The Throwdown : USS Enterprise vs. Millennium Falcon

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Just what is The Throwdown you ask? It’s a feature where we take two movie subjects and pit them against each other and see who’s left standing. It could be actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and so much more. You play a big part in this. You get to vote and determine who comes out on top. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Vote to decide the true winner!

Last time you unusually cruel people broke my heart by choosing Star Trek over Star Wars as the better franchise by a pretty decisive margin – 66.7% to 33.3%. Today we’re sticking with the Star Wars versus Start Trek theme.

USS Enterprise vs Millennium Falcon

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Just like the franchises themselves, I have a deep appreciation and love for both the Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon. Both are iconic starships, not just in the realm of science fiction, but in world-wide pop culture. Both are easily recognized by legions of fans, but also by many people who wouldn’t call themselves followers of either franchise.

For me the choice is pretty simple. While I love the USS Enterprise and have spent many big screen and small screen hours on the bridge, in the captain’s quarters, on the holodeck, etc., it just can’t beat “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”. The Falcon has so much history and character. In fact, it has often been called a Star Wars character itself. Also there has only been one Millennium Falcon. While I truly love most versions of the Enterprise, it has been decommissioned and even destroyed on multiple occasions. The Falcon has always been that “bucket of bolts” we’ve seen in the majority of the Star Wars films.

Now it’s up to you. Which iconic starship is the best? Which one is your personal favorite? Vote below and see which one comes out on top. Make sure to make your choice and then click the VOTE button so that your vote counts.

 

THE THROWDOWN : Star Wars vs. Star Trek

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Just what is The Throwdown you ask? It’s a feature I ran for a while that had a lot of fun interaction. We take two movie subjects and pit them against each other and see who’s left standing. It could be actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and so much more. You play a big part in this. You get to vote and determine who comes out on top. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Vote to decide the true winner!

In keeping with my week-long Star Wars theme what better Throwdown to have than between two quintessential science-fiction franchises. Both are etched into the culture and have left their marks on generations of followers. They each possess huge, devoted fan bases that are passionate and more than willing to both praise and scrutinize every new piece of content that comes out. So which is the better sci-fi franchise, Star Wars or Star Trek? Just like before you make the final decision. Vote now and defend your favorite. It’s up to you!

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

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While both Star Wars and Star Trek are staples in the science-fiction world, they are really quite different in both scope and ambition. Star Trek has mostly kept close to its television roots (with the exception of the fairly controversial “Nemesis” and the newer reboot movies). It is intensely character focused with strong emphasis on exploration, peacekeeping, meeting new species, and of course boldly going where no man has gone before. I’m not saying Star Trek is all talk and action-free. It certainly has some memorable action-fueled moments. But Star Trek at its purest has stuck to what has made it unique.

Star Wars is a much different animal. It has often been called a ‘space opera’ and that’s pretty accurate. It’s vast, sprawling and often known for its ground-breaking effects and big action. But it is also deeply rooted in its lore which expands through the movies, animated series, video games, comics, and novels. For me Star Wars will always be my favorite due to the depth and vibrancy of its universe, the iconic personalities of its key characters, and its stunning sci-fi action. From it’s old-school movie serial influence to it’s ever-growing canon of people and places, I’ll always be captivated by the immersive George Lucas creation.

Now it’s up to you. Which science-fiction franchise is your favorite? Which franchise are you more drawn to? Vote below and see which one comes out on top.

 

THE THROWDOWN – “Apocalypse Now” vs. “Platoon”

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It wasn’t long ago that movies based on the Vietnam War were all the craze. In the 80s, big budget action movies and cheap POW escape films seem to come out every month. The likes of Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone ran through the Vietnam countryside in their respected movies and in numerous sequels that followed. But there were also some much more serious and focused Vietnam war pictures and that’s where we are going today. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Throwdown but I was itching to pit two highly acclaimed war pictures against each other.

“Apocalypse Now” vs. “Platoon”

APOC“Apocalypse Now” is heralded by many as not only being a great film but being the greatest war movie ever made. I certainly disagree with that last point and honestly I would venture to blaspheme and say it’s a bit overrated. Now don’t get me wrong, “Apocalypse Now” features some incredible sequences. The entire middle is truly intense and compelling stuff laced with some of cinema’s most iconic scenes. Unfortunately it’s bookended by a beginning and end that I found to be hard to endure. To say it derails the film may be a little strong. But it certainly keeps it from being the all-time classic for me that it is for others. Still there’s a lot to love about the film and it has a following that’s firm in their love for it. For many it’s a classic.

PlatoonEven though I’m not the biggest Oliver Stone fan I can still appreciate some of his work. One of his most recognized films is “Platoon”. This 1986 Academy Award winner is one of the most character rich films about the war in Vietnam. Stone throws us in the mix with some brilliantly written and memorable characters brought to life by a great cast. Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, Forest Whitacker, and of course a pre-psychotic Charlie Sheen. The vibrant cinematography by Richard Richardson shines and it features arguably Oliver Stone’s strongest script. Now it does get a little too preachy and I do think Stone dwells on certain personalities for the sake of his message. But “Platoon” still grabs me any time I watch it.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one so here’s a Throwdown refresher course. Be sure to cast your vote in the poll below. Afterwards I would love for you to leave a comment about why you prefer one movie for another. Maybe you don’t like either one. Let everyone know why. It’s Throwdown time. Is it “Apocalypse Now” or “Platoon”?

THE THURSDAY THROWDOWN – SISKEL vs. EBERT

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One Thursday of each month is Throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects, pit them against each other, and see who’s left standing. On these Thursdays we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and more. I’ll make a case for each and then see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each time for a new Throwdown. Vote each time to decide the true winner!

So many of you were like me and grew up watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert go back and forth on their 30 minute movie review program. Their show first took form in the mid 70s but it really took off during the mid 80s and since then has gone through several title changes and eventually new hosts. But the show’s true heydays were from the mid 80s through the 1990s when Siskel and Ebert argued and sparred over movies every week. They each approached their opinions of movies differently and their tastes were also often times at odds. That made for great television and both helped make film criticism what it is today. But as you know this is The Throwdown. That means I’m putting these two movie critic icons up against each other. So who did you side with the most? Who was the better critic? Was it Siskel or Ebert? As always, your votes decide!

GENE SISKEL vs. ROGER EBERT

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Gene Siskel was born in Chicago and ended up landing a job at the Chicago Tribune in 1969. His film critic career launched thanks to a small local PBS movie review show where he first teamed up with Roger Ebert. Siskel had a wide range of movie favorites including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese pictures. But I also remember him for his unpredictability. He often times would surprise you with the variety of movies he would like. I also loved the way he worded his reviews. He took the funniest jabs at movies he didn’t like and had a hilarious way of pushing Ebert’s buttons. He was calmer but razor-sharp and the way he dissected a film was both thought-provoking and often times hysterical. I still love listening to his takes and he remains one of my favorite film critics of all time. Sadly he passed away in 1999 due to complications from a cancerous brain tumor. He’s still missed to this day.

Roger Ebert’s film critic career dates all the way back to 1967 when he began writing movie reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times. In addition to his column he would go on to author numerous books including a yearly annual. He also became the first movie critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. But it was his television collaboration withe Gene Siskel that really catapulted him into the spotlight. Ebert was the more boisterous of the two and seemed to lose his temper more which made for some wonderful television. He’s very outspoken in his criticism or praise of a film and you can’t help but to be enthralled in his opinions even if they sometimes seem wildly inconsistent. Yet even when Ebert gets worked up, you can always sense the true passion he has about movies. Roger Ebert was a perfect opposite to Gene Siskel and even though you have to wade through some pretty outlandish stuff from him, he continues writing and reviewing films for movie fans even today.

Now its in your hands. Who gets the “Thumbs Up”? Is it Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert? Vote now on the poll below and please share your thoughts and comments on these two great movie critic icons.

THE THROWDOWN – Sean Connery vs. Daniel Craig

The Throwdown

Wednesday is Throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects, pit them against each other, and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and more. I’ll make a case for each and then see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new Throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

With November’s release of “Skyfall”, the 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, I thought it would be good to do a 007 Throwdown. Since the 007 franchise spans so many years, there have been an interesting array of actors who have taken on the role of James Bond. I decided to make this the old versus the new. Sean Connery versus Daniel Craig. Both actors have cemented themselves into Bond lore and rightfully so. But this is all about who is the best. As always you decide with your votes. Who is the best James Bond? Is it Sean Connery? Is it Daniel Craig? Is it Connery’s suave and slick old-school charm or is it Daniel Craig’s tough and gritty new era Bond? Vote now!

Sean Connery VS. Daniel Craig

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Daniel Craig ushered in a new moodier and edgier era of James Bond and I have loved it. Craig has the style to sell the ladies man superspy angle that the series is known for. But he also brings a toughness and physicality to the role that gives the character an entirely fresh and new feel. This was never more evident than in the first sequence of Craig’s first Bond movie “Casino Royale “. What an introduction to today’s Bond. While many have had issues with his second 007 picture “Quantum of Solace”, I found it thoroughly entertaining even with its flaws. But he was back in top form with this year’s “Skyfall”, a brilliantly crafted spy thriller that mixed traditional Bond with the Craig interpretation. I’m all onboard with Craig in this role and I hope he continues for as long as he fits the part.

Sean Connery could be considered the Godfather of the James Bond series. He helped launch this wildly popular franchise in 1962 with “Dr. No”. He would go on to make six 007 pictures between the years of 1962 and 1971. He would even return for one more stint in 1983. There were a lot of doubts when they cast Connery but they proved off base. He was fabulous as Bond and the role catapulted him into stardom. He brought a suave and sexy sophistication to the role but he could be a tough cookie as well. More importantly, Sean Connery was instrumental in launching and making this adored James Bond franchise into the huge success that it is today.

So, the ball is now in your court. Who is the better Bond? Is it the classic Sean Connery or the new kid on the block, Daniel Craig. There will only be one winner and you decide who it is. Vote now!

THE THROWDOWN – 3D vs. IMAX

Wednesday is Throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects, pit them against each other, and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and more. I’ll make a case for each and then see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new Throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

Filmmakers and studios have employed all sorts of methods to try to enhance the moviegoing experiences of their audiences. Some of these techniques and innovations have been successful in making a visit to the cinema even more enjoyable. But some attempts at creating a better experience hasn’t worked all that well. Right now two of the biggest enhancements are IMAX and 3D. Both will make a bigger dent in your wallet but both can be loads of fun when executed well. So for this week’s Throwdown you get to decide which offers you the better moviegoing experience. Is it IMAX or is it 3D. As always you vote, you decide, and the winner takes all.

3D vs. IMAX

Whether you like it or whether you don’t, you have to admit that 3D technology has come a long way. Years ago it found its way into the movie theaters with pretty mixed results. The technology has seen several incantations over the years but it seems to have finally figured things out. The first movie to open my eyes to the technology’s possibilities was James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar”. Narratively speaking I thought “Avatar” was an overrated mess, technically it was an amazing accomplishment. Since then many movies have tapped into (or should I say cashed into) the 3D craze. Unfortunately subpar results have outweighed good ones. Studios have taken to tacking on 3D in post production instead of shooting their films with 3D in mind. The results have been lackluster at best. On the flipside there have been some films that have used 3D to create a truly satisfying visual experience. Movies like “Hugo” and “Prometheus” are actually made better by the technology in the hands of their capable directors. I still find myself skeptical, but for me, a few good results are enough to keep me curious about what’s to come.

I’ve now seen several movies on the IMAX screen and it’s hard not to be impressed. The sheer size of the screen is enough to excite you, but then considering that most IMAX theaters feature state-of-the-art sound, the overall experience itself is simply fantastic. Many quality filmmakers have played with IMAX and the results have been for the most part great. But the one film that I always go back to when thinking about the strengths of IMAX is Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. Nolan is a big proponent of IMAX technology and sequences of “The Dark Knight” were shot in IMAX. He went even further this year with “The Dark Knight Rises”. IMAX screens now use 3D technology to create their own unique experiences. But to me you can’t beat a movie shot in IMAX for IMAX. This is a technology that’s been around for a long time, but we are now seeing more great filmmakers using it to create the ultimate cinematic experience.

So which is tops when it comes to your experience at the theater. Does 3-D or IMAX tickle your fancy more? Which do you think has proven itself? Which offers more for the future? Most importantly what makes your movie watching better? Your votes decide. Vote now!