December 2014


Thomas hugs his newest plush friend - a gigantic Olaf.

Thomas hugs his newest plush friend – a gigantic Olaf.

A very Merry Xmas

And a Happy New Year

Let’s hope it’s a good one

Without any fear

That, of course, is my favorite Christmas song.  You can listen to it here.  Or, there’s the Alarm version.  Or, if you prefer a more angelic voice, there’s Sarah McLachlan.  Or, if you want a bit of a medley, go to the bottom of the post and you have U2 singing it acoustically, followed by their brilliant take on “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and the video for “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. (more…)

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The best of all Christmas traditions.

The best of all Christmas traditions.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part X:

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

  • Director:  Jon Stone
  • Writer:  Jon Stone  /  Joseph A. Bailey
  • Producer:  Jon Stone
  • Stars:  Carroll Spinney, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Debbie Chen, Sonia Manzano
  • Studio:  Children’s Television Workshop
  • Awards:  Emmy – Outstanding Children’s Program
  • Length:  60 min
  • Genre:  Kids  (Christmas special)
  • Release Date:  3 December 1978
  • First Watched:  3 December 1978
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  at least 5 or 6

I realized that my next post was going to be an RCM and that it would time for Christmas.  So I figured it should be Christmas themed.  But, I didn’t really have a Christmas movie that worked for this.  I didn’t watch Miracle on 34th Street as a kid, It’s a Wonderful Life I have already reviewed and Love Actually came out years later.  I could have reviewed the 1951 A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim.  But I kept coming back to my real Christmas tradition – watching Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.  Yes, it’s television, but it’s the best of all television, and so it seemed right. (more…)

The impact hits home to Alec Guinness in his very deserving Oscar win.

The impact hits home to Alec Guinness in his very deserving Oscar win.

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.

For the first time in a while, I’m only listing 5 in each category (with one notable exception).  That’s because in this year there is such a large gap between the top 5 films and the other films and it carries over in a lot of categories.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai  **
  2. Paths of Glory
  3. 12 Angry Men  *
  4. Sweet Smell of Success
  5. Witness for the Prosecution  *

(more…)

"Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine's lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied.  A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face.  Then Spade smiled."  (p 46)

“Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine’s lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied. A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face. Then Spade smiled.” (p 46)

My Top 10:

  1. The Maltese Falcon
  2. The Little Foxes
  3. Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  4. The Devil and Daniel Webster
  5. High Sierra
  6. How Green Was My Valley
  7. Hold Back the Dawn
  8. Meet John Doe
  9. Suspicion
  10. Pépé le Moko

Note:  I have a Top 10, but unlike 1940, my list doesn’t go any further than that. (more…)

Yes, I have Meryl trivia, like everyone else.  But mine is probably a little different than everyone else's.

Yes, I have Meryl trivia, like everyone else. But mine is probably a little different than everyone else’s.

I have done numerous trivia bits before, usually about the Oscars.  But a number of things occurred to me this morning (most notably the bit about Foreign Film) that I wanted to get out there, because it’s the kind of thing that others usually don’t point out.

I don’t tend to Oscar prognosticate.  And I’ve seen hardly any films so far this year (the only BP nominees I’ve seen so far are Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel).  So I’m not trying to guess what will happen – only mentioning what has happened and what that has meant in the past. (more…)

Perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

Perhaps the greatest action 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.  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 10 in each category because there are a strong Top 10 in most of the categories but only the top 5 make the nomination list (except for Actor).

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Seven Samurai
  2. The Searchers
  3. The Killing
  4. Richard III  *
  5. The Ladykillers
  6. Forbidden Planet
  7. Diabolique
  8. Baby Doll
  9. La Strada
  10. Sawdust and Tinsel

(more…)

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

More astute readers may have noticed that it’s been a while since the last post.  Things keep getting in the way of finishing the Nighthawk Awards for 1956.  One of those things was that we decided to get out of our nightmare of an apartment for a few days and headed down south on I-95, braving all the snow (there really wasn’t much) and traffic (not too bad either). (more…)