Archive for November, 2014

Ranking Disney: Frozen (2013), Part III

It must have been two years ago now, when I decided to go through and Rank all the Disney movies. Essentially, I watched all the Disney movies that existed at the time, and ranked them in the order I liked them. It was fun. Pretty simple. Not as complicated as I’d do them now. One of these years, I’ll go through and update them to make them more like Fun with Franchises.

At the time, there were only 51 Disney movies. Winnie the Pooh was the newest one. So when Wreck-It Ralph came out, I figured I had to do that one as well. So now, writing up the new Disney movie has become an annual tradition for me. I’m actually late on this one. I probably should have put this article up back in March. But whatever. It’s finally time for us to do Frozen.

I was all over this movie when it came out last year. We got a screener right after it came out, and I watched it that day, in the office. And by the time “Let It Go” happened, I was certain the movie was a top ten film for me and that both the song and the movie were going to win Oscars. All three of those things happened.

There’s something so joyous about this movie. I’m sure now as I go through I’ll tear it to pieces. But I still love it. We’ll get to my feelings about it within the rest of the Disney canon later, but in terms of a movie, this is the best pure Disney movie the studio has put out in almost 20 years. This harkens back to the Renaissance days. And we’re going to enjoy this movie that it’s one of those for the next few days, before we get into our usual end of the year festivities. So without further ado, here is Part III of Frozen.

Frozen - Title Card

(more…)


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Pic of the Day: “The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there. On such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me. I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - 49


Ranking Disney: Frozen (2013), Part II

It must have been two years ago now, when I decided to go through and Rank all the Disney movies. Essentially, I watched all the Disney movies that existed at the time, and ranked them in the order I liked them. It was fun. Pretty simple. Not as complicated as I’d do them now. One of these years, I’ll go through and update them to make them more like Fun with Franchises.

At the time, there were only 51 Disney movies. Winnie the Pooh was the newest one. So when Wreck-It Ralph came out, I figured I had to do that one as well. So now, writing up the new Disney movie has become an annual tradition for me. I’m actually late on this one. I probably should have put this article up back in March. But whatever. It’s finally time for us to do Frozen.

I was all over this movie when it came out last year. We got a screener right after it came out, and I watched it that day, in the office. And by the time “Let It Go” happened, I was certain the movie was a top ten film for me and that both the song and the movie were going to win Oscars. All three of those things happened.

There’s something so joyous about this movie. I’m sure now as I go through I’ll tear it to pieces. But I still love it. We’ll get to my feelings about it within the rest of the Disney canon later, but in terms of a movie, this is the best pure Disney movie the studio has put out in almost 20 years. This harkens back to the Renaissance days. And we’re going to enjoy this movie that it’s one of those for the next few days, before we get into our usual end of the year festivities. So without further ado, here is Part II of Frozen.

Frozen - Title Card (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “If we take them with us to Mars, Santa’s disappearance will remain a mystery. No one on Earth will ever know that Santa Claus was kidnapped by Martians.”

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians


Ranking Disney: Frozen (2013), Part I

It must have been two years ago now, when I decided to go through and Rank all the Disney movies. Essentially, I watched all the Disney movies that existed at the time, and ranked them in the order I liked them. It was fun. Pretty simple. Not as complicated as I’d do them now. One of these years, I’ll go through and update them to make them more like Fun with Franchises.

At the time, there were only 51 Disney movies. Winnie the Pooh was the newest one. So when Wreck-It Ralph came out, I figured I had to do that one as well. So now, writing up the new Disney movie has become an annual tradition for me. I’m actually late on this one. I probably should have put this article up back in March. But whatever. It’s finally time for us to do Frozen.

I was all over this movie when it came out last year. We got a screener right after it came out, and I watched it that day, in the office. And by the time “Let It Go” happened, I was certain the movie was a top ten film for me and that both the song and the movie were going to win Oscars. All three of those things happened.

There’s something so joyous about this movie. I’m sure now as I go through I’ll tear it to pieces. But I still love it. We’ll get to my feelings about it within the rest of the Disney canon later, but in terms of a movie, this is the best pure Disney movie the studio has put out in almost 20 years. This harkens back to the Renaissance days. And we’re going to enjoy this movie that it’s one of those for the next few days, before we get into our usual end of the year festivities. So without further ado, here is Part I of Frozen.

Frozen - Title Card

(more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I don’t like crooks. And if I did like ’em, I wouldn’t like crooks that are stool pigeons. And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn’t like you.”

The Thin Man - 17


A Pictorial History of the Movies: The Master List

So, we’ve just finished my first go-round of A Pictorial History of the movies.

The goal here was, since I do a Pic of the Day every day, to find something cool to do with it. I came up with the idea of going through the entire history of film, from the very first films until now, year by year, and picking only one movie per year. Which is a pretty impossible task.

But I did it, I managed it, and I even wrote something up for each movie along the way. So now I’m compiling everything into one giant list. Mostly so I can use it for reference the next time I want to try this to prevent repeats from happening. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2013 – Gravity

This is the defining film of 2013. I know people will say 12 Years a Slave is the film of 2013, but it’s not. Gravity is that film. 12 Years is the most important film of 2013, but it’s not the film that defines 2013.

Put it this way – how many people were really excited about Gravity before it came out? I was. Shit, I called that movie 5 stars when it was supposed to come out in 2012. January 2012, I already said, “I’m so fucking in for this movie.” It’s not like it had that prerelease buzz of something like The Avengers. Or The Dark Knight. Or Avatar. This was a movie that, unless you were paying attention to it, you knew was a space movie that was coming out.

And then if fucking blew up. This movie brought people back into the theaters. The right way. Not in that, “We spent millions of dollars to market it, so people will come out the first weekend and not afterward because it’s not very good,” way. This was the, people came out, people went, “Holy fuck, that was amazing,” and then went back to see it. And they told their friends, “Holy fuck, did you see Gravity? You need to go right now and see that fucking movie.” That’s why this is the most defining movie of 2013. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Houston, this is Mission Specialist Ryan Stone. I’m off structure and I’m drifting… Do you copy? … Anybody…? Anyone…? Please copy.”

Gravity - 43


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2012 – The Avengers

At this point, pretty much any movie that cracks the top five all-time box office upon initial release is most likely going to be considered the film that defines its year. Though, in this particular case, it actually represents a larger trend that I’ve been discussing, which is superhero movies (Spider-Man, then The Dark Knight).

Starting with Harry Potter, franchises became the major form of big budget movie for Hollywood, and they haven’t turned back since. The trend has only taken even more of a stranglehold on the marketplace since then. Now, everything that comes out has a subtitle, designed to spawn a series of films. Movies can’t be one-offs anymore.

But The Avengers actually represents a very specific twist in the superhero genre, one that will define the next ten years of Hollywood, which is the trend of world building. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Superheroes? In New York? Give me a break!”

The Avengers


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2011 – Bridesmaids

How can it not be?

This was the breakout hit of 2011. This came out to little fanfare, really, and then gradually, through word of mouth, became one of the biggest comedy hits of all time.

The important thing about this film is the fact that it really brought women to the forefront of comedy. It’s not that women were never present in comedy. You think of writers like Ruth Gordon and Elaine May, and stars like Lucille Ball and so on. It’s just that, over the past 20 years, women have become marginalized. They’re always playing a type, or stuck playing the girlfriend role. Especially has comedy has become… whatever the hell it’s become. That dumb, raunchy, sophomoric Apatow shit. Which is so clearly male dominated.

So the real importance of this film is that it brought women back to mainstream comedy and allowed them to do the kind of comedy men do and have a lot of people enjoy it. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Why are you smiling?” “It’s just… it’s the first time I’ve ever seen you look ugly… and that makes me kind of happy.”

Bridesmaids


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2010 – The Social Network

This year took me a good minute to decide. You’d think it would be easy to decide the years you’ve lived, especially ones so recent. But this was still difficult. Because you look at the films that made the most money – Toy Story 3. No. We talked about the franchise already, and it wasn’t so big a hit to the point where that’s all we talked about for a while. Alice in Wonderland, no. Deathly Hallows 1 – we talked about it. At this point, it’s established. Inception makes a case for itself, but I remember Inception. We talked about it over the summer, and while it was a huge film, it was pretty much forgotten come the winter.

And then I saw this film and went, “Huh… that’s interesting.” Because, in a way, we’re still talking about this movie. The movie was a big deal when it came out. It made $100 million, which is a lot of money, considering its subject matter and lack of star power. It caught on. People were talking about it. It almost won Best Picture!

Plus, it talks about our culture and the way things are now, in this social media environment we all live in. So, I feel like considering it’s the perfect storm of critical acclaim, box office success, and cultural resonance (in terms of people remembering it and quoting it and what it says about our culture at its time of release), it’s really a perfect choice for this year. And I can really see no other option the more I think about it. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You know, you really don’t need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this. If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

The Social Network - 24


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2009 – Avatar

I don’t even think there’s a question about this one.

It’s the highest-grossing film of all time, was the event film of 2009, and was the biggest thing in the country that everybody was talking about for a good two montsh. It’s the only choice.

To the point where, I don’t really know what else there is to say about it.

But I’ll figure something out. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I see you.”

Avatar - 37


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2008 – The Dark Knight

2008 actually has some choices. You can legitimately go Iron Man here.

But I was around for this time. And in my experience, having lived that summer, Iron Man was a great thing… until The Dark Knight came out.

This movie absolutely, 100% defined 2008. There’s no question about it. I’m going to document what happened and how it happened in a second, but trust me when I say – no movie captured the American public, the American culture, and Hollywood, the way this one did.

It’s this movie, and everything else is playing for second. That’s 2008. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

The Dark Knight - 50


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2007 – There Will Be Blood

I knew this one when it happened. No Country for Old Men got all the acclaim and all of the Oscars, but There Will Be Blood felt more like the film that was going to stand the test of time.

2007 is a tough year for a list like this, because a lot of the major movies are all sequels and franchises. The highest grossing movies of the year were At World’s End, Order of the Phoenix and Spider-Man 3. Transformers was there, but let’s be serious. That didn’t define the year. Only if you’re the MTV Movie Awards did that define the year.

300 was intriguing, but that really was only big for a few months. It was popular, but didn’t define the movie year that was 2007.

Juno was an example that I almost went with, but I don’t think that defined the year at all. It just was a movie that, like 300, became a part of the culture for a little while. Superbad – ehh, not so much. There’s really nothing that jumps out at you.

So I split the difference and went, like I did with 2006, with the film that felt like it was gonna be the one that was remembered best from the year.

(more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Are you an angry man, Henry?” “About what?” “Are you envious? Do you get envious?” “I don’t think so. No.” “I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people.” “That part of me is gone… working and not succeeding- all my failures has left me… I just don’t… care.” “Well, if it’s in me, it’s in you. There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to earn enough money that I can get away from everyone.”

There Will Be Blood - 35


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2006 – Children of Men

2006 is by far one of the weakest years for the purposes of this list. Nothing defined it.

The top ten movies were: Dead Man’s Chest, Night a the Museum, Cars, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Da Vinci Code, Superman Returns, Happy Feet, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Casino Royale and The Pursuit of Happyness.

Of all of those, Casino Royale is the only one that can make a case for it. Because it rebooted Bond and was a great movie that gave a hurting franchise new life. But did it define 2006? Maybe on a later list, but for the first one? I can’t call that a slam dunk.

Then you look at all the other movies that came out this year. Here’s what I have that can remotely be considered a choice: Borat, Children of Men, The Departed, (I’d say An Inconvenient Truth, but that would be way too cynical a choice. Plus I hate documentaries and it’s not even a good choice) Little Miss Sunshine, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Snakes on a Plane. (And the only reason that’s there is for the joke.) There are a few more I’d like to consider (like, say, Idiocracy), but I can’t in good conscience consider them choices right now. Maybe in fifteen years. But now, I can’t. Not enough time has passed.

2006 was not a very good year for definable films. And we’re not even a decade out, so it’s hard to even gauge the time factor. So, when that’s the case, just choose the one you think is going to hold up as the best achievement in film from that year. And to me, that movie is Children of Men. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.”

Children of Men - 74


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2005 – Brokeback Mountain

Oh really? Find me another movie we talked about more in 2005.

You can’t do it.

This “gay cowboy” movie was 2005.

All the movies that made all the money are movies we barely remember now (or only remember as parts of franchises). And trust me, none of them had the cultural impact this one did.

We were talking about this movie since it came out. People had reactions to it who hadn’t even seen it. The reaction to this movie was so strong it ALTERED THE OSCARS!

You know what other movie did that? Citizen Kane. This movie is the modern day Citizen Kane. (He said, seemingly okay with the hyperbole and unintended extra meaning there.) High Noon was the same way. Either way. There’s a long history of movies with touchy subject matter losing at the Oscars.

Brokeback Mountain is the choice for 2005. (more…)