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March Movie Madness

03/24/17: March Movie Madness Round 2, Part 1

Maximilian Rivera March 24, 2017
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By Scott Tennant | @Breakdown_Scott

Round 1 is in the books! Here are the results from the last batch of the first round:

#3 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back defeats #14 The Thing
#11 The Lion King defeats #6 Good Will Hunting
#10 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring defeats #7 Inglourious Basterds
#1 Inception ​defeats #16 Ex Machina

The winners re-enter the battlefield now. If you thought the first round was hard, just wait until you sink your teeth into these matchups. Here’s the latest ballot! Descriptions of each below!

1980’s #5 The Princess Bride vs. #13 Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Princess Bride: (defeated #12 Die Hard)
What on the surface seems like just another kissing story (as Fred Savage best described it) turns out to be arguably the greatest and most timeless comedies ever made. Rob Reiner’s classic tale is incredibly creative, beautifully shot, and features iconic performances from a deep and talented ensemble. There are comedic moments that are totally iconic in the genre, as well as the small moments between scenes and in the backgrounds that keep the audience buzzing. It’s physical comedy, funny dialogue, and situational comedy all coming together to create a perfect storm of humor, that today’s comedy films just can’t compete with. Inconceivable! — Scott Tennant
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (defeated #4 Ghostbusters)
What possibly can be said about Indiana Jones at this point that hasn’t already been said by it’s millions of adoring fans, successful and ongoing film series, and the numerous awards it has won? Harrison Ford is awesome here; every bit as cool as he needs to be, but also smart and cunning. His first trek here is the ultimate adventure film, that dozens of others have tried to emulate. Some have been good, but none can stand up to the legend himself.  — Scott Tennant
1990’s #1 The Shawshank Redemption vs. #9 Forrest Gump
The Shawshank Redemption: (defeated #16 Se7en)
The Shawshank Redemption is a total triumph of storytelling, character development, and catharsis in a movie. It is one of the few movies that successfully touches the viewer on many different emotional levels; while watching it’s hard not to feel the sadness, emptiness, and rage alongside Andy Dufresne in his situation, but it’s also impossible not to revel in the humor, in the little victories, and in the accomplishment as he pulls off his great escape. Wrap this all up in a visually satisfying and well-scored movie, and it’s easy to see how it became the top seed for the 90’s.  — Scott Tennant
Forrest Gump: (defeated #8 Fight Club)
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 #3 The Departed vs. #11 No Country for Old Men
The Departed: (defeated #14 Almost Famous)
This is the toughest Leonardo DiCaprio will ever be. A well-crafted film about corruption and appearances in police and politics. A perfectly cast bunch of characters, most of them pretty unpleasant. A 21st century classic that stands up to any noir cop movie of cinema’s Golden Age, with the grit and reality modern moviegoers have come to expect.  — Joe Leonard
No Country for Old Men: (defeated #6 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King)
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
2010’s #2 Whiplash vs. #10 Guardians of the Galaxy
Whiplash: (defeated #15 Creed)
Rarely do we see such intensity and hypnotic focus in films that cover niche topics like collegiate jazz band, but Whiplash is no ordinary film. The launching pad of Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle’s career, Whiplash draws you in with editing and cinematography so tight and focused that when it’s done it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Whiplash topped many critics best films lists in 2014, and took home a few Academy Awards for it’s trouble, largely thanks to the rhythm and swagger it shows in building a gripping story from a subject that seemed dry to me on the surface beforehand. — Scott Tennant
Guardians of the Galaxy: (defeated #7 Interstellar)
The favorite Marvel film for many movie fans, it’s quite amazing that in a world where seemingly every comic book superhero to ever exist has it’s own film franchise, that this oddball bunch has such a loud and loyal following. It’s a testament to just how good the movie is. Firstly, it’s colorful and visually dazzling. Every action movie these days utilizes heavy amounts of CGI and special effects, but Guardians deserves an extra special shout out for it’s imaginative work. The cast has a lot of natural chemistry and Chris Pratt’s charisma is utilized to full effect here. It’s a superhero movie that breaks many genre tropes and entertains wildly. — Scott Tennant

Thanks for participating! Keep your eyes on The Critical Breakdown for the next few weeks and help us narrow it down to the grand champion. And make sure to subscribe to our podcast for more from the podcast boys, every Tuesday.

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.