Posts Tagged 'hans zimmer'

The 2016 Biggie Awards (and My Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2015)

The 27th Annual Biggie Awards

for achievements in film for the year 2015

2015. Goddamn. “Weird” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

In my view, this was the weakest year overall for movies since 2009, where I only “loved” 14 movies. In 2015, as of this writing, I added 17 films to my Love List. For perspective, since I’ve started tracking these things in 1997, this is only the third year where I didn’t love at least 20 movies. I didn’t love anything in 2015 until early May when Avengers: Age of Ultron opened, and even that was a disappointment compared to its predecessor.

This was not a year like 2000 (Gladiator), 2003 (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) or 2012 (Lincoln) where a single film dominated the year while also facing stiff competition (Gladiator fended off The Patriot, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon AND Traffic, ROTK is the most awarded film in Biggies history, but still had to face Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World AND The Last Samurai– which would have been the Best Picture winner in most other years, while Lincoln had to battle Zero Dark Thirty). The closest comp I can come up with is 2011, when Drive snuck in out of nowhere to take Best Picture in a wide open field. Drive would’ve been crushed had it come out the same year as There Will Be Blood or Titanic, but it happened to arrive in a mediocre year and was able to edge out the victory. Fast forward to now, and I don’t even know if there was a 2015 film as good as Drive. As a result, this is probably the most winnable year in Biggies history for “great but not masterful” movies, which is simultaneously really fun and disappointing by default. As I post this, I honestly haven’t decided what I think the best movie of 2015 was.

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The 2015 Biggie Awards (& My Top 10 and Bottom 5 of 2014)

The 26th Annual Biggie Awards

[UPDATED WITH WINNERS!]

for achievements in film for the year 2014

(click on any image to see the full-size version)

A year like 2014 is precisely why I created my own awards to begin with. It’s a year when the Oscars and I disagreed perhaps more than we ever have. I dutifully watched the Academy Awards this year, as I always do, but I had little to no rooting interest, as almost none of my favorite movies were up in the categories they should’ve been recognized in. Though you’ll find quite a bit of overlap in our acting nominees, I only agree with 3 of the Academy’s 8 Best Picture nominees, and they passed gas on nearly all of their technical categories. What else is new?

I thought 2014 was a good year on the whole, but not great. Maybe a B+ if I were to grade it. The barometer I use in judging an entire year is how many movies I put on my all-time “Movies I Love” list. This year, there were 21 new entrees on that list. There were 22 in 2013 and 25 in 2012. For perspective, the most ever is 31 from 2000. None of 2014’s entries will wind up in my all-time top 100, but that’s a tough list to crack any year.

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The 2014 Biggie Awards (& The 25 Movies from 2013 That You Should’ve Seen)

The 25th Annual Biggie Awards

aka The Biggies

celebrating achievements in cinema for the year 2013

First off, this is me patting myself on the back for 25 years of recognizing excellence in film. It’s pretty cool to hit a milestone like that. I’ve been doing these awards since I was 17 years old, aka half of my life. I started in 1997 with awards for that year’s amazing roster of movies, but eventually I retroactively went back and did my awards from 1989 forward. Why 1989? Well, basically it was so I could recognize Glory (one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time) as my first Best Picture winner. What other reason do I need? I take this very seriously, and I’m proud of the legacy I’ve been able to build here, even if that legacy exists only in my own mind. Hopefully that pride shows in how much time and care I put into this post every year.

Gatsby - glass raise“Happy 25th anniversary, Old Sport.”
Thanks, Gatsby!

As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, for those interested, here are all of my previous Best Picture winners, with the Oscars’ Best Picture winner that year in parentheses for comparison:

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Trailer Reaction: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, GODZILLA, INTERSTELLAR (and more!)

Over the course of the past month or so, we’ve been shown some pretty impressive first looks at many of 2014’s biggest movies. This is the post where I show them all to you and react to and grade each one. I recommend clicking on the title of each trailer inside the video to watch the bigger version in HD on the YouTube site. You can also click on the linked titles to see each film’s Wikipedia page for more info.

In the order in which they were released:

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (opens 5/23/14)

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Free Review of a $200 Million Turd: THE LONE RANGER

spanish poster

The Lone Ranger (from the team that brought you Pirates of the Caribbean, didn’t ya know?!) arrived in theaters last week to scathing reviews, low industry expectations and minuscule audience anticipation. Of course, by that “team”, I’m referring to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and star Johnny Depp. Here we have another project that took a long, troubled road to the big screen – a road that Disney probably now wishes it hadn’t traveled. The final box office tally for the film’s opening weekend was a disastrous $48.7 million for the 5-day holiday weekend. For comparison, Despicable Me 2 opened strong with $143 million over the same period. Wall Street analysts are now saying that Disney could end up losing $150-190 million total on the movie. That’s a big deal, but a company the size of Disney will absorb that without blinking. The only thing it will really cause is some bruised egos. Anyway, it’s still not as bad as the $200 million hit Disney took last year on the stinker known as John Carter. So…there’s that. Nor is Jerry Bruckheimer likely to feel much heat given how much money he’s made for the studio with the Pirates movies, especially given the [unfortunate] fact that a fifth one is on the way.

So why did Bruckheimer think that a cheesy western TV show from the 50’s would make an exciting $215-250 million (depending who you ask) summer blockbuster in 2013? The fuck if I know, brah. I thought this was a terrible idea from the get-go when it was announced several years ago, so its creative and financial failure doesn’t surprise me one bit. I’m not celebrating its failure, but I am happy that audiences knew better and rejected it. That’s a positive sign. I only wish they’d do so more often (like, say, on the 4th Pirates movie). I guess Bruckheimer felt that if he can turn a theme park ride into a multibillion-dollar franchise, he and his boys could do it with any property. Unfortunately for him, that is not the case. I’m not as big a fan of “TV crime show/epic adventure-fantasy film producer” Jerry Bruckheimer as I was “R-rated action movie producer” Jerry Bruckheimer from the 90’s, but I still respect the guy a great deal and consider myself a fan. Just don’t expect to see CSI: Topeka on my DVR, and I will not be fooled into paying to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in theaters. Never again!

Continue reading ‘Free Review of a $200 Million Turd: THE LONE RANGER’

Review: MAN OF STEEL

man_of_steel_ver6

WARNING: Spoilers be comin! If you’re one of 8 people left who haven’t seen this movie, know that I discuss almost every detail of the plot at one point or another during this review. There, I told you.

Man of Steel is the best Superman movie ever made, and my new NEW favorite movie of 2013. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year, and easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this summer. I can confidently say that the only other movies that even have a chance to compete for Best Movie of the Summer are Elysium and Pacific Rim. Most of my complaints about the film are trivial at best, so the “Didn’t Like” section won’t be as long as it has been with a lot of other movies recently. MoS is far from perfect, but I didn’t have any huge gripes with it. Sorry, no nitpicking section this go-around. Sad face. But do join me for nearly 5,000 words of astute, insightful, edumacational reviewing…

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The 2013 Biggie Awards (& My Top 10 of 2012)

The 24th Annual Biggie Awards

aka The Biggies

for achievements in film for the year 2012

I’ll be the first to admit I had unfair expectations for 2012. Given the impressive roster of movies on tap, I predicted as early as April of 2011 that 2012 would be the best year in movies since 2000, which I consider to be the best year for movies in my lifetime. In the end, it wasn’t quite the year I wanted it to be, but it was still quite a year. Actually, by my official tally of new entries on my “Movies I Love” list, this was the best year for movies since 2007. I “loved” 24 movies in 2012 (for comparison, 2000 holds the record with 31). What I liked most about 2012 was that it had a lot of variety, as I think you’ll see reflected here in my nominees.

We’ll get into most of the specific films in the descriptions under each category, but there are a few things I want to mention up front.

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