Thursday Movie Picks: Rivalry

Hello and welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves where you share three movies to fit the theme of the week each Thursday.

I think at some point in our lives we all have had a rival. Whether school/job or love related, I think it's the human nature to have a rival. Let's be honest, it makes things more interesting, especially on the job/school department. That's what pushes us to do our best, isn't it? Am I rambling? Anyway, here's my picks.

Rush (2013)

It is about the real-life rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. I was very excited about this film when it came out because I've been a F1 fan since I was 10 and although I'm too young to have seen the rivalry in real time, I knew the troubled relationship between the two pilots and I was pleasantly surprised with Ron Howard's movie. It's well done and the performances from Hemsworth and Brühl are good. Also, Brühl really looks like Lauda.

The Prestige (2006)

It follows stage magicians Robert Angier and Alfred Borden as they try to outwit and destroy one another. This film is complex, engaging and thrilling. Basically everything one would expect from Christopher Nolan. The nonlinear storyline is perfect to build tension and the acting is phenomenal, with the exception of Scarlett Johansson. Oh, I almost forgot, there's also the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. It's not the focus of the film but it's well done. And I can't believe so many people didn't know Nikola Tesla was a real person. Seriously, where has everybody been living? Under a rock?

Rocky II (1979)

And about rocks, this film seems Rocky as he tries to clear his name by accepting Apollo Creed's challenge after becoming an embarrassment. Although it is not as original and good as the first film, I love this one because it represents the peak of Rocky and Apollo's rivalry. And to my big surprise, Stallone developed the characters even further, giving Adrian and Rocky Junior a bigger role without being overly sentimental. I never thought I'd say this, but kudos to Stallone. 


  1. I'm not a fan of the Rocky movies but I love your first two picks. I never expected Rush to be as good as it was considering I've never watched F1.

  2. All good picks. Rush was excellent, really enjoyed that. I'm not as high on The Prestige as everyone else seems to be, but I still liked it. Rocky II is also a good movie. It's the last Rocky (before Creed) that doesn't make a farce of that universe. I like those farces, but this one is a quality film.

    1. I agree, overall the others are fun boxing films, but not solid dramas as the first two. I hope Creed 2 will follow Rocky II's path.

  3. Yeah, Johansson is the weak link in The Prestige but the film still manages to be a masterpiece!

  4. I've yet to see Rush, I sort of gave it the go by because of the race theme-not really my thing-but I'll probably check it out now.

    The Prestige looks to be popular today and rightly so. An excellently constructed film with very good performances by most of the cast particularly the two leads.

    I'd agree that Rocky II isn't the equal of the first but it's a hell of a lot better than the ones that followed. Once was enough for me but it was a decent film.

    I didn't really dig to deep this week, there are so many films about rivalries, just went with the first three that came to me.

    The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)-Lavish version of the Dumas story of rivalry over a woman, one friend’s betrayal of another leading to an island imprisonment and the revenge extracted upon escape by the Count of Monte Cristo. Excitingly directed with beautiful production design and two robust lead performances by Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. A just starting out Henry Cavill has a prominent role in the latter half of the film.

    Happy Gilmore (1996)-Temperamental and frustrated hockey player Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) discovers he needs to find some way to save his grandmother’s house. As he’s mocking someone for liking golf he finds he has a powerful swing and on a lark enters the PGA tour where he quickly incurs the enmity of a star of the circuit, Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald). They become rivals for the prize with Shooter resorting to ever more drastic measures. Not a classic but from the period when Sandler was at least trying to make an effort to turn out entertaining films.

    The War of the Roses (1989)-Oliver and Barbara Rose (Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner) were once a happily married couple and through the years have acquired a couple of kids, a comfortable life and a beautiful home. But those days are over and while the two freely admit they want out of their commitment to each other what neither wants is out of their house. So begins a fierce combative rivalry for sole ownership with the lengths each will go to escalating to fearsome heights to emerge the victor as their divorce attorney D’Amato (Danny DeVito) takes it all in from the sidelines.

  5. The Prestige seems to be big this week and for good's excellent. I had to giggle at your comment about Scarlett. I haven't seen Rush but it does sound interesting for sure. I just can't get into watching any of the Rocky movies.

  6. Have not seen Rush, but it's one I want to see.
    Love The Prestige, and love that you mentioned Tesla and Edison, I'm guessing that's why he was introduced as a character because of the similarly fierce rivalry. I would think that anyone that have taken a basic high school level Physics class would have heard of Tesla.