Archive for the ‘Round 1’ Category

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.

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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.

Ken

Ken

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?


Beer Over Liquor

July 20, 2008

In an extremely scientific poll, 3 out of 4 80s throwdown voters prefer beer over liquor. They also apparently prefer Canada over Jamaica and dudes over Elizabeth Shue’s boobs …. wait, can I change my vote?

Despite the presence of Elizabeth Shue, Cocktail, the chalk, couldn’t hold off those crazy Canadians Bob and Doug MacKenzie and Strange Brew, #23 in the Just Say No bracket, pulled off the upset and will face the winner of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Cinema Paradiso in Round Two (to take place in 2014).

What makes Strange Brew so special? I’ll let the Canadians themselves fill you in:

PLAY IN GAME 128/129 Match, Just Say No Bracket

June 18, 2008

32.5 Akira v. 32.5 Planes Trains & Automobiles

Well It’s finally that time. I think all of us have been trying to avoid this matchup, because it’s really there as a novelty and a nod to the retards who made our brackets harder to fill out every march for bball. Of course, the competitors will call this a “First Round Matchup” so as not to downplay the match. But the winner faces Breakfast Club, one of 2 films to get a perfect score during our seeding meetings, and obviously doesn’t stand a chance in hell of advancing. But forget all that.

Yup. I have no clue what the hell is going on either. I am going to watch this movie without any dubbing or subtitles, the way it was intended to be watched. I figure there are enough explosions, mechanically impossible motorcycles, and zombie children to keep my attention, and think I might actually be less confused if I don’t know what the frick anyone is saying. Plus, I’ll pay better attention to the anime nudity I’m sure is spackled throughout this piece, and vow to also let you readers know the exact times when such nudity occurs. I know, I need help.

BFFs

And now enters two 80s greats that have yet to see the throwdown. Look at the leering glance here, the chemistry, the love, the tension, I could ramble on about this picture and its backstory for hours alone. And we’re going to get to watch 93 riveting minutes of John Candy bumbling around and hanging with a polka troop, while Steve Martin plays the straight man, the wrong-place/wrong-time character done correctly before Ben Stiller fucked it all up. The only bad part about this movie? I’m going to watch a lovable loser in John Candy, but I’m really going to be thinking about his untimely demise.

What’s it gonna be? Perhaps the first real Anime movie that started an entire industry? Or the buddy comedy of all buddy comedies, spanning not 1, not 2, but 3 different modes of transportation? And a side note, if it were filmed today, would the movie be called Hovercraft, Hybrids, and Segways? And is it obvious I just figured out how to autolink pictures?

– #5

Just Say No Round 1 – Hunting an alien in the Central American jungle vs. Hunting for treasure in the South American jungle

June 15, 2008

Predator 12 v. Romancing the Stone 21

It kills for pleasure, it hunts for sport, but this time, it picked the wrong man.

What do you get when you send two future governors and Apollo Creed into the depths of the Central American jungle to fight an interstellar alien creature? The answer to that question comes in the form of possibly the greatest of all handshakes in the history of American cinema…

…as well as an 80’s movie that has withheld the test of time and a series of sequels and crossover films.

What’s that you say? You haven’t had enough Michael Douglas yet in this 80’s throwdown? Well that is about to be remedied. Thus far in the throwdown we have watched Douglas in his roles as a sex-craving lawyer and a money-craving stock and real estate speculator. Now it is time to see Douglas in Romancing the Stone as a razmataz swashbuckling opportunist pitted with the 80s sexy Kathleen Turner as they encounter adventure at each corner. The really question will be if Romancing’s watchability will trump Predator’s fast paced testosterone filled guns and blood.

Just look at this movie poster above. Clearly this movie is packed with adventure in many many forms including swinging from ropes in sunlit canyons. If you like robust adventurers with shit-eating grins while they stare straight into the eyes of danger while leggy blonds hold on tight for dear life then this might possibly be the movie for you.

– Kobra Kai

Nice Mustache Nick, But Flying Cars Are Just Way Too Cool.

June 2, 2008

It looks a little something like this:

Livin' on the edge

Because Harrison is clinging to the edge, both as a metaphor for how ridiculously old he is (seriously, he sounded like the black death in Indiana Jones 4), and for how he pulled off this victory. We literally spent more time discussing where Venkman was when we needed to count his vote (answer: he was on the highway driving 95 mph while texting) than what our tally was. So, Blade runner won by a count of 3-to-a-strenuously-objecting-1, with Noonan declaring from the mountaintops that Blade Runner had no “watchability” or “re-watchability” or “pre-watchability” or some crap. I say: flying cars=easy win, end of story.

So end of story, in fact, that instead of details of the 4 minute vote and discussion, I’m instead going to talk about another recent film I watched with Harrison as the lead, namely Indiana Jones 4, or rather
How George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Managed to Skull Rape the Only Good Trilogy Left. Review of this abomination to follow.

I hate movies

***WARNING SPOILERS BELOW DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO WATCH THIS PIECE OF SHIT MOVIE***

We return to the saga of Indiana Jones, the once dashing and resourceful professor by day and priceless artifact adventurer by night. What’s he been doing since we last saw him melt some Nazis with the cup of Christ? Why he’s been working for the U.S. Army as a decorated secret agent of course. HUH!?!?! Indiana Jones does not care about the cause of one nation, and his only interest in war is what rare nickel osmosium plated shrapnel he can find on the intricately tatooed ass of the last of seven brothers sworn to protect the sacred tomb of Atatum Kamen. Apparently, he gave up all of that to work for the military as a spy, and now against the Ruskies of all folks. The red army is headed by a clairvoyant psychiatrist/archaeologist bent on knowing the secret of a certain artifact (I’m ok with this part so far). Never mind the fact that Indy survives an atomic blast by jumping into a fridge (cars and houses exploded to nothing, but that fridge was American made baby!), the artifact itself is what troubles me.

*Deep Breath*. The item that holds true power and could control the fate of the world as we know it is the crystal quartz skull of an interdimentional humanlike alien from 2000 years ago that ruled the Mayans and made them build the temples full of riches in places they knew would be torn to bits once they all sat in the proper places. The skull of the alien is super magnetic (but only when the plot so requires), causes you to go insane, gives you the ability to read minds and also become omnipotent (but that kills you), helps you find places you were a few weeks ago before going insane, and eventually opens an interdimentional gate that apparently knew it would be closed when one of the skulls was stolen. Now I guess the skulls were always there, but ancient thieves stole one, which is now in the hands of our new comic relief crackpot sidekick, and they have to put it back, so the skeletons can zoom back to their own world, which they were not in for some reason before. Yeah, I know, there really isn’t a purpose, shut up and watch the movie…he just has to take the shiny thing and put it back in the booby-trapped place, right? Oh no, even that’s not enough.

We also add in his past love, and apparently a son who is *gasp!* an “I don’t do what others tell me” resourceful kid who likes adventure. Of course, Indy doesn’t know it’s his kid, and though he hasn’t spoken to Marion in what must be 20 years, they of course fall back in love instantly and are married. He should give a seminar on how to get a chick pregnant, split, then get her back once the kid no longer can draw child support from the government seminars.

In an early scene, Indy sits at his desk with photographs of Marcus and his father, who are explained to have passed away in the past year. I can only pray that Indy’s photo joins them, because if our favorite heroes from 20 years ago can keep being “reborn” and “remastered” and “rebooted” over and over, then original thought is truly over and I’m going to kill myself.

***End of my spoiler of the movie that spoils half of my childhood***

– #5

It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.

May 20, 2008

Well, another match has been completed. The results are in, the votes have been counted, and there will be no recount. Heathers, backed by strong support initially from 1/2 of the Throwdown Panel, gained the needed 3rd vote after some great back and forth between the panelists. Almost more noteworthy than the actual movies in this match-up is the fact that we had our first split decision. We thought long and hard about how we wanted to handle this occurrence, and decided that the first step is to try to talk it out like the gentlemen we are. It worked this time as after a little back and forth, Heathers stole the 3rd vote, and moved on. In this case, no one was absolutely married to either movie, and a compromise of sorts seemed to have been reached. It will no doubt get more interesting, and quite heated, when an impasse is reached in deciding among lower seeded films that we all love. Anyway, here is a brief recap of each one of each camp’s initial arguments, either for their movie or against the other movie. In this recap, we’re going to focus on Fatal Attraction, as it was the higher seed beaten by a lowly underdog. So, what gives?

Mainly, the initial Heathers camp stressed that what we essentially have in Fatal Attraction is a VGMWMDPAL. This means “Very Good Movie Where Michael Douglas Plays a Lawyer.” Think about it. Have you really seen a movie where he wasn’t a lawyer (or a generic powerful businessman so maybe it’s VGMWMDPAPB) with a gruff exterior? I mean, we’ve already seen the archetype in this tourney in Gordon Gekko. Then we have Fatal Attraction. War of the Roses. Basic Instinct. Disclosure. The Game. A Perfect Murder. Traffic. Romancing the Stone. No wait, scratch that last one. In 2009, he will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko. Simply put, it just didn’t really stand out, despite the fact that it is a very good movie. Where Michael Douglas plays a lawyer.

Supporters of Fatal Attraction pointed out the fact that the movie was seen as pushing the envelope of good taste back in the day, much like Michael Douglas and would do some again some years later in Basic Instinct. They further pointed out Glen Close’s character and what an incredible job Ms. Close did. This cannot be argued. She is a great psycho. She scares the shit out of you when watch that movie…whether you’re male or female…but especially if you’re male. It’s been pointed out before that men have approached her on the street and told her that she saved their relationship, at least from being broken up by cheating on their part. I guess there’s just something frightening about the thought of a crazy woman pouring acid on your car, and then cooking your “daughter’s” rabbit. Seriously though…that was a their daughter?

I am convinced this picture has two penises.

So Heathers moves on, but it has a long way to go. Can the plucky upset keep it up? The girls will face the winner between The Big Chill and 3 Amigos. Onward!

-Venkman

Just Say No Round 1: Girl people inexplicably thought was attractive versus Detective John McClane

May 5, 2008

#16 Pretty in Pink v. #17 Die Hard

I know, I know. That’s not Molly Ringwald, or even a Pretty in Pink promo poster! Well, allow me to explain. We’re going to be watching a lot of movies during this thing. A LOT of movies. And we’re, hopefully, going to give each movie a fair shake, and approach each with an open mind. That said, in the interests of full disclosure, I will say I hate Molly Ringwald. I hate her with a passion. In Breakfast Club, another high ranking movie infected by this 80s Ginger, she plays the seminal 80s Princess/Cheerleader (well this is probably the seminal 80s cheerleader, but whatever, bear with me). Yeah. Fucking. Right. Everyone knows that cheerleaders look like this, and not this. Beyond that, I guess I never liked her because her name sounds like “ringworm.” So let’s see…an unattractive ginger wanna-be cheerleader that sounds like a fungal infection? You had me at unattractive, meowwwwww!

But after such a bashing, how can I remain objective? Well, I can overlook Ringwald, because there are good things about this movie: John Hughes, for one. Second, it’s a classic look at how rough and terrifying high school can be. It also has an underrated 80s power team in Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. How so, you ask? The two team up in another well-known 80s movie, Mannequin, which I lobbied for, but sadly didn’t make the cut. Big mistake, in my opinion:

Anyway, yeah Pretty in Pink. I’m going in with an open mind, but I thought I should get my feelings for Molly Ringworm on the table. And by the way, sorry for the pictures of her in those links. Cleanse your pallet with this (SFW, don’t worry).

For many of us, 1988’s Die Hard stands out as Reginald VelJohnson’s greatest work. Personally, I think that is like trying to name Michael Jordan’s greatest highlight: when you’re routinely operating at a level head and shoulders above the competition, no one play defines you. Such is Reginald “Reggie” VelJohnson’s career. Some people think of “Family Matters” as the height of his career, but to those people I say: Fuck you, people. Everyone knows Die Hard is where it’s at for the RVJ love, followed closely by his out of character role as a law enforcement officer in Turner and Hooch. His range is incredible. Don’t believe me? I’d point you to Tales from the Crypt “Werewolf Concerto” in which he played “Hotel Guest.” This guy can do it all. So for me, Die Hard is really a celebration of the Hollywood flame that burned too bright, Reginald VelJohnson.

Also, there is a fleeting 80s star named Bruce Willis in this, and he curses a lot, walks on glass, and shoots a bunch of Germans. Fun for the whole family!

Dr. Venkman

It’s a Bull Market

May 4, 2008

Wall Street is good. Wall Street is right. Wall Street works. Wall Street captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Wall Street also captured the hearts and minds of the voters in its first round match-up with Lethal Weapon, capturing all four votes to unanimously advance to the second round.

While both films nicely captured a pair of ubiquitous 80s themes – gratuitous nudity and cocaine use (and even the latter was rather unnecessary to the plot line of Wall Street) – Wall Street advanced on sheer rewatchability. There may not be nobility in poverty anymore, but there’s even less in being forced to sit through Lethal Weapon 21 years after it was made.

Mel Gibson’s mullet (and his ass) only allows for so much entertainment. Overall, the move wasn’t much more than your classic buddy cop film — only look, it’s a black guy and a white guy!

Wall Street, released just two months after the stock market crash of 1987 (I learned that one from an AMC commercial), captured an era. From the way Bud Fox’s million-dollar condo was decorated to the slick-backed hair, white collars on blue shirts and suspenders worn by Gordon Gekko. On top of that, in spite of the numerous viewings over the past 20-plus years, it still felt fresh and relevant. For that, it advances to the round of 64, where it will meet the winner of Stand by Me and Coming to America.

– Noonan

Jast Say No: Strange Brew (#23) vs. Cocktail (#10)

May 3, 2008

So what’s your preference – a fresh and tasty mixed drink or maybe a nice cold beer? How about some Jamican Rum, maybe? Or how ‘boot a Molson, eh? Our first matchup from the Just Say No bracket – an all-alcohol extravaganza – will answer all those questions.

In this corner we have the 1983 release, Strange Brew. The hosers in this film weren’t much different from the rest of us – always in search of more beer.

Though Strange Brew only grossed about $8.5 million domestically for its theater run, it definitely developed a cult following. And it provided my friends and I much more fodder with which to make fun of Canadians and their silly style of pronunciation.

Battling Strange Brew will be the 1988 film Cocktail, in which Tom Cruise provided the inspiration for bartenders worldwide to flip bottles and recite poetry — can I just have my goddamn drink already? This will be the first of numerous appearances for both Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue in this 80s throwdown.

As Couglin would say: Drink or be gone. One of these films will be the latter after this matchup.

– Noonan