Semi Final 1:
Godfather Part II vs Empire Strikes Back
Two men struggling under the shadow of their father and his intentions for what they should become, trying to be clean and right, but battered by the forces of the universe. So far, so equal. But ESB has our hero lose his hand, and the other heroes betrayed and trapped, imprisoned in carbonite. How are you going to top that, Godfather? Oh, right, Michael is betrayed by his own brother, his wife tells him the baby she lost was aborted because she didn’t want to bring another child into the life they have. What’s that? Oh, and Robert de Niro as young Vito, yeah. Not that it’s fair on Empire to compare young Vito with young Anakin in the prequels but someone just got stabbed in the guts as they were enjoying the late afternoon sun.
Semi final 2:
Terminator 2 vs Toy Story 3
Humanity contains the seed of its own destruction, yeah? No fate but what we make? Skynet, yeah? But Terminator has some genuinely touching scenes (although it could do without some of Sarah Connor’s voiceover nonsense) and the final fight in the steelworks is amazing every time. Toy Story 3 doesn’t really get to the same level of tension ever (and no one gets stabbed in the eye as they’re drinking a coffee) but it does complete the journey of a group of characters that we really love in a way that is completely satisfying – everyone gets what they deserve, which may be Hollywood, but it is a film. The problem T2 has as a sequel is that it’s pretty hard to really love Sarah, who is a tad obsessive, and she’s the only character who was in the first film. And again, it’s hard to blame Terminator 2 for the later films in the series, but still, it should have been the end.
So, we have our final. And it’s controversial! Is it? Who cares!
Godfather Part II vs Toy Story 3
Does an animated film featuring the adventures of a toy cowboy have what it takes to face the might of one of the most powerful mob families in the US? Can Buzz Lightyear succeed where Hyman Roth failed? No, don’t be stupid. This whole thing is stupid. The Godfather Part II is one of the best films ever made. Toy Story 3 is great and all, but it can only cover a fraction of the range of human emotions because it’s made to be watched by children. And 95% of the characters are toys. They’re toys with characters, yes, but still.
Winner: Godfather Part II, obviously.