film


“To speak out boldly at once, she was in love, according to the present universally received sense of that phrase, by which love is applied indiscriminately to the desirable objects of all our passions, appetites, and sense, and is understood to be that preference which we give to one kind of food rather than to another.” (p 420)

My Top 10:

  1. Tom Jones
  2. Shoot the Piano Player
  3. White Nights
  4. Hud
  5. The Great Escape
  6. The Leopard
  7. Captain Newman, M.D.
  8. Sundays and Cybele
  9. Irma La Douce
  10. Charade

Note:  There are 14 films on my list.  The other four are all listed towards the bottom of the post. (more…)

Advertisements

This is not the new series promised a couple of posts ago.  Instead, this is the stuff that usually goes into my Best Picture post – an ongoing reaction to how things are looking, although I will probably add in more notes related to other awards as well.  I am posting this for a few reasons.  The first is that the death of the hard drive has lead to me being really swamped as I struggle to rewrite 19 reviews for my Best Adapted Screenplay posts and that is making it hard to get things done.  The second is that a lot of the things I notice about the awards as they are handed out during the season aren’t things you read elsewhere because other writers are under deadlines and I am not and they don’t have my spreadsheets; to that end I would like a forum to introduce these connections as they are happening rather than months later.  The third is that it gives a place on the blog for people to leave comments about current awards season news without needing to comment on the latest blog post, no matter the relevance (reminder that on weekdays, I can’t approve comments while at work, so don’t panic if your comment doesn’t show up right away).

This will not replace the Oscar notes and trivia I do the morning of the nominations (23 January), though I will link to it when it happens.  Anytime I add something in this post I will make it “sticky” so that it goes up to the top of the page.  But that won’t make it re-post or put it on V’s Facebook again.  I will continue to do this at least through the first few days after the Oscars on 4 March.  So, any day that awards are handed out by critics groups or guild nominations (or Globes, BAFTA, etc) are announced, there is a good chance I will add to this post.  I will start with the first couple of days worth that I had from working on the eventual Best Picture post, based on the first two critics groups.  Oh, and by the way, I haven’t actually seen Dunkirk yet, but given my love for Nolan’s films, I feel comfortable putting that FYC ad there (actually, I’ve seen it now (6 Dec) and it will take something amazing in The Post, The Shape of Water or Call Me By Your Name to keep Dunkirk from winning the Nighthawk).  But I get no revenue from it or from anything ever on this site.

(more…)

Justice League

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Series Rank:  #6
  • Batman Villains:  Ciarin Hinds (Steppenwolf)
  • Batman Allies:  Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Henry Cavill (Superman), Jeremy Irons (Alfred), J. K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon)

Movies are often judged by their beginnings and their endings.  If you were to judge Justice League just from that, what might stick with you is the truly hideous cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” that opens the film and the terrible version of The Beatles’ “Come Together” that closes it.  And that’s a shame because the film, in spite of woeful reviews is actually quite enjoyable (and Veronica was able to overcome the music and was quite moved by the opening of the film).  It takes the solid actors from Batman v Superman and loses a lot of the dour tone that had brought the fury of so many critics down upon it.  If it feels more akin to what the first Avengers film felt like, with the gathering of great heroes to face off against an alien invasion while also fighting amongst themselves, well, that’s the history of the Justice League in a nutshell. (more…)

The Films (ranked):

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Batman Begins
  3. The Dark Knight Rises
  4. Batman
  5. The LEGO Batman Movie
  6. Justice League
  7. Batman Returns
  8. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  9. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
  10. Batman Forever
  11. Batman: The Killing Joke
  12. Batman: The Movie
  13. Batman & Robin

Note:  For the record, four **** films, two ***.5 films (one high, one low), three *** films, one **.5 film, one ** film, one *.5 film, one * film.

(more…)

The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Year:  2017
  • Director:  Chris McKay
  • Series Rank:  #5
  • Batman Villains:  Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate)
  • Love Interest:  Batgirl (Rosario Dawson)
  • Batman Allies:  Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo)

The ongoing debate between myself and my Australian reader, F.T. is over the value and worth of camp.  I have never been a fan of camp while F.T. enjoys it.  I prefer my films to be good.  So, the question is, can something be silly, cheesy and yes, even campy, and yet still be good?  Well, I give you The LEGO Batman Movie, a film that willingly embraces every ridiculous thing that has ever been added to the Batman legend and does it with such humor, wit and quality that it is one of the funniest films of this past year. (more…)

Batman: The Killing Joke

  • Year:  2016
  • Director:  Sam Liu
  • Series Rank:  #10
  • Year Rank:  #145
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Mark Hamill (Joker), Maury Sterling (Paris Franz)
  • Love Interest:  Tara Strong  (Batgirl)
  • Batman Allies:  Ray Wise (Commissioner Gordon), Brian George (Alfred)

“But my favorite comic book character is Batgirl.  My uncle has a lot of Batman comics and there’s a lot of Batgirl, and she’s cool and she reads (because she’s a librarian) and she kicks butt and she’s smart.  She’s awesome.”  That’s my character Kayce speaking, but in many ways she speaks for me there.  Batgirl is smart and cool and awesome.  What she is not, is a love interest for Batman.  That being said, writers are free to do what they want.  If you want to look at a good example at how to make her a love interest for Batman, just wait until tomorrow’s post.  For a primer on how to do it absolutely, completely wrong, I present to you Batman: The Killing Joke, a straight to DVD film made as part of DC’s Animated Universe but which earned a theatrical release and thus makes it into this series. (more…)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  • Year: 2016
  • Director:  Zack Snyder
  • Series Rank:  #8
  • Year Rank:  #68
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Robin Atkin Downes (Doomsday)
  • Batman Allies:  Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jeremy Irons (Alfred)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film beset with a lot of problems, the first of which is the title, which is terrible.  Clearly the marketing people at Warners stressed that both names had to be in the title and then some idiot decided to put a v in there.  That wasn’t the only problem before the film had been released, of course.  It was contending with the fact that its director Zack Snyder, makes empty violent spectacles with little depth to them.  He had somehow gotten the reputation for being a comic book director even though his comic book movies are mostly terrible.  Snyder reminds me of this paragraph from the Rolling Stone Album Guide: “A New York Times headline once suggested that ‘If There Hadn’t Been a Bruce Springsteen, Then the Critics Would Have Made Him Up,’ but that’s utter nonsense.  If rock critics had tried to invent a Springsteen, this is what they would have come up with – a singer who understands rock’s drama and tradition but lacks the vision necessary to transform them into something greater.  In other words, John Cafferty.” (p 105)  In this case, it’s not the critics inventing a singer like Springsteen but fanboys creating a director like Tim Burton: someone who has a sense of style and flashiness but without the greater understanding of how to make this work to his advantage in making a coherent film that utilizes the style instead of just relying on it.  In other words, Zack Snyder. (more…)

Next Page »