It's almost time for the NBA Playoffs! Hope springs eternal for those lucky 16 teams who find themselves in contention for a championship while the other 14 pray a UK player is available to them in the lottery. Fans of Golden State, Cleveland, and Atlanta are hopeful for that elusive playoff success. Meanwhile all the San Antonio fans (and the rest of the NBA fans outside of the three previously mentioned teams) are looking at this picture and just nodding their heads as the Spurs gear up for another ridiculous postseason run.
Here at Funkhouser we have our own playoffs to help get you in the playoff mood. Instead of NBA franchises chasing a championship, we have 16 of the best movie franchises of all time vying for glory in the first annual Funkhouser Movie Playoffs. This is slightly less prestigious than an Academy Award but significantly better than those MTV Movie Awards (are those still popcorn statues?). A few words before we unveil the bracket. For the purpose of this tournament a franchise is defined as three or more films telling one continuous story. For example, the James Bond films used are isolated to the Daniel Craig Bond films and only the Christopher Nolan Batman films are considered for the Batman franchise. Each matchup is a best of three series with each franchise represented by their three best entries. The "best" three films of a series were determined by critical ratings (explained below) and not by my personal preference. Everybody got that? Good, great, grand, wonderful! On we go!
Seeding for the bracket was determined by polling the Funkhouser crew and other cinephiles I know. Each person ranked all franchises 1-16. They were then seeded based on their average.
While I enjoy the NBA Playoffs, I hate that they take a full two months to complete. To make this playoff go by slightly faster, rounds one and two will not include as much analysis and commentary as rounds three and four will have next week.
*First round winners determined by critical success using an average based on ratings from IMdB, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes
Godfather vs. Jaws
Game 1: Godfather- 69.4 Jaws-61.7
Game 2: Godfather II- 62.7 Jaws 2- 29.35
Game 3: Godfather III- 44.8 Jaws: The Revenge- Yeah I know I didn't need to do game three of the series; but as Funkhouser correspondent Kalan Kucera pointed out, "Michael Caine!!!!".
James Bond vs. Rocky
Game 1: Casino Royale- 61.3 Rocky- 58
Game 2: Skyfall- 60.2 Rocky II- 39.5 *There is no Metacritic score for Rocky II, but injuries happen in sport and this is just a tough blow for the Rocky franchise.
Winner: James Bond
Batman vs. X-Men
Game 1: Dark Knight- 61.6 X-Men: Days of Future Past- 57.7
Game 2: Dark Knight Rises- 58.1 X-2- 54.1
Winner: Batman, and yes I was just as surprised that Dark Knight Rises got a higher average critical grade than Batman Begins
Indiana Jones vs. Iron Man
Game 1: Raiders of the Lost Ark- 64.5 Iron Man- 59.9
Game 2: Last Crusade- 53.7 Iron Man 3- 49.3 Iron Man deserves to lose after butchering The Mandarin like they did.
Winner: Indiana Jones
Star Wars vs. Back to the Future
Game 1: A New Hope- 64.2 Back to the Future- 63.5
Game 2: Empire Strikes Back- 60.9 Back to the Future 3- 45.1
Winner: Star Wars
Toy Story vs. Terminator
Game 1: Toy Story- 66.7 Terminator- 64
Game 2: Toy Story 3- 66.4 Terminator 2- 56.1
Winner: Toy Story, I always knew Buzz Lightyear>Skynet
Harry Potter vs. Jurassic Park
Game 1: Deathly Hallows Part 2- 63.7 Jurassic Park- 56.3
Game 2: Prisoner of Azkaban- 60.2 Jurassic Park 2- 39.1
Winner: Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings vs. Hannibal Lecter Trilogy
Game 1: Return of the King- 65.9 Silence of the Lambs- 62.2
Game 2: Two Towers- 64.2 Red Dragon- 45.4
Winner: Lord of the Rings
*Second round winners determined by box office performance. Box office figures are adjusted for ticket price inflation.
Godfather vs. James Bond
Game 1: Godfather- $652 million Skyfall- $304 million
Game 2: Godfather II- $211 million Quantum of Solace- $168 million
Batman vs. Indiana Jones
Game 1: Dark Knight- $616 million Raiders of the Lost Ark- $641 million
Game 2: Dark Knight Rises- $478 million Temple of Doom- $444 million
Game 3: (Finally a real game three!) Batman Begins- $265 million Last Crusade- $410 million
Winner: Indiana Jones
Star Wars vs. Toy Story
Game 1: A New Hope- $1.1 billion (yeah billion) Toy Story 3- $433 million
Game 2: Empire Strikes Back- $654 million Toy Story 2- $397 million
Winner: Star Wars
Lord of the Rings vs. Harry Potter
Game 1: Return of the King- $510 million Deathly Hallows Part 2- $398 million
Game 2: Two Towers- $475 million Goblet of Fire- $374 million
Winner: Lord of the Rings.
So here are the semi-finalists. Now is the part where you dear reader get to exert your influence on the tournament. Semi-final winners will be determined by three criteria: fan vote, individual awards (most Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting, etc), and quoteability. The fan vote will be open until midnight on April 19. Votes can be made here in the comments section, on the Funkhouser Facebook page under the comments for this post, or on Twitter @banterjosh. The finals will be included in next week's post as well. The champion will be crowned based on cast-based awards (Best Picture, Best Director, etc), average ranking in the AFI Top 100 Films list, and cultural impact.