There Can Only Be One

Aesop Rock or A$AP Rocky? The Prestige (2006) or The Illusionist (2006)? Ugh. I can’t put up with this anymore: There can only be one.

For far too long America has been fractured by the insurmountable gulf between its Antz (1998) audience and its A Bug’s Life (1998) backers, plaguing our pop-culture conversations with a particular miscommunication symptomatic of a public totally unaware that there is both a Carl Reiner and a Rob Reiner. To mend this rift in our nation’s watercooler chats, we have but a single solution: There can only be one.

“But how do we go about eliminating a piece of media—or the real-life humans who brought it to life—this long after it’s irreversibly flopped in the margins of its objectively superior contemporary?” you may ask before suddenly remembering that Nick Cannon did not play the lead in Whiplash (2014). Let’s cut the shit: There. Can Only. Be. One.

1. Bon Jovi | Bon Iver
Oh, please. At least with the former we always know what to expect. Moving on.

2. Portugal. The Man | Math the Band
Implausible; math is only a genre. Next.

3. Logan Lucky (2017) | Logan (2017) | Lucky (2017)
Obvious choice: Why have one when you can have both?

4. Mister Lonely (2007) | Mister Heavenly
If Harmony ever gets around to a sequel, I may reconsider.

5. Mr. Bean | Commander Keen
Context is what’s most important here, and Bean undoubtedly provides less of it.

6. “Loop de Loop” | “Hump de Bump”
Together these tracks chart the vast distance between stupid fun and stupid Anthony Kiedis noises.

7. M (1931) | W. (2008) | Z (1969)
To be honest, I didn’t really follow the narrative spanning nearly eighty years and three languages, so Lang’s first entry to the trilogy gets the benefit of the doubt here.

8. MIKE | KYLE
Rapping under a shouted iteration of your first name is the new making electronic music under a shouted iteration of an arbitrary noun, and quite frankly I would much rather hear my own name shouted, so.

9. Pusha T | Pusher 3 (2005)
My knowledge of either is admittedly rather limited, but the subtitle I’m the Angel of Death slays any and all religiously themed King Push titles.

10. The Square (2017) | The Circle (2017) / Cube (1997) | Sphere (1998)
Not sure why shapes become chic in film every twenty years, but it’s pretty evident that corners are the true mark of quality.

11. Trebek | Brubeck | Jeff Beck
Easy: only one of these men possesses the sheer radiance to attract the attention of a young Julianne Moore during her sister’s husband’s subject-of-admiration’s hospital-acquaintance’s son’s neighbor’s daughter’s cello concert.

12. No Age | Ice Age (2002)
Two franchises with commendable debuts, but whose subsequent output further sunders their comparability like a continental drift.

13. Man Ray | Blu-ray
Man Ray: the Blu-ray to Hans Arp’s HD DVD.

14. Mario Kart | Descartes
One exception: René does trump MK64.

15. Ron Don Volante | John Frusciante
Approximately equals in regards to musical prodigiousness; Ron Don takes the cake, though, with his foray into the night life industry.

16. Speedy Ortiz | Speedy Claxton
Apples and oranges, really, since the latter Speedy was plagued by injuries.

17. Ava Gardner | “Avant Gardener”
The Barefoot Contessa vs. Uma Thurman post-overdosing? No question. FL

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