Which Badass Sci Fi Film Franchise is Healthiest…Now?


Here’s some more viewing options as the storm clouds of Martial (not Marshall) Law approach. Heck, since we’re gonna be here a while, let’s dive into some franchises!

Everyone knows my favorite day of the year is the day most of us observe the start of daylight saving time. I see you, Arizona (minus the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona).

Believe me, I road-tripped though the region when I location scouted Opposable, and it screws with your head (as well as your phone). I wonder if I corrected that for continuity in the book? I’m sure I did, but the only way to call me on my shit is to read Opposable– 2nd Edition (coming soon).😉

Where was I? So, when my clocks Spring forward, I start coming out of hibernation, physically and psychologically. I swear, if I don’t get enough vitamin D, I turn into a rampaging psychic vampire.

Now, let’s take a trip to Pollyanna-ville and make believe life is progressing normally. Mmm, feels nice.

Usually around this time of year, I start tuning into the Summer concert schedule and movie release dates. Much to the chagrin of those closest to me, my concert libido has waned. Much to my own chagrin, so has my movie-going libido.

The cause for the latter? Black Widow, Scoob, F9, Wonder Woman, Candyman, and Top Gun. These are our tent-poles? I mean, I have nothing against Black Widow or Wonder Woman, but I’d much rather see a Valkyrie movie.

All right, let’s get right down to it and check the pulse on some of our favorite franchises.


I compare the Terminator franchise to a Terminator movie. Hollywood keeps sending movies at us in hopes of terminating the resistance to create a new future for the franchise.

With Dark Fate, the resistance may have finally crushed the franchise for good. I didn’t hate Dark Fate, but I kept thinking to myself, ‘Are we really doing this again?’

There’s only so many variations on the, we’re sending different combinations of machines, cyborgs, and enhanced humans back in time to dispatch with the future leader of the resistance, I can tolerate.

Honestly, and you can lambaste me all you want, I loved Salvation. It went where I wanted to go; the future. It had a great cast (Christian Bale, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Worthington, and Helena Bonham Carter), great effects, and a great score by Danny Elfman.

But alas, it seems this is a franchise not even James Cameron can save.

Number of films in franchise- 6

Average Tomato-Thingy- 65%

Condition- Critical


Where the Terminator franchise is like a Terminator movie, the Alien franchise is more like an Avengers movie. That is, who is the Thanos of the Alien franchise? Who has the ability to either protect or destroy the franchise with a snap of their fingers? Ridley Scott? James Cameron? Neill Blomkamp? Sigourney Weaver?

Since Dan O’Bannon started batting around the idea, and Ronald Shusett helped him pen the original script for Alien, many other very talented individuals have been putting their spin on the mythos (Joss Whedon wrote the screenplay for Resurrection).

We all know how I feel about Alien and Aliens. I give David Fincher credit for doing what he could with the Alien 3 script, even though he doesn’t want to be associated with the project. Resurrection is a very entertaining movie (until the godawful alien newborn shows up).

Prometheus is my movie. I find it absolutely engrossing, a technical marvel, and to this day, the best 3D movie I’ve seen. Sure, Ridley Scott took some chances and went in a direction nobody expected, but I applaud him for his vision. Covenant was a step backward.

Where is the franchise now? Well, Blomkamp’s Alien: Awakening was scrapped, while Scott’s Alien: Awakening seems to be in Pre-Production Purgatory. A shakeup with Disney’s production execs could change that. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

Number of films in franchise- 6 (not including the two AVP movies)

Average Tomato-Thingy- 72%

Condition- Serious


There’s no question who runs this show; George Miller. With the help of Byron Kennedy and James McCausland, Miller wrote Mad Max, which was, for many years, the most profitable movie ever made.

Miller directed every installment (George Ogilvie assisted on Beyond Thunderdome after the passing of Byron Kennedy) and had a hand in writing each movie.

In one of the most classic callbacks in cinematic history, Miller cast Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played the main antagonist in Mad Max, Toecutter, as the main antagonist in Fury Road, Immortan Joe.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Fury Road are nearly perfect sci fi/action movies. If I had to choose one to keep while stranded on a desert island, I’d probably drown trying to decide.

So, it’s been five years since Fury Road, and rumors are on a slow boil. Mad Max: Furiosa is the working title of upcoming installment. It seems we’ll get a Furiosa origin story with Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) as a young Furiosa and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as someone named Dementus.

The timeline seems iffy, so for now, we’ll have to admire the new Batmobile/V8 Interceptor.

Number of Films in the Franchise- 4

Average Tomato-Thingy- 90.5%

Condition- Good


When I saw the first Predator at the Tivoli theater in Denver, I was disappointed. I wanted more space and monster stuff and less prolonged arm wrestling handshakes between Arnie and Carl Weathers.

Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the film’s cinematography and newcomer John McTiernan’s (Die Hard) direction (with the help of Shane Black AKA Rick Hawkins in Predator and director of The Predator).

I liked Predator 2, featuring two of my favorite cheese balls, Bill Paxton (you already know) and Gary Busey (Starship Troopers). Predators, Produced by Robert Rodriguez, is a fantastic installment. The Predator is another case of ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’

To be honest, I liked the idea at the heart of AVP. The execution is another issue entirely. As it stands now, we’re getting new Predator figures and games, but that’s about it.

Number of Films in Franchise- 4 (not including AVP)

Average Tomato-Thingy- 52%

Condition- Critical


Pitch Black is another movie I remember not loving when I first saw it. I think the hazy aesthetic really threw me off. Plus, I considered it a little too familiar.

But boy howdy, did The Chronicles of Riddick blow me away. I loved the scope, the vast expansion of the universe, and the vision. It rivals Dune. Did I just say that? What I meant to say is, it’s basically Dune with Vin Diesel. But, you throw in Karl Urban’s rat-fink faux-hawk mullet sneer, and a you got yourself a winner.

However, in what seems to be a disturbing pattern, other than an intriguing prologue, Riddick was regressive.

Recent reports have Vin conversing with David Twohy, creator of the franchise. As of June 23, 2019, Vin himself said the script for Riddick 4: Furya is complete.

Number of Films in Franchise- 3

Average Tomato-Thingy- 48%

Condition- Serious

Anyway, thanks for reading! Until next time, don’t bother me. I’m social distancing (AKA carrying about business as usual).


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