Surrogates (2009) -vs- Gamer (2009)

June 28, 2010 Rodney Twelftree

Would humanity be better off if we all plugged into an artificial reality where our dreams, nightmares and fantasies can come true? In a strange way, both “Surrogates” and “Gamer” attempt to explore that question. With vague flashes of “Minority Report,” “The Matrix” and “I, Robot,” “Surrogates” plugs us into a bizarre world lived through robotic versions of ourselves, while “Gamer” answers the new-age-old question of what life would be like if we could live inside a video game vicariously, through actual people. Both films question our belief that fantasy would be better than reality, but which one does it more successfully?
[…]

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009) -vs- The Boondock Saints (1999)

June 17, 2010 Rodney Twelftree

“All Saints Day” is a complete miasma, a disaster of film-making that will surely spell the end of Troy Duffy’s career, which was pretty much over prior to making the second film anyway. Instead of trying to take the MacManus brothers in a new direction, Duffy has rehashed the original film (even finding new ‘characters’ that can replace the old versions and hoping nobody will notice! Duh!) to the point where everything in “All Saints Day” is irrelevant.
[…]

Clue (1985) -vs- Murder By Death (1976)

April 7, 2010 Rodney Twelftree

Murder – The Ultimate Crime. Comedy – The Ultimate Genre. Therein lies the rub! Can you make a murder mystery into a successful comedy? After all, murder isn’t all that funny. “Murder By Death,” written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore, was an homage to the great detectives of old, such as Charlie Chan, Sam Spade, Miss Marple, and others. “Clue,” directed by Jonathan Lynn and set in the world of the board-game Cluedo, tapped into the psyche of the 80’s and evolved into a slapstick styled comedic farce, driven by a star turn from Tim Curry. One is a sly indictment of detective clichés, the other, an innuendo ridden cliché of the genre itself: together, both these films represent the zenith of mystery comedy of their times. But which one is the better film? Lets turn off the lights, shine a torch up on our faces, and prepare to get utterly scared in this murder mystery showdown!!
[…]

The Hangover (2009) -vs- American Pie (1999)

February 19, 2010 Rodney Twelftree

Boobs. Booze. Swearing. Got your attention? Sweet. It’s the return of the classic sub-genre, the Beer & Pizza Movie. That is, a movie you can only really enjoy with a group of mates, some beer, pizza, and a desire to be amused in an “adult” manner. Unapologetically wallowing in gratuitous nudity/swearing/adult themes, and generally politically incorrect, Beer & Pizza Movies are often lowbrow, tasteless cinematic buffoonery dressed up as social satire.So it is we take a long, hard look at a couple of “classic” Beer & Pizza movies, each containing their fair share of the aforementioned unmentionables. Hard to believe it’s been over a decade since Stifler drank that modified cup of beer! Both films were critical and commercial successes, but which one tops the bill as the ultimate Boys Flick? Grab a slice of day-old pizza, zip up your trousers, and read on to find out which of our combatants would win in a boozy brawl!
[…]

Quarantine (2008) -vs- Cloverfield (2008)

February 7, 2010 Rodney Twelftree

Sometimes, it’s the reality of a scenario that scares us the most. Film-makers are turning to more and more alternate methods of delivering a film to jaded, YouTube-obsessed audiences. With the two films on offer in this Smackdown, we delve into the world of “found footage” cinema and its gradual proliferation among the mainstream today. One, “Cloverfield,” takes us into New York city during a terrifying alien attack. The other, “Quarantine,” (a remake of a successful Spanish film entitled “REC” from 2007) delivers the story of a group of apartment residents, some fire-fighters, police, and a news crew, who become trapped inside a block of units when they are sealed in to stop the spread of a mysterious virus. Both are filmed in the Single Camera Perspective. Both are equally gripping. Both are filled with images and moments that will stay with the viewer forever. But which is better: alien attack and mass destruction, or simple, human drama played out with feverish speed and incalculable terror?
[…]

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) -vs- Twilight (2008)

November 25, 2009 Rodney Twelftree

In the battle of the varied mythological creations, Vampires have for centuries captured the imagination of people around the world. Novels, films, theatrical productions and poorly-decorated costume shops have enjoyed success based upon their existence, proven or not. Likewise the Werewolf, natural enemy of the Vampire, whose moonlit howl still sends a tremor down the back of even the most hardened myth-lover. Bringing these two epic creatures together in one film franchise has most of the female population of our planet all in a tizz. Why? Are the men they encounter in the real world really that bad?
[…]

The Green Mile (1999) -vs- The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

September 30, 2009 Rodney Twelftree

Prison movies have a long and proud history in Hollywood, keeping us in rapt attention to the plight of the modern-day inmate. While Hollywoods idealized prisoner is traditionally the wrongly accused, or the murderer with a heart of gold, there are some films so perfectly realized by a filmmaker that they transcend the genre and become classics in their own right. We have two to put in the ring together that share more than a screen setting. Both 1999s “The Green Mile” and 1994’s “The Shawshank Redemption” sprang from the original imagination of Stephen King and were brought to cinematic life by director Frank Darabont. As we approach the ten-year anniversary of “The Green Mile,” it’s probably time to ask if either film deserves our critical version of a lethal injection? Take our advice: order up what would be your perfect last meal and kick back for a double-header of life behind bars!
[…]

1 2