College basketball has March Madness. But around here, the summer movie slate makes up our blockbuster season. Why can’t there be a bracket that exists for movie buffs: A head-to-head tournament that helps us determine which film we think will emerge triumphant at the end of Summer 2012?
Welcome to Movies.com’s March Movie Madness Tournament, a bracket-busting exercise in fan interactivity that we think can get some intelligent discussion swirling around 32 movies entering the summer movie season. It’s also helping us pass the time until Joss Whedon’s The Avengers officially kicks the season off on May 4.
We ranked 32 anticipated titles into four Regions, then further ranked those titles into seeds numbering 1 through 8. Each day, a new Region will compete. Victors will advance until a champion is crowned on April 20.
It’s like a Hunger Games for movies, and all we need is your help. Cast a vote in today’s four matchups. Consider all factors – Quality, Critical Response, Box Office – before picking a movie. And check back often to see how your favorite movie did. Let the games begin!
Region 1 - Round One
(1) The Dark Knight Rises vs. (8) Take This Waltz
Someone had to draw the short straw. Through the luck of the “lottery,” Sarah Polley’s quirky infidelity drama has to go up against Christopher Nolan’s fanatically anticipated Batman sequel. Good luck with that. Take This Waltz will be the first of a handful of “Davids” trying their best to sneak up on the “Goliaths” waiting in our March Movie Madness bracket. Perhaps the predominantly positive buzz swirling around Michelle Williams’ tender performance can help Waltz topple Nolan’s juggernaut? Or do you think the Dark Knight Rises can live to fight for another round?
(2) Moonrise Kingdom vs. (7) Sparkle
A month ago, I’d have argued that Moonrise Kingdom, the latest Wes Anderson comedy – a No. 2 seed according to our expert rankings – would sail through early rounds of the Madness and possibly contend for a semi-final spot. But singer-actress Whitney Houston’s sudden passing shines a brighter light on Salim Akil's Sparkle remake, which serves as the pop sensation’s final screen role. Could the expected fan support for Sparkle be enough to pull our first early round upset?
(3) Snow White and the Huntsman vs. (6) Men In Black 3
Only Kristen Stewart would have us doubting Will Smith in a summer movie. Once upon a time, the “Fresh Prince” ruled over the blockbuster season. But we’re generally tentative of part threes in any franchise – let alone one that has been in mothballs for years – and Huntsman looks like the mightier of the two Snow White movies heading to theaters. What do you think? Will KStew’s Twilight crowd follow her to this fairy tale thriller? Or can Big Willie Style erase the disappointing Men In Black 2 from our memories and get this clever sci-fi franchise back on track? Cast your vote and let us know which one you support.
(4) The Bourne Legacy vs. (5) Ted
Region One concludes with an intriguing matchup of a pair of unknowns. Universal Pictures is banking on the Bourne franchise surviving with new spy Jeremy Renner substituting for the departed Matt Damon. Elsewhere, the studio’s also betting on Ted, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s first live-action feature film, which casts Mark Wahlberg as a man who’s childhood teddy bear comes to life. So, who advances? The lethal agent, or the comedian known for his funny voices? The choice is yours.