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Movie Face-Offs

Over the last year, I have noticed that the individual movie ratings on this site can be separated into two types which are often conflated as the same thing when they are not. The first is a more intellectual vote in which the rater considers the quality of the film on several levels. The second is a more implicit rating which reflects the rater’s enjoyment of the film on a more experiential level. This duality of feeling towards individual films is in us all. For example, when asked what the best film I’ve ever seen is, I’ll answer 2001 without question. But when asked what one film would I want more than any other in, say a desert island situation, I’d answer Jaws without hesitation.

In an attempt to separate these voting values, I have created a second form of film rating that will run independently of the visitor’s (100 point) rating option which can be found at the bottom of each review and on the list pages.

I will post a daily Movie Face-Off challenge where classic films of a genre are squared off against each other and visitors are invited to vote on their preference. At the end of this process, all of the films within a genre set will be cross compared with each other and the results will be expressed as a simple frequency table and, from there, a ranked list. However, I will leave all of the Face-Offs open indefinitely so the rankings will continue to evolve.

At the beginning of each genre Face-Off, I will list each of the films within a genre set. For the purposes of expediency, I have chosen the 20 films that quite frequently make people’s top 10 lists. Naturally, there will movies which do not feature on the list which many feel deserve to be. If you believe I have forgotten one or you feel that a film you consider a genre classic should be included, simply suggest it in the comments section at the bottom of the page and I will consider including it.

Face-Offs (Open):

Action Hero Face-Offs

We all have our favourite Action Hereos, many of whom, typically hark back to our earliest experiences of movie enjoyment. Yes, there’s a nostalgia to them, there’s even a coolness but those heroes which graced the silver screen in the 80’s and 90’s had a lot of class in their construction. The same cannot be said for today’s action heroes as the most recent attempt to bring John McClane back to the screen can attest to and save for Jason Bourne, the 21st century cinema landscape has been lacking the personality of earlier decades. The action hero of those days was tough and gritty but rarely was he the best of the best of the best… as today’s jokers almost invariably are. And if he or she was, it certainly wasn’t rammed down the audiences throats. More often, they were just unlucky guys and gals who happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time and got their asses handed to them as much as they kicked the bad guys’. Die Hard’s John McClane and Alien’s Ripley  are the best examples of this and while McClane was at least a cop, Ripley was in no way part of the kind of security personnel that was needed to take a creature of those proportions on. So what made them so good as action heroes. Well, it was persisting in spite of their shortcomings that did it and having enough dignity to do it with personality. Enter the one-liners. Not the smart ass quips from a fearless modern day automaton hero but the nervous attempts to psych out their enemy and keep everyone around them calm. This vulnerability is at the essence of this list of action heroes. Everyone listed below is human and has had no intervention from technology, biology, sorcery, or whatever else make the heroes “super”. Such characters belong on a different list. Even the like of Jason Bourne have been omitted because his skills were down to special conditioning and pharmaceutical treatments. Some may question the inclusion of Kill Bill’s the Bride given the gravity bending skills she demonstrated but as it was her vulnerability that made her so endearing as an action hero not to mention the manner in which her strengths were always sourced in her femininity (unlike most modern day heroines who appear to need to act according to male stereotypes in order to qualify as such).

This Face-Off will pit those hardcore crackers of heads and jokes alike against each other in a knockout style competition. A top 10 list has been decided upon (see below) and over the coming days, they will be paired off at random in a series of face-offs which you will vote on. The winners of each face-off will proceed to the next round where they’ll face of against each other and so on until there’s only one left standing.


Science Fiction Face-Off

Thriller Face-Off

Comedy Face-Off

Horror Face-Off

Crime Face-Off

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