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Category Archives: Bracket Game

Movies of 1998 Bracket Game Champion: The Big Lebowski


I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that the Coen brothers’ meandering slacker era take on western and Raymond Chandler tropes, The Big Lebowski came out on top in our 1998 movies bracket game. After all, I’m not aware of any of these other films inspiring widespread fan devotion nearly to the level that the Dude and his friends have, even resulting in the satirical establishment of an associated religion based on the Jeff Bridges character’s life philosophies, “Dudeism.”

Let’s take a look at some of the fan art that has placed the Dude into spots of honor –
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Championship Round!: Out of Sight Vs. The Big Lebowski

Well, here we are in the championship round and despite some mild upsets along the way, we’ve pretty much got the pair of movies remaining that I thought we’d have. This pairing might have been surprising at another site, but knowing our readers as I do, I was pretty sure this is where we’d end up. By this point we’ve done a basic rundown on how these movies got made, some of the music they used, one of their supporting players, and what the reaction was when they were released. You guys know a lot about what we’re looking at so I’m not going to jaw your ear off at this stage. Instead, we’ll just enjoy a couple of clips from the movies in question. You probably already know which one you’re voting for anyway. Let’s look!
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: The Big Lebowski Vs. Pleasantville

Well, here we are in our 1998 bracket final four! Are these the four best movies of 1998? Mehh…maybe not, but it looks like we’ve got a good chance at a championship round that will well represent how we feel about the movies of the year twenty years later. After a general review of the origins and reactions to each movie in the first round, followed by some inspection of the music involved in the second round, I’ll be covering some of the supporting performers who helped make these movies as deep and well-rounded as they are. These are the faces and voices that continue to pop up over and over again, but maybe never become full-fledged stars all on their own. As a modicum of consolation, we’ll be honoring four of them here at LeBlog over the next couple of days.

For all intents and purposes, what we have here is the championship match for the comedy portion of our 1998 bracket. At the same time, I don’t think there’s much debate that one of these movies is funnier than the other. The Big Lebowski is a goofy slacker comedy filtered through classic noir and western tropes and directed by the Coen brothers, while Pleasantville is set up with a comedic premise, but then evolves into an examination of more serious themes. But of course, we’re not here to decide based on the constraints of a given genre, simply based on our perception of the quality of what we’re seeing. Join us in taking a look at a couple of the veteran actors who show up in these two excellent films.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Out of Sight Vs. Mulan

Well, here we are in our 1998 bracket final four! Are these the four best movies of 1998? Mehh…maybe not, but it looks like we’ve got a good chance at a championship round that will well represent how we feel about the movies of the year twenty years later. After a general review of the origins and reactions to each movie in the first round, followed by some inspection of the music involved in the second round, I’ll be covering some of the supporting performers who helped make these movies as deep and well-rounded as they are. These are the faces and voices that continue to pop up over and over again, but maybe never become full-fledged stars all on their own. As a modicum of consolation, we’ll be honoring four of them here at LeBlog over the next couple of days.

In the first of our semifinal matches we have an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard story facing an adaptation of an old Chinese legend. Both stories feature strong female characters who are in roles that are typically dominated by men. Let’s consider some of their supporting cast.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Pleasantville Vs. Rushmore

In the first round of this bracket game, I tended to give some general information about the origins of the movie in question, its overall nature, and the resulting reactions to it both critically and financially. I then included a video of the trailer for the movie, just in case anybody needed a reminder of what the movie was like (or maybe more accurately, how it was marketed). With our list of films whittled down to eight, I’ve decided to take a different tack in this second round. Hopefully, with fewer films to cover, the chances that I’ll find the information and sources I need will be pretty decent.

Today we have a matchup between two movies named after fictional places that are revered by some of the characters. We’ve also got two soundtracks full of brilliantly employed classic pop songs. Drag yourself out of that old vinyls shop and join in the appreciation.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: The Wedding Singer Vs. The Big Lebowski

In the first round of this bracket game, I tended to give some general information about the origins of the movie in question, its overall nature, and the resulting reactions to it both critically and financially. I then included a video of the trailer for the movie, just in case anybody needed a reminder of what the movie was like (or maybe more accurately, how it was marketed). With our list of films whittled down to eight, I’ve decided to take a different tack in this second round. Hopefully, with fewer films to cover, the chances that I’ll find the information and sources I need will be pretty decent.

Unlike in the top portion of our bracket, today’s matchup features two movies whose musical offerings are primarily pop songs carefully curated for use in the flicks rather than created specifically for them. This is obviously a completely different thing, but has been a part of the movie making business basically forever. Who did it better?
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Deep Impact Vs. Mulan

In the first round of this bracket game, I tended to give some general information about the origins of the movie in question, its overall nature, and the resulting reactions to it both critically and financially. I then included a video of the trailer for the movie, just in case anybody needed a reminder of what the movie was like (or maybe more accurately, how it was marketed). With our list of films whittled down to eight, I’ve decided to take a different tack in this second round. Hopefully, with fewer films to cover, the chances that I’ll find the information and sources I need will be pretty decent.

Here I was, all prepared to say that the competitors in this second round matchup had something in common because they were “both cartoons,” and you guys went and voted in Deep Impact instead of Armageddon. Hey, I like a cheap joke as much as the next guy, but I gotta say you made the right choice anyway. At some point the movies having something in common is going to fall away in these bracket games anyway, so let’s get on with it.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Saving Private Ryan Vs. Out of Sight

In the first round of this bracket game, I tended to give some general information about the origins of the movie in question, its overall nature, and the resulting reactions to it both critically and financially. I then included a video of the trailer for the movie, just in case anybody needed a reminder of what the movie was like (or maybe more accurately, how it was marketed). With our list of films whittled down to eight, I’ve decided to take a different tack in this second round. Hopefully, with fewer films to cover, the chances that I’ll find the information and sources I need will be pretty decent.

First up, we have a pair of movies featuring people with guns. In one, we have soldiers fighting other soldiers and in the other we have a cops and robbers sort of situation. I think if we consider how each film was executed, we will see this difference reflected. Come take it in with me!
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Rushmore Vs. Shakespeare In Love

1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.

There’s not much here to draw comparisons between the two movies, except that I like them both and…well, both are about characters who put on plays and fall in love with someone inappropriate…hey, they do have some stuff in common! Come, let’s see if there’s more!
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: The Truman Show Vs. Pleasantville

1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.

Obviously, what we have here are two very different takes on television. One questions the morality of certain kinds of productions and the separation between real life and imagined life while the other uses our perceptions of specific small screen entertainments as a leaping off point for its ideas about change and enlightenment. Which treatise on small screen media resonates more for you? Come step behind the camera and give them both a look.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: There’s Something About Mary Vs. The Big Lebowski

1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.

It wasn’t until I had the bracket set that I realized There’s Something About Mary is kind of a rom-com. Well, the Dude has Maude Lebowski, right? Let’s take a gander at these two zany comedies made by brothers about characters in over their heads.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: You’ve Got Mail Vs. The Wedding Singer

1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.

To begin the lower half of our 1998 bracket we’re representing the rom-com cinematic trend with two pretty traditional examples of the genre, but from slightly different generations. I would argue that while a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie is pretty appealing overall, it is most appealing to younger baby boomers and that including Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore aims your movie more toward younger members of Generation X. I have a mild appreciation for both of these movies, so maybe that says something about where I sit on this spectrum? Let’s take a look at both You’ve Got Mail and The Wedding Singer.
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Movies of 1998 Bracket Game: Mulan Vs. A Bug’s Life

1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.

Today’s pairing features the two biggest animated films of the year, with the computer generated insects of A Bug’s Life and the mostly hand-drawn Chinese action musical Mulan.
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