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Wall-e was the better film in 2008, & it’s certainly the better film now.
TDK wasn’t even the best comic book movie of 2008. That honor goes to HELLBOY 2. Can I do a write-in vote for HELLBOY 2?
I agree that the second half of WALL*E does not achieve the transcendence of the first half. However, the second half of The Dark Knight is also very flawed. Anyone remember the two boats conundrum? How about the extremely "2008 social privacy commentary" via the cell phone surveillance gimmick? Is the Joker fantastic in the film? Yes. Does he pretty much go away in the 2nd half to make way for an incomplete Two Face plot contrivance? Yes. The first half of WALL*E is probably the best first half on any movie from the decade, and the second half still has scenes that destroy me. When Eve projects the images of WALL*E caring for her while she was in hyper sleep, its gets more than a little dusty.
I swear if The Dark Knight makes it into the semifinals or god forbid the finals, I will start questioning this community's ability to distinguish between good and popular movies. They are not the same thing, and maybe a humble robot with a heart of gold going against an entertainment space-machine that fills human brains with trash is a perfect example of substance winning over surface-level spectacle.
The Dark Night has to win this matchup. It is the best film by far and not only that, when it was not selected for Best Movie it changed the perception about superhero movies. It was considered one of the greatest snubs of all time and change for ever how the academy thought about very goodmovies that also had the Box Office behind them . If Black Panther could be selected to run for best movie, it was because of The Dark Night.
You either die a superhero movie or you live long enough to see yourself be the villain that knocks out two far superior films. Time to do what you do best Wall-E and finally take out this trash.
I really, really hope Wall-E takes this. Not because it's necessarily the superior film, but because The Dark Knight is so misunderstood even by its fanbase. Yes, it's a top tier superhero film from an astoundingly confident director at the sweet spot between blockbuster sensibility and artistic vision. But it also nearly ruined superhero movies for a while because people took the dark, serious, "realistic" surface and colored their boring messes with that brush.
Wall-E, however, is delightful and great, and everyone agrees why it works. Send the mess that is The Dark Knight and its legacy into the incinerator, and keep the sweet love story about hopes and dreams.
Christopher Nolan is an absolute master...he is not just one of the greatest working filmakers, but one of the greatest filmakers of all time.
But so freaking help me if you all are going to incinerate The Prestige and Memento before The Dark Knight!!!
...maybe if WALL•E survives we might be able to return and recolonize the earth with films after the Filmspotting madness apocalypse leaves us desolate.
Like I said last week, The Dark Knight is the best superhero film ever made.
Wall-E is not the best animated film ever made.
Oof. This one hurts. I totally understand the reflexive hate for Dark Knight, as it is by no means perfect. And I totally understand the overwhelming love for WALL-E, as it is a film that I will undoubtedly rewatch and show my future kids many times. However, in the list of my favorite films, I take into account the personal and historical contexts of my viewing experiences for them. The Dark Knight was one of the first "adult" movies that I understood, and I distinctly remember feeling a rush after watching it. It's a masterclass on script economy, effectively predicted the blockbuster film landscape for (at least) the following decade, and includes a performance that earns a mention on the lists of "best movie performances of all-time" of literally everyone I know. Sorry, pristine WALL-E, but it's the messy Dark Knight for me.
I take slight issue with the way Josh accuses everyone of "genre bias" who doesn't think the Dark Knight deserves to keep advancing. I'm not against the idea that a superhero film COULD potentially be a Truly Great or (capital-I) Important Film.......I just don't believe that film has been made quite yet. While neither are perfect, I think "Unbreakable" or the underrated "Chronicle" from 2012 both came MUCH closer to at least proving that the potential is there for a superhero movie to transcend the genre limitations.
Besides that though, people much smarter than me have spent the last decade writing at great length about just how terrible and reactionary the politics are of the Nolan Batman films, and Dark Knight in particular. I rarely see even its strongest fanboys defending it on the basis of actually being a good sociopolitical parable of the War on Terror, or whatever Nolan was going for.
So on what basis is this really a "great" film? Can you just turn anything (even a clown dressed as a nurse) into a great work of art by pointing the right type of camera lens and lighting at it? No, it isn't "genre bias" to think it's silly this is being considered next to films like There Will Be Blood and Children of Men.
Enough with the superhero love already. WALL-E is a delightful movie with a vision of hope. Down with the Knight.
This is the hardest pairing for me: the best superhero movie ever made going up against the brightest star in the Pixar universe. The thing is, there are other great superhero movies, and there are more being made every day. Maybe this is the superhero oversaturation speaking, but Wall-E feels more and more like a time capsule movie every time I see it, a masterwork that needs to be preserved for future generations. I will miss The Dark Knight, but maybe it's just not the movie we need right now, or not the movie we deserve, or something like that. But we need Wall-E.
Thankfully, this whole round was easy, and this matchup the easiest. The Dark Knight has wonderful moments, highlighted by a magic trick, but it is extremely overrated, particularly in the filmspotting world, which I imagine is largely male-just like the Dark Knight.
WALL-E is a wonder to behold. And the weaker second half argument is lame--ever heard of a denouement, or refractory period? If WALL-E had sustained the brilliance of the beginning, we might have ended up blind. Besides, there is excellent social commentary to be had. The Dark Knight has social commentary, too, but it is served with a sledge hammer, while WALL-E's is applied with a paint brush. And as far as performances, yes, Heath was wonderful, but an animated robot's kindness and charisma can dispel any clown's malevolence. And Mo has more nuance than Bale's Batman. WALL-E to the finals!
I really like Wall-E. It's not my favorite Pixar film--nor my favorite Pixar of the 2000s--but I really like it. It's also not my favorite animated film to make it to the Sweet Sixteen (Spirited Away, thank you very much). But still, hard not to root for the little guy, you know?
So that's where my vote is. Wall-E. After all, the "Best Superhero Movie Ever Made" was eliminated in the second round by some short people with hairy, smelly feet.
This matchup is the only one, so far, that I have really struggled with. The winner here may be the only contender able to give a challenge to No Country for Old Men. WALL-E has heart, spunk, creativity, and prescience. The life given to this robot is one of the great achievements in film. Perhaps WALL-E is even flawless. I love it. However if I were to sit down now and watch only one of these I might go Dark Knight. The creation of a truly novel villain, the drama, the visuals. I think that the Dark Knight gets criticized because it's fun and accessible. But a movie can be both accessible and outstanding. Oh, I'm struggling. Christopher Nolan "You complete me." OK, fine. The Dark Knight.
Jon "The Penultimate Pestilence" W.
Fun fact about these two films, I believe they come out within 3 weeks of each other, I remember having to choose between Wall-E and the Dark knight when we went to the theater. My teenage highschooler self had to pick the Dark knight and I loved it. INot this time. I couldn't let go of that little robot that could!
A few years ago there was a funny story where some British scientific council announced that they were going to let the name of their newest research vessel be named by the majority vote of an internet poll. The thing went viral on 4chan, reddit, twitter, etc, and the winner of the poll was "Boaty McBoatface". The ship was initially supposed to be (and eventually was) named after David Attenborough.
Is that what's happening now in this tournament? It must be. This has to be an internet prank at this point. There's no fucking way a real life person actually believes The Dark Knight deserves to be in the Sweet Sixteen.
A Serious Man is David Attenborough in this analogy, to be clear. RIP.
I'm just here to watch the serious film fans cry over the Dark Knight's last two wins. Some men do want to watch the world burn, and I'm one of them. Dark Knight FTW.
Good arguments in the comments on both sides, the light v dark is especially compelling.
At the end of the day bad must be exposed and quality triumph, so Wall-E it is (as reward for taking down the Departed)
I'm so over the Dark Knight. I know bros gotta bro, but c'mon, enough's enough. It is NOT A GREAT FILM. It's cool if you like The Dark Knight, but there is no need to elevate it. Jesse James and A Serious Man are superior films, and it's so sad that one of them isn't here.
No one says that Gangs of New York is a masterpiece (or even an excellent film) just because Daniel Day Lewis gives a spectacular performance in it (i.e., it didn't even make this list). And honestly, Gangs of New York is a tighter, more interesting film in many ways. The Dark Knight runs on too long and is just a pretentious, meandering, violent yawn.
Yes, I voted for Wall-E.
While WALL-E has gorgeous visuals and an amazing opening 30 minutes of storytelling without dialogue, I have to vote Dark Knight as not just the greatest superhero movie of all time, but one of the best of the decade. The overarching moral dilemmas weaved throughout the movie are what make it stand out to me. Think of the quick shot of the goons who have to duke it out with broken pool sticks even though they were former partners, the explosives on the boats, Batman's decision on who to save, and Harvey's temptations to use the wrong methods for justice. Compare these to the lazy and cheap moral dilemmas from Avengers Infinity War: kill the person you love or half the universe will be wiped out, and it's clear that Dark Knight is on a higher plane altogether.
As others have said, WALL-E falls off near the end, so my vote goes to Dark Knight.
Great comment below about the weak third acts in both movies. Wall-E gave the bigger emotional impact for sure, but I think I have to vote for The Dark Knight anyway, even though it was really not as good as I remebered when I revisited it recently.
Do you wanna know how I got these scars?
Filmspotting Madness... If "WALL-E" loses, that is.
I do love that we’ve got two films here with roughly the same flaw - third acts that don‘t deliver endings their openings deserve - which kind of evens the playing field a bit. But only a bit. I treasure WALL-E‘s opening and the achievement in animated spectacle thät it represents, but the rest of the film does not offer as much for me as The Dark Knight, which is blisteringly paced and completely gripping until that third act when it all falls apart. My support for Dark Knight has an expiration date, but it’s not this week.
I'm voting Wall-E, in a vote for light over darkness, joy over sadness, fun over violence, and hope over despair.
So it's come to this. Watch the world burn or help try to clean it up? Both movies that have third acts that fail to live up to what proceeded before. I very much enjoy both movies but given a choice, I'd rather watch the world burn.
Die a Hero or live long enough to become the villain.
Some men want to watch the world burn.
Why So Serious?
Because WALL-E will be the one cleaning up the mess Batman, Joker and the rest of Gotham 700 years from now; Batman and the Joker lost.
Thus far, I've watched The Dark Knight bulldoze Jesse James and Serious Man without batting an eye but this one hurts...
Cheerfully hopeful trash robot versus hopelessly brooding vigilante. The arguable peak of Pixar's innovation versus the arguable peak of superhero filmmaking. At the end of the day, I think the Batman endures and he gets my vote but, damn it, I hate y'all for doing this to me. Maybe it's better to just let the whole bracket burn.
Looks like this is headed toward a Fellowship of the Rings vs. The Dark Knight match-up in the Elite 8, after which one of them will (God willing) lose to There Will Be Blood or Children of Men. In the meantime, I will continue to vote against both of these overrated fanboy-fueled mediocrities. WALL-E it is.