Archive for February, 2020

Mike’s Favorite Animated Films of the Decade (20-11)

Our first official list. My favorite animated films of the decade. What I love about animated films in particular is that, in a lot of ways, they’re the first films we’re exposed to as children. Anyone growing up pretty much from the 80s onward grew up with these films in our lives, because of the home video age. Before we went to theaters to see stuff and before we got into ‘movies’ at large, there was all those movies we grew up on. And now, even though I’m not of the age for most of the animated fare to appeal to me like they used to, there’s still some amazing stuff that comes out each year that’s worth talking about, because they, while entertaining for all, are an art form of their own.

So we’ll shout out the 50 that I liked best over the past decade. Animation is a genre with some great stuff, but overall a very limited number of films that come out each year, owing to the length it takes to actually make one of them. So 50 feels right, rather than trying to stretch it.

So here are my top animated films from the decade 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #185 – “Try Everything,” from Zootopia

 

185. “Try Everything,” from Zootopia

It’s just a really likable song. I was gonna downgrade it because it has nothing to do with the movie and just appears during the credits, but that’s not entirely true. You do hear this song throughout the film in snippets, and then we see her performing the song during the end credits. So that made me okay with it. This is straight out of the Wreck-It Ralph playbook of broadly likable pop song over your end credits. And it works.


Pic of the Day: “What did you tell him?” “I told him the truth, and strange enough, he believed me.”

 


Mike’s Favorite Animated Films of the Decade (30-21)

Our first official list. My favorite animated films of the decade. What I love about animated films in particular is that, in a lot of ways, they’re the first films we’re exposed to as children. Anyone growing up pretty much from the 80s onward grew up with these films in our lives, because of the home video age. Before we went to theaters to see stuff and before we got into ‘movies’ at large, there was all those movies we grew up on. And now, even though I’m not of the age for most of the animated fare to appeal to me like they used to, there’s still some amazing stuff that comes out each year that’s worth talking about, because they, while entertaining for all, are an art form of their own.

So we’ll shout out the 50 that I liked best over the past decade. Animation is a genre with some great stuff, but overall a very limited number of films that come out each year, owing to the length it takes to actually make one of them. So 50 feels right, rather than trying to stretch it.

So here are my top animated films from the decade 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #186 – “I Punched Keanu Reeves,” from Always Be My Maybe

 

186. “I Punched Keanu Reeves,” from Always Be My Maybe

What a perfect end credits song for this movie. It’s a great punchline to a joke that happened an hour earlier. Plus Randall Park co-wrote it and actually performs it, which makes it even better. THIS is what original songs are about. You get the laugh when you realize what it’s about, but then you find yourself grooving along to it and going, “Wow, this is actually good.”


Pic of the Day: “Uh… everything that guy just said is bullshit. Thank you.” “Objection. Counsel’s entire opening statement is argumentative.” “Sustained. Counselor’s entire opening statement – with the exception of ‘thank you’ – will be stricken from the record.”

 


Mike’s Favorite Animated Films of the Decade (40-31)

Our first official list. My favorite animated films of the decade. What I love about animated films in particular is that, in a lot of ways, they’re the first films we’re exposed to as children. Anyone growing up pretty much from the 80s onward grew up with these films in our lives, because of the home video age. Before we went to theaters to see stuff and before we got into ‘movies’ at large, there was all those movies we grew up on. And now, even though I’m not of the age for most of the animated fare to appeal to me like they used to, there’s still some amazing stuff that comes out each year that’s worth talking about, because they, while entertaining for all, are an art form of their own.

So we’ll shout out the 50 that I liked best over the past decade. Animation is a genre with some great stuff, but overall a very limited number of films that come out each year, owing to the length it takes to actually make one of them. So 50 feels right, rather than trying to stretch it.

So here are my top animated films from the decade 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #187 – “Fixer-Upper,” from Frozen

 

187. “Fixer-Upper,” from Frozen

I’ll admit that after this movie came out, I totally blacked out this entire section with the trolls because it just didn’t feel remotely up to par with the rest of the film. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate it, especially this song, which is a really wonderful song. It’s a very likable tune. Definitely the weakest of the songs from this movie, but that just speaks to the overall quality of the songs in the movie. You put this song in the second Frozen and it’s immediately the best or second best song in the entire film.


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Pic of the Day: “Being genius is not enough, it takes courage to change people’s hearts.”


Mike’s Favorite Animated Films of the Decade (50-41)

Our first official list. My favorite animated films of the decade. What I love about animated films in particular is that, in a lot of ways, they’re the first films we’re exposed to as children. Anyone growing up pretty much from the 80s onward grew up with these films in our lives, because of the home video age. Before we went to theaters to see stuff and before we got into ‘movies’ at large, there was all those movies we grew up on. And now, even though I’m not of the age for most of the animated fare to appeal to me like they used to, there’s still some amazing stuff that comes out each year that’s worth talking about, because they, while entertaining for all, are an art form of their own.

So we’ll shout out the 50 that I liked best over the past decade. Animation is a genre with some great stuff, but overall a very limited number of films that come out each year, owing to the length it takes to actually make one of them. So 50 feels right, rather than trying to stretch it.

So here are my top animated films from the decade 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #188 – “Beautiful Ghosts,” from Cats

 

188. “Beautiful Ghosts,” from Cats

Ah, yes, the tradition of adapting a stage musical for the screen and including a single new song for Oscar contention. Because Taylor Swift was in this movie, she wrote it with Andrew Lloyd-Webber. And the version that appears in the movie, as sung by Francesca Hayward, is a nice little song. It’s really no different than the song they wrote for Les Mis, except for maybe the overall quality of the songwriting and how you feel about it. This one feels a bit too much like Taylor Swift for me to put any higher, but overall, I do like it as a song and don’t think it stands out that badly from everything else in that movie.


Pic of the Day: “Alcoholics are mostly disappointed men.” “Sure, I know. You was never disappointed, were you, Doc?”

 


The 2020 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Today, we’re going over the many films that are yet to have release dates (or some that got dated for articles that already came out, because shit happens): (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #189 – “Blinded by Love,” from Vox Lux

 

189. “Blinded by Love,” from Vox Lux

Our first Vox Lux entry on the list. Here’s a movie that has about five original songs in it, and when I first saw the film, I didn’t really notice the songs all that much, because I was reeling from the third act of the film, which ends with a concert but is almost trying to not give you the big concert, by not fixing up its audio and letting Natalie sing live, heavy breathing and all between songs. Plus she’s not the greatest singer, though she’s more than passable. Which took a lot of attention away from the songs for me. So all I heard was “Sia,” who so clearly wrote all the songs.

But, going back later for this article and hearing just the songs in a vacuum, they’re all really nice. They’re all pop songs, and are meant to be pop songs. This one’s nice, though not as catchy as the other songs that will also be on the list. But it totally fits as a song that would be in a movie like this. And bonus points for it actually being performed during the film.


Pic of the Day: “I fight against fascism. That is my trade.”

 


The 2020 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (A-L)

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Today, we’re going over the many films that are yet to have release dates (or some that got dated for articles that already came out, because shit happens): (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #190 – “Earned It,” from Fifty Shades of Grey

 

190. “Earned It,” from Fifty Shades of Grey

That’s right. A song from Fifty Shades of Grey made the list.

The real question we should be asking is — why did they go all out on this soundtrack? (I guess because they didn’t put the money into actually making the film any good?)

This song is all about the beat, plus you have the Weeknd’s nice vocals over it. It’s a nice juxtaposition and turns into a nice song.

Fun story: the week before the Oscars for this year (where he was nominated), he was on the lot where I used to work (where a lot of musicians tend to come while they’re in town). And I had no idea who he was past the fact that I knew he was nominated for this song. I knew nothing else he’d ever recorded (and still really don’t. Maybe I’ll recognize a title or two, but that’s about it). So I look out the window of my office and say to the other people in it, “Who’s that dude outside with the weird hair?” And the go, “Mike, that’s The Weeknd.” I had no idea.

Anyway, this is a nice song.


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Pic of the Day: “I’m a concert pianist. That’s a pretentious way of saying I’m… unemployed at the moment.”


The 2020 Film Release Calendar: December

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Anyway, here’s December: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #191 – “Fine on the Outside,” from When Marnie Was There

 

191. “Fine on the Outside,” from When Marnie Was There

You almost expect Bradley Cooper to start singing after those first couple of chords, don’t you?

It’s interesting, this song, because normally Ghibli doesn’t record their songs in English, and they usually all sound like anime end credits songs. So here they have this beautiful little indie ballad that perfectly fits the film. I remember sitting up when I heard it and going, “Whoa, what’s that?” This is one of those songs most people wouldn’t think of for a list like this because it’s a bit out of the way, so I’m glad I got to have it on here for people to listen to.


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Pic of the Day: “Faith is a house with many rooms.” “But no room for doubt?” “Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”


The 2020 Film Release Calendar: November

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Anyway, here’s November: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #192 – “Big Eyes,” from Big Eyes

 

192. “Big Eyes,” from Big Eyes

Do people know that Tim Burton directed this movie and that it’s by the same guys who wrote Dolemite Is My Name and Ed Wood? I feel like this movie flew totally under the radar when it came out. Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz — it’s a solid movie. And Lana Del Rey doing a song for a Tim Burton movie… how on point is that?

I’ve always enjoyed this song. I love those random Shakira trumpets that blare near the beginning out of nowhere. It almost doesn’t fit the movie at all, but I love the big orchestral splendor of this song. They went all out on it, and I’m here for it. It’s one of those songs I keep thinking I want to rank higher every thirty seconds, but then the next thirty seconds come and I go, “No, it fits right where it is.” It’s a really interesting song, but I like it.


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Pic of the Day: “Nothing can lick Chicago!”