November 2015


Thomas and Alison enjoying their time in the rink.

Thomas and Alison enjoying their time in the rink.

Hopefully in the next few days, I’ll get the next Great Read post up (All the President’s Men), followed by, a planned order of Nighthawk Awards: 1976 (which will prominently feature All the President’s Men), Adapted Screenplay: 1947, Nighthawk Awards: 1977, RCM: Superman, Nighthawk Awards: 1978, the next great read and then the 1979 awards and the Oscar decade post.  Other things might get in the way, especially since we’ll probably hit Christmas by then.  Also I’m working on the 1948 Adapted Screenplay post and that’s the year the WGA began their awards and there’s a lot for me to read.  I didn’t catch up during the Bond posts as much as I had hoped.

As for the Best Picture – 2015, that may or may not get done by the time the Oscars happen.  I still haven’t seen hardly anything.  For most films that’s not a problem, but for films like The Martian or Steve Jobs, which are expected to contend and are now exiting theaters, that’s much more problematic, since if they’re out of theaters before I see them, I have to wait until they’re available on DVD and that might not happen before the Oscars on February 28.

Meanwhile, I may supplement with some things like a Star Trek post (once we finally finish going through the 3rd TOS season, which will be soon since I won’t start watching Jessica Jones until we finish Star Trek and V is really anxious to get her Tennant fix on) or a For Love of Books: Tintin.  The 3.0 version of the Top 100 Directors is taking shape, but there are certain films out (Carol) or coming out (The Revenant) that will play into that, so I can’t imagine it will come out before January at the earliest, and depending on certain films, possibly not until March or so.  The Nighthawk Awards will keep rolling on no matter what.

As for the delay, well, family hit town for this most family oriented of holidays which just went gobbling through and thus we have the picture on the left.  Also, until January, pretty much no work on the blog gets done on Sundays after 1 pm, or on Monday or Thursday nights.  After January 3, that frees up the two nights but the weekends are still pretty much written off.

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That's the look of a man who has just realized he's gonna need a bigger boat.

That’s the look of a man who has just realized he’s gonna need a bigger boat.

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. Jaws  *
  2. Dog Day Afternoon  *
  3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  **
  4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  5. The Man Who Would Be King
  6. Amarcord
  7. Barry Lyndon  *
  8. Shampoo
  9. Three Days of the Condor
  10. The Sunshine Boys

(more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XIV:

The original isn't always the best.

The original isn’t always the best.

The Terminator

  • Director:  James Cameron
  • Writer:  James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Producer:  Gale Anne Hurd
  • Stars:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
  • Studio:  Orion
  • Award Nominations:  none that I track
  • Length:  107 min
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi
  • MPAA Rating:  R
  • Release Date:  26 Oct 1984
  • Box Office Gross:  $38.37 mil  (#21 – 1984)
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #46 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  none
  • First Watched:  sometime after it came to HBO
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  3 or 4

(more…)

chinatown

You know, to be farm land, you need something. Let me think. Oh yeah. Water!

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. Chinatown  *
  2. The Godfather Part II  *
  3. Day for Night  **
  4. Scenes from a Marriage  *
  5. The Conversation  *
  6. Badlands
  7. Young Frankenstein
  8. Blazing Saddles
  9. Lenny
  10. The Parallax View

(more…)

spectre_ver5SPECTRE

  • Year:  2015
  • Director:  Sam Mendes
  • Series Rank:  #5
  • Bond Girl:  Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Monica Bellucci (Lucia Sciarra)
  • Bond Villain:  Christoph Waltz (Franz Oberhauser), Dave Bautista (Mr. Hinx), Jesper Christensen (Mr. White)
  • Bond Support:  Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner)

SPOILER-FREE

The first two Daniel Craig films had gone back to the basics, stripping away all the trappings of the James Bond character as developed in the films and re-imagined him as the original Ian Fleming spy in the 21st Century.  Then came Skyfall, which re-integrated vital parts of the Bond universe with this new Bond.  Skyfall was definitely the best Bond film ever made, but there was no question it wasn’t going to be the last – it cried out for more adventures with a new M, Moneypenny and Q supporting him in whatever would come next.  If SPECTRE is indeed the last film with Daniel Craig as Bond, indeed, if it were to be the last Bond film ever, it would be a satisfying conclusion to one of the great franchises in film history. (more…)

skyfall_ver6_xlgThe Films  (ranked):

  1. Skyfall
  2. Casino Royale
  3. Goldfinger
  4. From Russia With Love
  5. SPECTRE
  6. Thunderball
  7. Licence to Kill
  8. Quantum of Solace
  9. Dr. No
  10. The Living Daylights
  11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  12. GoldenEye
  13. For Your Eyes Only
  14. Never Say Never Again
  15. Diamonds are Forever
  16. The Spy Who Loved Me
  17. Tomorrow Never Dies
  18. Moonraker
  19. Live and Let Die
  20. The World is Not Enough
  21. Die Another Day
  22. You Only Live Twice
  23. The Man with the Golden Gun
  24. A View to a Kill
  25. Octopussy

Most Over-Rated Bond Film:  Octopussy
Most Under-Rated Bond Film:  Licence to Kill

These two films have the exact same user rating on the IMDb.  And when I went to watch Octopussy again, I had at least three people tell me how much they like it.  There’s no excuse for that.  There is some irony that For Your Eyes Only, the first Bond film I ever saw, the one that got me into Bond and that I have had on video for close to 30 years doesn’t even make my Top 10.

(more…)

skyfall_ver7Skyfall

  • Year:  2012
  • Director:  Sam Mendes
  • Series Rank:  #1
  • Year Rank:  #6
  • Oscar Nominations:  Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Sound Editing, Original Song
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Bardem), Supporting Actress (Dench), Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing, Makeup, Original Song
  • Bond Girl:  Naomi Harris (Eve), Bérénice Lim Marlohe (Séverine)
  • Bond Villain:  Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva), Ola Rapace (Patrice)
  • Bond Support:  Judi Dench (M), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner), Ralph Fiennes (Mallory)

As Skyfall was ending, I had no doubts that I had just sat through the best James Bond ever made.  There was no question in my mind.  It brought together all the best aspects of the original books (cold, hard Bond who pushes himself to do the job but is wearing himself down with drink), the best aspects of the Craig series (the dead look in his eyes – and I mean that as a compliment to his acting, the relationship with M) and the long-standing aspects of the series, most of which had been absent in the first two Craig films (like Q, played brilliantly by Ben Whishaw with the most screen time for the character since at least Licence to Kill if not ever, or the beautiful Aston-Martin, complete with a special feature that brought forth from M the best line of the film: “Go ahead, then.  Eject me.”). (more…)

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