Back in the days before 1995, before Pixar came along and ruined everything, the Walt Disney Studio was responsible for the greatest animated films of all time. In 1937, Walt Disney changed the face of cinema forever with the first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Every few years heralded the advent of a new Disney masterpiece, but following The Jungle Book in 1967 (the final animated film Walt himself oversaw before his death), Disney animation hit a bit of a slump.
It wasn’t until 1989, with the success of The Little Mermaid, that the studio’s second Golden Age of animation arrived, and it lasted until CGI (and the obvious storytelling prowess of Pixar Studios) moved in and brutally kicked traditional hand-drawn animation out of the cinemas. It was a magic age that brought us films the likes of Aladdin, Mulan and Tarzan, but there were two films that stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Both were films that told classic stories in a way that only Disney animation could achieve. Both reveled in critical and box office success. (One was able to claim for nine years that it was the highest-grossing animated movie of all time; the other was able to claim for 19 years that it was the only animated movie to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award–until an expansion of the category to ten nominees and this film came along.) And both were unquestionably among the most brilliant jewels in Disney’s animation crown. But this, folks, is Flickchart, and there’s only one question to ask: Which movie is better? Find out in this edition of Reel Rumbles (now Super-Sized, with a special Bonus Round!): The Lion King vs. Beauty and the Beast.
2009 was a banner year for science fiction, one of the best for the genre in recent memory. It brought us franchise resurrections (J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek, McG‘s Terminator Salvation), critically-heralded indie gems (Duncan Jones‘ Moon), and, indeed, Oscar cred with, not one, but two Best Picture nominations. Which brings us to, arguably, two of the best sci-fi movies of the past decade, and this edition of Reel Rumbles: James Cameron‘s Avatar vs. Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9.
It’s a true David vs. Goliath story: Avatar is both the most expensive movie in film history, and the highest-grossing. District 9 is the little indie that could, proportionately achieving financial success somewhat comparable to Avatar‘s with a much more meager budget. One was directed by one of the most successful directors in cinematic history (who already had the previous highest-grossing film of all time, Titanic , under his belt), and one was helmed by a first-time feature film director whom producer Peter “The Lord of the Rings” Jackson had taken under his belt. And yet, for two films on such opposite ends of the financial and professional spectrum, they actually share a surprising number of similarities.
But which film is superior? Does box office domination translate to better filmmaking? Step into the ring and find out…
We were warned. Y2K would bring a complete collapse of our computers. Provided that didn’t send us back into the Stone Age overnight, it would require a reboot. The computers, as it turned out, were fine… but Hollywood hit the “reboot” button anyway.
If you’re an avid Flickcharter, you’ve no doubt got a list of hundreds — if not thousands — of films ranked. From your all-time favorites to the dregs of cinema that you only wish you could un-see, to those middle-of-the-chart, ho-hum, so-so films whose ranks, while fun to try and get into their proper order, become somewhat interchangeable as they all share a common air of mediocrity.
Indeed, when it comes to your Flickchart, do you truly care whether Movie #667 is better than Movie #668? Does it even matter if Movie #236 is better than Movie #247?
What about global rankings? Does it matter to you if Flickchart’s users have V for Vendetta ranked higher than There Will Be Blood? Or that District 9 ranks higher than Best Picture Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker? Be honest: Does it really, really concern you that The Dark Knight outranks Star Wars as the #1 movie of all-time? As a movie fan, you know this fact to be either true or false; global rankings can be very useful in helping you find good movies that you haven’t seen yet, but when it comes to the films you do and don’t like, they aren’t necessarily going to sway your opinion.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet that, for most Flickcharters, the only list that really matters is that one that stares you in the face every time you come to the site: your personal Top 20. It’s the list that’s on-screen every time you rank; either causing you to constantly question it, or reaffirm that yes, yes these are, in fact, my favorite movies of all-time. The cream of the crop. The films that will smack down any others they come against in your Flickchart rankings.
His career as a director spanned seven decades, starting in the Forties with a small job on an early religious program and ending in 2000 with the action-mystery Reindeer Games. With such meager and lifeless bookends, one might question the abilities of director John Frankenheimer, who passed away shortly after his final film at the age of 93. But as poet laureate for Generation Z Miley Cyrus so eloquently sings, “It’s the climb,” and Frankenheimer’s climb was one populated with a tense body of expertly crafted films that brought action and suspense to breathless new heights. His last great work paired him with a tight script and three brilliant actors for some of the most dizzying and fun car chases this side of The French Connection. But in this week’s Reel Rumbles, Ronin has some fierce competition out of Michael Mann, another talented director, with a film that many consider to be his finest hour. A loose remake of his previous made-for-TV effort L.A. Takedown (1989), Heat won the praise of critics and audiences alike, and built a bridge between an overlooked cadre of masterpieces and a prominent career for the director that continues today. Study the blueprints, sync your watches, and get ready for the big score. It’s time for Heat vs. Ronin.