The Movie Bracket! - Winner announced!



  • 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.



  • Nice! There's a few I'll need to watch before I can vote.. I'm out of town though so it might take a little while



  • Drag Me to Hell vs Amarcord

    Voting Amarcord. I actually quite like Drag Me to Hell! It felt like a return to old passions for Raimi. It's goofy and full of jump-scares, just a really solid picture of cheap thrills and humor to help cut the tension. It doesn't stick in my mind as well as something like Evil Dead II, but I appreciate it quite a bit.

    Amarcord is impeccable in my view. It's a summation of our tendency to romanticize the past, it's a glorious coming of age story about early sexual experiences and the construction of identity, it's an expressionistic view of an isolated Italian town during the rise of fascism, but most of all, it's a story of a community; the anecdotes and experiences that build what a place is. It's beautifully made (with both gorgeous on-location shooting and constructed soundstage sequences that evoke a kind of artificial magic), and it's soulful---personal in ways that I think few films are.


    Full Metal Jacket vs A Bug's Life

    This is a weird one, but I'm voting Full Metal Jacket. A Bug's Life is good! It's a nice, semi-western that takes more than a little inspiration from genre work in film and novels (enough so that a lot of people consider it a remake of The Seven Samurai) with some good voice work and fun characters. The characters still look fine, but I'd say that the environments have aged a bit. It's a solid early Pixar film, but I can't place it among their best work.

    Full Metal Jacket is such a weird, challenging movie. It's one of Kubrick's meanest, coldest films, that tackles the Vietnam conflict in a nearly depoliticized way, instead talking more about the personal mindset required to live a life of violence. Its character work is probably its most valuable asset. It's why this film works, that it's able to depict its cast in such a cold way, and still allow the audience to care about them through very smart, humanizing qualities that sort of shine through all terrible things that are going on. It isn't one of my favorite Kubricks, but it provides a lot more to reckon with than A Bug's Life does.


    The Seventh Seal vs Pi

    Voting The Seventh Seal. Pi is an odd item for me. It's a film I liked very much in high school. I thought it was clever and disturbing. I liked that it dealt with math. Over time my opinion of it sort of flattened. I saw Eraserhead and Tetsuo the Iron Man, two films that greatly inspired the look of Pi, and I found both of those films more disturbing as character portraits. I still think Pi is valuable. It's an interesting first film, and I like the setting, but it isn't one that I think of with much fondness.

    The Seventh Seal isn't one of my favorite Bergman films, but it's still a very successful one. It has this reputation as a veeery serious movie, but I think it's much more playful and humorous than that. It's still a somewhat dour voyage about death and religion, but I think there's some enjoyable absurdity and lighthearted characters that help balance the tone. Of course it looks beautiful, it's well-performed, and it has some really stunning sequences (the lepers!) as well.


    Goodfellas vs Strange Days

    Going Goodfellas. Strange Days is a very, very unique film that I think doesn't get enough attention. Not just a smartly built film about the future of surveillance and privacy, but a very disturbing film about sexual violence. I don't know how much I enjoyed watching this film, though. It seems like something a different filmmaker might let fly off the rails a bit more, and as much as I love Bigelow, this one feels a little reigned in despite the subject matter.

    Goodfellas is straight up one of the most watchable films ever made. On a moment-to-moment basis it's so entirely enjoyable. The camera parades around, good music and compelling narration move it along, and the story unfolds in surprising and humorous ways. It's one of those films that's always on TV, because you can basically start watching at any point and just move right along with it. I don't think it's all that thoughful compared to some of Scorsese's other films, but god damn is it fun.



  • Full Metal Jacket vs A Bug's Life
    Full Metal Jacket
    Loved how the Drill Sergeant breaks down the new recruits a great funny scene where the tone of the movie changes. Also I'm more of a Antz guy :P



  • @ib0show Woody Allen was born to play an ant!

    edit: weird story about Antz. My father worked film promotion when I was a kid, so he'd get a whole lot of branded swag. For the Antz premiere, they gave out gum in little paper packs---2 a piece, like the Chiclets you would get on Halloween. Anyways, there was a whole lot left over from the screening, so we had a kitchen cupboard that was literally full of these little packs of gum. I still remember grabbing fistfuls and bringing them to school. For a couple weeks I was a very popular kid until my classmates started sticking the gum all over the classroom. My teacher got pissed and knew it was me because they knew my dad worked in film promotion and no one else would be supplying the kids with dozens of packs of branded gum. We ended up throwing it all out.