A Century of Film
Sound

Sound in film debuted in 1927.  It managed to come into being at the same time that the Oscars did, which helps bring a demarcation point between early film (The Silent Era) and the rest of film history.  Sound would become an important feature to films because it added a whole new dimension of the kind of story you could tell, not just with the dialogue, but with sound effects as well.  Especially with Musicals, sound would really change how a story could be told. (more…)

The Dark Knight

  • Year:  2008
  • Director:  Christopher Nolan
  • Series Rank:  #1
  • Year Rank:  #2
  • Oscar Nominations:  Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Batman Villains:  Heath Ledger (The Joker), Aaron Eckhart (Two-Face)
  • Love Interest:  Maggie Gyllenhaal  (Rachel Dawes)
  • Batman Allies:  Michael Caine (Alfred), Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox)

“I don’t need help,” Batman growls at a group of copycats.  “Not my diagnosis,” replies Jonathan Crane, still moonlighting as the Scarecrow, though this time what he’s doing is a bit different.  It shows that even in the darkness that Christopher Nolan has descended into with this, the best Batman film (by far), there can still be a bit of sly humor.  Like the moment when Bruce is considering giving up being Batman for the sake of the populace of Gotham and Alfred says “They’ll probably lock me up as an accomplice.”  Bruce replies “Accomplice? I’m going to tell them the whole thing was your idea.”  It’s nice to have a little levity in the midst of all the darkness. (more…)

No one knows how to bring you back around better than Danny Boyle.

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. Slumdog Millionaire  **
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Wall-E  *
  4. Milk  *
  5. Revolutionary Road
  6. Rachel Getting Married
  7. Let the Right One In
  8. I’ve Loved You So Long
  9. Happy-Go-Lucky
  10. The Visitor
  11. In Bruges
  12. Iron Man
  13. Doubt
  14. Burn After Reading
  15. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  16. A Christmas Tale
  17. The Reader
  18. The Wrestler
  19. Changeling
  20. Paranoid Park

(more…)

Four Friends and an Oscar

Four Friends and an Oscar

But What I Really Want to Do is Direct

Actors have been getting nominated for Best Director since the beginning of time. Or at least the beginning of the Academy Awards. No exaggeration. Charlie Chaplin was nominated for Best Comedy Direction in the initial awards in 1928.

(more…)

For Your Consideration for Best Picture - The Dark Knight

For Your Consideration for Best Picture - The Dark Knight

I’m not sure why AFI decided to go with Sports instead of Action-Adventure. Act-Adv films have a long tradition in film history, from the great Errol Flynn films down to the great comic books films of today. And this list encompasses a whole range of them: swashbucklers, literary adaptations, James Bond films, comic book movies, kung-fu, cop films, spy films.

I could have split this up and done Action films separately from Adventure films, but the two have always been blended together by everybody else, so why not just make one list?

I didn’t bother to list the directors with the films this time, because for a lot of these films, it doesn’t really matter who directed them. No list of genres is so resplendent with mediocre directors as is this one. The top 10 has a lot more A-list directors (in terms of talent as opposed to money), including John Huston (twice), John Boorman, Quentin Tarantino and Michael Mann. But in the end, depending on what he chooses to do after Batman, it might turn out that Christopher Nolan is the most talented director on this list. He’s made six films so far, and with the exception of Insomnia, each film has been better than the last. Of course, it will be hard for him to top The Dark Knight, but we’ll see (his films, in order: Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight). (more…)

For Your Consideration - Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor (The Dark Knight)

For Your Consideration - Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor (The Dark Knight)

Preparing this list I never had any doubt who would come out on top. My question was, given the way I was ranking the characters, by how much of a margin would he come out on top? The answer was: a healthy one.

The interesting thing about this list is that even though Marvel has been considered the more “in” company for a long time, the more adult, and has had considerable success on film this decade (and it’s fair share of colossal failures), it’s DC who has done a better job with the villains. As Marvel cements its brand on-screen in the next couple of years with Iron Man and Hulk sequals and Captain America, Thor and Avengers films, it will be nice if they can get the villains right.

Anyway, to create this list, I used a 1-10 scale in five categories: Interesting, Evil, Intelligence, Fidelity to the Comic Book and Performance. So the point totals are out of 50.

(more…)