Archive for January, 2019

Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Animated Feature

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Animated Feature. Which we don’t really need any precursors for, but I guess they help a little bit. Still, we know where this one is at. We can talk about it now. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Without asking too many questions do you have anyone in with Costello presently?” “Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself.”


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Supporting Actor

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

We’re doing Best Supporting Actor today, because it seems pretty much locked at this point, and we don’t need to wait on anything further to develop with it to know the lay of the land. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “My heart bleeds. But revenge is in the creator’s hands.”


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Original Song

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

I generally start with the most locked categories first, because I don’t really need the rest of the precursors to tell me how they’re gonna go. We’re starting with Best Original Song. Because if you really need my help with this one, you really shouldn’t be picking the Oscars. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Molly, you’re in danger.” “You can’t just blurt it out like that! And quit moving around, because you’re starting to make me dizzy. I’ll just tell her in my own way… Molly, you in danger, girl.”


Oscars 2018: SAG Awards

So the SAG Awards were last night. I almost didn’t watch. That’s how little I really expected the results to mean anything. At this point they’re almost like every other guild. I almost just looked at the results after the fact.

BUT… had I done that, I would have missed the really important thing that happened during the show, which is — Scott Bakula showed up. And boy, am I glad I got to see Scott Bakula.

Here are your SAG winners: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Really? Worst film you ever saw. Well, my next one will be better.”


Oscars 2018: SAG Award Predictions

I’d call this a SAG preview, but let’s face it — we know what this article is about.

I considered not even putting one out there, but you know what? For me it’s not about the predictions. I don’t even care about guessing half these awards. For me it’s all about the result and what it means for the race. So really all I’m doing is talking about where the race is now and what outcomes seem most likely and how things will be affected based on who wins and who doesn’t.

And it’s a good way to bullshit another article that takes less than twenty minutes to write. Look, I don’t need extra content, but when it’s this easy, screw it, right?

So here’s your SAG Awards “Preview”. (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Film Scores of 2018

I both greatly look forward to and dread this article every year. I look forward to it because it’s amazing and fun to do and gets me to listen to film scores. I dread it just because I know film scores are not something I keep up with throughout the year, other than a mental note here and there of ones that really stood out during the initial watch. So usually I have to do the first deep dive in December, pulling everything I can and compiling it all, and then I just have to spend the next month sampling and whittling down to a workable number until I can hone a list. It’s more work than you think. Still, having this article makes it worth it.

I say the movie poster is a lost art. I feel like film music is something that, while not lost, has lost its way. So much of film scores now is underscoring, so you never notice it and it’s never interesting. Here’s an example: you get a tense moment in a movie now, and they draw everything back and there’s the undertone of “dread” and then staccato violins and stuff. You know what I mean? And compare that to a John Williams Star Wars theme. Sure, one doesn’t call attention to itself, but the other one you remember 40 years later. That’s my only point there. So I like to look at which scores are particularly good pieces of music, especially since, if I just pulled the films on the list below and said, “What do you remember of their scores?” I bet a lot of people would go, “I don’t even remember a score from that.” Most people don’t necessarily listen for it.

So yeah, this is just me listening to a bunch of stuff and picking my favorites. I am by no means someone who knows anything about music. In fact, I know nothing about music. I have no ear for it, I don’t know what pitch is, I couldn’t tell you anything other than a general, “Oh that sounds nice.” So that’s how I pick my choices. Generally I have the composers I like, and sometimes a new one comes along that does something cool and it allows me to track what they score from there on out. You never know. Also, scores, not soundtracks. So A Star Is Born will not be on this list. And also, since this is my list, it will probably differ from what a lot of other people will have on theirs. I don’t care what’s trendy or will get clicks. I like what I like.

Here are my favorite film scores of 2018: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “It’s past ten. My daughter is in pain. I don’t understand why she has to have this pain. All she has to do is hold out until ten, and IT’S PAST TEN! My daughter is in pain, can’t you understand that! GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!”


My Favorite Female Supporting Performances of 2018

So here are (finally) my favorite performances of the year. We have our Oscar nominations already, so this will either be exactly in line with those or very much opposed to them. I generally figure this stuff out as I go, since it’s all about what I personally feel to be my favorite. That’s the point of the article (look at the title).

The point of these lists is the same as when I post the Underrated and Underseen films of the year — I just want people to discover cool stuff. I mean, sure, a lot of the time we’re all in agreement on what the best stuff is, but you might look at my list and see something you wouldn’t anywhere else. And then you seek that out and think, “That was really great. I gotta tell people about that.” That’s the goal. It’s all about seeing cool things and sharing cool things.

As I say, they’re in order, but they’re not really in order. The numbers don’t matter. I liked these efforts the most. And it’s just about what I liked, not about awards or anything else.

Here are my favorite female supporting performances of 2018: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I don’t know if I started drinking ’cause my wife left me or my wife left me ’cause I started drinking, but fuck it anyway.”


My Favorite Male Supporting Performances of 2018

So here are (finally) my favorite performances of the year. We have our Oscar nominations already, so this will either be exactly in line with those or very much opposed to them. I generally figure this stuff out as I go, since it’s all about what I personally feel to be my favorite. That’s the point of the article (look at the title).

The point of these lists is the same as when I post the Underrated and Underseen films of the year — I just want people to discover cool stuff. I mean, sure, a lot of the time we’re all in agreement on what the best stuff is, but you might look at my list and see something you wouldn’t anywhere else. And then you seek that out and think, “That was really great. I gotta tell people about that.” That’s the goal. It’s all about seeing cool things and sharing cool things.

As I say, they’re in order, but they’re not really in order. The numbers don’t matter. I liked these efforts the most. And it’s just about what I liked, not about awards or anything else.

Here are my favorite male supporting performances of 2018: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “When he looks at me, the way he looks at me… He does not know, what I lack… Or how I am incomplete. He sees me, for what I am, as I am. He’s happy to see me. Every time. Every day. Now, I can either save him… or let him die.


My Favorite Female Lead Performances of 2018

So here are (finally) my favorite performances of the year. We have our Oscar nominations already, so this will either be exactly in line with those or very much opposed to them. I generally figure this stuff out as I go, since it’s all about what I personally feel to be my favorite. That’s the point of the article (look at the title).

The point of these lists is the same as when I post the Underrated and Underseen films of the year — I just want people to discover cool stuff. I mean, sure, a lot of the time we’re all in agreement on what the best stuff is, but you might look at my list and see something you wouldn’t anywhere else. And then you seek that out and think, “That was really great. I gotta tell people about that.” That’s the goal. It’s all about seeing cool things and sharing cool things.

As I say, they’re in order, but they’re not really in order. The numbers don’t matter. I liked these efforts the most. And it’s just about what I liked, not about awards or anything else.

Here are my favorite female lead performances of 2018: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Maria! / I’ve just met a girl named Maria / And suddenly that name / Will never be the same / To me.” ♫


My Favorite Male Lead Performances of 2018

So here are (finally) my favorite performances of the year. We have our Oscar nominations already, so this will either be exactly in line with those or very much opposed to them. I generally figure this stuff out as I go, since it’s all about what I personally feel to be my favorite. That’s the point of the article (look at the title).

The point of these lists is the same as when I post the Underrated and Underseen films of the year — I just want people to discover cool stuff. I mean, sure, a lot of the time we’re all in agreement on what the best stuff is, but you might look at my list and see something you wouldn’t anywhere else. And then you seek that out and think, “That was really great. I gotta tell people about that.” That’s the goal. It’s all about seeing cool things and sharing cool things.

As I say, they’re in order, but they’re not really in order. The numbers don’t matter. I liked these efforts the most. And it’s just about what I liked, not about awards or anything else.

Here are my favorite male lead performances of 2018: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You think too much. That is your trouble. Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.”


And the Nominees Are: Analyzing the 91st Academy Award Nominations

The Oscar nominees were announced this morning. I posted the nominees, but without comment. Now’s the time when we actually see how it all went and what it all means.

What I say every year about this day is — there’s no more “what if” or “could be.” This is it. This is what we have. These are the Oscar nominees. All that is done. Now the reality is figuring out what’s gonna win.

But before that, let’s analyze it all. See what surprised, see what the totals are, and, selfishly, see how well I guessed all the nominees. Why else?

Here are your 91st Academy Award nominations: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “60-40! All right! 60-40! I get $6000; he gets $4000. What the hell can he buy in New Jersey anyway?”


And the Nominees Are… (2018)

Here are your 91st Academy Award nominations:

Best Picture

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice (more…)


Oscars 2018: The B+ Nominations Ballot

If you were to list my three favorite articles to write each year, it would be — 3) Top Ten List, 2) Nominations Ballot, 1) Oscar picks article. I love this day. I love it so much.

And, in a way, while I do enjoy writing up the Oscar picks article slightly more than writing up this one, this article means more to me. I much prefer doing better here than on Oscar night. There are gonna be about 120 nominees announced tomorrow. If I can guess 90 of them, I’m happy. And if I can guess 90 of them and be right there on the alternates, I’m even happier. Forget going 20/24 on Oscar night. This is where it’s at. This is what takes skill.

And yes, this is going to be an article where I attempt to guess every single Oscar nominee. I’ve done it every year since I started this site, and I’ve always been above 2/3. The worst I did was 68% in my first year. Since then I’ve been above 70. Last year was 74.5% and my personal best was 78.5%. My next goal is to get either above 80% or over 100 total correct, whichever comes first.

I also, unlike a lot of the other sites (I know, because I used to read them before I realized I could make the same mistakes on my own), won’t just give you a list. I will talk you through my entire thought process. I’ll show you how I get to my decisions. The idea being it will give you all the information you need to do this too, should you want to. And hopefully you can all go forth and pick better than I can and make me proud. (I’m like a middle school teacher, but for useless stuff.) (more…)


Oscars 2018: Razzie Nominations

The Razzie nominations were announced this morning. This will be a nice little diversion from finishing up my Oscar nominations guesses. (It’s done, don’t you worry. It’ll go up within the hour. I just need a moment to breathe and separate myself from it. This article will be a nice way to do that.)

I don’t even think I covered the Razzies last year. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do that, and ultimately I don’t care. But this year, I’m back. I can cover them and feel okay about it.

Actually, let’s look and see what won last year — Emoji Movie, The Mummy… hey look, it’s my Unforgivables list! That’s funny. Baywatch got nominated. Wow, so they basically agreed with me, and then they put on the bullshit nominations designed to get press. Yeah, that sounds like them.

Okay, so let’s see what made it this year. (more…)