sometimes there is no comparison
My buddy Dave Campbell noted the following with some degree of seeming ignorance
That’s the thing about movie franchises, isn’t it? You compare them to themselves, not other films. You know how it goes: Star Trek IV was better than Star Trek III, but not as good as Star Trek II. Yes, but how does Star Trek IV compare to other science fiction films? Did you like it better than Aliens? Or 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Bond movies are like that; they are often compared to one another and not to other spy or action movies. Was Die Another Day better than The Bourne Identity? What about Assassins? Did you like it better than Agent Cody Banks?
The reason that most of us do that, never mind the reason that I do it, even if that reason is the same as the reason that most of us do it let’s pretend that you don’t care why I do it, (although if you didn’t care why I do what I do or believe what I believe you’d be getting the following facts
from another weblog or website) is because we rely on the general assumption and fact that for the most part, the entire franchise is better than most movies.
We compare Star Trek films to other Star Trek films because we who like Star Trek movies for various reasons know that the worst of those movies is still a good deal better than most of the crap that’s out there. The same thing goes for all twenty-one of those James Bond movies. Jason Bourne movies get compared to Bond movies as a compliment to Bourne, the character, as well as the nameless writers, producers, and director, whose actual identities I don’t care about. That the last movie to be called The Mummy can get compared favorably to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an great credit to Stephen Sommers.
In a nutshell it’s about standards of comparison, but I tell you the truth, the stuff I like do not represent minimum standards, but hard-to-touch goals.
Honestly though, if we have to compare A View To A Kill with any normal spy movie or any film of any genre, the Max Zorin flick comes up so short compared to my favorite Bond film, You Only Live Twice, the infected sore that is Roger Moore‘s last Bond movie already stings too much to get a fair shake. Although if we wanted to get really analytical with statistics and rot, which I am not going to do, pick 20 random films throughout cinema history, and by “pick 20 random” I mean create a bin filled with hard plastic tabs, each with the name of a single motion picture, and every movie made in the last century must be represented by a tab, drop the tabs into the bin, scramble well, mix it totally, reach in blindly and grab a few fistfuls and drop those into a bowl, a plate or a 2×2″ slab. Any other method would not be something 20 random picks but some guy’s biases. The point being that such a practice would result in 20 movies that likely would not measure up to something from the Star Wars Trilogy (the good one, made between 1976 and 1985), Star Trek: The Motion Picture or the five Trek movies afterwards or the three The Next Generation movies after that, the James Bond series of flicks officially made by MGM and EON, or the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Star Trek Nemesis, the tenth Trek film, was a movie of such undeniable pain, poor continuity, and unoriginality that I can’t pull up the energy to critique the movie as to its quality. The Matrix could compare to a good Trek movie, but its sequels equal sharp pain. Another trilogy that feels like a sharp stabbing sensation is the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Never mind that I really like Episode III and I like Episode II. The last two Matrix movies are poor movies and the prequel trilogy is a disappointment based on the standards set by prior movies and simply because as a story these things suffer.
When there are good movies in a series the bad movies feel like open sores, just because of the tight relationship to the good movies. It’s like if your best friend’s wife ran over your dog.