Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey.  Or, film noir on acid.  Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey. Or, film noir on acid. Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Inherent Vice

  • Author:  Thomas Pynchon  (b. 1937)
  • Published:  2009
  • Publisher:  The Penguin Press
  • Pages:  369
  • First Line:  “She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to.”
  • Last Line:  “For the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead.”
  • Film:  2014  –  (**** – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • First Read:  the day before it was released in 2009

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These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

As will be seen when my Year and Film and History of Academy Awards for this year are done (after the Oscars), this has been a strange year.  Going into this morning, I had no idea what was going to happen with Best Picture.  I knew that, historically, at least a couple of trends were going to be bent.  They were bent far more than I thought.

Because they were announcing every category live this morning, I wrote ideas for all the categories, because it’s easier to just cross out the ones that are wrong and fill in the others.  There was a lot.  I went 4/5 in Director, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.  But I only got 7/9 for Picture (I wrote down 9 and got 7 right, but my #9 choice made it in, so I can’t say I was 7/8) and I didn’t get a single category 5/5.  I did correctly predict that Selma would be mostly snubbed, but was then stunned when it made it in the final Picture list rather than Foxcatcher, which I didn’t think would make it, but the other categories were there for it, so who knows.  So, I will just start in on the trivia. (more…)

The best of all Christmas traditions.

The best of all Christmas traditions.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part X:

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

  • Director:  Jon Stone
  • Writer:  Jon Stone  /  Joseph A. Bailey
  • Producer:  Jon Stone
  • Stars:  Carroll Spinney, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Debbie Chen, Sonia Manzano
  • Studio:  Children’s Television Workshop
  • Awards:  Emmy – Outstanding Children’s Program
  • Length:  60 min
  • Genre:  Kids  (Christmas special)
  • Release Date:  3 December 1978
  • First Watched:  3 December 1978
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  at least 5 or 6

I realized that my next post was going to be an RCM and that it would time for Christmas.  So I figured it should be Christmas themed.  But, I didn’t really have a Christmas movie that worked for this.  I didn’t watch Miracle on 34th Street as a kid, It’s a Wonderful Life I have already reviewed and Love Actually came out years later.  I could have reviewed the 1951 A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim.  But I kept coming back to my real Christmas tradition – watching Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.  Yes, it’s television, but it’s the best of all television, and so it seemed right. (more…)

"Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine's lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied.  A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face.  Then Spade smiled."  (p 46)

“Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine’s lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied. A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face. Then Spade smiled.” (p 46)

My Top 10:

  1. The Maltese Falcon
  2. The Little Foxes
  3. Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  4. The Devil and Daniel Webster
  5. High Sierra
  6. How Green Was My Valley
  7. Hold Back the Dawn
  8. Meet John Doe
  9. Suspicion
  10. Pépé le Moko

Note:  I have a Top 10, but unlike 1940, my list doesn’t go any further than that. (more…)

Yes, I have Meryl trivia, like everyone else.  But mine is probably a little different than everyone else's.

Yes, I have Meryl trivia, like everyone else. But mine is probably a little different than everyone else’s.

I have done numerous trivia bits before, usually about the Oscars.  But a number of things occurred to me this morning (most notably the bit about Foreign Film) that I wanted to get out there, because it’s the kind of thing that others usually don’t point out.

I don’t tend to Oscar prognosticate.  And I’ve seen hardly any films so far this year (the only BP nominees I’ve seen so far are Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel).  So I’m not trying to guess what will happen – only mentioning what has happened and what that has meant in the past. (more…)

Perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

Perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

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 10 in each category because there are a strong Top 10 in most of the categories but only the top 5 make the nomination list (except for Actor).

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Seven Samurai
  2. The Searchers
  3. The Killing
  4. Richard III  *
  5. The Ladykillers
  6. Forbidden Planet
  7. Diabolique
  8. Baby Doll
  9. La Strada
  10. Sawdust and Tinsel

(more…)

The 1st Edition cover of the brilliant spy novel.

The 1st Edition cover of the brilliant spy novel.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

  • Author:  John Le Carré
  • Published:  1974
  • Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
  • Pages:  317  (Pan paperback)
  • First Line:  “The truth is, if old Major Dover hadn’t dropped dead at Taunton races Jim would never have come to Thursgood’s at all.”
  • Last Line:  “The gun, Bill Roach, had finally convinced himself, was after all a dream.”
  • Film:  1979 TV series  (****), 2011  (**** – dir. Tomas Alfredson)
  • First Read:  December 2011

(more…)

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