Archive for June, 2020

Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (30-21)

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: #71 – “Visions of Gideon,” from Call Me By Your Name

 

71. “Visions of Gideon,” from Call Me By Your Name

This movie has two amazing Sufjan Stevens songs. This is the one that plays over the end credits… over that crazy long take of Timothée Chalamet staring into the fire, which is one of the more stunning shots of the entire decade. This song just perfectly encapsulates that entire moment and that feeling of him having someone he loved leave and having that first love end. It’s a really beautiful song for a really beautiful moment.


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Pic of the Day: “I had a very strong work ethic. The problem was my ethics in work.” (20th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (40-31)

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: #72 – “Shiny,” from Moana

 

72. “Shiny,” from Moana

How fun is this song? What a great moment within the film, when you have this giant crab, voiced by Jemaine Clement of all people, sing this great villain song, it’s just wonderful. I love how they break the song up, too. He’s all cocky and basically monologuing, and then Maui shows up and the song stops. But then Maui can’t fully control his hook, so the song just starts back up. It’s so much fun. It’s impressive to have both a fun song that also somehow also captures just how dangerous a villain this dude is in the moment.


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Pic of the Day: “Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!” (40th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (50-41)

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: #73 – “Freedom,” from Django Unchained

 

73. “Freedom,” from Django Unchained

Django’s back. The songs are all over the map from the movie, but there are a few that stand out as particularly good. This is the first of two. This one’s very good, and has the great female vocals in the first part, before Anthony Hamilton takes over. He’s someone I first knew about when I heard him perform “Do You Feel Me” on the American Gangster soundtrack (and actually in the movie). The song just totally stood out to me, as did his voice, and remains one of my favorite songs of that decade. So hearing him pop up on the Django soundtrack was pretty wonderful. This song is really good.


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Pic of the Day: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” (85th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (60-51)

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: #74 – “Christmas Means Nothing Without You,” from Anna and the Apocalypse

 

74. “Christmas Means Nothing Without You,” from Anna and the Apocalypse

This is my favorite Anna and the Apocalypse song. And it’s not even a song that’s a part of the movie, per se. It’s not performed by the characters the way the others are. But it is an original song that appears within the film. Therefore it counts. And honestly, the reason this is my favorite is because it’s really difficult to write a good Christmas song. And honestly, if I presented this to you completely separate from the film as its own Christmas song… you’d think it was good. You could put this on an album with other recent Christmas songs (I mean, ones written in the past twenty years), and it would fit right in. If someone took this song and rearranged it and made it to sound more like a ‘classic’ Christmas tune, Wall of Sound, Darlene Love style, this would 100% just be assumed to have been a great Christmas song written fifty years ago.


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Pic of the Day: “Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he’ll never give up on you… ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.” (10th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (70-61)

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: #75 – “Rewrite the Stars,” from The Greatest Showman

 

75. “Rewrite the Stars,” from The Greatest Showman

This is probably the second most overlooked song from The Greatest Showman, second only to the Michelle Williams solo number. This is the Zac Efron/Zendaya song, and it’s overlooked because their entire romantic subplot gets overlooked in the film and just kind of gets tacked in there the way old movies have the young couple in love to break up from the older married couple that lead the proceedings. Any circus movie is gonna have the young couple in love. But it’s actually a really good song. The movie gives it short shrift, but the song is really well done. A bit too Garage Band-y in the production, but the lyrics are good and the vocal performances are good too. I particularly like the latter half of the song when it really goes all out with the two of them harmonizing. I do really like this one.


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Pic of the Day: “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!” (40th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (80-71)

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: #76 – “The Keeper,” from Machine Gun Preacher

 

76. “The Keeper,” from Machine Gun Preacher

This is just a great song. It just happens to have been written for Machine Gun Preacher. I love that Chris Cornell wrote a bunch of these songs for the end credits of movies (or opening credits, in the case of Casino Royale, which has become one of the best Bond themes of all of them since its release). The song is just beautiful and it’s a great one to listen to. Another one that’s hard to rank just because it straddles the line between song I just listen to and song that technically also is a movie song. It’s like when you’re trying to rank the Bond songs (speaking of Bond) and get to “Live and Let Die.” And it’s like, what do you do? Because that’s the one I’ve heard on terrestrial radio all my life. Shirley Bassey sure as hell wasn’t on radio. So it’s hard to separate the two. That’s kind of how I feel about this song.


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Pic of the Day: “Once more, we play our dangerous game, a game of chess against our old adversary – The American Navy. For forty years, your fathers before you and your older brothers played this game and played it well. But today the game is different. We have the advantage.” (30th Anniversary)


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

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: #77 – “Out of Time,” from A Star Is Born

 

77. “Out of Time,” from A Star Is Born

This is the first of twelve Star Is Born songs left on this list, so you’re gonna get one of these about every five or so songs, so be prepared for that. That’s how good they all are. This one’s purely instrumental, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s an original song for a movie. Bradley Cooper performs it. And in a way, the way he plays his guitar, which almost feels like an improvisation the way he plays it within the scene, those are the lyrics. That’s him getting that primal energy inside himself out on the stage. Everything he’s feeling, all the pain and anger, it all comes out through the guitar. And that’s just as good as lyrics to me.


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Pic of the Day: “Where will we go, my place or yours?” “Might as well go to mine. Everybody else does.” (60th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Hidden Gems of the Decade (100-91)

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: #78 – “A Lovely Night,” from La La Land

 

78. “A Lovely Night,” from La La Land

And look who enters the fray. Almost forgot about this one, didn’t you? On the one hand, I feel weird having this as the lowest ranked song from the movie, but on the other hand, all the songs from this movie are in the top 80 of the list. That’s immense respect in and of itself.

This is the weakest of the songs in the movie, to me, because it’s not really about the lyrics so much as it’s about the gorgeous pre-dawn setting and the dancing. This is the Fred and Ginger song. And if only they set up this part of the relationship a bit better (the meet-cute and the initial ‘dislike’), then the song lyrics that talk about how the lovely night is wasted on the two of them, who aren’t in love, might work a bit better. But like I said, it’s not really about the lyrics so much as it’s about the two of them performing the song, doing the tap dancing and the gorgeous view behind them. It’s one of the most memorable film music moments of the decade, but on a pure song level… this spot feels about right for it.


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Pic of the Day: “Say something.” “What do you say to a tree?” “Anything you want.” (25th Anniversary)