We started a Tournament to determine the Best Film of 2000-Now.
The above photo (click to enlarge) has all the Round 1 and 2 Winners.
64 Films were cut to 32.
You can read Part I of the Round 1 Recap here.
You can read Part II of the Round 1 Recap here.
Now, 32 films have been cut to 16.
Vote on Round 3 in the Comments Section.
Dan (The North) is writing in italics.
Chris (The South) is writing in normal.
The 32 to Sweet 16 Recap:
#1. THE DEPARTED said, "Avada Kedavra!" to #8. HARRY POTTER I (Sorcerer's Stone).
For me, Scorsese really came back with THE DEPARTED. It's not like his previous films were bad by any means, but I definitely don't love BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, GANGS OF NEW YORK or THE AVIATOR. I've got no beef with KUNDUN, but DEPARTED was Scorsese's best work since CASINO, 11 years earlier. HARRY was great, but top-level Marty is hard to beat.
#4. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN stumped the Chai Wallah, #12. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
I had SLUMDOG moving on in another upset, but the votes and The South's deep love for all things Coen Brothers carried OLD MEN. Next, is a big Crime Drama Showdown in the Sweet 16: North/South Mount Rushmore Member, Martin Scorsese, versus The Coen Brothers.
The South's head might explode.
In a tough match for me personally, #3 Requiem for a Dream defeated #6 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (best movie title winner though, no doubt). I really love both films. But despite me giving a slight edge to Jesse James, Requiem came out on top in a close fight. However, I still cannot look at Jennifer Connelly the same after it.
In the most hotly debated match of the Tournament to date:
#2. IRON MAN gave Spock and #7. STAR TREK the walk-away, arm-missile.
STAR TREK is so great.
If you've got 12 minutes and don't mind crying you're eyes out, go ahead and watch this:
In my mind, TREK was a Final Four Film.
I guess if you come at Tony Stark, you best not miss.
Bon Voyage STAR TREK. We Hardly Knew Ye.
Click Read More for the Rest of the 32 to 16 Recap
I don't think it is any big secret, but both Dan and I put Tarantino up on the highest level. However, his films are not unbeatable in the Tournament. #1. Inglourious Basterds drew a very tough opponent in #9. Brokeback Mountain. When it was finished, the Basterds were able to take care of business against the cowboys up on Brokeback. Tarantino moves on.
The Bride and #4. Kill Bill Vol. 1 cut their way through a Hulk and #12. THE AVENGERS.
Here's my Kill Bill theater story:
Went to see it at tiny, downtown Canal Place in New Orleans.
7 PM is Sold Out.
Best Movie Ever.
A saturated Popcorn bag ruined my shorts and I didn't care one bit.
Tarantino will battle himself once again. Can VOL 1. cut down the BASTERDS?
It'll be a bloody brawl, for sure.
#3. ADAPTATION. bottled Ron Burgundy and #11. ANCHORMAN's mind, en route to a win.
I think ANCHORMAN is the CADDYSHACK of my generation.
Highly quotable, best comedic actors available and completely absurd.
I can't wait for ANCHORMAN 2 and I can only hope it trumps the truly awful, CADDYSHACK II.
ADAPTATION. is just an incredible, real film. The deeper you go, the better it gets.
It's hard to compare Apples and Oranges, but we're here, and we're gonna give it our best shot:
Upset Alert: #7. CHILDREN OF MEN sterilizes #2. THE LORD OF THE RINGS I (Fellowship).
CHILDREN OF MEN dispatched LOTR: TWO TOWERS in Round 1 and now eliminates Peter Jackson from the Region co-named for him. LOTR has the same problem as HARRY POTTER, it's part of a series and doesn't give you the entire experience. OF MEN is unique, thrilling and delivers a brilliant, complete tale.
In a match-up between this Region's namesakes, #1. The Dark Knight outwitted #8. Zodiac.
Fincher and the Bay Area detectives could not take down the notorious Zodiac killer.
They let Nolan and Batman escape as well.
Cameron Crowe's best film, #4. ALMOST FAMOUS out maneuvers #5. DRIVE.
Neither ALMOST FAMOUS or DRIVE made a lot of money in theaters, but both got great reviews.
I understand that DRIVE is not for everyone, so $35 Million is respectable. It has graphic violence, little dialogue, it's built on a star . . .wait, maybe it was for everyone. However, ALMOST FAMOUS making $32 million is criminal. It's got great, breakout performances, amazing music, setting and direction. I know reviews aren't everything, but if you can get 93% or 88% of film critics to like it, it's probably worth a trip to the cinema.
#3. GLADIATOR got the big thumbs down and gets beaten by #6. THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
David Fincher sees only one of his films make the Sweet 16. SOCIAL NETWORK is so fresh in our minds compared to GLADIATOR which was literally, half a lifetime ago for me. Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in GLADIATOR (and recently, THE MASTER), but SOCIAL NETWORK has multiple, brilliant performances, plus Aaron Sorkin at his finest.
In a battle of Christopher Nolan's explorations into the mind, #10. Memento upsets #2. Inception. With a decade in between their release, Inception certainly had the edge being fresher on the pop culture radar, but the staying power of Memento only proved and enhanced its greatness.
Will Nolan's Memento be able to pull another upset and possibly meet his #1 entry, The Dark Knight in the Elite 8?
(Dan's Note: Check your backwards, body tattoos to see if it already happened.)
#1. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS avoided unforced errors and bested #8. WINTER'S BONE.
We love J-Law here in the North, but honestly BONE is no match for Wes being Wes.
I constantly quote TENENBAUMS, listen to the soundtrack and watch it, 6 or more times a year.
Basically, it's a part of my life.
#4. THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU sunk upset-minded #12. SIDEWAYS.
SIDEWAYS is a great movie, but really how often do you pop in the DVD player?
If you haven't figured it out by now, I think re-watchability is a huge factor with films.
I worked at Blockbuster when ZISSOU came out on DVD.
Seeing the 30 second trailer, 20 times a day, was the best 10 minutes of a shift.
If it's a choice between The Belafonte and The Merlot, I'm going on the boat.
The outcome of the ZISSOU/TENENBAUMS match is going to hurt me deeply . . . either way.
#3. TRAFFIC easily ousted the bass player from Canada, #6. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. PILGRIM is really fun, has a great cast and a great cast of characters (Ramona Flowers, Wallace, Knives Chau, Crash and the Boys, Kim Pine, Stephen Stills, Young Neil, Lucas Lee, Todd etc.).
But when you run into a juggernaut team of big time, dramatic actors, it's hard to win.
The funny thing is, you know who is sneaky awesome in TRAFFIC?
He's like the 15th lead, and he's great.
Best work he's ever done besides, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT and OCEAN'S ELEVEN :
#2. There Will Be Blood vs. #7. Pan's Labyrinth . . . To be honest, if this was the championship match-up, I would have no qualms. So I am not going to make any arguments for either film - Paul Thomas Anderson's oil epic advances over Guillermo Del Toro's historical allegory-fantasy.
(Dan's Note: I think a part of Chris died with with the elimination of PAN'S. Sorry for your loss bud.)
That's the 32 to 16 Recap.
Here Are The Sweet 16 Match-Ups:
#1. THE DEPARTED vs. #4. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
#2. IRON MAN vs. #3. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
The Tarantino Death Match:
#1. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS vs. #4. KILL BILL VOL. 1
#3. ADAPTATION. vs. #7. CHILDREN OF MEN
#1. THE DARK KNIGHT vs. #4. ALMOST FAMOUS
Fincher vs. Nolan: The Rematch
#6. THE SOCIAL NETWORK vs. #10. MEMENTO
The Wes Anderson Showdown:
#1. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS vs. #4. THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU.
#2. THERE WILL BE BLODD vs. # 3. TRAFFIC
See You in the Elite 8.