Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#50 and #31, 19, 11)

It's the Sunday Showdown: continuing my comparison of the American Film Institute's and Internet Movie Database's Top 100 films.  Another triple play today (actually, the first ever quadruple-play), although it requires a little bit of jumping out of order.

It all has to do with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They were all coming up on the list, but not necessarily in correct order which is how I wanted to watch them.  They show up as low as #50 and high as #11.

So I watched all three in order so I could get their full effect. But here’s the thing: these movies were not as great as I remember them being.  I mean, they were good and I still enjoyed them, but they weren’t ohmygoshthatwasthegreatestthingever!!!! that I remembered in my mind.

They’re kind of long. And indistinguishable from each other. And hours go by nothing really happens.  Even the epic battles were just really long.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s good acting and a great story. And heck, I’m still in love with Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli together as an entity.

But sometimes the films seemed to drag.  Sorry.

AFI only includes Fellowship of the Ring on its list (#50) – neither of the other two.  Honestly, I think Fellowship is the weakest of the three films, and I believe AFI included it to be a representative of all the LoTR films. I support that, because I do believe the three films as a whole deserve to be on the list somewhere, but not necessarily taking up three individual spots.

As #50, Fellowship was up against some Japanese anime film entitled Spirited Away. I liked it okay. I’ve said before that animated films are not really my thing. Anime even less so. I’m sure there’s some sort of cultural or historical or cinematic significance to Spirited Away that I don’t understand. Oh well, I don’t really care. So even though Fellowship is my least favorite of the three LoTR, it definitely beats Spirited Away, hands down.

My tougher choices were for when LoTR showed back up for IMDb :
#19  Fellowship vs. the Marlon Brando masterpiece On the Waterfront,
#31  Two Towers vs. John Huston’s glorious Maltese Falcon
#11 Return of the King vs. Charlie Chaplin’s classic City Lights

Brando at his most charming
Maltese Falcon was a no-brainer for me; sorry Two Towers. I had never seen On the Waterfront, and I was absolute enthralled with Brando’s performance. This is a great movie – classic in every sense of the word – and I can’t wait to watch it again. So against Fellowship, the weakest of the three LoTR, Waterfront won.

Return of the King vs. City Lights is what really gave me pause. I like Chaplin’s films a great deal. City Lights is one of the best. He released City Lights as a silent film, even though “talkies” had already taken over Hollywood. I respect that.  City Lights was good enough to have already won once at #59. And it was going to be my pick in this challenge.

But in a last minute change of heart, I’m going to go with Return of the King over City Lights.  If it had been Modern Times, Charlie would’ve won it, but for everything LoTR wanted to be and mostly achieved – I’ll give the final win to Return of the King.

So AFI gets three votes today and IMDb gets one, bringing the score to AFI -31, IMDb – 23.

AFI’s Top 100
IMDb’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)


City Lights (1931)
LoTR: Return of the King (2003)
On the Waterfront (1954)
LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
LoTR: The Two Towers(2002)

LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Spirited Away (2001)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Taxi Driver (1976)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Double Indemnity (1944)
M*A*S*H* (1970)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
The Pianist (2002)
Jaws (1975)
The Lives of Others (2006)
Rocky (1976)
The Departed (2006)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)
Nashville (1975)
City Lights (1931)
Duck Soup (1933)
Aliens (1986)
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
American Graffiti (1973)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Cabaret (1972)
Das Boot (1981)
Network (1976)
The Third Man (1949)
The African Queen (1951)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Chinatown (1974)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

No comments:

Post a Comment