Sunday, July 14, 2013

Triple Headers: Three movies which work well together

Triple Headers Part 1: Animation, Action and Comedy

Do you ever feel in the mood for a movie marathon featuring a particular actor, director, theme, or genre? I plan to write a series covering various genres, and other themes, highlighting movies which would combine well for a triple header. This first entry covers Animation, Action, and Comedy.

Animation, aimed at adults

Most animated titles are aimed at children or families, but some include themes that are not suitable for young children. 

Grave of the Fireflies
Studio Ghibli's tale of two children, caught up in a war. The story doesn't pull any punches, so don't be surprised to see leading characters die in the saddest of circumstances.

Watership Down
Most of the characters are rabbits, but that doesn't mean that they are all cute and fluffy. Villains, death, and hardship dominate this rich story. 

Fantastic Mr. Fox
This one might work for most children because it does contain plenty of visual humor, but the themes, meaning, and adult language will likely be missed by smaller children.

Animation, aimed at children

Here are three animated movies that most children will love.

Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Silly British humor featuring Gromit the wonder dog. It's all in the eyes. I don't think I will ever tire of these characters.

The Disney princess theme actually comes up with a few original ideas at last. One of Disney's best modern releases.

A Disney movie so good that it's a wonder it wasn't made by Pixar. The three main characters are easy to love, and this is a wonderful adventure full of ideas.

Animation, Pixar

Talking of Pixar, here are my three favorites from the studio.

Still my favorite Pixar, although some people find the story a little slow. I can't imagine why. Remy has to be the world's most lovable rat.

Although Up is funny and contains plenty of action, one brief montage might bring you to tears. I think it gives the movie depth.

Monsters Inc.
Heart, action, and plenty of laughs. It's hard to find fault with this one.

Alternatively, you could watch the Toy Story trilogy.

Animation, Hayao Miyazaki

No discussion of animation would be complete without mentioning Hayao Miyazaki. The only difficult thing is limiting my choice to three.

My Neighbor Totoro
Probably the best family film ever made, with the most lovable character (Mei), and a setting that is always pleasant to visit.

Spirited Away
Imaginative and packed full of detail. It's not hard to see why it won an Oscar.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Futuristic, and full of heart. Nausicaa is yet another perfect film from Studio Ghibli.

Feel free to substitute any of these titles with Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, or Ponyo. It depends on your mood and the age of the audience.

Die Hard
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Twinkies, explosions, fights, and some pretty good characterization and dialogue make Die Hard one of the best action movies ever made.

Proof that good acting matters more than muscle when it comes to action. This is a lean tale, with just enough information about Bryan Mills to make us empathize with his situation and consider his actions justified. Neeson is superb.

Tom Cruise isn't even close to being one of my favorite actors, but I love every minute of Collateral. Jamie Foxx is effective too.

Alternatively, watch the original Bourne trilogy.


This is a tricky genre for me, because my sense of humor is dark. Some of the movies which make me laugh the most belong in other categories, but here are three which clearly fall into the category of humor.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Yes, it's silly, but it's also clever, and easily one of the most quotable movies ever made. The only minor flaw is the abrupt ending, but the rest of the movie more than makes up for it. I can't think of a better comedy team than Monty Python.

The Naked Gun
Leslie Neilsen at his best. I've always liked the Zucker brand of humor.

Animal House
I usually can't stand college humor, but Animal House seemed original at the time and is still hard to match. John Belushi at his best. There's no real plot, but it doesn't really matter.

The next piece in this series will cover Crime, Drama, and Fantasy.

What would be your choices in the categories I covered today?

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  1. Great Blog and well-layed out as usual. Most helpful & sending this to a few friends who are looking for these movies to rent now while noting that not all the animation ones are not suitable for children.

    My AOL email acting up at the moment, but glad I was able to post your Foreign Film Blog on Amazon because we were going off in all different directions at once. Thanks. AG

    1. Thanks. I hope you or some of your friends find something new to like. You would probably love Miyazaki's work.

  2. Crickey! Correction: 'Noted that some of the animation ones are not suitable for children...'. In the meantime, keep up these fine reviews and film blogs of yours. AG