“Now the narrow neck of sand where Shaw was buried with his men is washed by Atlantic storms. St. Gaudens’s monument to Shaw and his men marks a place where the Colonel and his regiment passed by on their way to war.” (p 147)

My Top 10

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Born on the Fourth of July
  4. Henry V
  5. My Left Foot
  6. The Little Mermaid
  7. Enemies, a Love Story
  8. Drugstore Cowboy
  9. Batman
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and Top 10 which is pretty much the case for any category in this year.  There’s also some irony to note here in that this is the Adapted Screenplay post but I used to own the novelization of two of these films (although it should be pretty obvious which two).

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A Century of Film

Sound Editing

It’s hard to know precisely what to think of Sound Editing, partially because of its strange awards history.  The Academy has a long history of awarding Best Sound (which will be the next category, up before too long) but made no distinction other than “Best Sound”.  In 1963, they branched out a bit and added a second award for Best Sound Effects, an award that is generally considered to be the same as today’s Sound Editing award.

Yet, the Academy was slow on the ball there.  The Motion Picture Sound Editors began their own award way, way back in 1953, at a point where the only existing guild awards were those for the two major guilds that had been such a part of union battles for so long and had formed their own awards, in part, to lash out at the academy (the directors and screenwriters).  This is the only guild award that actually pre-dates an equivalent award at the Academy and did so by a decade. (more…)

A Century of Film

Supporting Actor

Film has always relied on supporting performances but awards groups haven’t always recognized them right away.  It wasn’t until the 9th Academy Awards that the first supporting awards were given out.  Likewise, the BAFTAs would go through their first 20 awards without the category and no critics group would give such an award until 1957.  But eventually, of course, all the awards groups followed through and today it’s one way of celebrating great character actors although it has also been a chance for big stars to win their Oscar at last.  Supporting performances can be a role that runs through the whole film (like the way the Academy nominated Gene Hackman for I Never Sang for My Father or Al Pacino for The Godfather) or for a performance that dominates the film in spite of only being in a few scenes (like Orson Welles in The Third Man). (more…)

A few months ago, I picked up a free item at B & N called DC Essential Graphic Novels 2017.  Essentially it’s a checklist of things currently available from DC and that’s what I’m using it as.  In the back, where it gives the lists, it lists, first Batman Backlist and Suggested Reading Order, then Batman Compilation Graphic Novels, Batman: From Page to Screen (although the reverse would be more accurate) then Batman Graphic Novels.  The number of books on the list, in order are 152, 19, 37 and 41 and they don’t even include all the Batman books that I actually own.  So this will not, I emphasize not be a completely guide to all of Batman on the page.  This is a guide to the books I do have (though the links are to the current available editions and may not be what I own), why I have them and which ones are on my “to-get” list and why.  I will also mention some others I have that also have Batman in them but aren’t considered “Batman” books, per se (at least for the DC published list, because they’re on other lists in the book).  To keep it consistent with how it’s organized in the DC guide, I’ll follow their printed list until I reach things that aren’t on their list. (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.

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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…)