Dates for My 5th Annual Film Awards!

Dancin Its On poster

For My Consideration In All Categories

Time to fix a few dates for my own awards.

  • 2/8: The NBR Project: 2015
  • 2/14: My 5th Annual Film Awards: The Nominees; My 5th Annual Film Awards: Open Voting
  • 2/15: The NBR Project: 2014; BAFTA Results
  • 2/21: The 2015-16 Awards Season: An Overview
  • 2/27: Open voting closes
  • 2/28: My 5th Annual Film Awards; My 5th Annual Film Awards: The Voters Speak!; My Top 20 Lists in Each Category; Final Oscar Predictions
  • 2/29: Oscar Results; Predicting My 6th Annual Film Awards

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Expanding My Awards

A week from Sunday I announce the nominees of my 5th Annual Film Awards. After expanding my awards by splitting Picture, Director, and the writing and acting categories into Musical/Comedy and Drama, I’m considering a different tack this year–expanding all of my categories to 10. Since I’ve been keeping running lists of the top 20 contenders in each category, it would not be at all unfeasible, but I wanted to hear your feedback.

Longlists for My 5th Annual Film Awards: A Work in Progress

Kumiko the Treasure Hunter poster

Once one of my most anticipated films of the year–but now, at year’s end, how much attention do I still pay it?

When I was assembling the nominees for my 3rd Annual Film Awards, I posted a longlist of films and performances I was considering for each category, and then put up a series of articles where I derived my final roster of nominees by going through the longlists and picking the best 5.

Since I’ve honed my skills at ranking my contenders in each category over the last two years, this year maintaining a ranked list of up to 20 contenders per category, I won’t be sifting through the longlists as I did once upon a time. But I thought you might like to see where my categories stand as of now.

Of course, a lot can change in the next two weeks. There are films to watch and rewatch, and a couple of categories in particular will require additional research. But this serves to show what I broadly think are the strongest elements of the year in film.

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My Top 20 and Bottom 10 Films of 2015

Ex Machina Caleb and Nathan.jpg

The man on the left is in four films in my top 20. He was in two of my Best Picture nominees last year. The man on the right is in two films in my top 20, and was one of my Best Actor nominees last year. Both of the films featuring the man on the right also feature the man on the left. In this film, they share the screen constantly and compromise 2/3 of the principal cast. In the other film, they never share the screen at all. (Source)

A couple of caveats before I begin.

First, I still haven’t seen all the films of 2015 I wanted to see. That happens. The films I see from here on out will be spoken of in due time, and I’ll publish a full ranking of all the year’s films once I announce the results of my awards. So I have two weeks to augment this list, and I kind of hope I don’t have to augment it too much. Because it works fairly well.

Secondly, let me contradict that last sentence just a tad. This is a solid list, but compared to the last three years, it’s pretty weak. My #1 is the best new film since I began the blog. My worst film is the worst. But my #2 would’ve been #6 at best last year, and my #10 would have been in the lower teens. And my #20 would’ve been about #34. For a long time, this looked like it would end up as one of the weakest years in recent memory.

But the best of the year is the best of the year, and the worst is the worst, and that’s what we’re here to celebrate. So let’s get to it.

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The Terrible Twos Commence

I was reminded (I had actually completely forgotten) that today is the second anniversary of this blog. Time flies, no? Except when it doesn’t.

A few stats for you, because WordPress helpfully keeps track of those:

  • The blog has received 25,481 views from 16,997 visitors (well, “visits” might be more accurate);
  • I’ve published 360 posts to date;
  • My best single day is February 15, 2015 (my father’s birthday, coincidentally), with 644 views;
  • As of this writing, I’ve received 1,174 views this month, 30 of which were today;
  • My most popular day, apparently, is Wednesday (with 16% of all views);
  • My most popular hour–supposedly–is 2:00 PM CST (with 7% of all views).

So where are we at today?

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2016 Rising, Actus Secundus: Most Anticipated Films

As I make my way through the remaining films of 2015, I must turn my attention to the new year and what it has to offer.

If 2015 was a year where most of my top films were more or less in the mainstream, this looks to be more like 2014–a year where most of my favorite films were lesser-known outings, either indies, foreign films, or foreign indie films. And that’s fine by me. I’d rather highlight the underdogs than echo the general sentiment.

I gotta say, though, I have no idea how this year will turn out. Probably the two films I most want to see are technically holdovers from last year. But after poring over several lists (including these two, and these three lists from the B+ Movie Blog, which I heartily recommend), and taking stock of what’s been playing at Sundance, I’ve assembled the following lists.

I’ve broken the lists into blocks of 25, the first of which I’ve most extensively illustrated, these films broadly being those I am most excited for. But this far out, who knows what the year will bring?

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Fest Bourbon Cream Soda Review


Fest Cola first caught my attention with the nifty, semi-retro design on its bottles—no surprise to anyone who knows my fascination with commercial graphic design. And when I decided to review it for the first time, I had several intriguing flavors to choose from: Almond Cola, Pecan Root Beer, and  Satsuma Mint (satsumas are a citrus similar to mandarin oranges).

But I went with the Bourbon Cream, a reasonable choice given my past fondness for cream sodas (A&W’s variety was once my favorite soda). And so here, proudly from New Orleans, is Fest!

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LAMB Review – ***½

Lamb poster

“They’ll understand…because it’s love.” (Source)

It’s not always clear whether Lamb really is a tale of a Love Too Pure For This World, or whether its protagonists merely think they’re acting one out, but that’s all part of its troubling fascination. It’s a film where the context and given circumstances are everything; scenes which would otherwise be charming and tender are instead incredibly tense, knowing what we know.

It’s the first film I’ve seen which I’m counting towards 2016, and it starts the year off fairly well. It’s definitely not for all tastes; my screening had three total attendees, including me–and the other two walked out before the film was finished. It’s no wonder that Lamb has made less than $15,000 to date. But, for all its faults, I found it to be very moving indeed.

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