While my parents were in their twenties, a number of classic films were released in cinemas; the original Star Wars trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future. Now, obviously people may like or dislike certain films based on personal taste, but there’s no doubt that these are films which have stood the test of time and are still watched today. However, there must presumbably have been other films that were released, which were good at the time (positive reviews, did well at the box office), but which have slipped into obscurity because they never quite captured the imagination of younger generations.
What I am going to present today is the five films (or in many cases, franchises) that I think will have become “classics” once my son hits thirty (he’s currently one). In this case, I’m counting a “classic” as the sort of film where someone might conceivably ask incredulously, “You’ve not seen XXXXXXXXX?”
Lord of the Rings trilogy – This is already moving into this territory as it’s a few years old now and is still well regarded, but I think it will be just as well regarded in another thirty years.
Inception – It’s a smart film and I think the effects should hold up well. It also showcases some of this generation’s great actors, which gives it some pedigree.
The Saw franchise – This is a bit controversial, given that most of the films are actually not that good. However, I think it will probably gain classic horror status, in the same way that the Friday the Thirteenth or Halloween films have now… pretty terrible, but still with quite a following.
The Marvel films – I was undecided whether to go with these or Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. However, I think the recent Marvel Universe films (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers) will stand the test of time better and will probably still be enjoyed a few decades down the line.
District 9 – At worst, this will develop classic sci-fi status, in the way that something like Blade Runner has. There’s also the possibility that it will gain fame as “Neill Blomkamp’s first film” is he continues to produce films of such quality.
However, in case you think that I’m just pulling out some big names and making safe bets, here are a couple that I don’t think will become classics.
The Harry Potter films – They’ll do alright because the books certainly are destined to remain on future reading lists, but I think the weaker earlier films will prevent the series really standing the test of time (weak later films are alright in a series with a strong start, but weak early films mean that a lot of people don’t get to the later ones).
The Hunger Games – Clearly a huge franchise at the moment (and I’m looking forward to seeing the second when I get chance), but I don’t personally think it’s destined to last. It’s re-treading familiar territory (Running Man, Battle Royale) and doesn’t offer anything to really set it apart. I am willing to revise this assessment if the last installments are epic.