edwood

In a sense this is untrue. It’s been 27 years and Disney has yet to make a better film.

So, I have seen every feature film Disney has ever made, from Snow White through Black Widow.  And now I have ranked them all.

First, there is a full alphabetical list of every Disney film.  I won’t try to include too much information so that it isn’t too ridiculously long but I do have at least a slight blurb with every film.  But it does include the rank.  That way you can find a specific film.  At the bottom is the full ranked list.  This list somewhat supersedes my original Animated Ranking list but it might be pretty close – I haven’t checked. (more…)

A Century of Film


disney-logoDisney


The Studio

It began with a man named Walt and a mouse named Mickey.  But of course neither of those things is actually true and that’s part of the image that lies behind the company that is not only the most successful movie studio at work today but pretty much an all-encompassing way of life that can not be ignored. (more…)

This is the next batch of 50 films counting down my Top 1000 Films of All-Time.  Once again, they all earn an 86, which is high ***.5.  I recommend reading the introduction first.  The first batch of 50 were here. (more…)

This is the start of my Top 1000 Countdown, the 1000 best films made in the first Century of Film (1912-2011).  A reminder that the introduction should probably be looked at first and will answer any questions about abbreviations.

Every film in this group of 50 earns an 86, which is high ***.5. (more…)

Hulk

  • Director:  Ang Lee
  • Writer:  James Schamus  /  Michael France  /  John Turman
  • Producer:  Avi Arad  /  Larry Franco  /  Gale Anne Hurd  /  James Schamus
  • Stars:  Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas
  • Studio:  Universal
  • Award Nominations:  VES
  • Length:  138 min
  • Genre:  Action  (Comic Book – Marvel)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG-13
  • Release Date:  19 June 2003  (#14 – 2003)
  • Box Office Gross:  $132.17 mil
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #108 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  none

Perhaps the first thing to point out about Ang Lee’s Hulk is that it was the fourteenth highest grossing film of 2003 but it had the sixth largest opening weekend of 2003.  Hulk earned 47% of its total domestic gross in its opening weekend.  Today, that’s not a surprising number and it happens several times each year and several films with far higher opening weekends have had a higher percentage of their total gross come from that number (mostly comic book films and Twilight films).  But back in 2003, it was unheard of.  Indeed, up until 2009, it continued to be almost entirely unheard of (that was when a film with a higher opening weekend (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) finally broke Hulk’s record).  How bizarre was it that Hulk opened so well and then faltered so badly?  I haven’t finished my own spreadsheet so I can’t properly do a comparison like this and Box Office Mojo’s new site doesn’t allow for an easy determination for that answer, but before Hulk, no film with an opening weekend over $20 million had ever earned that much of its total gross in its opening weekend.  Given its massive opening weekend (the 16th largest ever at the time, larger than any pre-1997 film and larger than any pre-2001 film except Lost World and Phantom Menace), it was expected to do much more.  Of the 15 films above it, the next highest percentage was 39.8% and only two films were above 35% (a number, that if Hulk had reached, would have been a domestic gross of $177 mil instead of $132).  What all of that says (with interesting statistics) is that lots of people went to see Hulk initially but either they didn’t tell their friends to go see it or they didn’t go back to see it again.  And I suppose I can relate to that.  Of the 15 higher grossing opening weekends to that point, I saw 10 of them in the theater and six of those I saw multiple times including the other two comic book films on the list, both of them Marvel (relevant in a minute).  Hulk had been an interesting film but it wasn’t a compelling film and it didn’t draw me back to the theater like Spider-Man and X2 had. (more…)

Astonishing X-Men

(4 volumes or two larger volumes or one omnibus)

  • Author:  Joss Whedon
  • Artist:  John Cassaday
  • Published:  2004-2007
  • Publisher:  Marvel Comics
  • Pages:  656
  • First Line:  “Mommy is screaming.”
  • Last Lines:  “You take what you can get.  Cause it’s here, and then gone.”
  • Film Version:  none, although elements from the first volume were used in X-Men: The Last Stand
  • First Read:  Winter 2006 and then ongoing until it ended

Back in 2007, I wrote a piece entitled “Whedon, You Stupid Bastard” with the intention of sending it to one of a couple of websites that I occasionally contributed pieces to, but in the end, I didn’t.  But I still have the piece sitting on my computer and parts of the piece below are straight from that piece (the parts in red), written back when things in my life were a lot different. (more…)

I know that you Oscar voters get suckered in for Best Picture but Best Original Screenplay? Really?

The 91st annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2018.  The nominations were announced on 22 January 2019 and the awards were held on 24 February 2019.

Best Picture:  Green Book

  • The Favourite
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born
  • BlackKklansman
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Green Book
  • Vice

Most Surprising Omission:  If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  First Man

Rank (out of 91) Among Best Picture Years:  #30 (more…)

I have been diving deep down into the well of Marvel Comics lately because fnord has ended his magnificent work on his site of putting all his Marvel Comics in order online and before too long he’ll stop paying for the site and it will all be gone from the web.

I also recently finally got a copy of Son of Origins, which I have known about for decades (I remember reading my Uncle Dave’s copy at his and my Aunt Melinda’s apartment the morning of their wedding which was in 1981) which reprints The X-Men #1 (also sometimes known as Uncanny X-Men #1 because the title was changed with issue #142 to Uncanny X-Men and because a new X-Men title was launched in 1991 and it distinguishes it from that one).  While reading it, I was amazed at how many things presented in that first issue have been changed or altered or ret-conned away or into something different.  It was cover-dated September 1963, so for it’s 55th anniversary, I thought I would look at some of those things.  (Note:  For those unfamiliar with the term, ret-con is short for “retroactive continuity change”, changing something that is established and saying it was always the case.  There will be several examples below.)

The X-Men have always been one of my favorite comics with many of my favorite characters.  And obviously, while their films don’t compare to the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore, it’s important to remember that Marvel made many failed attempts at getting their characters onto the big screen before the first X-Men film was a massive financial success, leading to a franchise that has eleven films with two more coming out next year and that X-Men #1 from 1991 is still the biggest selling comic book in history with over five million copies sold.

So let’s look at the issue, starting with the beginning.

(more…)

thorThor by Walter Simonson (5 volumes)

  • Author:  Walter Simonson
  • Published:  Nov. 1983 – Aug. 1987 (original cover dates) / 2013 (current 5 volume set – links below for each volume)
  • Publisher:  Marvel Comics
  • Pages:  1156
  • First Line:  “Far beyond the fields we know, the core of an ancient galaxy explodes!”
  • Last Lines:  “May his hammer ever strike in the cause of justice.  So say we all.”
  • Film Version:  none, although elements creep into the two Thor films and presumably some will show up in the third Thor film
  • First Read:  Summer 1994

(more…)