Posts tagged “2014

Mike’s Top Ten of 2014

2014 is kind of a patchwork year. There’s a small handful of films a lot of people will agree on, but past that it gets uneven. Though I think the great stuff does tend to rise to the top and the year does get weaker as it goes along. Which, I guess is kind of what one would hope for with any year.

Looking at my list for this year, every film in my top ten is by a director who has already had a top ten movie before (save one, which is by a director who would have later top ten movies, since this was his first major feature). Which, to me, marks it as one of the weaker years of the decade, with me going to the well of ‘old reliables’, knowing that the people who tend to make good films helped bail it out. Otherwise, it does tend to get thinner earlier than most other years do. (more…)


Oscars 2015: Razzie Nominations

The Razzie nominations were announced today. Because what better to clear the palate of guessing Oscar nominations than to see what movies they wanted to shit on?

I’m curious to see what they go for, because there’s always some weird shit on there.

Here are your Razzie nominations for 2015: (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten Films of 2014 (REMIX)

This has become the gateway article into the end of year recap stuff. Revisit last year and put that behind us before we can start wrapping up this year.

It’s my way of giving myself a chance to reevaluate my top ten list early enough to call a mulligan if I need one. The top ten list is usually done under varying degrees of duress. I need to pick ten movies that I liked best from the year, when there are a good seven or eight that I’ve just seen for the first time (only once) within a week of picking it. So I can be prone to compromised or rash decisions. Here they can be remedied. (more…)


87th Academy Awards Recap

Well, that’s another year in the books. Goodbye, 2014, hello 2015.

I have no idea how many I got wrong or right. I think I was in the 18 range or so. Which is admirable. I don’t even care. Because not a single category threw me for a loop. I was right there with either the winner or runner up in every single category. That’s all I can ever ask for.

I was also extremely pleased that the majority of the Oscars went to three of my top four films of the year. And you throw in an extra win for my #6 film and another win for my #10 film. So I’m pretty pleased overall.

You can read my live blog of the events here. And now we’ll recap everything so we can get on with 2015: (more…)


87th Academy Awards Live Blog

We’ll tally everything up tomorrow. In the mean time. I was typing up the Oscars as I watched it with my Chinese food and alcohol.

I was also feverishly texting throughout the whole thing. It’s actually kind of a miracle that I managed to get all of it done.

So, here’s my live blog of the Oscars, as I was watching: (more…)


Oscars 2014: The B+ Movie Blog Quick Picks

My giant picks article went up a few hours ago. This is the abridged version of that, for easy reference during the ceremony.

Here’s everything you should be taking, and what I’m taking.

Oh, and rankings for that new system I’m trying to see how truly accurate I am at all of this. That is, I’m ranking them in terms of the order they will win. And the closest the winner is to my rankings, the better I do.

Here are the quick picks:

(more…)


Oscars 2014: The B+ Movie Blog Ballot

I used to call this Picks, Votes, Analysis, Rankings. But that’s not a fun title.

This article has everything you need for Oscar night. I run down every single category, tell you what’s nominated, how I felt about each of the nominees, tell you what wasn’t nominated that might have been, what I’d vote for, then break down the category and let you know what’s most likely going to win, what its biggest competition is, and what, if anything, has a chance to sneak in and surprise everyone. It has links to all the category breakdowns I’ve written over the past three weeks, and I even say, at the very end, “Here’s what I’m taking, and here’s what you should take, because it’s the smartest and safest decision.” I also color code everything, so you can find stuff incredibly easy.

If you want to sound remotely like an expert at your Oscar party and know very little about the overall goings on apart from having seen some of the movies, read this article. You’ll be fine. (more…)


Oscars 2014: Razzie Awards

The Independent Spirit Awards were also today, but I don’t care about those. The usual people won. Birdman won Picture and Boyhood won Director. Otherwise, your usual cast of characters won and no one is surprised. I don’t care about them.

What I do care about are the Razzie Awards. Because I want to see what they picked as the shit of the shit for 2014.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing them shit all over bad movies. Of course, they always get political and vote for the wrong stuff, but I’m still excited to see what they choose.

Here are your 2014 Razzie Winners: (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: Whiplash

Our final Best Picture nominee is Whiplash.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from Whiplash:

Whiplash - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: The Theory of Everything

Our next Best Picture nominee is The Theory of Everything.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from The Theory of Everything:

The Theory of Everything - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: Selma

Our next Best Picture nominee is Selma.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from Selma: (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: The Imitation Game

Our next Best Picture nominee is The Imitation Game.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from The Imitation Game:

The Imitation Game - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Our next Best Picture nominee is The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from The Grand Budapest Hotel:

The Grand Budapest Hotel - 4 (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: Boyhood

Our next Best Picture nominee is Boyhood.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from Boyhood:

Boyhood - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: Birdman

Our next Best Picture nominee is Birdman.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

Here are my favorite moments from Birdman:

Birdman - Title Card 2 (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the 2014 Best Picture Nominees: American Sniper

This is quickly becoming a favorite annual tradition of mine.

Here’s how Oscar season works: from mid-December until mid-January, I go over what will and what won’t be nominated. Opinions are formed. It can get heated. Then they announce the nominations, and from then until Oscar night, it’s all about what’s going to win. And more opinions are formed. The problem is that nowhere during this do we actually stop and appreciate the films. They’re always seen through the lens of competition.

So what I do every year is, after all the analysis is done, and all the opinions are dealt with, I stop, take a minute, throw it all away, and just stop to appreciate the movies. I watch all the nominees again, and I pick my favorite moments (or elements) from each of them. The ultimate goal being to remind everyone that once you take away all the competition, the awards, arbitrary decisions of what film is better, what we’re left with is great cinema. And that’s what it’s all about.

We begin with American Sniper:

American Sniper - Title Card (more…)


Oscars 2014 by Statistics

This is now an annual thing. Because it’s so ridiculous and improbable that it’s fun. To me, I’d rather have this article than all those bullshit “state of the race” articles the Oscar sites all have. I don’t care how things are looking based on perception and whatever people wanted to write. I want random things based on nothing but random statistical probability that doesn’t take circumstances into account whatsoever.

The idea is — take every Oscar category in the big six, write them all out in alphabetical order, and see how often each of the positions has win. How many times has the first film listed won? How many times has the last one won?

Why do I do this? I don’t know. But I love statistics, and reading something like this appeals to me more than campaigning and talking about how racist the Academy is does. So I keep doing it.

So here’s what’s gonna win based on random statistics this year: (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Picture

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

We finish our categories with Best Picture, which, at this point, is all but sewn up. (more…)


Oscars 2014 by Box Office

One thing I like to do each year is check in to see how the Best Picture nominees are doing in terms of box office. Some people like to think it matters, but it really doesn’t. If they like a film (The Artist, The Hurt Locker), it doesn’t matter how much it made. But it’s also interesting to see how much things are making nonetheless.

And since this has become an annual thing, I’m just gonna go and show all the Best Picture nominees where there are concrete box office figures and see how each winner did. Because fuck it,  maybe some people think this is important. Mostly I’m interested to see what some of these nominees made.

So here’s how each Best Picture nominee has done, box office wise: (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Director

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

We’re up to Best Director, which is really the one category where, once its guild goes a certain way, you can really lock that one up. (more…)


Oscars 2014 : CDG Awards

The Costume Designers Guild announced their awards last night.

Not surprisingly, The Grand Budapest Hotel won in the Period category, en route to a pretty easy Oscar win, it seems (a la Gatsby last year).

Into the Woods won in the Fantasy category, which also doesn’t seem that surprising. Colleen Atwood, big musical, Oscar nomination — there you go.

Oh, and then, Birdman won for Contemporary, which basically tells you everything you need to know about this year’s Oscar race. Every single guild has singled out Birdman for something, and now the only question is — does it win, or does it end up like Gravity last year? (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Actor

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

Today is Best Actor, in what’s a surprisingly strong (looking) category. (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Actress

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

Today is Best Actress, which was locked from the jump. (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Supporting Actor

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

Today is Best Supporting Actor, the one category where I actually have emotional investment in this year. (more…)