Archive for June, 2020

Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (450-441)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #63 – “Who Did That to You?” from Django Unchained

 

63. “Who Did That to You?” from Django Unchained

This is the best of all the Django songs. And you know it within two notes. It also shows up at the best possible spot within the movie, right as Django blows up the mining company guys and escapes so he can go back and take care of everyone else back on the Candie estate. It’s just a perfect song for that moment and just a great song in general. I heard this before I really knew who John Legend was. I’d heard him as guest vocals on a couple of other tracks I liked, but never really knew who he was (keep in mind I’m like 3-8 years behind on just about all current music). But aside from that, I just loved the song. This was the one of all the Django songs I’d have nominated that year. And I think they submitted four of them.


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Pic of the Day: “What would frighten me to death? Set the mood for me, Mark.” “Imagine… someone coming towards you… who wants to kill you… regardless of the consequences.” “A madman?” “Yes. But he knows it – and you don’t.” (60th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (460-451)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019:

(more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #64 – “Start a Riot,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

64. “Start a Riot,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Aww yeah. This is my absolute favorite song from this movie. This song is straight fire. The ultimate club ‘get the fuck up’ song. You could play this at any party when it’s really hopping and get everyone totally on board. This song is perfect. You can put this on to get hyped for a workout, or to get your energy up for the day, or if you just wanna go nuts in your car. It’s just an amazing all around song. To me, this is the best thing the Spider-Verse soundtrack’s produced.


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Pic of the Day: “If he dies, he dies.” (35th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (470-461)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019:

(more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #65 – “Buddy’s Business,” from Brawl in Cell Block 99

 

65. “Buddy’s Business,” from Brawl in Cell Block 99

Yeah, Buddy. I was all over this song from the minute I heard it over the end credits of this movie. First off… it’s the fucking O’Jays! How amazing is that? Craig Zahler is friends with the O’Jays and just makes music with them. It’s just a wonderful throwback 70s tune that perfectly encapsulates the kind of grindhouse/B-movie type experience the film tries to give you. Not everyone knows about this movie, though anyone who’s been around me the past few years has definitely heard me recommend this. I’ve personally shown this to like five people, all of whom at the end went, “Oh my god, I loved that.” Because it’s just a badass, fun movie. Basically it’s a prison movie. Vince Vaughn ends up in jail, and basically things start to get worse and worse over the course of the film. What’s great about it is that it doesn’t start where you expect, doesn’t always go the route you’d expect, and doesn’t really put him in the ‘prison’ type situation you’d expect him to be in until really the last hour of the movie. But trust me, it’s worth it. The film gets further away from reality as it goes along, and by the time you get to that third act, you’re just all in.

Plus, it’s the only film I’ve seen that fully utilizes Vince Vaughn’s 6’5” frame. They shoot him full frame in this movie, like Fred Astaire, and trust me when I tell you this — you believe he’s going to kick the shit out of anyone he gets his hands on. I can’t say enough great things about this movie, and this song is just an amazing companion piece to it that I love to listen to on its own. But the kicker is when other people hear it, like it, and then I get to talk about how great the movie is on top of it. That’s the total package for me.


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Pic of the Day: “The instruction book said that was impossible!” “That’s one nice thing about the 707. She can do everything but read.” (50th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (480-471)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019:

(more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #66 – “I See the Light,” from Tangled

 

66. “I See the Light,” from Tangled

The songs from Tangled are like, good-plus, but nothing all-time memorable. However, this is the closest song that approaches the level of all the other great Disney stuff from all-time. Still not totally as memorable as the others, but in terms of pure songwriting, it can be in that discussion. It’s Alan Menken, so of course it’s well-written. But this is just a beautiful song. This is a song that, for a few years, I kept forgetting how good it was until I went back and heard it again. It’s the best song from Tangled by far, and is really the best song of this entire Disney era of movies, until Frozen (and then Moana). But really, the songs from Tangled are really the only Disney songs worth mentioning since like, Tarazan. (I know Princess and the Frog had songs, but they’re just kind of okay to me.)


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Pic of the Day: “It was his story against mine, but of course, I told my story better.” (70th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (490-481)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019:

(more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #67 – “Music to My Eyes,” from A Star Is Born

 

67. “Music to My Eyes,” from A Star Is Born

Another Star Is Born. I’m telling you. Get comfy. There’s a lot of them coming. This one I really like because it matches the progression of the narrative. It starts with Bradley Cooper singing the first verse and singing this beautiful love song. And then Gaga just takes over in the second verse, and it’s just perfect. And then they sing together at the end — it’s so good.


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Pic of the Day: “Dad?” “Sam.” “Long time.” “You have no idea.” (10th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Films of the Decade (500-491)

And here we are. The big list. Theoretically the one we’ve been building toward. But really anticlimactic when you get down to it. You think the list of my ‘favorite’ films of an entire decade would be the thing you want. But really it’s just me going back over a lot of the stuff I covered on the other lists and a broad regurgitation of my top ten lists from the ten years. So, rather than treat this like some big holy set of rankings, I’m just gonna do what I did with all the other lists – try to get you to see some of these you haven’t seen before and maybe introduce you to some cool movies.

It’s important to note, as it’s important to note with all my lists – the rankings don’t really matter. The number is only a function of the day I put it together. The only way to truly get a real ranking of my favorite films of the decade is for me to take the pool of films I used and make up this list from scratch at least ten different times and then use some sort of formula to figure out the average position of each movie and then create a ranking. And that’s not the goal here. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about talking up the films I like and trying to get people to see some of them.

So, if you feel like you want to get upset about where something is ranked, know that it’s a broad ranking. For the most part, films are in the general range of the 25-50 where I’d generally rate them next to everything else. Things will change as I revisit stuff and as time goes on. Like I said, this is really just about telling you what I enjoyed most in the hopes that it gets you to check out some of the stuff you either didn’t know about before or never bothered to see (or maybe saw and didn’t fully appreciate at the time). That’s it. It’s really just about celebrating movies. Don’t get so hung up on the numbers.

So, here are my 500 favorite films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #68 – “Sunflower,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

68. “Sunflower,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This is the big hit from the movie. I saw it got nominated for like, legitimate music awards. It’s a great song. Amazing beat, good lyrical flow. It’s just a really nice song. NOT my personal favorite from all the ones in the film, but it’s near the top.


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Pic of the Day: “Harry is an artist without an art.” (70th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (10-1)

Of all the lists I’m making for this Top Tens of the Decade feature, I need to explain this one the most. Since the phrase ‘hidden gem’ can apply various different ways to a film and can mean different things: a) a movie you don’t know about that’s great and should be seen; b) a movie you may have heard of but probably haven’t seen that you should see; c) a movie you know and may have even seen, but is being underrated by the film community; d) a movie that straight up just needs to be seen by more people.

Obviously there are way more than just 200 gems from this decade. In my first run-through, simply compiling a list of things I might have on this list, before I considered whether they fit the criteria I wanted to use for it while also trying to be as exclusive as possible, I had over 250 films. I get that this isn’t a be-all, end-all list. These are just the 200 I chose to talk about because they’re the ones I felt deserved the most notice in this particular article and are the ones I wanted to shout out the most.

Now, how I went about the rankings was more vague. Part of it had to be how much I liked each of the films. I don’t see how it couldn’t be. But it’s not just that. Because that’s just a top films list, which I’m gonna do after this one’s done. This one’s also about just how much of a hidden gem I felt the movie is, or how much I wanted to give you that nudge in the direction of, “Hey, maybe you’re wrong about this and should give it a (or another) shot.” Or how much I wanted to emphasize, “You need to see this movie.”

I think it goes without saying – just because something is on this list doesn’t mean I assume you don’t know it. It’s because I figure (or know) there’s a larger percentage of people than I want to guess that either haven’t seen the movie or don’t fully appreciate the movie, and the goal is to introduce it to them. If you’re already in the camp of having seen it, good for you. I’m pretty sure most people reading this will have at least a quarter of this list that they haven’t seen. I suspect it’s more, but I truly don’t know how crazy most people are in relation to me in terms of seeing everything. I think most people will get some cool movies out of this. (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #69 – “Tightrope,” from The Greatest Showman

 

69. “Tightrope,” from The Greatest Showman

The sneaky thing about The Greatest Showman is that most of its best songs are not ones sung by Hugh Jackman. Not that he doesn’t have some good ones, but typically you don’t think of the non-Hugh ones as being any good. Every musical always gives the other characters a number or two, and they always slow everything down and no one really cares. And that’s what I figured I was getting with this one, when they decide to finally pay some attention to Michelle Williams’ character in the latter half of the film. But then you realize, oh no, this song is great. Maybe you don’t necessarily realize it in the moment, but when you hear the song apart from the film, you get it. This song is terrific. It’s kind of separate from the rest of the film, as she is as a character, but it’s a really great song that is much better than you might think it is at first listen.


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Pic of the Day: “Bless me, Father, for I have just killed quite a few men.” “No shit!” (25th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (20-11)

Of all the lists I’m making for this Top Tens of the Decade feature, I need to explain this one the most. Since the phrase ‘hidden gem’ can apply various different ways to a film and can mean different things: a) a movie you don’t know about that’s great and should be seen; b) a movie you may have heard of but probably haven’t seen that you should see; c) a movie you know and may have even seen, but is being underrated by the film community; d) a movie that straight up just needs to be seen by more people.

Obviously there are way more than just 200 gems from this decade. In my first run-through, simply compiling a list of things I might have on this list, before I considered whether they fit the criteria I wanted to use for it while also trying to be as exclusive as possible, I had over 250 films. I get that this isn’t a be-all, end-all list. These are just the 200 I chose to talk about because they’re the ones I felt deserved the most notice in this particular article and are the ones I wanted to shout out the most.

Now, how I went about the rankings was more vague. Part of it had to be how much I liked each of the films. I don’t see how it couldn’t be. But it’s not just that. Because that’s just a top films list, which I’m gonna do after this one’s done. This one’s also about just how much of a hidden gem I felt the movie is, or how much I wanted to give you that nudge in the direction of, “Hey, maybe you’re wrong about this and should give it a (or another) shot.” Or how much I wanted to emphasize, “You need to see this movie.”

I think it goes without saying – just because something is on this list doesn’t mean I assume you don’t know it. It’s because I figure (or know) there’s a larger percentage of people than I want to guess that either haven’t seen the movie or don’t fully appreciate the movie, and the goal is to introduce it to them. If you’re already in the camp of having seen it, good for you. I’m pretty sure most people reading this will have at least a quarter of this list that they haven’t seen. I suspect it’s more, but I truly don’t know how crazy most people are in relation to me in terms of seeing everything. I think most people will get some cool movies out of this. (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade: #70 – “I Don’t Know What Love Is,” from A Star Is Born

 

70. “I Don’t Know What Love Is,” from A Star Is Born

More Star Is Born. This soundtrack just produces amazing song after amazing song. This one is just a beautiful duet between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. She pretty much carries the vocals, but he harmonizes with her really well. It’s just a beautiful song, and the only negative thing I can say about it… there’s almost a dozen songs in this movie that are somehow better than this one.


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Pic of the Day (120th Anniversary)