Double Feature Duel (Rd3): Planet of the Apes vs. The Nines

Double Feature Duel (Rd3):
Planet of the Apes vs. The Nines

Wow. A movie from the 60s actually got to the Elite Eight. Congratulations! I hope you didn’t pay for your hotel room tonight already.

Title: The Nines is ambiguous. I like ambiguous. Planet of the Apes is actually clever enough to throw you off of the scent. It is the first strike in a film designed to show you the left hand the entire time, while the right hand is poking you in the brain. In a good way. (Point, POTA 1-0)

Funnier: The dialogue in the middle vignette was positively delightful and Ryan Reynolds can now make me laugh by simply wearing worn-rimmed glasses. (Point, The Nines 1-1)

Better Turn: Huh. The Nines was split into three vignettes, which doesn’t usually lend itself well to turns. However, this wasn’t an average vignette-type of movie. Can you tell I like the word “vignette” yet? (Point, The Nines 1-2)

Better Ending: Not much is going to top the classic. I only wish I was around in 1968 to see it for myself. And only for that reason. Maybe to catch Hendrix in concert once, but then to hop immediately back in the Delorean. (Point, POTA 2-2)

Better Message: I’m struggling for the first time with the word “message.” Because The Nines’ strongest feature is the question it poses about creation. But is that really a message in the same way that “Don’t f@$# with nuclear weapons” is? I guess it kinda isn’t. (Point, POTA 3-2)

Better Acting: Uh-oh. Upset alert! Oh. But then there’s a category where I have to judge the acting ability of humans in fake, plastic ape masks. (Point, The Nines 3-3)

More Creative: Whatever credit I couldn’t give to The Nines for the message that wasn’t necessarily a message in the truest sense of the word, I will give here. Because it deserves the creativity points anyway, just in case my grading rubric is getting audited. (Point, The Nines 3-4)

Poster: I think this is a point that is going to a movie just because it isn’t from the 60s. Oh well. Audit that, stupid nameless auditors! (Point, The Nines 3-5)

Watch again: I may watch The Nines again even before I write up the last MvM. I should have watched it again the day I watched it the first time. Point is, it will get watched again.(Point, The Nines 3-6)

Overall: A surprising showing by POTA to be honest. I’m glad the 60s could be represented in the Elite Eight. But let’s get real, playa. Winner, The Nines (6-3)

Double Feature Duel (Rd2): Source Code vs. Traitor

Double Feature Duel (Rd2):
Source Code vs. Traitor

A perfect 10 that came out of nowhere vs. a movie that was a 4 for 2/3rds and a 7 for the other third, thus making it half as good in total. Let’s see how the numbers fall.

Title: “Source Code” peaks your interest you without giving away a crucial plot twist. “Traitor” doesn’t. (Point, Source Code, 1-0)

Funnier: Russell Peters was in Source Code and told a joke. That’s enough. (Point, Source Code 2-0)

Better Turn: Remember that one party hat you went to where they said “keep going straight up the hill – it’s gonna turn into a dirt road and maybe gravel and you’re gonna think to yourself ‘I must have missed it already’ – keep going. Then you’re gonna want to turn, not at the next tree stump, but the one after that.” Well, that was Traitor’s turn. (Point, Source Code 3-0)

Better Ending: I do like endings which don’t reach happy little conclusions for our tormented protagonists. And I like scenes with Guy Pierce. But I also really like quantum physics applied into mainstream movies. (Point, Source Code 4-0)

Better Message: I’m not a huge fan of loyalty beyond reason. As Thomas Jefferson approximately maybe said “Patriotism is the belief that your country is the best because you were born in it.” But this guy seemed loyal to a cause that he believed in. Plus, Source Code wasn’t really all about messages. (Point, Traitor 4-1)

Better Acting: This is a tough one. Mostly because I haven’t seen the movies in about two months now. But there wasn’t much special from what I recall about Source Code. There was slightly less nothing special about Traitor, specifically Guy Pearce. (Point, Traitor 4-2)

More Creative: Um. Even Big Fish would lose this race to Source Code. (Point, Source Code 5-2)

Poster: These posters are actually quite similar. I still don’t like that Jake Gylenhall is carrying a gun. And I still think I came up with a better tagline than “Make every second count” in 20 seconds. But “The truth is complicated” is just as bad. No, worse. No, just as bad, but not worse. Both could be taglines for every movie ever made. Seriously, pick one. Titanic? Citizen Cane? Do the Right Thing? So in this case, I’ll give props to the whole world disintegrating into tiles thing that Source Code is doing. It adds to the geekiness. (Point, Source Code 6-2)

Watch again: Definitely Source Code. No need for extra words. (Point, Source Code 7-2)

Overall: A much more dominant Source Code victory. I still wish – for the sake of this contest only – that I had waited two movies to watch Moon. I wonder how it would have done in the Cincinnati Quadrant. Winner: Source Code (7-2)

Double Feature Duel (Rd2): Adjustment Bureau vs. Escape From the POTA

Double Feature Duel (Rd2):
Adjustment Bureau vs. Escape From the Planet of the Apes

A creative movie with great dialogue and a horrible ending against one of the better movies in a series of bad films.

Title: It’s easy enough to spit out the company line about the length of the POTA title, which I already did in the first round. But Adjustment Bureau is too clever to go unnoticed. So… consider yourself noticed. (Point, Adjustment Bureau 1-0)

Funnier: I’ll give Escape its props, but the humorous dialogue from Adjustment Bureau drove the movie down its complex and windy path. (Point, Adjustment Bureau 2-0)

Better Turn: The turn in Adjustment Bureau made me turn my computer off and pay attention. And that’s hard to do, as I’m currently typing while watching another movie. (Point, Adjustment Bureau 3-0)

Better Ending: The Adjustment Bureau could have gone in a number of directions. Straight down off a Thelma & Louise size cliff is a direction. (Point, Escape 3-1)

Better Message: Escape kind of clocked us over the head with their message – almost more so than An Inconvenient Truth did, but it was still poignant. And Adjustment Bureau decided to concentrate on the swimsuit competition. (Point, Escape 3-2)

Better Acting: It’s tough to compare an Oscar-nominated actor with a plastic ape getting a truth serum. But I’ll try. (Point, Adjustment Bureau 4-2)

Poster: Neither of these is winning any awards. But Escape came out before graphic design was a profession. Adjustment Bureau has no excuse. (Point, Escape 4-3)

More Creative: Both are pretty out there in terms of creativity. Based on the parameters of “which would I least likely come up with on my own,” I’ll have to give the nod to apes that see their world destroyed in a nuclear war and go back 1000 into the past in a time machine. (Point, Escape 4-4)

Watch again: And in a deadlock at 4, I’m going to have to go with Adjustment Bureau hands down here. Sorry 1971, but even your good shit is kinda boring now. (Point, Adjustment Bureau 5-4)

Overall: A closer battle, but another POTA movie bites the dust at the hands of the Adjustment Bureau. Winner: Adjustment Bureau (5-4)

Quick Inside Slant: Week Eleven

Quick Inside Slant:

by Dustin Fisher
Impressions of the 2011 NFL season as perceived by a Creative Writing grad student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend (all same person).

Week Eleven:

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had your fill of turkey and cranberry sauce, which I’m still unsure of how it fought its way into this tradition. And I hope you all saw the refs and/or the NFL show how biased they are toward the Packers. Honestly, I want them to go undefeated and shove the Superbowl game ball up the ass of Maurice Morris. But it was embarrassingly clear that either the NFL issued that same sentiment to the refs or this officiating crew took it in their own hands.

There was a nice hit on Matt Stafford by Clay Matthews just as the ball was being thrown. Cool. Good timing. Approximately the exact next possession, Kyle Vanden Bosch made the same exact hit on Aaron Rodgers and was flagged for roughing the passer. There was also a flag for “pass interference” on the same play for playing defense against an Aaron Rodgers-thrown pass on the same play. And I can’t be sure, but I think I saw someone in black and white stripes actually throw a block on a punt return.

And to eject Suh from the game for simply trying to rip someone’s head off and stomp on them like a dirty turdhole? That seems excessive. What the NFL should do is actually wait until he kills someone. Because I think that’s where this guy is headed. He truly doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Much like Hitler. And yes, now I’ve compared a defensive lineman to Hitler. He’s that much of a turdhole. I wonder if he knows that killing is wrong.

Bonehead Play of the Week: It’s late in the fourth quarter. Odds of Sand Diego coming back are not good. Philip Rivers is chased out of the pocket and decides to throw the ball away. Rather than waste all that energy throwing it out of bounds, he throws it to the open field. And he gets picked off. This is not his year. He can’t even figure out how to throw an incompletion.

Bullshit Call of the Week: I’m not a fan of taunting. Or DeSean Jackson. Or cranberry sauce. But I am a fan of proper officiating. After a crucial 55-yard pass play from the 5-yard line during which there was a defensive penalty, Jackson flipped the ball at some players on the Giants sideline and did that “Look at Me” nonsense that makes me wish we’d bench him for the rest of the season. He drew a taunting flag and the penalties offset and the Eagles had to replay the down from the 5. But because the taunting came after the play, it should have been dealt with separately, after the outcome of the play had been determined. I’m not bitching here about judgment calls, because refs have a hard job and they miss calls in the speed of a game. I understand. I’m bitching about the rule interpretation, which a team of 7 officials on the field, given time to set their footing over the calls made, absolutely need to get right. That said, DeSean Jackson is a little bitch and I’ve given up on the Eagles already, so I don’t mind it that much.

Fantasy Dud of the Week: Week 10 was an amazing time for John Skelton. It looked like he was the next Tom Brady, if Kevin Kolb was Drew Bledsoe. He came out with 32 fantasy points and a fourth quarter comeback against the Eagles (surprise, surprise). Week 11. The 49ers have been pretty good, but there was no stopping this guy, right? Wrong. 99 yards passing and 3 picks, no TDs. -2 points. And he played all game. Yikes.

Hard Luck Team of the Week: Well, the Colts have a bye, so I’ll leave them alone. Besides, they lost Peyton Manning. Everybody knows why they’re losing. But I have no idea why Miami only has 3 wins. Especially after their 35-8 drubbing of the once high-flying Bills. It’s like they’re not even trying to win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes anymore.

Double Feature Duel (Rd2): The Nines vs. The Cove

Double Feature Duel (Rd2):
The Nines vs. The Cove

The most surprisingly good movie I’ve seen since Frequency vs. an Oscar-winning documentary. The ole narrative vs. documentary matchup. Not usually good for the documentary, but it made it this far so who knows?

Title: I do appreciate the brevity employed by both movies here, but I much favor the ambiguity of The Nines. Because if there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I enjoy ambiguity. (Point, The Nines 1-0)

Funnier: The murder of dolphins isn’t really high on the humor scale. (Point, The Nines 2-0)

Better Turn: For a three-vignette series, The Nines has the feel of a complete narrative. And up against a documentary, it has a chance. That chance is now gone. (Point, The Cove 2-1)

Better Ending: The Cove isn’t going to lose this too often. It stepped away from the narration to let the power of the final scene do the work. However, The Nines raised some existential issues that I still haven’t fully grasped. And it made fun of gamers. (Point, The Nines 3-1)

Better Message: Well, The Nines isn’t going to lose this too often, but there hasn’t been a more direct and efficiently delivered message since An Inconvenient Truth than what The Cove delivered. (Point, The Cove 3-2)

Better Acting: It doesn’t always play out like this, but usually the documentary get the point for the message and the narrative gets this point to even it out. This is not exception. (Point, The Nines 4-2)

Poster: The Packers lead the NFC at 10-0 right now and yet they are 31st in passing defense. The Patriots are 7-3 atop the AFC and have the 32nd best pass defense (out of 32). If this was the battle between those two teams, this category would be like their pass defense. But I like the dolphins (on the poster, not the team – though they have a better pass defense). (Point, The Cove 4-3)

More Creative: It’s going to take a miracle for The Nines to ever lose this category. This isn’t it. (Point, The Nines 5-3)

Watch again: I wanted to watch The Nines again immediately after I saw it the first time. That hasn’t changed at all. (Point, The Nines 6-3)

Overall: Well, I have a feeling that the only movie that could have stopped The Nines from running through this half of the bracket would be a documentary. And yet, it didn’t. Winner: The Nines (6-3)