Twilight Zone: The Movie (PG | March 11th | 1983)
Flickchart Ranking: #1129
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 picked a pretty lousy two week stretch to open this column with. Last week’s biggest release did $1.7 million at the US box office and this week’s hit $8 million. By all accounts Bad Lieutenant and Pirate Radio (aka The Boat That Rocked) are good movies, they just aren’t that sexy to kick a column off with (well, aside from stars Eva Mendes and January Jones).
So, here are this week’s new DVD, Blu-ray, and Netflix Instant Watch titles. Each film will include their Flickchart global statistics (when available), as well as three direct links to rank the title against similar movies (one good, one average and one bad) to help nail down where the movie belongs on your chart.
I love the purity of impulse involved in duels on Flickchart.
Though I certainly can’t speak for everyone, I personally use the “first thought, best thought” principle when it comes to declaring a victor. You know, the method taught to us in school, to survive multiple choice tests you didn’t study for. This principle states that the first answer you think is right, is probably right. Similarly, whichever dueling movie inspires the greatest instinctive rush of affection – on a primal level, divorced from the paralysis of over-thinking – is the correct choice to win the duel. If you suddenly realize this principle is working too well, and Flickchart autopilot has resulted in an errant click, there’s always the Undo button to correct your mistakes.