Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Greatest Trilogy of All-Time? / Reader Submission #01

The Infernal Affairs trilogy.
"Never heard of it" you are probably telling yourself. Well, this trilogy happens to be one of the most successful movie franchises to come out of Hong Kong. Many people say that Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning The Departed was based on the notorious Southie Gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. In fact the movie came from the Hong Kong neo-classic film that was released in 2002. The film went ahead and won several big prizes at Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Oscars, including Best Picture, Screenplay, director, and supporting actor. Its sequels were also nominated for the major awards, but not picking up any. For the sake of avoiding confusion, I will refer to all characters in the Infernal Affairs trilogy to their The Departed counterparts.

You will find that The Departed is nearly a mirror image of its predecessor, minus the painfully over the top and unnecessary performance by Jack (however, the remake does redeem itself with Mark Wahlberg’s character that did not exist in Infernal Affairs). Without giving up too much plot and ruining it for you two, Infernal Affairs II is actually a prequel. The Departed took certain elements of this movie to give more of a back-story behind Leo and Damon’s characters. Infernal Affairs takes the stories of how Leo and Damon infiltrate the mob/police force and divulge into the lives of Jack and Martin Sheen’s characters and their rise through the ranks of both the police force and the triads. The third and final chapter of this fantastic trilogy is the only true “sequel” by the definition, deals with the aftermath of what happened in the first installment. While this takes a backseat to the action and suspense as the previous pieces, Infernal Affairs focuses on the characters in a deep more psychological thriller. While the third pales in comparison to the first two installments, it does give the fan a sense of closure.

And if you’re not going to put that on, you might as well put up the Mighty Ducks, or at least Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Western trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).
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We certainly appreciate this submission. And before I begin with a response, I just want to remind all our readers and followers that emails debating anything we post, containing questions, or suggestions for topics are always welcome – just email us at You may even get your very own post, much like our first contributor, Oliver.

Oliver, to you I say your passion for movies is shared by both me and Terry. Your knowledge of the Infernal Affairs trilogy is impressive. However, for the purposes of our poll we decided to stick with mainstream films which almost always implies English language films – an unfortunate truth I am sure. I will certainly check out the Infernal Affairs trilogy as I loved The Departed, but I doubt there is any way this write-in suggestion of Infernal Affairs would ever win this poll hence its exclusion…which brings me to my next point.

Mighty Ducks, are you serious? I hope you’re kidding…and if you’re not then maybe you, Adam Banks and Russ Tyler can go practice triple dekes and knuckle pucks together because that would be time better spent than arguing for Mighty Ducks as one of the greatest trilogies. Moving on…

I agree with your suggestion of the Dollars trilogy. I debated including it on the list for some time believe it or not, but the main reason I left it off is because my list was getting long. Another reason is I felt like all the other titles were more in the consciousness of our average follower (probably the average American in general)as better films/trilogies. While many people have heard of at least one of these movies, I think most people are unaware that the three titles you mentioned are actually a trilogy of films. But maybe we should have served as the reminder of how good the trilogy was. After all, it is credited with giving life to, or at least setting the bar for the spaghetti western. On a personal level the Dollars trilogy played a huge part in my development growing up, and I have my older brother to thank for that. As a wide-eyed, impressionable youth my brother introduced me to two great forms of art. One was Wu-Tang’s “Enter the Wu-Tang”/“36 Chambers” which helped me learn at the tender age of ten that, yes in fact, cash does rule everything around me. The other was Clint Eastwood and his resume of characters including the Man with No Name. Later it was Fox’s weekend morning lineup of Kung-Fu theater, but that’s for another post.

If readers and voters are unfamiliar with the Man with No Name and the Dollars trilogy, I urge you to follow Oliver’s lead and check it out. I do not believe it would ever win this poll (it would smash Infernal Affairs and Mighty Ducks), but it is our position to post the poll and let you all decide.
Thanks for your submission, Oliver. And Tell Gordon Bombay ReallyReelReviews says, “What’s up?

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