Movie Musical Bracket

March 24, 2017

My good buddy, Mike Sheehan, and I recently recorded a podcast episode debating our favorite movie musicals since the year 2000. In celebration of March Madness, we used a bracket-style to determine the rankings, match-ups, and eventually the winner. Here is the process that went with figuring out the rankings and at the bottom is the episode. Enjoy!


This post is to explain how we came up with the movies and the rankings for our Movie Musical Bracket.

First, we needed a topic and both Mike and I love movie musicals, and statistically there weren’t too many of them to choose from. Well, that’s what we thought at first before realizing there are plenty of classic movie musicals, so to stay clear from them we decided to keep the pool of films to more recent memory. We decided to only allow movie musicals since the year 2000 to be in the bracket, but even deciding that would be a lot of work. Luckily, we found a Buzzfeed article where Louis Peitzman ranked his favorite movie musicals that were released after the year 2000.

Perfect! Until Mike realized it omitted one of his favorite movie musicals: Moulin Rouge. So we just decided to throw that film in the mix as well. So we had Moulin Rouge plus 23 of the films Mr. Peitzman had on his list as the pool of films trying so hard to make it into our bracket. Now we needed to decide how to get that list down to 8.

We decided to have an Objective Score and a Subjective Score. The Objective Score was the sum of the film’s IMDB Rating + 10% of its Rotten Tomatoes Score + the films domestic box office gross/10,000,000 (with 10 being the max score). Basically, each category’s max score would be 10, so a film’s perfect score would be 30. And we felt that the mixture of IMDB (fan voting) + Rotten Tomatoes (critic’s gauge) + Box Office (pop culture relevance) was a fair enough system.

But then we had a Subjective Score, which was our separate rankings of our favorite 8 films from the pool. We ranked them 1 through 8 and used a point system: 15 points to the 1st ranked film, 13 points to the 2nd ranked film, 11 points to the 3rd ranked film, etc. Again, the max score for any film would be 30 points.

After combining all of the scores, we had our rankings. But then we discussed our main problem: what if we disagreed with a match-up? What would the tie-breaking mechanism be? We can’t just flip a coin or have the higher seed win. So we decided that since we’re the ones debating, our rankings should matter as the tie-break. Whenever we have a tie, we would look only at the Subjective Totals and the film with the higher Subjective Score would win. If that also resulted in a tie, then the higher seed won.

And there you have it! Here are how the rankings ended up and the first round match-ups:

1. La La Land (47.7 points)
2. Les Miserables (44.5 points)
3. Once (38.6 points)
4. Moulin Rouge (35.9 points)
5. Tangled (33.7 points)
6. Chicago (30.8 points)
7. Sweeney Todd (30.2 points)
8. Sing Street (28.9 points)

1. La La Land vs. 8. Sing Street
2. Les Miserables vs. 7. Sweeney Todd
3. Once vs. 6. Chicago
4. Moulin Rouge vs. 5. Tangled

Enjoy Episode 25 of Popcorn and Pop Culture Podcast:


Jason Segel performing with The Swell Season

November 24, 2009


Here’s a video of Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) singing a song with The Swell Season (Once).  At first I thought he was actually going to play a serious and sweet song… I’m ashamed that I thought that.  Luckily, he performed a hilarious pop ballad with the digits to a phone number that has been disconnected.  Bravo.

You can’t just watch this Once

August 20, 2008

Once (2006)
85 minutes
Rated – R
Directed by John Carney
Starring:  Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Grade:  A

Once is your modern-day musical about a busker who meets a girl on the streets of Dublin and ends up making beautiful music together.  The plot is nothing more than that, well except a slight romance story, but the performances and its simplicity plays in its favor making the film very powerful and moving.  The shaky camera shots give a documentary feel and adds to the realism that makes the story so emotionally charged.

The two main characters never declare their names throughout the movie, which I thought was pretty neat.  It’s your natural “guy meets girl” story with a musical spin.  And combining the talents of The Frames’ lead singer/guitarist Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, two musicians not actors, with a lot of ad-libbed dialogue, the movie flowed with ease.  Nothing was forced and as first time actors, they both did a great job.  Oh, and another thing that I liked about this modern-day musical was that there were no show-stopping tunes, nor were there any dancing routines.  It was a musical without looking like a musical.

While I loved all of the songs in the film, the one that still lingers in my heart is its anthem, “Falling Slowly.”  This is the first song that Glen and Marketa play together in the music shop, and from that instant you knew that something between these two was special; whether it was composing songs or something more personal.  With the lyrics, “I don’t know you but I want you, all the more for that” it’s so much more beautiful hearing those words sung rather than spoken.  I can’t imagine the depth of those words pronounced in a more meaningful way than when they harmonized it together.  This type of movie with music clashing against their situations fill up more than half of the film, and it’s such an experience to enjoy.

Just shot in 17 days and with a budget of approximately $160,000 (according to IMDB), Once accomplishes a lot more than expected.  It’s impossible to not care about the two lovely and sweet characters, whom their passion for music has brought them together.  It seems like fate.  The glow in their eyes when they play their instruments and talk about music is the real show-stopper.  Oh, and the ending is perfect.

This film holds a place very close to my heart.  I truly loved this film.  I loved the music, the performances, the story, the surprises, the ending, and the lingering effect I’m left with after the film has concluded.  Once is without a doubt one of my favorite films of the year and I couldn’t have been more happy to watch them accept their Best Original Song Oscar during the 2008 Academy Awards.

Recapping the Oscars

February 27, 2008

Even though it was the lowest viewed Oscars of all-time, I thought it was a very solid ceremony.
The Highlights:  It ended before midnight, the speeches were for the most part short and sweet, the music performances were good (“Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were great, and so was Amy Adams), we had a handful of presenters who almost fell on their bottom from the slick floor, Jon Stewart’s monologue and the fact he didn’t try to take over the show was refreshing, and the notion that The Academy actually awarded the most deserving nominees was outstanding. 
But the moment of the night went to whoever pulled the strings to make Marketa Irglova come back on stage to accept her award after she was cut off prematurely by the orchestra music.  To have young Marketa, who will probably never have a chance to be on that stage ever again, give her moving acceptance speech about “hope” and “dreams”… it was just phenomenal.  Good job Oscars.
And also, I thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony because of how none of my “Oscars that would really piss me off” picks won throughout the night.  But this ceremony was far from being predictable… some pleasant surprises were:  Marion Cotillard winning her well-deserved (and arguably performance of the year) Best Actress Oscar and Tilda Swinton winning Best Supporting Actress, awarding Michael Clayton for its only Oscar. 

An expert has stated his opinion about how he feels the idea of a movie sweeping the Oscars are long gone.  In recent years, no film has won more than 4 or 5 Oscars.  I was particularly glad that happened this year because of the outstanding year of film.  I’m happy so many different films won and there wasn’t a Titanic or Return of the King-like sweep.  But unlike those two films that were also extremely lucrative, this year didn’t have that blockbuster hit for Best Picture, and therefore recorded the lowest ratings of all-time.  I also believe that the era of blockbuster films shattering box office totals AND competing for Oscars is either fading or is gone already.  The studios seem to only concentrate on making money for the big budgeted films, while they give the smaller studios the task of making awards-worthy films.  It’s a shame, but I’m sure there will be a huge hit that is critically acclaimed soon.

Okay so overall it was a solid ceremony from The Academy.  As for my predictions, I had a mediocre year predicting 17/24 categories correctly.  Now it’s time to kick back and watch some DVDs, because we all know the end of winter/spring season of films suck.

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