thorThor by Walter Simonson (5 volumes)

  • Author:  Walter Simonson
  • Published:  Nov. 1983 – Aug. 1987 (original cover dates) / 2013 (current 5 volume set – links below for each volume)
  • Publisher:  Marvel Comics
  • Pages:  1156
  • First Line:  “Far beyond the fields we know, the core of an ancient galaxy explodes!”
  • Last Lines:  “May his hammer ever strike in the cause of justice.  So say we all.”
  • Film Version:  none, although elements creep into the two Thor films and presumably some will show up in the third Thor film
  • First Read:  Summer 1994

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Ironically, the big star of 1965 (Julie Christie) would not be that great in the best film of 1965.

Ironically, the big star of 1965 (Julie Christie) would not be that great in the best film of 1965.

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. Doctor Zhivago  *
  2. Repulsion
  3. The Pawnbroker
  4. Drunken Angel
  5. The Collector
  6. Darling  **
  7. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  8. King Rat
  9. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  10. Thunderball

(more…)

I might still like Willow more than anyone else.

I might still like Willow more than anyone else.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XI:

Willow

  • Director:  Ron Howard
  • Writer:  George Lucas  /  Bob Dolman
  • Producer:  George Lucas
  • Stars:  Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley
  • Studio:  MGM
  • Award Nominations:
  • Length:  126 min
  • Genre:  Fantasy (Sword and Sorcery)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  20 May 1988
  • Box Office Gross:  $57.26 mil  (#14 – 1988)
  • Ebert Rating:  **.5
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #46  (1988)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Guilty Pleasure  (see note below)
  • First Watched:  The day it came out on video
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  2 or 3

(more…)

“Yeeha!”

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. Dr. Strangelove  *
  2. Mary Poppins  *
  3. A Hard Day’s Night
  4. Harakiri
  5. High and Low
  6. My Fair Lady  **
  7. The Night of the Iguana
  8. The Americanization of Emily
  9. The Best Man
  10. Goldfinger

Analysis:  For the second straight year, all of the Top 10 are **** films.  This year is slightly better than the year before in the Top 5 and Top 10, but that’s because 1963 didn’t have anything higher than a 95, while Dr. Strangelove is a 99 and Mary Poppins is a 96.  This year also shows much more homegrown (or British grown) quality – there are only 5 Foreign films in the Top 20, as opposed to the 7 Foreign films in the Top 10 the year before.  Goldfinger becomes the first Bond film to make the Top 10.  If this year was as weak a year as the next year, From Russia With Love would also make the Top 10.  The top three films are all Comedies; not only is this the first time this has happened, it’s the first time since 1934 that even the top two films were both Comedies. (more…)

“If you do not wish to sell perhaps you would consider parting with an entertainer.”  “That’s up to the entertainer.”  Those are the lines in the play.  The lines in the film are much better.

My Top 7:

  1. Casablanca
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. Watch on the Rhine
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Five Graves to Cairo
  7. Phantom of the Opera

note:  Yes, there is only a top 7, and not a fantastic Top 7 at that.  1943 just isn’t that great a year for film, especially when you realize that Casablanca is a 1942 film that just didn’t get an Oscar qualifying run until early 1943. (more…)

The darkness of the winter light perhaps lit by the illumination of God, depending on how you look at it.

The darkness of the winter light perhaps lit by the illumination of God, depending on how you look at it.

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. Winter Light
  2. The Great Escape
  3. Stray Dog
  4. Tom Jones  **
  5. Ivan’s Childhood
  6. The Bad Sleep Well
  7. Shoot the Piano Player
  8. Knife in the Water
  9. 8 1/2
  10. Hud  *

Analysis:  In one sense a very strong year, as there are three more **** films: White Nights, The Leopard and The Birds.  On the other hand, notice anything about those films?  Of those 13 films, 9 of them are Foreign films.  There are only 4 English Language films (my #14 is an English Language film: Love with the Proper Stranger).  This doesn’t get a lot better in my ***.5 films that round out my Best Picture list: Love with the Proper Stranger, Sundays and Cybele, The Four Days of Naples, This Sporting Life, The Sword in the Stone and Death in the Garden.  That’s 19 films, 12 of which are Foreign films, and another two (Tom Jones, This Sporting Life) which are British, so it’s really a damn weak year for Hollywood.  And 7 of these films aren’t originally from 1963 (the full list is way down below).
Tom Jones doesn’t just win the Consensus Best Picture – it sweeps the awards, the last film to win all the available awards until Schindler’s List. (more…)

Is it bad?  Is it good at being bad?  Does that make it good?  It's Flash Gordon, that's what it is.

Is it bad? Is it good at being bad? Does that make it good? It’s Flash Gordon, that’s what it is.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part X:

Flash Gordon

  • Director:  Mike Hodges
  • Writer:  Lorenzo Simple Jr.  (screenplay)  /  Michael Allin (adaptation)
  • Producer:  Dino De Laurentiis
  • Stars:  Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Ornella Muti
  • Studio:  Universal
  • Award Nominations:  Score, Art Direction, Costume Design (BAFTA)
  • Length:  111 min
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi  (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  5 December 1980
  • Box Office Gross:  $27.10 mil  (#23 – 1980)
  • Ebert Rating:  ***
  • My Rating:  **
  • My Rank:  #96 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Guilty Pleasure, Highest Attractiveness / Acting Ability Ratio
  • First Watched:  when it first came to HBO, maybe 1982?
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  between 5 and 10

(more…)

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