February 2019

A Century of Film
Original Score

It’s tricky to even call this category Original Score since the only group that actually holds true to that is the Oscars and even they have had a lot of different categories over the years.  Nonetheless, I have tried to hold true to that, even though at times I disagree with the Academy’s distinction of how much pre-existing music can dilute that score. (more…)

I couldn’t get the play so I don’t know if the line “Shoot straight you bastards. Don’t make a mess of it.” is from the original play.

My Top 10

  1. Breaker Morant
  2. Ordinary People
  3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  4. The Elephant Man
  5. The Shining
  6. Tess
  7. Airplane!
  8. Raging Bull
  9. My Brilliant Career
  10. The Stunt Man

note:  Originally the 1969 version of The Brothers Karamazov, which finally earned a U.S. release in 1980 was my #10.  But after having the true adaptation aspect of Airplane! pointed out by various commenters, I have moved it to Adapted. (more…)

A Century of Film


20th Century-Fox


The Studio

The studio originally began as Fox.  It began with William Fox and its start came in 1904.  “Fox’s initiation into the movie business came in 1904 when he purchased from J. Stuart Blackton of the Vitagraph Company the Brooklyn nickelodeon (which, given the five-cent admission fee, was then the generic name for movie theaters).  The location was 200 Broadway, and the price was $1,600.  This was an inauspicious beginning, for, indeed, Fox had been swindled.  Prior to the sale, Blackton hired customers to fill the 146-seat house.  Once the deal was closed and Fox’s name appeared on the lease, the day’s admissions totaled two.”  (The Fox That Got Away: The Last Days of the Zanuck Dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox, Stephen M. Silverman, p 30) (more…)

“It was Sunday. Chance was in the garden. He moved slowly, dragging the green hose from one path to the next, carefully watching the flow of the water. Very gently he let the stream touch every plant, every flower, every branch of the garden. Plants were like people; they needed care to live, to survive their diseases, and to die peacefully.” (first lines)

My Top 10

  1. Being There
  2. Kramer vs. Kramer
  3. Apocalypse Now
  4. Picnic at Hanging Rock
  5. Love on the Run
  6. The Muppet Movie
  7. Nosferatu the Vampyre
  8. La Cage Aux Folles
  9. Starting Over
  10. Wise Blood
  11. Woyzeck

Note:  So why are there eleven films?  Well, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized The Muppet Movie has characters who were created for The Muppet Show and that by the current rules of the Academy, that means its an adapted script.  Yet, I had already gone through the effort of writing the review of Woyzeck and I didn’t want to eliminate it.  So this list goes to 11.  Too bad it’s not 1984, but that script is original anyway. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XXIV


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


  • Director:  John Hughes
  • Writer:  John Hughes
  • Producer:  John Hughes  /  Tom Jacobson
  • Stars:  Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Jeffrey Jones
  • Studio:  Paramount
  • Award Nominations:  Golden Globes – Best Actor – Comedy / Musical (Broderick)
  • Length:  103 min
  • Genre:  Comedy (Teen)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG-13
  • Release Date:  11 June 1986
  • Box Office Gross:  $70.13 mil  (#10 – 1986)
  • Ebert Rating:  ***
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #24 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Funniest Film, Funniest Cameo (Charlie Sheen), Best Scene (the run home), Best Line – Comedic (“I do have a test today.  That wasn’t bullshit.  It’s on European Socialism.  I’m not European, I don’t plan on being European, so who gives a shit if they’re Socialists?  They could be Fascist Anarchists for all I care.  It still wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.  (pause)  Not that I condone Fascism, or any ism for that matter.  Like John Lennon once said, ‘I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.’  Easy for him to say.  He was the walrus.  I could be the walrus.  I’d still have to bum rides off people.”)
  • First Watched:  on video when it was first released
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  5 or so

As a Kid:  I was never a ditcher.  Indeed, in the school year following the release of this film, I went to first period one day in late May before leaving to attend my brother’s graduation from CalTech so that I could earn Perfect Attendance for the year.  So, in one sense, I suppose this film was always about a bit of wish fulfillment, about taking a step away as a bad boy, something I never would have actually done.  Yes, I was once thrown out of class, but only because I argued that the homework assignment had been pointless since none of us knew how to do it and the point of homework was to learn and if none of us were learning anything, why do the assignment?  So, on one level, this was always about watching someone do something I would never dare to do. (more…)