Friday, January 31, 2014
The world may not have ended in 2012, but this is where my Liftetime series comes to its end. This may not have been my most popular series judging by numbers, but it was the most fun and interactive one I think I've ever had. I wanna thank so much, those of you who have participated in sharing your own lists whether it be in the comments, FB or Twitter. And thanks for your input in other places as well. I hope you were able to discern that I was doing Favorite and not "Best" here and encouraging you to throw up your own Favorites as well. The purpose of this wasn't to be "my word is law", I was hoping for a more communal offering with this.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
This was the year that was supposed to just be the summer to get through in order to get to summer 2012 which was supposed to be the real big deal. Well, summer 2011 turned out to be pretty great in the big time pictures department while 2012 wound up severely lacking. The awful Green Lantern aside, Summer 2011 had some great superhero pictures to boot. This was an Academy Awards year that disappointed plenty of people and many didn't care for the "cute" movie winning Best Picture. Still a more impressive movie than King's Speech (ok, ok, I'm done harping on that haha). I had an absolutely horrible time trying to cut this damn thing to 6. I had a hard enough time getting it to 10 prior to that. When I had it to 8, every movie was passing my relevancy to myself test that I've been using when decision making. What makes it equally hard is that we're not that far removed from this particular year and have a passage of time that may make these cuts harder.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This is another one of those 50/50 years. There's plenty of good, but plenty of "meh", mediocre and bad films. The Academy Awards selections were a marked improvement over the previous year's. Although, the pick for winner...does any still give a rip about King's Speech and did you even back then? Looking at the list, I'd say by and large at least 8 of those were far better films than King's Speech. King's Speech feels like that boring English movie that seems to be the shoe in stereotype for Best Picture in yesteryear. Could you tell how much I care less about King's Speech?
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Well this is the year they expanded the Best Picture category and it already seemed like there were too many movies and movies that you kinda think were good...but Best Picture? Oh well. Glancing across the year I noticed that this was a really good year with me and horror's relationship. We actually rekindled greatly with a certain film that will appear on this list. When I had my big list that I had to cut down, a lot of it was horror movies. I know I'm already a blowhard for the genre to begin with, but this a year that maybe restored my love for it.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
2007 was a weak year altogether for me, but produced plenty of films I really liked and some I loved. I thought the Oscar race absolutely shafted a certain film that will be on my list, but oh well. You win some you lose some. Just because they handed out "official" awards doesn't mean a film is erased from existence and no longer available.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
This year turned out to be really easy, but contained a lot of my absolute favorites from the entire decade. I remember being severely disappointed in the Best Picture nominees for this particular year. And while I liked The Departed and think Scorsese's career deserved a Best Director statue, I was rooting against its Best Picture win, because its a remake and a lot of it (including full sequences and framings) were ripped straight from the original. Also, this was the year of the Mexican director, but of the 3 that made big time films, they picked the one that wasn't even that good of a movie as a Best Picture nominee. But, what can you do.
Friday, January 24, 2014
2005 contains one of the most depreciated films to win Best Picture that I can recall. Before it won the honors it was a well respected and genuinely liked film. Once they were handed the trophy its been hated so much that its even been called one of the worst movies ever. I'm talking, of course, of Paul Haggis' Crash. I think the film is kind of safe, but I still enjoy it. Its got some good performances and while the issues are a bit on the nose, they're still goo ones to see play out. The storytelling pattern of Crash would be something that would be utilized in many films for the next few years as well. 2005 also marks the year I moved to Los Angeles and Crash had a lot of locations I was becoming familiar with, so I kind of easily warmed to it. Its also notable that this is the year I joined forces with the infamous Scott Mendelson.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Ten years ago, damn, we had a really good year. My list of films to edit down for 2004 was quite sizeable and very difficult. But, I pulled through. Once again it came down to factors of owning the movie, how much I've watched and what's actually been revisited over what may or may not have been better. I'm interested to see some of your picks as I think they could differ greatly from mine. The Oscar race for this particular year looks kind of weak in comparison to how good this year turned out. Solid movies were released from start to finish this year. The past few years had taken until summer for something truly notable to show up.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
2003 was kind of a crummy year until summer hit. There's some big big movies and many people's all time faves within this year but overall it was pretty weak sauce. I have some pretty notable omissions here, like Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl and the best movie in the Infernal Affairs Trilogy (part 2), but that's the way the cookie crumbled I suppose. The Academy finally recognized a LOTR movie, but it felt as if the award was for the series as a whole, being that they waited til the final one for it to garner the Best Picture win.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
It might just be me, but I feel like I'm finding a pattern here in this study. Every decade seems to end on an incredibly good run only to have the next start off a little "rougher" or be less difficult to choose from. This is the year Chicago won the Oscar for Best Picture over of course a LOTR movie we still talk about. I don't know what it was with Chicago that 2 years ago the Oscars decided to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of it winning Best Picture, but...eh, okay. My picks are all but one a franchise film for this particular year, but I enjoy all of them.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Well, I supposed you could say this is the "golden post" of this series. Today's my birthday, and...this was an interesting year. While there are some big big notables in 2001, there was also a lot of really shitty movies that were released. I'd mark the year as overall weak, but when you pick out your favorites and "Best" films of this year it looks much stronger. And how about that Best Picture winner? I almost forgot that movie existed. Is anybody still big on A Beautiful Mind anymore? Does anybody even remember Gosford Park or In The Bedroom? Yet, Fellowship and Moulin Rouge! still get plenty of discussion today. That's why time is far more key than whatever the Oscars does "in the now". And I hope this little lookback is kinda sorta proving that.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
After some tougher years, 2000 was almost a breeze in comparison. I had plenty to choose from. A lot of smaller movies dominated the chopping block, but it was a painless crawl to the required 6. 2000 was big year in my life as I had graduated high school in the summer and began college. I also noticed on the list that there were a fair amount of movies that I enjoyed back then and kind of sort of have grown to detest over the years since.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
If you didn't have the word "The" in your title you were by default the winner of the 1999 Academy Awards. This was an interesting year where my list is probably the most "pop friendly" of any of them so far. At least to me. This year is also notable as it contained what I consider the worst film I've ever plopped down money to see in a theater. I'm speaking of Wing Commander. A film my friends and I went to ONLY to see the trailer for The Phantom Menace. See, back in the day you HAD to go to the theater to see the new trailers. They weren't online weeks before they finally showed up on the silver screen. They even turned the house lights back on after the trailer so people could leave if they wanted to. We should have left. After the movie, we all realized we wanted to ask the others if they wanted to leave, but were afraid someone might have been enjoying themselves.
Friday, January 17, 2014
1998's Oscar race isn't nearly as exciting or interesting as 1997. I remember the ceremony being the Roberto Benigni night. Perusing through the movies released this year, I noticed it appeared to be a really grand year for me and comedy movies. Not all of them made the list mind you, but there were plenty of ones I really enjoyed. Also, my favorite Gwenyth Paltrow film of 1998 wasn't Shakespeare In Love, it was a little unseen film by the name of Sliding Doors. It didn't make the list, but I figured I'd say something about it right here, as I do like the film quite a bit. What knocked it out was 6 films I just frankly watch a lot more than it.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Wow, another year that ends in 7 and another really difficult one to make cuts. Big list that was hard to get down to 6. The cuts like Fifth Element and the extremely underrated The Lost World sucked to do. And I cut Gattaca because while I really loved that movie when I first saw it, I've owned it or never gone back to it because I'm afraid it might not hold up. Yeah, I'm weird, but I really want to keep my high from seeing it together. This year I remember most because the Oscar race for Best Picture might have been the best and strongest I had ever seen. Had Titanic not come this year, 3 of the other 4 nominees probably would have won Best Picture in any other year. While I did see Titanic twice and it was deserving, I can't help that I liked 2 other films better, but that's me. 1997 is also notable as it was the year I was first able to see the Star Wars movies on the big screen and it was a fun and incredible 3 months when those 'Special Editions' were released.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
1996 turned out to be a difficult year to pick from for me. It was also a pretty great year for comedy for me, unfortunately having to make the final cuts of Kingpin and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. It sucks, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose. Overall a pretty strong year for movies and the one that introduced me to the Coen Bros. If young me would have told you about 1996 I would have been allllll about the Independence Day. Its surprisingly a movie I never turn back to and am kind of afraid to do so. But, in 1996, that movie and I had our time together and it was a good one.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Let's talk about one big one that's gonna surprise you that's not on the list. That's The Usual Suspects. I had the ending ruined for me before I ever that one, so I never got that awesome "shock" on the first view that got people to love the movie. I went over to a friend's house and he had to show me this part of this movie that blew his mind...guess what...it was the damn ending to The Usual Suspects. Shitty, right? Well, we can't win them all. Also, Michael Mann's Heat isn't on here as I like the movie, have watched it once or twice but I'm not crazy about it. This list, though is full of stuff I loved. Its also noteworthy, Puff, that this year is when the horror genre was pretty much going on a lifeline. We'll discuss that more next time.
Monday, January 13, 2014
I remember following the 1994 Oscar race pretty closely. It was a pretty high profile year from what I can remember. And 12 year old Brandon had only seen Forrest Gump at the time of the race. And little Brandon was really moved and affected by Forrest Gump. Plus he was a Tom Hanks fan. So, he was really rooting for that movie at the time and had a fantastic night watching that awards ceremony. Well, in retrospect, older Brandon thinks the Oscars may have gotten this one pretty wrong. But, its the one that's hot in the moment. And sometimes, some movie are better off getting snubbed and not winning the award. Movies that don't even get nominated become far more remembered and legendary more often than most Best Picture winners. I still enjoy Forrest Gump, but I think maybe there was a better choice.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
1993's list is a fun looking one. There's plenty of variety to it. This one also struck me as its one that seems to be comprised of film that look like they could appear on a lot of people's favorite films of all time lists. I was also totally forgot that The Fugitive was a Best Picture nominee that year. With all the lists of Best Picture nominees we've been going with it surely stands out among them as its one that seemed to be the general audience's champion for that year (of those nominated). Anyway, let's take a look at those.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
We now begin the second stretch of 10 years of my life in film. Hope everybody took a little break, cracked their knuckles and is back at it. 1992 was a really solid year. It produced one of my all time favorite comedies and some underrated or unappreciated turns. This is also the year Al Pacino finally won a damn Oscar. We almost had the 2nd Oscar winner in a row make the final cut, but alas The Unforgiven was the last thing cut to make it that wretched 6 i'm keeping to. But, its how the game is played, so here we go. Onto 1992.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Forewarning, there's a really wild choice here in this year's picks. But, damnit, I'm going to go ahead and go with it. And when you read about it, maybe you'll get why. Plus if you know me and some of the movies that I tend to watch and attach myself to, you'll understand. 1991 had a lot of cool stuff and a lot of middle of the road stuff for me. Things have slid a little as far as "absolute favorites" for me following 1989. But, hell, we still have plenty of good stuff to choose from. Tim Burton ended his own streak by not making a movie in this year.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
We've hit the 90s! This particular year had a lot of films I like and I had too weed this list down, but nothing was anything major. Most of those were all fine films but nothing I'm was clinging to and driving my brain crazy when it come to decision making time. One film on here wouldn't have made the list had it been made last year, but I quite frankly loved it so much that it knocked out plenty of competition. Also, something that I remember enjoying quite a bit like Dick Tracy...I haven't seen in a long long time, so it lost out on my ignorance of not revisiting it in many years. And I like Total Recall, but in comparison to the others it just hadn't been watched as much and I don't even own it on Blu-ray or DVD. Same goes for Goodfellas. Everybody should see Goodfellas...it just well...falls short when considering MY favorites (cuz like i've said, there's a difference between "best" and "favorite").
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Another year, more difficult decisions. 1989 is one of my favorite years for movies and one of the biggest ones as a fan and contributor to my passion, love and geekiness for film today. Once again, the Lethal Weapon franchise gets the short end of the stick here (its got 2 more chances to show up!) and none of Jason/Freddy/Michael made the cut in the big turning point year for slashers. This year's summer was the answer to the summer of 1982...except these ones were both hyped and respected at the time. 2008 would later mirror some of these releases, but I'll get to that later (and if I forget, remind me). I'm not so sure on how 1990 is going to turn out, but it was a really remarkable run here in my personal journey from 1987-1989.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
1988 wasn't 1987 tough to make cuts, but there were some omissions I was sad not to be talking about with my 6 film limit. I know the next year will be a big one too, so its pretty telling there was great run of films in the movie industry from 1987-1989. Or maybe...I was just soaking in and paying attention to more movies at the time (likely a big factor). I've also noticed Tom Cruise has been in big movie after big movie, but none of them have yet to show up on my lists (No, I am not a Top Gun fan, sorry). So, alas, another day, another year another list of 6 movies!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Well, this year pissed me off. It was hard as hell to dwindle it down to 6. So much good stuff in this year. So many favorites. There are plenty I'm going to miss on this one. I boiled it down to what I have watched most and what I've gone back to more recently and more often. I'd like to take this moment as well, and give an honorable mention to Miami Connection which came out this year. Its an incredible film that Drafthouse Films unearthered a little over a year ago and its absolutely fabulous. See it if you've not had the privilege
Sunday, January 5, 2014
And now to the last year I was an only child. This one was too tough, there were some cuts, but they were a bit easy to make. This is the year that Leatherface returned to rev his chainsaw at audiences and Star Trek saw its biggest hit of the franchise until AbramsTrek happened.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
We continue now with 1985. As you'll see below, I guess I could coin this the "dead" year. There were plenty of good ones to choose from here making the edit a little challenging. I'm sure this will get real tough the further we get and more attention I paid to cinema year after year. What this one came down to was which ones I'd been enjoying for the longer amount of time essentially. Witness did not make the cut here, so Harrison's streak ends at 3. But, the film does get mentioned in the Oscar section. Although i think he has it in him for more streaks possibly. We'll see.
Friday, January 3, 2014
This was a pretty damn good year in terms of having to weed films down. It came down to being honest with myself. Ultimately, Beverly Hills Cop was cut from this list as I hadn't picked up in forever until I did the retrospective this past summer. The others on this list are ones I have seen countless times and have been with me for years and years and always jump with me from home video format to home video format. 1984 was a good year. And, these films all hit the 30 year milestone this year.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Welcome to 1983. This was a weaker year for me. This year has the example of movies shining through that probably wouldn't had they fallen into a different year. That's part of what the fun is going to be with this. Some of the factors that go into this aside from how much I like a film is how many times I've seen it, whether or not I owned/have owned/have owned multiple times or how well the film has stuck in my genuine consciousness and conversation. I also think there is a difference between having a film as a favorite and knowing what films are better than the others. This year also had 2 James Bond movies...but neither appear here as both happened to be my 2 least favorite.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A question I've gotten asked as a film guy a lot throughout my life (and I'm sure folks who aren't try the same thing) is "What are your (10) favorite films of all time?" Seems a simple and fair question on its surface, but to me its an incredibly complex one to someone who has engulfed themselves in film for just about their whole life. Just 10? I'm going to forget something or have a hard time choosing between many. I love film. Movies are my love and passion in life. They've kinda been one of the most important aspects of my life and personality. I've been on this Earth for 31 years and there have been thousands of movies released in my lifetime. I've found myself loving many of them. But, a bigger picture, movies have been around for over 100 years now. Think of how many have been made from then to now. And you want to crack that down to just 10-20...even 100 seems like you're going to be leaving off a lot. I just don't think its fair to dwindle it down to that number. Plus every year brings even more great films to add to history.