With three appearances (twice solo, once as a member of Genesis), Phil Collins deserves this place of honor at the top of the post.

With three appearances (twice solo, once as a member of Genesis), Phil Collins deserves this place of honor at the top of the post.

80’s music has been on my mind lately.  To be fair, it’s taken up a considerable portion of my brain since the 80’s.  But I just made a pile of CDs for my sister’s birthday, all of them 80’s.  And then, driving to work, a song came on the radio which reminded me of a conversation from college:

“Lyrics today just aren’t very deep,” said one person at our table.  “Songs used to have so much more to say.”

“De do do do de da da da is all I have to say to you,” replied someone else at the table, very slowly.  And that was all that needed to be said. (more…)

1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made.  1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made. 1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m going with a top 8 this time, even though only the top 5 in each category earn nominations (except Actor, but that will be explained).  I went with 8 because there are 8 great films in this year.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Streetcar Named Desire  **
  2. Strangers on a Train
  3. Detective Story  *
  4. The African Queen
  5. A Place in the Sun  *
  6. Oliver Twist
  7. Ace in the Hole
  8. La Ronde  *

(more…)

30 years later and I still can't connect to it.

30 years later and I still can’t connect to it.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part VIII:

The Dark Crystal

  • Director:  Jim Henson  /  Frank Oz
  • Writer:  Jim Henson  /  David Odell
  • Producer:  Jim Henson  /  Gary Kurtz
  • Stars:  Jim Henson, Frank Oz  (notable as the “first live action film with no humans”)
  • Studio:  Universal
  • Award Nominations:  BAFTA: Best Visual Effects
  • Length:  93 min
  • Genre:  Fantasy
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  17 December 1982
  • Box Office Gross:  $40.57 mil  (#16  –  1982)
  • Ebert Rating:  N/A
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #49  (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notable:  none
  • First Watched:  on HBO when it first came to cable
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  @2 or 3

(more…)

To my mind, the greatest film ever made.

To my mind, the greatest film ever made.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated (this is the first year that there are nominees for the Globes).  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m going with a top 7 again, even though only my top 5 earn nominations.  That’s because in a lot of these categories, there are more than 5 films worth mentioning.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Sunset Blvd.  *
  2. The Third Man  *
  3. All About Eve  **
  4. The Rules of the Game
  5. Night and the City
  6. The Asphalt Jungle  *
  7. Kind Hearts and Coronets

(more…)

Robin Williams was a great actor – his performance in Dead Poets Society won me over for reading poetry when not a single teacher could do it (and I had some pretty amazing teachers).  Even if I don’t rank it as highly as I used to, this is still one of my favorite films to watch and one of my absolute favorite endings (which is saying a lot given how much I can’t stand Ethan Hawke).  It moves me like few other scenes in film history do, partially because of the music, partially because I had a teacher that meant that much to me (she was my teacher at the time the film came out) and partially because of Williams’ heart-felt performance and how much his character really loves poetry.  It’s one of many great performances (I would say his best is The Fisher King).

But, he was an even better comedian – possibly my favorite stand-up ever.  And the clip below highlights it.  It’s not from his peak years.  But it’s great recent material and the ending is appropriate.  I had a friend in college who pointed out to me how much Robin Williams looks like Bono.  In 1997, I saw Bono from about 15 feet away at the U2 concert in Eugene, when he came down the runway.  In 2007, I saw Robin Williams from about 15 feet away when he came into Borders on a Friday night, about 15 minutes before Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward did.  It’s mostly in the nose, but they really did look a lot alike.

The world is a lot less funny today.

A couple of very deserving Oscar winners from 1948 - a happy father and son.

A couple of very deserving Oscar winners from 1948 – a happy father and son.

Introduction:

This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade (with a couple of extra years, since there was no point in doing a separate piece on the first two years of the Oscars) and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, starting in 1930-31, I started including various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.

The third series is my History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, where I reviewed every film ever nominated for Best Picture (except The Patriot, which is lost).  Those links are also down below, grouped by year. (more…)

It's possible that this film doesn't move you.  It's also possible you have no heart.

It’s possible that this film doesn’t move you. It’s also possible you have no heart.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated (this is the first year that there are nominees for the Globes).  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winner.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Bicycle Thieves  *
  2. The Heiress  *
  3. A Canterbury Tale
  4. A Letter to Three Wives  *
  5. It Always Rains on Sunday

(more…)

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