One of the most disturbing scenes in film history and it’s not in the book at all.

My Top 10

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Age of Innocence
  3. The Remains of the Day
  4. In the Name of the Father
  5. Shadowlands
  6. The Snapper
  7. Much Ado About Nothing
  8. Short Cuts
  9. Like Water for Chocolate
  10. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

note:  A very strong Top 5 and Top 10.  There are several more movies on my list at the bottom though The Fugitive (#13) and Strictly Ballroom (#17) aren’t included because they’re reviewed below as award nominees. (more…)


A Century of Film


Visual Effects

Visual Effects might seem like a new thing, stemming first from 2001 and then from Star Wars with increasingly developed technology leading to amazing new things on-screen.  But they have actually been there from the start.  A Trip to the Moon, the first great film ever made, back in 1902, used brilliant Visual Effects to show its incredible trip. (more…)

A Century of Film


Sci-Fi


The Genre

Science Fiction on film goes back to the dawn of narrative feature film storytelling.  The first great film, A Trip to the Moon, was a Sci-Fi film complete with state of the art special effects.  But not everyone could be George Méliès and not very many people tried.  I’ve only seen three Sci-Fi films made before the advent of sound (and there’s not much out there at feature length that I haven’t seen) and all of them were foreign (A Trip to Mars, Aelita: Queen of Mars, Metropolis).

The genre mostly lay dormant in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  If you click on those links, the vast majority of what is listed there (and even what is listed there isn’t very long) is either a serial (which I don’t count) or something I list as another genre (often Horror).  I’ve seen just 11 films from those two decades which I count (and none after 1941).  Then came the 50’s. (more…)

“Now the narrow neck of sand where Shaw was buried with his men is washed by Atlantic storms. St. Gaudens’s monument to Shaw and his men marks a place where the Colonel and his regiment passed by on their way to war.” (p 147)

My Top 10

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Born on the Fourth of July
  4. Henry V
  5. My Left Foot
  6. The Little Mermaid
  7. Enemies, a Love Story
  8. Drugstore Cowboy
  9. Batman
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and Top 10 which is pretty much the case for any category in this year.  There’s also some irony to note here in that this is the Adapted Screenplay post but I used to own the novelization of two of these films (although it should be pretty obvious which two).

(more…)

Lear: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! (III, ii, 1)

My Top 10

  1. Ran
  2. Kiss of the Spider Woman
  3. The Color Purple
  4. Plenty
  5. Prizzi’s Honor
  6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  7. The Shooting Party
  8. Fletch
  9. The Falcon and the Snowman
  10. A Sunday in the Country

note:  You may notice that this isn’t the same Top 10 that appeared in my Nighthawk Awards.  That’s because I did some thinking about some of the films and the list was considerably altered.  Both Plenty and The Shooting Party were much stronger than I had given them credit for.

(more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XXV:

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

 

  • Director:  Steven Spielberg
  • Writer:  George Lucas  /  Willard Huycks  /  Gloria Katz
  • Producer:  Robert Watts
  • Stars:  Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri
  • Studio:  Paramount
  • Award Nominations:  Academy Awards (Visual Effects, Original Score); BAFTA (Visual Effects, Editing, Cinematography, Sound)
  • Length:  118 min
  • Genre:  Fantasy
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  23 May 1985
  • Box Office Gross:  $179.87 mil  (#3 – 1984; #10 – all-time on original release)
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #10 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Opening
  • First Watched:  on television when it first came to cable
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  10 or so

As a Kid:  Growing up, it was easy.  Raiders was the absolutely brilliant film.  Temple of Doom was the disappointing, far too dark film whose story wasn’t nearly as interesting.  Then Last Crusade came along and made everything fun again, not to mention providing a story (the Holy Grail) that I was really interested in. (more…)

A Century of Film


War


The Genre

Though there are those who consider a less stringent definition, for me, a War film is one that actually depicts what is going on during the war.  By that, I generally mean the combat field, though it can also mean those fighting the war who aren’t in actual combat.  I don’t, for the most part, mean things that are happening due to effects of the war (for instance, Holocaust films or other films about civilians during the war), though those do sometimes get war sub-genres. (more…)