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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: 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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Why’d it Bomb?/Why’s it Remembered? Little Nicky and Eight Crazy Nights

Kevthewriter ponders the enduring legacy of two movies in le cinema de Sandler.

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Netflix and Chill: The Ridiculous Six

Kevthewriter kicks off his look at movies you can watch on Netflix with a review of The Ridiculous Six.

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September 9: Happy Birthday Adam Sandler and Cliff Robertson

0909SandlerRobertson

Today is Adam Sandler’s 51st birthday.  He is part of a very long list of film and television industry alumni of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1988.  He made his first TV guest appearances while still at NYU, and made his film debut in Going Overboard in 1989.  A year later, he was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and he joined the show’s performing cast in 1991, remaining until 1995.

Sandler’s first real film success came in 1995, when he wrote and starred in Billy Madison.  A critical bust, the film nevertheless succeeded at the box office, making over $25 million domestically against a $10 million budget.  Happy Gilmore, a year later, was a similar story, following which Sandler had a very good 1998, starring with Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer, and writing, producing and starring in his biggest box office hit ever in inflation-adjusted terms, The Waterboy.

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September 9: Happy Birthday Michelle Williams and Hugh Grant

0909WilliamsGrant

Michelle Williams celebrates her 36th birthday today.  She began acting at about 13, and her first big role was as Jen Lindley on Dawson’s Creek.  She was one of the large cohort of young actors and actresses who first came to notice in the late 1990s in one or more of teen-oriented television series, high school romantic comedies, or hip horror films.  Along with Mila Kunis, Williams has had the most successful career of all of this crowd (although the late Heath Ledger was doing well at the time of his death).

There were hints, during her Dawson’s Creek years, that Williams might be the one from that series to make it big, especially her delightful turn in the comic Dick, where her character crushes on Richard Nixon.  But her big breakthrough, and her first Oscar nomination, came with the 2005 drama Brokeback Mountain:

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: I Know Who Killed Me Vs. Jack and Jill

I Know Who Killed Me Vs. Jack and Jill

I’m particularly proud of this one.  I’m sure it’s not half as clever as I think it is.  When I looked over the 16 winningest movies in Razzie history, I tried to find natural pairings.  Some of them were easy.  Showgirls and Striptease, duh.  But I was left with a few movies with no obvious matches.  There wasn’t a straight-up horror movie like I Know Who Killed Me or a comedy like Jack and Jill.  So what do these two movies have in common?  The lead actors both play twins!

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2012

Razzies 2012

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The thirty-third annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2012.   Marvel’s The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were the top movies of the year.  Argo won Best Picture, but Best Director went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi.  Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence were named Best Actor and Best Actress.  The Razzies had a little extra sparkle this year thanks to all the vampires.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2011

Razzies 2011

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The thirty-second annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2011.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon were the top movies of the year.  The silent comedy, The Artist, took a lot of the top prizes including Best Picture.   And Meryl Streep won her third Oscar for The Iron Lady.  At the Razzies, every single award was won by one of two movies starring Adam Sandler.

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Saturday Night Live Bracket Game: Poehler Vs. Belushi

Poehler Vs. Belushi

This past weekend, Daffy and I recorded the next episode of our podcast.  We have been working on some ways to improve the show from content to sound quality.  The next episode has a Saturday Night Live-inspired theme.  So as we build up to the next episode, we are going to run an SNL bracket game to pick your favorite former SNL cast-member.

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Saturday Night Live Bracket Game: Sandler vs Aykroyd

Sandler Aykroyd

This past weekend, Daffy and I recorded the next episode of our podcast.  We have been working on some ways to improve the show from content to sound quality.  The next episode has a Saturday Night Live-inspired theme.  So as we build up to the next episode, we are going to run an SNL bracket game to pick your favorite former SNL cast-member.

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