Archive for November, 2009

Executive Decision

November 19, 2009

Hi there. Since we’re starting this thing back up, we’re faced with the task of figuring out just what the hell to do with The Matchup That Shall Not Be Mentioned, which almost broke this thing forever. You know a match-up involves two movies that aren’t up to snuff when it grinds the entire undertaking to a halt for 16 months.

On one hand, you have Akira. I fought for this movie, but 16 months and at least ten pounds later, I can’t figure out why. I think I wanted to shake things up a bit, and have something way different than 80s Action Movie, or 80s Coming of Age Movie. As a film, the movie is certainly not without merit. It’s one of the first animated films to transcend being a cartoon, at least over here. In Japan they’ve been doing this shit for years, and you can buy hundreds of movies just like this right next to the Soiled Panty Dispensers. Anyway, I guess I wanted to try to expose the other three participants to something I was sure they had never watched, and see their reactions. I’ll never try to do something like that again. ::fart noise:: The sequel is actually much better, anyway. I’ve posted the opening credits below:

On the other hand, you have Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I love(d) Steve Martin. It makes me sad that he’s embraced mediocrity and a string of “Cheaper by the Dozen” paydays in his later years. I used to read the articles that he wrote for the New Yorker back in high school, and I always got the impression that he is a truly smart guy, who happens to be funny as shit. I also like John Candy. He was fat as shit, unapologetic about it, and he owned it. I just can’t believe he died so young. I just didn’t see it coming. ::cries, heaps Canadian bacon onto plate, pours maple syrup on top:: By all accounts he was one of the nicest guys around, too. But mash ’em together and they become a lesser comedic experience, in my opinion. Full disclosure: I’ve never been a fan of PTA. It’s just never clicked with me. That said, I feel no pain in using the “undo” button on this match up, as both Martin and Candy will be judged in far superior entries. In fact, this may be better in the long run, as we don’t have the bitter taste of fail in our mouths when reviewing the work of these two greats.

The record will now reflect an empty space for this match up. The opponent of the winner in the next round will now receive either a bye, or the Committee will select a suitable replacement movie from those that did not make it, after reviewing them.


Alex P. Keaton Round 1: Hey, Great Fish versus My Favorite Babysitter

November 19, 2009

#15 A Fish Called Wanda v. #18 Adventures in Babysitting

As great as the dialogue is, it’s the subtle boob grab at the end of Otto’s initial meeting with Ken that foreshadows just how extensive the comedy is in the 1988 classic, A Fish Called Wanda. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, while Kevin Kline took home an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Rare air for a comedy.

But Academy Awards don’t mean anything when matched up against a movie like Adventures in Babysitting. Made one year earlier and earning about half as much at the box office as Fish, Adventures in Babysitting was never going to be confused with an Oscar-caliber film. But it has stood the test of time so much that a 2011 sequel is in the works. Unfortunately, the sequel won’t include Elisabeth Shue.

This marks Shue’s second appearance in the throwdown, after Cocktail was upset by Strange Brew. Remarkably, 22 years after she babysat, Shue doesn’t look any different, as seen in a recent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. (Though as Will Leitch notes, it was odd to see Elisabeth Shue not playing Elizabeth Shue. Maybe it was the three-way?). Even more remarkably, seeing Shue on Curb made me realize that my opinion of her hasn’t changed since my younger sister first made me watch this:

But it’ll take more than Shue’s beauty to knock off the best stutter in film until Rocket Science came out in 2007.



Between Michael Palin’s performance as Ken, Kline’s incredible portrayal of Otto and the always stellar John Cleese (who also co-wrote and co-directed the film), A Fish Called Wanda is clearly the favorite to advance to the Round of 32. Can Elisabeth Shue turn the tables just as Strange Brew did to her earlier in the tournament?

We’re back.

November 19, 2009

It’s been a while.  We’ve missed you.  Come play with us again.