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Infernal Affairs VS The Departed

29 Mar

So we’re almost at the end of the week, and we’re still all about the criminals here at Gumball Crayola. More murders, more mayhem, and more mighty good looking men!






But which one of them is the bad guy? That, my friends, is the question…




Based on the brooding faces above, you’ve probably guessed that today’s match up is:

Infernal Affairs VS The Departed

The Deal: Picture a brtutal, bloody game of cops and robbers…where it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between the two groups. There are too many double and triple crosses here to form a coherent recap of either film, but let’s just say that nobody trusts anybody in these movies, and very few of them survive to the end of either story. The police force clashes with the mob in what is definitely our most violent match up to date, and, if I’m being truthful, my least favourite of the movies we’ve featured here so far. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t sitting breathless on the edge of my seat as I watched the action unfold…just that I felt exhausted, and a little icky, afterwards. Which makes it a little challenging for me to objectively rate

The Original VS the Do Over since I don’t feel a whole lot of love for any of the characters in particular. But I will say that I was absolutely horrified by Matt Damon’s character in the remake, which was a big change for me. He usually manages to maintain a core of “Matt-ness” in his roles, and I usually adore him regardless of who he’s playing. So  the American version resonated with an extra level of emotion for me, compared to the Hong Kong version. I felt even more betrayed by the character’s actions, if that makes sense?!? Plus, Martin Scorsese did finally win his Best Director Oscar for his version, so I’m going to crown his 2006 picture as

The Definitive Champion. But this was something of an ambiguous match up for me, and perhaps a sign that my association with the criminal element should come to an end? Come back tomorrow to see how I redeem myself!


Congratulations Marty….I think?!?


The Thomas Crown Affair VS The Thomas Crown Affair

28 Mar

Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday. Another day, another discussion of illegal activity here at Gumball Crayola! I probably shouldn’t sound so enthusiastic about that, should I? But it’s hard not to be enthusiastic when this is what you’re greeted with first thing in the morning:



Sigh. I love my job. Two days of fabulous scenery in a row! Are we on a roll here, or what?

In case you couldn’t tell from the appearance of the two very dapper gentlemen above, today’s match up is

The Thomas Crown Affair VS. The Thomas Crown Affair


The Deal: A super suave multi-millionaire-playboy-thief is pursued, professionally and otherwise, by a super-suave dresses-like-a-multi-millionaire-even-if-she-isn’t-one-society-girl-insurance-investigator. Whew! Many smoldering looks and much suggestive bantering follows. And at the end…

The Original VS The Do Over: As happened when we featured The Italian Job near the beginning of this countdown, the original version of this movie has a much darker, less Hollywood-ized ending. (If you’d like to read a spoiler of the ending, click here. ) While I do think it’s a more genuine ending, one that suits the characters’ personalities, the 1999 version  introduces a couple of new elements that I really like. Changing Crown from a bank robber to an art thief allows for some really fun scenes like this one:

And don’t you just love Rene Russo’s hair?!? (Yes, we cover very important elements of cinema very seriously here at Gumball Crayola). So from my enthusiasm, you can probably guess that

The Definitive Champion: is the 1999 remake. And if you’re curious, the song playing in the scene we just watched was “Sinnerman” by the lovely and talented Nina Simone. You can listen to it, as well as a couple other cool tracks from the soundtrack, below.




Ocean’s Eleven VS Ocean’s Eleven

27 Mar

I’m excited – and a little alarmed – to tell you that our crime spree is continuing here at Gumball Crayola this morning. I’m not quite sure how we got from providing a caffeinated outlook on life to celebrating a life of crime, but here we are!!

Yesterday we explored the murky (under)world of murder for hire, and today we’re talking about high stakes robbery in Las Vegas. Just as illegal, but so much better looking: that’s right, today’s Movie Match up is:

Ocean’s Eleven VS. Ocean’s Eleven

Now, before we get to The Deal, I just need to get a couple of things out of the way, so that I can judge these movies fairly and impartially and without drooling on my keyboard…

Have you ever seen such sauve-ness in your life??

Can you stand it?!?

All right. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here we go:

The Deal: After seeing the pictures above, you don’t actually care about a silly little thing like plot do you?!? Sigh. A group of ridiculously handsome friends concoct a ridiculous plan to steal a ridiculous amount of money from a ridiculous number of casinos. Ok? Can I get back to my photos now?

The Original VS The Do Over: If you know me outside of Gumball Crayola, chances are you already know about my years-long love affair with Francis Albert, aka The Voice, aka Old Blue Eyes, aka The Chairman of the Board…if we’re meeting here for the first time, chances are you’ve probably figured out that I kind of love Frank Sinatra. A lot. What gave it away?

Anyway, the point is that I’m torn, much as I was when we talked about my favourite curmudgeons. But if I have to choose, and if I have to defend my choice based on things like, you know, artistic merit, then I have to go with the Do Over on this one. Steven Sodenburgh makes such distinct, specific choices with his cinematography and editing, and he just made those guys all look so cool:

Right? Which means that the 2001 version is:

The Definitive Champion because, le’s be honest, I’m powerless to resist a well lit, well edited Brad and George, especially if they’ve got a great soundtrack and a whole bunch of Hollywood in-jokes to back them up. Don’t worry Francis Albert! I still love you!!