Posts tagged “2011

Mike’s Top Ten of 2011

Love me some 2011. I moved to LA midway through this year, so a lot of the movies in the top ten were ones I saw right as I got to LA, which gives them an extra sense of specialness to me.

As a year… I forget how strong it is at the top. It feels like just another year to me when I think about it in the abstract, but here, I could legitimately almost make two separate top ten lists with the movies in the top 20.

This was my first official top ten list created after this site was in existence. So in a way this was the one where my knowing it was gonna go on here affected the decision-making. For better or for worse, I guess. Mostly I’m just happy that a lot of my choices are still ones I would put on the list. But it’s also a strong enough year to where anything that got swapped out is basically a toss-up situation anyway. So it’s hard for me to be disappointed with anything that made it on. (more…)


A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2011 – Bridesmaids

How can it not be?

This was the breakout hit of 2011. This came out to little fanfare, really, and then gradually, through word of mouth, became one of the biggest comedy hits of all time.

The important thing about this film is the fact that it really brought women to the forefront of comedy. It’s not that women were never present in comedy. You think of writers like Ruth Gordon and Elaine May, and stars like Lucille Ball and so on. It’s just that, over the past 20 years, women have become marginalized. They’re always playing a type, or stuck playing the girlfriend role. Especially has comedy has become… whatever the hell it’s become. That dumb, raunchy, sophomoric Apatow shit. Which is so clearly male dominated.

So the real importance of this film is that it brought women back to mainstream comedy and allowed them to do the kind of comedy men do and have a lot of people enjoy it. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2011 (REMIX)

I’m in the middle of revisiting the last few years of top ten lists.

I won’t do all of them, don’t you worry. I’m just doing the ones that I made since the blog started.

Well — technically I made all of them since the blog started. But I’m talking about the top ten lists I made for specific years and not for decades. The ones where I ranked stuff specifically and did it with less than a few weeks of time to think about it. Which are 2010, 2011 and 2012. Everything else I’ve had lots of time to sit with and decide my opinion on. So those I don’t need to update. These — these will be interesting.

So yesterday I updated my 2012 list, which is just about three months old now. Today I’m doing last year’s list, and tomorrow I’ll do 2010’s list. Each will be interesting for their own reasons. This one because 2011 was a hard year to create a top ten list for (and I still think I’ll need some more time to fully create one), and 2010 because I didn’t really list all the films I list now, so there’s a whole different set of work to do there.

That said, here is my (REMIXED) Top Ten list for 2011: (more…)


The Hidden Gems List (2011)

I wish I had a sticker or jpeg I could put on all the films I talk about on the blog that I consider to be hidden gems, but this blog (as well as myself) is not that advanced. So we’ll just have to make due with these lists.

This is a new feature on the blog. I got the idea for it earlier in the year, as I was thinking of ways to fill out days. Basically the idea behind this was — I have a shitload of lists available of films I really like. But say someone clicks on one of them, say my Top Tens of 1970-1979. There’s somewhere between 200 and 300 movies there. And that’s just that decade. It can be overwhelming for someone who just wants one movie. And invariably someone goes through and sees something they haven’t seen in a while and goes, “I should rewatch that.” Or they just skip over all the stuff they know nothing about because I don’t really elaborate on stuff in those lists, I just list them. So the idea was — say someone wants to watch a movie, one they haven’t seen before. I’m the person who’s seen a lot of movies, so I’m always the person delegated to pick out the movie for the group to watch. And the only directions you’re ever given are, “Pick something I haven’t seen. Something good.” And people know what they haven’t seen/need to see, so they don’t want you to say, “You haven’t seen Gone With the Wind, watch Gone With the Wind.” People know they need to see Citizen Kane. People don’t know they needed to see something like Murder by Death until they’ve seen it.

So the idea behind these lists is to point out films that (for the most part) nobody knows about. Ones people  will watch and go, “Man, that was really good,” and then be able to recommend to other people and turn them onto it. That’s what we want. We want to see movies that make us go, “You gotta see this one…” If you wanted to see something you hadn’t seen, and I showed you 2001: A Space Odyssey — even if you loved it, I don’t think you’d have that feeling of excitement about it that you would for something more obscure. You might have a strong reaction to the film, but it wouldn’t give you that feeling we all love, which is the feeling of being on the inside of an exclusive club. People love knowing about something before other people do and being able to tell them about it. That’s what these lists are. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1990-2011)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Supporting Actress (1990-2011)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Supporting Actor (1990-2011)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)