Saturday, March 31, 2012

(2) Yoda vs. (15) Chancellor Valorum

Wow. 5 votes? Not sure what is up with that. Where did everyone go? It takes like two seconds to come and vote.

Let's get the numbers back up please. With 5 measly votes Padme Amidala slips into the second round.

I have decided that the first round is taking way too long, so when the Dark Side begins (which should be Wednesday) I will be posting two in a day. So make sure to vote for both. Thanks!

(2) Yoda

Yoda is a huge character in both the prequel trilogy and the original. In the prequel we find out that he is a pretty good lightsabre duelist. He is the leader of the Jedi Council and at first refuses to train Anakin Skywalker, because he senses fear in him. That is later changed when Qui-Gon Jinn is killed and Obi-Wan Kenobi asks to train Skywalker. In the original trilogy, Yoda takes on the task of training yet another Skywalker, this time to help take down the Empire and Darth Vader.

(15) Chancellor Valorum

Chancellor Valorum is the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic at the start of The Phantom Menace. Queen Amidala is tricked by Senator Palpatine into removing Valorum from his post because the bureaucrats are actually controlling the senate. Amidala votes for 'no confidence' which removes Valorum from his post and allows Palpatine to sneak in and take control.

Friday, March 30, 2012

(3) Padme Amidala vs. (14) Barriss Offee

The Princess marches on into the next round. Voting was down, however, so let's get those numbers back up.

Next, we have her mother the Queen. Have fun!

(3) Padme Amidala

We first meet Padme Amidala when she is queen of the people of Naboo who is basically under attack by the Trade Federation. She ends up being a queen who jumps into the battles, as she has been undercover as one of her own hand maidens throughout most of the film. As the prequel trilogy progresses she falls for Anakin Skywalker and they get married at the conclusion of Attack of the Clones. In fact, Padme is probably the main reason Anakin turns to the Dark Side. He wants to protect her always as she is all he has left after the death of his mother. Padme is pregnant with twins, that turn out to be Luke & Leia.

(14) Barriss Offee

Barriss Offee was the young padawan of Luminara Unduli in the prequel trilogy. Like Luminara, Offee was part of the Battle of Geonosis and like most of the other Jedis was killed at the execution of Code 66. She is much more present in the cartoon series The Clone Wars, as they flesh out some of these great Jedis that didn't have too much to do during the films.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

(3) Princess Leia vs. (14) Luminara Unduli

It took a little longer than expected, but Lando Calrissian finally pulled away from Shaak Ti and moves into the second round.

Today we introduce some royalty. Like that we received 16 voters yesterday, let's keep that up and get some more too. Enjoy!

(3) Princess Leia

Princess Leia is first introduced on the spaceship in A New Hope. She and the other Rebels have stolen the plans for the Death Star that are loaded in R2-D2. She records a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, which eventually gets Kenobi and Luke Skywalker into the fight against the Empire. Leia gets stuck with Han Solo in Empire and the sparks begin to fly. She helps Solo and the other Rebels in Jedi destroy the base on Endor that allows Lando to destroy the Death Star II.

(14) Luminara Unduli

Luminara Unduli was a Jedi Master who fought in the Battle of Geonosis and is part of the battle of Kashyyyk during Revenge of the Sith. It is here that she finds her unfortunate demise by the order of Code 66. Luminara also was a Jedi Master that had one of the other lone padawans in the film, Barriss Offee.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(4) Lando Calrissian vs. (13) Shaak Ti

As expected, Master Mace Windu rolls into the next round.

Today, how about a little Colt 45? The coolest gangster in Cloud City vs. Shaak Ti.

Voting slipped a bit yesterday. Let's get the voting back up. Remember to keep coming back and spread the work please.

(4) Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian is introduced in the fifth film, Empire Strikes Back. We learn that he and Han Solo, and Chewie, were old pals and that Calrissian was once the proud owner of the Millennium Falcon before losing it to Solo. In Empire, Calrissian is an administrator on Cloud City - and in order to keep the Empire off his back he accepts Darth Vader's promise and uses Solo and Leia to lure Luke Skywalker to the City. We do find out that Calrissian isn't such a bad guy, and he gets his revenge on Vader by destroying the Death Star II.

(13) Shaak Ti

Shaak Ti was a member of the Jedi Council in the prequel trilogy. She was also present during battles on Geonosis and Kamino. Ti, like so many of these Jedis, is much more present in the Clone Wars cartoon. Looking into her character, Ti was actually filmed dying in two separate scenes during Revenge of the Sith. Once at the hands of General Grievous, right in front of Obi-Wan and Anakin, and another scene during the rise of Darth Vader, he destroys her while she is in meditation in the Jedi Temple. Neither death, however, is used and Shaak Ti is presumed to have been one of the few Jedi to have survived the Code 66 attack.

Updated Bracket

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(4) Mace Windu vs. (13) Aayla Secura

It appears these were the droids we were looking for. C-3PO, like his counterpart R2-D2, rolls into round number two with a dismantling of Mama Skywalker.

Next up, a battle of mother f*&%ing Jedis. Enjoy!

(4) Mace Windu

Mace Windu is a Jedi Master and member of the Jedi Council. He appears in all three of the Star Wars prequel films. He is the primary liaison to the Supreme Chancellor. Though more of a figure head in the Phantom Menace, Windu is given much more to do with his purple lightsaber in the two sequels. He is present during the battle on Geonosis and fights Chancellor Palpatine to near death near the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith, but Anakin stops him and Windu is killed by Palpatine - setting up the near completion of the creation of Darth Vader.

(13) Aayla Secura

Aayla Secura had a brief moment of screen time in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Again, her character is given much more to do in the Clone Wars cartoon series, but this bracket is about the films. So, Secura was also present during the battle scene on Geonosis and eventually, like most of the other Jedi, was killed under the order of Code 66 by Darth Sidious.

Updated Bracket

Tuesday's With Movies: 3/27/12

Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked: I have seen the first two Alvin & the Chipmunk movies. The first was rather surprising, and the second was bearable. I doubt the third will be that great. But, under the father code I am bound to at least check it out with my son. Who knows? Maybe it will also surprise me.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: As I have said before, Tom Hanks is my all-time favorite actor. And this will now be added to my Hanks-O-Thon once I get it, because it has taken so long for me to get through. I have heard good and bad about this film, but it was up for an Oscar for best picture so it can't be too horrible. Plus, I usually like anything with Hanks in it. So we shall see.

A Dangerous Method: This one somehow got past me when it was released. I always check to see what Keira Knightley is up to, but I often do pass over the historical dramas she always seems to be making. This one does appear to be a bit different than the others she has done. Though, I am not sure if has peaked my interest enough yet.

Monday, March 26, 2012

(5) C-3PO vs. (12) Shmi Skywalker

We have our first skunking!

R2-D2 blows past Boss Nass gaining all of the votes. A huge butt kicking by a character with no feet.

Anyway, let's see how is counterpart can do in his matchup. Enjoy!

(5) C-3PO

C-3PO is a protocal droid created by Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. Once Skywalker is freed to Qui-Gon Jinn, C-3PO is left to his mother, Shmi Skywalker. When Anakin returns to Tatooine years later, C-3PO is found to be working on a moisture farm with the Lars family. He goes with Anakin and thus begins his time in space. C-3PO is the mouth of the duo (with R2-D2). He provided a lot of the comedy, especially in the original trilogy. He always thought R2-D2 didn't do anything, even though he did the most out of the two.

(12) Shmi Skywalker

Shmi Skywalker is Anakin's mother, and Luke and Leia's grandmother. She gave birth to Anakin in what can be gathered as some sort of immaculate conception. She is a slave to Watto on Tatooine and is later sold to Cliegg Lars, who eventually frees her and marries her. She spends her remaining days on the Lars' moisture farm until she is kidnapped by Tusken Raiders. Anakin senses this in his dreams and travels to Tatooine to rescue her - only to get there just as she is dying. This is a key moment in Anakin's life and the slow transformation to Darth Vader.

Updated Bracket

Sunday, March 25, 2012

(5) R2-D2 vs. (12) Boss Nass

Another easy pass for one of our main characters. Chewbacca moves into the next round with a victory over Admiral Ackbar. I was expecting that, but thought it may be a bit closer.

Anyway, the next matchup begins now. Happy Sunday!

(5) R2-D2

R2-D2 is an astromech droid created on the planet Naboo. He was originally placed on Queen Amidala's ship and was part of a handful of astromech droids that were there to repair the ship. R2-D2 was the lone droid that was able to help the ship get by the Trade Federation blockade, and thus was brought in as part of the group. He was the second part of the 'comedy duo' with C-3PO and despite his buddies constant knock downs, was a vital part in a lot of what the Rebels did to take down the Empire.

(12) Boss Nass

Boss Nass was the ruler/leader of the Gungans on Naboo. The Gungans had always felt that the people of Naboo always felt his kind were second-class citizens. When Jar Jar Binks brings Queen Amidala to the Gungans to gain help in the battle against the droids and the Trade Federation, Boss Nass agrees and the two groups agree to a peace treaty and co-exist on the planet in harmony.

Updated Bracket

Saturday, March 24, 2012

(6) Chewbacca vs. (11) Admiral Ackbar

Well, I sort of figured Jar Jar Binks didn't stand much of a chance. Qui-Gon Jinn rolls past Binks and into the next round.

We continue to have decent numbers, but more is always welcome - spread the word. Thanks, enjoy the next matchup.

(6) Chewbacca

Chewbacca is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyyk. Depending on how you watch the films, Chewbacca is first introduced in Revenge of the Sith as Yoda travels to Kashyyyk to help the Wookies defend their planet against an attack during the Clone Wars. In the original trilogy, Chewbacca is the sidekick and co-pilot to the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo. He helps the Rebels fight against the Empire in the rest of the series.

(11) Admiral Ackbar

Admiral Ackbar is a Mon Calimari and first appears in Return of the Jedi. He is in charge of the second attack on the Death Star while the other Rebels are on the Moon of Endor below. He originally planned to retreat from the mission when he found out "It's a Trap", but was convinced by Lando Calrissian to press forward and helped in the destruction of the Death Star II.

Updated Bracket

Friday, March 23, 2012

(6) Qui-Gon Jinn vs. (11) Jar Jar Binks

Bail Organa had a large lead to start out the day, but Nien Nunb came away with the victory late in the evening and moves on to the round of 32.

Like that we are now getting around the same number of votes each day. Please keep that up, and spread the word to get even more voters.

More well-known characters will begin to be revealed now. Have fun voting.

(6) Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn, as we find out, is the original Master of both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Sywalker. Jinn is a very wise Jedi, but apparently is a bit of a rebel as he has not been able to join the Jedi Council yet. His insubordination continues after locating Anakin and planning to teach him the ways of the Force despite the Council's protest. Jinn, however, doesn't get the chance as he is killed by Darth Maul near the conclusion of Phantom Menace.

(11) Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar Binks seems to be one of the most hated characters in the Star Wars saga. He is a lightning rod for hate, some of which may be justified, while others baffle me. Binks is a local Gungan on the planet Naboo, who is accidentally saves by Qui-Gon Jinn and therefore owes the Jedi a "life debt". He goes with the Jedi on their journey and fight against the Trade Federation - even becoming a general in the Gungan army. In the later films, his role is reduced, but he does become a delegate and gives Chancellor Palpatine emergency power - a significant part of the film.

Updated Bracket

Star Wars (The Bracket)

My buddy Matt created an actual bracket for the Star Wars Bracket. I have included it below for those that either want to follow along, or even know what is coming up. So, enjoy! We will try to have it updated after each win. We'll do our best.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

(7) Bail Organa vs. (10) Nien Nunb

In our first blow out, Wicket destroys Ki-Adi Mundi to move into the next round. Wicket received all but a single vote, and we picked up a few more voters during the matchup as well.

Remember to keep coming back each day. Voting begins at post time and remains open until midnight. Spread the word.

(7) Bail Organa

Bail Organa is a senator from the planet Alderaan. He helps during the original fight against the Trade Federation and eventually Darth Sidious/Darth Vader. At the conclusion of the prequel trilogy he agrees to take one of Padme's children, the girl, to raise as his own. Although not seen in the original trilogy, he is killed when Grand Moff Tarkin destroys Alderaan with the Death Star.

(10) Nien Nunb

Nien Nunb sort of comes out of nowhere during the Return of the Jedi. He is part of the Battle of Endor as he co-pilots the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian. As part of his back story, it is said that he was once a smuggler who is befriended by Calrissian, and shows why he is considered to be Calrissian's co-pilot.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(7) Wicket vs. (10) Ki-Adi Mundi

Narrowly edging out his competition by a single vote, Kit Fisto moves on to the next round.

Only seven votes on day two, not too happy about that. Please get the word out and also remember to come back each day. New matchups each and every day.

So, onto the next matchup. Happy voting.

(7) Wicket

Wicket is an Ewok that lives on the moon of Endor. He discovers Princess Leia after she falls off of her speeder bike. Wicker and the other Ewoks befriend the Rebels and fight with them against the Empire. Wicket is the most well known of the Ewoks, and he eventually got his own set of films in the Caravan of Courage and Battle for Endor.

(10) Ki-Adi Mundi

Ki-Adi Mundi is a wise, older Jedi and a member of the Jedi Council. He is one of the few other Jedis that actually have words in the prequel trilogy. Mundi is also part of the Jedi attack on Geonosis and like most of the other Jedis is killed by his own clone troopers during the execution of Code 66.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick Shots 14

Title: 50/50

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall and Anjelica Huston. 

Brief Synopsis: Adam (Gordon-Levitt) has been dealing with some back problems. He is currently in a relationship with Rachael (Howard) that he thinks is going well, despite their lack of intimacy. Adam goes to the doctor for his back problem and finds out that he has a rare form of cancer on his spine. His best friend Kyle (Rogen) does his best to help his friend out, which means trying to use his new illness to score chicks. In order to deal with his disease, the hospital sends him to a shrink, Katherine (Kendrick), who is fresh out of school and still learning - in fact Adam is her third patient.

Opinion: This was both a hilarious and dramatic film. I could not believe how they could take such a serious subject like cancer and actually make a funny film, but I was laughing out loud a number of times. Gordon-Levitt just continues to impress me - one of the best working actors in Hollywood right now. Rogen was great as his best friend - I like my Rogen in small doses, so here as a secondary character was perfect. And, I am just in love with Kendrick - more movies like this and less Twilight (see below). Also nice to see Mr. Max Headroom himself (and Honey I Shrunk the Kids alum) Matt Frewer. He and Hall played two cancer patients that receive chemo treatments with Adam and they all become good friends. I have to say, I loved this film and I could probably watch it again right now.


Title: The Smurfs

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Hank Azaria, Sofia Vergara, Katy Perry (voice), Jonathan Winters (voice), George Lopez (voice), Anton Yelchin (voice), Fred Armisen (voice) and Alan Cumming (voice).

Brief Synopsis: Clumsy Smurf (Yelchin) accidentally leads Gargamel (Azaria) and Azrael to the Smurf Village and it gets destroyed. During the escape, Clumsy runs the wrong way and a handful of other Smurfs run to get him. Only they are followed by Gargamel and Papa (Winters) opens a vortex that sucks them into present day NYC. They befriend Patrick (Harris) and Grace (Mays) Winslow, who agree to help them find a star gazer in hopes to create another Blue Moon so that they can return home.

Opinion: Honestly, as I said in a previous blog post, I think I have softened a bit when it comes to children's movies. In the past I don't think I would have even watched this movie, but I did because my son wanted to. And, I actually enjoyed it. Not a ton, but I was entertained while watching it, which is all I can truly ask for in films. And, for this type of film I left pleasantly surprised.


Title: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. 

Brief Synopsis: The third book (and movie) in the Twilight series. This, however, is broken into two parts - this is the first part of the film. Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) are getting married. Jacob (Lautner) is of course pissed over this and runs off to Canada to vent, however, he does return in time to see the pair at their wedding reception and learn that Bella won't be turned into a vampire until after their honeymoon. Of course, this back fires - as Jacob knew it would - and Bella somehow gets pregnant with Edward's child. Bella, against the wishes of almost everyone, decides to keep the baby and throughout the movie becomes visibly weak as the child is killing her from the inside. After the news gets out to the 'Wolf Pack', their new leader wants to attack the Cullen family because of what has happened to Bella, and destroy the offspring. Jacob, though, breaks from the pack and vows to protect Bella, the Cullens and her baby. 

Opinion: As I have said in the past, these are not my favorite films. My wife enjoys them and I watch them with her, usually just once. I sometimes crack jokes during the film Mystery Science Theater style, and usually get hit for them. This was probably my least favorite of the three I have seen. Absolutely nothing happens in this movie besides a wedding, honeymoon and birth. There are very small action scenes, but few and far between. I have been promised that the final film will be action packed - here's hoping.


(8) Commander Cody vs. (9) Kit Fisto

Despite falling behind early in the day, Wedge Antilles came roaring back as the later votes came crawling in to move into the round of 32. Congrats to Wedge.

I like that 14 votes came in on the first day. But, still room for improvement. Make sure to come back each day until a victor is crowned. And please spread the word. The more voters the better. Thanks!

(8) Commander Cody

Commander Cody is one of the few clone troopers in the films that actually gets a name, at least on screen. Cody helps Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Revenge of the Sith when Kenobi tracks down General Grievous on Utapau. Cody eventual is forced to turn on Kenobi during the execution of Code 66. Like so many characters in the prequel trilogy, Cody is fleshed out much more int h cartoon series, The Clone Wars.

(9) Kit Fisto

Kit Fisto was part of the Jedi fight on Geonosis. Like most of the other Jedis, Fisto's role in the films is rather limited. And, he was killed during the Code 66 execution. But, The Clone Wars cartoon series expands on Fisto and his abilities.

Tuesday's With Movies: 3/20/12

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Never read the books, and I have no interest in reading the books, but of course I will see the movie. I was looking forward to seeing it, but now I have even more of a reason to watch it as Oscar has selected it as part of my new 50 movies.

The Muppets: First off, I have already seen this. It was one of the few movies I actually got to head to the theater to see (read the review: here). But, of course I will be seeing it again - in fact I am sure I will own in shortly. I love the Muppets, and they are back to doing what they do best in this feature. I hope they continue on this new (old) path.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: As of this very moment I do not plan on checking this out. Nothing has really jumped out at me to run and see it, and it's odd because I enjoy Gary Oldman as an actor. But, that doesn't mean I won't check it out in the future - especially if I am convinced I should.

Hop: Wow! I realize that Easter is just around the corner and everything, but this movie came out in the theater last Easter. Sure, it makes sense to profit on the holiday that the film is about, but it just seems odd nowadays to see a movie come out on DVD almost a year after its release. Of course I will check it out. My son is sure to love it.

Carnage: Okay, I was first very much interested in this when I heard about it and who was in the film. But, after watching the trailer I was turned off. Doesn't look like what I was hoping for. Too bad because it does have a great cast.

The Sitter: I will eventually check this one out. It looks even more foul-mouthed than I care to be seeing, and I can take a lot. But, I am sure there are a few decent jokes in the film. So, count me in.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wedge Antilles vs. Plo Koon

(8) Wedge Antilles

Wedge appeared in the original trilogy, all three films. Wedge is present in both attacks on the Death Star. In the first film he is part of the attack where Luke Skywalker is able to connect on his shot to blow up the Death Star. In the third film, he is part of that attack with Lando Calrissian. In the second film, Wedge is part of the alliance located on Hoth and helps take down AT-AT's as they attack the rebel base.

(9) Plo Koon

Plo Koon is a member of the Jedi High Council in all three of the prequel films. His back story is fleshed out a lot more in the animated television show, The Clone Wars, and he is given a lot more to do. He was, however, present during the Jedi attack on Geonosis and was killed during the execution of Code 66 by his clone troopers.