Franchises I Am So Thankful Continued On When I Thought They Were Dead

Ever think a franchise, whether from a movie, TV show, book, game…anything… was over and done with, only to surprise you years later with something more? This always fills me with gratitude beyond words, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see more into the characters or stories that I love. So let’s see some of my favorites!

Star Wars all posters

This is probably the biggest return, as it is going stronger than ever today.

I spent the earliest days of my childhood obsessing over the original Star Wars trilogy. I loved everything about the movies, and the copious amount of toys that came with it. I wanted to own them all. (Consequently, I only had about 10).

I yearned to see what happened before A New Hope, for I desperately wanted to learn about Vader’s fall into darkness, the Clone Wars, and to just see a time where Jedi were plentiful.

First, we got the special editions. I was super-thrilled about that, but it was the same movies, but I figured it was better than nothing.

But then when I heard I was finally going to get my wish, I was beyond ecstatic. Just before my tenth birthday, a movie I literally was waiting my whole life for came out and started a new trilogy delivering the very things I wanted to see.

Fast-forward some 20 years and we are still getting Star Wars material. A plethora of comics, novels, TV shows, movies, both mainline and spin-off, so that now instead of waiting a decade for something new, it’s about a year. Heck we just got The Bad Batch premiere mere days ago!

I will continue to enjoy Star Wars in my adult life, until Disney inevitably runs it into the ground. But as long as Dave Filoni is creating things, I think we are in good hands.

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After American Wedding, one of my favorite movie series concluded. But after nine years, we received American Reunion, a continuation of the characters I so love trying to deal with middle-age adulthood. It happens to be my favorite in the series to boot!

There was rumor of a fifth movie years ago, but I think that has been squashed. I’m still holding out hope though!

dragon ball super

Dragon Ball Z was my favorite show as a kid…and pretty much still is. When it concluded, I was a mess. Sure, we had GT come out, but that was hardly anything comparable, and it wasn’t canon, so it just doesn’t really matter.

After about 20 years however, a new movie, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was released, with the promise that if it did well, a new series would follow in it’s wake. This was some of the most exciting news I’ve ever heard. After one more movie, at long last, Dragon Ball Super began, and we were treated to an amazing series that surpasses even Z in my opinion!

While the show is currently on hiatus, it is confirmed to be coming back eventually. We have since been treated to one more movie, which is probably the best thing in DB history, and continued monthly releases of the manga, which is continuing the storyline!

Of all the items on this list, Dragon Ball Super is the one I am easily the most thankful for. Each month when I read the new manga chapter, I can hardly believe a series I thought dead in my early-teens is going strong in my early thirties!

rambo first blood

Like Star Wars, I spent a lot of my childhood watching the Rambo trilogy.

The trilogy concluded about a year before I was born, so I never thought I’d see a new Rambo movie, despite rumors about it floating around for over a decade. But finally, in 2008, 20 years after the third one, we were treated to Rambo.

I still remember perfectly going to see it opening night to a sold out theater of excited fans, red bands tied around many of their heads. Quotes from the movies were shouted out during the previews, cheers rang out throughout Rambo’s more awesome exploits. All-in-all, it was the best theater experience I had ever been to.

But then, 11 years after that, we got yet another Rambo movie! I was thrilled beyond words yet again. Now one of my favorite movie franchises that I thought was dead before I was even born had given me a movie when I was 18, and 30. I can’t ask for much more than that. Except I’m hoping for a sixth one, despite Stallone being very old at this point.

rocky

Going along with Rambo, a sixth Rocky movie was rumored to be in the works for over 10 years. I also watched this series all the time as a kid. The fifth movie came out in 1990, but in 2006, we finally got that sequel! Better yet, we see the character return in a spin-off movie series, Creed, in 2015, and 2018!

Every time I watch these listed items, I seriously feel so appreciative that they even exist, so far in the future when I thought they were long gone.

I will add more as I think of them.

Is there anything that has made a comeback that you have a hard time believing yet are thrilled about?

The Best Bromances In Media

Awhile ago I made a post about the best romances in media. Now it’s time to chronicle some of my favorite bromances, that is to say, some of the best guy-guy friendships that really give a sense of true loyalty and brotherhood, thus drastically enhancing their character interaction and stories.

Oliver Queen & John Diggle (Arrow)

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Vigilantism can certainly bond partners in crime-fighting. Diggle started out as an unwanted body guard, but they quickly became partners, then brothers. They always have each others backs, constantly give advice to one another, especially when it comes to telling the hard truth during emotional trauma that helps them see the light. They are not afraid to speak from the heart, or tell them when the other is doing something stupid.

So whether they are arguing, or having a heart-to-heart, their scenes are vastly enhanced thanks to the  wonderful on-screen chemistry these two actors share.

Sora & Riku (Kingdom Hearts)

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These two have been best friends their whole lives, but also rivals. Into the same exact activities, and at one point, the same girl, the two constantly try to outdo the other. When they are separated by the darkness, their friendship is put to the test, but their rivalry grows far greater.

But in the end, these two will do anything for each other. They literally will travel across dozens of worlds, slaying countless foes, just to see each other safe, sacrificing everything to rescue them from danger.

Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed (Rocky)

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Never have friends beat the hell out of each as much as these two. They start out as fierce enemies, but eventually grow to rivals and best friends. Their on-screen interactions are fun to watch, given their history and similar loves in life. I wish they showed more of their friendship in the films, but there is enough to know these two are bros.

Even after his death in Rocky IV, Apollo’s presence is felt when Rocky is training in Russia. And the Creed movies, which take place decades later, even further enhances how close these two were.

Gimli & Legolas (The Lord of the Rings)

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Dwarves and Elves kind of hate each other. And it started out the same with these two. But three long movies of them doing nothing but fighting side by side kind of inevitably turns that hate into fierce loyalty. These two eventually become inseparable. They are such masters at killing that they turn it into a game, creating a friendly rivalry between the two characters.

Their small banter, general conversations, and fierce fighting make these two so much fun to watch.

Gilbert Blythe & Sebastian Lacroix (Anne With An E)

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There are many ways to form an unbreakable friendship. Shoveling coal on a ship is one of them. These two become such close friends that they travel around the world together (while shoveling coal) visiting each other’s home towns, and eventually settling down on Gilbert’s late father’s farm, where the two work together to maintain it, while building their own lives.

They both go through so many tragedies, but never fall, for the other is there for them to lean on. They are both extremely likeable characters, and seeing them together is a real treat. They joke around as friends, but also have extreme heart-to-hearts, as if they are true brothers.

And that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’ll add more as I discover/think of them.

Who are your favorite bromances?

Movie Series Ranked: Rocky

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Ranking things from worst to best is certainly a fun thing to try. That is why I am starting my “Series Ranked” blogs, and my first shall be my favorite movie series of all time, the Rocky films. I will be ranking all 6 from worst to best. These are just my opinions, mind you. And yes, I did say six. As much as I would like to, Rocky’s latest feature, Creed will not be included, for it is not actually a Rocky movie. Though I would definitely put it at the top of this list, (top meaning worst).

OK, Let’s get to it. I will try to make this spoiler free, for those who have not seen these timeless classics. And shame on you if you haven’t.

 

#6 Rocky V

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This probably comes as no surprise, as this is infamous for being the worst by far. I do not hate this movie, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. Rocky returns to the slums he worked so hard to escape, but takes on the role as manager instead of the managed. The movie does not play out the way every fan wanted it to, which is probably why it falls short. But the emotion and struggle that make these movies so great are still evident, so this certainly helps redeem it.

 

#5 Rocky Balboa

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This is a great movie despite it being low on the list. I was thrilled when this movie came out after a 15 year (give or take) absence of Rocky films. Right away, the movie blasts you with emotional struggle, familiar soundtracks and all your favorite characters that managed to survive the series. The viewer instantly feels at home and this makes it easy and fun to catch up with Rocky’s life and what he has been doing while in retirement. It is a great movie, no doubt about it, but the age of the actors takes away from the movie a bit, making it a bit more dull than the others, due to the limitations on what they can do.

 

#4 Rocky IV

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This is certainly an interest direction for the series, addressing some global issues at the time. This was my favorite movie out of the first five growing up, but now it falls short because this movie is primarily focused on boxing. 95% of the movie consists of training or boxing matches. This is thrilling stuff for sure, for it shows Rocky face his toughest challenges, in his personal life, in training and in the ring and it is no doubt exhilarating to watch. As a kid, this is why I loved the movies, but as I matured, I noticed that most of the emotions and character development and interaction was very limited. Though they did try to squeeze some of it in there, so I give them that. Fantastic movie overall.

 

#3 Rocky III

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It was hard for me to pick if III or IV would get the third spot, but obviously I went with III, and simply because this had more of the raw emotion and struggle that I keep talking about. I can’t emphasize enough how these are the main ingredients of the movies, boxing is just a side dish. This is what keeps the movies going forward and allows the characters and story to expand, resulting in 6 (or 7) fabulous movies that don’t feel repetitive and old. It’s easy to get excited about a new movie starring Rocky instead of saying, “ugh, another one!?” Rocky III is a fine example of everything needed to make a good movie, earning the number 3 spot.

 

#2 Rocky

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To me, these last two movies, compared to the others, are in a league of their own. This is the movie that started it all. Most of the cast consisted of unknown or small named actors who came together so perfectly for this low budget film written by a poor struggling artist, resulting in one of the best movies of all time. It is simply a masterpiece. The struggle and raw emotion of the main characters doing their best to survive, backed by incredibly fitting music, makes this so enjoyable to watch. Every viewer can find something to relate to with almost every character, so they can feel the struggle, the aches of life, the hardship that must be endured. And most importantly, it gives us hope when you see Rocky rise up from nothing, to making a name for himself. And on top of it all, you really want to exercise and start boxing after watching. Go health!

 

#1 Rocky II

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This, in my opinion, is the best Rocky movie and also happens to be my favorite movie of all time. It takes everything that made the first movie so magical and builds upon it, taking the characters, and the viewers on an emotional roller coaster through the highs ad lows of life. You can’t help but get emotional over this movie, from sadness and gladness. It is just so well crafted and presented, that you will find yourself desperately routing for Rocky, and feel everything he and his wife feel.

All 6 movies are great and I highly recommend them to everyone. They are like a drug to me. I literally start getting withdrawal from them after 5-6 months and it steadily worsens until I watch them all.

They are that good.