The Five Doctors

Eventually, once Veronica and I have watched our way through all of Doctor Who, there will be a variety of lists to go up, much like we did with Star Trek.  It’ll take quite a while. We were on Season 10 when I did a very small bit on it back in March of 2013.  The other day we finished Season 20.  That leaves us six more seasons and the movie before we finally get the lists up.  Quite probably the trickiest will be the list where we rank all the Doctors. (more…)


1983_iconic_picture_director_writing_bridges_actress_maclaine_supporting_nicholsonThis 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 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.  One note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before 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…)

The poignant, tragic ending of Glory - my #1 film of 1989 since the day I saw it in the theater.

The poignant, tragic ending of Glory – my #1 film of 1989 since the day I saw it in the theater.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 12 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Henry V
  4. Born on the Fourth of July
  5. When Harry Met Sally
  6. Say Anything
  7. Crimes and Misdemeanors  *
  8. The Little Mermaid
  9. Do the Right Thing  *
  10. My Left Foot  *
  11. Dead Poets Society  *
  12. Heathers

Analysis:  This is my favorite year in film history, partially because it was the year when I first became seriously interested in film, but also because it’s such a damn good year.  It’s not a coincidence that I own eight of these top 12 films (plus several more farther down the list – Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen).  The Top 5 is tied with several other years for third best to-date.  But things stay strong outside the Top 5.  This year is tied for the third best to-date for the Top 6, is the second best for the Top 7, and then is the best to-date for the Top 8 on down.  The average of the Top 10 is 94.8, which is higher than the Top 5 average for the year before.  The Little Mermaid is the best #8 film to-date while Crimes is the best #7 film since 1946.  Though, that didn’t translate at the Oscars where they nominated and even gave the Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy (though they made very strong choices with the other four).
Yes, that’s right, Born on the Fourth of July didn’t even earn a Consensus nom for Best Picture.  It came in sixth, mainly because the critics were so divided (six awards split among five films, with only Do the Right Thing winning multiple awards) and the BAFTA going to Dead Poets Society.  That makes this the only year after 1933 in which none of my top 5 are Consensus nominees.  With Driving Miss Daisy easily winning the Consensus (Oscar, NBR, Globe – Comedy, PGA wins, BAFTA nom), it is the last winner until 2000 to fail to make my Top 10. (more…)

Rio-OlympicsVeronica and I were on opposite sides of the Olympic argument that waged in Boston last year.  She (with good reason) was concerned about the potential costs and problems for the city.  I, on the other hand, grew up in LA.  It’s hard to explain what it’s like for a nine year old kid who loves sports to watch the Olympic Torch running just a few blocks from your house because the Olympics are in your city. (more…)

"The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table." (p 731)

“The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table.” (p 731)

My Top 7:

  1. From Here to Eternity
  2. Stalag 17
  3. The Big Heat
  4. The Moon is Blue
  5. The Actress
  6. Peter Pan
  7. Hondo

Note:  After a few years with more than 10 screenplays on my list, I can’t do more than seven in this year.
Note:  This is the earliest year where significant records exist at (there are a few for 1952 and even this year is incomplete in strange waves).  One of the great things about is that it lists original sources (you can actually look up everything in a particular year with a source author) and it makes it much easier to distinguish between original and adapted scripts. (more…)

Star Trek Beyond

  • star_trek_beyond_ver2Year:  2016
  • Director:  Justin Lin
  • Series Rank:  #9
  • The Enterprise Crew:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin
  • Villain:  Idris Elba


Wil Wheaton, an actor who I am not inclined to give much leeway to, as he played one of the most annoying Star Trek characters ever (I actually dislike Guinan more), tweeted a response to the original premiere of the Star Trek Beyond trailer back in December that I agreed with at the time: “I saw the weirdest trailer today. It was for a generic science fiction action movie, but it was all dressed up in Star Trek costumes.”  But, a little ways into this film, I settled back and accepted the inevitable: as much as Star Trek was never an action franchise during the first 40 years of its existence, it certainly is now.  I may not like it, but there’s no point in continually harping over it when that’s clearly the decision they have made.  They want to give you nonstop action whether you want it or not.  So, let’s focus on other things. (more…)

star-trek-wrath-of-khan-spock-death-2The Films (ranked):

  1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  2. Star Trek: First Contact
  3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  4. Star Trek
  5. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness
  8. Star Trek: Generations
  9. Star Trek Beyond
  10. Star Trek: Nemesis
  11. Star Trek: Insurrection
  12. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  13. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

note:  The first film is ****.  The next three are ***.5.  The rest are *** except Star Trek V, which is **.5.



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