Batman Returns

  • Year:  1992
  • Director:  Tim Burton
  • Series Rank:  #6
  • Year Rank:  #38
  • Oscar Nominations:  Visual Effects, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Actress, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Batman Villains:  Danny DeVito (The Penguin), Christopher Walken (Max Shrek)
  • Love Interest:  Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman)
  • Batman Allies:  Michael Gough (Alfred), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Michael Murphy (The Mayor)

There are a lot of things in this film that make you shake your head and start to question it.  I’m not talking about obvious supernatural things like how does someone end up like the Penguin or how does Catwoman keep surviving things that should kill her.  I am talking about basic things like why Bruce Wayne would start calling Oswald Copplepot a crime boss when we’ve seen hardly any evidence of that or why the batarang would suddenly dip several feet so the dog could conveniently catch it or why Batman would have exactly what he would need on the Batmobile for every occasion, including a radar that apparently spots penguins.  There is even a paperboy hawking papers like it’s 1932 instead of 1992.  Yes, you could argue that these things fall under the heading of “suspension of disbelief” but if my disbelief isn’t being suspended then either the things are too ridiculous (somewhat) or the film isn’t good enough to be holding my attention and my disbelief is wandering (somewhat as well). (more…)

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Batman

  • Year:  1989
  • Director:  Tim Burton
  • Series Rank:  #4
  • Year Rank:  #14
  • Oscar Nominations:  Art Direction
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Batman Villains:  Jack Nicholson (The Joker), Jack Palance (Boss Grissom), Tracey Walter (Bob the Goon)
  • Love Interest:  Kim Basinger  (Vicki Vale)
  • Batman Allies:  Michael Gough (Alfred), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Billy Dee Williams (Harvey Dent)

Oh, you comic fans today, you have it so good.  Every few months brings a new comic book movie and the vast majority of them are very good.  Even when a crappy movie comes along (like any attempt at Fantastic Four), wait a few months and something really good will come along.  You don’t know what it was like in 1989, with three Superman films released over the last decade, two of which were simply terrible.  But, on the other hand, you can’t imagine what kind of hype there was leading up to the release of Batman.  Just look at the picture down below.  That’s what my bedroom looked like in the days following the release of the film (some of the things were up before the release, including the posters, but two of the things on the wall are the L.A. Times and Orange County Register reviews of the film which only came out on opening day – and just to complete my “old guy rant” even though I’m only 43, that meant on Friday morning, not at midnight or 7 on Thursday evening).  I was so into the film that I had a poster of Kim Basinger on my wall, an actress I have never cared much for and who is a blonde of all things.  My best friend Jay and I were so excited about the film that we were at the theater an hour and a half before it started (which lead to Jay breaking four chairs in the theater, but, hey, things happen).  And it just happened to come out at the same time that I got seriously into movies (and started to bike to theaters on my own), so I saw it several times in the theater and then got it for my birthday because it was the first film to go to video really quickly. (more…)

Oh, Josh, that dog was the least of your concerns.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. No Country for Old Men  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. Across the Universe
  4. There Will Be Blood  *
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Eastern Promises
  7. Michael Clayton  *
  8. Gone Baby Gone
  9. Juno  *
  10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  12. 3:10 to Yuma
  13. Away from Her
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  16. Lust, Caution
  17. I’m Not There
  18. Persepolis
  19. Charlie Wilson’s War
  20. Once

Analysis:  Those are all **** films.  There are also a few more (24 in total), but they will be listed down below in the Drama and Comedy sections.  Both the 24 **** films and the total of 46 **** / ***.5 films are the second most ever, behind only 2005. (more…)

Pay no attention to the bunnies in the door.

The 78th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2005.  The nominations were announced on January 31, 2006 and the awards were held on March 5, 2006.

Best Animated Film:  Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

  • Corpse Bride
  • Howl’s Moving Castle

Most Surprising Omission: Madagascar

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Steamboy

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #1

Oscar Score:  100

Alternate Oscar Score:  100 (more…)

“We set out to save the shire. And it has been saved. But for not for me.”

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  **
  2. Mystic River  *
  3. Lost in Translation  *
  4. In America
  5. City of God
  6. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World  *
  7. Finding Nemo
  8. Kill Bill Volume 1
  9. A Mighty Wind
  10. Whale Rider
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  12. American Splendor  *
  13. Dirty Pretty Things
  14. The Station Agent
  15. Nowhere in Africa
  16. The Triplets of Belleville
  17. Tokyo Godfathers
  18. The Barbarian Invasions
  19. The Last Samurai
  20. 21 Grams

Analysis:  After three straight years where the Consensus race came down to less than 100 points, Return of the King almost doubles any other film.  Master and Commander, on the other hand, becomes another film to earn nominations from the five awards groups but win none of them.
The Top 10 is eight points lower than the year before and it still tied for the second best to-date (and third best ever).  The Top 20 is 14 points lower than 2002 and 13 points lower than 2001 but still the third best to-date.  The Top 5, though, is actually the best since 1996 and tied for the third best ever.
The first 18 films are **** films.  The last two are ***.5. (more…)

swI have always been a proponent of the idea that I can separate what I think is brilliant from what I personally enjoy.  Let’s just look at 2015.  I think that Carol and The Revenant were the two best films of the year.  But if I’m going to sit and watch a movie from 2015, odds are it will be The Force Awakens (this is borne out by the fact that I’ve seen Carol twice, The Revenant all the way through once and The Force Awakens, at a modest count, 21 times complete plus the final 20 minutes about 15 more).

To that extent, I have finally culled together a list of my 100 Favorite Films, the ones I am most likely to sit still and watch, or at least not change the station if I come across them.  They’re not heavy Drama.  In fact, when I went through the genres, only one film on the entire list is one that I classify primarily as Drama (Casablanca).

It’s really hard to do this kind of list when you’ve seen as many films as I have (14,000+).  I put it together by going through year by year and adding films, and once I hit 100, knocking off the films at the bottom.  When I first read Veronica a list of 50 films, I then pointed out that those were the 50 I was about to delete because they didn’t make the list and she was stunned.  “But you love those films!” she pointed out.  “But I love the Top 100 even more,” I replied.  It was very, very tough.  Though they are easily two of the greatest directors of all-time if not the two greatest directors of all-time, not a single Kurosawa or Kubrick film ended up on the list.  There is no Bergman.  There is no David Lean.  The Ealing Comedies and the Hammer Horror, both of which I love so much I wrote about them only have one film each.  I did For Love of Film posts for James Bond (1 film) and Star Trek (2 films).  It’s really, really hard to narrow it all down. (more…)

He rules.

He rules.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 16 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m going with the Top 16 because that’s how many **** films there are.  It’s not because Cate Blanchett comes in 16th in Supporting Actress.  That’s only a coincidence.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. American Beauty  **
  2. Magnolia
  3. The End of the Affair
  4. All About My Mother
  5. Eyes Wide Shut
  6. Three Kings
  7. Topsy-Turvy  *
  8. Princess Mononoke
  9. Being John Malkovich  *
  10. The Sixth Sense  *
  11. Toy Story 2
  12. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. The Insider  *
  14. Sweet and Lowdown
  15. Run Lola Run
  16. Following

Analysis:  This year sets a new high mark.  The Sixth Sense earns a 92 from me, which makes it the best #10 to-date, the first film to earn a higher mark in the #10 spot than Foolish Wives, the #10 film in the very first Nighthawk Awards.  The Top 20 (the remaining four films are Fight Club, Limbo, Abre Los Ojos and Man on the Moon) beats out 1994 for the best to-date.  As mentioned above, all 16 of these films are ****.
Three Kings had been in my Top 5 from the day I saw it in the theater all the way until I did these awards, when it was finally pushed out because I bumped up All About My Mother.
American Beauty becomes the first film to sweep the five awards groups (Oscar, BAFTA, PGA, Globe, BFCA).  It’s also the first to win the Oscar and the Consensus since Schindler’s List (which pre-dated the BFCA by one year). (more…)