Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Movie Review: Stuck In Love

I stumbled upon Stuck In Love on Netflix. I was skeptical of the name, it sounded like one of those cheeseball romantic comedies from the mid 2000's starring Mark Ruffalo. Turns out its working title was "Writers" which makes a hell of a lot more sense, considering it is about a family of, you guessed it, writers.  Once I saw the cast consisted of Greg Kinnear, an old favorite Jennifer Connelly, a new favorite Kristen Bell and the excellent Logan Lerman, I was sold.

In sum, Greg Kinnear is a divorced father who refused to believe that his wife(Connelly) isn't coming back to him.  He snoops around her house and still sets a place for her at the table. Literally everyone he knows thinks he's a starry eyed idealist that does not live in reality. His son is one of those quiet high school kids that wastes his prolific mind pining after a girl he will never actually make a move on and his daughter is, a philosophical college student who sleeps around to avoid getting attached to anyone.

Eventually, because this is the movies and things have to happen, all the characters are forced out of their comfort zone.  Kinnear begins to start living again(all the while holding out hope his wife will come back), and implores his son to start living in general.  His daughter, Sam, meets a guy who slowly pulls her out of her cocoon (Earnestly taking care of your sick mother is a great way to pick up girls).  In much the same way as "White" "Crazy Stupid Love and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", the main character, although wounded, slowly starts taking initiative in his life and moving on and then, unintentionally starts to gain the affection that they are moving on from.  It's an old, but underutilized and rarely well executed story line that Stuck In Love, as well as the other three, nails.

The acting is amazing. Kinnear is exceedingly likable, and a lesser actor with a worse script would have made his character a moping misanthrope. Jennifer Connelly is one of those people that can show shyness, confidence, vulnerability, pain and happiness in a single smile.

The movie isn't revolutionary, and it isn't required viewing. But it is an honest movie about relationships and people.  In the end, you find out that Kinnear's character has been living in reality the entire time. And there are multiple references to Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love", which in itself wins my approval.

One last thing, ever since Juno came out with that iconic, kickass indie movie soundtrack. Every single independent movie tries to fill their movies with unknown artists playing pensive, simplistic, one instrument, mildly ironic songs to the point of irritation.  Stuck In Love does this also, but actually succeeds to the point that you don't realize how cliche the soundtrack is. So, another tip of the cap.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Great Gatsby

I wonder how many people that have criticized Baz Luhrmann's version of The Great Gatsby have ever actually read The Great Gatsby.  Maybe critics are still angry at Luhrmann for his version of Romeo and Juliet.  Sure, Luhrmann had teenagers who couldn't speak the cadence of Shakespeare scream and dance all over the screen.  Romeo and Juliet was deemed too over the top, too modern, too 90's, too everything.  People do not give credit for the trend it kicked off of Shakespeare adaptations directed toward teenagers.  After a modern, yet faithful rendition of Hamlet, the adaptations drifted further and further away from the source material, and in doing so, actually created legitimately good movies.  10 Things I Hate About You and "O" were completely modern, and completely well done movies.

But, I digress. Luhrmann received some flack, as he does, for Gatsby's modern soundtrack and "over the topness". I will tackle the "music" first.  In order to translate the feel of Gatsby's parties to a modern audience, and well, any of the numerous parties, including the one that prompted the excellent "Within and without soliloquy", you need modern music to convey the energy.

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

  In regards to the "over the topness", the 70's version of Gatsby was bland and unremarkable. Gatsby's home was astounding, and the parties were large, but it didn't feel special, it didn't feel energetic and it certainly didn't do justice to the idea of The Roaring 20's. Luhrmann's version produces a visceral kinetic energy that allows today's audience, which is used to overindulgence and being assaulted by various mediums, to understand and feel the greatness of these parties. To match Fitzgerald's writings, you have to create a world that exudes life and emotion and energy.

This isn't to say the movie is perfect. It isn't, and I don't like the narrative creation of the narrator writing to his therapist.  I would've preferred Nick Carraway whimsically writing his memoir's at an older age. Or plot device to structure the narrative at all, just narration, or tie it in at the end. What was settled on was weak, flimsy and unbelievable.

Overall, The Great Gatsby was a visually stunning movie with an excellent cast that did what all adaptations strive to do, effectively convey and honor the original.

Friday, May 9, 2014

1st Round NFL Draft Thoughts

I'm a man who likes to seize opportunities. So when I can mention Mike McMahon in a post, its un-American to not jump all over that.

I don't know why I watched ESPN during the 1st round of the NFL Draft. I should've watched NFL Network, I find Mike Mayock far less abrasive and far more entertaining.  But, mocking Mel Kiper is a lifelong hobby of mine and the ESPN coverage is like an Epic Fail YouTube Compilation that I keep finding myself watching.

I don't know when ESPN became this incarnation of ESPN, maybe it was when they changed sets. I hate how they create stories, and then beat them to absolute death. I don't care about if Johnny Manziel likes Cleveland restaurants. I don't care if he goes into "freefall" as Adam Schefter screamed.  I just don't care. He's a talented and entertaining college football player that doesn't project well to the NFL. Yet there he is, getting picked ahead of Teddy Bridgewater for reasons that I simply will never understand.

I don't know what incriminating pictures Mel Kiper has of the higher ups of ESPN, but after all these years of being wrong, I can't figure out how he still claws his way onto the air. My favorite Kiper display of idiocy was the 2007 NFL Draft. From the second round on, Notre Dame running back Darius Walker was ranked in Kiper's top 5 "Best Available". Guess where Walker was drafted? He wasn't. This was also the year Kiper vehemently argued for the merits of Jimmy Clausen. This actually happened.

This year, he calls Greg Robinson a "holding penalty waiting to happen". If Robinson is a holding penalty waiting to happen, does that mean Cyrus Kuandjio is holding someone right now? If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, is Cyrus Kuandjio still holding?

And the tantrum about Taylor Lewan getting picked by the Titans because it didn't match need? Why the fixation on need? You know who drafts BPA consistently over need? The Seahawks. Where are they right now? Why shouldn't the Titans draft a tackle? Oher is no lock at RT and Michael Roos is excellent but all about finesse, they need another mauler to match with Chance Warmack (my favorite o linemen from last years draft).

I hate to rave about Teddy Bridgewater, as that is often the kiss of death for any rookie quarterback. I liked Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, Jamarcus Russell, Troy Smith, the list goes on. Bridgewater isn't perfect, but he was by far the most NFL ready qb in the draft. And yeah, he needs to work on his deep ball, but the overemphasis on arm strength is shortsighted. You need zip, you need to be able to drive the ball into tight places, but vision, anticipation and accuracy are far more important traits.

Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Matt Stafford, Andrew Luck all have massive arms and are good quarterbacks. You know who else had cannons? The aforementioned Jamarcus Russell, Mike McMahon, Ryan Leaf, and the always inconsistent Carson Palmer. The difference between the two groups? Work ethic, fundamentals, anticipation, accuracy. Bridgewater has all of those. So, now that I've damned Vikings fans to more bad quarterback play and yearning for the days of Dante Culpepper, I'll take my leave.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hashtag: Soapbox

A shit show like this OF COURSE is going to work out for our heroes, come on, this is Hollywood. 
I think this will be short and sweet, but we won't find that out until I finish my last word. 

Starting with the realization that Clarence was supposed to die from a head-wound at the end of True Romance, as any good moviegoer knows, I find myself in shock they settled on the crutch of life and let him live. They even filmed the original ending. However, spoiled and pampered audiences hated the ending and the plot was forced to change for the friendlier, happier of him riding off into the sunset with Alabama, head bandaged and asleep, with only bright days ahead for them.

When I compared this happy couple in love to another happy couple in love, I preferred the other couple. The couple is none other than Romeo and Juliet.  

I think she gets naked. 
Take these medieval fools as an example of how things should be done. They court each other, faced obstacles from the start, but overcame them enough to give themselves false hope. Then the false hope converts to disappointment, passed off as earnest, but nonetheless pretty misplaced. Add in more assumptions and overreaction and they both rightly die. The medieval times didn't need a happy ending. In fact, nothing about the medieval times were very happy in the first place. Hmmm... in fact, I think this whole story is just as guilty of being full of shit as True Romance. Think about it, medieval people didn't have Netflix where they could just have a lazy Sunday filled with marathoning a TV show they're finally getting around to seeing. No, they fucking worked non-stop. Food was a constant source of worry. Winter came and who knew if you'd even survive it. There wasn't central heating. Fun was asking for a death sentence. I bet there was a medieval Joe shouting from a cabbage box about how ridiculous an idea it was that Romeo and Juliet were even doing anything but working. Seems like a silly idea now that I think about it. 

I think you'd have to go back to the Romans and the Greeks to find good stories that didn't pamper everyone,  actually full of events that would actually happen. But I digress.

Back to True Romance so we can finish this up. He should have died, she should have died. They were in the middle of a brawl containing law enforcement, mafia, and rich Hollywood egotistical snobs. It would have still been a good story if they died. Or even if she lived somehow, I feel like both of them living and then running away with the money is like the Washington Wizards making the NBA finals, and then improbably beating whichever juggernaut makes it out of the western conference. Low probability. I hate it when movies don't make any sense. Remind me to talk to you about The Island sometime. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Movie Review: Mud

Ah, the idealism of youth and the destruction of it.  Life is always more complicated than it seems. Mud was marketed as a Matthew McConaughey movie, but the main character was really the kid, Ellis and his buddy, Neck Bone. Yes, his name is Neck Bone. Its set in Arkansas, on the river. Ellis and his family live on the river. His parents marriage is crumbling, but Ellis himself is a hopeless romantic. Neck Bone gives Ellis a book on how to woo women. Ellis figures out that the best way to attract the opposite sex is by beating the crap out of other suitors. Ellis and Neck Bone also meet a drifter named Mud, hiding on a desolate island in a boat stuck in a tree. Ellis gets drawn in by stories of his love for his girlfriend Juniper and fixates on the idea of an everlasting love.

This sounds like a cheesy Nicholas Sparks plotline in words, but picture this in a dirty, rugged, accented Arkansas kind of way, takes the cheese off and makes it a little edgy.  At worst its sharp cheddar.

Because growing up is about disillusionment, Ellis sees his girlfriend blow him off, and the adult relationships he admires are more complicated than he can comprehend. This is all going on while Mud is trying to run off with Juniper while bounty hunters and police are hunting for him for murdering a crime lord's kid. The movie comes to a head in a brief, but kind of badass hail of gunfire. The movie ties up nicely in that it ends in each character, the ones that live anyway, come to an understanding about life.

I feel like this movie could've been longer and deeper. The cast is excellent and the writing is strong enough to support a heavier script and story.  Maybe there is an unedited version of this sitting around somewhere, although I don't think you'll ever see a Directors Cut released for this film.  Which is too bad, as this is an honest, but positive movie with a great cast and a good feel to it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1994 Movie Bracket: Second Round

Apologies on the wait on round 2.  Nevertheless, here are the matchups.

Pulp Fiction vs. Dumb and Dumber

 I think I'll make my Pulp Fiction argument on the merits of one scene, my absolute favorite scene, the Jackrabbit Slims scene.  This scene is better than the "Tic tac sir?" "You sold my dead bird to a blind kid?" scene, or even the "I desperately want to make love to a schoolboy!" scene. I have always adored this scene and it changed the way I watched movies and what I wanted from movies.  It was like that first time you graduate from whiskey to good bourbon.  You enjoy the multiple flavors, you sip your drink, exhale and reflect. 
Jackrabbit Slims is described by Vincent as a "wax museum, with a pulse".  Its one of those diners that you see every now and then, in the world of chain restaurants they become more and more of a rarity, but your booth is built like a car and all that.  The waiters and waitresses are dressed as celebrities from the 50's.  We learn all this as the camera follows Vincent in, as he wanders through the tables, processing it all. Vincent and Mia have a trite, getting to know you conversation. Vincent debates the merits of a five dollar shake, Mia's short lived acting career, they talk about bullshit, and they know it, and the audience is supposed to know it. But its still great because that's the point of the scene.
 Then, there is silence, it isn't an angry silence, which is 99% of silences in movies.  It's just silence. They sit back and just take it in with Dick Dale strumming away on the loudspeakers.  Tarantino lets the scene breathe. Its not rushed, it just is.  Soon enough the silence ends when Mia talks about awkward silences, then the iconic dance contest occurs shortly afterward.
There have only been a handful of scenes that have impressed me as much as that one. Its just awesome in every way.
My most blaring thought is the potential easter egg behind Mia's short live acting career. There is considerable merit behind a theory that her canceled show is in fact none other than the two Kill Bill Volumes. Pretty cool stuff. 

I think Pulp Fiction is super cool. It's one of those movies that you recognize as cool, put it number 2 or 3 on a list of top movies in 1994 and expect it to make it a couple of rounds. But then a co-collaborator describes a really cool scene and you agree with them. Then you remember watch hiding scenes, and McDonalds scenes, and wallets that say "Bad Motherfucker" on them. And all of those are just off the top of your head. That's when you brace yourself for the future, brace yourself for what you're going to have to go through once a movie like this faces a movie with similar caliber. 

But let's take a moment and talk about Dumb and Dumber, they've had a hell of a season and have some scenes that will likely make the hall of fame someday, or at the very least, join their individual rings of honor. My favorite scene in the whole movie is at the end. You've just gone through stupidity redefined and think it's all over. Nope. A bus of bikini models breaks down. Coincidentally they are all wearing their bikinis and they ask for help getting to their next destination and then offering the two hapless guys jobs. I imagine those jobs were on par with being a professional hand bra or suntan applicator. Of course, they decline the invitation and instead just help them with the directions. Based off of some irrational honor they hold dear. The bus takes off and Lloyd or Harry, I can't remember which, realizes the huge mistake they passed up. They flag the bus down and run up to redeem themselves. You, the audience, hope and pray they get everything their innocent, dumb hearts deserve, are only led on to be fooled once more. They didn't want the jobs.. they had just given them wrong directions. This movie can leave with its head held high. 
I hated the ending when I was a kid because I didn't realize that there was no other way the movie could end. Also, the production company wanted to change the ending and have them get on the bus, to make it "happy", Jim Carrey refused to film it.  Hilarious scene though, from the "Do you know what you've DONE?!" to the dramatic pause, the slow turn and the point while saying, "The town is back that way." Great movie.
Winner: Pulp Fiction
Forrest Gump vs. True Lies
Is it fair that Forrest Gump might lose points with me because the screenwriter lifted the Forrest Gump story and format and shoved it around the plot of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? That movie has all the same tricks. The main character is an outsider, but in a special way, there is a girl he loves who treats him terribly, he goes to war and is surrounded by one note characters with funny names, he saves a bunch of guys. Through it all he waxes philosophical without any point.  I think Ron Howard directed that movie too.  The only redeeming part of that movie was the battle scene, well, not the scene, but the cinematography and sound editing was amazing.  Back to Forrest, there is something about this fucking movie that stirs emotion in me.  I alluded to this in the first round, but aside from the hokey bits and the bitching of Lieutenant Dan, there are some rock solid emotional scenes. Some happy, most of them sad. Forrest is a canvass for most of this movie, only towards the end do you see the depth that he has. The monologue that ends with "I wish I could've been there with you" "You were", is perfect.  Terrible things happen to this guy, he loses a lot of people he loves, but he still enjoys the beauty in life.  

True Lies, as you have articulated, is a fantastic action flick. It's a barrel of popcorn and a seven dollar soda kind of movie. Forrest Gump makes you think a bit, and I think it blows Arnold out of the water on this one.
Forrest Gump can't lose points because it was imitated! That's the highest form of flattery. And Button wasn't so bad. Pretty terrible, but not that bad. You have to wonder why Brad Pitt refused to have Blanchett when she was so young and beautiful. Not to mention all the times he just walks away after she tells him to walk away. Who does that?! 

Anyway, True Lies compared to Forrest Gump is like comparing AC/DC to Led Zeppelin. Of course AC/DC will always have a place at your beach picnic once all the kiddos have ventured off to test their mettle against the tide and the adults break out the beers, but it will never be used for thorough cleansing of a soul. Led Zeppelin washes over you in a therapeutic way that reinforces whatever insecurities need consoling. Despite how cool True Lies is, I can't really find many good cases to watch it again. Probably if you find out a friend of yours has never seen it. Or I could see some guys getting together on a saturday/sunday in a shared house and playing it while they recover from a hangover. However, it just doesn't have that ability to be appropriate in any mood. With Forrest Gump, you have a movie you can watch if you're happy or sad, energetic or lethargic, or if you had just seen it a week earlier. The movie is so well made that it feels like 18 different movies in just one. You have: child Forrest, high school/college Forrest, army Forrest, ping pong Forrest, fishing Forrest, running Forrest, married Forrest, and finally, single dad Forrest. And each of those parts have there own scenes that steal the show. The first time you meet LooteNINT Dan, Bubba's ability to name shrimp dishes, hold on- I must stop myself- Forrest deserves some originality still for the next round, it'll only get harder from here. Really quick though, thinking about all those life events of Forrest, all I can think about is how well edited the transitions are made. Brilliant flow. 
Pat: I agree that True Lies fits the ACDC billing, but Forrest Gump and Led Zeppelin? Comparing such an innocent movie to a band that lifted a great many of their famous riffs from uncredited blues musicians, whose lead guitarist kidnapped a 14 year old girl and got away with it, and wrote more nerdgasm rendering fantasy lyrics than Rush? I'll let that one slide, as we both agree on the outcome here.
Winner: Forrest Gump
Red vs. Lion King
I believe my argument can be summed up thusly:
The thing that really appeals to me about The Lion King is that it was such a classical story.  The story was inspired, or lifted, from Hamlet.  The legendary "to be or not to be" speech perfectly encapsulates the conundrum of Simba in The Lion King.  It has the same measure as the "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'" monologue from The Shawshank Redemption.  It is something everyone can identify with.  Setting out and living, opening yourself up to pain, rejection, in order to achieve that which is most fulfilling.  This is the crux of so many stories..  Sure, The Lion King presents this story through animation and celebrity voices, but the point remains.  Michael Mann's Collateral presents this through a flurry of bullets and a cab ride. Realizing that the "What the fuck are you still doing driving a cab?" bitchslapping from Collateral follows the same thinking makes me realize I'm just a sucker for these kinds of monologues.
Long way around to get to this, I'm sure there are a lot of movies that attempt these great redemption stories, and fail to evoke any kind of emotion.  The Lion King succeeds.  That's why that clip I sent you exists, people grow up, and the movie pulls deeper than nostalgia.  The Land Before Time was a movie I loved as a kid, just adored, I probably saw it 10-12 times in the theater. I bought it in college in a fit of nostalgia, it was weird and unsettling.  I don't have any nostalgia about The Lion King, I see it as it is, a great movie. And yeah, I just waxed philosophical about a fucking Disney movie, what of it?
Joe: I am red with rage when I admit to myself that The Lion King deserves to move on past Red. Kierslowski was great, Red is an amazing movie- ripe with existentialism that resonates with honesty in a way all independent films set out to accomplish but always fall short. For every Ruled, there is another movie can counter or almost counter. I give credit to The Lion King, because it is an absolutely amazing Disney film. It more than appeals to children without being too trite. In fact, it has a fresh feel to it, a culmination of what was started with Beauty and Beast and Alladin. It was the first animated film to have a star-studded cast. Beauty and the Beast had Angela Lansbury and Aladdin had Robin Williams, but The Lion King had Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cheech Marin! Are you fucking kidding me!? The Lion King was the zenith of the second golden era of Disney. It is the highest grossing animated movie of all time. Pocahontas (more on that in the next round) dropped the goddam ball. Only Christian Bale was in that, and only in a bit role. Fucking Pocahontas. You're just the afterbirth, Pocahontas, slithered out on your mother's filth.
Winner: The Lion King
Pat: I watched your acclaimed White, as a man of honor and fair play should.  I feel like the movie will need to be digested,but here is a couple of thoughts, including why I don't believe it can advance past Shawshank.  I didn't watch White with the intention of poking holes in it, I just watched it.  I think that, having seen White and not Red, I would enjoy Red more as the story of Red appeals to my nature more than White.  However, White in itself was very interesting in its own right.  I don't know the guy who plays Karol, but I feel like he was perfectly cast.  His build and mannerisms seemed childlike in nature, awkward, innocent and insecure.  When he gains his fortune, he looks like a guy new to the role of success, dressing and acting how he thinks a rich businessman should, rather than embodying it.
I think what is so fascinating about White is that Karol is constantly unbelieving that Dominique loves him.  He doesn't believe that she truly loves him until he fakes his death and she cries at his funeral. Once he has his proof, once he feels validated, he goes about seeking revenge, all the while still crazily in love with her, or the idea of her, I am not sure which.  It's an amazing treatise on the pain we choose to inflict on the ones we love.  

I still believe that The Shawshank Redemption is a better movie than White, although I respect White immensely for its layered story and portrayal of humanity.  Shawshank provides a purer catharsis. Karol experiences his own strange validating catharsis at the end of the film, but Red and Andy meeting at the ocean, although not as deep as the last shot of Karol in White, is more gratifying.  I didn't find myself rooting for Karol, while throughout Shawshank you are more invested in the characters.  Their freedom, their happiness, their last release, finally free of the constraints of prison and society, at the ocean, because the ocean has no memory, is as pure a moment as any in movies.  The purest core emotion of why we go to movies, is to feel good, to feel hope, to be amazed.  Shawshank drags you through two hours of shit, with brief moments of fleeting happiness until the ending. Its a movie driven by hope, and finally, the hope is rewarded.  White's amazing and there is a place in film for White, but The Shawshank Redemption is a place you go time and time again because we never tire of stories that make us feel good.
The thing I liked about White was its storytelling. Same reason Shawshank is compelling. Both movies refuse to pander to the audience- in terms of making sure the lowest common denominator is on board with the plot, although Shawshank does rely on narration to move the story along. Typically that is a weakness, so I'll count it as such and at the same time pardon the verdict without further thought. While both have fluid stories, Shaw shanks my heart more. 

I like what you said about Karol acting like a child. Spot on. I'm glad you took the time to watch it, hopefully you'll finish the trilogy and maybe we could even argue about the merit of the useless movie Blue. 

Editor's note- saving my best shank related puns for the next round. 
Winner: The Shawshank Redemption
Final Four:
Pulp Fiction vs. Forrest Gump
The Shawshank Redemption vs. The Lion King

Sunday, March 30, 2014

1994 Movie Bracket:



It has been a long time, but Table 71, like the phoenix, has risen again.  Since we are all about finishing what we started, we have flipped the format a bit, but are continuing our journey through the movies, year by year, from 1990 to present day. 

Instead of basing the seeding on movie revenue as in years past, the members of this blog ranked their favorite 16 movies for 1994.  We averaged out the ratings, and the highest ranked movies made the final sixteen.

Format wise, it’s a conversation, between two of the writers, Joe, and Pat, debating the movies and coming to a consensus. Enjoy.

 (1) Shawshank Redemption vs (16) Natural Born Killers

Pat: I used to love Natural Born Killers, and I think that's because I felt like I was supposed to.  That's back when I loved everything Oliver Stone put out, Wall Street, Platoon, JFK, and Natural Born Killers. NBK was an uncomfortable viewing experience shot like an MTV music video, a Michael Bay movie on crack and beating your head into the ground with its message.  I get what Oliver Stone was doing, or trying to do with this movie and it’s an interesting take off from Tarantino's original script. Its attempts at moral relativity are intriguing; however, I prefer a little more subtlety in my movies.

The Shawshank Redemption is a complete movie. A movie I stumbled upon on TNT in the 90's and realized that this movie is two things, very good and very long.  It's about one of the simplest things in humanity, hope.  It would be easy for this movie to be sordid and dreary, instead it balances the dark moments with the fulfilling moments.  The beers on the roof, the building of the library, the rapport between friends and the scene where Andy snuck into the warden's office to play opera across the entire prison yard.  The ending is as gratifying and fulfilling as any movie I've seen. I could write about this movie for days, but we've got an entire bracket to get through.


Joe: Natural Born Killers was lucky to even make the list. Thanks to NCAA sanctions for drug abuse, insanity, possible bribes, and animal abuse, the Mighty Ducks 2 (further known as D2) was removed from the list. So after getting snubbed as a bubble team, NBK was able to make the tournament, take lots of photos, tournament programs, some free t-shirts and other tournament memorabilia, and of course, stories to tell their grandchildren. Not a bad take away for a movie which wasn't even supposed to be here. Good for them.

I think NBK definitely wins the award for "Just Happy To Be Here".

Winner: The Shawshank Redemption

(2) Forrest Gump vs (15) Ed Wood


Pat: How about Forrest Gump and Ed Wood?  I'll admit, I haven't seen Ed Wood since I found it scrolling through the stations one night, paused, said, "Hey, That's Johnny Depp." and moved on.  Forrest Gump is not only a film classic but an icon of pop culture.  It's incessantly quotable, appeals to all ages and features one of the greatest contemporary music soundtracks since American Graffiti.  It is a goofy movie, given all that transpires ("Invested in a fruit company") but the rare human moments, where Forrest isn't running across the country, are what makes the movie great. Forrest asking to see his son, Forrest taking care of his mother as she is dying and Forrest talking to Jenny's grave are three scenes that add some depth.  Does Ed Wood compare?


Joe: Precisely. I'd say the closest it gets to an upset is during the filming of "Bride of the Monster." We watch them steal a giant octopus from a movie studio, but Paul forgets to swipe the machine that moves its arms/tentacles. As they are about to film by the lake, Bela Lugosi come down with a minor bout of "daddy needs his medicine" and Ed leaves him alone to rest up in the car. Well, after a full needle of "rest," Bela shows up at the lake shore pumped, he quenches his thirst with some whiskey, and convincingly has a life and death struggle with a fake octupus whose arms/tentacles are unable to move by themselves. Wood says cut and stands in awe. The movie has just hit its purposeful brilliant low as it shows Ed Wood observing his early directing high.

Not to mention that I think it's this movie that lets Hollywood know just how good of an actor Johnny Depp can be. Sure, Depp's other Burton movie where he plays an Ed is great and everything, but it likely wasn't suuuuuper hard to play an emo man who has scissorhands. This Ed though, the consensus worst director of all time, is chippy and cheery. A crossdresser. A failure. He is an optimistic, yet constantly on edge because he fights for all that he gets. 

I tell you, Pat, if it wasn't for some early season losses that hurt its RPI, we would be seeing this movie with a bit better seeding and a chance for the second round.

Winner: Forrest Gump


(3) Pulp Fiction vs (14) Major League 2


Pat: Pulp Fiction is one of the most iconic films ever made.  Major League 2 is a shameless money grab with the dull storyline of "How people deal with success." which is far less interesting than "People trying to achieve success". Major League 2 still has some good moments; Jack Parkman, Rube Baker and Harry Doyle are all memorable characters.  But it’s a turn your brain off on a Saturday afternoon on the USA Network kind of movie. By the way, you remember when the USA Network used to try and be risqué? There was actually a show called Silk Stalking’s. America.


The dialog in Pulp Fiction, and the script itself, is so clever and tight, actors still get together to do live reads in front of audiences 20 years since the movie came out.  I also like that, unlike other Tarantino films, the camera observes, rather than creates. The dialog is the star here. Consider the long steady cam shot of Jules and Vincent’s "Merits of a foot massage" debate and the slow zoom of "Pumpkin's" robbing restaurants idea.  The soundtrack is this smooth amalgamation of 60's Dick Dale surfer tunes and 70's funk, and it fucking works.  In the heaving drudgery of mid 90's movies, Pulp Fiction was the Fab Five, a breath of non-conformist fresh air, running and gunning its way through to the next round.


Joe: Pulp Fiction was the movie equivalent of having an all freshman starting line-up who wore shorts down to their knees. Kind of knocked the wind out of Hollywood. I mean, who saw this movie coming?! Now-a-days you take this movie for granted. It's still elite, but there is an entire genre now looking to emulate this movie's flair. Before Pulp, there were movies just as violent, but everything else about the movie was groundbreaking. The flow of the movie was cool and crisp, the dialogue and action toyed with the movie-goer. It was like a killer whale playing with a seal pup long after it had died. Pulp could have gone any direction it wanted to at countless times throughout the movie, but what I loved is that it always went the way it wanted to go. Pulp Fiction was the... wait, why am I still pumping up Pulp? Screw Major League 2... this is a 65 point blowout victory for Pulp. This is Wichita State taking care of Cal Poly. At least Ed Wood showed up to play.

Winner: Pulp Fiction


(4) The Professional vs (13) Red


Pat:  This matchup is sponsored by the country of France. I haven't seen Red, but I've seen The Professional. The Professional is one of those movies that could easily become just a grisly bloodbath if they didn't execute the human interest story so well.  Usually if a movie pitched the "recluse hitman takes care of orphaned girl" storyline, I'd think it sounds like one of those screwball action comedies that are good for the whole family.  Instead, Jean Reno plays Leon with such subtleness that he never makes false steps acting.  His performance is nuanced and is the perfect foil for Gary Oldman's iconic over the top, Mozart listening mass murdering government agent.  Oh, and the action scenes kick ass, "Call everybody" "What do you me-" "EVERYBODY!" The Professional is like one of those Bobby Knight Indiana squads, run the motion offense well, excellent effort, and cuts you apart with a bevy of screens and mid-range jumpers.  Sell me on Red, I think it might be another Sarunas Marciulionis.  Acclaimed, introduces the Euro-Step, but not a next level player.

 Joe: Red could be the Cinderella team of this tournament. In all circles of critics, it is rated higher than its brethren White. I just happen to personally like White more.

It has been "certified fresh" by rotten tomatoes with a modest score of 100%. Like it's counterparts in "The Three Colors Trilogy," the movies tell a story. It's more than that, though. Like when a respectful person says they want to talk with you, rather than talk to you. As Roger Ebert tells it, "They are metaphysical through example, not theory: Kieslowski tells the parable but doesn't preach the lesson."

All three movies made Ebert's "Great Movie" list, a list that consists of only around 300 movies from the beginning of time to his death.

Red follows Valentine, a young model who accidentally runs over a dog on her way home. After some vet attention, she returns the dog to its owner who is a retired judge. The judge, we find out, intercepts the private phone calls of his neighbors. Oppositely of his former career, he observes without judgment. In his retirement, he seems thrilled to know the facts behind each case. He is content to see the whole truth rather than pass a verdict based on biased evidence from two sides. He is also a scorned lover, something he shares with Valentine and another young lawyer who has an apartment across the street from Valentines. The judge accurately predicts the dismal outcome for both of their personal affairs. Of course, it is alluded to that, if not for age, Valentine and the judge could have been lovers themselves. Something the story gently alludes to as Valentine and the young lawyer almost cross paths a few times through the film. 

Since Roger Ebert loved Kryzysztov Kieslowski so well, and understood him best, I'll end with this quote, "All his films ask why, since God gave us free will, movie directors go to such trouble to take it away."

Pat: Ah ha, I can tell by your lack of instant concession that you want to fight me on this.  Should I ding you for using the great Roger Ebert to prop up your argument? Also, using the great Roger Ebert is like saying "You should watch this rom com, Nora Ephron wrote it", instantly you have my attention.  Ebert was at his highest level of film snobbery in the 90's, when his ego and educated meshed to create a film critic who scorned anything that wasn't deemed "High art".  In later years, after many trials and tribulations, his reviews became softer, more open minded.  Red was the right movie at the right time to crack Ebert's list, does that add or diminish the honor?

If I'm a complete film nerd, I'd acquiesce, but we are about more than just well shot scenes and deeper meanings. How many times have you watched Red? I've seen The Professional multiple times. And yes, Red may have you asking deep questions, but The Professional appeals to less subterranean emotion, corruption, revenge, and friendship.

It's interesting that the core of both these movies is a relationship with an age gap that inhibits a more romantic relationship from fostering. I would argue that Leon's growth, from the morally ambiguous arbiter of cash driven justice, is greater than the Judge in Red. Movies often overstate emotional growth, The Professional knows it is a slow, hesitant process, and displays it as such. 

Your Serve.


Joe: When I heard about The Professional freshman year of college, it seemed like a gift. You know, the sort of movie that actually nails a genre and should be appreciated for the feat it accomplished, because you're not sure the next time a movie studio will nail a concept or succeed at putting a twist on an already great niche. Natalie Portman was hot that year. She had made the guilty pleasure that is "Garden State," and was an established Queen in the Star Wars universe. Then I find out there is this awesome movie where she is an orphan assassin intern. Awesome! And I enjoyed it a ton, hit all the right spots. Solid Movie.

The reason I can't look past Red is because The Professional reminds me of those girls that you were lucky to hook up with and don't regret for doing it. It just does not hit me as a movie you especially need to go back to after the first time or two. I don't need to watch it again because it won't surprise me. It had a great first run through, but the pace of the movie and rational story arc makes a repeat viewing come off as a chore. Quite introvert meets extrovert orphan child and they form a symbiotic relationship. 

Red on the other hand is an engrossing movie, if it were mainstream enough to be shown on cable, I would most assuredly get distracted by it. Kieslowvski writes a sensational story that is entirely plausible. There are never any plotholes in any of his movies. It's absolutely brilliant the way it seems that he stumbled in the an incredibly interesting story and just filmed it for the way it played out. Whereas The Professional is a movie where you can tell a writer made up and imagined what would happen if this cool thing did that cool thing with that other cool thing and then puts together a story from there. Like what if cars, planes, and other machines could become giant robots? And then they imagine all the wicked stuff that would happen. In Red, you're compelled by a story that is in every way plausible since Kieslowski seems unconcerned with having inventing scenes to help with what has to happen. He seems to have a supercomputer that can play out situations. The passion each character shows in their situation leaves you stunned by the beauty of free will and human interaction. 

Winner: (13) Red


(5) The Lion King vs (12) Hoop Dreams

Pat: I went my entire childhood without watching The Lion King. That was a fact that dismayed and shocked many people my age. By the time Lion King came out, I had ascended to watching PG-13 movies, so when I saw Lion King for the first time three or four years ago, it was without the childhood Disney blinders at all.  So, it is without a childhood bias that I can proclaim that The Lion King was one of the greatest Disney movies ever made.  The Lion King joins Rocky 3 and The Godfather with having one of the best beginnings in all of cinema.  The plot, of course, is standard among Disney movies.  After the death of their father, the young protagonist begins a journey encountering colorful characters, life lessons and personal growth before achieving their potential and vanquishing their adversary.  Rarely is it so well executed as The Lion King.  Scar, voiced by Jeremy Irons, remains one of the best cartoon villains.  Also, if you want to see what it would be like for Scar to run an international investment firm, watch Jeremy Irons in Margin Call.  And the music, "Circle of Life" "I can't wait to be king" "Can you feel the love tonight?" and my personal favorite, "Be Prepared", complete with goose-stepping hyenas.  To me, this is one of the titanic Disney movies, and I am not a Disney nerd like a lot of people.

I've always found Hoop Dreams depressing, I think because it was meant to be.  It definitely is an eye opening view of the journey inner city kids go through to achieve their basketball dreams.  I've watched Hoop Dreams a couple of times and it never really popped to me.  Maybe because I knew that neither kid made it to the NBA and that their families never fully escaped the violence of their neighborhoods.  However, Hoop Dreams is an important movie as it showed the 99% of high school athletes that don't end up playing professionally.  For every Blind Side, there are thousands of tales like Hoop Dreams.  Both are good movies, tough call.


Joe: Hoop Dreams is an important movie. In this tournament, it is the bizarro Shawshank. The whole movie is about hope, everlasting hope, hope that just teases you until it uses you and leaves you washed up and alone. Granted, a couple of the kids actually used their college ticket and elevated their lives. But, the fact I need to write that sentence shouldn't be a statement sentence, ideally. "Oh wow, the black kid actually made something of himself. Good for him. I can sleep better tonight." Once more, Hoop Dreams is an important movie. It shows us how bleak these inner city families live their life. Their offspring are living lottery tickets, in the very real sense that, yes, maybe they'll make it big time. More often than not, though, they are duds and you'll be lucky enough to earn back what you paid through a community college scholarship.

The horrible truth about this movie, along with the recent documentary Blackfish, is that nothing is going to change. This is Jurassic Park's Dennis Nedry meeting up with blatant, unavoidable problems, and then yelling out, "we've got problems, we've got problems here! See... nobody cares." 

The Lion King on the other hand is one of those special keepsakes from my childhood that immediately earned full tenure and a penthouse suite in my brain. This movie is like the song, 'Oh I just can't wait to be' ...watching this movie again! Unlike other 1994 hits, this movie hasn't aged at all. You could Men in Black style erase everyone's memory, release this Disney movie next year opposite an original Pixar and it would take home the academy award for best animated film. This movie plays like a team, the way basketball movies are supposed to play. You have Mr. Bean playing Zazu. An old, black Rafiki doling out wisdom. Ferris Bueller plays a lion. And Jonathon Taylor Thomas methods acts young Simba (I honestly thought JTT was going to be my mentor in life. He was a couple years older, wiser. He's show me how to woo a women. Alas, he fell off the planet. No hard feelings, JTT). I haven't even written my 1,000 words on the Mufasa/Scar relationship. Which reminds me, Scar is one of the best villains of all time. Simba got lucky in that last fight scene, let's be honest. If Scar hadn't called that TO when his team didn't have any, he might have continued to rule and finished fucking up Pride Rock. 

The Lion King easily won this round, they should have sat the starters a lot earlier. Timon, Pumba and Rafiki's Bruce Lee impersonation could have easily sealed this match up.

Winner: (5) Lion King


(6) Dumb and Dumber vs (11) Blue Chips

Pat: I've seen Dumb and Dumber over a hundred times, maybe even 200. It has finally worn out its rewatchability.  Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn are stupid, and it’s funny.  It's dumb humor, but it works.  Dumb and Dumber appeals to our most basic of humor, physical comedy, stupidity and bathroom humor.  This was the first Farrelly Brothers movie that involved a couple of losers going on a road trip to track down a girl named Mary and certainly wasn't the last.  I'd argue this was Jim Carrey's best and most timeless movie of 1994. Ace Ventura was wackier, The Mask was more polished, but Dumb and Dumber was a perfect combination.  I could literally quote Dumb and Dumber and their butchering of common phrases all day, and that's what makes good comedies work, by giving us a place to laugh consistently, if predictably.  Also, Jeff Daniels saying "Flush you bastard" with his pants around his ankles will never get old.

I was so jacked up when Blue Chips was coming out.  I rented on my birthday, stoked to see Shaq and Anfernee Hardaway, two of my favorite NBA players, in a movie.  When the movie ended, my 10 year old self was confused.  I thought the movie was good, but I was a little lost, the movie went way over my head and I think was deeper than what people expected.  This was around the same time as The Program came out as well as Sports Illustrated calling for Miami to close down their football program, the ills of college sports was a hot topic.  

Btw, Independence Day is on, "Release me!" "Get him out of there!"

I've never seen a sports movie with as good of basketball sequences as Blue Chips.  They had actual athletes, actual pro players and actual coaches.  Of course, it led to some wooden and terrible acting and Nick Nolte's performance was like Jordan on the 86 Bulls.  I liked the point of the movie though, a legendary coach in a struggling program fighting with the reality that he would have to cheat to get back on top.  His last speech, where he comes clean after beating Bobby Knight and Indiana, is excellent as it addresses the urgency to win and the impatience of college sports.  Overall though, Blue Chips didn't click as it came off as overly edited.  The movie didn't flow and it felt like important scenes were cut completely out which hurt the plausibility of the movie.  


Joe: I always felt lucky to have never really seen Dumb and Dumber until my early 20s. I had seen it, but only in segments. The first run through, it was obvious how brilliant the movie was. It took genius to be that dumb. I cannot wait to see Dumb and Dumber 2. Come on, Carrey! Come on, you stupid son of a bitch! Live! LIVE! LIIIIIIIVVE! Speaking of which, it is absolutely fantabulous that Carrey has worked 20 years off of 3 movies he made in one year. He is in the Adam Sandler (see you next year) hall of fame. The distinguished halls where you hold full A-list tenure even though looking back, you only made a few good movie in a year or two and then just shelled out shit on all your fans. Only they don't realize they are getting shit on. They leave the theater thinking they had fun, but really, they feel numb. It's the sort of numb you get after being violated, only your central nervous system blocks it out as a self-defense mechanism. Jesus, I just went full circle. Being excited about D&D 2, to admitting my abuse. Fuck it, another Carrey movie is another chance at the brilliance of 94'! Let's roll the dice!

I've never seen Blue Chips, but I know that any movie that features Shaq can't be that good. Also, it seems awfully suspicious since it seems like one of the last films before Nick Nolte became Nick Nolte.


Pat: Carrey hasn't completely struck out since 94.  Liar Liar is hilarious, The Truman show was excellent and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a brilliant movie.  Jim Carrey's naturally a dark person, most comedians are. I first saw him in Doing Time at Maple Drive when he was a brooding youngster.  His career choices have vacillated between goofy and grim. 

Winner: (6) Dumb and Dumber

(10) True Lies vs (7) Speed


Pat: True Lies is a funny, clever action movie.  It succeeds where others have failed.  It’s hard to find brutish action heroes with comedic timing, but Arnold pulls it off.  Tom Arnold is the requisite funny man, but Arnold plays his role with a wry swagger, almost breaking through the fourth wall.  His wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, plays the role of the audience, as a naïve and blank canvass looking for some excitement. Ok, enough trying to add depth to this flick. Bill Paxton is cheesy and hilarious and I find myself actually believing his character, which I don't often do with Bill Paxton's performances.  True Lies is a fun movie that you can jump into at any moment and go along for a ride. Oh, and it introduced me to The Tango.

Speed is a fucking action movie. Its gripping, intense, and adds just enough levity with Sandra Bullock and the other colorful characters on the bus.  The premise is simple, a terrorist has rigged an LA city bus with a bomb that will go off if the bus drops below 55 mph.  Enter: Keanu Rivers, action hero.  Keanu is perfect in Speed, he doesn't have a lot of dialogue, doesn't have to convey many emotions and just stands there and looks out the bus window while intermittently swearing while is partner (Jeff Daniels everybody!) tries to put together the clues to catch the terrorist.  Of course the villain is Dennis Hopper, who has a history not just with Keanu Reeves character but with the LAPD resulting in a clunky ending (after their mental duel on the bus, here comes a first fight on a speeding subway!). 

Speed is a good movie filled with bit actors, Cameron from Ferris Bueller and Dyson from T2 to name a couple that add to the movie but don't make it feel too busy. Also, I refuse to let Speed 2: Cruise Control dampen the greatness of the original. That was a complete dumpster fire.


Joe: Liar Liar was all right. Truman Show and Sunshine do not count. That's like comparing Baseball Deon Sanders to Football Deion Sanders.


Pat: Weak comparison. It’s not a different sport, he was just playing the game a different way. Kind of like when Brett Favre reinvented himself from a flame throwing gunslinger who made poor decisions to a sage veteran that outthought defenses...wait a second, that never happened. Speed has to win here.

 Joe: Haha. I agree Speed advances. It just has to. That said, this is why True Lies should have won.

Like the great pyramids of food, I'll start with the tasty morsel that sells everything and move down the solid base of why this movie continues to be lauded and has an annual run in theaters across the country that sells out in seconds. 

Tippy Tip Top: The villain dies be being fired whilst dangling from missile of a harrier jet. That.. is... AWESOME! The harrier jet is the most useless masturbation the military ever pulled off. It's aerodynamically useless. It has one party trick that gets old quick. But exactly how quick though... maybe I was wrong about this trick getting old. I was definitely wrong, it's an awesome trick. It can just hang in the air like a bumble bee, I mean hummingbird. 

Next Level: All the secrets in the movie. It was spying the way spying was meant to be spied. First the husband hides things from the wife, and then the wife has to hide things from the husband. Is your head hurting? No? Get some Advil. Got it? Good. She was hiding things from her husband so she could go work for a secret person, who turned out to be... her husband! Then both wife and husband have to hide things from the daughter. And I'm pretty sure the daughter was doing drugs or getting too far with her boyfriend, so she was hiding something too. 

Middle Level: This supports all the juicy secrets, and it is none other than the spying itself! You see Arnold dancing with beautiful exotic women, using cool gadgets. Talking to himself.. wait.. nope! He is talking to Mr. Arnold. Speaking of which, the layers of Arnold in this movie almost deserves its own category. But seriously, Arnold S. kicks all sorts of ass. Which brings me to..

Almost most important layer: All the action. Action upon action. Skiing action. Fancy mansion action. Harrier action, as has been previously mentioned. Middle East/East Africa terrorist action. Hot mom action. Which brings me to...

The most important layer: All the sexy sexiness. Damn, Jaime. First she is this wife who you could see an average guy marrying and not totally regretting it, even though his eye probably wonders many times a day. Then all of sudden she is brought into the spying fold (see above) and we see her do a striptease! And she's great at it? And looks great while doing it? And then she's this whole other woman the rest of the way. She nails the lead singer role. Then, since the paying audience might not have had enough, they throw in all these super smoking hot back up sexy ladies. Evil villain sexy ladies. Throw away scene stealing sexy ladies. In my opinion, and this could be the 8-year-old, and probably more accurate, 10-12-year-old who got to see this finally, all the awesome sexiness is what I remember from the movie. This movie taught me about sex, but in a comforting way. Not in a scary way. Not in a corrupting way. It was jolting enough to really open while eyes, while innocent enough to assure me everything would be O.K. 

God Bless this perfect movie. 


Pat: See this is why we do this.  For arguments like that.  The officials are conferring at the scorer’s table and reviewing the videotape.  The decision has been reversed, True Lies wins.

Winner: (10) True Lies

 (8) The Mask vs (9) White

Pat: The Mask is one of those movies made for the underdog.  You have the weak willed, fragile, cowardly Stanley Ipkiss. The great thing about Stanley, is he knows his life sucks, and he wants to change it, he's just a complete chickenshit.  One day, he finds a mask that turns him into a zoot suit wearing goon with all the confidence in the world.  Jim Carrey's character, like his character in Liar Liar, is given an avenue to not have a filter.  Absurdly discarding society’s conventions is the root of most comedy, and it’s the heart of most of Carrey's comedic work. The Mask robs a bank, settles a score with crooked mechanics, performs a fantastic song and dance number and gets the girl.  Without The Mask on, Ipkiss, knowing he's capable of such action begins to grow a backbone and wages a romantic duel with himself over the love of the beautiful Cameron Diaz.  Cameron Diaz cut her hair after this movie and has never looked even 1/10 as good as in The Mask. The villains are funny in their own right as they seem to know they aren't even that high on the criminal totem pole.  This, combined with their stupidity gives them a humorous vulnerability. 


This movie isn't as good as Dumb and Dumber, but it’s still fun to watch. 



Joe: Ah, the mask. What a fun movie. Weak ass villains, though. In fact, I'm still mad about the fact The Mask was chosen over the regular season champion Ace Ventura. But, that's why we have conference tournaments.

Mask has one great transformation scene, more than few "isn't this Diaz girl the hottest thing you've ever seen?" scenes, and a weak ending. To expound a bit about the ending, every time I watch the ending, it hooks me in, I think things are really going to go to hell. That evil guy is just a dick mobster type, but then he gets the mask on and you're scared. I was, and still am terrified when I think of the bad guy when he gets the mask. The problem is that it really isn't that big of a deal. Honestly, before you know it, the dog or maybe a lost orphan gets the mask and then the situation is pretty well averted. Overall, the movie only has a few highs. Great ones, but it is a campaign built around a couple big games. 

Now White, let me tell you about White. It is the second of the Blue, White, and Red trilogy by Kierslowski. My roommate got me into it and I had to start off on Blue. What did I think of Blue? Fuck, Blue. That's what I thought of Blue. It's this uptight bitch who lost her family, can't cry about it, and mopes around Paris doing nothing but being a mopey bitch. God, I really hated Blue. Still hate it, but I reverse the right to change my mind when I rewatch it in few years. Anyway, I was thoroughly downtrodden about my moral obligation to continue the trilogy and watch White. My obligation paid off in huge dividends, though! Within the first few minutes, you find out that the main character is an award winning polish hairdresser who is in divorce court because he can't hold an erection to consummate his marriage with his incredibly beautiful French wife. I mean, she is gorgeous. Not in a vain, whore-ish way, either. In a natural beauty, someone you would gaze at and get lost in sort of way. She turns out to be quite a huge bitch, the kind whose ego is hurt by this normal dude who can't fulfill her the way she needs to be fulfilled. She leaves the dude homeless and with a warrant out for his arrest, he has to be smuggled back to Poland in an embarrassing fashion. Once there, and I'm skipping over a lot, but once there, he overcomes depression and turns himself into a millionaire to win her back. And win her back he does, but it's not the happy ending you'd expect. It's a pretty great ending. Imagine wanting to impress someone, and eventually you succeed to the point they are obsessed with you. You don't abuse them at that point, but during this process you gained confidence and still have confidence as they are now fawning over you. It's one of the best stories I've ever seen watched in my life. Among the trilogy, it is the 'comedy,' and I think that might be why I admire it so much. It's brutally honest, but shows a driven man succeeding through realistic cunning measures.

Winner: (9) White


Second Round is coming soon. Matchups are:



2nd Round:

(1) Shawshank Redemption vs (9) White

(2) Forrest Gump vs (10) True Lies

(3) Pulp Fiction vs (6) Dumb and Dumber

(5) Lion King vs (13) Red