Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XXI:

La Bamba

  • Director:  Luis Valdez
  • Writer:  Luis Valdez
  • Producer:  Bill Borden  /  Taylor Hackford
  • Stars:  Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña
  • Studio:  Columbia
  • Award Nominations:  Golden Globe – Picture (Drama)
  • Length:  108 min
  • Genre:  Musical (Biopic)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG-13
  • Release Date:  24 July 1987
  • Box Office Gross:  $54.21 mil  (#15 – 1987)
  • Ebert Rating:  ***
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #30 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Soundtrack
  • First Watched:  on video when first released
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  5 or so

As a Kid:  I wasn’t that much into music yet in 1987.  Yes, I had been watching videos on MTV for a few years but I didn’t know that much, especially about older music.  In fact, I had a tendency to believe that any song that I didn’t know who was singing it (“Eve of Destruction”, “American Pie”, “The Longest Time”) that it was being sung by The Beatles (when my brother John corrected me on these, he explained that he could understand if I had thought “Eve of Destruction” was sung by Springsteen, but by The Beatles?  I explained that I assumed every major song was sung by The Beatles.).  I hadn’t yet seen The Buddy Holly Story but I had a vague notion of The Day the Music Died because of growing up with “American Pie”.  Then this film came out.  More importantly, since I didn’t see this film in the theater, the soundtrack came out, a soundtrack that my brother Kelly bought during a summer that he and I shared a room. (more…)

*:  Or, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, depending on your 80’s movie frame of reference.

 

Introduction:  This wasn’t intended to be a multi-part post or to be so damn long.  In fact, it was originally just going to be a list of my Top 100 Songs of the 80’s.  Then it grew and grew and Veronica kept saying I had to post it or I would never stop adding new lists.  Well, I finally got to writing the most significant part, the first list (the top albums) and the last list (the top songs).  Then, as I added more details in those lists and made them both countdown lists (ending with #1 instead of starting with it), I realized each of those really needed to be their own posts, for length reasons, if nothing else.  So, those two have been spun-off into their own, more detailed posts.  This post is mostly just lists, though there are a lot of them. (more…)

You definitely don’t want to be the other guy.

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 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. The Departed  **
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth
  3. Children of Men
  4. The Fountain
  5. The Queen  *
  6. The Prestige
  7. Casino Royale
  8. United 93
  9. Army of Shadows
  10. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  11. Volver
  12. The Lives of Others
  13. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  14. Stranger than Fiction
  15. The Painted Veil
  16. Brick
  17. Sophie Scholl – The Final Days
  18. Blood Diamond
  19. Babel  *
  20. Joyeux Noel

Analysis:  The Departed has the lowest Consensus total in five years but that doesn’t mean it’s a competitive race.  It just means that there was a lack of consensus, with a record eight different films winning a Best Picture award (1974 is the only other year with more than six and that was because different eligibility years lead to three films winning the BAFTA).  The Departed wins the Oscar, BFCA, LAFC and CFC while Letters from Iwo Jima wins the LAFC, NBR and the Globe for Best Foreign Film.  The other award winners are The Queen (BAFTA), Little Miss Sunshine (PGA), Babel (Globe – Drama), Dreamgirls (Globe – Comedy / Musical), United 93 (NYFC) and Pan’s Labyrinth (NSFC).  Every Consensus winner after this (through 2016) will score at least 585 points (The Departed has 485) and every year will have at least one film that wins five awards. (more…)

Three parts of a life that equals one man.

The 89th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2016.  The nominations were announced on 24 January 2017 and the awards were held on 26 February 2017.

Best Picture:  Moonlight

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Fences
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Hacksaw Ridge

Most Surprising Omission:  Deadpool  *

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Handmaiden

Rank (out of 89) Among Best Picture Years:  #40 (more…)

Best traffic jam ever.

My Top 20:

  1. La La Land
  2. Arrival
  3. The Handmaiden
  4. Manchester by the Sea
  5. Moonlight
  6. Silence
  7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  9. Zootopia
  10. Moana
  11. Finding Dory
  12. The Salesman
  13. Nocturnal Animals
  14. Fences
  15. Hell or High Water
  16. Julieta
  17. Kubo and the Two Strings
  18. A Monster Calls
  19. 20th Century Women
  20. Sing Street

note:  All 20 films are ****.  There were several high ***.5 films that I wish could have made the list – Captain America: Civil War, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Hail Caesar! and Passengers were among my considered choices.  There are only a handful of films that earned any award nominations that I haven’t seen yet (I Daniel Blake, Certain Woman, Allied, Your Name, King’s Choice) so I don’t think this list will be changing (depending on Your Name, perhaps), unlike the last several years, when this list was written more closely after the Oscars. (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…)

Pay no attention to the bunnies in the door.

The 78th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2005.  The nominations were announced on January 31, 2006 and the awards were held on March 5, 2006.

Best Animated Film:  Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

  • Corpse Bride
  • Howl’s Moving Castle

Most Surprising Omission: Madagascar

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Steamboy

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #1

Oscar Score:  100

Alternate Oscar Score:  100 (more…)