Still one of the greatest covers in comic book history.

Still one of the greatest covers in comic book history.  Art by George Perez.

Every now and then I write a post about comic books for a few reasons.  First of all, they were really important to me for a really long time.  Second, this site is actually named after a comic book character that I adopted as my own: Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond), a Marvel character who was originally created as a Batman counterpart.  There were two versions of Nighthawk – the Squadron Sinister villain who would eventually become a hero and a member of the Defenders before dying (it would be his costume that I really loved), but it would be the second Nighthawk – the Squadron Supreme member, who I would really like.  He would also die, in a dramatic event that was unlike almost anything Marvel had ever published before, loaded with death.  Which brings me to this list. (more…)

2015-02-08-w:Mama-Daddy-Alison-skating2015-02-08-w:Alison-skatingBeing so miserable in our current apartment (yellowjackets, ants (twice), piece that fell off the bathroom ceiling, leaking bathroom ceiling, busted furnace, leaking radiator, and that’s not all of it), we had put the kibosh on anyone visiting until after we are able to extricate ourselves from this place.  However, since my sister came to town for a job fair, I wasn’t going to make her stay at a hotel.  She came in just in time for the third snowstorm in less than two weeks – though we basically had a snow-free winter before the blizzard that descended just twelve days ago, we have already had a whole winter’s worth of snow and we might have up to two feet arriving before Tuesday morning.  Still, we found time today to get over to our local ice rink; Thomas has been taking skating lessons for a while now and Alison’s been skating for over 20 years, so it was good for the two of them to be on the ice together.  Now, we can just wait to find out if Thomas will have his fifth snow day in the last 10 school days.

As always, my favorite backstage Oscar photo - Hepburn had won the year before but here Kelly would win.  Both deserved it.

As always, my favorite backstage Oscar photo – Hepburn had won the year before but here Kelly would win. Both deserved it.

Introduction:

This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is the 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 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, I include 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.  Word note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before Oscars.org started putting up official information about release dates.  Several films have been moved from the years where they appeared in those posts – see the Nighthawk Awards posts for more accurate placement – I have included links in the years.

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…)

That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

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 listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Seventh Seal
  2. Wild Strawberries
  3. Some Like It Hot  *
  4. The 400 Blows
  5. North by Northwest
  6. Anatomy of a Murder  *
  7. The Diary of Anne Frank
  8. Sleeping Beauty
  9. Ben Hur  **
  10. Pather Panchali

Analysis:  That is a hell of a Top 5 – the second best to date, behind only 1946.  The first nine are all **** films.  This is the only year in film history in which both my top two are foreign films and the only one in which three of the top four are foreign. (more…)

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey.  Or, film noir on acid.  Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey. Or, film noir on acid. Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Inherent Vice

  • Author:  Thomas Pynchon  (b. 1937)
  • Published:  2009
  • Publisher:  The Penguin Press
  • Pages:  369
  • First Line:  “She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to.”
  • Last Line:  “For the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead.”
  • Film:  2014  –  (**** – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • First Read:  the day before it was released in 2009

(more…)

These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

As will be seen when my Year and Film and History of Academy Awards for this year are done (after the Oscars), this has been a strange year.  Going into this morning, I had no idea what was going to happen with Best Picture.  I knew that, historically, at least a couple of trends were going to be bent.  They were bent far more than I thought.

Because they were announcing every category live this morning, I wrote ideas for all the categories, because it’s easier to just cross out the ones that are wrong and fill in the others.  There was a lot.  I went 4/5 in Director, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.  But I only got 7/9 for Picture (I wrote down 9 and got 7 right, but my #9 choice made it in, so I can’t say I was 7/8) and I didn’t get a single category 5/5.  I did correctly predict that Selma would be mostly snubbed, but was then stunned when it made it in the final Picture list rather than Foxcatcher, which I didn’t think would make it, but the other categories were there for it, so who knows.  So, I will just start in on the trivia. (more…)

Part of the brilliant opening shot of Touch of Evil.

Part of the brilliant opening shot of Touch of Evil.

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 listing the top 8 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Touch of Evil
  2. Smiles of a Summer Night
  3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  *
  4. Nights of Cabiria
  5. The Defiant Ones  **
  6. Vertigo
  7. Death of a Cyclist
  8. Mon Oncle

(more…)

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