Sixty have bowed out. Four remain. The quest to determine the best of Maryland Film/TV has been tireless and, at times, baffling, but hey, we're a media organization and it's March Madness -- someone had to do it. While not entirely surprising, we nonetheless have a diverse group of local representatives on our hands in the Final Four. Up for grabs? Bragging rights as the undisputed Best of Baltimore. Don't forget to come back and vote to crown the ultimate Charm City champion, too. In case you missed the original 64, here's the first round, with descriptions of the "teams." Here's the printable bracket.
(1) The Wire vs. (1) Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal Lecter had no problem eating up "Enemy of the State" to seamlessly enter the Final Four. In 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs," Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is held in solitary confinement at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, subjected to the attempts of FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) to understand the motivations of a killer. "The Silence of the Lambs," unlike its now-rival "The Wire," is no stranger to awards; it was the third film to ever win Oscars in the top five categories of best picture, actor, actress, director and adapted screenplay. But killing takes on a different air in "The Wire" (which beat David Simon's "Homicide" in the Elite Eight), and we all know what the HBO masterpiece lacks in deserved industry recognition, it more than makes up for in gritty realism, deeply human characters and expletive-ridden signature phrases. Where would we be without Omar's meditations on "the game" or McNulty's bafflingly clueless "The f--- did I do?"
(3) Cry-Baby vs. (6) The Blair Witch Project
It's time to separate the "drapes" from the "squares." Although we hate to see the Turnblads go with the likely controversial departure of "Hairspray," we love to watch them boogie their way out. Divine didn't make the cut in his namesake region, but a musical did, in the form of John Waters' 1990 sensational teen flick "Cry-Baby," in which you can catch glimpses of Ellicott City, Reisterstown, Jessup, Milford Mill and Sykesville. Johnny Depp may play the baddest boy in Baltimore, but don't make him cut his hair! Something tells us Cry-Baby would be shedding more than a single tear if caught in "The Blair Witch Project." The clock struck midnight on 16-seed Cinderella "Call Girl of Cthulhu." In "Blair Witch," student filmmakers disappear while hiking near Burkittsville in Frederick County. Reason enough never to leave the city.