Film Face-off: George Clooney vs. Sandra Bullock

Film Face-off: George Clooney vs. Sandra Bullock

Oct 07, 2013

In space, no one can hear you scream... about how good Alfonso Cuarón's new film Gravity looks. Luckily, down here on Earth and instead of focusing on the brilliant special effects, I can finally settle the age-old debate between two A-list actors. Gravity brings together George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, but now we'll tear them apart.

Some have thought that comparing these two is like apples versus oranges, and I say to that, how dare you call Clooney or Bullock an apple or an orange. Clearly they are blueberries and cantaloupe. But we're done talking about fruit; let's get to this week's Film Face-off between Clooney and Bullock.


Odd Fact

Sandra Bullock 

Bullock was one of the brains behind the development of the George Lopez sitcom that enjoyed six solid seasons on ABC, with Bullock listed as a producer for the entire run.

George Clooney

In 1977, Clooney tried out for the baseball team the Cincinnati Reds, but he didn't get a contract offer.

Winner: Clooney. I knew Clooney loves to play basketball, but I had no idea about the baseball thing. What can't this guy do? This is not a rhetorical question, I would like to know. With baseball, there is a lot of sitting around, and there probably isn't a better guy than Clooney to sit next to in the dug out. As far as Bullock helping give us more Lopez... that's not really a good thing.


Box Office

Sandra Bullock 

Without including voice work, Bullock's films have generated $1.9 billion, with an average of $56 million. She's had six films cross the still somewhat important $100 million mark (The HeatThe Blind SideThe ProposalMiss CongenialityA Time to Kill and Speed).

George Clooney

Clooney's films have made $1.6 billion domestically. They have averaged $53 million at the box office. He has five films that have made more than $100 million (Ocean's ThirteenOcean's TwelveOcean's ElevenThe Perfect Storm and Batman and Robin).

Winner: Bullock. This is a clean win for Bullock. Notice that none of her films rely on superheroes or franchises? Clooney definitely still gets credit for headlining the Ocean's films, and that's better than being second banana like Bullock was for Speed and A Time to Kill. I would have guess Clooney's Up in the Air made more than it did at $84 million, and I feel the same about Bullock's While You Were Sleeping. With that said, Bullock brings more box office security to the table.



Sandra Bullock 

In 1994, Bullock won three MTV Movies Awards for her role in Speed (Best Female Performance, Best On-screen Duo, Most Desirable Female). She collected a Critics' Choice Movie Award in a tie with Meryl Streep (Julia & Julia) for The Blind Side, and more importantly planted a kiss on Streep while accepting. The big one is her win as Best Actress for Blind Side at the 82nd Academy Awards.

George Clooney

Clooney has been nominated for many Oscars. For Best Actor he was nominated for Michael ClaytonUp in the Air and The Descendants. He was nomiated for writing categories with The Ides of March and Good Night, Good Luck. He's won Best Supporting Actor with 2005's Syriana, and Best Picture (as a producer) for last year's Argo. He's also won three Golden Globes.

Winner: Clooney. If you are an actor, there is one award that means more than any other, no matter what you say. It's Best Actor or Best Actress at the Academy Awards, and only Bullock can claim that victory. With that said, Clooney's body of work, and variety of it, can't be denied. This isn't about what should have happened. After all, I think Carey Mulligan from An Education deserved it more than Bullock, Streep or the others. Also, Clooney should have beat The Artist's Jean Dujardin. If you're one to think the MTV Movie Awards shouldn't be overlooked, Clooney scored one too getting Best Breakthrough Performance for From Dusk Till Dawn.


Their Worst Film

Sandra Bullock 

You might think I'm going with In Love and War costarring Chris O'Donnell as Ernest Hemingway. Nope, it doesn't hold a candle of awfulness to 2009's All About Steve.

George Clooney

There is only one answer for Clooney, and that's Batman & Robin, costarring O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alicia Silverstone.

Winner: Clooney. Bullock won the Razzie for Worst Actress with All About Steve. She earns points for actually showing up to that ceremony to collect her prize, and hand out copies of All About Steve to the audience. That still doesn't change the horrendous quality of the film. In my review I wrote, "It fails at everything it attempts to do. There’s simply no point for it to exist." Batman & Robin is so bad it's good (to watch with friends and laugh at). 



Sandra Bullock 

Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a medical engineer who would rather be fixing things on the ground, and not in outer space. When she has to survive, you're nervous right there with her.

George Clooney

He's a charming, storytelling space cowboy. The term "wheel house" might have been invented precisely for Clooney's Matt Kowalski.

Winner: Clooney. While Bullock is technically the lead of the film, and Clooney is in a supporting role, they both pale in comparison to the visual effects of Gravity. I have never loved looking at space debris until now. Hundreds of critics have made the lame joke, "I thought it was actually filmed in space," and I'm right there with them. Clooney gives the film some light, some swagger and some intelligence. Bullock's character is a nervous survivor who talks to herself a little unnecessarily. The best part of Bullock's performance is that she affected my breathing. I just didn't feel like she nailed the role or that it had to be her doing it. With Clooney's more limited role, I don't think anyone could have done it better.


OVERALL WINNER: George Clooney beats Sandra Bullock, 4-1.

I'm not picking on Sandy. I didn't intend for this to be a definitive win. I was thinking of dropping the "Odd Fact" category for "Romantic Comedies," but then I felt like I was begging for a Bullock win. I even thought she had a chance with "Awards" until I rescanned Clooney's career. Then again, Clooney is the closest thing we have to "Mr. Hollywood" right now. They're both great, and seem to be getting better with age. The Monuments Men is something I can't wait to see, and might have a better ensemble than the Ocean's films. If The Heat 2 happens I will have full confidence that it will be better than her other sequels, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and Speed 2: Cruise Control.




Categories: Features, In Theaters
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