Posts tagged “Film

Mike’s Top Ten of 2022

2022 was a strange year. Not so much for the film landscape (though that is undergoing a sea change in terms of increasingly limited theatrical windows, an altered viewing experience brought about from the still-ongoing pandemic and an evolving definition of box office success, the consequences of which we won’t know for some years), but for me personally. I underwent a few major life changes and had stuff going on consistently all year (at least that’s what it felt like). As such, my film viewing was all out of whack. I watched the same number of movies I typically watch, but they came in bunches, often months after the films got released. Because of that, I never really got a sense of the film year as a whole. But it did mean I got to see all the films on my own terms, removed from knowing (for the most part) how the public at large felt about them. This is something I strive for, and this is about as close as I’ve ever gotten to having a pure opinion about nearly everything that came out in a year.

Then again, it’s really not much different from how the past two years have been. Most of us haven’t really gone back to theaters in any meaningful way and, if we have watched any quantity of films, it was often done via streaming, usually way after the films came out, if at all. And what I’m noticing, with films becoming more like TV or streaming… they just become part of that mound of content and it becomes harder to have them stand out unless they’re one of the ‘major’ ones. For every Avatar and Top Gun, there’s a dozen other films that so many people might not ever know exist because they’re buried under a mound of other options on that same service they’re on. And, unless you’re someone on the lookout for things, you just see a name and a picture in a little box, and you don’t know what that is. It makes me feel doing this list is even more imperative than other years, since at least I have somewhat of an ability to introduce people (at least like, four of you) to cool stuff that’s out there.

One trend I did see this year, though, is that it feels like a year of self-reflection and self-indulgence. A lot of films feel like personal projects from their filmmakers, who either wanted to tell their own stories or tell the stories they’ve always wanted to tell (likely accelerated by all that down time that first year of the pandemic), often in such a way that you almost can’t believe they were even allowed to do it. That, to me, feels like the overarching ‘theme’ of 2022, and even though a lot of these films were divisive among audiences now, I do think they will end up being looked at as the most interesting things to come out this year. (more…)


2022: The Lists

I think it’s interesting that, this year, my ‘lists’ are out before my Top Ten list. Most years in the past I did put out versions of these lists in early December, before the Top Ten. But in recent years, I feel like I’ve been putting these out in January, given the elongated Oscar timeline we’ve been having. And last year I know they came way late. But this is the first year they’re coming before my Top Ten list even drops. Which is kinda fun. Might lead the three people who read this stuff to wonder wha the hell the list is even gonna be.

This was a fairly easy one to compile for me. The performances were all pretty straightforward. There wasn’t a lot of fat to be cut from them or a lot of difficult decisions to be made. The posters I had ready in mid-December. The other lists were also pretty easy to compile. The scores (as they always do), took a bit longer. But I’m satisfied with my work and my choices.

As was the case last year, everything will be presented without comment. I hope you’ll find my opinions worth listening to enough to go seek out anything you’ve not yet seen. (more…)


And the Nominees Are (2022)

This is so weird. Oscar nominations morning has been and is always appointment viewing for me. And this year, I almost didn’t even watch them live. I turned on the livestream seconds before it started. And rather than spend the morning poring over everything as I usually do, we’re almost 12 hours later and only now am I actually putting any thought into them, past my initial reactions texting with people as they happened. Weird times, this year.

Anyway, let’s go over all the nominations that were announced this morning. I remember only openly going “oh wow” once during all the names, and past that there was only one minor surprise (and not even so much a surprise as much as a slight eyebrow raise of ‘oh, you guys actually watched that movie/went there’ more than a ‘I didn’t see that coming’). Otherwise, most of this year felt chalk.

Put it this way — I listened to the Documentary and Shorts categories get announced and did just about as well as I do every year and I literally didn’t watch any of them before I guessed. So yeah, it’s a weird year (and apparently I’m just really good at this). (more…)


Oscars 2022: The B+ Nominations Ballot

It’s that time again, folks.

This year is fully weird for me. The past two years were partially weird because of the pandemic, but this one went even further. Right as prime movie season/awards season was starting, I was in the middle of moving and starting a new job and all of that, so I paid no attention to anything. Even as I caught up with all the precursors, none of it really sank in. The first time I really sat down to look at the totality of this awards season was as I started putting together this article… four days ago. So I’m in tip-top shape, clearly. Which I guess is good. I say every year how I don’t look at anything else and purely go by what I can see and my instinct. What better way to do that than by fully going in cold (and still not even having finished writing up a Top Ten list yet)?

Anyway, here’s me trying to guess all the Oscar nominees that are going to be announced tomorrow morning. (more…)


Oscars 2022: My Nominations Ballot

If I were able to select the entire Oscar ballot, this is what I would nominate (again presented without comment past — I’m still working on International Feature, Doc Short, Live Action Short and Animated Short, so those I just picked five based on how I think things will go for me and will alter those once I finish watching everything).

 

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Bardo, False Chronicles of a Handful of Truth

The Batman

Blonde

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Thirteen Lives

Top Gun: Maverick

(more…)


Oscars 2022: Best Original Song Eligibles

The list is back, baby!

I like to think it’s because somebody listened to me and put it out there for all the Oscar degenerates like me who like to go through and look at every single thing eligible. Honestly, whatever the reason his heart or his shoes, I’m glad it was released. Or leaked. Whichever it is. I don’t care. The world is better when things are out in the open. Secret votes are weird and only create distrust in the system. At least here we can see what kind of good or bad choices were made.

Anyway, for those who don’t remember — this used to be an annual tradition for me (and still is!), looking at all the eligible songs, listening to them as I go through the article and putting them out there for us all to decide which ones we like and which we don’t, to see how good or bad the shortlist ends up being (which — haven’t looked at it at all yet. I decided this article was more important to be done blind, before I know what they chose).

So anyway, here are all 82 eligible songs for Best Original Song this year: (more…)


Oscars 2022: Precursors Go West

Okay, last bit of precursors before Oscar nominations.

What’s crazy is how the WGA and ACE won’t announce until after the Oscar nominations come out, so we’re fully flying blind on Screenplay and Editing. Arguably two of the most important categories for figuring out the rest of the nominees.

But we’ve got everything left past those, including some winners. So let’s get into it. (more…)


Oscars 2022: The Shortlists

It’s shortlist time, folks.

These shortlists articles have become one of my favorite things to write up during the Oscar season. What’s funny about it is how we used to have almost all of these shortlists (Live Action Short, Animated Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, International Feature, Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling), plus we had the full list of eligible animated features and the full list of eligible scores and songs. All they did was add Score, Song and Sound to the list and drop them all at once and now all of a sudden Shortlist Day feels like a party. And I’m here for that party.

Anyway, what we do here is go through all the shortlists, try to watch everything, become more educated about what’s up for all the categories and do the work to make life easier for when I inevitably try to guess what’s gonna get nominated in all the categories. It’s a good time. Let’s go. (more…)


Oscars 2022: PGA / DGA / SAG / CDG / MU+HS Guild Nominations

More precursors.

I’m doing my best to stay caught up here, but I’ll be honest, I’m probably not even gonna be actively putting any real thought into categories until it comes time to pick the nominees in… *checks imaginary watch* … nine days. So this is mostly just to have all the stuff in one place for when that happens.

I’m also gonna be traveling for the next week, which is either gonna be great for me catching up or the worst possible thing ever. Guess we’ll find out!

P.S. My Top Ten list is basically done (I’m down to like five movies left to see that might make any impact on it, and I don’t think any of them would make the top ten, so I can just add those as I see them). Now I just need to find the time to write the damn thing up. Which may not happen until after Oscar nominations. (more…)


Oscars 2022: More Precursors

More stuff to catch up with. Mostly due to the Golden Globes being broadcast tonight. On a Tuesday!

I feel like I know why they put it on a Tuesday night instead of a Sunday night, but we don’t need to have that discussion here. I’m knee deep in Oscar season and have barely even rolled up my sleeves. So let’s just get right into it all. (more…)


2021: The Lists

Okay, here they are, finally. All those lists I usually post sporadically throughout December, January (and maybe February) in between Oscar stuff. I said I’d get around to it in some form. This is that form. Most of it was done by January 1st, save a couple of performances that took me a bit longer to watch. Really the delay has just been waiting to try to work through all the scores.

I’ve consolidated my lists into what I feel are the essentials, which are: hidden gems from the year, the films that disappointed me/surprised me, favorite performances, favorite documentaries, favorite posters, and of course, favorite scores. They’ll all be presented without comment, because I just don’t feel the need (or have the time and energy) to come up with stuff to say. I liked it all, and I hope you’ll find my opinion trustworthy enough to go watch and/or listen to this stuff yourself if you haven’t already. Plus, odds are you can probably find everything you need in terms of me talking up how much I liked most of these films in my Top Ten list. I think everyone gets the idea by now.

So, without further ado, here’s a bunch of lists of stuff I really liked from this year: (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2021

2021 is like the flood after a storm. With the crazy year 2020 was, so much stuff was pushed in the hopes of finding an audience not fully burdened with the possible fall of democracy and a global pandemic and, as the year went on, they figured out how to keep working safely and things got back to being filmed. So we had not only all the stuff that was shot throughout the pandemic but also the stuff that was supposed to be released last year, which ended up giving us a real smorgasbord of films to pick from. And, for a change, I definitely didn’t feel worried I wasn’t gonna have enough stuff to put in my top ten.

One thing that will be interesting to look back on in regard to this year (much like last year) is what films people end up gravitating toward and/or discovering over time. Because with the shifting release schedule (most films this year either went day-and-date or went to streaming 30 or 45 days from their theatrical release date, as opposed to the 90 it used to be) and the already-present overabundance of content for people to watch, I haven’t gotten the sense that most people are aware of the a lot of these films. In the latter part of this year, I found myself as the only person in a theater to watch some of these choices. Which means that people either don’t know, don’t care or are waiting for the films to go streaming to see them (which is dicey for some of them because unless it’s a major title, it’s so easy to lose something in the shuffle). Which opens up a whole can of worms of questions in and of itself. But for my purposes here, I am curious to see what films end up later becoming hits when people actually get around to seeing them. And hopefully will do my part to get some people to watch a few of these.

One trend, though, that I think will be fairly uniform across the board for 2021: most people seem to be agreeing on the same crop of films as the best ones. Pandemic or no pandemic, the best filmmakers are still making the best films. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2019

So these recent years are difficult to talk about because — I just talked about them. I only posted the original Top Ten list for this year last year. Only a year has passed and usually that’s not a whole lot of time to see how your opinion changes. Usually it’s only enough to see where you overreacted to certain films or maybe undervalued others. But I’m happy to say — I think I got this one right. At least for now. We’ll see what happens in 3-5 years, but at the moment, aside from some minor number shifting (which is meaningless anyway), I’m very happy with the films I chose to be on this list.

That’s the one thing I’m seeing as we move further from this year — it was an incredible year of film. I knew at the time the top ten list was strong, but I didn’t realize just how strong. I’m only liking these movies more as time goes on. And all up and down the line, there’s some fantastic and memorable stuff. It’s gonna hold up.  Which is good, since the year after this is perennially gonna be a giant shit show, so at least we’ve got this one. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2020

This… was a weird year. We had a global pandemic, brought on by a government that ignored it and abandoned people in need and we all ended up stuck inside for most of the year. I believe it’s been in the papers. All of this, of course, had a trickle-down effect on movies. Theaters were closed for the majority of the year, which forced most studio releases onto streaming platforms if not into 2021 entirely (especially awards-level films, which usually make up a good portion of this list). And so, while I was still left with some quality choices, I did feel like this year was a lot thinner at the top and more populated with stuff I’d consider ‘just okay’ rather than truly noteworthy. So I guess what I’m saying is — a government abandoning people during a crisis, trickle-down effects and a spate of mediocre movies — I’m just gonna go ahead and blame 2020 on Ronald Reagan.

This, above all other years around it, feels like a year that will only truly be understood over time. I don’t think any of us were in the right frame of mind to truly consider what this year had to offer in the moment. So of all my Top Ten lists, I expect this to be the one that undergoes the most scrutinization and change. I also expect this to be a year with an increased ratio of hidden gems for people, since I don’t even think people watched the stuff at the top, let alone looked for things beneath the surface. (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (10-1)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (20-11)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (30-21)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (40-31)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (50-41)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (70-61)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (60-51)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (80-71)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (90-81)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)


Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (100-91)

This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.

One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.

Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.

So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019: (more…)