I went to my 20-year high school reunion last month. (When the hell did I get so old?) While I was flooded with nostalgia, I thought about how we’d rent VHS tapes at the local video store. These friends influenced my fascination with comic book movies, science fiction, comedy, action, and everything in between.
I learned at a fairly young age that some of the best movie franchises were born in 1979, as was I. These revolutionary franchises would change the world of cinema and stand the test of time by producing sequels, prequels, and reboots even today.
A perfect marriage of horror and science fiction, this flick has one of the most gruesome and famous special effect moments in cinematic history. The alien protruding from Kane’s chest stands out as one of the most recognizable moments in pop culture.
The spawn of three sequels, two prequels, a tie-in with another sci-fi classic Predator, books, comics, and video games makes this arguably one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.
2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Going from the television screen to the movie screen is never easy, and it was a bit of a rough transition for Star Trek. Drama with the development of the movie, script rewrites, and missed deadlines make it sound like the Solo: A Star Wars Story and Justice League nightmares we’re living today.
This film was able to kick off more successful Star Trek movies, and was consequently the necessary evil beginning. It definitely wasn’t the best of the series; I mean, come on… the villain is a cloud!
3. The Muppet Movie
Our favorite variety show puppets made their feature film debut with a cross-country trip filled with mishaps and giggles. Muppets are known for breaking the fourth wall, silly humor, human cameos, and catchy musical numbers all wrapped up in a family-friendly package.
The Muppets brought us seven more stand-alone flicks that bring the kid out in all of us. One of the first movies I ever remember going to see in a theater was Muppets Take Manhattan.
4. Rocky II
After the first movie ended in a draw, Rocky contemplates retirement, while Apollo wants a rematch. Filled with the struggles of money, fame, health, love, and family, it tugs at your heart strings. There’s enough action, though, to make it a film for everyone.
Rocky was solidified as a franchise with this film. Yes, it was a great sequel, but it left you wanting more. Stallone and crew would deliver. With seven movies under its belt and more to come, it doesn’t seem like anything can keep Mr. Balboa down.
James Bond pictures are timeless and stands as one of the highest continually-running movie franchises in history. While they focus on the one main character, they hold solid story lines that stand tall by themselves. And, let’s not forgot the traditional “Bond Girl” who always has a name that would make my grandmother blush.
Ok, so it’s probably the cheesiest out of all of the Bond films. But, the timing was understandable. The next movie was intended to be For Your Eyes Only, but the rise of the sci-fi phenomenon changed producers’ minds. Hence, Moonraker was shot instead.
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