(Alternate) Box Office Blockbuster Tourney: Round Four

So as explained some time ago, we are again playing a seeded tournament-style elimination game amongst each of the US domestic box office champion movies from the last 32 years, but this time with all-female judges.  Seeding was done via Rotten Tomatoes scores, with ties broken with Metacritic scores.  Three of our five judges have voted on each match-up of two films, with the winner advancing to the next round and the loser skulking off into obscurity, until we eventually reach our overall Champion!

We are now in our (Alternate) Round Four–having reduced our movies to the Final Four.  Three of those four are the same as the original version of this round, but the one that’s missing is The Dark Knight which went on to the win things the first time around, so the winner here is still up in the air.

We now continue with Round Four!  We’re going to mix things up a bit and get all five of our judges to vote on the remaining match-ups (as it turns out that they have all seen all four movies). Votes for each context are listed in the order I received them, except when it made for better suspense to mix them up.

Odd-Numbered Years Conference

1. Toy Story (1995)


3. The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King (2003)

Robin:  In my mind I had already somewhat decided that Toy Story would always “take the cake” BUT I have to step back from that in this case. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the new winner! Maybe because I just recently watched it and my admiration for it is fresh in my mind. It’s amazing.

My Vote:  The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King

Loey: I love Toy Story unreservedly, but up against Middle-freaking-earth?! Sorry, Buzz and Woody–Frodo and Sam are my true heroes, and I have the toys to prove it. To the Grey Havens and beyond!

My Vote:  The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King

Beth:  Guys, take a knee. Did you know that Sean Astin went on a chat show and whined about how they cut some of his scenes out of this 735 hour movie? He should have won an Oscar, he said. That soured me a little on ol’ Samwise. Also, as a former VFX coordinator, I’m required to harbour resentment towards Andy Serkis who continues to take most of the credit due to the animators and artists who gave him his career. Too harsh?

My Vote:  Toy Story

Kim:  Beth would say I contractually obligated to pick Lord of the Rings…and I may be…but…I will pick Toy Story here. My reason, if I could only watch one of these movies on repeat, Toy Story would be the easier, more enjoyable watch.

My Vote:  Toy Story

Liesbeth:  They’re such different films, I don’t know how to compare them.  One is this epic, broad-scaled adventure, and the other is this sweet film about friendship that’s very funny.  I like both of them, but I guess if you said to me, do you want to watch Toy Story or do you want to watch Lord of the Rings, I’d probably rather watch Lord of the Rings….I think for the reason that Toy Story has been done to death by the children.  Even though they probably can’t quote it word for word, I can.

My Vote: The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King

The Winner:   The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King


Even-Numbered Years Conference

6. The Avengers (2012)


9. Rain Man (1988)

Robin:  Huh. Hmmmm. Tricky one for me. The Avengers. Is it wrong to admit I played eenie meenie miney mo on this one? Well I did. Am I sorry? No.

My Vote:  The Avengers

Loey: This one is a little tougher, because I know I’m supposed to like Rain Man better. But when my geekiness clashes with my serious film critic side, I let the nerd win every time. Life is more fun that way.

My Vote:  The Avengers

Liesbeth: I think I’m going to go Rain Man.  I really like both of the films.  I don’t know if it’s just because I’m feeling a bit tired, but right now I’d be into a more slow-paced film.  I like the performances of Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rain Man–it feels like a really authentic film, like the people feel real.  And I like that it addresses autism.  If you ask me tomorrow, I might have said something different.

My Vote:  Rain Man

Beth:  In alternative casting land, Hoffman would have made a great Hulk and Cruise, a perfect 90’s Captain America. Though Avengers isn’t a great film, the fact that it birthed an innovative, original, bold and successful franchise model that was no longer satisfied with mere sequels but demanded three 20 film phases, requires it to be taken seriously. I mean, I’ve seen all of them and I don’t even like half of them. Kudos, Feige. Kudos.

My Vote:  The Avengers

Kim: Again, I’m going to have to go with the film that’s more entertaining to watch here. The Avengers. It’s got all the goods and kicked off a whole universe of fun characters.

My Vote:  The Avengers

The Winner:   The Avengers


And so we have arrived at our (alternate) Grand Final Matchup, the epic movie faceoff of a generation!

Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King


The Avengers

So interesting that both films in the final match-up are different than the original.  Based on past votes, I think I know which one will win, but of course that could all change when we hit our epic conclusion next time.  Again, I will be asking all five of our judges to vote, and winner takes all!

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