Archive for December, 2019

2019: The Year in Reviews (April)

You know what it is. It’s the last half of December, which means we’re wrapping up the year.

Like most things in my life, it’s built around a pun. What I do in January is preview everything I can possibly find that’s set to come out that year. And then what I do is watch as many of them as I can, dropping reviews each third of the year. And then in December, we recap how that all went, month by month and see how I did/what I liked.

Mainly I do this for me, just to see how accurate I can guess on stuff up to a year out (I used to hope for a solid 2/3 percentage, but at this point I generally hit above 70% and really wanna see if I can somehow get to 75%), but it also keeps me honest, since I don’t read anything I write after it goes up until I compile these articles and my reviews are done based on how I feel as I write them up. So really this is bringing the two together and considering my feelings as they stand at this moment in time. And then hopefully others can maybe find some cool stuff they didn’t know about or previously consider from it all.

Today is April. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “No fighting, you two.” “Well, if I can’t have any fun I might as well leave.” (45th Anniversary)

 


2019: The Year in Reviews (March)

You know what it is. It’s the last half of December, which means we’re wrapping up the year.

Like most things in my life, it’s built around a pun. What I do in January is preview everything I can possibly find that’s set to come out that year. And then what I do is watch as many of them as I can, dropping reviews each third of the year. And then in December, we recap how that all went, month by month and see how I did/what I liked.

Mainly I do this for me, just to see how accurate I can guess on stuff up to a year out (I used to hope for a solid 2/3 percentage, but at this point I generally hit above 70% and really wanna see if I can somehow get to 75%), but it also keeps me honest, since I don’t read anything I write after it goes up until I compile these articles and my reviews are done based on how I feel as I write them up. So really this is bringing the two together and considering my feelings as they stand at this moment in time. And then hopefully others can maybe find some cool stuff they didn’t know about or previously consider from it all.

Today is March. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Who told you you could eat my cookies?”

 


Oscars 2019: Best Animated Short Shortlist

And finally, we have Animated Short. I always save this one for last because it’s like a nice little dessert after all the other categories. I always like seeing what’s on there. This year will be interesting because I don’t think Pixar or Disney has a big short they’ve released.

Anyway, 92 shorts qualified for this category and they’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist of ten, of which five will be nominated.

Here is the Animated Short shortlist: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Live Action Short Shortlist

And now, Live Action Short, the other category nobody cares about. Because we’re never given a chance to see or care about the nominees (and other things, but we’ll be optimistic about it). They announced that 191 shorts qualified for the category, of which they’ve shortlisted ten, and we’ll get our category of five in the end.

Here are the Live Action Short nominees: (more…)


2019: The Year in Reviews (February)

You know what it is. It’s the last half of December, which means we’re wrapping up the year.

Like most things in my life, it’s built around a pun. What I do in January is preview everything I can possibly find that’s set to come out that year. And then what I do is watch as many of them as I can, dropping reviews each third of the year. And then in December, we recap how that all went, month by month and see how I did/what I liked.

Mainly I do this for me, just to see how accurate I can guess on stuff up to a year out (I used to hope for a solid 2/3 percentage, but at this point I generally hit above 70% and really wanna see if I can somehow get to 75%), but it also keeps me honest, since I don’t read anything I write after it goes up until I compile these articles and my reviews are done based on how I feel as I write them up. So really this is bringing the two together and considering my feelings as they stand at this moment in time. And then hopefully others can maybe find some cool stuff they didn’t know about or previously consider from it all.

Today is February. (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Documentary Short Shortlist

Okay, so let’s make our way into the Shorts categories, which I thought would be easier to deal with because no one cares about them, but I realized that because they’re the ones with the least amount of stuff I know about, that means more work for me. Since I can’t just rattle off my usual bullshit based n seeing names. I actually have to look them all up, see if I can find them to watch, and because I’m a perfectionist, actually watch them first if I can find them, then look up what they’re about, what the synopses are, and then start talking about the categories. So once I do all that other stuff, it’s easy. But here’s where I do all the other stuff. So that’s why these three have waited until this morning. (And yes, that means between last night and now, I’ve gone and watched every single thing I can for these categories so I could be as well-versed as possible.)

We start with Documentary Short, which is one of the two least cared-about categories in the entire show. Most people don’t even bother to watch or look up what any of them are about, and because the whole thing is shrouded in such mystery, they don’t even give people the opportunity to widely watch them beforehand to at least build up an interest in the category.

But anyway, there were 96 eligible shorts and they shortlisted ten of them, of which five will be nominated. Let’s see what they are: (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Today, children everywhere are making preparations for an event of world shaking significance: the annual visit of Santa Claus. Informed sources report that legions of junior citizens are making monumental efforts not to cry and not to pout. Meanwhile, letters by the thousands have been flooding postal facilities at the North Pole.”

 


Oscars 2019: Best Original Score Shortlist

Okay, so I waited on this one until morning just because I knew there were gonna be ones that didn’t make the shortlist because they were deemed ineligible. So I went and looked that up first before getting into this article. Because of course we were gonna talk about that part of it.

There were 170 scores eligible to be on this list. The major ones that were not eligible were Knives Out, Ad Astra, The Irishman, Captain Marvel and A Hidden Life. Knives Out was apparently because someone fucked up while submitting it, Ad Astra is because there are two credited composers, but only one of them did the majority of the score, which is apparently against the rules. Irishman and Hidden Life are because of the appearance of too much non-score. Captain Marvel wasn’t submitted at all. Not that I thought it would have gotten on, but it’s worth noting.

Anyway, of all the things submitted, here are the 15 that made it on the shortlist: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Original Song Shortlist

We’ll finish up today with this one, since I went over this list a few hours ago. I wanted to save it for the end, but the other stuff requires actual effort for me to speak intelligently about them, so we’ll finish with the last easy one. (Score is also kinda easy, but I also have to look at what wasn’t eligible and all that, so I’ll just save it for the morning when I’m fresh.)

There were 75 films eligible to get on this and they shortlisted 15 of them. It seems like a weak year, so I’m expecting at least ten of these to go to the ones I tossed on my list. Honestly, let’s just see what they did.

Here’s your shortlist for Best Original Song: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Visual Effects Shortlist

Okay, let’s take care of the other category we previewed two weeks ago — Best Visual Effects.

They released their longlist of 20, which was this:

1917
Ad Astra

The Aeronauts
Aladdin
Alita: Battle Angel
Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel
Cats
Dumbo
Ford v Ferrari
Gemini Man
Hobbs & Shaw
The Irishman
Jumanji: The Next Level
The Lion King
Men in Black: International
Midway
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Terminator: Dark Fate

10 of those have been shortlisted, and here they are: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Makeup & Hairstyling Shortlist

Let’s do Makeup & Hairstyling next. Because I’m thinking I wanna end the night on some easy ones and save all the shorts for tomorrow when I can properly do my homework on all of them and be prepared.

The new development with this category is that there are not ten films on the shortlist instead of eight and the category will be five films instead of three. So that’s new. Guessing they announced that during the months I don’t really pay attention to Oscar stuff. But hey, this category is coming to play with the big boys.

Wonder what that means for guessing a category and the winner, since now it’s allowing for broader stuff to get on that might not necessarily be as good a fit but could get votes because of broader support. But whatever. That’s what we have.

Here’s your shortlist for Best Makeup & Hairstyling: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best International Feature Shortlist

Let’s do Foreign Language Film next.

They changed it to International Feature, but I hate that distinction. It’s trying to be politically correct when it just sounds like a euphemism designed to make them sound more inclusive when we know they’re same ass people we get mad at every damn year.

Anyway, we went over the 91 eligible films two weeks ago. So this is really just cleaning up all of that and making my life easier. Let’s get into what they shortlisted and then we’ll figure out the rest as we go.

Here’s your shortlist for Best International Feature: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

Let’s start with Best Documentary Feature. Since this is a category I decided to half-give a shit about this year. They announced their list of 159 films eligible for the category and I skimmed it to see which ones seemed important/would be interesting for me personally and pulled those and tried to watch as many as I could before now. I’m still working. I have two or three left from my original list and will likely add a few more from this.

But hey, I’m trying to care. And that’s new. Normally I can only be bothered about documentaries after they’re in contention. So look at that. Growth. Only took a decade. Doubt it’ll last, but hey, we got somewhere.

Anyway, they narrowed down the list to 15 contenders, of which 5 will eventually be nominates. So let’s see what mistakes the Documentary branch made this year. Here is your shortlist: (more…)


Oscars 2019: MPSE Nominations

Okay, so the Academy just dumped nine shortlists on us today. But before we get into those, you’re all gonna have to listen to the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild nominees for Sound Editing.

This might be the last time they get their own category, since the Academy is thinking of folding the Sound categories into a single entity. Which won’t diminish how important the guild is for guessing nominees and winners, but it will just take away half the category we’ve become used to.

Anyway, MPSE nominates a bunch of categories. FX+Foley is the big one, Dialogue + ADR is the second big one, and then there’s Music as a third, and then Musical and Animated are also kinda there. But it’s those big three in that order that matter.

As a reminder, the Sound Mixers guild, in their one category, nominated Ford V. Ferrari, The Irishman, Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Rocketman.

Anyway, here are your nominees for Sound Editing from MPSE: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Original Song Eligibles

That’s right, people. It’s back!

Okay, so no, it’s not officially back. The Academy is pulling that same bullshit that they did last year and only releasing a shortlist instead of all the eligible songs and then the shortlist (cowards). In fact, that shortlist is due any time now, so I’m not even gonna look for it or any of the others until I finish this article.

All — and I mean all credit to The Wrap, who managed to get a hold of the eligibles list and released an article going over their opinions of each of the nominated songs, cannily putting the titles of all of them in the article, giving us a nice tidy list without officially releasing the list. Good on you, guys.

I don’t know what the Academy is thinking, not releasing the list anymore. It’s like what the NBA did that one time where they were like, “You know, we’re not gonna televise that All Star Game draft where the players pick each other for the teams.” And a lot of people were like, “What the hell are you talking about? We love that!” Because, if people like something, they can’t get enough of it. They want more. Though something tells me that was them trying to cover their asses so they don’t look bad when the branch does something stupid (as they usually do) and doesn’t nominate one of the big songs. But trust me, guys, Original Song is not the branch you need to worry about in terms of that happening. It’s Documentaries first and International Film second. Song is a distant third at this point, and potentially could even fall out of that spot, given how generally good they’ve been over the past couple of years since they updated that archaic voting system.

Anyway, let’s get into this article, because it damn well may be the last time we ever get this again, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Here are all 75 eligible songs for Best Original Song this year: (more…)


2019: The Year in Reviews (January)

You know what it is. It’s the last half of December, which means we’re wrapping up the year.

Like most things in my life, it’s built around a pun. What I do in January is preview everything I can possibly find that’s set to come out that year. And then what I do is watch as many of them as I can, dropping reviews each third of the year. And then in December, we recap how that all went, month by month and see how I did/what I liked.

Mainly I do this for me, just to see how accurate I can guess on stuff up to a year out (I used to hope for a solid 2/3 percentage, but at this point I generally hit above 70% and really wanna see if I can somehow get to 75%), but it also keeps me honest, since I don’t read anything I write after it goes up until I compile these articles and my reviews are done based on how I feel as I write them up. So really this is bringing the two together and considering my feelings as they stand at this moment in time. And then hopefully others can maybe find some cool stuff they didn’t know about or previously consider from it all.

We begin with January and the films from either last year that I only got to this year or (more likely) the films I tracked that didn’t come out in the U.S. this year and probably will next year. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “You are really Santa, right?” “No, I’m an accountant. I wear this fucking thing as a fashion statement, alright?”

 


2019: The Year in Reviews (Part III)

What a weird third of the year this one’s been. That last reviews article went up at the end of August. And by the time that posted (I’d say, about a week before), I stopped watching movies. Literally, for a full month, from the end of August through the end of September, I watched only one new movie, and that was because I went to a theater with a family member to see it. Otherwise I did not watch a single movie that was not already on TV in the background of the room in which I was in. Which is crazy. The amount of stuff I watch each year, having a full month of nothing was… well, I do that basically every year anyway in January. But you know what I mean. Even in that month I’m usually finishing up the previous year and just not watching anything new. It’s a lighter month, but I still watch stuff. This time… nothing. But then I started again, had like 50 movies piled up and it’s been basically nonstop since. But hey, that one month.

Anyway, this is the final batch of reviews containing everything from this year that I’ve watched between September… well, October.. and now. There’s still two weeks left to the year and I’ll still be watching stuff throughout those weeks, even as the recap articles start going up (and even into January, as is always the case). But, just so we have something to reference in those wrap up articles, here’s everything I’ve seen up until this point in time. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Through the window?” “Are you afraid?” “Well… I am a mortal, and liable to fall.” “Bear but a touch of my hand, and you will be upheld in more than this.”

 


Mike’s Favorite Movie Trailers of 2019

Sometimes I question putting up all these ‘favorites’ list each year. Because everyone puts up some version of them But I realize as I do it each time… not one puts the amount of care and effort into the lists the way I do. I always stumble upon a ‘favorite performances’ or ‘favorite trailers’ list on a site or two, and it’s always the same shit you’d expect to try to appeal to the most amount of people. Hustlers and Joker and The Irishman and all the same films that are gonna get the most searches. No one’s actually talking about the content itself. So that’s why I keep doing it.

That was a long way of saying we’re talking about my favorite movie trailers today. Another art that’s on shaky ground. Not as much as posters are, but they’re not doing great. Trailers now are either completely abstract and designed to give you nothing about a movie or spell out the entire plot of a movie from start to finish. There’s really no in-between most of the time. Unless, of course, the trailer actually does its job. And that’s what we’re gonna try to get at today.

My viewing of trailers tends to ebb and flow from year to year. I’m usually in a theater a lot, so I’ll catch a fair amount. And some of the bigger ones I will watch. Sometimes I’ll get bored every two months or so and then pull up like ten that I just missed to see if they look any good or see if they’re selling the movie well. Because I’m gonna watch all this stuff anyway, so trailers really aren’t doing anything for me. They’re not really moving the needle all that much. The only thing a trailer will do is make me reconsider (or further convince me) if I should see a movie in theaters or not or make me more excited for something than I already am (which, in those particular cases, is usually a lot). But I make myself write up this article so I can really look at what trailers are doing their jobs exceptionally well. Because people do this for a living. Their job is to make these things. So it’s only fair they get their just shout outs for doing their jobs well.

Here are my favorite movie trailers of 2019: (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Seven o’clock. Psychos seize Santa’s workshop and only Lee Majors can stop them.”

 


Mike’s Top Ten Movie Posters of 2019

What do we always say? The movie poster is a lost art.

Especially now more than ever, with Netflix. Netflix doesn’t even make posters for most of their movies, and if they do, it’s just one, and often times it’s generic and designed to be that little picture to get you to click on the film. Which means that on top of the general laziness that’s out there in creating memorable marketing images for films, an ever-increasing percentage of films aren’t even getting proper posters.

I started this feature originally to shout out some really great posters I saw back in 2011, but now that I actively seek them out each year to find the great ones, there’s been a considerable and noticeable decrease in quality over the years, which is disturbing since it was already bad back then!

Movie posters used to be works of art. They used creative imagery to sell you on a movie, perfectly capturing the essence of the film in a single image. Think of all the great movie posters people would have on their walls. What the hell is there now? What’s gonna be on people’s walls in ten years from this decade? And of course, because I’m a masochist, I try to find 50 each year that I point out as being my favorite for the year. But at this rate, we might have to cut that number down going forward because I don’t know if there are gonna be 50 good posters. Everything’s folding into the same three type of posters — famous people’s faces, character posters, collages. That’s it. That’s every damn poster.

So, here we are, dear friends, trying to find the diamonds in the shit pile that is modern movie posters.

Here are my favorite movie posters of 2019: (more…)