In 1997, space was a quirky place. Paul Verhoeven went bug-squishing in Starship Troopers. A pre-Resident Evil Paul W.S. Anderson and a pre-Hellboy Guillermo Del Toro gave us very different sci-fi/horror flicks in Event Horizon and Mimic. And Alien Resurrection made the venerable franchise a little weirder under the pen of Joss Whedon and the direction of French indie favorite Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Arguably, the two most successful offerings, however, gave us very unique takes on science fiction (at least from a visual standpoint). One was the surreal and visually unique pet project of a French writer/director who nowadays is better known for writing and producing more generic action fare such as Taken and the Transporter franchise. The other was based on a comic book (back when such things were a little less common), was a bona fide box office smash (coming only behind the then-highest-grossing-movie-of-all-time in the year’s earnings) and cemented Will Smith‘s reputation as a box-office king (fresh as he was off the previous year’s Independence Day). Both films packed plenty of chuckles–intentional and, perhaps, otherwise.
To twist a tagline from that Alien franchise: In space, no one can hear you laugh. But back in ’97, the laughter was heard in multiplexes everywhere. Come enter the Reel Rumbles ring as we take a stroll thirteen years down memory lane and bust heads with some freaky aliens in The Fifth Element vs. Men in Black.
Sooner or later, everybody runs. Even if they’re one of the biggest movie stars on the face of the planet. For this edition of Reel Rumbles, grab your popcorn and prepare for the run of your life as we go on the lam with Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise in an attempt to prove their innocence (and cinematic superiority) with The Fugitive vs. Minority Report.
These two thrillers both feature a cinema superstar accused of murder and on the run from the law. One is a tense cat-and-mouse game between a surgeon out to find his wife’s real killer and the dogged U.S. Marshal on his tail; the other is set in the not-so-distant future, and features a law enforcement officer trying to clear himself of a murder that hasn’t even been committed yet. One is an almost unexpected masterwork from a director whose other best-known credits are the Steven Seagal vehicle Under Siege and a Coast Guard movie starring Ashton Kutcher. The other is a superb thriller-with-a-sci-fi-twist from one of cinema’s greatest living legends that, despite how great it is, somehow still doesn’t seem to quite match some of the director’s previous cinematic efforts.
So which is better? Run–don’t walk–into the Reel Rumbles ring and find out…
Since our public launch in September, we’ve grown to well over 40,000 users, and garnered a total of more than 60 million rankings. As we approach the close of the year, and the start of a new decade, we thought we might take a moment to showcase the Top 20 films that our users have deemed to be considered the best-of-the-best from 2000-2009. So without further adieu, here are the best ranked films on Flickchart of the decade:
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Since the early twentieth century, greed has been a subject to fascinate filmmakers and movie audiences alike. It is a vice that can turn normal men into monsters. Like a plague, it spreads ever so easily to destroy the Host and the Innocent. The most notable starting point of greed on film is in Erich von Stroheim’s silent work Greed (1924). Famous for its original ten-hour length, which was obliterated much to the director’s chagrin by over seven hours worth of cuts, Greed explored in much detail how destructive the abstract can be. In this week’s Reel Rumbles, the wages of greed are examined further by two modern classics, adaptations of the literary works of Upton Sinclair (Oil!) and Cormac McCarthy. Lie to friends, horde your wealth, and steal from family members – it’s time for No Country for Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood.