IMG_0152

This is the 9th part of the Top 1000 list.  The introduction can be found here.  Films #600-571 are a 90 and the rest are a 91 which are both low level ****. (more…)

Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 3.20.46 PMThe ongoing countdown of my Top 1000 films through 2011, covering the first century of film.  The film listed below are all 89 (low ****) until The Gunfighter after which they are 90 (low ****).  The TSPDT rankings starting with this post are from the 2021 list.  The introduction can be found here. (more…)

bm

When it came—thirty cents—he pinned it up in his trailer, brass-headed tack in each corner. Below it he drove a nail and on the nail he hung a wire hanger and the two old shirts suspended from it. He stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears. “Jack, I swear—” he said, though Jack had never asked him to swear anything and was himself not the swearing kind.

My Top 10

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Munich
  3. Pride & Prejudice
  4. The Constant Gardener
  5. The History of Violence
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Downfall
  8. Capote
  9. Proof
  10. King Kong

note:  An excellent Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

This is the next batch of 50 in my countdown of the Top 1000 films through 2011 (the first century of film).  Down through Last Year at Marienbad, they all earn an 87, which is the highest ***.5, or just short of being a great film.  From #829 on to the end of this list they all earn an 88 which is the lowest rating which earns **** (and thus gets called a great film).  You should probably look at the introduction first.  Your best bet for finding previous groups of 50 is to click here.

(more…)

A Century of Film

The Golden Globes

I should probably start with the obvious: the Golden Globe Awards are a registered trademark of the HFPA (which is also trademarked).  I don’t have their permission to write any of this (and I don’t need it) and I don’t own any of the photos.  They are also a major part of the film industry, whether anyone likes it or not (and many people don’t for very good reasons).  They have been around for a long time and there is a lot that is odd but also some that is very good about them.  So I’ve compiled a post of various info, trivia and assorted little tidbits about the awards, organized by category. (more…)

Hulk

  • Director:  Ang Lee
  • Writer:  James Schamus  /  Michael France  /  John Turman
  • Producer:  Avi Arad  /  Larry Franco  /  Gale Anne Hurd  /  James Schamus
  • Stars:  Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas
  • Studio:  Universal
  • Award Nominations:  VES
  • Length:  138 min
  • Genre:  Action  (Comic Book – Marvel)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG-13
  • Release Date:  19 June 2003  (#14 – 2003)
  • Box Office Gross:  $132.17 mil
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #108 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  none

Perhaps the first thing to point out about Ang Lee’s Hulk is that it was the fourteenth highest grossing film of 2003 but it had the sixth largest opening weekend of 2003.  Hulk earned 47% of its total domestic gross in its opening weekend.  Today, that’s not a surprising number and it happens several times each year and several films with far higher opening weekends have had a higher percentage of their total gross come from that number (mostly comic book films and Twilight films).  But back in 2003, it was unheard of.  Indeed, up until 2009, it continued to be almost entirely unheard of (that was when a film with a higher opening weekend (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) finally broke Hulk’s record).  How bizarre was it that Hulk opened so well and then faltered so badly?  I haven’t finished my own spreadsheet so I can’t properly do a comparison like this and Box Office Mojo’s new site doesn’t allow for an easy determination for that answer, but before Hulk, no film with an opening weekend over $20 million had ever earned that much of its total gross in its opening weekend.  Given its massive opening weekend (the 16th largest ever at the time, larger than any pre-1997 film and larger than any pre-2001 film except Lost World and Phantom Menace), it was expected to do much more.  Of the 15 films above it, the next highest percentage was 39.8% and only two films were above 35% (a number, that if Hulk had reached, would have been a domestic gross of $177 mil instead of $132).  What all of that says (with interesting statistics) is that lots of people went to see Hulk initially but either they didn’t tell their friends to go see it or they didn’t go back to see it again.  And I suppose I can relate to that.  Of the 15 higher grossing opening weekends to that point, I saw 10 of them in the theater and six of those I saw multiple times including the other two comic book films on the list, both of them Marvel (relevant in a minute).  Hulk had been an interesting film but it wasn’t a compelling film and it didn’t draw me back to the theater like Spider-Man and X2 had. (more…)

“I would rather be a ghost, drifting by your side as a condemned soul, than enter heaven without you.” Because the book has never been translated, I have no idea if that brilliant line exists there in any way.

My Top 10

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Traffic
  3. Wonder Boys
  4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  5. High Fidelity
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. The Virgin Suicides
  8. Quills
  9. The Claim
  10. Aimee and Jaguar

note:  A truly fantastic Top 7 though it drops a bit after that.  My list continues down below though my #18 (Chocolat) and #19 (All the Pretty Horses) aren’t on that list because they’re reviewed as nominees. (more…)

A primer on great screenwriting: using characters as they existed in the book but doing what you have to do to compress the story and get it to come out right on scene. In other words, there is no scene like this in the book.

My Top 10

  1. L.A. Confidential
  2. The Sweet Hereafter
  3. The Ice Storm
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. Oscar and Lucinda
  6. The Wings of the Dove
  7. Wag the Dog
  8. Donnie Brasco
  9. Absolute Power
  10. The Winter Guest

note:  A great Top 5 and very good Top 10.  My list continues down at the bottom.

(more…)

Oh, Josh, that dog was the least of your concerns.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. No Country for Old Men  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. Across the Universe
  4. There Will Be Blood  *
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Eastern Promises
  7. Michael Clayton  *
  8. Gone Baby Gone
  9. Juno  *
  10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  12. 3:10 to Yuma
  13. Away from Her
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  16. Lust, Caution
  17. I’m Not There
  18. Persepolis
  19. Charlie Wilson’s War
  20. Once

Analysis:  Those are all **** films.  There are also a few more (24 in total), but they will be listed down below in the Drama and Comedy sections.  Both the 24 **** films and the total of 46 **** / ***.5 films are the second most ever, behind only 2005. (more…)

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees but I also wrote more about the year, originally, here.  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 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Good Night and Good Luck  *
  2. Munich
  3. Brokeback Mountain  **
  4. King Kong
  5. Kingdom of Heaven
  6. A History of Violence
  7. Batman Begins
  8. The Constant Gardener
  9. Pride and Prejudice
  10. Downfall
  11. Cache
  12. Syriana
  13. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  14. Saraband
  15. Match Point
  16. Twin Sisters
  17. Corpse Bride
  18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  19. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  20. Kung Fu Hustle

Analysis:  A truly fantastic year.  Brokeback ranks among the best ever #3 films, King Kong among the best #4 films and Kingdom among the best #5 films.  A History of Violence would be a nominee in most years.  The Top 5 is tied for 10th all-time.  The Top 10 is second all-time behind only 2002.  Downfall is the third best #10 film ever.  The Top 20 is the best all-time as is the 11-20.  Not only are all 20 of these films **** films, but there are actually a record 26 (the others are Sin City, Capote, Proof, Cinderella Man, Don’t Move, Elizabethtown).
I feel a little weird about this year.  Brokeback is a brilliant film and I have thought so since I saw it in the theater, but except for the stretch from when I saw it to when I first saw Munich, it has never been my #1 film.  It was Munich for years then eventually moved to Good Night and Good Luck.  But all three films are just about a tie and they come one right after the other on my grand list of all Best Picture nominees.  There’s no question, given how the year went, that it should have won Best Picture.  It won three of the six critics awards and the other four awards groups.  Only three films have more Consensus points without winning the Oscar and all three of those (LA Confidential, Social Network, Boyhood) lost the PGA and DGA and the first two also lost the Globe while Brokeback won all of those.  It was the first film ever to sweep the other four awards groups and lose the Oscar (La La Land would later do it but it would lose to a film that won more critics awards and won the Globe – Drama).  It joined The Aviator as only the second film to this point to win both the Globe and the PGA and fail to win the Oscar.  It is the only film to win the PGA, DGA and WGA and fail to win the Oscar.  Yet, it would lose to Crash, the film with the lowest Consensus point total to win the Oscar since 1995 and the first film since 1973 to win the Oscar without a Globe nomination and only the second Oscar winner to fail to be nominated for a Globe.  In fact, ironically, the most comparable year to this one is 1995, when Ang Lee’s film also looked like it should have won but lost to a film that had not done nearly as well with earlier awards groups, though at least that year had been more telegraphed when Lee failed to earn a Best Director nomination at the Oscars.
Crash, at #101, becomes the fourth Oscar winner to fail to make the Top 100 for the year.  It also finishes a period of twelve years when the Oscars awarded the worst of the five nominees a whopping seven times; it has not done so again since (through 2016).  It joins 1989 and 2000 as years where the Picture winner isn’t in my Top 50 but the Director winner is my #2. (more…)