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March Movie Madness

03/13/17: March Movie Madness, Round 1, Part 4

Maximilian Rivera March 13, 2017
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By Scott Tennant | @Breakdown_Scott

Welcome back to March Movie Madness! Our first matchups are in the books and here are the results:

#5 The Princess Bride defeats #12 Die Hard
#7 The Matrix defeats #10 Heat
#1 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind defeats #16 Up
#4 Mad Max: Fury Road defeats #13 The Wolf of Wall Street

Here is our next batch of movies to vote on. Descriptions of each below!

1980’s #2 The Shining vs. #15 Say Anything…
The Shining: The Shining is an oddball; released to critically tepid response, and slowly building momentum until it has risen as one of the finest horror/thrillers of the 1980’s. Stephen King may not love this adaptation of his novel, but audiences sure do, as The Shining has proven to please horror fans, cinefiles, and the casual audience member alike. It’s hard not to admire the way Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance unravels over the course of the film, and the way the creepy environment builds a sense of dread draws the audience in. Iconic moments from Nicholson and Shelley Duvall make it memorable and timeless. –Scott Tennant
Say Anything…: 
Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut produces what may be the iconic filmmakers best film, and possibly shaped the coming of age story for years to come. Where many films struggle to accurately portray teenagers and young adults, Say Anything thrives, thanks to an incredible script from Crowe, and a great performance from leading man John Cusack. Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler is quirky, spastic, and a total dork, but he’s so endearing and feels real. If you haven’t seen it, watch it now, and you’ll finally get the iconic decleration of love with the boombox and Peter Gabriel. –Scott Tennant
1990’s #8 Fight Club vs. #9 Forrest Gump
Fight Club: With a twist so prevocative and culturally defining, Fight Club became an incredibly popular film with audiences of all ages, and became a universal lightning rod of controversy, but more importantly, acclaim. David Fincher made use of creative editing to make the film have an almost dream-like quality, and solidfies that with excellent performances from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. It’s hard to talk about Fight Club in any meaningful way when everyone seems to know about it already. Besides, the first rule of Fight Club… ​–Scott Tennant
Forrest Gump: Tom Hanks at his best (and that’s saying a lot). A coming of age story for one man, and all Baby Boomers on the way. A movie that ditches stereotypes of people with disabilities. A movie that glorifies the achievements of this country without ignoring the problems along the way. A tearjerker that will make you feel happy to be alive, and to long for a simpler time that admittedly was not so simple after all. A piece of Americana that does not glamorize or sugarcoat. –Joe Leonard
2000’s #6 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King vs. #11 No Country for Old Men
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Capping one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of all time, based on the most influential and popular fantasy series of all time is no small task, and Return of the King sure does deliver. It’s a long movie, but is so excellently paced that it feels like it flies by. This one has everything that made the first two films so good: huge battle scenes, the treacherous journey into Mordor, hobbits overcoming insurmountable odds, and building an even more fleshed out version of Tolkien’s world. Everything audiences love about Lord of the Rings, in it’s biggest and grandest version. –Scott Tennant
No Country for Old Men: Everyman welder Llewelyn Moss happens upon the remains of a drug-deal-gone-bad and walks away with several million dollars in a briefcase. That briefcase becomes a flame attracting some very interesting moths throughout the course of the film. No Country for Old Men does not have much of a score or a clear-cut moral resolution but the Coen Brothers’ mix of tension and dark humor make this crime drama my dark horse pick in the 00s bracket. Moss happens upon the remains of a drug-deal-gone-bad and walks away with several million dollars in a briefcase. That briefcase becomes a flame attracting some very interesting moths throughout the course of the film. No Country for Old Men does not have much of a score or a clear-cut moral resolution but the Coen Brothers’ mix of tension and dark humor make this crime drama my dark horse pick in the 00s bracket. –Jon Darling
1990’s #3 Her vs. #14 12 Years a Slave
Her: First of all, I would fall in love with Scarlett Johansson’s voice in a heartbeat. No question. And as someone who spent the better part of a decade in a long distance relationship, in depth conversations reach to the heart. So when I watched Her, I wasn’t just pleased with the fantastic storytelling, but was more blown away by the top notch performances by Johansson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams. On top of all of that, the simple, futuristic designs are both naturalistic, yet fantastic enough to feel like the future. Best of all, Her embraces the awkwardness with such an earnest lens, that you’re bound to feel everything on the stage deep within your own heart. –Max Rivera
12 Years a Slave: 
Probably the best movie that you’ve only seen once… and that’s okay. It’s very powerful stuff, and hard to stomach for the faint of heart; director Steve McQueen pulls no punches and doesn’t embellish anything for the sake of sensation. The movie is praised for it’s historical accuracy, but that’s not all. A wide and talented ensemble shows off their talents here with excellent displays all around, powered by the excellent writing and powerful direction from McQueen. –Scott Tennant

It only gets better from here! Keep following The Critical Breakdown on Facebook for updates on the voting, as well as checking out our weekly podcast for even more great content!

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.