May 2008

Top Decade: the 90’s with 20 (kind of surprised me)

Weakest: the 70’s, with only 10 (the 30’s had fewer, but I’ve seen far fewer films)

Genre: Drama had the most, and the war movies were split (one Civil War, two WWI, two WWII, two Vietnam)

the Academy: the top 10 films were all nominated for Best Picture and 18 of top 20, with 4 winners, but #11, Touch of Evil is one of only 9 films on the list not to get any nominations (Greed doesn’t count as it predates the awards) – over all 72 of the 100 were nominated with 17 Best Pictures

top Director: Martin Scorsese is the only one with 5 films; however while Stanley Kubrick is one of a few who had 4 (along with Peter Jackson, David Lean and Billy Wilder) all 4 of his made the top 40

special mention for Ang Lee who has 3 films on the list and will have one in the top 10 on the forthcoming Foreign list (Crouching Tiger)

top star: Orson Welles – who wrote, directed and starred in 3 of the films and is the villain in a fourth (and rumored to have directed it)

best year: 1996 and 1940 – they both had 4; however while Fantasia was Oscar eligible in 1941, Trainspotting was Oscar eligible in 1996, making 1996 the best top 5 of any year (Lone Star, Trainspotting, English Patient, Fargo, Hamlet)

check back later as I go more in depth about the years and do away with The Myth of 1939

Today Thomas and Erik were walking down the sidewalk past a lady sitting on a bench with her young daughter. The lady said “hi” and Thomas responded with a “hello” back and then when the lady asked him how old he is, Thomas said “I’m three years old.” This is something we’ve been practicing, so it’s great that he responded to the questions–even from a stranger. :-)

I get asked a lot what I thought of a particular movie and my answer is usually, “it was okay.” That’s because most movies are okay. They’re not great, they’re not bad. Just okay. In almost 5000 movies in my spreadsheet that I’ve seen, less than 500 got ** or lower. Some 1500 get ***.5 or ****. And so, even though I try to see better movies (with my obsession with awards), fully 60% of the movies I have seen got *** or **.5. In other words, they were okay.

Well, almost five years ago now I got tired of seeing okay films. I also got tired of not having seen certain films (specifically The Shining). I decided to finally watch The Shining, but also to watch all the Kubrick films I had never seen. I also decided to rewatch all of the other Kubrick films. Thus, my Director Project was born. I made a list of great directors and decided I would watch all of the films by these directors.

Over the years, certain people have been crossed off the list and other directors have been added. But, from the list I made, I am almost done. I have five Kurosawa films to rewatch and then my actual vision for the project is complete. In a later post, I’ll include the director list. In this post however, I can rejoice that the only films I have left to watch are foreign films. Since I have finished all the English language directors on the list, I have written up a list of my top 100 English language films of alltime.


So, last week while I was at the Sox game (they won 2-1, it was a great game), Veronica decided to go to the store, buy clippers and cut Thomas’ hair.  These are the results.

She has since also cut my hair, giving me the shortest haircut I have had since I was about three months old.  There are no pictures of my haircut however, because, unfortunately, Veronica dropped the camera after taking the pictures of Thomas and now it’s haircutnew haircut - side view

Prince Caspian (2008).  For the record, the really good actors are on the far left and far right.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008). For the record, the really good actors are on the far left and far right.

“Don’t you hate being treated like children?”
“We are children.”
“We didn’t used to be.”
That’s Peter’s argument at the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and it’s great one, more so even, because it’s not in the book. In fact, a lot of what’s in the movie wasn’t in the book. In some ways that’s a problem, because even more than the first film, it’s a different genre than the book. But in other ways, it deepens and enriches the experience and comes out stronger.
The movie starts out with a bang: Caspian is forced to flee. No back story, no growing up; he’s already a teen and he better run or die. Then we’re thrown back into England (and more good reminders of the war) and the pull that Lewis describes is shown in a magnificent scene as the children are transported back to Narnia, where they may still be young, but they remember what they were like when they were older.

Thomas recently attended his first birthday party. It was for his friend Aaron, and it was held at an indoor playground (think McDonald’s playland times 10).