AMERICAN HISTORY X
Two formidable opponents for wildly different reasons, and for no earthly reason would there ever be a comparison of the two, except right here, right now. Office Space is an instant classic, arguably the funniest movie about the tedium of existence ever made. It is the story of Peter Gibbions, a man who is completely dissatisfied with his job, his boss, his girlfriend, and everything else in his life, and his quest to do the very thing that makes him happy: absolutely nothing. It’s fucking genius. Mike Judge is fantastic at what he does, and that is creating memorable characters. Every single character brings something to the film. Milton is a favorite, the neighbor Lawrence can’t say anything that isn’t funny, Lumbergh, the Bobs, even the obese red head who answers the phone at Inotech, has one line that she repeats, is gold. They are all a hair’s breath away from being a parody, but they are still believable. That’s what this movie does so masterfully, it approaches absurdity but never crosses the line. It’s ridiculous and real. Let’s move on the American History X, a powerful drama about poisonous hate and its toxic effect on society in the microcosm of the Vinyard family. It’s gripping and it rips your guts out. To say the film is about racism doesn’t go far enough. It’s not preaching to its audience, it takes the time to work through the motivations and consequences of burning and organized hate. The winner is….Office Space. On the grounds that comedy is profoundly more difficult than drama. And Office Space is the perfect comedy. – SR
WINNER: OFFICE SPACE
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
Yeah, you read that right and you probably disagree with my initial indecision completely. If you didn’t I would have to question the state of the world. I mean how can I seriously be putting one of the most beloved films of our generation up against The Return of the King? All kidding aside this is an interesting fight. My gut tells me to go with Return of the King because it’s an exponentially better film. I mean, Con Air wasn’t even the best Nic Cage action vehicle to come out in June of 1997 (Face/Off easily takes that honor). At the same time, I’d be a filthy liar if I told you I didn’t constantly quote Con Air when the opportunity presented itself. Even though Return of the King is my favorite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s also a tiring film. If I had just come home from a long day of work and somebody presented me with this choice, I would go with Con Air every single time. That’s the thing with shitty movies, they’re just always more appealing to watch in everyday life than good ones. Therefore, as much as it pains me as a lover of cinema, I have to give the fight to Con Air.
Also, if anyone tries to say these are apples and oranges then I’d like to point out that both films deal with characters who have the whole world in their hands. Metaphorically in one film, musically in the other. – ASW
WINNER: CON AIR