|*Gladiator||How the Grinch Stole Christmas|
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon||Mission: Impossible 2|
|Traffic||What Women Want|
What we basically have here is a choice between a life with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or a life without Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (my 4th favorite film of all time) brings with it three interesting films; on the flip side, Cast Away might hit a bit too close to home if I were watching my five movies on a desert island, and it has weak back-up. 2000 produced some good movies, but as blockbusters go, it was a terrible year. Oscar 1; Box Office 0.
|A Beautiful Mind||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone|
|Gosford Park||*The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring|
|In the Bedroom||Shrek|
|*The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||Monsters, Inc.|
|Moulin Rouge!||Rush Hour 2|
Again we have a titan, Gosford Park, my 5th favorite film of all time. Moulin Rouge! is tragic, but meaningful, as is A Beautiful Mind (I haven't seen In the Bedroom). The Box Office side is filled with light, entertaining fare, my favorite of which is Monsters, Inc., but there's just no competing with the myriad characters and relationships in Gosford Park. Oscar 2; Box Office 0.
|Gangs of New York||*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
|The Hours||Star Wars Ep. II: Attack of the Clones|
|*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|The Pianist||My Big Fat Greek Wedding|
I have no desire to see Gangs of New York or The Hours again. I'd like to see The Pianist, but probably not multiple times. Chicago, weighted down by Richard Gere's singing voice, is not a strong contender. On the other side, we have a good romance in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and excellent sci-fi/fantasy action in the other three. Box Office wins by a landslide. Oscar 2; Box Office 1.
|*The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||*The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|
|Lost in Translation||Finding Nemo|
|Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl|
|Mystic River||The Matrix Reloaded|
This conflict is more interesting. We have Scarlett on one side, and Keira on the other. Two ship movies. One movie about a horse, another about a fish. Bill Murray alone in Tokyo; Keanu Reeves alone in an incomprehensible plot. I might regret this, but I'll go with Box Office on this one for shear entertainment value and humor, over the more meaningful Oscar column. Oscar 2; Box Office 2.
|Million Dollar Baby||Shrek 2|
|The Aviator||Spider-Man 2|
|Finding Neverland||The Passion of the Christ|
|Sideways||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban|
Two of the three best superhero movies ever made (the third being X2: X-Men United) and the best Harry Potter film at that point, vs. three depressing films and two I haven't seen (Ray and Sideways). No contest. Box Office, with The Incredibles at the front (my 11th favorite film of all time), stomps the competition. Oscar 2; Box Office 3.
|Crash||Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith|
|Brokeback Mountain||The War of the Worlds|
|Capote||The Wedding Crashers|
|Good Night, and Good Luck.||Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|
Crash, Brokeback Mountain, and Munich are all depressing and not re-watchers for me. I enjoy Good Night, and Good Luck; I haven't seen Capote. I don't want to rewatch The War of the Worlds; it's just too gross. But the others in that column are entertaining, even if strange (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) or shallow (The Wedding Crashers). I am a Star Wars Prequel apologist, and have no problem rewatching Revenge of the Sith. Oscar 2; Box Office 4.
|The Departed||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest|
|Letters from Iwo Jima||X-Men: The Last Stand|
|Little Miss Sunshine||The Da Vinci Code|
|The Queen||Superman Returns|
The Departed is a gritty, well-done thriller. Babel I haven't seen, but it doesn't sound like my type of movie. Letters from Iwo Jima I also haven't seen, but would like to, as I enjoy war movies. On the other side, we once again have two superhero movies, with really fluffy backup. X-Men: The Last Stand is, by comic book standards, an excellent movie, but they made some plot choices that really ruffle my feathers. My gut tells me to go with Box Office, but longterm, the joy of Little Miss Sunshine and the quiet drama of The Queen might be healthier for my soul, so I'll go against type on this one, in favor of Oscar. Oscar 3; Box Office 4.
|No Country for Old Men||Spider-Man 3|
|Atonement||Shrek the Third|
|Michael Clayton||Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End|
|There Will Be Blood||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix|
Juno and Michael Clayton are both excellent, as is the first half of Atonement. No Country for Old Men is too brutal for me to actively seek out again, but it was 100% engaging when I saw it. Box Office fills its coffers with four sequels, the best of which are Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Sandman scenes of Spider-Man 3. Shrek the Third disappointed, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was a mess, and my IQ erodes a little each time I see Transformers. Oscar 4; Box Office 4.
|Slumdog Millionaire||Iron Man|
|The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull|
|Milk||Kung Fu Panda|
|The Reader||Horton Hears a Who|
I saw 70 movies in the theater in 2008, but the Academy saw fit to nominate five films that I had not (and still have not) seen. Box Office wins by default, though I won't mind any of those titles long-term. Emotionally, WALL-E is the deepest, and there is great action in Iron Man and Kung Fu Panda. The Who half of Horton Hears a Who and the look Indiana Jones gives Marian when he first sees her are a delight.
Final tally: Oscar 4; Box Office 5.