Category Archives: Trifecta

The first rule of Fight Club is: Stop quoting the same line over and over.

In case you missed it, Edward Norton celebrated his 43rd birthday this month!

You know what that means…

Jordan:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
This may seem pretty obvious. When you think of Edward Norton, you think of Fight Club. And inevitably the rules of Fight Club. But it’s definitely still a cult classic. A lot of people know about it, but may have never seen it, or not for a long time. And there are lots of bigger blockbuster movies that Ed’s starred in that have made way more money: Red Dragon, The Incredible Hulk, The Bourne Legacy.
Not that I’m saying those are his most popular by any means. Just playing devil’s advocate.
Worst – Kingdom of Heaven (2005):
Edward Norton is a great actor. He shines even in bad movies. Seriously, google “kingdom of heaven edward norton” and it will all be articles praising his name. Even though the movie is super long and super boring.
Most Underrated – Keeping the Faith (2000):
Keeping the Faith is the type of movie you watch when TBS shows it on a Saturday afternoon. I’m sure that’s how I saw it the first time. And then probably the next ten times. I love this movie. It deals with love, friendship, faith, temptation in a funny and relatable manner. Plus, it sounds like the beginning of a corny joke: So a priest and a rabbi are in love with the same girl…

Kurtis:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
It was between this and American History X but Fight Club has the much broader recognition. Fight Club was basically an instant classic and really cemented Norton’s place in our generation as an exceptional actor. It’s amazing to look at his filmography and see so many great films/roles and nooooot that many duds. David Fincher’s adaptation of this novel is a dark comedy with plenty of social commentary to spare. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are both perfect in this movie and it’s absolutely worthy of its 96% user rating on RT.
Worst – Down in the Valley (2006):
Honestly, it was hard to choose a worst for Edward Norton because he’s really good about selecting quality roles, there’s just not that much “bad” to choose from. Down in the Valley was a bit of a miss for me though. It’s got an intriguing enough premise, but the second half gets really jumbled and loses steam. Edward Norton plays a mysterious drifter who falls in love with 18-year-old Evan Rachel Wood. Eventually she starts to see Harlan (Norton) for what he really is. This indie film could’ve been so much better.
Most Underrated – Keeping the Faith (2000):
Both directed by and starring Edward Norton, Keeping the Faith is one of the most underrated comedies of Ben Stiller and Edward Norton’s careers. Stiller, playing a rabbi, and Norton, playing a priest, both fall in love with the same girl they knew when they were in grade school. Norton blends the themes of friendship, love and faith seamlessly as a director and shines in his role as an actor. It’s light, upbeat and straightforward; a kind of film that is seriously lacking in our modern comedies.

Morgan:
Most Popular – Fight Club (1999):
This 100% goes to Fight Club. In fact, Fight Club is probably one of the most popular movies ever. It’s so quotable and a cult classic for our generation.
Worst – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014):
Maybe it’s just because I dislike Wes Anderson movies in general, but Norton was just eh for me. He wasn’t bad, because he never is. But definitely my least fave.
Most Underrated  – The Illusionist (2006):
This movie was okay for me. I think it’s Ed’s most underrated though because it was so overshadowed by The Prestige. They came out the same year and have similar plot lines. I love The Prestige and for that reason I never had a reason or wanted to see The Illusionist. But when I finally did, it was better than I assumed it would be.

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Rest in peace, Robin Williams

We are heartbroken to hear the news of Robin Williams’s death. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He influenced each of us growing up, so we decided to take a look back at Robin’s movies by playing another round of Trifecta.

Morgan:
Most Popular – Mrs. Doubtfire (1993):
This is almost a tough one, but I’m going with Mrs. Doubtfire. Even though he had produced a handful of great performances prior to this, I think Mrs. Doubtfire was a definitive role in Williams’ career.
Worst – Night at the Museum (2006):
This one probably goes to Night at the Museum. I mean, Williams’ character is okay and he’s not that bad, but the movies are just a no go for me. Especially when they don’t know when to stop making them.
Most Underrated – Good Will Hunting (1997):
Good Will Hunting, for sure. Most people don’t even know Robin Williams is in it; they’re too distracted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Who are great as well, don’t get me wrong. But Williams’ delivers something truly phenomenal and heartfelt, and everyone needs to see this movie.

Jordan:
Most Popular – Good Will Hunting (1997):
We technically don’t include animated features in Trifecta, but if we did, Aladdin would definitely be the top. You can’t think of Genie without thinking of all of Robin’s amazing improv. Good Will Hunting is a close second. His role in it (especially the “It’s not your fault scene) won him an Oscar.
Worst – Bicentennial Man (1999):
Okay, I saw this in theatres when I was nine. And all I remember  is that it was creepy and that I actually went to the bathroom  in the middle of it because I was so bored.
Most Underrated – Patch Adams (1998):
I think a lot of average Joes like this movie, but it has a really bad score from the critics on  Rotten Tomatoes. And I know at least one episode of Futurama that makes it the butt of the joke.

Kurtis:
Most Popular – Mrs. Doubtfire (1993):
Mrs. Doubtfire was the film, in my mind, that made Robin Williams cross-generational. There was already a whole slew of adoring fans that loved him for stand up comedy, Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society. Then Mrs. Doubtfire came along and introduced a new generation to the hilarious, all-energy comedy of Robin Williams. Not much funnier to a 8 year old kid than a grown man dressed up like a nanny. The iconic line for me will always be, after throwing a piece of fruit at Pierce Brosnan, “It was a drive-by fruiting.” Still funny.
Worst – Man of the Year (2006):
For me, this one just didn’t have the spark that so many of his other films had. But I don’t want to dwell on this category too long because I want to celebrate the magic he displayed over his career. Onto the next.
Most Underrated – Death to Smoochy (2002):
This dark comedy features one of my favorite performances by Robin Williams ever. Rainbow Randolph, famous kids tv star, fired in disgrace and hell-bent on destroying his replacement. It shows this whole new context of back alley children’s television programming deals, where everyone’s out only for themselves. It’s twisted and hilarious and as a 15-year-old who grew up on Flubber and Mrs. Doubtfire, it showed me a whole new side of Robin Williams that I’d never seen before.

Rest in Peace. Thanks for all the laughs and memories.
You’ll always be O Captain, My Captain.

 

WELCOME TO LEO MONTH!

We’re back from summer hiatus! And we’re back with a bang!

For those of you into astrology, you know that the end of July marks the beginning for the Leo sign. But for the rest of us, Leo just makes us think of one thing: LEONARDO DICAPRIO. (Sorry, DaVinci.)

Really, we’re just finding any excuse to watch Leonardo DiCaprio movies. Because he’s greatest.  So for the next five Tuesdays, we will have special posts looking at the best and worst of our favorite post-Growing Pains star.

Let’s kick it off with a round of Trifecta!

Morgan:
Most Popular – Titanic (1997):
Uh DUH. This was Leo’s breakout role that finally landed him on the map. There really is no other choice for this category. And if you haven’t seen this movie, you either live under a rock, or were born in ’97, am I right?
Worst – Critters 3 (1991):
If we’re being completely technical here, Critters 3 would take this category. It received a 0% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, making it literally the worst.
Most Underrated – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993):
This is young Leo, even younger than Titanic Leo. He plays Johnny Depp’s younger, autistic brother. It’s such a great performance for his age. I also feel like he gets overlooked in this film due to Depp being the lead.

Kurtis:
Most Popular – Titanic (1997):
Now Leo’s been in a lot of huge, very popular movies over the years but for me it still comes back to Titanic. Titanic launched Leo’s career and it’s impossible to think about one without the other. It’s also a really great movie, one of those watch-on-a-Saturday-afternoon-on-TNT kinda movies. Plus… “Near, Far, Wherever, You Are…”
Worst – The Beach (2000):
Awful, just awful. Now, disclaimer, I haven’t seen this movie for a few years and should maybe revisit it, but from what I remember it was all around terrible. It’s a jumbled story wrapped in philosophical themes that just falls completely flat on its face in the last third of the film. J. Edgar is a close second for me, I’d avoid either of them if possible.
Most Underrated – The Aviator (2004):
I’ve always given this spot to Catch Me If You Can in the past, but I’ve realized The Aviator is a bit more underrated. Whereas a lot of people simply forget about CMIYC being a great movie, most people I talk to haven’t even watched The Aviator to begin with. It’s an amazing biopic following Howard Hughes’ descent in becoming a recluse, featuring one of DiCaprio’s most masterful performances of his career. If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a go, it’s a long movie but it’s wonderfully paced and you won’t be disappointed.

Jordan:
Most Popular – Titanic (1997):
It’s one of the most popular movies of all time. Nothing else stands a chance.
Worst – J. Edgar (2011):
Kurtis and I redboxed this a while back. And it turned out to be a very similar experience to watching The Master. In theory, with great actors and interesting character arcs, you should get a good movie. Not the case. You only get instant regret.
Most Underrated – Romeo + Juliet (1996):
It doesn’t even land this in the Top Ten most critically acclaimed for Leo. but it should. So give this movie some love and rent it. Or show it to a ninth grade English class; that’s where I first saw it.

You’re either in or you’re blog. Right now.

Welcome to a special mid-week Trifecta!

What’s Trifecta, you say? Read this post. Or this post.

So without further ado, to celebrate his birthday today and his recent engagement, we’re looking at the most popular, the worst, and the most underrated films of GEORGE CLOONEY!

Kurtis:
Most Popular: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Ensemble movies are always a bit tricky when playing Trifecta. Sometimes a movie can become incredibly popular because of the cast itself and for some actors this obscures their filmography. For instance, Ocean’s Eleven might be Bernie Mac’s most popular movie because his other films never had the reach that Ocean’s did but you would never think of Ocean’s Eleven as a “Bernie Mac movie” because his role was smaller.
All that to say, I think the ensemble cast is the right pick here since George Clooney plays the title character (Danny Ocean) and is prominently featured. My runner up is O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Worst: The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
Talk about a movie requiring a particular sense of humor. I love dry humor, but to enjoy TMWSAG your sense of humor’s gotta be Sahara-Desert-Dry.
Most Underrated: The Perfect Storm(2000)
Compelling story based on true events, incredible imagery and superb acting all around makes this a movie that more people should revisit and add to their home collections. While there was some definite buzz when this movie came out, not many people think of it anymore (especially as among the best movies of the early 2000s like it is). Seriously, revisit this one and I think you’ll be satisfied that you did.

Morgan:
Most Popular: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t think of Clooney when they think of the Oceans series.
Worst: Burn After Reading (2008)
I didn’t actually see this one, but from what I’ve heard it easily falls into this category.
Most Underrated: The Monuments Men (2014)
So, this isn’t Clooney’s best movie by any means, but it’s definitely a lot better than most people give it credit for. I think it gets a lot of flack for the flaws that it has, but it’s such a great story that you really can’t help but love it.

Jordan:
Most Popular: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
This is an obvious choice. Also, Wikipedia says Ocean’s Eleven is still his most successful movie.
Worst: Batman & Robin (1997), or Leatherheads (2008)
I would say that Batman & Robin is my official answer. I think most people would agree. But I remember seeing Leatherheads in high school, and it was TERRIBLE.
Most Underrated: The Monuments Men (2014)
Everything that Morgan said above. And double it.

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Yippie-ki-yay, Trifecta!

Welcome to another round of Trifecta!

If you remember from last time, Trifecta is the hit game sweeping the nation where you have to choose one actor’s MOST POPULAR movie, WORST movie, and MOST UNDERRATED movie. This week to celebrate Bruce Willis‘s recent birthday, we took a look at his movies!

Jordan:
Most Popular: Die Hard (1988)
There could probably be an argument made for Pulp Fiction, but I don’t want to.
Worst: Hudson Hawk (1991)
This is basically based on the hilarious episode of How Did This Get Made I listened to about it.
Most Underrated: Mercury Rising (1998)
A nine-year-old finds a government secret in a magazine puzzle. What’s not to like?

Bryson:
Most Popular: Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard has to be his most popular, I mean, it was popular enough to make four more (and counting) after it.
Worst: The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
Outside of Die Hard and a few other good Bruce Willis films, I realized I haven’t seen much. So I went with what the critics thought was the worst.
Most Underrated: Looper (2012)
A lot of people love Looper and so did the critics. So it may not seem underrated. At the same time a lot of people overlook Bruce Willis in this film. It’s one of my favorites.

Morgan:
Most Popular: Die Hard series (1988 – 2013)
Because there’s like, six, or something. And because explosions.
Worst: Pulp Fiction (1994)
This may be slightly biased because I really just don’t like this movie.
Most Underrated: Looper (2012)
I thought this movie was rad, but I feel like not many people agree with me.

Kurtis:
Most Popular: Die Hard (1988)
I mean, how could it not be. John McClane is easily Bruce Willis’ defining role and there aren’t many other action films that are as well known as Die Hard (especially with the help of its many sequels). Die Hard also has Alan Rickman and the dad from Family Matters, so it’s pretty unforgettable. For me, The Sixth Sense would be a distant second choice for most popular.
Worst: Surrogates (2009)
There aren’t many dark spots in the filmography of Bruce Willis but the bad ones, are reallllly bad. Topping the list of Willis’ worst movies, for me, is Surrogates. The reason this is the worst of the worst is that it had the most potential to be great. The premise of humans living alone and interacting through robotic surrogates that can be the perfect versions of ourselves is genius and could speak to the way we use social media to project a certain identity. Unfortunately, this movie passes on the opportunity to make a high concept statement in exchange for complete drudgery. This one is just laughable. Sigh.
Most Underrated: Hudson Hawk (1991)
This was my hardest decision for Bruce, as there are so many great films that didn’t get their due. The other movies I was deciding between were; Mercury Rising, Unbreakable, and 16 Blocks. Ultimately though, I had to go with Hudson Hawk because it’s the anti-Bruce Willis movie and it is really, really great. This slapstick heist movie boasts a paltry 24% on Rotten Tomatoes but proves to be an original, infectiously fun, and well-written movie that still holds up. The critics definitely got this one wrong. Go watch it now!

[Side note: When I asked Kurtis if it was weird that he wrote more than everyone else, he just replied, “Oh well, everyone will just know that I’m the best.” And I couldn’t disagree.]

And in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good blog!

Today is Jim Carrey’s 52nd birthday!

And to celebrate his incredible career, I’m happy to introduce to you a game we call “Trifecta.” I (Kurtis) invented this game with some friends from work (shout out to Goldman and Zach) to help pass the time, and it has become a great conversation tool amongst my friends.

The premise is simple, if you’re challenged to a trifecta you need to come up with the actress/actor’s Most Popular film, their Worst film and their Most Underrated film. It’s important to note the huge difference between Most Popular and BEST film. For example, you might think Vince Vaughn’s best movie is Fred Claus (it’s not, but you might think that) but his most popular film is probably Wedding Crashers (it’s the movie you think of when someone mentions his name).

Alright, without further ado… Jim Carrey: Trifecta.

Kurtis:
Most Popular: Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Hopefully it’s not my love of this movie clouding my judgement, but I think this is the movie you think of when you hear “Jim Carrey.”
Worst: Me, Myself and Irene (2000)
God-Awful. It’s possible that his newer films (“Yes, Man”, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins, etc.) could be worse, I just wanted to go with something I’ve actually seen, and this one I hate.
Most Underrated: Man on the Moon (1999)

Bryson:
Most Popular: Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Everybody quotes it, loves it, and laughs at it. It’s hilarious and his most popular.
Worst: The Number 23 (2007) or Yes Man (2008)
Thanks to my lack of knowledge in the field of Jim Carrey (up until this past week) this one was pretty tough. I say The Number 23 only because it is his worst rated film from critics. If you think that is unfair to him because I haven’t seen it, well, out of the ones I have seen I’d have to go with Yes Man.
Most Underrated: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Now this is isn’t a movie that is underrated with critics but rather the public instead. Up until these past few weeks I never heard anyone really talk about or if they did it was just a short mention. I finally just saw it a week ago and I have to say that more people should be talking about it; it’s great.

Jordan:
Most Popular: The Truman Show (1998)
I’m probably wrong since everyone chose Dumb and Dumber. I just think The Truman Show is loved by a wider range of people, even if it’s isn’t loved as deeply.
Worst: The Number 23 (2007)
Just a weird movie.
Most Underrated: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
This is my favorite Christmas movie, so I might just be harboring wounds from the holidays. It’s always overshadowed by the original cartoon, which is ridiculous. Jim Carrey makes this movie a classic. [Morgan loves it, too.]

Morgan:
Most Popular: Dumb and Dumber (1994)
I can quote this movie, and I haven’t even seen it. (I know, sue me.)
Worst: A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Really unfortunate, because I wanted this to be good. Carrey wasn’t terrible, but the movie itself was too ambitious.
Most Underrated: The Truman Show (1998)
Unpopular opinion? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.