the character. But comparison have and will continue to be drawn. Superhero movies are some of the most anticipated movies now, but not so much back just nearly a decade ago.
It's truly interesting how cinema evolves, our expectations grow to where we aren't easily satisfied... Well there you have it! What do you guys think? Let me know in the poll or comments below!