The Movie Bracket! - Winner announced!



  • Damn. I was really hoping to vote on both matchups, but Raising Arizona does not look like my kind of movie at all. I'm indifferent on 2001 as well, so I'm reluctant to even tiebreak that one. Killer matchup in other half, though - will vote in a few days.

    BTW, I finally got my hands on Eraserhead, so I'll be sharing my thoughts on that dusty old matchup real soon. ^_^



  • No offese, but I can not fathom someone looking at both Raising Arizona and 2001 and saying that they aren't interested in seeing EITHER of them? That's just crazy talk IMO.

    I'm going with 2001 and Ran. While Raising Arizona is great, fun character driven caper comedy, 2001 is literally a genre defining film that has a best in class score, best in class effects, and Kubrick's fanatical attention to detail. Seeing it in 70mm in a theater is an experience that everyone should have at least once.

    I'm going with Ran because I feel like it's Kurosawa's most ambitious work, and even though it's a little flat in some areas for me, I don't like Lynch. So this is a pretty easy call for me.



  • @Ringedwithtile It was! I agree with Sabotage about Hopper's character.. he was pretty disturbing in my opinion. I like noir/mystery type movies so I really enjoyed it a lot, even though I found it to be pretty unsettling haha

    I actually like Kick-Ass a lot too. I'm not a big superhero fan but I thought it was fun and took a different approach. Blue Velvet was easily the better film in my opinion though

    I feel pretty much the same about the other matchup. I've only seen Clockwork Orange once and don't really ever feel the need to rewatch it.. like most Kubrick though it's pretty iconic and is the better film of the two.



  • Raising Arizona vs 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Bah I'm regretting this choice now that I see what it's up against! I really love Raising Arizona.. its a pretty lighthearted comedy with the (in my opinion) brilliant Coen brother's touch. Also, as someone who actually really likes Nicholas Cage, I think this is one of his best roles.

    Unfortunately, I consider 2001 a masterpiece and easily the best sci-fi film ever made. I don't really know what I can say that hasn't already been said, but its near perfect to me and easily gets my vote. It still has some of the best effects out there.. they hold up better than some movies that came out a decade or two ago

    Who has Spielberg as their director? I'd love to see what the other two film choices were.

    On that topic, my last Gilliam picks were; 4th Round: Time Bandits; Finals: 12 Monkeys. I didn't think he'd make it that far but I'd still recommend both!



  • @Faaip said in The Movie Bracket! Round 2, Semi-Finals!:

    Who has Spielberg as their director? I'd love to see what the other two film choices were.

    My last two directors went out and now I have nobody left:

    Steven Spielberg:
    1 Raiders of the Lost Ark
    2 Saving Private Ryan

    Katheryn Bigelow:
    1 Point Break
    2 Zero Dark Thirty



  • @TokyoSlim Nice! I consider Raiders to be my favorite movie.. I'm glad it made the list :D



  • @Oscillator I'm getting to watch Eraserhead in theaters for the first time this Friday. Beyond stoked, I'm gonna say it's my favorite Lynch film, which this contest has helped solidify.



  • @TokyoSlim said in The Movie Bracket! Round 2, Semi-Finals!:

    No offese, but I can not fathom someone looking at both Raising Arizona and 2001 and saying that they aren't interested in seeing EITHER of them?

    I've seen 2001, and I found it just ok. I was just saying I don't have much invested in it.



  • 2001: A Space Odyssey vs Raising Arizona

    "You got any balloons that blow up into funny shapes?"

    "Not unless round is funny."

    Raising Arizona is probably the Coen Brothers' funniest film. It's so zany and weirdly eloquent. It maneuvers between wordplay, situational comedy, and fantastic slapstick (the famed nighttime chase sequence might be the Coens' greatest action setpiece they've ever conceived). I love Nic Cage, and I think this is one of his best efforts; one that asks the lanky, over-the-top best from him while subduing him with earnest intentions and undeniable heart. I really like this film.

    2001 on the other hand is probably Kubrick's opus. I've always felt that he was a bit of a cold director; his technical precision and cynical outlook didn't always result in films that felt all that human in an emotional sense. 2001 never had that problem. It looks like it was made by some kind of futuristic alien, and this ends up pairing super well with its thematic aspirations. Its a marvel, a film that feels beyond the limits of what we can imagine---which is sorta the point in the end. 2001 gets my vote.

    Ran vs The Elephant Man

    If we're talking late, colorful, feudal epics from Kurosawa, I definitely prefer the more dreamlike and personal Kagemusha, but Ran is impressive, massive all the same. It gets across the searing, troubled ambitions of King Lear really well, and kinda like 2001, has a nearly unrivaled spectacle to it. Who can forget the burning palace, the marching colorful hordes of armored soldiers?

    There are definitely a few Lynch films I would vote for over Ran, but The Elephant Man isn't one of them. I remember seeing it in grade school, and even then thinking that it was a little too heavy-handed. It doesn't carry many of the qualities I like about Lynch, and it's always seemed to me a bit ordinary, despite its unique look and Hurt's very good performance. I feel like Lynch applied his distinct weird lyricism to a broader story much better in The Straight Story. Ran gets my vote.


    And since I haven't shared the picks from my eliminated directors I thought I would do that. If you saw one and thought it was interesting and was looking for more to see, or if you hated it and---oh god---never want to see another film by that guy, here they are:

    Federico Fellini:
    1st Round: Amarcord
    2nd Round: I Vitelloni
    3rd Round: Nights of Cabiria
    4th Round: La Dolce Vita
    Finals: 8 1/2
    Abbas Kiarostami:
    1st Round: Where is the Friend's Home?
    2nd Round: Life, and Nothing More
    3rd Round: Through the Olive Trees
    4th Round: A Taste of Cherry
    Finals: Close-Up
    Ingmar Bergman:
    1st Round: The Seventh Seal
    2nd Round: Wild Strawberries
    3rd Round: Cries and Whispers
    4th Round: Winter Light
    Finals: Persona
    Rainer Werner Fassbinder:
    1st Round: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
    2nd Round: The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
    3rd Round: Fox and His Friends
    4th Round: Veronika Voss
    Finals: In a Year With 13 Moons
    Wong Kar-Wai
    1st Round: Chungking Express
    2nd Round: Days of Being Wild
    3rd Round: Happy Together
    4th Round: Fallen Angels
    Finals: In the Mood For Love
    Jean-Luc Godard:
    1st Round: Breathless
    2nd Round: Pierrot le Fou
    3rd Round: Contempt
    4th Round: Band of Outsiders
    Finals: Vivre sa vie
    John Ford:
    1st Round: Stagecoach
    2nd Round: My Darling Clementine
    3rd Round: Fort Apache
    4th Round: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
    Finals: The Searchers



  • @Ringedwithtile said in The Movie Bracket! Round 2, Semi-Finals!:

    Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    I'm a little sad World on a Wire didn't make it into your Fassbinder list. I really enjoyed it! Kind of a 1973 proto-Matrix.
    Youtube Video



  • I like World on a Wire a lot, it's really unnerving and I think plays with and confronts the idea of simulated reality(ies) in a more interesting way than any other film I can think of. I debated putting it in (personal favs like Beware of a Holy Whore, The Third Generation, and Mother Kusters too) and I imagine it probably would have played better than most of the stuff I chose, but it's long and think his more personal films are a better window into what he's about, which is I guess what I was shooting for with most of my choices across the board.

    I love Fassbinder though, for being so incredibly prolific the guy maintained a super impressive quality across the board!



  • @Ringedwithtile I just think it would be fun to get people to watch it. :)



  • I should be able to watch Ran in the next few days to vote on that match-up. I'd like to vote on the other as well, but I haven't seen either movie (I know, I know...) so I might not make it in time for the voting on that one.



  • Sorry for the wait, I had some other movies I had to watch before returning them to the store.

    First, the old pairing:

    The Maltese Falcon

    I've seen much better film noirs than this. It tries way too hard to be clever, especially in the dialogue, but just comes across as full of itself. I find it very hard to believe that a supposedly super savvy detective like Sam Spade could be so easily fooled

    by that woman

    time and time again. And at the end, he still feels a need to make excuses for

    putting her away.

    The cliché cops and sudden changes in tone also stick out. Honestly, if it wasn't for Peter Lorre, who steals the show lock, stock, and barrel, this movie would be bordering on a joke. I can give it a little credit for some of its plot devices that clearly inspired other movies, but that's all.

    Eraserhead

    Well.

    Well.

    What more is there to say? This may be the most original film I've ever seen. Every scene brings something new. You can feel the dirt coming off of everything. And the lead actor kills it in every way. It's not something I would ever want to call my favorite, though. It's so different from a normal movie, or even a normal art movie, that it's difficult to get absorbed into it. It's more like looking at a sculpture than a performance. But it still must be applauded for stretching the boundaries of the medium, and for taking full ownership of the term "stream of consciousness".

    And who knew the title was so literal? ;P

    Vote: Eraserhead

    Now, the new pairing:

    The Elephant Man

    This may have been released in 1980, but they somehow got it to look like a film made 30 years earlier. The only things that give it away as being more recent are the audio/video quality and the bits of Lynchian imagery.

    The lighting, sets, makeup, and attention to period detail are all top grade. From a technical standpoint, this film stands high. However, the story is a pretty plain ugly duckling tale. Though from what little I've read, it seems to follow the real man's journey fairly closely, so I can't blame it too much for playing it safe. The acting and atmosphere could've also been grittier, but that may have hurt it's 1950's British movie patina, so I can't pick on that too much either.

    Though the causes may be reasonable, this film just lacks edge in the dramatic department. Still a visual treat, though.

    Ran

    This is what Kurosawa was building up to his whole career. An absolute tour de force in every department. No corners cut anywhere. They need a burning castle, they build a burning castle. They need an army dressed to the nines, they dress an army to the nines. They want pitch-perfect composition and lighting in every shot, they do it. Acting, flow, and wow factor too - it's all here.

    It's big, bold, and attacks the senses in all the best ways.

    Vote: Ran

    I'm so, so disappointed that Mulholland Dr. won't be getting its day in the sun. Kubrick/Kurosawa is still a swell matchup though, if maybe a tad obvious.



  • Closing this round on Monday! Grand finals will be up then as well.



  • Grand finals are up!

    My vote goes to The Shining

    It's a fastidiously constructed, endlessly strange film with a queasy atmosphere and a wild lead performance from Nicholson. I feel like more than any other Kubrick film, this one has appreciated really well for me (whereas I've cooled on a lot of his other work over time). Its sense of humor, its impishness becomes more apparent with rewatches. I like this film a lot, probably more than I ever have.

    Seven Samurai is Kurosawa's opus, that one that stands at the forefront of his career; an endlessly recreated and easily translated premise, and a thorough and picturesque execution. Its ensemble is very likeable, and its battle scenes are wonderful in their unexpected messiness and gravity. I like this film a lot also, but there are a good few Kurosawa films a prefer to it.



  • Totally fell off with this game, but need to return with the finals to vote for The Shining. It's such a meticulously crafted movie. Kubrick is a master of using the camera and sound design to build tension; it's never overbearing, like so many other movies are, instead opting for immersion. It's the movie that got me into movies. Seven Samurai is also a masterpiece, and I have nothing bad to say about it. I think Kurosawa is a master at directing action, especially given the time period when he was working (he did some seriously dangerous shit to get the shot he wanted). Both films have had incredible, lasting impacts on pop culture. The Shining just sticks with me in a way that Seven Samurai doesn't. It's just so damn good.



  • Two great films. The Shining has moments, or scenes that have inspired and been copied and have become pop culture. "Heeeere's Johnny", Redrum, the creepy twins, the elevator of blood, the maze, the bigwheel scenes, etc. Most often in other horror or spoofs of horror films. It's a great movie, but not necessarily because of the source material. The TV Remake with Steven Webber (which is a bit more faithful to the original story) fails to recapture the essence of Jack Nicholson's charisma and Stanley Kubrick's vision and attention to detail in their primes. The characters and visuals are what make this film great.

    Seven Samurai has been copied, homaged, borrowed/stolen from, and re-created nearly in it's entirety and basically created a sub-genre out of it's core conceit. Movies draw it's lines and scenes verbatim and reuse them shot for shot, not out of parody - but out of respect.

    Not only has the basic premise of Seven Samurai been used in other Samurai films, such as the brilliant 13 Samurai by Takeshi Miike - but frequently in completely unrelated genres and films such as The Magnificent Seven, Mad Max series (specifically The Road Warrior and Fury Road), A Bugs Life, The Three Amigos, Battle Beyond the Stars, Firefly, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Lord of the Rings, The Dirty Dozen, etc... It's a pretty universally appealing premise. I mean, you could draw comparisons to The Avengers That's greatness in versatility.

    So... Seven Samurai.



  • I already know what I'm voting for, but just to be totally fair, I'll need to rewatch The Shining. The only time I ever watched it in full was years ago, before my cinephile phase.

    BTW, was totally expecting Barry Lyndon for the final round...



  • Ok! The Grand Finals will be ending on Monday. There are still a couple of regulars who haven't voted yet, and it would be great to get a couple more in for the last hurrah, since it's likely to be pretty close.