Posts tagged “2019

Mike’s Favorite Film Scores of 2019

I usually try to post this article as late as possible, just because there’s so much work involved in it and I want to give each score a proper listen. So usually it becomes the last thing I post before every day becomes about Oscar categories. But this year, everything is so early, I couldn’t even get 80% of the Release Calendar up before that happened. So this is the first article you get post-Oscars.

I listened to 89 different scores for this article over the past five weeks. Typically how I work is, I realize this article is coming around November and start compiling as many scores as I can. Then January starts and the Top Ten list is over and I start looking to what the big workload articles are gonna be. Which invariably begins with this one. So I start doing quick listens of all the scores to get an idea of what my general ‘pool’ is gonna be. And then I ignore it for about a month until I realize, “Oh shit, that’s going up in a week.” Then I frantically listen to every score, come up with a list of 25 and write everything up in the span of about four days.

You’d think I’d know better, but on the other hand, you’d think we’d have properly studied for all our tests and done all our papers and projects on time in school. Sometimes that’s just how we work. So yeah. I listened to all those scores and picked my favorites. I am by no means someone who understands the intricacies of music. I’m just listening for stuff I like, and I do my best to explain why I liked it. That’s pretty much it.

Here are my favorite film scores of 2019: (more…)


92nd Academy Awards Recap

So most years when I write this article, I talk about how good I feel, how nice it is for the crunch of awards season to be over. But honestly, I’ve been relaxed for about a week. I finished my picks and all that stuff last Sunday night after BAFTAs. I proofread it Monday morning, and really all I did between then and now was maybe tweak a ranking or two (none of which ended up actually mattering in the end, which we’ll get to). And they shortened the time span this year, so the whole thing went pretty quickly and didn’t drag on at all. And now here we are, with the entire rest of February to go. This is weird, but also kinda great.

I’ll straight up say it — I put like no effort into this year’s awards. I kept putting off having to actually think about everything until all the results were in. I thought harder about what would be nominated than I did about this. There was only about three weeks between nominations and the awards, so I just let the results come to me and once they were all in, sat down and went, “Yup, that all looks about right,” and let the picks essentially make themselves and didn’t worry all too much about it.

And for most of the night, it sure looked like I might only get one category wrong of all the 24. That didn’t happen, but I still did insanely well (sorry to spoil it at the top, but I did). But man, for a while I thought, “There’s no way I’m gonna do well on this. I feel like I’m phoning this one in.” Because most of the choices were so obvious and I didn’t agonize over them like I normally would. So I figured it had to just be that I was wrong. Or maybe I’ve just done this so long that I’ve learned that I don’t have to spend much time thinking about it all. Which is kinda freeing.

Anyway, let’s recap the Oscars, so we can finally put 2019 to rest and close out the decade in film (sort of).
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The B+ Oscar Ballot 2019: The Cheat Sheet

So this is the quick version of the giant article I posted this morning. The Oscars are on in two hours, and just so you don’t have to go back and reference the giant article if you don’t want to (though you should, there are nice colors and gifs and everything, and I put some real effort into it), I’m giving you the abridged version of it all.

I used to do this in two articles, but I’m just gonna do it in one, since I always put the rankings here anyway, so I’ll just make that section my official ‘Scorecard’ entry for this year. (And if you don’t know what that is, go read the big article. It’ll explain it. And it’s something I recommend you start doing if you’re serious about trying to guess Oscar winners. It’s so much better than just a straight ballot.)

Anyway, here’s your Oscar cheat sheet for later on: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 92nd Academy Awards

It’s Oscar night, folks.

I’ve done this enough to know what’s about to happen. You all want my picks for what’s gonna win because I’m the person you know who’s stupid enough to actually put real thought into this whole charade and generally am right about all this stuff, and I like talking about this nonsense. So we have the trade-off… I write a lot and you pretend to read it while skipping down to what I picked.

We all know the drill — I’m gonna ramble for 24 categories, try to make sense of it all, eventually decide “fuck it” and leave it to chance, then I’m gonna go get drunk and eat Chinese food and watch the ceremony. Everybody has their traditions.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Parasite

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our final nominee is Parasite.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Marriage Story

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Marriage Story.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Little Women

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Little Women.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Joker

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Joker.

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Oscars 2019: Independent Spirit Awards

Just to finish off the last of these articles, the Independent Spirit Awards were announced today. They changed the voting so that all the big studio Oscar stuff doesn’t make it on and dominate the competition anymore. So now it’s truly independent stuff, which is both nice but also makes the awards show a bit of an afterthought. Mostly I love that it’s people getting together in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica and getting absolutely day drunk. That’s really why we have this show, isn’t it?

Anyway, here are your winners (which you basically could have called a month ago just by looking at the nominees. But hey, it’s not about the winners, it’s about the day drinking): (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Jojo Rabbit

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Jojo Rabbit.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: The Irishman

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is The Irishman.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Ford v Ferrari

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our next nominee is Ford v Ferrari.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: 1917

So my favorite Oscars tradition, aside from getting hammered and eating Chinese food during the ceremony, is, the day before the ceremony, presenting my favorite moments in each of the Best Picture nominees. I originally started it in 2011, when I felt like there was a lot of anger over certain things that were nominated (The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help), and I just wanted to take that step back and remind myself and everyone else what it’s all about — this is because we love movies. We’re just giving out awards to the movies we liked best. It’s not about the damn awards. It’s about good movies and love of the art form. And it’s something I think we need to be reminded of, which is why I now do it before every Oscar ceremony. It doesn’t matter what wins and what doesn’t, it’s all about celebrating the great movies that came out this year.

Our first nominee is 1917.

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Five Word Film Reviews (2019)

One of my (admittedly very few) good qualities is that I will make some dumb joke and it’ll be funny for a minute and then later on, I’ll think, “You know, what about that…” This article started as a joke. I made a bad joke while reviewing a movie at the movie’s expense and said, “There’s the five word film review of it. Take that, Hemingway!” And then, cut to a few months later, I think, “What if I tried to do that for all the movies?” And now this is the sixth year I’m doing it.

To give you an example of what I do with this, here are some five word reviews from last year: Bird Box — The Apocalypse Will Be Blindfolded; Creed II — Baby Creed vs. Baby Drago; Ready Player One — Charlie and the VR Factory; A Quiet Place — Don’t Procreate During the Apocalypse; The Grinch — This Movie Stink… Stank… Stunk; Red Sparrow — Not a Natural Atomic Blonde; The Wife — So Far, Yet Glenn Close; Incredibles 2 — Where Are We on Capes?; The Hurricane Heist — Features Zero Tropical Storm Thefts; Acts of Violence — For Sale: Bruce Willis. Always; Can You Ever Forgive Me? — *Insert Fyre Fest Blowjob Guy*; Studio 54 — Don’t We All Miss Drugs?; Summer ’03 — That’s When Seabiscuit Came Out; 6 Balloons — *Count Voice* AH AH AH!; Ralph Breaks the Internet — Ralph Really Broke My Heart; Bad Times at the El Royale — It Was a (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■  (⌐■_■)… Bad Time; Dude — Where’s My Car? (Applause Break); The Old Man & the Gun — *Chekhov Sits Forward* “Go On…”; Mary Poppins Returns — And She’s Out for Revenge.

And one more, just because I can’t believe I managed to get that far with it: A Star Is Born — I’m Off the Deep End (or: Watch As I Dive In) (or: I’ll Never Meet the Ground) (or: Crash Through the Surface) (or: Where They Can’t Hurt Us) (or: Far from the Shallow Now). So yeah, you get the idea.

Oh, and for those keeping track, I started working on these a month ago! So I didn’t wait til the last minute this time! I mean, sure, I wrote most of them in the past like, week, but still. Some responsibility was had.

Here are my five word film reviews of the films I saw in 2019: (more…)


Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Picture

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

We end, as we always do, with Best Picture. (more…)


Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Editing

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Editing. Snip, snip, motherfuckers. (more…)


Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Adapted Screenplay

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Adapted Screenplay. Which is when you take a book, write it down slightly differently and then take all the credit for yourself when you win. (more…)


Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Visual Effects

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Visual Effects. Making your animated movies come to life and making your 75 year-old movie stars look 45 again even though they’re playing 28. (more…)


Oscars 2019: BAFTA Awards

Okay, finally, the last precursor has been announced. And it’s the biggest of them all. We’re a week out from the Oscars and we only just got the final piece of the puzzle. Usually we’re pretty set on all this stuff beforehand and all we’re waiting on is like, the Sound Editors guild or the Costume Designers guild. But, then again, most years the Oscar ceremony isn’t a week after the Super Bowl. It’s a weird year.

But anyway, this should lock in just about every category anyone was remotely iffy about (which for me at this point is like, two. It’s a pretty straightforward year, feels like).

Here are your BAFTA winners: (more…)


Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Production Design

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Production Design.A category that really… sets the tone.
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Oscars 2019: ADG Awards

The ADG Awards were handed out last night.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won for Period, basically solidifying that as the odds-on favorite to win next weekend. Parasite won for Contemporary, marking that as the biggest competition. Avengers: Endgame won for Fantasy, but that wasn’t nominated, so all that happens there is a short golf clap and then we move on. Oh, and Toy Story 4 won for Animated, pretty much reconfirming what we all figured there, as if we needed it.

BAFTA awards in a few hours, so that’ll be helpful, but it’s sure looking like the city of Los Angeles is about to win its second Production Design Oscar in four years.

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Oscars 2019: WGA Awards

The WGA Awards were handed out tonight.

Original Screenplay went to Parasite, while Adapted Screenplay went to Jojo Rabbit.

Parasite was guaranteed to win here, since Quentin was ineligible. Adapted was pretty much a tossup between Little Women and Jojo. So no big surprises. In both cases, I wanna see what BAFTA does tomorrow, but at least now we did solidify the 50/50 state of both races. Tomorrow’s gonna tell us which one we should see as the slight frontrunner in both categories.

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Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Sound Editing

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Sound Editing, which is the one that’s not Sound Mixing. You know the difference, of course. (more…)