Monday, January 14, 2008

Beyond Actor-dome: Conclude The Quarterfinals!

64 men enter. One man leaves.

A few words on the criteria: I'm only taking into account performances from the past ten years (1997 and onward). Film and television performances count. Match-ups will be judged on the following merits: (1) number of performances I've enjoyed (sheer quantity); (2) whose singular best performance is the greatest (quality); (3) if I had an Oscar ballot, how many nominations would the actor have received since '97 (fake Oscars); (4) if both actors have co-starred in a film, who gave the better performance (spotlights stolen); and (5) since watching boys fight is something you can see at the closest downtown bar, this time around we're judging by who would prevail in the most time-tested of competitive activities: The Walkoff (Motherf*cking Walkoff).


Quarterfinals (cont'd)

Alec Baldwin vs. Matt Damon
Quantity: Clash of the titans, y'all. With Jude Law out of the picture, these two are the heaviest hitters in the numbers game, by far. Damon could have had more, too, if Ocean's Thirteen had been interesting enough for me to keep watching past twenty minutes. Try as Baldwin might, he can't keep up with Damon's pace. It kind of sucks that his work on 30 Rock only counts for one credit when he's been putting in stellar work for two years, but such are the vagaries of imaginary bracket tournaments. Advantage: Damon
Quality: Ah, but here's where Jack Donaghy pays off in a big way. We've said it before about Damon, but what makes him a great actor aren't a handful of singular masterpiece characters, but rather an unbeatable run of consistently good ones. That makes him weak in the category, time and again. Advantage: Baldwin
Fake Oscar Nods: Damon: 1 (The Departed); Baldwin: 0.
Spotlights Stolen: They were both in two of last year's giant casting extravaganzas, The Departed and The Good Shepherd. Baldwin was great fun in the former but sadly wasted in the latter. Damon, meanwhile, was awards-worthy in both, which is why 2006 was such a banner year for the guy. Too bad the mainstream awards bodies didn't seem to notice. Advantage: Damon
Motherf*cking Walkoff: We love you, Alec, honest. But Matt's the Sexiest Man Alive, as conducted by a scientific poll at People. Can't fight science. Advantage: Damon
Winner: Matt Damon 4-1

Edward Norton vs. Clive Owen
Quantity: It's a close contest, and looking at the list, it's a proud collection of films, including no less than four of the very best movies of the past ten years. Well done, gentlemen. By the slimmest of margins...Advantage: Norton
Quality: In a battle of shoulda-been-Oscar-winners, Owen in Closer bests Norton in Fight Club. Advantage: Owen.
Fake Oscar Nods: Norton: 2 (American History X; Fight Club); Owen: 1 (Closer).
Spotlights Stolen: They've never shared the screen.
Motherf*cking Walkoff: The rule still stands: The James Bond-est man wins. Except when he doesn't. But this time he does! Advantage: Owen.
Winner: 2-2. HOLY CRAP IT'S A TIE! Do your thing, readers.

22 comments:

jessica said...

Clive Owen in Closer terrified and enthralled me in ways I can't even properly vocalize. Ed Norton is good -- phenomenal, even -- but I've got to go with my gut.

Owen.

Carrie Ann said...

Holy crap, this is the toughest tie yet. I have to go with Owen because I find him more interesting every time I watch him, while Norton's been kind of boring me lately.

Damon vs. either of these guys = awesome final round.

NYOne said...

I can't explain it, but I loathe Clive Owen. I think it's the voice. Anyway, Norton FTW.
And holy crap, I can't believe we're almost at the end of the Actor's Tournament. What will we ever do this summer?

Joe Reid said...

Don't worry, I'm on it.

SecretMargo said...

This is tough! Owen, I think, just for Children of Men.

Tracy said...

God, this is tough. I've loved Edward Norton forever, but also recently came to realize the awesomeness that is Clive Owen.

Norton has to take it, though. He's one of my favorite actors of all time. Plus, Damon vs. Norton would be a dream come true for me, since they both rock my socks off.

Anonymous said...

Clive Owen by a mile, in my opinion. Jon
http://jeezjon.typepad.com

Jules said...

Owen. Owen Owen Owen.

Kris McN said...

Geez, Joe, why not just ask me which of my children I love more. The 3 year old is all quirky charm and non-stop energy, while the 9 week old has started smiling and therefor enslaved me forever. So... Owen!

jennie said...

this is, for sure, the most difficult tie-breaker yet. i think i'm going to have to go with clive owen just because of the whole impending incredible hulk thing.

Sars said...

Owen. Norton bugs me.

ctoan said...

I'm gonna vote for Norton. I want to see him face off against Damon.

harlemjd said...

I clicked on the comments not sure who I would vote for. Seeing all the votes for Owen feels right, though, so... I guess I (slightly) prefer Clive Owen.

whammo said...

Wow. This one was tough. Then I remembered three words:

Death. To. Smoochy.

I vote Clive for the win.

AB and the Bear Suits said...

Clive.

mootpoint said...

Owen, for Children of Men, and because I find Edward Norton kind of annoying. (Plus he gets negative points for his vocal work in Everyone Says I Love You.)

Rinaldo said...

These final rounds are inherently going to be very close contests between heavy hitters, and this is a tough one. Much as I respect and enjoy both, I'm with Norton. Because I've known about him longer, I guess, so I have more performances to think back on in his case; because of Fight Club specifically; and in an odd way because of Everyone Says I Love You -- as a lover of musicals I hate this new Hollywood thing of "actors who've never bothered to learn to sing go ahead and do it anyway onscreen," but he actually emerged with his dignity intact better than almost anyone else in the cast.

So Norton's the guy, for me.

The Bloody Munchkin said...

I got to go with Owen, but it's not for lack of wanting Norton in the race. I mean, Fight Club is back on cable now and I can't not watch it and he was stellar in it, but in most everything else Norton grates because he plays the same guy over and over again.

So Owen it is.

Anonymous said...

Norton please. Sure, I haven't seen Painted Veil or something with Rachel Marilyn Manson Woods, but I can't go against Primal Fear. That clap.

T-Square said...

With much Ed Norton love, I have to put my money in for Clive Owen. I would make mad passionate love to him, have never been disappointed by him... and I had to endure the whiny Crash v. Brokeback Mountain Oscar "scandal" when Children of Men wasn't even nominated.

Kamikaze Camel said...

pfft, Clive easily.

Stephanie said...

Clive Owen. Edward Norton is excellent but I just haven't loved a performance of his like I loved Owen in "Children of Men" and "Closer".