Sunday, February 24, 2013

Top Ten Best Picture Winners

1. Rebecca
2. On the Waterfront
3. Bridge on the River Kwai
4. Lawrence of Arabia
5. No Country For Old Men
6. Annie Hall
7. It Happened One Night
8. Casablanca
9. The Godfather
10. The Apartment

* I watched ALL ABOUT EVE many years ago; I could've listed it but I don't really remember it too well. I should really re-watch it soon.

Agreed, John, it's tough to get excited about the list of Best Picture Winners. And as Brandon wrote about, the Academy's concern for ratings absolutely cheapens the whole thing. When a movie like AVATAR racks up nine Oscar nominations, you know it's shit. Granted, AVATAR did not take home the most coveted award of the night. The Best Visual Effects win was probably deserved, though.

But despite The Oscars being a bit of sham, I can't remember the last time I didn't tune in. I'll be watching tonight and will watch next year (live tweeting tonight, John?). I can't say that I care too much about who wins and who doesn't (though I do have some favorites here and there). Admittedly, I used to care. When CRASH won I was very annoyed; when THE DEPARTED won, I was very happy for Marty.

The host of the Oscars obviously plays a pretty big part in this as well. I'm not looking forward to seeing Seth McFarlane at all. As you all know, I hate his work. I hope Jon Stewart gets another shot at hosting soon. Jeff and I were talking earlier and agreed that it would be brilliant if Stephen Colbert were to host the show--be it the real Colbert or his character from The Report. I loved what Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did at the Golden Globes this year; it'd be great to see them get a shot at the Oscars in the near future.

Concerning the lists of John and Brandon, I haven't seen THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES yet, but I'd like to. Ditto for A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and UNFORGIVEN. At some point here, I will check all three of them out. Good lists, and no arguments otherwise. And great write-up, Brandon; I enjoyed reading it. 

Handing Out My 2012 Awards


Best Film: The Master

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master & Denis Lavant, Holy Motors

Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Best Supporting Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Best Adapted Screenplay: David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis

Best Original Score: Jonny Greenwood, The Master

Best Soundtrack: Tabu

Best Animated Feature: Brave

Best Foreign Film: Holy Motors

Best Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare, Jr., The Master

Best Costume Design: Kasia Walicka Maimone, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Film Editing: Leslie Jones & Peter McNulty, The Master

Best Sound Editing & Mixing: The Master

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Holy Motors

Best Original Song: "Who Were We?" from Holy Motors

Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Visual Effects: WIP Studio, Holy Motors


Best Drama Series: Game of Thrones

Best Comedy or Musical: Parks and Recreation

Best Miniseries or TV Movie: Sherlock

Best Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Best Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, Homeland

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock

Best Supporting Actor, series, miniseries, movie: Andrew Scott, Sherlock & Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Best Supporting Actress, series, miniseries, movie: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Last year's winners can be found here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Top Ten Films of 2012

1. The Master
2. Holy Motors
3. Zero Dark Thirty
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Tabu
6. Amour
7. Lincoln
8. Killing Them Softly
9. Cosmopolis
10. Looper

Honorable Mentions: Brave, Seven Psychopaths, Argo, The Dark Knight Rises

Not Quite Honorable, but Notable Mentions: Django Unchained, Rust and Bone, The Hobbit, Safety Not Guaranteed

Thursday, February 7, 2013



The Killing of a Chinese Bookie ****
Touch of Evil ****1/2
Diary of a Country Priest ****
Tabu ****
Holy Motors ****
Beasts of the Southern Wild ***
To Rome with Love ***
Zero Dark Thirty ****
Rust & Bone ***1/2
Premium Rush ***
ParaNorman ***
Killer Joe ***


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ****


30 Rock season 7
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Homeland seasons 1 and 2
Lookwell (pilot)
Parks and Recreation season 5
Sherlock seasons 1 & 2
The Simpsons (various episodes)
The Twilight Zone (1 episode) 
You Bet Your Life (1 episode)

Notes: John wanted me to review The Killing of a Chinese Bookie after logging it on Letterboxd. I'm afraid I'd only disappoint; I don't have much to say, but I did like it quite a bit. Ben Gazzara's performance is great; he really embodies his character, Cosmo. And one can't help but pity him; he's a decent guy (considering the fact that he's a strip club owner) who gets in way over his head. But really, he gets in over his head because he's awful with money. I really like the scenes early on in the film when Cosmo's celebrating the fact that he's paid off one of his long-standing debts - he dresses in a tuxedo and, accompanied by two of his girls, takes a limo to a card game...where he immediately falls back in the hole. Anyway, I enjoyed it and I really like Cassavetes' style now that I've seen two of his films (this and Shadows).

Touch of Evil is really good and I'd see it again if I had a copy of the DVD. It moves pretty fast initially, but because it's intriguing you never feel like staying lost in the details; it's a film that makes you want to catch up to speed. And once you do, it's a very enjoyable ride.

Diary of a Country Priest was Jeff's number one movie of all-time. I can understand why Jeff and others regard it so highly; it's very well done. But obviously my four star rating indicates that I don't exactly agree with Jeff on the film. Oh, well. Guess we have to disagree on something.

I have ratings for the 2012 films above, but I'm still going to remain silent on them for now. I want to post my top ten list (soon, I hope) without tipping my hand. I'm not sure how set in stone those above ratings are anyway. Maybe sometime in the near future, Ben and I will discuss To Rome with Love and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I ended up being somewhat pleasantly surprised by both.

I re-watched The Fellowship of the Ring because I bought the Lord of the Rings: Motion Picture Trilogy on blu-ray; I didn't really care about buying the extended versions and goddamn are they expensive. It had been a few years since I last watched the Fellowship; it's also the one I've seen the least amount of times (3 or 4 times...something like that). Still very enjoyable. Glad I now own the trilogy on blu-ray.

January saw the end of one of the funniest television shows I've ever watched: 30 Rock. It was a great seven year run. I was pretty critical of seasons five and six, but I really enjoyed the final season. Many of the episodes had me laughing from beginning to end. I'm really thankful for this show; it provided innumerable moments of fun and hilarity. Great cast, great characters, great writing...and like the The Simpsons seasons of the mid 90s, the show averaged a large amount of jokes per minute. I'm really going to miss this show, but thanks the DVD sets that I own, I'll continue to re-watch the show.

I moved through Homeland pretty quickly. It's an interesting show and was easy to marathon. It isn't the greatest drama I've seen but it's more than serviceable. I'll probably write more on this show in the future; it's between seasons right now, so no one's really talking about it anyway.

Lookwell is a pilot that Conan O'Brien and Robert Smiegel wrote in the late 80s/early 90s. I saw a link to the pilot (which is up on youtube) from AV Club. Anyway, it stars Adam West and he plays a washed actor, Lookwell, who used to star on a cop drama in the 70s. Now Lookwell spends his time teaching acting classes and trying to solve actual crimes, which he is quite inept at. It's worth checking out, and it would've been nice had it been picked up and more episodes had been made.

I'm enjoying Sherlock quite a bit. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a good team. I only have one episode left to watch before I'm caught all caught up.

I've been slacking on the Twilight Zone stuff. I'm normally a procrastinator so it's tough for me to watch an episode before the deadline day of when everyone's supposed to have posted it. So when I did post for that first episode, everyone had already moved on the next one and I was left out of the discussion. I really blame John, though. He's a big meanie...or a blue meanie. My Beatles acid trips get me all confused sometimes.

I watched an episode of You Bet Your Life because I was desperate for some Groucho. It just might be time for me to re-watch a Marx brothers film. Maybe Duck Soup or Horse Feathers.

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others."