Movie News

Friday, April 12, 2013

Best of 2000-NOW: THE FINAL 4

We are down to The Final 4 in our Tournament to determine the Best Film of 2000-Now.
The above photo (click to enlarge) has all the Results so far.
Read Part I of the Round 1 Recap here.
Read Part II of the Round 1 Recap here.
Read the 32 to 16 Recap here.
Read the 16 to 8 Recap here.

You can vote on The Final 4 in the Comments Section.

Dan (The North) writing in italics
Chris (The South) writing in normal

Elite 8 to Final 4 Recap:

Aronofsky/Scorsese Region:

When it all began, Darren Aronofsky had three films in this region and Martin Scorsese had two.
When the popcorn settled on the theater floor, only one was left:


REQUIEM holds up because it's so visceral.
You feel shots in REQUIEM.
You squirm, you cringe, you feel sick and the film absorbs you.
I was watching it in a dorm room one day, a girl walked in, covered her eyes and walked out.
The scene on the screen was nothing scary, just an establishing shot.
She said, "That's Requiem For A Dream right? It gave me nightmares. I can't see any of it again."
Now that's a review!
REQUIEM is too much for some people, but it reminds me how far great cinema can go.
It's not shock for shock value, the realness of everything is what makes it so horrifying.
Plus, it's got the song. If you've seen it, you know the one I mean:

DEPARTED is good, but it's probably not even in Scorsese's Top 5.
It certainly never disturbed anybody, and definitely never sent a coed running out of a room.
Sometimes it's more romp, than serious crime film. 
Jack Nicholson is great, but goes so broad.
Then we've got Leo, Damon, Sheen, Wahlberg, and Baldwin doing the Big Bad Southie Accent.
I think it was a commercial comeback for Marty and got this far because he is so talented.

Click 'Read More' for the rest of the Elite 8 to Final 4 Recap:

Tarantino/Jackson Region:

With this matchup, we see the heavily favored #1-seed Inglourious Basterds taking on the somewhat surprising stalwart #7-seed Children of Men.

Children of Men is one of those films that sticks with you over time, gaining more and more admiration the more you think about it. That's how the ambitious, sci-fi, 7-seed has stuck around in this tournament longer than many expected (much to my delight). In doing so, it has faced some serious competition, stamping out the likes of two Lord of the Ring films and Adaptation.

Just watch this fantastic tracking shot (containing a major spoiler, so beware) if you even remotely doubt this film's greatness:

So, could Children of Men continue its surprising (though clearly deserved) run through the field?Unfortunately not.
It was eliminated by Tarantino's bloody, fun history re-write, #1 Inglourious Basterds.
Was there ever really any doubt that we wouldn't see a Tarantino film in the Final Four?

So, Inglourious Basterds moves on.
Is it QT's best film overall?
Probably not.
Is it his best in the past decade-plus? Yes (unless, like Dan pointed out earlier, you look at Kill Bill as one seamless film, rather than broken into two separate ones). Regardless of all that, Basterds is a truly fantastic film that represents the start of a welcome new chapter in the Tarantino lexicon. I mean, do I really even need to go into detail about the amazing performances, dialogue, scenes, and various Tarantino-isms?
I don't think so, the film speaks for itself and moves on to the Final Four.

Nolan/Fincher Region:

Like the Aronofsky/Scorsese Region, namesakes faced off in this Regional Final.
This game was a rubber match between Christopher Nolan and David Fincher.
In the end one of these great directors had to be eliminated from the Tournament:


SOCIAL NETWORK is just brilliant.
When they announced a "Facebook Movie", I was really skeptical.
Was it a movie about a website?
A Mark Zuckerberg Bio Pic?
I thought it would be many things, but never thought it would be so awesome.
The writing, casting, acting, directing and music are impeccable.
It's definitely Aaron Sorkin's best feature screenplay.
The film blows you away in the first scene.
You can't get the full clip on Youtube anymore because it got watched too much.
What you can find, is five dozen or more, videos of people recreating the scene.
It's a scene that will be done in acting classes from here to eternity.
Here's 82 seconds of its glory:

Sorkin, teamed with the right material and subject, is hard to beat.
As for DARK KNIGHT, I will stick to my previous statement that it's a vastly overrated film.
I think Tim Burton's BATMAN blows it off the screen.
KNIGHT is very good in some portions, but when The Joker is not on screen, it's nothing special.
I thought I knew where Nolan was going after I saw BATMAN BEGINS, but I was wrong.
KNIGHT abandoned Bruce Wayne for the wild villain. 
It made the film a lot more at the box office, but I think it was to the detriment of the series.

Anderson/Coppola Region:

Finally, we have to come to the last Elite Eight pairing:
#1 The Royal Tenenbaums vs. #2 There Will Be Blood
There was a lot of debate over this match-up and the voting was very close, but only one could move on.

Dan and I both love The Royal Tenenbaums.
It's simultaneously funny and sweetly touching.
It's instantly re-watchable, quotable, and though director Wes Anderson had already made two films, this is the one that really introduced the world to his quirky, instantly identifiable style and aesthetic.
Dan and I enjoy the film so much, that we randomly post this video on one another's Facebook page about once a year because we know it will make the other laugh:

"What this book presupposes is . . . maybe he didn't."

On the other hand, I remember seeing There Will Be Blood in an empty theater on a Wednesday afternoon and being blown away by it, from the very first shot. Sure, Daniel Day-Lewis' performance gets most of the attention (and rightfully so), but the film itself is utterly fantastic. The ambitious, multi-layered script from P.T. Anderson (based loosely on the Upton Sinclair novel, Oil!), the beautiful cinematography by Robert Elswit, and the haunting score from Jonny Greenwood are just some of the highlights. Plus there is one of the most talked about final scenes in movie history.
Would you really want to go up against this man?:

"I have a competition in me . . . "

In an incredibly close contest, There Will Be Blood eliminated The Royal Tenenbaums.
(Dan's Note: I would never be able to accept the outcome. Both films are perfect.)
Is Paul Thomas Anderson's modern masterpiece the new overall favorite to win the title?
I guess we will have to wait until next round to see.


Quentin Tarantino vs. Darren Aronofsky

David Fincher vs. Paul Thomas Anderson

Big Time Directors.
Oscar Winning Films.
A Champion Will Rise.


  1. Ok, going with Requiem and Social Network

  2. Requiem and I guess Blood since Tenebaums got ousted. Royal is probably my favorite film character of all time. The presupposes line is great, but my favorite from that movie has to come from Royal "He didn't look half bad for a suicide... attempted anyway."

  3. Actually, maybe I'd go with a different Royal line "I'm very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman."