It’s the question that’s been ringing around the Golden Crescent for years (not really)…Who made the better “Crossroads” movie – Britney Spears or Ralph Macchio? It’s the perfect time to answer the question as both have been thrust back in the spotlight.  Britney with her conservator fight exposed by a recent Hulu documentary and Ralph with “Cobra Kai” the excellent “Karate Kid” spinoff on Netflix.

Ok , first let’s make this clear – both “Crossroads” (1986) and “Crossroads”(2002) have nothing to do with Victoria, Texas also known as the Crossroads.  However, since all these are considered the crossroads, I think it’s still important and we examine who made the best film with the namesake of Victoria, Texas. So, how do we do this? Well, this evaluation will be based upon 5 things – plot, star power, box office, reviews and legacy. So let’s get into it.

PLOT…(according to IMDB)

Crossroads (1986) - A wanna be blues guitar virtuoso seeks a long lost song by legendary musician, Robert Johnson.

Here's the trailer...

Crossroads (2002) - Three childhood best friends, and a guy they just met, take a road trip across the country, finding themselves and their friendship in the process.

Here's the trailer...

WINNER: 1986

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STAR POWER…

Crossroads (1986) - Ralph Macho was one of the biggest young stars at the time coming off the massive hit "The Karate Kid" (1984). And, Jamie Gertz was fresh off some teenage hit films. However, the 1986 Crossroads is really a two man show with Macchio and his Blues mentor played by the late great Joe Seneca.

Crossroads (2002) Britney Spears was one of the biggest stars in the world in 2002 so it’s a strong start for this argument.  However, her co-stars make this an unfair fight.  Britney’s two best friends are played by Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black) and Zoe Saldana (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Avatar) who’ve gone onto amazing careers.  SNL legend Dan Ackroyd and Sex In The City’s Kim Catrall appear as Britney’s parents.

WINNER: 2002

BOX OFFICE…

Crossroads (1986) Just under 6 million dollars...

Crossroads (2002) Britney made bank...61 Million!

WINNER: It's a blowout - Crossroads 2002

Getty Images

 

REVIEWS…

Crossroads (1986) IMDb Rating 7.1/10  Rotten Tomatoes   75% on the Tomatometer

Crossroads (2002) - IMDb Rating 3.6/10  Rotten Tomatoes  14% on the Tomatometer

WINNER: 1986...by a lot

LEGACY…

Crossroads (1986)  Although the Ralph Macchio guitar drama did well with critics, it's a movie that's hard to find.  It's almost forgotten in time.  I don't see any repeat viewings on cable like "Overboard." Heck, I haven't seen one play on cable.  Maybe if more people see it, it will be brought up more. Now it's just the movie Ralph did between "Karate Kid" movies.

Crossroads (2002) Hardly ever mentioned when people talk about Britney Spears, Crossroads is pretty bad.  This happens to movies sometimes when you try to capitalize in the biggest pop star in the world.  A great idea- poor execution. And, I haven't seen any replays on cable.

WINNER: TIE

THE VERDICT

Ok, we are tied up at 3...who wins?  Well, if you paid money to see the 2002 version, you definitely did not win. All jokes aside, here's the final arguments...

Crossroads (1986)

PROS: Good blues based fun, 80's Ralph Macchio, Joe Seneca, Jamie Gertz, Steve Vai playing guitar in the final battle, Good V. Evil

CONS: If you weren't alive in 1986 - you probably haven't seen it.

Crossroads (2002)

PROS: Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, Some of the Soundtrack.

CONS: The script (written by Shonda Rimes 'Grey's Anatomy'). The direction...should I go on?

OVERALL WINNER:

Crossroads 1986 

Getty Images for IMDb

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5 Best R.E.M. Albums and Songs

I love music documentaries. Recently, a friend asked fro a good one to watch. I immediately blurted out "R.E.M by MTV," which is a two hour documentary about the legendary college rock band that came out in 2015. Why did I feel like this one was the first one to watch? Well, R.E.M was my band in my own college years. R.E.M. is the reason why the guys at my former day job, a hip hop radio station, say I have a black hole in my knowledge of hip hop and R&B from 1985 to 1990. And, they're right…I was in a alternative phase and R.E.M. was my gateway into college/alt rock. My own band, The Surrealtors, who played around Houston in the late 80's and early 90's had an R.E.M. influence and we did several covers of the band. Hey, but enough of my blabbering about the importance of R.E.M. - how good is "R.E.M. by MTV?" Very good. With the band starting around the same time MTV really kicked in, the footage is nostalgic and tells the story in an innovative way. It was kind of nice to see old Tabitha Soren and her reports from the road along with "120 minutes" footage. "R.E.M. by MTV" is only available on DVD and some ways through Amazon Prime (one of those free trial things). Saying all this, I thought I'd give you my faves for fans and newcomers to the group--here are my five best R.E.M. songs and albums.