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This whole thing is going to be harder than I anticipated. So, today the epic battle of Toy Story and Empire Strikes Back was fought. Both childhood favorites. Both incredibly entertaining. Both technically, for lack of a better term, awesome.
Toy Story was up first and all throughout this movie I just could help but smile. It’s funny, charming, heartwarming, and full of great, basic themes that everyone can relate to. Everyone can find a character they relate to, or even several and that contributes to the overall charm that this great movie brings to the table. Also it comes complete with a great soundtrack from the great Randy Newman. “I Will Go Sailing No More” will at least get your eye a little watery every time that scene with Buzz’s revelation pops up. Simply put, this movie is fantastic and it was such a huge part of my childhood that I can’t help but love it the way I do.
Yeah, Toy Story is grea…..OH SHIT HERE COMES EPISODE V!!!!!! JKLFJALJKLSJ!
Look, Toy Story is great and I really thought it had a chance after finishing it and after only getting about 15 minutes into Empire Strikes Back. I should have known from the start that there was no conceivable way I could have chosen Toy Story over Empire, but it’s easy to forget the love one has for a movie after not watching it for a considerable amount of time. Empire just has it all. Epic action, drama, comedy, incredible special effects (for the time), and a phenomenal score provided by John Williams. The combination of Lucas’ ideas and Irvin Kershner’s direction was a tag team of awesome that could not be stopped this early in the tournament. Yes, Toy Story was indeed a large part of my childhood and is still a great movie, but Star Wars, more specifically Episode V, changed my life and shaped my childhood in such a large way that I can’t let it get booted out of this thing in the first round. There was just no way.
If this were a fight with real people, this is how it would have gone down: Toy Story and Empire grow up together as close friends and everything is going just fine and dandy. But over the years, things change. Empire gets bigger, tougher, nastier, and it’s higher up in the world than Toy Story. After years of jealousy, Toy Story and Empire find each other in a dark alley. Emotions run high. Toy Story pulls out a knife. Empire pulls out a gun. Toy Story dodges the first two bullets and gets close to Empire, giving it two deep cuts with its knife. Suddenly, Empire has disappeared. Toy Story is panicked because Empire just disappeared out of thin air! Then, Empire appears behind Toy Story with its gun against Toy Story’s head, point blank.
WINNER: Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
Now, in an effort to root out the true contenders for my Top 20 of All Time, I want to take a look and look at the worthiness of each of the losers of this tournament and decide it the losing movie deserves a spot or not. Does Toy Story deserve a spot? I’m definitely going to say yes on this one. It’s just too great of a movie for me to cast aside and it deserves recognition as one of my definite favorites. Thanks for the fight you put up, old friend.
And that was the first battle of this epic tournament. Only nine more to go…..just in this round. Wow. This is going to take a while. Hopefully you enjoyed this first installment. Comments on this entry and your thoughts on the movies I pit against each other is definitely appreciated.
I also want to start mixing the content of my blog up a bit. I plan to do a rotating schedule, which means that my blogging patterns will go as follows:
Week 1 – Top 5 movie related list (ex. Top 5 Sci Fi Movies, Top 5 Actors, etc. etc.)
Week 2 – Review of any movie I choose
Week 3 – Review of New Releases coming out in the theater on Friday and/or new DVDs that come out on Tuesday
Like I said, thoughts are always appreciated and I just want to say thank you for reading. Hopefully you liked it.
I know, exciting right? Being that it is March Madness time, I wanted to take my self professed Top 20 Movies of All Time and pit them against each other in a battle to the death. Friend against friend. Godfather against Dorothy. Truman against Darth Vader. Madness!!
When I look at this list, it honestly looks off to me. It seems too obvious to me and it doesn’t seem very personal. However, this may be good because it’s all part of the process. Over the course of March, I will be rewatching these 20 movies, choosing the winner in each match, and eventually trying to make more sense of my so-called “Favorite Movies.” Does that make any sense? Here’s the list:
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
4. The Godfather, Part II
5. The Wizard of Oz
6. The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers
7. 12 Angry Men
9. Back to the Future
10. The Truman Show
11. The Godfather
12. High Fidelity
13. A Christmas Story
14. Toy Story
15. It’s a Wonderful Life
16. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
17. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
20. Batman Begins
So, there’s the list as I see it today. Now, here are the first round matchups, after randomizing them:
High Fidelity VS. The Truman Show
Titanic VS. GoodFellas
The Godfather, Part II VS. A Christmas Story
The Godfather VS. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Back to the Future VS. The Wizard of Oz
It’s a Wonderful Life VS. Jaws
The Shawshank Redemption VS. Pulp Fiction
Batman Begins VS. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Toy Story VS. Star Wars: Episode V
12 Angry Men VS. The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers
Perhaps this will be much more interesting than I thought! Some great matchups, including my #1 and #2 going against each other in the very first round! One thing is for sure, these are going to be very difficult decisions to make. Obviously, I won’t get this done over the month of March. We’ll see how long it takes to get to the #1 movie.
My question to all of you is this: Should I post the results of each matchup after I watch the two movies, wait until I have at least 5 of the matchups ready to discuss, or just wait until I have finished watching each movie?
Hopefully all of this makes sense. I don’t really feel like explaining it all again.
As you obviously can see, my blog Greyson In Movie Land has now moved to WordPress. The blog is still under construction, but it now comes complete with an awesome header provided by my friend Parker Indrebo. I still need a new theme for my blog because I just realized it is the same as my acquaintance Kumar.
My hope with this revitalization of my blog is that I will start my posts again. However, instead of focusing exclusively on movies, I hope to include reviews of books, podcasts, and some of my general thoughts about various topics. If you’re reading this, I thank you. Look forward to the content that should be coming soon.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Okay, now for a more professional review…sort of. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The “film” is based on a novel written by Stephanie Myer, who was very involved in the process of the film. The plot from the book is dumbed down greatly for the movie and it is pretty basic: Girl finds cute vampire guy. Cute vampire guy likes girl….and wants to suck her blood out. Both fall in love? Sounds great, right?
Enough of the boring information and on to the review. This movie is awful from every single aspect. Plot, acting, DIALOGUE, and even direction are all severely lacking in this clusterfuck of a movie. Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson are painfully awkward actors, especially with each other. There isn’t a point in the movie where Pattinson doesn’t look like he’s on the verge of running to the restroom in a split second. Stewart provides the same monotone, boring emotion for every single line of dialogue in this picture. I’m not sure that her voice ever changes, no matter what the situation. It seems she has taken a lesson from the Keanu School of Emotion. The rest of the cast aren’t even relevant, but they are equally as bad.
Having seen the film Thirteen, I was actually rather excited to see what Catherine Hardwicke could pull of with this movie. Thirteen, it’s true, was sometimes annoying and sometimes boring to watch, but it’s a fairly solid film. However, Twilight proves that Hardwicke isn’t ready for the big time and she did not pull this off. Nevermind completely lacking the ability to get a decent line of dialogue out of even one actor, she couldn’t even really manage to shoot one redeemable scene. Twilight, despite being utter shit, has managed to gross massive amounts of cash and really hasn’t had anything overly negative said about it. It has just sort of been overlooked as being shit because of it’s massive fan base and ability to make some major bank. Not from me, however.
Overall, Twilight is utter garbage which virtually rapes the source material it originates from. From the hysterical, Ed Wood style acting and a script that belonged in the paper shredder, this movie is awful. Hopefully, you all didn’t suckered in to the hype and have managed to avoid this blemish upon the world of cinema.
1/10 and that one is only there because Kristen Stewart is mildly attractive.
For a movie with such a high reputation, a huge cult following, and praise from everyone on the planet, Nightmare Before Christmas really isn’t good at all. Directed by Henry Selick, Nightmare Before Christmas utilizes the stop motion animation respect. In this respect, it is very impressive and unique. Although it isn’t directed by him, this film just oozes Tim Burton. The film follows Jack Skellington who lives in Halloween Town and one day finds the entrance to “Christmas Town”. Skellington sees the traditions of this new world and he desires to emulate them in his town. Doesn’t that sound good? Well, too bad it is boring and poorly acted. The film is only an hour and a half long, but it feels a good hour longer than that. It is so difficult to get through and you’ll find yourself checking you watch several times throughout. The voice acting is some of the worst I have ever seen. Whoever voiced Sally deserved a good, hard smack in the face.
The popularity of this movie truly boggles my mind. I can’t really understand why some think it is so amazing. Is it just the fact that it’s so out there? Is it the animation? Is it just Burton’s cult charm? I’d be willing to bet it’s one of those, but it’s right up there with Napoleon Dynamite as the most merchandised shitty movie of all time. Also, I strongly recommend that you do not go and see this in it’s annual 3D theater run. The 3D is extremely disappointing, not to mention annoying and out of place. It’s a movie that wasn’t made for 3D, hence it looks awful as a 3D movie. If you agree with me and don’t like Nightmare Before Christmas, then I highly suggest that you go out and rent Corpse Bride. It is also by Tim Burton and is also stop animation, but it is vastly superior to its predecessor. Even if you did like Nightmare Before Christmas, check out Corpse Bride. There are few times that I’ve been more disappointed with a movie than when I saw Nightmare and that’s unfortunate. I sincerely wanted to love the hell out of this movie, but it wasn’t happening.
A thug. A punk. An inspiration. The greatest rapper of all time. A menace. A detriment to the youth of America. All words used to describe Tupac Amaru Shakur. The words I use to describe Tupac? A fucking genius rapper. Tupac: Resurrection was directed by Lauren Lazin and made in close collaboration with Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur. It is the story of Tupac as told by Tupac. Through archive footage, interviews, live performances, and narration by Tupac, it is as genuine and you could ever possibly get. What I liked most about this documentary was how it declined to show Tupac like the media did during his life, but instead showed him as an intelligent man who was proud of where he came from. Tupac’s intelligence is showcased in this documentary and his take on the world and all it’s goings-on rang true. This man was definitely a fan of Philosophy and I think that shines through in this film.
The music used in Tupac: Resurrection is absolutely phenomenal. Whether you’re a Tupac fan or not, you can not deny the brilliance of his lyrics, beats, and skills as a rapper. Even if don’t think you enjoy rap, I strongly encourage you to take a listen to Tupac’s “Changes”, “Hit ’em Up”, “Keep Ya Head Up”, and “Thugz Mansion” to get your first taste of Tupac. If you’re turned off by rap, I still believe you can like Tupac. I thought I hated rap for years until I first heard Tupac and I came back to the genre. It’s great to see Tupac live in this documentary because I had not seen much of that. I loved how Tupac explained the feeling of going onstage for the first time and the joy he must have had on stage shows in his live performances. The music of the documentary never stops and each Tupac song flows into the next through each scene. I highly reccommend the soundtrack, especially for the tracks “Runnin’ (Dyin’ to Live)” and “The Realist Killaz”
Tupac: Resurrection doesn’t show Tupac as some holier than thou kind of musical god. It shows Tupac’s flaws and run ins with the law. Shakur is quick to accept and acknowledge his mistakes, something that is uncommon with many pop culture figures. Tupac clears up misconceptions about his career and troubles that were distorted over time. He has two sides of his personality that are seen in the documentary. The quiet, reserved, and introspective Tupac and the loud mouthed, trouble making, rebellious Tupac. Both sides are intriguing to watch. Love him or hate him, Tupac was a fascinating human being and it’s a shame the trouble he caused caught up to him in a fatal way. In my humble opinion, the rap world has never been the same since Tupac was taken from it. The only rapper since Tupac who has been good is Eminem, but no one other than that. RIP Tupac Shakur: The rapper, the genius, the man who was proud of where he came from, the man who made mistakes, the man who changed the face of music, and the man.
10/10 for a fascinating, introspective, and unconventional documentary
“No man alive has witnessed struggles I survived”