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Posts tagged “Film

2018: The Year in Reviews (Part II)

It’s the second batch of reviews, guys.

I’ve been gone for most of the summer, recharging my batteries after the pile of shit that was the first 60% of this year. Which really means that I’ve been laying low and watching so many movies it’s disgusting when you put a number to it. (Which I will: Blade Runner 2049, last October, was my 5,000th new movie since I graduated college. As of Tuesday, I’ve crossed 5,800. I was also at 100 movies for 2018 in April’s reviews article. Now I’m at 260. I started this year seven weeks late and I’m currently seven weeks ahead of last year’s pace. Go figure.)

In terms of 2018 as a movie year, it’s pretty much been a giant dumpster fire. I’ve hated every year of the past few pretty much up through this point (since almost all the good movies come out between September and December), but this year in particular has a very special kind of diarrhetic quality to it that makes it stick out. I can’t think of a weaker year in the last ten.

To put a finer point on it: while I disliked previous years through the summer, last year I’d already banked what would become two top ten films and three 11-20 films. 2016, I had four top ten films and two 11-20 films. 2015, three top ten films… you get the point. This year, there’s only one film I’d even consider letting near my top ten, and if it does end up making it, it would be pretty historic (more on that later). At best, everything else I’ve liked so far is at best tier two in any other year.

So, yeah, spoiler alert, this year sucks, and my thoughts on most things are pretty much, “It’s just fine” or “I don’t care.” There’s so little that stands out, the final quarter of the year better be really good, otherwise we’re looking at the weakest overall year in almost thirty.

But hey, at least you can all read what I thought about Book Club, right? (more…)

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Mike’s Top Ten of 1980-1989

The 80s as a whole is less than the sum of its parts. As a decade, I’ve always been very against it, just because, as a decade… the culture was pretty weird. And this is the decade where films became more mainstream and taken out of the directors’ hands. In a way, it was probably for the best, because they started getting really indulgent, but also, it just felt like films swung entirely to studio filmmaking here for a decade, until independent film started cropping up again, eventually reaching its heyday in the 90s.

Though, while I don’t particularly love the 80s as a decade for film, there are some of my all-time favorites in this decade. So it’s definitely not as bad as I’d think in the abstract. Though I do feel like this list was harder to compile because, while I can always get to a solid top 20, the last couple were difficult to come up with.

For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 1989

And we’re finally done with the 80s.

This is a very strong year, and I think that has to do with the growing independent film movement that would take over the 90s. You also get very strong top of the line stuff here. All the Best Picture nominees made the top 20 this year, and there were at least another two more options that could have made it and still kept the field as strong as it is.

Plus, the below the line stuff is all around solid. You can definitely tell we’re getting out of the 80s. Everything is starting to trend upward again. Even Disney! The Renaissance stars this year!

I feel like the top ten or fifteen will be largely the same for most people this year, with the exception of the two or three movies that are quintessentially ones that appeal specifically to me and likely are ones that most people haven’t seen as often as I have or don’t even know about.

But that’s what you come here for, isn’t it? (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 1988

This is my favorite year of the 80s. And that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the year of my birth. This year has, in my mind, the strongest set of films. I’ll take most of these ten over a lot of #1s and #2s from the other years.

You got an all-time great comedy, an all-time great action movie, two incredible animated films, four other classic comedies, an iconic Oscar-winning drama… and Moonwalker.

The top three movies on my list shaped my childhood. I am who I am because of those movies. You can’t say that about most years. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 1987

This is one of the strongest overall years of the 80s. This list goes pretty deep. The theme of it seems to be “great directors making great movies.” And then other cool, offbeat stuff too.

I’m sure there are other years from this decade that can match this one, but the minute I look down at this list, I’m struck by who made most of the movies: Brooks, Kubrick, Boorman, Donner, Jewison, Reiner, the Coens, De Palma. Sure, it’s not the biggest on star power, but also, when you look at some of the movies on there, you might argue that they’re those directors’ best movies. Or at least the movie for which they’re best remembered.

My interest in the films is definitely also picking up overall, which might just be a head of steam knowing the decade is on the way out. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 1986

If 1985 was peak 80s, this is more… how best to explain it… if we hit the pinnacle last year, then this is where everything starts to splinter off and go into its own little niche. This is where all the weird little strands start to appear as the decade winds down. I feel like the next three years are where you start to see the “80s”-ness dilute out of movies and you start to see the growing 90s independent film style start to creep up

But, while we’re still in the 80s, I think the main thing I get out of this year are the great comedies. Other than that, it’s mainly childhood staples, genre staples and weird or interesting movies by big filmmakers. That’s what it feels like.

Mostly, though. It’s the comedies. #1 and #2 on this list are unequivocally two of my absolute favorite movies of all time. (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 1985

Peak 80s. That’s what this is. This feels like everything I remember the 80s being. Not that I particularly remember the 80s, since I wasn’t alive for just about 90% of it. But in my mind, this year epitomizes the decade for me.

This is one of those lists that was forged mainly by my childhood. A bunch of these are movies I grew up watching. Some of them I saw in college for the first time, and the rest I saw as part of the Oscar Quest. Which, for me, makes it feel like I’ve been with them for a while, given the amount of stuff I’ve seen since then.

Though I will say, as far as the decade goes… not the deepest. All the strength tends to be up top. But, so far we haven’t had a year that was horrendously bad, so we should be grateful for that. (more…)