Archive for April, 2020

2020: The Year in Reviews (Part I)

Well, this has been a weird one, huh? We’re four months into the year, and theaters have only been open for about, two-and-a-half of those months. Most stuff has been pushed either to VOD or rescheduled altogether. Though I guess the byproduct of that is that most, if not all stuff that came out this quarter has been made available to stream quicker than usual. So, if you cared enough to do so, you could have seen pretty much everything that’s come out. Normally by this time, I’ve usually got like 15-20 films I haven’t seen. This year? Five. I’ve seen all but five movies that have come out, and one of them came out today and I just haven’t been able to watch it yet. The other four are ones that hit theaters before the pandemic hit and haven’t yet been put online for streaming

Though the situation does also leave us wondering what’s gonna happen in these next four months. I can’t even imagine what the next third of the year is gonna look like if theaters don’t open during that time. There might only be like 30 movies that come out. I guess we’ll see. Until then, let’s all try to not die.

Here are reviews of everything I’ve seen between January and now: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (60-51)

I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.

Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.

So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #124 – “Home,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

124. “Home,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This entire soundtrack is just banger after banger after banger. They really went all out with this, and it’s one of the best soundtracks of the decade. I don’t even know what there is to say about this song. It’s just great. They’re all great.


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Help / I need somebody / Help / Not just anybody / Help / You know I need someone / Help / When I was younger, so much younger than today / I never needed anybody’s help in any way / But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured / Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors / Help me if you can, I’m feeling down / And I do appreciate you being round / Help me get my feet back on the ground / Won’t you please, please help me.” ♫ (55th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (70-61)

I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.

Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.

So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #125 – “Stay Alive,” from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

 

125. “Stay Alive,” from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This movie blew me away when I saw it back in 2013. It’s such an underrated gem of a film. And this song is spectacular. It’s not totally relevant to the song, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a brilliant song that captures the hope and the inner journey that takes place within the film. It’s one of those songs that, as a song, I’d rank way higher on this list, but in terms of it’s use within the film, I can’t really justify putting it much higher than this outside of, “I just really like the song.”


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Pic of the Day: “All my brothers and brothers-in-laws tell me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don’t get to be good-hearted by accident. You get kicked around long enough, you become a professor of pain.” (65th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (80-71)

I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.

Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.

So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #126 – “Elevate,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

126. “Elevate,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Don’t you just wanna get up and move whenever you hear the songs from this movie? It’s like every one of those songs has that inner moment where the DJ says ‘GET THE FUCK UP’ in them, because you just want to every time they come on. What an amazing soundtrack this is.


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Pic of the Day: “If you could have spoken to her before she died what would your last words to her have been?” “Run bitch, run!” (20th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (90-81)

I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.

Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.

So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #127 – “The Place Where the Lost Things Go,” from Mary Poppins Returns

 

127. “The Place Where the Lost Things Go,” from Mary Poppins Returns

This is a really nice song. And like all the others, I can’t quite get over the hump of just liking it and thinking it’s well done. I don’t know what it is. But as a song, it’s impeccably written. Perhaps performed a bit too fast and the arrangement not quite what it should be, but the lyrics are very good.


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Pic of the Day: “I think it’s just elegant to have an imagination. I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other things, but I have no imagination.” (65th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (100-91)

I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.

Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.

So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #128 – “Equation,” from The Little Prince

 

128. “Equation,” from The Little Prince

This is a beautiful little song. This whole film, I feel, totally flew under the radar. It’s a somewhat modern take on the original story, using both CG and stop-motion animation. The story, f you remember, is told by a pilot who crashes and then meets the Little Prince. Here, the pilot is now an old man, living next door to this little girl, and she meets and befriends him, and he tells her his story, and it incorporates the tale in a really beautiful way. This song is a perfect encapsulation of the girl’s situation at the beginning of the movie. Because her mother has developed this very rigorous plan for her daughter that will turn her into a success. But of course it leaves no time for the girl to actually enjoy her life or do anything other than study and work. So this song acts as a way to illustrate her monotony but also her inner longing for more. It’s not unlike all those ‘princess’ songs we were just talking about for the past couple of songs.


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Pic of the Day: “Oh, I’ll get it sooner or later. We’ll all get it! Isn’t there any end to this?” (90th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Directorial Efforts of the Decade (10-1)

I make ‘favorite performance’ lists every year, and I get that these lists, more than the rest, are the most subjective one can make. Because it’s really about what you see in each performance and what you respond to; There’s no objective way to truly rate a performance as better than another. With whole films, it feels easier to make that distinction. So with these lists, I’m just gonna focus on some performances from the decade that I really, really enjoyed, and the goal here is just to shout them out and maybe get some people to watch the films if they hadn’t or reevaluate each of the performances the next time they watch the films.

These are my favorite directorial efforts of the decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #129 – “Where You Are,” from Moana

 

129. “Where You Are,” from Moana

Is this our first Moana song? I think it is. This entire film got so overshadowed the year it came out, because people were (for some reason) obsessed with Zootopia. But this was the far superior film that holds up among the better (if not best) Disney princess films. The songs in it are just spectacular. This song acts kind of like “Belle” does in Beauty and the Beast, introducing the character and her surroundings and sort of explaining how she has hopes and dreams to get out of there but is stuck for whatever reason in this place. It’s very nice.


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Pic of the Day: “Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.” “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.” (20th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Directorial Efforts of the Decade (20-11)

I make ‘favorite performance’ lists every year, and I get that these lists, more than the rest, are the most subjective one can make. Because it’s really about what you see in each performance and what you respond to; There’s no objective way to truly rate a performance as better than another. With whole films, it feels easier to make that distinction. So with these lists, I’m just gonna focus on some performances from the decade that I really, really enjoyed, and the goal here is just to shout them out and maybe get some people to watch the films if they hadn’t or reevaluate each of the performances the next time they watch the films.

These are my favorite directorial efforts of the decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #130 – “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled

 

130. “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled

This is your classic ‘princess introduction’ song, establishing Rapunzel as someone with dreams who is stuck in this tower in the same old boring routine who laments when she’s finally gonna be able to go out and do all the things she’s always wanted to do. It’s a great introduction to the character and a really solid song, if not of the caliber of some of the other ‘princess’ songs out there.


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Pic of the Day: “Oh, this is the night and the heavens are right / On this lovely bella notte” (65th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Directorial Efforts of the Decade (30-21)

I make ‘favorite performance’ lists every year, and I get that these lists, more than the rest, are the most subjective one can make. Because it’s really about what you see in each performance and what you respond to; There’s no objective way to truly rate a performance as better than another. With whole films, it feels easier to make that distinction. So with these lists, I’m just gonna focus on some performances from the decade that I really, really enjoyed, and the goal here is just to shout them out and maybe get some people to watch the films if they hadn’t or reevaluate each of the performances the next time they watch the films.

These are my favorite directorial efforts of the decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #131 – “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

 

131. “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Ah, yes, the song the dwarves sing at the end of the dinner party scene that goes on for as long as an actual dinner party. It’s a really well-written song, and has shades of all the other ‘Rings’ tunes. It’s definitely the weakest of the three Hobbit songs, which somehow increase in quality as you go along the trilogy. And from what I can remember, ‘Rings’ really only has the two great songs. Two Towers doesn’t really have its own song. I mean, granted, those two songs are better than all three of the Hobbit songs put-together, but the Hobbit movies do have three very worthwhile songs. Which is very respectable.