The Movie Bracket! - Winner announced!

  • I haven't seen Five Came Back, but I'm familiar with their work during World War II. I may give it a watch, but I don't have Netflix right now.

    Huston's documentaries in particular are harrowing. Let There Be Light is incredible. God, that interview with the soldier trying to talk about his girlfriend.

  • @Ringedwithtile Cool I'll definitely have to check those out. I've seen a few of those war films but admittedly don't know a lot of the story behind it. That's one of the reasons WWII is one of my favorite topics.. there's a seemingly endless supply of stories

    Edit: A perfect, Let There Be Light is on youtube :D

  • I just finished 39 Steps.

    This being the first Hitchcock film I've seen, I can understand a little more why he is loved; it was a fun ride. Some of the acting wasn't always the best but the overall adventure was absolutely there and the ending was probably the best part.

    That being said, I'm still (not so surprisingly) going to vote for Moonrise Kingdom. As I've already mentioned, this is my favorite Wes Anderson movie, although I wouldn't consider it his best. He has a knack for making very interesting but miserable characters, so sometimes it's difficult to know how to "root" for. Rushmore, while wonderful, is a perfect example of this. Moonrise Kingdom accomplishes making me care about the characters and wishing the best for them.

    39 Steps was a fun adventure with a mix of espionage. But... that's all it was. Moonrise Kingdom captures the very essence of innocence and broken youth in a way few films can.

    Plus, better cinematography. Yeah, I said it.

    Even if Wes does get knocked out this round (which... looks likely), that just means I'll get to watch more Hitchcock. Doesn't seem like such a bad deal to me.

  • So I rewatched Nausicaa and Catch Me if You Can.

    I'm going to vote Stagecoach over Catch Me if You Can. I have an interesting relationship with Spielberg, where I vastly prefer his lighthearted blockbusters over his more serious, 'important' work. Catch Me if You Can is somewhere between; a personal, dramatic story given a glitzy, blockbuster appeal. It's very watchable, but I wish it was messier, sexier. Its pristine production design and Kaminski's backlight-heavy photography ring a little false to me. It could play into the narrative relationship of fake/real, but Spielberg is too assured and conventional to bring that sort of thing to light. It runs well for the first 90 minutes, but its obligation to stay true to fact make for what I feel is a spotty last act. It's still very good, and in the upper half of Spielberg's work, though.

    Ford's work of similar modern mythologizing is tighter, more broadly allegorical. Ford's balancing of an ensemble, and his ability to strike to the core of a character so quickly is really remarkable. I have troubles with the John Wayne character, a practically flawless force of heroism, but hey, that dolly in on him holding a rifle and a saddle tells us that's exactly who he is. Ford's stringent direction, his attention to how characters look at one another, his jabs at the poisonous effects of classism and greed in Western society, I really like all that stuff. It has its problems, but its such a dense, precise film, which has me preferring it.

    In the other matchup I vote for Nausicaa. I've been choosing my films based on what I'd recommend someone start with if they've never seen a film by the director. I wasn't sure where to start with Godard, but his first feature is so important I had to go with it over the stuff I prefer to it. And it still has its ability to agitate. It's jazzy, removed, slacker tendencies are still pretty attractive. I like that it's focused on someone who's borrowed all he is from what he's seen in a theater. His standards of cool, of what to base his relationship on feel so unsustainable. Tokyoslim zeroed in on Truffaut's writing, and I totally agree that's where it falls apart. Not on premise, but on insight. Truffaut never understood women (half his films are about how he doesn't get them), and although Seberg embodies the role and does what she can to sell her dialogue, it's too big a task to overcome.

    Nausicaa's got big bugs ya'll. Big bugs win.

  • Only pair I've seen both of this round is CMIYC vs. Stagecoach. I'm voting Stagecoach.

    CMIYC is a good movie. Well acted, briskly edited, great production values, fun story. But it's too slick. It's one of those Oscar-bait movies that's constantly screaming "I'M A PERIOD PIECE!!!". I suspect that I'd prefer the original version with Tony Curtis, "The Great Imposter", if I could locate a copy.

    Stagecoach has it's problems, mainly it being slow and stagey (no pun intended). But compared to CMIYC, it's way more down to earth. And when the action picks up, it does so in absolute style. Great outdoor photography too.

  • Is there any chance we can get a more streamlined voting system?

    I haven't seen Stagecoach, so I won't vote on that round. That said, there's been some serious disrespect to Catch Me if You Can. People calling it oscar bait should try re-watching it. That movie just sizzles. The script is sharp, the camera work kinetic, and the leads are so damn charming and have such great chemistry that you root for pretty much everybody. It's amazing.

    The 39 Steps vs. Moonrise Kingdom:

    The 39 Steps I'd say is one of the more "chill" Hitchcock films, in that there are fewer scenes that are nailbitingly intense than in most of his other movies. That's in no way a knock against it, though. I think it has one of his tightest scripts, and I love the way he makes every little detail count. Fun fact: my grandpa used to have this movie memorized line for line back in the day.
    Moonrise Kingdom is my number 2 Wes Anderson movie, behind The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I love his style, and the ensemble cast completely knocks it out of the park in this one. It also has one of my favorite lines of all time: "Was he a good boy? Who's to say?"
    That said, the kids are a little too precocious at times for my taste, and it has the same tendency as all his other films to get a little twee at times.
    The 39 Steps gets the edge for me.

    Breathless vs. Nausicaa:

    I think the others have kind of hit the nail on the head with their analyses of Breathless. Great direction, great lead, kind of a weak script/story. If I have anything to add, it's simply just that it hasn't aged as gracefully as it should have; other films have taken similar concepts and gone in more daring directions. While there's something to be said about being the original, I feel like other movies have built upon its foundation in more exciting ways.
    Nausicaa was my favorite Miyazaki film when I was a baby. I apparently used to watch it on repeat. I rewatched it just the other day, and it holds up fairly well. The animation is gorgeous, and while it's not Hisaishi's best score (the synth tracks are pretty bad), the Requiem is absolutely gorgeous. There are a few story contrivances that I still groan at, including one glaring continuity error near the end that almost undermines the finale, but it's still good fun.
    Ultimately, both are flawed, but I give it to Nausicaa simply because it's more enjoyable all around.

    Bad Boys vs. True Grit:
    Look, I don't hate Bay as much as some other people, but come on here! Bad Boys is one of his best movies, almost entirely due to the strength of its leads, but it still reeks of cheese. True Grit is just a great movie. Great cast, cinematography, script... It's not even the best Coen Brothers movie but it's still just so good. True Grit gets it in a landslide for me.

  • @Inustar ... I don't love Psycho because of the ending. It just sort of happens, and everything is tied up in a monologue. Great final shot, but still...

    @SabotageTheTruth check out Vertigo, The Rear Window, North by Northwest, and Rope. Rope is one of my personal favorite movies of all time - shot in "real time," with only one visible cut in the entire movie. It's a real feat.

  • @naltmank Thanks for your votes! What do you think might work as a voting system? I agree that the system that I have up is a little messy, but I like that everyone is writing about the movies; and that isn't something I want to discourage (by linking to another site or something).

  • @naltmank Rope is definitely the main Hitchcock film I'm interested in. I get the feeling I'll have a chance very soon to see more of his work.

  • @naltmank Oh, when I said the ending I meant the last shot. Just that part.

  • @Ringedwithtile that's fair. I guess it would be harder to regulate, but I was thinking just an honor code google survey, and then we could still post our reasons for voting on the thread. I understand why you'd want to avoid doing that, though.

  • Ok! So I feel like we're just about done with this round. I've advanced 3 of the directors. Miyazaki and The Coen Brothers moved on unanimously. Hitchcock moved on with two votes over Wes Anderson.

    Right now, we do have a tie. Catch Me if You Can and Stagecoach are in a stand-off. If someone who has not voted on the matchup could, that would be great!

    If no one does in two days or so, I'll look back at the writing accompanying the votes that are already cast, and see which film is more favored by the people who didn't vote for it. I'd rather not do that, but I'd also like to keep this deal going.

  • @Ringedwithtile I've just seen Catch Me If You Can, I'm going to watch Stagecoach by Friday and I'll vote after that!

  • Oof. This one was a difficult one and I felt even more pressure knowing that my vote would decide between these two, but ultimately I vote for Catch Me If You Can. At first, it would have been easy for me to make this decision simply because I tend to not like Westerns. Since I knew my vote would be the one to break the time, though, I tried to give both a fair shake. Stagecoach has some great acting from John Wayne, one of the most iconic actors in film history, and the way it manipulates how much space the characters and plot occupy is masterfully done. There's a constant sense of an Out There that can be hard to capture in a film. Catch Me If You Can, though, has both a compelling story and great acting that communicates a certain sense of both pursuit and desperation. The believability of DiCaprio's character is what sells the whole movie, and his complex motivations combined with his wit and intelligence pull together to create someone the audience feels good rooting for. Watching Frank pull off a con is a great case study in tension and release, as the audience is taken on the journey of tension and anticipation to see if he will be caught and then satisfaction when things go well despite all odds. Spielberg has an incomparable eye for raw adventure, and this film is no exception.

  • Woo. Spielberg squeaks by, only to face MF Alfred Hitchcock in the 2nd round!

  • Spielberg moves on! Spielberg actually has a humorous anecdote about meeting Ford as a young, wannabe filmmaker that's worth seeking out, by the way.

    Q2 with an updated bracket will be up later today!

  • That was a tough matchup, but I'm glad to see Spielberg move on!

  • I hope I get a decent matchup movie w Hitchcock.

  • The quarter 2 matchups are up! I'm going to write my votes shortly.

  • A Bug's Life vs. Full Metal Jacket... that's gotta be the most tonally different match-up we've had so far.