One of the more poignant relationships in film history and it's nowhere in the original novel.

One of the more poignant relationships in film history and it’s nowhere in the original novel.

My Top 10:

  1. Bicycle Thieves
  2. The Heiress
  3. A Letter to Three Wives
  4. It Always Rains on Sunday
  5. All the King’s Men
  6. Whisky Galore
  7. Thieves’ Highway
  8. Champion
  9. The Window
  10. The Fallen Idol

note:  There are two more on my list: my #11, Yellow Sky, is covered below because it is a Consensus nominee, but my #12 and #13 were not nominated by any group and are listed down at the end of this post. (more…)

stktosSo, it’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek this year, with the first episode having aired on 8 September 1966.  Veronica and I have finished re-watching the original series.  There were several episodes that either Veronica had never seen or had forgotten.  I watched every episode at least once as a kid, what with my Uncle Steve having been an original fan and having every episode on tape (albeit, on Beta).  Also, KCOP, channel 13 in LA, used to air them every night at 11.  I remember watching them every night in high school, although, guaranteed, I would fall asleep in the middle of Spock’s Brain every time, and with good reason. (more…)


coppolasThis is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, I include various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.  One note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before started putting up official information about release dates.  Several films have been moved from the years where they appeared in those posts – see the Nighthawk Awards posts for more accurate placement – I have included links in the years. (more…)

This is not gonna end well for anyone at the table.

This is not gonna end well for anyone at the table.

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 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Alien
  2. Apocalypse Now  *
  3. All That Jazz
  4. Manhattan  *
  5. Picnic at Hanging Rock
  6. Being There
  7. Kramer vs. Kramer  **
  8. Breaking Away  *
  9. Love on the Run
  10. The Muppet Movie

Analysis:  Manhattan not only earns a Consensus nom but has the most Consensus points for any film to-date other than Day for Night to fail to earn an Oscar nomination (it won the BAFTA and NBR and earned a Globe nom).  It would be another 13 years before another film had more points without an Oscar nom (The Player) and it’s still tied for 8th most all-time.  All That Jazz is an oddity – the only film between 1974 and 1988 to earn an Oscar nom without any other Picture noms, but at least the Academy got that one right.
This is really a great group, especially the top 7.  The Top 10 is the 7th best to this date.  The first nine films are all **** and the #10 is a very high ***.5.  Actually, the list continues with three very high ***.5 (Life of Brian, Nosferatu, And Justice for All). (more…)

" 'Will I Come?' he said at once. 'There's no need to ask. Of course I'll come. You've only got to say gold and I'm your man.'" (p 71)

” ‘Will I come?’ he said at once. ‘There’s no need to ask. Of course I’ll come. You’ve only got to say gold and I’m your man.'” (p 71)

My Top 10:

  1. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  2. Hamlet
  3. Force of Evil
  4. Fanny
  5. Day of Wrath
  6. Rope
  7. The Eagle Has Two Heads
  8. State of the Union
  9. Cesar
  10. The Snake Pit

Note:  I actually have a lot more than 10 on my list in this year.  There are 19 films on my complete list.  Four of the remaining films on my list are reviewed below because they were WGA nominated: my #11 (All My Sons), #14 (Key Largo), #15 (Call Northside 777) and #18 (Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House).  The rest are in list order at the very bottom. (more…)

This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

Well, I was almost certain that the Academy would commit category fraud when it came to Rooney Mara, which is especially galling since she’s the main character in the film.  But they also decided to go that way with Alicia Vikander and cost her a double Oscar nomination (although at least they nominated her for the better performance).  I also was really hoping that for the first time since 2004, I would have seen all the nominees before the Oscar nominations were announced but the nomination of Room defeated that goal.  My desperate hope that all four Domhnall Gleason films would be nominated for Best Picture was also defeated, but there’s always the Nighthawk Awards (actually only two of them will be nominated for Picture at the Nighthawks, but I only nominate five films).

My real anger is that the Academy just short-changed the best film of the year.  Oh, they gave Carol 6 nominations (tied for fourth most this year) but they didn’t give it nominations for Picture or Director.

How did I do with guessing?  Not well.  I correctly got that there would be 8 Picture nominees, but went with Carol instead of Room.  The only major category I got completely right was Actor.  In Director I had 3, in both Screenplay categories I had four (I had Steve Jobs and Hateful Eight, both of which were surprise non-nominees), in Actress I had 4 (I got Rampling, but I thought Vikander would be lead), in Supporting Actor I got 4 (went with Shannon instead of Hardy) and in Supporting Actress got 4, if you count Vikander for the wrong role (I almost went with McAdams, but went with Mirren instead).  Aside from Actor, the only categories I got completely right were Visual Effects and Sound Editing. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XV:

Hollywood finally decides to embrace the comic book world - the real start of a good relationship.

Hollywood finally decides to embrace the comic book world – the real start of a good relationship.


  • Director:  Richard Donner
  • Writer:  Mario Puzo  /  David Newman  /  Leslie Newman  /  Robert Benton
  • Producer:  Ilya Salkind
  • Stars:  Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty
  • Studio:  Warner Bros
  • Award Nominations:  Oscars – Editing, Score, Sound, Visual Effects; BAFTA – Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Score, Sound; Globes – Score; WGA – Adapted Comedy; ACE
  • Length:  143 min (original)  /  151 min (director’s cut)
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  15 December 1978
  • Box Office Gross:  $134.21 mil  (#2 – 1978)
  • Ebert Rating:  ****
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #9 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Scene (the first appearance)
  • First Watched:  in the theater
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  more than 10

As a Kid:  It was November of 1982.  I wanted desperately to get home so that we could watch Superman on television.  It was a new 3 hour version of the film that had played over two nights back in February but was now being played in one showing.  And we were headed home, though not fast enough, from Disneyland.  That should tell you two things: 1 – Growing up 6.1. miles from Disneyland means you can take visits there for granted.  2 – I was crazy about watching a comic book movie, especially one in which there would be extra scenes.  Deleted scenes and extended editions were clearly made for me, even when I was a kid.



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