Ruminations Episode XII: Christmas All the Way

Chris and Steve discuss a range of topics relating to Christmas movies with Lou, Ruminations’ second-ever guest host. Questions like: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Is Ron Howard’s Grinch movie worth its two-hour runtime? Why can’t Steve keep the Rankin/Bass movies straight? Will Mel Gibson’s Fatman become a perennial Christmas watch? How many times has Lou seen Jingle All the Way? How does it feel to spit up whiskey and/or to record half of a podcast with the hiccups? All of this and more in the messiest, most laugh-filled episode of Ruminations so far! Give us a listen, and merry Christmas to all of our listeners!

Episode XII Show Notes

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Ruminations Episode XI: Underrated Horror

Just in time for the strangest Halloween in memory, we’re back to talk about three underrated horror movies we seem to revisit every year around this time: Wes Craven’s Haiti-set The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), the ’80s pastiche The House of the Devil (2009), and the Nicolas Cage mystery Pay the Ghost (2015). Along the way, we reminisce about Burger King’s Universal horror action figures from our childhood, 10th grade speeches, and our vastly different experiences watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time. Chris is in his element discussing voodoo and Samhain, and Steve enjoys telling Chris off for not knowing directors by name. Lastly, we list our top moments in scary movies! Give us a listen. (We know you all have nothing better to do.)

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Ruminations Episode X: Onward and Up-ward!

Ruminations is finally back and, boy, did we miss a lot over the last 6 months! We start off Episode X with a discussion of our experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown and what we’ve been watching to pass the time as society crumbles around us, but the main event is much more fun. In a companion piece to our first-ever episode, we rank the best and worst of Pixar Animation Studios, once the baby of Apple’s Steve Jobs and now an integral part of Disney’s galactic empire. In a departure from our first episode, however, we stick to our own rankings, which means there are some fireworks!

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2020 Oscar Predictions

It’s that time of year again. Except for the first time in at least a decade, I have no issues with any of the major nominations. (Hence, there’s no podcast of us venting like last year.) It’s basically a miracle. What once seemed like a wide-open race has more or less solidified into a night built around the question, “Will 1917 win that award?” Unfortunately, this means my personal favorite of the movies–well, apart from The Lighthouse, solely nominated for Best Cinematography–and the one most-deserving of awards, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, might end the night without a single Oscar. Here’s to hoping for a few pleasant surprises!

Below are my predictions for the 2020 Academy Awards: Continue reading

Ruminations Episode IX: The 2010s

Happy New Year from Ruminations! To celebrate the start of 2020 and the end of the 2010s, we talk* about 10 of our favorite movies from a decade that wasn’t all that great when it came to cinema. (At least in our opinions, but our opinions are Correct.) Stick around for some honorable mentions!

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Ruminations Episode VIII Show Notes

Miscellaneous Exorcism

  • Since posting our episode on Halloween, I have finished The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. I can’t recommend it enough for anyone looking for an accessible and informative overview of angels, demons, demonic infestation/oppression/possession, and the various ways in which exorcists go about exorcising demons in the 21st century. More on book’s main focus, Fr. Gary Thomas, below in our section on the movie version of The Rite.
  • Here is an abbreviated form of the Rite of Exorcism from the Roman Ritual. It was admittedly harder to find online than one might think, but Chris found it. If you would like to purchase the full ritual, you can buy it here with the full Latin and English texts, side by side.
  • Here is Fr. Vincent Lampert, Exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, being interviewed on EWTN’s World Over program with Raymond Arroyo. As mentioned in the episode, Chris saw Fr. Lampert speak at Montclair State University twice (in 2010 as a student and then with me in 2016, post-college); here is video of his lecture at Seton Hall University in 2017. Lastly, Fr. Lampert also appeared in The Making of a Modern Exorcist as an exorcist-in-training with Fr. Thomas.
  • The career of Rome’s foremost exorcist, the late Fr. Gabriel Amorth, is discussed on EWTN’s World Over program with Raymond Arroyo and The Exorcist director William Friedkin. Fr. Amorth was the author of numerous books on exorcisms–his most famous book available in English is An Exorcist Tells His Story–and was the subject of Friedkin’s 2017 documentary, The Devil and Fr. Amorth
  • Chris also mentioned the book Interview with an Exorcist: An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance, which is exactly what it sounds like. This exorcist is Fr. José Antonio Fortea of Spain.
  • Christ mentioned how priests partake in a “black fast” before beginning the exorcist ritual. We couldn’t find an exact source for this but Matt Baglio did make a point about fasting beforehand in The Making of a Modern Exorcist.
  • Chris and I talked about this video from VICE where a reporter attended a voodoo ceremony in a basement in a Haitian neighborhood in Brooklyn. It is freaky and bizarre and also completely fascinating.

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Ruminations Episode VIII: What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism

For our Halloween-themed episode, the Ruminations team talks about the Catholic Rite of Exorcism and the movies that have made it famous. Learn the differences between demonic infestation, oppression, and possession, what it’s like to talk to a 90-year-old exorcist IRL, and why even modern Hollywood can sometimes treat Catholicism respectfully!

(In order to get Episode VIII out in time for, you know, Halloween, our show notes will be posted at a later date. Stay tuned!)

Episode VIII Show Notes

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Ruminations Episode VII Show Notes

The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • This video explains some of the behind the scenes history of the making of The Curse of the Black Pearl, especially the comical short sightedness of Disney’s former CEO, Michael Eisner.
  • Johnny Depp received an Oscar nomination for his role of Jack Sparrow, ultimately losing to Sean Penn for Mystic River. In 2018, Depp received the exact opposite honor when he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry for his (final?) performance of Jack in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
  • Wikipedia has a good breakdown of how Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt split the work for the score of the first Pirates film. Long story short: Zimmer couldn’t focus on the score because he was busy composing for The Last Samurai, so he passed the work onto Badelt. However, he still managed to compose most of the main cues with Badelt. Because the schedule was so rushed, seven other composers had to contribute orchestrations and cues, including Game of Thrones’ Ramin Djawadi and Arrow/The Flash‘s Blake NeelyThe most famous track, “He’s a Pirate,” sounds like it was lifted verbatim from Zimmer’s Gladiator track, “The Battle.”

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Ruminations Episode VII: A Pirate’s Life for Us

After what seems like an eternity, Rum-inations is back with our seventh episode! As promised at the end of Episode VI, this one is all about pirates and rum. To prepare for such an undertaking…we bought a whole bunch of rum and rewatched all 5 Pirates of the Caribbean movies with our friend Ruben, who now joins us as our first guest! 

In addition to our episode, check out our show notes full of movie and musical clips, historical tidbits, and mucho rum recommendations!

Episode VII Show Notes

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ancient-rome-catholic

Ruminations Episode VI: Urbs Aeterna

Ruminations is back with its most historical episode yet! In Episode VI, Chris and Steve recount their April trip to Rome, the Eternal City, highlighting the history and splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica, the glory witnessing the Capitoline Wolf and Augustus of Prima Porta statues in person, an unexpected visit to an actual medieval castle, and more. This episode is a bit on the long side, folks–if you make it through the first 45 minutes, you’ll at least be rewarded by two superb anecdotes that practically had the hosts in tears!

Stick around until the end and check out our show notes full of historical tidbits, book recommendations, and lots of pictures!

Episode VI Show Notes

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Ruminations Episode V Show Notes

Game of Thrones (01:30-26:30): As we mentioned in the episode, the entire world has Game of Thrones Season 8 takes. Below are a few interesting columns, blogs, and podcasts we’ve come across since the finale aired:

  • Entertainment Weekly‘s recap podcast with Darren Franich and James Hibberd. Hibberd visited various sets and interviewed actors during filming so he knew many of the plot points that were to occur, yet he still wasn’t keen on its final product (as conveyed in his own finale recap).
  • Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone‘s equally unimpressed blog specifically focusing on Tyrion’s kingmaking
  • This amazing GLoP podcast in which guests Ross Douthat (New York Times) and Sonny Bunch (Washington Free Beacon Washington Post) join co-hosts John Podhoretz and Jonah Goldberg, and the normally level-headed Ross has a few, er, choice words to say about showrunners Benioff and Weiss.
  • Lastly, this AV Club essay by Myles McNutt takes a contrarian, positive take on the finale, noting its thematic consistencies. Worth a read, as much as we might not agree with his view of the final product.

Aladdin (26:30-39:30):

  • Flashback to Episode I and our ranking of the 57 Disney Animated Classics. Look at Number 1 on all 3 lists!
  • Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the “Speechless” writing team, on their new woke song for Jasmine
  • Cartoon Jafar sings “Prince Ali,” which was left entirely out of the new movie. Speaking of missing Jafar scenes from the 1992 original, wasn’t live action Jafar’s transformation into a giant cobra so cool to see on the big screen? Oh.

Knights of the Old Republic (39:30-42:30):

  • The news. Ugh. Here is the original trailer for the award-winning 2003 RPG. It plays automatically whenever you start up the original Xbox game, and I get chills every time. (The torture scene towards the end, which plays a major role in the plot, is very similar to this scene in The Force Awakens, and the only time my interest was piqued while watching Episode VII.)
  • There’s a new book about the making of the game!
  • This meme:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (42:30-49:00):

  • Not really much to say about this one. Some news about its box office numbers, as it was more successful than the previous two movies in its opening weekend.

Avengers: Endgame (49:00-51:00):

  • This Half in the Bag review from the always-great Red Letter Media is comprehensive and sensible.
  • We were both annoyed by Fat Thor though we never mentioned it in the podcast. Apparently, Chris Hemsworth fought to keep him in the movie?

Featured Image credit:
Composite image/FLIPP

Ruminations Episode V: Disappointment

Everything is Terrible in Episode V of Ruminations! When writing about our last episode, I quoted T.S. Eliot since cruel, cruel April brought us the ending of two of our favorite franchises. Little did I know how cruel it would actually be! Another Eliot quote is appropriate now (this one the conclusion to The Hollow Men):

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Whimper to its conclusion Game of Thrones did–and its lackluster finale takes up the full first half of our episode–but it wasn’t alone in its dullness. The live action Aladdin remake and the much-hyped John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, released in back-to-back weekends, were also quite lame, to put it mildly. To top off this whirlwind of recent mediocrity, a bit of (potentially) soul-crushing Star Wars news also leaked this week. When will the suffering end?

Avenger: Endgame was pop culture’s only saving grace and we gladly left it out of our lamentations (until, ya know, the end of our episode, when we decided to actually talk about it. Oops?)

Listen and complain along with us! And, as always, SPOILERS!

Episode V Show Notes

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Ruminations Episode IV: Endgame of Thrones

For the fourth episode of the Ruminations Podcast, we discuss the long-awaited endings of our beloved Game of Thrones and The Avengers. (“April is the cruelest month,” as Eliot said.) We recorded hours before the premiere of GoT’s 8th season, but we spend more time talking about the past 7 seasons anyway, so it’s not outdated yet! (One of Chris’s predictions has already come true! Psst. It involves dragons.) For both our GoT and MCU discussions, SPOILERS GALORE!

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The maestro speaks: Ennio Morricone on life and music (via OUPblog)

I recently wrote a blog post on the legendary Ennio Morricone for my day job, quoting tidbits from the new book Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words and accompanying each excerpt with clips of some of the composer’s best-known cinematic cues:

Over his esteemed six decade career, Italian composer Ennio Morricone has scored hundreds of movies across numerous genres, most famously the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone. Many of his most iconic musical cues—to name just three, the coyote-like “wah-wah” of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the haunting harmonica from Once Upon a Time in the West, and the distinct oboe of The Mission—have transcended their films to cement their place in popular culture, referenced in cartoons and commercials, played at sporting events, and even performed by metal bands in concert. Additionally, today’s English-speaking audiences may be familiar with some lesser known pieces from Morricone’s early career in Italy due to their inclusion in recent Quentin Tarantino movies.

Please read the whole piece (and listen to the Spotify playlist) on the OUPblog.

(The views expressed on this website are the blogger’s and do not represent the views of his employer.)

    • – FLIPP

Ruminations Episode III Show Notes

Quo Vadis (1951)
– The opening scene of Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) entering Rome is one of the main inspirations for the opening of the Coen brothers’ 1950s Hollywood-set caper, Hail, Caesar!.
– Peter Ustinov’s Nero is one of cinema’s great villains, and one whose “genius” (to use his word) is immensely under-appreciated. As referenced in the podcast, Nero is all about the theatrics, composing while being pampered, “composing while he sings” at a party, and dramatically unveiling his plans for a new palatial complex, one that would replace much of Rome, leading to…
– The Great Fire of Rome (which also involves some imperial singing.)
– Christ speaks to St. Peter (Finlay Currie) on the road outside of Rome, saying through a child that he will be “crucified a second time” in Rome. Realizing what this means, Peter returns to the city to inspire the Christians about to be killed in the arena, ultimately leading to his own condemnation and crucifixion.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005) 
– The Crusades, which occurred over two centuries, can be difficult to follow. Here is a brief summary of all 9 Crusades, plus the “People’s” and “Children’s” Crusades.
– This article breaks down all the differences between the maligned theatrical cut and the 45-minutes-longer director’s cut.
– Harry Gregson-Williams’ incredible score is by far the best part of this movie. Here is all 3 hours of it.
– Godfrey (Liam Neeson) sardonically tells Balian (Orlando Bloom) and the Hospitaller (David Thewlis) that he once fought 2 days with an arrow through his testicle.
– Leprous King Baldwin’s face is finally revealed when Sibylla (Eva Green) mournfully looks on her dead brother’s corpse and removes his mask. The music playing over this scene is “Vide Cor Meum,” an aria composed by Patrick Cassidy for Ridley Scott’s earlier film Hannibal.
This speech by the Hospitaller destroys the aura of the film as it’s chock full of modern convictions about the dangers of zealous religious beliefs.
– After the Muslim army has taken Jerusalem, Saladin shows his respect for the Christians when he sees that a crucifix has been thrown to the floor. He respectfully picks it up and puts it back on a table, an act that had modern Middle Eastern filmgoers rising to their feet.
Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) appears at the film’s end as Richard the Lionheart. Here, Balian repeats the line “You…continue until they speak something else” regarding the way to the Holy Land.

The Young Pope (2016-2017)
– We debated the nature of Lenny Belardo’s flawed-but-holy character, which can be perfectly summed up by this line from Guardians of the Galaxy. For the sake of time (because the entire show can basically be posted here), below are a few clips to get a taste of Pius XIII and the humor of this glorious, insane series:
All Along the Watchtower
Ketchikan, Alaska!
The Pope’s snack
The Pope as Banksy
The kangaroo
LMFAO
Pius XIII enters–nay, is carried into–the Sistine Chapel
The Pope vs. the Prime Minister
The Africa speech and Halo
The Popes offer some advice

Honorable Mentions
Ben-Hur: We liked, but didn’t love, Ben-Hur, the 1959 Best Picture winner that also won 10 other Oscars including a Best Actor award for Charlton Heston. The rowing scenes are cool (Steve rowed in high school) and its famed chariot race lives up to its reputation–with one major caveat: we’d seen it all before in 1999’s Star War Episode I: The Phantom Menace. (George Lucas blatantly ripped it off for his podrace sequence, but as 7-year-olds, did we really know any better?) And, oh, look, it’s Peter from Quo Vadis, here playing Balthazar, one of the three wise men.
The Passion of the Christ: Mel Gibson’s magnum opus is bloodier than any movie version of Christ’s crucifixion that’s come before it and will probably come after it. Whatever you want to say about Gibson’s personal life, The Passion of the Christ is a profound piece of cinema; Jim Caviezal’s performance is a godsend (pun intended) and the movie was a roaring success despite its ultra-violence. For at least a decade, it was the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever, making over $600 million at the box office. Lastly, more movies should have characters speaking Aramaic and Latin.
The Passion of Joan of Arc: Steve watched the 24fps version of Carl Th. Dreyer’s 1928 masterpiece, which has French subtitles and is accompanied by Richard Einhorn’s 1994 oratorio, “Visions of Light.” Chris, on the other hand, watched the slower 20fps Danish version, which is accompanied by a more low-key piano score by Mie Yanashita that better fits Dreyer’s vision of the movie. This review compares the two versions. (Incredible fact: the long-lost Danish version was discovered in the closet of an abandoned mental hospital in Oslo, Norway in 1981.)
Rome Open City: There aren’t too many clips on YouTube, but here is one of the 1945 film’s most famous scenes, in which a woman is gunned down by Nazi soldiers.
Spotlight: 2015’s Best Picture winner is still (unfortunately) relevant. Trailer here.
Doubt: John Patrick Shanley’s 2008 adaptation of his own play has fantastic performances from 3 Oscar winners and also Amy Adams, all of whom were nominated for Academy Awards. This includes Viola Davis, who only appeared in a single scene (and it’s flippin’ great). Steve reviewed Doubt way, way back when he first started this blog, which can be found here. (Please be kind, it was his first ever review.)

Podcast Mentions
– In his ranting(s) about Pope Francis, Chris mentioned the Taylor Marshall Show, a superb podcast by Dr. Taylor Marshall, a former Episcopalian priest who converted to Catholicism and has 8 children. Dr. Marshall has several informative YouTube videos on the current crisis in the Catholic Church, all definitely worth watching.
– Steve mentioned the exponentially lower-brow SSEU Podcast, which initially started out as a podcast based on another podcast but has now morphed into a bunch of Twitter friends interviewing one another about movies, joking about stool samples, and reading poetry about gas station food. (Full disclosure: Steve appeared on Episode 8, The Cactus and the Giant, which also had some pretty good show notes.) Their last episode was a direct inspiration for this one.

Image credit:
Poster for Quo Vadis, 1951 / Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Ruminations Episode III: Catholic Films Through the Ages

In honor of Lent, we are back to discuss three Catholic themed movies for our third episode. (Well, not all of them are movies, and not all of them are Catholic, but we explain what we mean by that in the podcast.) We tried to think outside the box on this one, focusing our discussion on three ages of Catholicism: antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times.

Below are show notes with a bunch of clips, and they’re all worth checking out. Seriously. We hope you enjoy!

Episode III Show Notes

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2019 Oscar Predictions

In lieu of show notes for Ruminations Episode II, here are my predictions for tomorrow night’s “Blah-scars” ceremony:

Best Picture
Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Actress in a Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Directing
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Paweł Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice

Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

Original Screenplay
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

Foreign Language Film
Capernaum, Lebanon
Cold War, Poland
Never Look Away, Germany
Roma, Mexico
Shoplifters, Japan

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Original Score
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Original Song
“All the Stars,” Black Panther
“I’ll Fight,” RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow,” A Star Is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Documentary Short
Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.

Cinematography
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

Best Documentary Feature
Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

Production Design
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

Sound Mixing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Film Editing
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Vice

Sound Editing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

Animated Short Film
Animal Behavior
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

Live Action Short
Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
Skin

Makeup and Hairstyling
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Featured Image credit: 1956 Green Book cover, New York Public Library. CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ruminations Episode II: The Blah-scars

We were planning on letting the Disney episode sit for a while before recording a second episode. However, we decided at the last minute to rant a little bit about the 8 Best Picture nominees before the 2019 Oscars this Sunday renders them moot. Apart from one movie that the both of us really enjoyed, the nominees are overall quite blah. Hopefully, the ceremony will make up for their mediocrity. (HA! Couldn’t keep a straight face there!) Of course it won’t!

The 8 nominations are (in order of discussion):

A Star is Born
BlackkKlansman
Roma
The Favourite
Vice
Bohemian Rhapsody
Black Panther
Green Book

2019 Oscar Predictions

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Ruminations Episode I Show Notes

For ease of discussion, we each compiled an individual ranking from best to worst and then took the average of each film to create a single master list:

Rank Master Chris Steven
1 Aladdin (1992) Aladdin Aladdin
2 The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) The Hunchback of Notre Dame The Hunchback of Notre Dame
3 Beauty and the Beast (1991) The Lion King Beauty and the Beast
4 The Lion King (1994) Beauty and the Beast Pinocchio
5 Cinderella (1950) The Little Mermaid Alice in Wonderland
6 The Little Mermaid (1989) Sleeping Beauty The Lion King
7 Sleeping Beauty (1959) The Black Cauldron Cinderella
8 Pinocchio (1940) Cinderella Emperor’s New Groove
9 Hercules (1997) Hercules Hercules
10 Mulan (1998) Mulan Sleeping Beauty
11 Alice in Wonderland (1951) Tarzan The Little Mermaid
12 Tarzan (1999) The Princess and the Frog Mulan
13 The Black Cauldron (1985) Pocahontas Pocahontas
14 Pocahontas (1995) Pinocchio Tarzan
15 Emperor’s New Groove (2000) Robin Hood Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
16 The Princess and the Frog (2009) Lilo and Stitch The Princess and the Frog
17 Robin Hood (1973) Dinosaur The Great Mouse Detective
18 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Emperor’s New Groove The Black Cauldron
19 Lilo and Stitch (2002) Alice in Wonderland Robin Hood
20 The Great Mouse Detective (1986) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Lilo and Stitch
21 Zootopia (2016) The Fox and the Hound Wreck It Ralph
22 Peter Pan (1953) Peter Pan Zootopia
23 The Fox and the Hound (1981) The Jungle Book Ralph Breaks the Internet
24 Wreck It Ralph (2012) Zootopia Bolt
25 Dinosaur (2000) 101 Dalmatians Tangled
26 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Oliver and Company Peter Pan
27 Bolt (2008) The Great Mouse Detective The Fox and the Hound
28 101 Dalmatians (1961) Wreck It Ralph Fantasia
29 Tangled (2010) Ralph Breaks the Internet Dumbo
30 Dumbo (1941) Bolt Atlantis: The Lost Empire
31 Fantasia (1940) Dumbo Frozen
32 The Jungle Book (1967) Brother Bear 101 Dalmatians
33 Brother Bear (2003) The Rescuers Dinosaur
34 Frozen (2013) Fantasia Brother Bear
35 Oliver and Company (1988) Tangled Meet the Robinsons
36 The Rescuers (1977) Frozen The Rescuers
37 Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Lady and the Tramp Fantasia 2000
38 Lady and the Tramp (1955) Fantasia 2000 Lady and the Tramp
39 Fantasia 2000 (1999) The Aristocats The Jungle Book
40 Meet the Robinsons (2007) Bambi The Aristocats
41 The Aristocats (1970) Meet the Robinsons Moana
42 Bambi (1942) Moana Oliver and Company
43 Moana (2016) Atlantis: The Lost Empire Bambi
44 Home on the Range (2004) The Sword in the Stone Big Hero Six
45 The Rescuers Down Under (1990) Home on the Range Home on the Range
46 Big Hero Six (2014) The Rescuers Down Under The Rescuers Down Under
47 Treasure Planet (2002) Treasure Planet Treasure Planet
48 The Sword in the Stone (1963) The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
49 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
50 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) Big Hero Six Winnie the Pooh
51 Winnie the Pooh (2011) Winnie the Pooh The Sword in the Stone
52 The Three Caballeros (1944) The Three Caballeros The Three Caballeros
53 Saludos Amigos (1942) Saludos Amigos Saludos Amigos
54 Make Mine Music (1946) Melody Time Make Mine Music
55 Melody Time (1948) Make Mine Music Fun and Fancy Free
56 Fun and Fancy Free (1947) Fun and Fancy Free Melody Time
57 Chicken Little (2005) Chicken Little Chicken Little
    • SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS: We mentioned the seven little Oscars Walt Disney received for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Here he is presented the awards by Shirley Temple.
    • THE SWORD IN THE STONE: Madam Mim toys with young Arthur and scares him by pulling her face and turning it into a pig, which Disney pays homage to in Princess and the Frog when the alligator Louis puts willow tree leaves over his face.
    • WINNIE THE POOH: The best scene in either “Pooh” movie (pun intended) is when Winnie trips out on bad honey in the Heffalumps and Woozles sequence. This scene also hearkens back to when Dumbo accidentally gets drunk and hallucinates “Pink Elephants on parade.” The Baksun song, from the 2011 film Winnie the Pooh, is arguably the only memorable piece of it–in fact, it was the only scene we could remember!
    • THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD: Check out this video of the Disneyland dark ride “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” where you, your family, and Mr. Toad get to be damned to Hell with a smile! Quite possibly the best scene from any of the World War II era films is the famous Headless Horseman chase which ends in a flaming pumpkin being thrown at a terrified Ichabod Crane.
    • WWII ERA FILMS: Here’s some backstory on the Good Neighbor Policy mentioned when discussing Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros from NPR. For more information, you can always check good ol’ reliable Wikipedia. Here is the beloved Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros at the Mexican Pavilion in EPCOT, enjoyed best over a margarita from La Cava del Tequila. In Make Mine Music, a whale sings opera. (It’s exactly how it sounds.) The Fun and Fancy Free intro includes Jiminy Cricket, bringing the movie some sense of continuity…but that’s about it.
    • CHICKEN LITTLE: Chicken Little SUCKS, end of story! (If you want tangible evidence, brace yourself and check out the alien chase scene from the 2005 abomination).
    • MULAN: Here is some backstory on the legend of Mulan. Some highlights: Mulan embarrasses her family and herself with the matchmaker and she goes to the shrine of her ancestors and sings “Reflections.” She then meets Mushu, who tries to overcompensate for his small stature. In this last clip, the hulking mass Shan Yu and the Hun army fight Captain Shang and Mulan.
    • HERCULES: Phil the satyr–who is a mirror image of his voice actor Danny DeVito–sings “One Last Hope” while training Hercules. The fast-talking Hades erupts in anger at henchmen Pain and Panic wearing Hercules’ merchandise. Later, in one of the most quotable scenes in the movie, Pain and Panic, in the guise of two children, trick Hercules and get him to fight the Hydra by pretending to be trapped under a boulder.
    • PINOCCHIO: We mentioned Pinocchio‘s diverse and terrifying villains. Here the overweight Italian caricature Stromboli threatens to use Pinocchio as firewood and babbles in 40s’ era Disney dialect “Italian.” In one of Disney’s scariest moments, the evil Coachman’s face contorts into a demonic visage while declaring his diabolic plans for the boys he’s kidnapping. The oily Lampwick transforms into a donkey in traumatizing fashion before Pinocchio’s eyes on Pleasure Island. The film’s final villain, the giant whale Monstro, sneezes out and chases Geppetto and Pinocchio.
    • SLEEPING BEAUTY: Maleficent, the self-declared “mistress of all evil,” transforms herself into a dragon, fights Prince Philip, and becomes Disney’s villain poster child all in one fell swoop. Prince Philip places the film in the 14th century when talking to his father. We also mentioned that Disney used music from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1890 ballet Sleeping Beauty as the basis for its film’s music, and here is a blog post by Floyd Norman, one of the film’s animators, on that subject.
    • CINDERELLA: A particularly cute scene in Cinderella is when the mice introduce Gus Gus to Cinderella. Disney’s most evil housecat Lucifer maniacally sits on Lady Tremaine’s lap as she snaps at Cinderella. He later chases and tries to eat Jaq and Gus who are acquiring pieces to make Cinderella’s dress. We erroneously called the Duke a viceroy or captain; here, he discovers Cinderella and finally finds the owner of the lost glass slipper.
    • THE LITTLE MERMAID: Ursula sings “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and makes a deal where Ariel signs over her voice to the sea witch. She then, in true Disney fashion, transforms herself into a giant octopus and is then impaled by Prince Eric. We mentioned the controversy surrounding Ariel’s plot line–a quick Google search brings almost 2 million results–so have at it, if you are so inclined. We’ll end with a short tweet from conservative columnist John Podhoretz about The Little Mermaid‘s impact.
    • THE LION KING: First, that opening. We (well, Steve) mentioned how Black Panther is essentially a live-action Lion King (which is funny as Disney is currently making an all-CGI “live-action” version to be released later this year). Scar prepares his Nazi-like hyenas for his usurpation of the kingdom which culminates in him revealing his true intentions as he whispers “long live the king” when killing Mufasa. In the film’s lightest moment, Simba grows up to song (becoming Matthew Broderick) in the famous “Hakuna Matata.” Later, the heavenly ghost of Mufasa appears to Simba in the sky reminding him who he truly is–the music is chill-inducing.
    • BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: The Beast erupts in anger at Belle and gives her some warm advice that she should “Go ahead and STARVE,” a favorite scene of Chris’s from his childhood. The dinnerware come together to console a crying Belle by singing “Be Our Guest.” (Remember, it all takes place on the table!) After a few drinks, the towns people sing a raucous song about their local hero Gaston. We also mentioned the innovative use of computers in the artwork for the Best Picture-nominated film, so here is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.
    • THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME: Hunchback begins with its goosebump-inducing opening number, “The Bells of Notre Dame” (which also serves as the ending to our episode.) Quasimodo watches the city streets of Paris by moonlight as he sings the heartfelt number “Heaven’s Light.” This quickly leads to the diabolical musical number of “Hellfire,” sung by Judge Frollo in front of a raging fireplace as he lusts after Esmeralda. (This would also be a good time to mention that Chris was incorrect–and face palmed hard–about Maleficent being the only Disney villain to ever say hell, as Frollo sings an entire song about it!) Lastly, Hugo the gargoyle, voiced by Jason Alexander (much to Steve’s chagrin), sings “A Guy Like You” to make Quasimodo feel better.
    • ALADDIN: Aladdin shows Jasmine “A Whole New World” in one of Disney’s most romantic scenes. The film’s superb villain Jafar reaches his serpentine zenith as he transforms into a giant cobra, Chris’s favorite scene in any Disney movie. During the fight scene, Genie turns into a cheerleader, not-so-secretly rooting for Aladdin. All of Robin Williams’ impressions and their inspirations in Aladdin can be found in this video. Also included here are two articles about the dispute between Robin Williams and Disney that Steve sort of mentioned but failed to expand upon–we had no idea a Picasso painting was involved until compiling these notes. Lastly, Chris compares his loyalty to Aladdin to that of Davy Jones’ loyalty to Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End.
    • THE BLACK CAULDRON: We have linked a decent Slate article on the making and box office failure of The Black Cauldron. (The only caveat is that Chris strongly disagrees with the author about the Horned King being a poor villain, because you know, he’s great!) Here is the Horned King’s first appearance, where he reveals he wants to resurrect his dead soldiers as “cauldron born” and ultimately desires to be worshipped as a god among men (See? So cool!) He later terrorizes his minions as he makes his dramatic entrance into the banquet hall of his castle. The only other Disney villain that could arguably be labeled as equal to the Horned King’s sheer evilness is the demon Chernabog from Fantasia, who summons the forces of darkness in the epic scene “A Night on Bald Mountain.”
    • ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Alice stumbles upon a Caterpillar smoking a hookah, who impatiently asks her who she is. She is later greeted by the delightfully mad Cheshire Cat who gives her dodgy advice.
    • THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE: There is a documentary titled The Sweatbox that covers the history of the scrapped, much darker version of The Emperor’s New Groove called Kingdom of the Sun, but Disney seems to not want it available to the public. A version on YouTube that we had saved for these notes has already been removed for copyright reasons.
    • THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG: The “Disney Renaissance” Era-esque The Princess and the Frog opens and closes with the great musical number “Down in New Orleans.” Dr. Facilier also takes up the mantle of great villain songs when he tricks Prince Naveen into making a deal with him and his “Friends on the Other Side.”
    • ZOOTOPIA: Judy Hopps plays “Try Everything” by pop star Gazelle (aka Shakira) as she travels to Zootopia for the first time, similar to how we both have played this incredibly catchy song many times since first hearing it. After she becomes a cop, she is put in charge of parking meters and has a particularly rough day giving out tickets on the city streets of Zootopia–a truly laugh-out-loud moment.
    • Two final notes from Steve: first, he would like to link to the show notes of an episode of the great culture podcast The Weekly Substandard from March 2017, as his email on the WWII era Disney films was featured (and also read in the episode.) Last but not least, here is the first ever blog post “Flipp” wrote on this site, way back in the summer of 2014–a post that never got a follow-up for a variety of reasons. Guess what it was about?

Image credit:
Fireworks show over Cinderella Castle at closing hour / Disney World, Orlando 2010 / © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ruminations Episode I: The Best and Worst of Disney

Welcome to the debut episode of “Ruminations,” a podcast on movies, politics, and religion, discussed over a glass–or three–of some type of adult beverage. In this inaugural episode, co-hosts Chris and Steve (previously known on this site as Flipp) discuss the 57 animated films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This conversation has been 5 years in the making, as it was the summer of 2014 when Chris and Steve began a chronological journey through Disney’s official filmography, starting with 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This endeavor finally came to its conclusion last fall (December 2018, to be exact) with the release of Disney’s most recent movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

For ease of discussion, each co-host compiled an individual ranking from best to worst; a combined average was then taken to create a single master list. The master list’s Bottom 10 and Top 10 will be highlighted specifically in this episode. For additional notes, and movie clips, follow the show notes link below. For now, please listen and enjoy!

Rank Master Chris Steven
1 Aladdin (1992) Aladdin Aladdin
2 The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) The Hunchback of Notre Dame The Hunchback of Notre Dame
3 Beauty and the Beast (1991) The Lion King Beauty and the Beast
4 The Lion King (1994) Beauty and the Beast Pinocchio
5 Cinderella (1950) The Little Mermaid Alice in Wonderland
6 The Little Mermaid (1989) Sleeping Beauty The Lion King
7 Sleeping Beauty (1959) The Black Cauldron Cinderella
8 Pinocchio (1940) Cinderella Emperor’s New Groove
9 Hercules (1997) Hercules Hercules
10 Mulan (1998) Mulan Sleeping Beauty
11 Alice in Wonderland (1951) Tarzan The Little Mermaid
12 Tarzan (1999) The Princess and the Frog Mulan
13 The Black Cauldron (1985) Pocahontas Pocahontas
14 Pocahontas (1995) Pinocchio Tarzan
15 Emperor’s New Groove (2000) Robin Hood Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
16 The Princess and the Frog (2009) Lilo and Stitch The Princess and the Frog
17 Robin Hood (1973) Dinosaur The Great Mouse Detective
18 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Emperor’s New Groove The Black Cauldron
19 Lilo and Stitch (2002) Alice in Wonderland Robin Hood
20 The Great Mouse Detective (1986) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Lilo and Stitch
21 Zootopia (2016) The Fox and the Hound Wreck It Ralph
22 Peter Pan (1953) Peter Pan Zootopia
23 The Fox and the Hound (1981) The Jungle Book Ralph Breaks the Internet
24 Wreck It Ralph (2012) Zootopia Bolt
25 Dinosaur (2000) 101 Dalmatians Tangled
26 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Oliver and Company Peter Pan
27 Bolt (2008) The Great Mouse Detective The Fox and the Hound
28 101 Dalmatians (1961) Wreck It Ralph Fantasia
29 Tangled (2010) Ralph Breaks the Internet Dumbo
30 Dumbo (1941) Bolt Atlantis: The Lost Empire
31 Fantasia (1940) Dumbo Frozen
32 The Jungle Book (1967) Brother Bear 101 Dalmatians
33 Brother Bear (2003) The Rescuers Dinosaur
34 Frozen (2013) Fantasia Brother Bear
35 Oliver and Company (1988) Tangled Meet the Robinsons
36 The Rescuers (1977) Frozen The Rescuers
37 Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Lady and the Tramp Fantasia 2000
38 Lady and the Tramp (1955) Fantasia 2000 Lady and the Tramp
39 Fantasia 2000 (1999) The Aristocats The Jungle Book
40 Meet the Robinsons (2007) Bambi The Aristocats
41 The Aristocats (1970) Meet the Robinsons Moana
42 Bambi (1942) Moana Oliver and Company
43 Moana (2016) Atlantis: The Lost Empire Bambi
44 Home on the Range (2004) The Sword in the Stone Big Hero Six
45 The Rescuers Down Under (1990) Home on the Range Home on the Range
46 Big Hero Six (2014) The Rescuers Down Under The Rescuers Down Under
47 Treasure Planet (2002) Treasure Planet Treasure Planet
48 The Sword in the Stone (1963) The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
49 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
50 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) Big Hero Six Winnie the Pooh
51 Winnie the Pooh (2011) Winnie the Pooh The Sword in the Stone
52 The Three Caballeros (1944) The Three Caballeros The Three Caballeros
53 Saludos Amigos (1942) Saludos Amigos Saludos Amigos
54 Make Mine Music (1946) Melody Time Make Mine Music
55 Melody Time (1948) Make Mine Music Fun and Fancy Free
56 Fun and Fancy Free (1947) Fun and Fancy Free Melody Time
57 Chicken Little (2005) Chicken Little Chicken Little

Episode I Show Notes

Continue reading

90th Academy Awards: Ranking & Predictions

It’s Oscar Night! Before I get into my predictions, I want to triumphantly say that I’ve watched the most movies before this year’s ceremony than in any previous year. Overall, I’ve seen 22 of the nominated movies, 12 in this past week alone.

I’d rank them as such (with the 9 Best Picture nominees in bold):

  1. Darkest Hour
  2. The Post
  3. The Disaster Artist
  4. Mudbound
  5. The Greatest Showman
  6. Get Out
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  8. Blade Runner 2049
  9. Beauty and the Beast
  10. The Boss Baby
  11. Heroin(e)
  12. Icarus
  13. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  14. The Shape of Water
  15. The Big Sick
  16. Dunkirk
  17. Baby Driver
  18. Logan
  19. Lady Bird
  20. I, Tonya
  21. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  22. Phantom Thread
  23. Call Me by Your Name

Predictions:

Best Picture
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Director
Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

Actor
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Actress
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Adapted Screenplay
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049, Roger Deakins
Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Laustsen

Animated Feature
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Animated Short
Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Best Documentary Feature
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Best Documentary Short Subject
Edith+Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Best Live Action Short Film
DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Film Editing
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sound Editing
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Mixing
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Original Score
Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

Original Song
“Mighty River” from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair
Darkest Hour
Victoria and Abdul
Wonder

Costume Design
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

– FLIPP

Featured image CC0 via Pixabay

2018 Golden Globe Predictions

MOVIES

Best Picture — Drama

Call Me by Your Name

Dunkirk

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture — Comedy or Musical

The Disaster Artist

Get Out

The Greatest Showman

I, Tonya

Lady Bird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread

Tom Hanks, The Post

Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Meryl Streep, The Post

Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Steve Carrell, Battle of the Sexes

Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Willem DaFoe, The Florida Project

Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All The Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Hong Chau, Downsizing

Alison Janney, I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best Director — Motion Picture

Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

Steven Spielberg, The Post

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture

Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Best Motion Picture — Animated

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

Best Picture — Foreign Language

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

First They Killed My Father (Cambodia)

In the Fade (Germany/France)

Loveless (Russia)

The Square (Sweden, Germany, France)

Best Original Score — Motion Picture

Carter Burwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread

John Williams, The Post

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Best Original Song — Motion Picture

“Home,” Ferdinand

“Mighty River,” Mudbound

“Remember Me,” Coco

“The Star,” The Star

“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

TELEVISION

Best Television Series — Drama

The Crown, Netflix

Game of Thrones, HBO

The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu

Stranger Things, Netflix

This is Us, NBC

Best Television Series — Comedy

Black-ish, ABC

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon

Master of None, Netflix

SMILF, Showtime

Will and Grace, NBC

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Big Little Lies, HBO

Fargo, FX

Feud: Bette and Joan, FX

The Sinner, USA

Top of the Lake: China Girl, Sundance TV

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

Claire Foy, The Crown

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce

Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick

William H. Macy, Shameless

Eric McCormack, Will & Grace

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Comedy

Pamela Adlon, Better Things

Alison Brie, GLOW

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Issa Rae, Insecure

Frankie Shaw, SMILF

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Jessica Biel, The Sinner

Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan

Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan

Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies

Jude Law, The Young Pope

Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks

Ewan McGregor, Fargo

Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan

Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Alexander Skarsgaard, Big Little Lies

David Thewlis, Fargo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Chrissy Metz, This Is Us

Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies

Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

25 years/25 films

Around 1 in the morning the other night on Twitter, I came across this article in which a few of the AV Club film critics compiled lists of their favorite movie of the year for each year since they were born. Instead of going to bed like a normal person on a work night, I proceeded to sacrifice much-needed sleep for what one could say was a masochistic, utterly pointless cause: I had to make my own list, right then and there.

Why, you might ask?

Because there are few things in life better than making movie lists and ranking movies, especially in new and creative ways.

It’s just science. 

fbd

My list of my 25 films for 25 years on this earth:

1992 – Aladdin
1993 – Jurassic Park
1994 – Pulp Fiction
1995 – The Usual Suspects
1996 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
1997 – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
1998 – The Big Lebowski
1999 – The Mummy
2000 – Gladiator
2001 – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2002 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2005 – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
2006 – Casino Royale
2007 – Sunshine
2008 – Gran Torino
2009 – Inglourious Basterds
2010 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I
2011 – Drive
2012 – Les Miserables
2013 – The Wolf of Wall Street
2014 – Edge of Tomorrow
2015 – The Martian
2016 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

What does this list say about me? Generally, it says I like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, sci-fi epics and black comedies, and movies with great music, especially French-themed musicals. It also made me realize that I like more movies from before I was born than came out during my lifetime. This is especially true when considering my favorite movies from the last decade or so; these years simply pale in comparison to years that came before, and it was a struggle to think of a film that was truly a favorite of mine after the year 2009.

The first decade and a half of my life did have some intense competition though, so I wanted to also include 5 honorable mentions of movies that are nearer and dearer to my heart than many of the others on the list that just missed out. And let me say, 1999 was a squeaker:

Office Space (1999)
The Matrix (1999)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
The Departed (2006)
Atonement (2007)

What does your list look like?

-Flipp

Featured image: Ba’Gamnan, CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

2017 Oscar Predictions

Another year, another Oscars ceremony. After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite debacle, this year’s nominees include many non-white actors, actresses, directors, and movies. That being said… this year’s movies were sort of under par. Maybe I’m just not enlightened enough for this world, but out of the 9 Best Picture nominees, I can say I’d watch one, maybe 2 of them again. The rest… once was more than enough. Especially La La Land. I didn’t hate the clear frontrunner, but I do hate the hype it’s received. 14 nominations? And a guaranteed 6-8 wins?? Nah.

Here are my picks for tonight’s Oscars.

Best Picture:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”

“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Best Actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”

Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director:
“Arrival,” Denis Villeneuve
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle

“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins

Best Original Screenplay:
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills

Best Adapted Screenplay:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hidden Figures”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”

Best Foreign Language Film:
“Land of Mine”
“A Man Called Ove”
“The Salesman”

“Tanna”
“Toni Erdmann”

Best Cinematography:
“Arrival”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”
“Silence”

Best Costume Design:
“Allied”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Jackie”

“La La Land”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
“A Man Called Ove”
“Star Trek Beyond”

“Suicide Squad”

Best Original Score:
”Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz

“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Best Animated Feature Film:
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Moana”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“The Red Turtle”
“Zootopia”

Best Animated Short Film:
“Blind Vaysha”
“Borrowed Time”
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
“Pearl”
“Piper”

Best Documentary Feature:
“Fire at Sea”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Life Animated”
“O.J.: Made in America”

“13th”

Best Documentary Short Subject:
“Extremis”
“4.1 Miles”
“Joe’s Violin”
“Watani: My Homeland”
“The White Helmets”

Best Film Editing:
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“Moonlight”

Best Original Song:
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls”
“City of Stars” from “La La Land”

“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”

Best Production Design:
“Arrival”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Hail, Caesar!”
“La La Land”

“Passengers”

Best Live Action Short Film:
“Ennemis Interieurs”
“La femme et Le TGV”
“Silent Nights”
“Sing”
“Timecode”

Best Sound Editing:
“Arrival”
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Hacksaw Ridge”

“La La Land”
“Sully”

Best Sound Mixing:
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

Best Visual Effects:
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Doctor Strange”
“The Jungle Book”

“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

2017 Golden Globe Predictions

Tonight is the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. I haven’t seen too many of the nominees this year (I know, bad cinephile, right? Between transitioning jobs, commuting to work, and diligently following the political cluster-you-know-what since November, my movie/TV intake has been quite low), but I have been following critics and have some inklings as to how tonight will go. My plan is to watch most of the nominees in time for the Oscars in February. As of this writing, I’ve only seen Hacksaw Ridge (great), Arrival (good), and La La Land (good).

The only thing I am certain of about the broadcast is that there will be PLENTY of jokes at the expense of, and much ire directed toward, one Donald J. Trump.

MOVIES

Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Comedy or musical
20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

Actor, drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Actress, drama
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Actor, comedy or musical
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Actress, comedy or musical
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Supporting actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Supporting actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Foreign language
Divines
Elle
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Animated film
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as A Zucchini
Sing
Zootopia

Screenplay
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Original score
Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
Johann Johannsson, Arrival
Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka, Lion
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch, Hidden Figures

Original song (songwriter’s award)
Can’t Stop the Feeling! (from Trolls)
City of Stars (from La La Land)
Faith (from Sing)
Gold (from Gold)
How Far I’ll Go (from Moana)

PRIME-TIME TELEVISION

Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

Series, comedy or musical
Atlanta
Black-ish
Mozart in the Jungle
Transparent
Veep

Actress, drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Actor, drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath

Actress, miniseries or TV movie
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Actor, miniseries or TV movie
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Supporting actor, series, miniseries or TV movie
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Supporting actress, series, miniseries or TV movie
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld

Miniseries or TV movie
American Crime
The Dresser
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Actress, comedy or musical
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Actor, comedy or musical
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Featured Image: jdeeringdavis, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.