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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don't underestimate the grey-haired.