Stew’s 10 Best Movie Franchises, Part Four

Oh man, did I call this one.

Previously, when I ranked the best 3rd party movie franchises, I noticed that when I started making the list, I was SHOCKED at how many of them were awesome. I ended up leaving out several high-quality movies because there was such a dearth of winners when the movies reached their third entry. So I wondered…if I watched FOURTH releases in movie franchises, would I be hitting the quality wall hard?

Yes. Yes I would like. But still, I said I would, and here I am, giving you my Top Ten Part 4 in movie history!

My disclaimer here? Well, I can’t rank what I haven’t seen, and the biggest miss here will probably be the fourth Mission: Impossible movie. In my research, this came up a lot, but… the only M:I I’ve ever seen is part 2! Which is apparently the worst! Oops! (I actually saw M:I2 in the cinema, and thought it was a lot of fun, if not a serious, great movie. I was 19, though, and he did whatever it took to me 19. He had doves! A devolving fight scene at the end!)

As a second disclaimer? I had to cheat – TWICE! — to keep some truly awful movies off the list. And even then, I’m really not happy with some of the movies that have slipped through. We’ll cover cheaters and deceptions when I get to that, though. So let’s start the list with…

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

The first of my two cheat entries, Thor IS the fourth MCU movie, so I feel good about that part. But I’ve already listed movies like Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: No Way Home in the Part 3 ranking, so my counting is cheating. Even then – even with the cheating – Thor is…adequate. It’s not a very good movie. But it’s not bad! And that’s enough! With the release of Love & Thunder, this will likely become the third-best Thor film… out of four.

But look at the cast! This movie gave us Chris Hemsworth as Thor! This gave us Tom Hiddleston as Loki! Natalie Portman as Jane Foster! Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis! This movie set up a lot of dominoes to fall down later. So yeah, shit! It could be number 10! I agree with that.

Image Credit: Dimension Movies

I don’t like… I don’t like this movie. It has a cold opening beyond the hateful. The thriller is stupidly predictable. For the THIRD TIME IN AS MANY SEQUENCES, the story erects barriers between Dewey and Gail to force us to see them reunite again. I still believe this is the worst Scream movie ever, and that’s how bad Scream 3 is.

So why does he get a placement?

Well, a lot of other part 4s are bonkers. But also! This has Emma Roberts, who is one of our most underrated stars. And Hayden Panettiere has a decent role here, and people rightly love her character to this day. And the regulars (Campbell, Arquette and Cox) are STILL working. So there are some gems in this movie if you look for them, but they’re dragged down by a simply dismal script.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Hey, this is one of my least favorite Friday the 13th! But it’s still on the list because… damn, I really like Fridays the 13th. I wish this movie was technically better, because it’s a good F13th movie. Corey Feldman is awesome. The party scene is fun. Tom Savini effects are back!

There’s so much wrong with filmmaking that I can’t take advantage of it. AND YES, I KNOW. I review the FILMMAKING of the Friday The 13th franchise. But this one is REALLY BAD, even by those standards.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

I’m still not really into the movies I like here, although I guess that’s okay. It’s the last watchable PA movie before the franchise loses its redeeming qualities. The story here makes NO SENSE. None. So the demon kidnapped a baby in part 2, okay? Then a few years later, the demon and a little boy move in opposite a family. And it turns out that the youngest son of the family is the baby the demon previously kidnapped!

How did this family get it? Why did the demon let him go, just to go get him again? Who the hell was the boy who originally lived with the demon? The film won’t tell you! Paranormal Activity 4 doesn’t feel like it owes you an explanation. My dad when he was alive would REGULARLY text me “So who was Robbie?” regarding the boy who moved in with the demon and who disappears from the film as soon as it is revealed that the son of the family is the baby from part 2. He died without knowing the answer! How sad for him. How sad for all of us.

Ignoring all that, it’s pretty decent paranormal activity. Kathryn Newton is the main protagonist, and I’ve come to like her in Supernatural and Freaky. Also, if I remember correctly, the MCU is recasting Cassie Lang on him.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

See? I cheat again. So we had Kong: Skull Island. Then Godzilla. Then Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Then this! So this is part 4 of a movie link! Although no one considers King Of Monsters as Kong Part 3, do they? No matter.

I absolutely loved this movie. It’s not high art, but it doesn’t try to be. Listen, sometimes you want to watch Lost In Translation; sometimes you want to watch Godzilla Vs Kong. And boy, does this movie give you Godzilla to Kong! Thrice! With a definite winner! And absolutely stunning special effects! The plot sucks, of course (the whole Inner Earth stuff is nonsense just to try and be a visual spectacle), but… GODZILLA FIGHT KING KONG!

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Everyone loves this movie more than me. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like it AT ALL! I think it’s a very good movie; Got it as a 3.5/5 after just one viewing (which was at home, not in the cinema, so I imagine it hurts). But that’s just it… I see that as “very good”. A little short of “Great”. I mean, it’s a great ACTION movie! Really glorious with chasing and fighting and vroom-vrooming and everything.

But, like… was it nominated for BEST PICTURE? It’s by no means a better film than, say, The Dark Knight, which was not nominated. This is simply not the case. It IS better than Return Of The King, which is another popcorn movie that was not only nominated, but won Best Picture. So everything is weird, I don’t know.

Either way, it’s a very fun movie that’s visually flawless. I will see him again one day. Maybe one day soon. And maybe my score will go up. Most likely.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

After The Prisoner of Azkaban transformed the Harry Potter films into more than just charming effects and lovable child actors, The Goblet of Fire continued that upward trajectory here. We get Voldemort back! A shocking death! The kids are starting to get a little hormonal with each other! Gandalf walks away from what the book says he does and just yells at Harry to put his name in the titular goblet!

Good product.

Image Credit: MGM/UA

Listen. If ROCKY can change and communist fans can change, then EVERYBODY can change. So if you think this isn’t one of the best three in Part 4, you better switch.

So the spirit of what made Rocky such a legendary, award-winning film in the 70s is long gone, but the series has also transitioned into pure fun here. We get, what, THREE training fixtures? We get Ivan Drago as an absolute monster of an antagonist. We get the best boxing match for entertainment value in the entire franchise with Rocky and Drago battling each other for an eternity. And then Rocky defeated communism, once and for all!

Image Credit: Galaxy International Liberation

Shut up. That’s my list, and this one is number 2 ahead of, like, Fury Road. Easily my second favorite in the entire Halloween franchise, and definitely in the top ten (probably five) for Number of Times I’ve Seen a Movie in My Life, The Return of Michael Myers is one of the best slasher sequels ever. all the time.

The casting is awesome, with Danielle Harris stealing every scene she’s in. Donald Pleasance was in full loony tunes mode here. Elle Cornell is a terrific final girl; one of the most underrated of all time. I will continue to watch this movie every fall until I die.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Yes, so it was obvious. It’s arguably my favorite movie of all time, so putting restrictions on what can compete with it isn’t even fair. It’s Endgame!

The fourth Avengers movie wrapped up nearly ten years of cinematic storytelling with dozens of callbacks, plenty of character growth, huge, long-awaited moments, and plenty of heart. All he didn’t do was defeat communism.

It was anti-climactic. When I started making this list, Endgame and Halloween 4 were the first two names I put on my discount list, and nothing has ever come close to surpassing either for the first two places. (I really like Halloween 4 to a ridiculous degree, guys)

Am I going to do a Best Part 5? I mean… I REALLY don’t want to… I’m really having a hard time thinking about what could be on that list. The BEST I could offer would be the best 5+ game ever. And even that would be, like, 3 different Jason movies (part 6, part 7, and Jason X). And who knows what else? Maybe both Creed movies if I decide they rely on the Rocky timeline? I promise not to do that with the MCU, though…

Don’t let me talk about that!

Until we meet again, take care!

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