If you haven’t read the first part of this article, you should. It’s right here.
I’ve sufficiently recovered from Kevin Smith braining John Carpenter last week, that I can bring you the second opening round match-up.
Later in the series, I hope to share a projection done by author and scientist Ryan Norris of how bad we can expect Kevin Smith to end up (it’s astounding, really,) should he continue on this trajectory. Unfortunately, this isn’t a speculative tournament, and we just have to come to grips with him beating JC.
A quick refresher on the scoring and guidelines:
The scoring is as follows: each feature’s Rotten Tomatoes (RT) score is added to its Flixster/RT Community (FLX) score. The two are then averaged to create the cumulative score.
(ex: Clerks: RT-88 FLX-89/2=88.5 cume)
I used the RT scores because it’s already an aggregate of the majority of available critics’ reviews for a movie. The way they arrive at fresh or rotten can be kinda stupid, but at least there’s a statistically significant amount of reviews per movie. Usually. I chose the Flixster reviews rather than the IMDb ratings because they tend to be less obviously insane. The IMDb reviews are a special kind of wacky.
The cumulative scores of the first half of the director’s career are all added together, then divided by the number of movies in the first half.
The cumulative scores of the second half are also added together, but, because I think output is a tremendously underrated factor in how an artist is judged; the director receives two extra points per film after their tenth movie to add to the second half score, before it’s divided by the number of films.
(ex: Director A made twenty movies. For this example, let’s say that each film scored a ten. So: the first half would be 10×10 = 100/10 which would be a first half score of 10. The second half scoring would be (10×10) + 20 = 120/10, for a second half score of 12.)
We then find the percentage change between the first half and the second, to arrive at the SBI (sick boy index) number. The greater value wins, so -2 beats -4, 6 beats 2, etc.
The Brackets as they Stand
William Friedkin: Born in August, 1935. Academy Award winner for Best Director and Best Picture, both for The French Connection, 1971. Nominated for Best Director for The Exorcist, 1973 . Most recent feature:Killer Joe , 2011. You may not have seen, but totally should: Sorcerer, 1977 (contains no Sorcery.)
Ridley Scott: Born in November, 1937. Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, Gladiator, 2000. Nominated for Best Director for Thelma and Louise, 1991; Gladiator, 2000; and Black Hawk Down, 2001. Directed Alien, 1979; and Blade Runner, 1982. You know who the fuck Ridley Scott is. Most recent feature: Exodus: Gods and Kings, You may not have seen, but totally should: Matchstick Men, 2003 (Contains Sam Rockwell.)
Scott- The review scores for both Alien and Blade Runner are for the theatrical cuts. Director’s, Final, Ultimate, Mega, Tremendous, and Apple Cinnamon cuts are disqualified.
Friedkin- Good Times, The Night they Raided Minsky’s, and The Brink’s Job have all been omitted from his SBI number, due to lack of sufficient review data.
Ready? Let’s do it.
Ridley Scott 1977-2014
The Duelists 87
Blade Runner 91
Someone to Watch Over Me 59.5
Black Rain 53.5
Thelma and Louise 82.5
1492: Conquest of Paradise 45
White Squall 63.5
G.I. Jane 54
First Half Score: 775/11= 70.5
Black Hawk Down 82
Matchstick Men 78
Kingdom of Heaven 55.5
A Good Year 45
American Gangster 83.5
Body of Lies 58
Robin Hood 50.5
The Counselor 28.5
Exodus: Gods and Kings 32
Second Half Score (635+22)/11= 59.7
Ridley Scott’s SBI: -15.3% Scott comes in with the best SBI of the three directors so far. He also has the lowest first half total of the three, and has a lower second half than Smith. The Counselor has the lowest cumulative score of any movie so far, beating Cop Out and The Ward.
Biggest Surprise: Just the totality of the data. Seriously, go back and compare it to Carpenter and Smith. It’s unbelievable how all over the shop Scott’s career is.
Bonus Big Surprise: That many people liked Prometheus? The photography looks nice, and Fassbender’s great; but that movie’s a pile of shit. For reals.
William Friedkin 1967-2011
The Boys in the Band 91
The French Connection 92.5
The Exorcist 87
Deal of the Century 14.5
To Live and Die in L.A. 85.5
First Half Score: 552.5/8= 69.0
The Guardian 22.5
Blue Chips 44.5
Twelve Angry Men 94
Rules of Engagement 45.5
The Hunted 38
Killer Joe 69.5
Second Half Score (382.5+12)/8= 49.3
William Friedkin’s SBI: -28.6% Friedkin has the second worst SBI so far, and the worst first half score. A first half, don’t forget. that has The French Connection and The Goddamned Exorcist. But, it also has Deal of the Century, which takes the crown for worst reviewed movie so far.
Biggest Surprise: Just how rough his second half is. If you take Twelve Angry Men away, (which we could, since it’s technically a TV movie) he’s looking at a second half score of 42.9 with an SBI of -37.8.
The Verdict: Scott doubles up Friedkin and cruises to the next round. Despite both of these directors making some the greatest films of all time, their massive inconsistency pulls them both down. In comparison; neither Smith nor Carpenter has a first half movie with a score of less than 64, while Scott has five in his first half and Friedkin has two.