January 2016


" 'Will I Come?' he said at once. 'There's no need to ask. Of course I'll come. You've only got to say gold and I'm your man.'" (p 71)

” ‘Will I come?’ he said at once. ‘There’s no need to ask. Of course I’ll come. You’ve only got to say gold and I’m your man.'” (p 71)

My Top 10:

  1. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  2. Hamlet
  3. Force of Evil
  4. Fanny
  5. Day of Wrath
  6. Rope
  7. The Eagle Has Two Heads
  8. State of the Union
  9. Cesar
  10. The Snake Pit

Note:  I actually have a lot more than 10 on my list in this year.  There are 19 films on my complete list.  Four of the remaining films on my list are reviewed below because they were WGA nominated: my #11 (All My Sons), #14 (Key Largo), #15 (Call Northside 777) and #18 (Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House).  The rest are in list order at the very bottom. (more…)

One final happy moment from a very unhappy film.

One final beautiful moment from a very bleak film.

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. The Deer Hunter  **
  2. Midnight Express  *
  3. Interiors
  4. Autumn Sonata
  5. Watership Down
  6. Heaven Can Wait  *
  7. The Ascent
  8. The Chess Players
  9. Superman
  10. Halloween

Analysis:  The Deer Hunter is the second weakest winner ever.  Not to-date, but ever (only The Informer is weaker and they only finished two spots apart in my Best Picture list).  It wouldn’t make the Top 5 in either of the next two years.  It wouldn’t even be the #2 film in any remaining year.  The Top 5 is the weakest since 1970.  This is the last year where the Top 10 doesn’t average a 90 (it averages an 89.5) and is the lowest in six years.
The Deer Hunter is the first War film since 1957 to win Best Picture.  Watership Down is the first Animated film since Bambi to earn a Best Picture nomination.  The first seven films are ****. (more…)

This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

Well, I was almost certain that the Academy would commit category fraud when it came to Rooney Mara, which is especially galling since she’s the main character in the film.  But they also decided to go that way with Alicia Vikander and cost her a double Oscar nomination (although at least they nominated her for the better performance).  I also was really hoping that for the first time since 2004, I would have seen all the nominees before the Oscar nominations were announced but the nomination of Room defeated that goal.  My desperate hope that all four Domhnall Gleason films would be nominated for Best Picture was also defeated, but there’s always the Nighthawk Awards (actually only two of them will be nominated for Picture at the Nighthawks, but I only nominate five films).

My real anger is that the Academy just short-changed the best film of the year.  Oh, they gave Carol 6 nominations (tied for fourth most this year) but they didn’t give it nominations for Picture or Director.

How did I do with guessing?  Not well.  I correctly got that there would be 8 Picture nominees, but went with Carol instead of Room.  The only major category I got completely right was Actor.  In Director I had 3, in both Screenplay categories I had four (I had Steve Jobs and Hateful Eight, both of which were surprise non-nominees), in Actress I had 4 (I got Rampling, but I thought Vikander would be lead), in Supporting Actor I got 4 (went with Shannon instead of Hardy) and in Supporting Actress got 4, if you count Vikander for the wrong role (I almost went with McAdams, but went with Mirren instead).  Aside from Actor, the only categories I got completely right were Visual Effects and Sound Editing. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XV:

Hollywood finally decides to embrace the comic book world - the real start of a good relationship.

Hollywood finally decides to embrace the comic book world – the real start of a good relationship.

Superman

  • Director:  Richard Donner
  • Writer:  Mario Puzo  /  David Newman  /  Leslie Newman  /  Robert Benton
  • Producer:  Ilya Salkind
  • Stars:  Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty
  • Studio:  Warner Bros
  • Award Nominations:  Oscars – Editing, Score, Sound, Visual Effects; BAFTA – Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Score, Sound; Globes – Score; WGA – Adapted Comedy; ACE
  • Length:  143 min (original)  /  151 min (director’s cut)
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  15 December 1978
  • Box Office Gross:  $134.21 mil  (#2 – 1978)
  • Ebert Rating:  ****
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #9 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Scene (the first appearance)
  • First Watched:  in the theater
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  more than 10

As a Kid:  It was November of 1982.  I wanted desperately to get home so that we could watch Superman on television.  It was a new 3 hour version of the film that had played over two nights back in February but was now being played in one showing.  And we were headed home, though not fast enough, from Disneyland.  That should tell you two things: 1 – Growing up 6.1. miles from Disneyland means you can take visits there for granted.  2 – I was crazy about watching a comic book movie, especially one in which there would be extra scenes.  Deleted scenes and extended editions were clearly made for me, even when I was a kid.

(more…)

I would say, "this is my childhood", but really, this extends far, far beyond my childhood.

I would say, “this is my childhood”, but really, this extends far, far beyond my childhood.  You should see my pantry.

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. Star Wars
  2. Annie Hall
  3. Aguirre the Wrath of God
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  5. King Lear
  6. That Obscure Object of Desire
  7. Jacob the Liar
  8. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  9. Dersu Uzala
  10. The Goodbye Girl

(more…)