Archive for May 27, 2020

Mike’s Top Documentaries of the Decade (90-81)

When I first got into film, I somehow decided I was adamantly against documentaries as a medium. Part of it’s an attention span thing — most of the time when I watch a documentary, I get what it’s trying to say within fifteen minutes and the rest of the time it just feels like I’m being beat over the head with the same themes over and over again. I also, for a time, felt like every documentary was the same. They were either about how badly the government and corporations were screwing us and how awful certain issues are, or they were looking back at the Holocaust for the millionth time. So, for a time, I avoided all documentaries unless I had to or if they seemed really interesting.

Though, over the decade, there’s definitely been a real uptick in how many documentaries I see. To the point where I now rank my favorite 15 documentaries at the end of each year. I still, of course, have a preference for certain subject matters over others and do tend to not care about docs others might deem important and essential, but I’m definitely not as dismissive as I used to be about them. So as I rank my favorite 100 documentaries of the decade, the message I’d like to impart is this — people grow. The fact that I’m even doing this list when, a decade ago I’d have scoffed at the notion of it — you don’t have to love everything in order to appreciate everything.

So here are my favorite documentaries of the past decade: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #97 – “Hollywood Ending,” from Anna and the Apocalypse

 

97. “Hollywood Ending,” from Anna and the Apocalypse

Aww yeah, baby. Our first Anna and the Apocalypse song. For those who don’t know what it is, the simplest way to put it is — Shaun of the Dead with show tunes. That’s the film. It’s a zombie musical. In fact, it’s based on a short film called… Zombie Musical. And it’s so much fun. This song is sort of the refrain throughout the film. It shows up near the beginning and then closes out the film in a reprise. It’s the song, if you will. Every musical sort of has their one ‘big’ song. This is the one for this film. It’s basically their way of saying, “Look, things don’t always work out well,” which allows for the characters to be eaten by zombies throughout it. But the songs in it are really good. And it’s one of those nice little gems that’s just out there for those who like a little song and dance with their flesh-eating zombies.


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Pic of the Day: “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant’. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” (70th Anniversary)