Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bracketology Part II

Today is the day the real bracket is revealed, but I thought I'd throw you another Actor Bracketology to whet your appetite.

Today's Bracket..............................Tom Cruise.

Yes. From the looks of it, this bracket is much more even. The top seeds are not as strong as was the case for Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks. In fact, one could make an argument for seeds 1-12 of winning the entire thing. This bracket will not lack in drama. The evenness should bring a fun unpredictability.

Tom Cruise Bracketology

First Round

1. Maverick (Top Gun) vs. Bill Harford (Eyes Wide Shut)
Match: With or without Goose, Maverick shouldn't have any trouble with this one. He doesn't need to serenade any women, wisecrack at any mission briefings, or play any volleyball in this one. Bill Harford will self destruct looking for some wild orgy on the Naval base.
Winner: Maverick

8. Charlie Babbitt (Rain Man) vs. Lt. Daniel Kaffee (A Few Good Men)
Match: A classic 8/9 match-up here. It could go either way. Both characters are bit rough on the edges. You don't quite know their inner motivations until things really go wrong and their true quality shines through. Unfortunately for Charlie, he gets distracted by Rain Man who enters into the courtroom thinking Judge Wapner was in there. This is where Daniel shines, getting Charlie on the stand and bringing out "the truth" that he in fact hates the burden of caring for his brother. All public opinion crashes and the jury gives the win to Daniel.
Winner: Daniel Kaffee

5. Lestat (Interview with the Vampire) vs. 12. Frank T.J. Mackey (Magnolia)
Match: This one has the potential to get dirty. We have the vampire, already pretty homoerotic with Brad Pitt, and the "Respect the Cock" philosophy of TJ Mackey. Lestat quickly sees the insecurities through the brash exterior of Mackey and exploits his Daddy and Mommy issues. He even did his homework and brings in a large number of dogs to further fluster Mackey. Lots of blood at first, but it's all drank up at the end.
Winner: Lestat

4. John Anderton (Minority Report) vs. 13. Ray Ferrier (War of the Worlds)
Match, Cruise was outshone by Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds. In Minority Report, Anderton had his eyes cut out. Damn.
Winner: Anderton

3. Nathan Algren (The Last Samurai) vs. David Aames (Vanilla Sky)
Match: Aames does have a quote from a Kanye West song about him and some nice female costars in Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, but Algren is pretty badass. I did not want to like this movie, but ended up being pretty drawn in by Japan, Samurais, and Tom Cruise. He's good with a sword.
Winner: Algren

6. Vincent (Collateral) vs. 11. Jerry Maguire (Jerry Maguire)
Match: Not having a last name or even a real name, Vincent is a bit of a sleeper. The sidekicks of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jamie Foxx might be a better matchup. Maguire has some good lines, but really nothing else. GSW to the 8 pound head of Jerry Maguire.
Winner: Vincent

7. Colonel Claus Van Stauffenberg (Valkyrie) vs. 10. Mitch McDeere (The Firm)
Match: Valkyrie is another movie I didn't really want to like. I think the was a huge media inundation of Cruise around this time, but the movie was tight and so was Van Stauffenberg. The Firm was cool too, but the name Mitch McDeere is just not cool enough to advance in this tourney.
Winner: Van Stauffenberg

2. Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible I,II,III) vs. Brian Flanagan (Cocktail)
Match: Flanagan gets the nod of a number of other Cruise 80's characters due to his love interest Elizabeth Shue. The 80's were a great time for Shue. Flanagan really has no chance against Hunt and all his resources and trickery and technology. What is Flanagan going to do, throw a flaming cocktail at him?
Winner: Hunt

2nd Round
So all the hype surrounding the balanced bracket failed to produce a single upset. Will the second round do the same?

1. Maverick vs. 9. Daniel Kaffee
Match: Was Maverick deserving of the top seed? Daniel doesn't think so. He doesn't think he has much of a chance with the odds again so stacked against him, plus his father was a perennial Final Four participant. Luckily Demi Moore and Kevin Pollack come in to give Kaffee a pep talk. Kaffee shows up drunk and even tries to get into a cockpit to take Maverick down from the air. Maverick is very over confident and ends up crashing his plane before even making it to the battle.
Winner: Kaffee

4. John Anderton vs. 5. Lestat
Match: Another hot one here. Anderton begins on the case of Lestat when he learns he is going to commit a future murder. Anderton and his crew actual catch and imprison Lestat, but Lestat has been in worse situations. He bides his time, outliving the precogs, breaking out of prison and feasting on the elderly Anderton
Winner: Lestat

3. Nathan Algren vs. 6. Vincent
Match: History has showed us that guns are better than swords. This is extremely evident in The Last Samurai and will be no different in this battle.
Winner: Vincent

2. Ethan Hunt vs. 7. Van Stauffenberg
Match: Hunt is the heavy favorite in this one, but don't count out Van Stauffenberg. He almost ousted Hitler. But almost doesn't cut it. Ethan Hunt has almost died about 1,000 times, but always comes back to thwart evil in the end. The Eye-Patch will be no match for the numerous fake faces of Ethan Hunt.
Winner: Hunt

Final Four

9. Kaffee vs. 5. Lestat
Winner: Kaffee's luck and charisma have run out. Lestat without trouble.

2. Ethan Hunt vs. 6. Vincent:
Match: Ooh, this is a good one. You have an assassin vs an international spy. This one could go either way. Hunt has taken down many similar to Vincent, but never had to account for the great cab driver Jamie Foxx. Foxx gets Vincent wherever he needs, and despite all of Hunt's technology is always one step ahead of him. GSW to the fake face.
Winner: Vincent


5. Lestat vs. 6. Vincent
Match: This is a battle I would like to see. I'm not sure my imagination can even comprehend how it plays out. I do know how it will end though, with a Vampire Vincent, possible the greatest movie character ever. Lestat will enjoy Vincent and try to turn him. Vincent will throw all his weapons at Lestat to no avail, but you know his guy will come prepared. He'll have a wooden stake in his supplies somewhere. And soon after Lestat makes Vincent a vampire, apparently victorious, Vincent will go all Buffy on Lestat.
Winner: Vincent

Don't underestimate the grey-haired.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bracketology is Back!

Anyone remember the bracketology post I did a long while back that pitted Tom Hanks movie characters against each other in a 16 man bracket? No, well, check it out. Either way, it's March, lots of bracketology all around. I'd thought I'd try my hand at it again.

Today's bracket.......Morgan Freeman.

1. Red - The Shawshank Redemption vs. 16. Frederick Douglass (voice) The Civil War PBS
Match: This is a tough opening round for the top seed. Red again misplaces his bet, going for the "tall drink of water" Abe Lincoln instead of Frederick Douglass. Soon, though, Red realizes that despite Douglass's great voice, imposing hair, and large size, he is only a collection of still photographs and narration, not a real character. Red simply tapes Douglas to the wall where he remains for years and years until the Warden throws rocks at him.
Winner: Red

8. Scrap Iron Dupree (Million Dollar Baby) vs. 9. Hoke Colburn (Driving Miss Daisy)
Match: These guys might not have the best pedigrees. One is blind in one eye, sleeps on a dirty old mattress in a gym. The other and illiterate old black man who drives around an old Jewish woman. Both very good characters, but Scrap Iron wins due to his great name.
Winner: Scrap Iron

5. Lucius Fox (Batman Begins, the Dark Knight) vs. 12. John Rawlins (Glory)
Match: Tough match here for Fox. He'll start out well with lots of weapons, but he cannot put away the Civil War vet. Bruce Wayne does not show up and we have an upset.
Winner: Glory

4. Azeem (Robin Hood) vs.13. President (Deep Impact)
Match: Large Sword
Winner: Azeem

3. Ned Logan (Unforgiven) vs. 14. Gen. Billy Ford (Outbreak)
Match: This is the Wild, Wild West son! Ain't no diseased monkeys out here. If you can't catch Dustin Hoffman, you ain't taking down Mr. Logan.
Winner: Ned Logan

6. Nelson Mandela (Invictus) vs. 11. Alex Cross (Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls)
Match: Morgan Freeman on Nelson Mandela "It was the part I was born to play!" But Nelson Mandela is old. It was nice when he put on that Springboks jersey, but Alex Cross was in two movies. A close battle. Cross calls in Ashley Judd to distract Mandela for the upset.
Winner: Alex Cross

7. God (Bruce Almighty) vs. 10. Mr. Clark (Lean on Me)
Match: Maybe God should really be the top seed. But true to form, God gives his power to Mr. Clark. Mr Clark uses it to clean up his school of gangs and drugs, pass the state tests, and shut up the woman from Carmen San Diego. After all that, he defeats God.
Winner: Mr. Clark

2. Detective William Somerset (Seven) vs. 15. Theodore Joadson (Amistad)
Match:Amistad is a great film with some great performances, but Freeman's was overshadowed. Seven was a great film with some great performances, and Freeman's was the best of the bunch.
Winner: Somerset


1. Red vs. 8. Scrap Iron
Winner: Red, easy.

12. John Rawlins vs. 4. Azeem
Winner: English! English! Behold, Azeem Edin Bashir Al Bakir. I am not one of you, but I fight! I fight with Robin Hood. I fight against a tyrant who holds you under his boot! If you would be free men, then you must fight! Join us now, join Robin Hood!

3. Ned Logan vs. 10. Alex Cross
Winner: Ned

2. Somerset vs. 10. Mr. Clark
Winner: Mr. Clark - a big upset here. Mr. Clark gives up his God power to return to the school. Someone sends him Sams' head in a box, things get wild.

Morgan Freeman Final Four

1. Red vs. 4. Azeem
Match: Wow, this could be the final. Azeem is a lot like Xavier or maybe Boise State in football, a great team in a bad conference, or in this case, bad movie,who always gets ubderrated. Azeem is a great character, but not many people look back fondly on Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Red on the other hand is the best character in one of the best movies ever. Sorry Azeem, you are cool, albeit missed placed in Nottingham, but Red is a man who knows how to get things. In this case, he's getting the W.
Winner: Red

3. Ned Logan vs. 10. Mr. Clark
Match: Mr. Clark has come a long way from Eastside High, but does he have what it takes to survive in the Wild, Wild West? Things heat up when Mr. Clark learns "some guy is beating up Kid Ray". Logan rolls in with some guns and the fight is pretty much over before it began. No contest.
Winner: Ned Logan


1. Red vs. 3. Ned Logan
Match: One thing is for sure, Ned Logan's portly Native American wife is going to be pissed! These characters are actual pretty similar. Both make mistakes as young men and mature as they grow older. Both are the moral compass of their respective films without being the main characters. Both bring compassion and goodness to places it is often times lacking. In the end, though, Red uses his roof tarring skills, his getting things skills, his library experience, and his map of Zihuatanejo and defeats the reluctant outlaw.
Winner: Red. There really was no other way anyone else was going to win.

Get busy living or get busy dying.