August 2015


“When the drink was set before him, he felt better. He did not drink it immediately. Now that he had it, he did not need to.” (p 11)

My Top 10:

  1. The Lost Weekend
  2. To Have and Have Not
  3. Spellbound
  4. The Body Snatcher
  5. The Man in Grey
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  7. And Then There Were None
  8. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  9. The Story of G.I. Joe
  10. The Southerner

Note:  A year after only having five on my whole list, I have more than 10.  My #11 is Pride of the Marines, which is covered down below because it was an Oscar nominee.  Next year, I’ll be back to less than a whole list. (more…)


oscarsThis 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. (more…)

wild-bunch-2You 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 Wild Bunch
  2. Chimes at Midnight
  3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  *
  4. Z  **
  5. Once Upon a Time in the West
  6. Oh! What a Lovely War!
  7. Midnight Cowboy  *
  8. Stolen Kisses
  9. They Shoot Horses Don’t They  *
  10. Shame

Analysis:  A truly great top 5, including three of the greatest Westerns ever made.  This is the best Top 5 since 1946 and the second best to date.  The Top 10 is strong as well – the best since 1962 and tied for the third best to date.  They are all **** films, but there is a four point drop from #6 to #7. (more…)

js-quotesIn the Spring of 2000, I went to the Rose Garden and saw Bruce Springsteen on his reunion tour with the E Street Band. In the second encore, he played an awesome song that I had never heard. That song kind of fell into the background until the following March when a live version was released on Live from New York City. It was called “Land of Hope and Dreams“. The guitar riff at the beginning of the song instantly became one of my all-time favorites. In spite of its 9:46 length, it ended up on several of my mix tapes, including my best of Bruce Springsteen, even though its length meant at least one other song wouldn’t make the cut. In those days when not every song at a concert ended up on YouTube the next day (when I updated my Top 100 U2 Songs a couple of days after seeing them last month all the songs from my concert were already available), I looked for more versions of the song. But, unlike “American Skin“, the other new song on the Live album, there didn’t seem to be a studio recording. I kept hoping for one and really felt it should have been on The Rising, the brilliant Springsteen album that followed in 2002. I kept buying Springsteen bootlegs and it still kept not appearing. (more…)

Not a classic like the original. Not a brilliant new version with magnificent effects like Jackson's. This is just the crappy one in-between.

Not a classic like the original. Not a brilliant new version with magnificent effects like Jackson’s. This is just the mediocre one in-between.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XII:

King Kong

  • Director:  John Guillermin
  • Writer:  Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (from the original screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose, which was from an idea by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace)
  • Producer:  Dino De Laurentiis
  • Stars:  Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin
  • Studio:  Paramount
  • Award Nominations:  Academy Awards: Cinematography, Sound, Visual Effects (special award); BAFTA: Production Design; Golden Globes: Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture – Female (seriously)
  • Length:  134 min
  • Genre:  Horror (Monster)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  17 December 1976
  • Box Office Gross:  $52.61 mil  (#5 – 1976)
  • My Rating:  **
  • My Rank:  #96  (1976)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Guilty Pleasure, Highest Attractiveness / Acting Ability Ratio
  • First Watched:  In theater sometime before August 1981
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  at least 3