Film Face-off: ‘District 9′ vs. ‘Elysium,’ ‘Transformers’ vs. ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Die Hard’ vs. ‘White House Down,’ and ‘The Lone Ranger vs. Pirates of the Caribbean’

I write an article at Movies.com called Film Face-off, where I take two things, and they battle it out. The things could be actors, movies, characters, just about anything. Give it some love, comments, tweets, Facebook affection.

Film Face-off: ‘District 9′ vs. ‘Elysium’

Is “dirty science fiction” a genre? I guess if Mad Max is science fiction, then yes. DirectorNeill Blomkamp now has two feature films under his belt, and both would fit that category. Blomkamp makes sure we’re not just getting aliens, laser guns and spaceships, but also a not-very-subtle political/social slant. Just because something has a message doesn’t make it dirty. It’s the dirt, the blood, the dust and the evil humans out for their own particular greed. In this week’s Film Face-off let’s see how District 9 compares to Elysium, and if Blomkamp has suffered a sophomore slump.

Film Face-off: ‘Transformers’ vs. ‘Pacific Rim’

Giant robots save us. It’s just a matter of them coming from another planet, or if we make them right here on Earth. Pacific Rim gives us Jaegers vs. Kaiju. Transformers (2007) gives us Autobots vs. Decepticons. Sure, Pacific Rim has the advantage of not being based on childhood toys, but that also means it might be a tougher sell at the box office. Luckily, there is one surefire way to figure out which one matters more, it’s time for another Film Face-off, with Pacific Rim vs. Transformers.

Film Face-off: ‘The Lone Ranger’ vs. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’

Director Gore Verbinkski and Johnny Depp have now teamed up for the fifth time (thePirates of the Caribbean trilogy and Rango) with The Lone Ranger, which unsurprisingly has a lot in common with Pirates. Technically, both films could survive without Depp’s character. With Pirates, a hero tries to save a woman he loves from bad guys. With Lone a hero tries to save a woman from bad guys. But, with both films, it’s Depp that we’ve come to see. I think you know where this is going.

It’s time for a Film Face-off with The Lone Ranger vs. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Comparing the setting (Pirates vs. Cowboys) would be apples vs. oranges, so instead I’ve selected five other categories to battle this one out.

Film Face-off: ‘Die Hard’ vs. ‘White House Down’

Sure, the easy thing to do would have been to compare White House Down with the other White House/president-under-attack movie that just came out three months ago known asOlympus Has Fallen. And by “easy” I mean that Jacob Hall already did it with his fantastic article “How Does ‘White House Down’ Compare to ‘Olympus Has Fallen’?” He correctly pointed out that White House Down is a better flick.

Let’s consider that the first round, and thrust Down into the finals against the big boy. That’s right, in this week’s Film Face-off it’s time for this “Die Hard at the White House” film to take on Die Hard.

Film Face-off: ‘Monsters, Inc.’ vs. ‘Monsters University’

We’ve been friends with Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) since 2001, but what happens when friends become monsters? Um… monster enemies? That’s the hook in Pixar’s Monsters University, a prequel that puts our favorite scaring duo in college. The very first time I saw Monsters, Inc., I wasn’t that impressed, thinking it was just “not bad.” That’s because I’m an idiot. Well, it’s probably because I wasn’t in a good mood or something, and it was before my days as a film critic so I didn’t analyze, I just moved on to the next one. Since then, I’ve been able to see the brilliance of the film.

When Pixar announced it was continuing the Monsters world, it seemed like there were only two schools of thought. One, I hope the Pixar folks capture some of that sequel brillance like they have with the Toy Story franchise. Two, I hope they avoid that desperate feeling of a cash grab that is the Cars franchise. Thankfully, Monsters University is a quality, comedic gem, but we’re about to find out how it stacks up to the original in this Film Face-off with Monsters, Inc. vs. Monsters University.

 

 

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