1974 Academy Awards – An Introduction

The 47th Academy Awards had a very masculine, mafia-based tone, what with hosts including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Sammy Davis Jr, and The Godfather II and Chinatown picking up several nominations and wins. You can expect both of those movies to lead the way in my personal picks, with hopefully a few surprises along the way.

Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks, and Arthur B Krim were the honorary winners this year, while other categories were presented by Lauren Bacall, OJ Simpson, Goldie Hawn, Warren Beatty, and many more. The four hosts performed music, along with Aretha Franklin and Frankie Laine.

Join us over the next few weeks to see where my wins go, and feel free to share your own picks!

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Nightman’s Top Twenty Films Of 1987

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

Yes, you read that right – 1987 is probably my favourite year in Cinema with a ludicrous amount of films that I love and count among my all time favourites – films which have contributed to my love of film and to who I am. I could have gone more than twenty, just like in other years I could have selected more than ten. Basically any year I could pick any number of films that I enjoy, but I’m limiting these lists to the best of the best, the ones I love most, and in 1987 there are just too many of these. I mean, I picked twenty films and hardly any of these were among the top grossers and none were nominated for Best Picture, so there were plenty more great releases this year. Enjoy!

20: A Chinese Ghost Story (HK)

19: Withnail And I (UK)

18: City On Fire (HK)

17: Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (US)

16: Good Morning, Vietnam (US)

15: The Princess Bride (US)

14: The Living Daylights (UK)

13: Lethal Weapon (US)

12: Full Metal Jacket (US/UK)

11: Evil Dead 2 (US)

10: The Untouchables (US)

9: Hellraiser (UK)

8: The Running Man (US)

7: Dream Warriors (US)

6: Citizens On Patrol (US)

5: Prince Of Darkness (US)

4: Near Dark (US)

3: The Lost Boys (US)

2: Predator (Top Ten Of All Time) (US)

1: Robocop (Top Ten Of All Time) (US)

How Many Of My Films Were In The Top 10 Grossing Of The Year: Three

How Many Of My Films Were Nominated For the Best Picture Oscar: Zero

Big Driver

Rape is arguably the most difficult subject to tackle on screen, never mind in literature. The horrific act is something which has long been used in stories – particularly in the visual medium – as a turning point in the narrative; the character survives and generally seeks vengeance or justice. There is a whole history, mainly in horror, of the rape revenge stories with increasingly, depressingly violent or graphic, or inexplicably titillating scenes of sexual violence which lead to further acts of violence against the perpetrator(s). Stephen King tackles the issue knowingly in his novella of the same name, from a collection which largely deals with issues relating to women or relationships. The written story is done with a level of tact and a lack of detail of the event, instead spending most of its length on the lead character, depicted before and after the event as a strong, singular women who just happens to be led into the wrong place at the wrong time. Indeed, King even acknowledges the cinematic tropes as the lead character refuses to be a victim and seeks out some of the aforementioned movies as part of her recovery, planning, and justice. The film, while it doesn’t linger on the event, shows enough to possibly put off a large section of the intended audience.

Big Driver stars Mario Bello (who is excellent in the role) as Tess – a successful crime writer who lives with her cat and the voices in her head – a device King often employs. She is invited to speak at library fan meeting and is advised to take a short cut, idyllic drive home off the beaten track by the event organiser. If you’ve seen any film in this vein before, you’ll have already connected the dots – one flat tyre and ‘helpful’ trucker later and Tess has been raped and left for dead in a sewage pipe, along with the rotting corpses of past victims. She survives, heads home, and begins connecting her own dots as she seeks vengeance.

If you’ve watched any rape revenge movie before, then you know what you’re going to get here. Thankfully this one didn’t feel like exploitation, at least to me, and the worthy cast give full-blooded performances. It’s a Lifetime TV movie so you have any idea how extreme the content will be. The direction is sound, nothing eye-catching or out of the ordinary here and the story, while attempting to offer some moderate twists in the narrative and contemplation on guilt doesn’t really offer anything new. This will be mainly for King fans, or any fans of the cast – as it stands it’s a worthwhile watch for those groups, but it’s not one you’re likely to remember or watch again.

Nightman’s Top Ten Films Of 1986

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

10: Highlander (UK/US)

9: Stand By Me (US)

8: A Better Tomorrow (HK)

7: Blue Velvet (US)

6: Platoon (US)

5: Police Academy 3 (US)

4: The Fly (US)

3: The Hitcher (US)

2: Big Trouble In Little China (US)

1: Aliens (US)

How Many Of My Films Were In The Top 10 Grossing Of The Year: Two

How Many Of My Films Were Nominated For the Best Picture Oscar: One – the winner

Best Cast – 1973

My Nominations: Badlands. The Exorcist. The Last Detail. The Last Of Sheila. Live And Let Die. Mean Streets. Paper Moon. Scarecrow. Serpico. The Sting. The Three Musketeers.

As always we finish with the Best Cast category. It’s always been my opinion that the 1970s was when the best performers we’ve yet to see hit their peaks – most of my nominations this year feature those performers. In Badlands it’s pretty much the one-two of Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek announcing themselves to the world, while The Exorcist is features a mini ensemble each delivering their most iconic performances. The Last Detail sees Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, and Otis Young in an underrated film while The Last Of Sheila does the same for James Coburn, James Mason, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin, and Dyan Cannon.

Live And Let Die sees a new Bond in Roger Moore taking the series in a newer direction, ably backed up by some of my favourites in the series – Jane Seymour, Yaphet Kotto, and good old Clifton James. Mean Streets, while not featuring their debuts, got to the heart of the raw talents of Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro and Paper Moon sees father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in one of the most memorable real life partnerships along with Madeline Kahn. Scarecrow and Serpico were both Al Pacino vehicles with the former also seeing Gene Hackman in top form, the latter with a bunch of respected character actors in smaller roles. The Sting is another hit from Robert Redford and Paul Newman, also featuring Robert Shaw, Charles Dunning, Eileen Brennan and others. My only true ensemble nomination is The Three Musketeers – Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, Richard Chamberlain, Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Faye Dunaway and others make up the exciting romp.

My Winner: The Exorcist.

Let us know in the comments which film of 1973 you think has the Best Cast!

Nightman’s Top Ten Films Of 1985

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

10: A View To A Kill (UK)

9: Return To Oz (US/UK)

8: Brewster’s Millions (US)

7: Rocky IV (US)

6: Police Academy 2 (US)

5: First Blood Part 2 (US)

4: Day Of The Dead (US)

3: The Goonies (US)

2: Back To The Future (US)

1:  Commando (US)

How Many Of My Films Were In The Top 10 Grossing Of The Year: Four (Including the Top Grossing film)

How Many Of My Films Were Nominated For the Best Picture Oscar: Zero

Amazon Vine Freebies – July 2017

And so it remains…

Stinky Magee

Horrid Henry

Magical Mathy

Coconut Kathy

Demon Headmasty

Cygnett Swany

Legs McShavey

Salt ‘n’ Peppery

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