Monday, March 31, 2008

M3 2008: Round 3 Standings

Better watch it, everyone, or Nat's gonna run away with this thing...

Lucky for you there are three more rounds, so it's still definitely up for grabs. Brad remains in a solid second, and Paticus and Lucy made some big strides moving up the ranks. Poor Teacake stumbled mightily, and Looney, despite all his bitching and moaning, has moved into the top-half.

Correct picks were worth 4 points each this round. Next round they'll be worth 6!

Nat 26+24+24=74
Brad 27+20+20=67
Paticus 25+18+24=67
Lucy 23+20+20=63
Asbestos Dust 25+18+16=59
O’Tim 26+16+16=58
Jodie 26+22+8=56
Sour Grapes 22+18+16=56
Looney 22+18+16=56
Cody Bones 24+18+12=54
Paula 25+16+12=53
Teacake 26+18+8=52
Krissy 27+12+12=51
Lady Strathconn 21+18+12=51
Eden 23+14+12=49
Joe the Troll 24+14+8=46
Emma 19+12+8=39
Arlene 11+6+4=21

Saturday, March 29, 2008

M3 2008: Harpo Region, Round 3

Some Like it Hot 7, Tootsie 2
Young Frankenstein 10, Best in Show 1

M3 2008: Chico Region, Round 3

Annie Hall 6, Airplane! 6 (what a match... went down to the wire, ended in a tie, and the tie goes to the higher seed)
Blazing Saddles 8, M*A*S*H 3

M3 2008: Zeppo Region, Round 3

Life of Brian 8, Duck Soup 5
Raising Arizona 4, Caddyshack 2

M3 2008: Groucho Region, Round 3

Sorry this took so long!!!

Dr. Strangelove 8, Odd Couple 2
Holy Grail 12, Fish Called Wanda 3

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Interlude: Movies from Hell

There is one other requirement for a movie to be considered one of the worst ever: it must keep getting worse. By this, I mean that it not only must keep getting worse while you are watching it, but it must, upon subsequent viewings, seem even worse than the last time you saw it. That is what distinguishes Ishthar from Gigli and Showgirls from Swept Away. Widely viewed as one of the worst movies ever when it was released in 1987, Ishtar actually has several comic moments. Gigli doesn't. Similarly, Showgirls has a certain campy allure that grows a bit each time I see it. Madonna's Swept Away doesn't; it seems more amateurish on each viewing, like a morass that starts out as a quagmire, then morphs into a cesspool and finally turns into a slime pit on the road to its ultimate destination in the bowels of Hell.

Joe Queenan -

Why not next year do excruciatingly bad films? That might be fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Diversion: M3 2009

I'll be posting Round 3 results for M3 2008: The Comedies tomorrow, but I figured it would be fun to have a diversion.

What should the theme of next year's March Movie Madness be?

So far I've heard Oscar Winners, Quotable Movies and Musicals.

Votes for any of those? Any other ideas?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

M3 2008: Round 2 Standings

This round, correct picks were worth two points a piece. Way to go, Nat! The numbers below are first round score, second round score, and total after two rounds.

Nat 26, 24, 50
Jodie 26, 22, 48
Brad 27, 20, 47
Teacake 26, 18, 44
Asbestos Dust 25, 18, 43
Lucy 23, 20, 43
Paticus 25, 18, 43
O’Tim 26, 16, 42
Cody Bones 24, 18, 42
Paula 25, 16, 41
Sour Grapes 22, 18, 40
Looney 22, 18, 40
Krissy 27, 12, 39
Lady Strathconn 21, 18, 39
Joe the Troll 24, 14, 38
Eden 23, 14, 37
Emma 19, 12, 31
Arlene 11, 6, 17

Friday, March 21, 2008

M3 2008: Chico Region, Round 2

Annie Hall 9, Something About Mary 6
Airplane 12, Bringing Up Baby 2
MASH 8, Big Lebowski 6
Blazing Saddles 11, When Harry Met Sally 6

M3 2008: Harpo Region, Round 2

Some Like it Hot 8, Princess Bride 6
Tootsie 7, American Graffiti 5
Best in Show 5, The Jerk 5 (tie goes to the higher seed, Best in Show)
Young Frankenstein 12, Blues Brothers 2

Thursday, March 20, 2008

M3 2008: Zeppo Region, Round 2

I have to admit, I'm terribly disappointed in the bottom-half of this region. I love Raising Arizona and Caddyshack both, but seeing It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and It Happened One Night both go down makes me sad. Personally, I think they deserved better. The voting on both of those matches was very, very close. Also, it was bad enough that I put Life of Brian up against Arsenic and Old Lace in the first round, but then it had to go up against Philadelphia Story in the second! What the hell was I thinking?

Duck Soup 10, Ferris Bueller 6
Life of Brian 13, Philadelphia Story 1
Raising Arizona 7, Mad World 5
Caddyshack 7, It Happened One Night 6

M3 2008: Groucho Region, Round 2

A couple close ones here, but I don't think any huge surprises. The biggest upset was A Fish Called Wanda over The Graduate, but I don't think that was a huge surprise. Thoughts?

Dr. Strangelove 10, Spinal Tap 5
The Odd Couple 6, The Producers 5
Holy Grail 16, His Girl Friday 2
A Fish Called Wanda 8, The Graduate 5

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

M3 2008: A Letter from the Commissioner

There have been many comments, spanning a number of posts, relating to the notion that the winning films represent the most mundane, ordinary, lowest-common-denominator taste in movies.

Since this is a significant (and emotional) topic, I thought it deserved its own post.

I assert that, were this a contest with thousands of participants forming an accurate representation of the general movie-watching public, the above statement would be a hard one with which to argue.

But this contest has only 18 participants, none of whom would I describe as mundane, ordinary, ignorant, culturally lacking or lowest-common denominator. Far, far from it. What's cool as hell to me is that the people participating in this contest have actually seen a lot of these movies. With a different group of friends, I'd have had to put Tommy Boy and Scary Movie 3 in there just so they'd have something to vote for.

As I said in the last post's comments, the following "classics" won their first-round match-ups:

Dr. Strangelove
Odd Couple
His Girl Friday
The Graduate
Annie Hall
Bringing Up Baby
Some Like it Hot
Duck Soup
Philadelphia Story
It's a Mad... World
It Happened One Night
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
Holy Grail
Life of Brian

That's more than half of the winners. If only lowest-common denominator movies got picked, what's that say about the flicks above?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

M3 2008: Round 1 Standings

Here are the total points and standings after one round. It's crowded at the top!
(Sorry, Krissy, I don't know what the hell I was counting, but thanks for making me count again)

Brad 27
Krissy 27
Nat 26
Jodie 26
O’Tim 26
Teacake 26
Asbestos Dust 25
Paticus 25
Paula 25
Cody Bones 24
Joe the Troll 24
Eden 23
Lucy 23
Sour Grapes 22
Looney 22
Lady Strathconn 21
Emma 19
Arlene 11

M3 2008: Chico Region, Round 1, 2nd Half

Annie Hall 16, What's Up, Doc? 1
Something About Mary 10, Rushmore 7
Bringing Up Baby 11, Moonstruck 6
Airplane! 15, Seven Year Itch 3

M3 2008: Harpo Region, Round 1, 2nd Half

Some Like it Hot 13, Slap Shot 4
The Princess Bride 12, The Thin Man 6
American Graffiti 14, Modern Times 4
Tootsie 14, Diner 4

M3 2008: Zeppo Region, Round 1, 2nd Half

Raising Arizona 13, Harold and Maude 4
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 15, Withnail and I 2
Caddyshack 15, Up in Smoke 2
It Happened One Night 13, Little Miss Sunshine 4

M3 2008: Groucho Region, Round 1, 2nd Half

His Girl Friday 13, Manhattan 5
Holy Grail 18, Abbott & Costello 0
A Fish Called Wanda 11, A Shot in the Dark 6
The Graduate 12, Arthur 5

Monday, March 17, 2008

M3 2008: Chico Region, Round 1, 1st Half

Big Lebowski 13, Harvey 5
M*A*S*H 12, O Brother 6
When Harry Met Sally 10, Ghostbusters 8
Blazing Saddles 18, Repo Man 0

NOTE: Some combined scores add up to 18, and some only to 17. That's because one participant did not pick every game (opting, instead, to place question marks for matches containing unseen movies). This had the biggest impact in the Harpo Region, where one vote could have forced a tie in two of the matches (which would have gone to the higher seed, overturning the current result).

M3 2008: Harpo Region, Round 1, 1st Half CORRECTION

Sorry, folks, I had a recount and discovered that The Blues Brothers and Animal House tied...

Best in Show 9, Being There 8
The Jerk 9, A Night at the Opera 8
The Blues Brothers 9, Animal House 9 --> Tiebreaker goes to The Blues Brothers!
Young Frankenstein 15, Stripes 3

M3 2008: Zeppo Region, Round 1, 1st Half

Duck Soup 16, Shampoo 2
Ferris Bueller 15, Adam's Rib 3
Life of Brian 15, Arsenic and Old Lace 3
Philadelphia Story 11, Big 7

M3 2008: Groucho Region, Round 1, 1st Half

Dr. Strangelove 15, Austin Powers 2
Spinal Tap 14, Groundhog Day 3
The Odd Couple 17, Shallow Grave 1
The Producers 10, Clerks 7

Sunday, March 16, 2008

M3 2008: The Polls are Closed!

All the brackets are in, and the games are about ready to begin.

This year, we have 17 18* participants battling it out for March Movie Madness supremacy. Here they are, in the order in which they turned in their picks:

Asbestos Dust
Joe the Troll
Cody Bones
Lady Strathconn
Paris Dreamer
Sour Grapes

Remember, you guys picked the winners, not me!

The first half of Round 1 results will be up tomorrow (Monday, March 17). I foresee everything from brutal blowouts to double-overtime nailbiters.

Let the games begin!

*Looney snuck in at the last possible minute. Yea, Looners!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad March

The fact that several Film Freaks made mention of pencils is testament to the bitch of a bracket put forth by the Jefster in this year's contest, The Comedies. Surely the chief himself struggled and finagled through the construction of four sixteen-film regions, evident in seedings so insane that this commentator now questions his ability to make it through the duration.

In the pre-announcement excitement of comments, many from veterans of last year's squeaker amongst the cream of the classics, memories of comedic favorites were bandied about with such glee and force as to resemble "amputees corner" at the VFW on 50-cent domestic draft and bingo Mondays. These folks were begging for punishment, and they were not disappointed for that when their slobber and zeal was sucked up by the necessary paring to 64 from many hundreds of possibilities. "C'est la guerre," the chief snorted, "et la MADNESS! BWAHAHAHAHA!"

Good sports all (most of), these Freaks, and the graphite scribblings began in earnest to discern the victors in match-ups such as will fire up the Chico Region with the deliciously un-PC slapstick of Blazing Saddles v. the dark, post-punk nihilism of Repo Man (2 p.m. EST at the No. 6 Dance Hall at Whassamatta U.). The former is presented at a perhaps sacreligious seeding of TWO whilst the latter leaks a certain dim underdog glow from its trunk (read boot for our UK players) with what is arguably one of the best soundtracks in the entire bracket. Other cruel pairings that were noted include the unparalleled subversive wit of Ring Lardner Jr. via M*A*S*H v. the superb period piece cum Homeric legend in O Brother Where Art Thou; the Harpo Region's cannibalistic Belushi on Belushi sumofest that will be Blues Brothers v. Animal House, with the latter having home court advantage at Delta Tau Chi's backyard hoop, and the powerhouse Dr. Strangelove (a high finisher in last year's classics Madness) v. a strangely low-seeded Austin Powers, tipping off Saturday at the Captain Spalding Arena. Madness surely ensues, film fans.

As a parting shot in today's commentary, I feel obligated to report some of the exclamations overheard in the Leaderboard Lounge on announcement day:

"What, no Lost In America? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Bull Durham? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Private Benjamin? Is he MAD?"

"What, no After Hours? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Bad News Bears? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Good Morning, Vietnam? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Dirty Rotten Scoundrels? Is he CRAZY?"

"What, no Midnight Run? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Parenthood? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Little Big Man? Is he mad at ME?"

"What, no Swingers? Is he MAD?"

"What, no My Cousin Vinny? Is he MAD?"

"What, no Meatballs? Is he MAD??!!"

"What, no Toy Story? Is he MAD?"

So it goes ...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

M3 2008: Picks Due Tomorrow! (deadline extended 1 day)

I've gotten 10 12 14 brackets turned in, so I'm extending the deadline one more day. If you want to participate, get your picks in Saturday, March 15!

I'll tell you folks right now, the picks are wide and varied, which will ensure a most intriguing and exciting tournament! If you care to, go ahead and post a link to the competition on your blogs. The more participants the better, if you ask me.

In the meantime, a little comedy from one of my personal favorites, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:

Monday, March 10, 2008

M3 2008: The Complete Bracket

Here's the whole shebang. Make sure you read the rules and regulations.

Let the games begin!

If you'd rather have a PDF of the bracket, email me at jefflkos at gmail dot com and I'll send you one.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

M3 2008 Selection Sunday: Zeppo Region

M3 2008 Selection Sunday: Harpo Region

M3 2008 Selection Sunday: Chico Region

M3 2008 Selection Sunday: Groucho Region

I know I said I was going to wait to post the bracket on Monday, but I just can't wait!
Throughout the day today I'm going to reveal each of the four regions separately. Tomorrow I will post the complete downloadable bracket for you to fill out.

Make sure you read the rules and regulations.

Here it is... the Groucho Region!

March Movie Madness 2008: Rules and Regulations

I'm going to give the abbreviated R&Rs first, for those who participated last year. I'll then follow up with more detailed instructions for those who aren't familiar with a bracket-style pick-em tournament, or at least didn't participate last year. If you have any questions at all, please email me at jefflkos at gmail dot com.

COMPLETED BRACKETS MUST BE EMAILED TO jefflkos at gmail dot com BY 8 PM EDT FRIDAY, MARCH 14 (to figure out what time that is where you are click here)
  • Complete the entire bracket, including the winning movie.

  • All matches will be determined by popular vote -- the movie with the most votes in any match moves on to the next round.

  • In the event of a tie, the higher-seeded movie will be declared the winner.

  • All movies have been given a ranking, from 1 - 64, so that, in the event of a tie between two same-seeded movies (only possible in the last two rounds), the movie with the highest overall ranking will be declared the winner. This master ranking will be posted after all entries have been turned in.
  • You receive points for every correct movie pick. Point values are as follows: Round 1=1 point; Round 2=2 points; Round 3=4 points; Round 4=6 points; Round 5=8 points; Round 6 (championship)=10 points


Okay, here are some more detailed instructions for the uninitiated:

  • Every two stacked lines represent a match between two movies. Example: In the first round, Dr. Strangelove and Austin Powers are competing against each other, as are Caddyshack and Up in Smoke.

  • Each of the four regions have 16 movies, which are "seeded" from 1 to 16. The #1 seed is considered the favorite in that round, on down to the #16 seed, which is considered the biggest long shot.

  • Pick the movie you think should be the winner between the two, and write that movie's name in the line to the right. Do that for the entire first round, all four regions.
  • You should now have 32 movies in the "2nd Round," creating 16 new matchups. Once again, pick your winners to get down to the "Sweet 16."

  • Fill out the entire bracket this way until you have one final champion, the movie you believe deserves the title of "Best Comedy of All Time."

  • Make sure you fill in every line!

Friday, March 7, 2008

M3 2008: A Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at a few match-ups you'll see in the bracket, to get some more debate going. I'm not going to tell you the seeds, just the match-ups.

Being There vs. Best in Show

When Harry Met Sally vs. Ghostbusters

The Blues Brothers vs. Animal House (yes, I pitted Belushi against himself, because I'm a sadist!)

Gives you a little idea of just how tough this one's going to be, eh?


Monday, March 3, 2008

M3 2008: More Pre-discussion

Thought you'd like to know that of all the movies listed in the comments in the previous post, 12 of them didn't even make the field of 64.

Bet you can't guess which.

Also, which movies do you think might have the potential of being sleepers? Not necessarily to win it all, but to maybe go deeper into the tournament than you might expect at first glance. Movies that might upset a higher seed or two and find their way into the Sweet 16 or higher.

Remember, this year's match-up winners are going to be determined by you, not me. Whichever movie gets the most votes moves on to the next round.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March Movie Madness Quandary

Last year, I based March Movie Madness off of AFI's Top 100 American Movies of All Time. So this year, for comedies, I planned to once again use AFI as my main source (taking many liberties in how I seed the movies because it's my competition, dammit).

I started seeding the films this weekend and I suddenly realized that if I stick to the AFI list, some funniest of the funny will be noticeably absent. Movies such as those by the Python fellows, The Ladykillers, Shallow Grave and Withnail and I, to name but a few.

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do, but I'm working on it.

UPDATE: I've decided what I'm going to do. And you'll find out when I post the full bracket, which will be on Monday, March 10. YES, I'M MAKING YOU WAIT ANOTHER WEEK!

In the meantime, let's get some conversation going:

If you were creating this bracket, what would your top four seeds be?