Sunday Showdown: AFI vs IMDb #83

It’s the Sunday Showdown: continuing my comparison of the American Film Institute’s and Internet Movie Database’s Top 100 films.  #83: Titanic vs. Once Upon A Time in America

once-upon-a-time-in-americaFitting that these two were up against each other seeing as they are both the longest movies EVER. I didn’t really enjoy Once Upon A Time In America, but I made it through. Barely.  That phone ringing… I thought I might have to shoot my television (if you’ve ever seen it, you know what I mean).  I definitely enjoyed Titanic much more.  Although, [spoiler alert] the ship sinks.

So, at this point, AFI is still winning 12 to 6.


Titanic (1997) Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
#84 Easy Rider (1969) The Green Mile (1999)
#85 A Night at the Opera (1935) Full Metal Jacket (1987)
#86 Platoon (1986) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
#87 12 Angry Men (1957) Inglorious Basterds (2009)
#88 Bringing Up Baby (1938) The Great Dictator (1940)
#89 Sixth Sense (1999) Braveheart (1995)
#90 Swing Time (1936) The Bicycle Thief (1948)
#91 Sophie’s Choice (1982) The Apartment (1960)
#92 Up (2009) Goodfellas (1990)
#93 The French Connection (1971) Downfall (2004)
#94 Pulp Fiction (1994) Gran Torino (2008)
#95 The Last Picture Show (1971) Metropolis (1927)
#96 Do The Right Thing (1989) The Sting (1973)
#97 Blade Runner (1982) Gladiator (2000)
#98 Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) The Maltese Falcon (1941)
#99 Toy Story (1995) Unforgiven (1992)
#100 Ben Hur (1959) The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week, Murnau’s silent classic Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (AFI) and Amadeus (IMDb). I haven’t seen the first and don’t remember the second well, so I’m looking forward to both.


Perfect Movies: The Introduction

The thing I love about movies is that they are subjective. To a degree. You can have your favorite movies and they may be great or awful. You can debate the merit of any movie based on how much you like it. Hell, I love “Hudson Hawk” and will argue with anyone who tells me it is anything other than sheer awesomeness (yes, I know, I have a critical blind spot for all things Bruce Willis).

But, loving a movie is far different than a movie being great. I often distinguish between movies and films. Movies are popcorn fare, film is art. Movies have explosions, films have character and depth. You can have a great movie (“The Avengers” for a recent example) and a great film. It’s rare the two collide, however, into something more.

That something more is what this series is about. That something more is when a movie is truly perfect. When every aspect comes together without any flaws. Where every frame is shot correctly. Where every plot hole is covered up. Over time, Anthony, Janie and I will all write about what we consider to be “perfect” movies.

We’ll also run “Counterpoints” to them. As one person’s “perfect” movie is bound to be met with opposition from someone else. Why? Because the term “perfect” isn’t taken lightly. There is only room for nitpicking. There are thousands of movies that I love – that I don’t consider “perfect.” To name a few:

  • “Aliens”
  • “Spider-man 2” (or, really, any super hero movie)
  • “Titanic” (although I’d argue that it is really close)
  • “Godfather II”
  • Any of the “Lord of the Rings” movies
  • “Fight Club”
  • “Terminator 2”

I could go on, but you get the point. Or, maybe you don’t. Maybe you would debate that “Aliens” (for instance) is perfect. That’s the beauty of it. You can argue it and we could have an interesting debate. And, in the end, all we could do is influence each other’s opinions for there is no real right or wrong answer (except that “Aliens” isn’t perfect. I love it completely, but it is flawed).

Let the debate begin!