This is a petty and mostly inane point I’m going to attempt to make, but its just a bit of fun and I’m still going to make it anyway.
Movie titles, why are they so damn annoying?
I suppose it would be a good idea to give an example or seven. So I’ll start with a movie series who’s titles are almost perfect…almost.
The Rocky Saga.
A great collection of boxing based films starting Sylvester Stallone with arguably his most famous creation: Rocky Balboa.
These films have the finest movie titling.
Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and “finally” Rocky V.
No the titles are not the most imaginative at all. However, you know which order to watch them in.
Simple, but effective.
Now I did previously say “finally” Rocky V because, of course, Rocky V was not the final film…it was just the final one to keep the consistent titling.
The next film was was called Rocky Balboa.
Now my problem with this titling is that it removes itself from the perfectly fine previous Roman numeral system that’s proven to work. If you are a casual viewer then the Rocky Balboa film does not even sound like it’s meant to be part of the same series, almost as if its some kind of a reboot or spin-off like the upcoming Creed picture.
What was wrong with the title Rocky VI, that’s what people tend to call it anyway.
Sticking with Sylvester Stallone, let’s take a look at his other famous film series.
What is the first film called again? Though most people call it Rambo, that is not what the film is actually named. The first film is titled; First Blood. That’s all, just First Blood.
So what about the sequel? Well this is one (but not only) sequel where the original title becomes a subtitle. So for the first sequel we now have; Rambo: First Blood Part II. Why not just First Blood Part II, works fine does it not?
The next film in the series then removes the original title entirely and becomes Rambo III. But technically there never was a Rambo II for a Rambo III to even exist and even more so the first film to be called Rambo was First Blood Part II. So its the sequel that is the first Rambo titled film.
Keeping with the continuity, the films should have been called; First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo II: First Blood Part III…or they could have just gone with; First Blood, First Blood II and First Blood III instead.
But wait, just like with Rocky before…there was another film in the series. So what did they go for, First Blood Part III (as there never was a titled First Blood Part III), Rambo IV, Rambo IV: First Blood Part III?
Nope, just Rambo. Now this title sounds like we are talking about the first film again.
Seriously, try to have a conversation about watching Rambo with someone. Just say “I watched Rambo last night.” Are you talking about the first Rambo as in First Blood or do you mean the first filmed called Rambo, the sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II, or Rambo the forth film?
There is yet another Rambo film coming next year too, what is this one going to be called? Well its title is Rambo: Last Blood. This actually makes sense, its referencing the original, its got the title character in there and its set to be the last film in the series. So yeah Rambo: Last Blood actually makes sense, its taken four sequels to get there though.
Enough with Sly, I’d like to move onto a different film franchise.
The Bourne series.
They go in order The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy.
Yeah I nailed the correct order, but I didn’t know the correct order. I honestly had to research this (pre picture up there ^), yes I had to research which order a film series should be in.
Its titles like this that need the whole main and subtitle thing to get people up to speed with which film is which and where it should be chronologically, yet it’s one franchise that does not have it.
OK, if you’re an avid fan then you’ll know the correct order the films should be in. But here’s my point, not everyone is an avid fan. So how would the average movie goer that had heard of the Bourne films know which film to start with unless they (like I had to) research them first?
Now they have announced another film in the series. Its not been given a title yet, but another film is just going to make working out which film goes where even harder to the casual viewer.
We are slowly moving into a time where we will have to research a film series just to know which one is which.
Remember the whole using the main title of a film for its subtitle from Rambo? Well here’s another guilty party.
An all time classic that spawned three sequels.
But what about that first sequel and its title…Jurassic Park II maybe? Nope, we get; The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Again, the main title being demoted to a subtitle.
So the second sequel is The Lost World II: Jurassic Park III, right? Nah, just Jurassic Park III. But again here we have the Rambo problem as there was no titled Jurassic Park II for Jurassic Park III to exist.
Use numbers/numerals or use the title/subtitle thing, I really don’t mind either way. But choose just one per franchise instead of constantly changing within the same franchise.
Then there is the fourth film in the franchise, Jurassic Park IV…except its not Jurassic Park IV is it? This time its Jurassic World. Again here, the title makes sense in relation to the plot of the film itself. As its now become a genuine tourist attraction al-la Disney World. So yeah, Jurassic World makes perfect sense…but not when the last film was called Jurassic Park III and the one before that was called The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Its Rambo (or First Blood) all over again.
They have even green-lit another sequel. What are they going to call this Jurassic World II…which is actually Jurassic Park V? But the title Jurassic World II would not make much sense…unless people are stupid enough to go back to a theme park where dinosaurs killed people.
Damn Dinosaurs. Maybe Xenomorphs can do better.
Alien Tetralogy (not “Quadrilogy”, as there is no such word).
One of the finest Sci-Fi films made…well the first one is anyway.
Alien is a simple title that tells you everything and nothing at the same time.
So what was the first sequel called, Maybe keep it simple and just call it Alien 2? (this actually was the original title) The first sequel was titled: Aliens, plural as in more than one. This makes perfect sense as the film does feature more than one alien, where as the original film only had one. So yeah that works fine.
The second sequel…More Aliens? Well that would not work as there is only one alien this time. Alien Again? No, as that is stupid. So, Alien 3 then. It is the third film of the series and only one alien. So yeah it “works”.
So onto the next one in the series. Alien 4…no wait, there’s more than one alien again. So how about Aliens 2: Alien 4? Its consistent to the plot and truthful to the series…but a stupid title. So we got Alien: Resurrection. Now this is a title that does make sense with the plot seeing as Ripley died at the end of Alien 3 but is “resurrected” in this one. But it makes no sense chronologically speaking. Again, if you are a casual viewer you’d have no idea this is the forth film, could be the second, could be the fifth as there is no indication if there is a fourth film, or even a second for that mater. Could be a whole new restart to the franchise with a title like Resurrection.
Like with some of of my previous examples, this is another film that is getting a new entry due for release in 2017. But unlike me other examples, this is not a sequel to Alien: Resurrection, but a sequel to Aliens set before Alien 3. So its a sequel and prequel…God knows what they could call this one. Aliens 2: The Sequel That’s A Prequel?
Then there is Prometheus and it’s recently announced sequel to take into account. Seeing as Prometheus is “technically” the first Alien film…but not a prequel. With Prometheus 2 being its sequel. So a sequel, to a film set before Alien which is not actually a prequel despite it being set in the same universe.
When did movie titles get so damn annoying?
Oh I have more of these annoying movie titles, but I’ll save them for a sequel post. Steve Perrin: Movie Titles Are Starting To Annoy Me Part II: The Return, A Prequel.