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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Random Ten: A Look At Some of The Best Films Matching Up Against Suitable Opponents.

Enjoy. Films picked in blind random fashion [from my library].  Winner advances.  Double Elimination.

We start with the pairings:

Master and Commander (2003) VS.  Factotum  (2007)

Pirate Radio (2010)  VS.  Drugstore Cowboy (1992)

Mr. Brooks (2008) Vs.  Day of The Jackal (1968)

North Shore (1988) Vs. The Dark Crystal (1985)

The Prestige (2006)   Vs.  Country Strong (2011)

Creepshow II  (1989)  Vs. About Schmidt (2005)

Okay, so I have 12 - thought this could work out well.

Let's start with:

Master and Commander (2003) VS.  Factotum  (2007)

MC was a pleasant film set on the seas and it is rare we get films with dedicated ocean settings.  The Bounty had been a previous, excellent experience, but the Pirate of The Carribbean films have proven themselves to be for kids - and I am okay with that.

It would be difficult to beat MC - with R.Crowe giving an excellent performance as the Captain.  He softly pets the ship after the first bombing... reassuring it of his confidence in her.  A fine film, cast well, with little bulls#*!t, although the doctor's/ Bettany's over the top collection of animals strains its scoring potential. <<[ Note - Crowe and Bettany return as they both worked in " A Beautiful Mind."  Peter Weir directs and  it is his best work followed by "Dead Poets Society."  This Aussie director needs to work more - for our sake.]]>

Score:  8.7562

Factotum (2007)

A big fan of Matt Dillon - he really comes through in this film - and he has two entries total.  Factotum is a far better experience than "BarFly" which places Mickey Rourke in the title role.  This is a hilarious film.  Dillon plays a raging alcoholic who jumps from job to job.  Great support from Marisa Tomei.

Score:  8.2937

Winner:  Master and Commander


Pirate Radio

A funny British film that has its moments - both good and bad.  The "My Generation" scene was too campy, but not as painful as when Hoffman emerges from the sea at the end... by himself.  Branagh's villain was a bit much but the Christmas scenes were good - evidencing a strict, dysfunctional realm.  Fun charcaters led by Nighy, Frost, and Brown as the Dawn Treader kept this film from drowning.

Score:  6.0060

Drugstore Cowboy

Dillon returns and its another fine performance by him in this wonderful film set in 1971 (versus 1966 above) we have two period pieces facing off.  I'm afraid there isn't much to this matchup.

Winner:  Drugstore Cowboy


Mr. Brooks

This is a tough match-up - both films I have enjoyed and keep in good favor.  It is extyremely difficult to beat Fred Zinneman's Day of the Jakal(yes,the film all horrible re-makes are sourced from), but if any film can do it, it is Brooks - one of the only Costner films I really like.

It isn's Coster that makes this film what it is - itis William Hurt, one of the greatest actors of our time.  Playing Costner's Ego, we get a fun glance at a great duo of actors.  Not really pleased with Cooke or Moore, and their involvement hurts the score earned by this film.  Great ending and Panabaker is truly a beauty.

Day of the Jackal

"Half now, half later," Jackal states, in a line that is frequently and wisely borrowed and employed in other films.  This is an epic, long but fun... a masterpiece.  Even a formidable opponent like Mr. Brooks can't shake the fact that "Day of The Jackal" is the favorite to win this battle royal.

Winner: Day of The Jackal


North Shore

Here we have an 80's match with both films set in separate worlds.  North Shore has a great ending, where we get to enjoy good coverage of a surfing competition.  Rick can be annoying, but still NS is one of the best from that decade.

Score:  7.2685

The Dark Crystal

Jim Henson's master work is longing for a sequel.  This film will be tough to beat.

Score:  9.7102

Winner: The Dark Crystal


The Prestige

Great book, better film.  This first round match-up is a layup for one of the best films - EVER.

Country Strong

An OK look at the illuminati-free country music set.  I still think Leighton Meester looks much better with blonde hair ( see The Roommate).  Paltrow plays this well, and she has a good number of songs.  There is something missing from this film, and it is not the relationship between Meester and Hedlund which consumes valuable minutes.  No match.

Winner:  The Prestige


Creepshow II

Ah, you can't beat the Creepshows... or at least we will find out as CS II squares off against a big oppoenent in AS.  IN CS II we get some of King's short pieces from " Skeleton Crew' brought to life.  The Raft, Old  Chief Wooden Head are the onoy two good elements, but they bring strength.  What could possibly be better than a seven foot Indian made of wood - coming to life to kill the ills of society??  Not much.

Score:  8.5779

About Schmidt

ONe of Nicholson's greatest performances ever - he was robbed by the academy and deserved the Best Actor Oscar (Brody won for "The Pianist.")  This film takes off at the moment when Jack lifts his pen and begins with:  'Dear Ndugu,"
The hilarious boyfriend... how about the scene where this dopey looking guy strust out of the water bed shop looking like an awful used bed salesman?  Priceless.  The film keeps to this level of quality and as a result, achieves a high score in the end.

Winner:  About Schmidt

Stay Tuned - Second Round Match-ups, including the KO rounds for the losers (remember, this is a double elimination competition, if you lose once, you are not eliminated!).  More color on each film ,in each round... you'll see.

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