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80s March Madness: Men's Bracket
by Tim Josephs

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Okay, now onto the men's bracket. With all due respect to the ladies, this one was much tougher to narrow down and the competition was fierce.

Actors on the bubble who didn't quite make the cut:

Anthony Michael Hall - He made some good movies like SIXTEEN CANDLES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, and WEIRD SCIENCE but just not enough.

Sean Penn - It was tough to keep him out of the tournament with films like COLORS, BAD BOYS, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and more, but not everyone could make it.

Emilio Estevez - Just not enough quality on his resume. Sure he's got THE BREAKFAST CLUB and ST. ELMO'S FIRE but he also has REPO MAN and STAKEOUT.

Rob Lowe - THE OUTSIDERS, CLASS, ST. ELMO'S FIRE, and ABOUT LAST NIGHT... were all solid but there were others who did a lot more.

On to the tournament:

First up #1 Harrison Ford vs. #8 Matthew Broderick

This one was over pretty much before it started. Trying to establish his dominance early as the presumptive favorite to win it all, Ford went with all three INDIANA JONES movies. Finding himself in a huge hole,
Broderick tried to answer with MAX DUGAN RETURNS, WARGAMES, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, and PROJECT X. And although that did little to get him back into it, Ford poured it on with FRANTIC and WITNESS. Broderick's last gasp attempt with BILOXI BLUES and GLORY fell far short.

#2 John Cusak vs. #7 Charlie Sheen

This one ended up being a lot closer than most thought it would be. Sheen opened strong with RED DAWN and LUCAS but Cusak responded nicely with SAY ANYTHING. Sheen answered with PLATOON and YOUNG GUNS, but again Cusak had an answer with STAND BY ME and CLASS. When they both threw out EIGHT MEN OUT, there was a momentary stalemate and then SHEEN quickly went with WALL STREET and MAJOR LEAGUE. But when Cusak countered with THE SURE THING, THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN, and SIXTEEN CANDLES, the very narrow victory was his.

#3 Tom Cruise vs. #6 Eddie Murphy

Perhaps upset at his number 3 ranking, Cruise came out fast and strong. Before Murphy knew it he'd been hit with LOSIN' IT, LEGEND, TAPS, and COCKTAIL. Murphy didn't panic and answered with 48 HOURS
and THE GOLDEN CHILD. Cruise then went with THE OUTSIDERS and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Murphy's TRADING PLACES, COMING TO AMERICA, and HARLEM NIGHTS put him in the lead for a moment but Cruise responded with ALL THE RIGHT MOVES and RAIN MAN. BEVERLY HILLS COP 1 and 2 from MURPHY wasn't enough and his Saturday Night Live missed at the buzzer.

#4 Michael J. Fox vs. #5 Tom Hanks

Hanks, perhaps in an attempt to gauge Fox opened with some weak stuff: THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE and TURNER AND HOOCH. Fox countered with THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS. Hanks then went with DRAGNET, THE MONEY PIT, and PUNCHLINE, but Fox easily matched that with TEEN WOLF. BIG and SPLASH gave Hanks the lead but when Fox went with CASUALTIES OF WAR and Family Ties, and all Hanks had left was BACHELOR PARTY, THE 'BURBS, and Bosom Buddies, Fox had the victory.

Next round:

#1 Harrison Ford vs. #4 Michael J. Fox

Ford, going for an early knock-out, opened with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI. Fox was forced to answer with everything he had left:
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY and BACK TO THE FUTURE I and II. Ford's BLADE RUNNER and THE MOSQUITO COAST easily put him into the finals.

#2 John Cusak vs. #3 Tom Cruise

Like Ford, Cruise tried to end things early with TOP GUN and RISKY BUSINESS. Cusak answered with TAPE HEADS and FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY but it wasn't enough to take the lead. Cruise then attempted to end the match with THE COLOR OF MONEY. But when Cusak responded with ONE CRAZY SUMMER and HOT PURSUIT and Cruise had nothing left, Cusak was the victor.

Championship round:

#1 Harrison Ford vs. #2 John Cusak

This one was a barn burner. It was obvious both guys were spent from their exhaustive early matches and this one came down to Ford's WORKING GIRL against Cusak's BETTER OFF DEAD...which put them into a dead heat. Ford had nothing left and seemingly neither did Cusak. But digging deep, Cusak was able to come up with his bit role in BROADCAST NEWS and it was just enough to put him over the top by the narrowest of margins.

Congratulations 80s March Madness winners Lea Thompson and John Cusak!

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.


Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns


Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.


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If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.


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