Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XVI:

Superman II

  • superman_ii_ver5Director:  Richard Lester  /  Richard Donner
  • Writer:  Mario Puzo  /  David Newman  /  Leslie Newman  /  Tom Mankiewicz
  • Producer:  Ilya Salkind
  • Stars:  Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Terence Stamp
  • Studio:  Warner Bros
  • Award Nominations:  none from groups I track
  • Length:  127 min (original)  /  116 min (Donner cut)
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  19 June 1981
  • Box Office Gross:  $108.18 mil  (#3 – 1981)
  • Ebert Rating:  ****
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #9 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Opening Credits
  • First Watched:  in the theater on my 8th birthday
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  15-20

As a Kid:  My mother took my older brother, my sister and I to the movies for my 8th birthday.  It was a double feature of Star Trek II and Superman II (well over a year after it was first released).  The former film scarred my mother for life but both films were a godsend to me.  I loved them both then and I love them both now.  Indeed, when I was a kid, the only films I loved more than Superman II were Star Wars and Watership Down (I was not a normal child).  So why is it that I loved the second film so much? (more…)

Michael Keaton pulls a Russell Crowe, starring in back-to-back Best Picture winners. Except Keaton's winners were worthy of the awards.

Between Whitey Bulger and pedophile priests, Boston didn’t exactly have the most positive portrayal on film this year.  Next year, the Marathon bombings!

The 88th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2015.  The nominations were announced on 14 January 2016 and the awards were held on 28 February 2016.

Best Picture:  Spotlight

  • The Revenant
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Martian
  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • Room
  • Mad Max: Fury Road

Most Surprising Omission:  Carol

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Carol

Rank (out of 88) Among Best Picture Years:  #33


The two best performances of the year in the best film of the year.

The two best performances of the year in the best film of the year.

My Top 20:

  1. Carol
  2. The Revenant
  3. Inside Out
  4. Spotlight
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Bridge of Spies
  7. The Martian
  8. Steve Jobs
  9. The Hateful Eight
  10. The Big Short
  11. Anomalisa
  12. Black Mass
  13. Ex Machina
  14. Tomorrowland
  15. The Peanuts Movie
  16. Brooklyn
  17. When Marnie Was There
  18. Labyrinth of Lies
  19. Beasts of No Nation
  20. Mr Holmes

note:  The first 12 films are ****, the rest are ***.5.  Ever since 2012, I have been posting these as soon as I can after the Oscars.  However, that means, as I have noted in the last three Years in Film, that there are several films I haven’t seen (45 Years, Creed, Son of Saul, Mustang).  Aside from the films that I was most anxious to see in the theater (Star Wars – 8 times) and the ones that are out on DVD by now, I try to focus most on the Best Picture contenders.  Eventually, this and the three years preceding it will have these Top 20 lists superseded by the Nighthawk Awards, once I get to those years. (more…)

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…)


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