Posts tagged “2015

Mike’s Top Ten of 2015

2015 is one of the strongest years of this decade, if not the strongest year. I’ve got at least two separate legitimate top ten lists with the films of this year. If I took my 11-20 and presented it to you as if it were the list of another year, it would look totally fine and no one would even question it. That’s how strong this year is.

Though the one thing that has remained constant for me after all this time, despite how many amazing films there are and how easy it is for stuff to be swapped out for something else, is my #1. I don’t think anyone else would have it close to their #1 film of the year, and I was steadfast about it from the jump. I knew it was my #1 movie and nothing was able to change that. No matter what great other stuff there is and no matter how highly the rest of the films from this year are regarded over time, my #1 is gonna be my #1. And I take great comfort in that.

I should also mention how much other fantastic stuff there is this year in the lower tiers as well. This is a good place to find some great hidden gems to check out. Some years there’s only a handful. Here, you can throw a dart and pretty much whatever you hit is worth seeing. That’s a strong year. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2015 (REMIX)

When you see this article go up, that means the end of the year is upon us. This is my way of getting last year out of the way so we can recap this year.

I always feel like my Top Ten list each December is, in one way or another, full of compromises. Films I put in the Top Ten because they feel like better choices in the moment, rather than what will be in a few years. Sometimes I just overthink it and can’t see the forest for the trees. Shit happens.

So what I do is go back a year later and redo everything. I see what, if anything, has changed. I don’t care so much about how many things I got “wrong,” so to speak. I only care about making sure I get it right. People change, tastes change. So the list will be updated to reflect that.

I went back and looked over everything I watched last year to see which movies truly were my ten favorites of the year. The thing about 2015 is that there were so many great films I could have easily swapped out half of the top 15 into the top 10 and there would be very little difference for me. And that’s sort of the case. Certain films that barely missed the top ten now came on, and others that still feel really close to top tens barely missed out.

Here is my revised Top Ten list of 2015: (more…)


88th Academy Awards Recap

So the Oscars were last night. A lot to talk about.

This is where we officially close the book on 2015 and move into 2016. I’ll try to give everything its due, but there was a point about an hour into the ceremony where I was just kind of over it and wanted to move on.

Overall it was a strange year. They really spread the wealth around. Mad Max won six, I think, and then The Revenant won 3 and Spotlight won 2 and then everything else only won 1. Crazy.

A lot of major stats fell and a lot of crazy shit happened. So let’s get into it: (more…)


88th Academy Awards Live-Blog

I live-blogged the Oscars tonight. I have no real thoughts on anything yet. I just typed up everything as I watched, and I’m going to post it right now without having proofread anything. Because that’s what real people do. Fuck that editing shit.

I’ll figure out my thoughts on it all tomorrow.

Here’s my 88th Academy Awards Live-Blog: (more…)


The 88th Academy Awards Scorecard

My friend introduced me to this last year. I had no idea people did it, and I honestly think it’s the best way to pick the Oscars. Here’s how it works:

You take every category and rank all of the nominees in terms of order you think they’re going to win. If your #1 choice wins, you get 1 point. If #2 wins, you get to. Etc. And in the end, you tally your score up. And the lowest score (24 being the lowest) wins. It’s very simple, and the only time it gets confusing is if a tie happens, which is pretty rare in the history of the Academy (even though one did happen in 2012).

I prefer it because it’s based more on diagnosing the category than simply picking a winner. And diagnosing categories is my specialty.

Here’s my scorecard for this year’s Oscars: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: 2015 – The Quick Picks

My giant ballot 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. Very succinct, with cliff notes versions of all the categories.

And in a bit, I’m gonna post my scorecard for how I’m gonna rank myself on that. (Note: The rankings here may be slightly different from the ones I’m picking on the Scorecard.)

Here are the quick picks for the 88th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Guide to the 88th Academy Awards

Everything you need for Oscar night in one place. I make things as simple or as complex as you want them to be. You can read all 34,000 words like the insane person who wrote them, or you can skip through and look purely for my picks. It’s up to you. All I can promise is a respectable showing in your office/party pool and enough knowledge to make you look like you know what you’re talking about.

This article acts as both my own personal ballot as well as a tool for guessing what will win in every category. On the personal side, this acts as an extension of my Oscar Quest. I rank each category based on my thoughts having seen all the nominees and pick what I’d vote for if I were casting a ballot. That’s just for me. The practical side is more interesting. I run down every category, discuss the nominees in depth. I give you all the precursor information you need, then break down the categories. I tell you what’s most likely going to win, what its biggest competition is, and which nominee has a chance at sneaking up to surprise everyone with a win. I also link to all the category breakdowns I’ve been writing over the past couple of weeks (hint: you can click the name of each category to get to them) if you want every bit of information you can possibly get.

Then, at the very end, I plainly say “Here’s what I am taking on my ballot” and “Here is what you should take, because it is the safest and smartest decision, based on everything I’ve presented above.” I also color code everything, so you can easily find stuff. No one else goes this nuts with their coverage. Trust me. This is why you come to me. (more…)


Oscars 2015: MPSE Awards

The last guild has FINALLY announced their winners. You know, the night before the fucking Oscars, as if that helps us in any way.

Let’s run through them quickly:

Dialogue + ADR: Bridge of Spies

Sound Effects + Foley: Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant (TIE!!!!)

Music in a Feature Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Music in a Musical: Love & Mercy

 

 

 

Well, that’s certainly a deadlock. Probably spells trouble for Mad Max tomorrow.

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Oscars 2015: Razzie Awards

The Razzies were just announced an hour ago. The hits just keep on coming today. And here you thought I was done posting shit.

I should probably learn not to make myself have to put up ten articles the day before the Oscars when I’m trying to write up a giant article for the next day. But we all know I’m stupid, so why should anything change?

Here are your Razzie winners: (more…)


Oscars 2015: Independent Spirit Awards

The Independent Spirit Awards were held today. I usually pay no attention to them in terms of results, but they are one of the more fun awards shows, as they take place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and everyone gets loaded and gets all their nerves out before the Oscars the following day.

I’ve got little to say or add to this, so I’ll just run through the results, and then get back to typing up my giant Oscar article that’ll go up tomorrow morning.

Here are your Spirit Awards results: (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Spotlight

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our final nominee is Spotlight:

Spotlight - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Room

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is Room:

Room - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: The Revenant

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is The Revenant:

The Revenant - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: The Martian

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is The Martian:

The Martian - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is Mad Max: Fury Road:

Mad Max Fury Road - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Brooklyn

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is Brooklyn:

Brooklyn - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Bridge of Spies

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

Our next nominee is Bridge of Spies:

Bridge of Spies - Title Card (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: The Big Short

This has become an annual tradition the day before the Oscars. In order move away all the subjectivity and negativity that happens when figuring out what should win and what’s going to win, I get away from all of that stuff and celebrate the films that are nominated for Best Picture.

We take this day to look at them as masterworks of cinema and not as films competing for a trophy. All of that other stuff — the analysis, the opinions — that’s all done with. Today, we take a minute, we stop, and we appreciate the films themselves. I count down my five favorite moments (or elements) of each of them.

When you take away all the awards, all the competition, and all the arbitrary decisions about what film is better than the others, what we’re left with is great cinema. That’s what we’re celebrating.

We begin with our first nominee, The Big Short. I don’t know about you, but I’m jacked to the tits.

The Big Short - Title Card (more…)


Oscars 2015 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 2015 by Statistics

This is a ridiculous little thing I do every year because it’s amusing to me. It’s not about what’s actually going to happen and the perception around the categories — it’s simply trying to boil each category down to a formula based purely on basic statistics.

The idea is to take every Oscar category in the big six, list them alphabetically, tally how many times each position has won, and then predict how the Oscars are going to go this year.

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 this year based on random statistics: (more…)


Oscars 2015 Category Breakdown: Best Picture

Every year before the Oscars I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the 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 the big one, Best Picture. Which is supposed to be worth a thousand words. But I’m writing 2000. Because fuck you. (more…)


Oscars 2015 Category Breakdown: Best Director

Every year before the Oscars I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the 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 Director. (more…)


Oscars 2015: CDG Awards

The Costume Designers Guild announced their awards this evening.

Excellence in Period Film went to The Danish Girl. That and Carol were the only two nominated films in that category.

Excellence in Fantasy Film went to Mad Max: Fury Road, which beat Cinderella, another nominee.

Excellence in Contemporary Film went to Beasts of No Nation. That category is always a wash because contemporary films never get nominated for costumes.

Pretty much this tells us that Mad Max is probably winning yet another category, since Cinderella has lost to it heads up at least twice now in precursors, and it’s won just about everything so far.

Though it’s worth noting that The Revenant was not nominated here and still could theoretically sneak in a win at the Oscars.

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Oscars 2015 Category Breakdown: Best Actor

Every year before the Oscars I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the 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. Which, for the first time since My Fair Lady is going to feature bear rape. (more…)