Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4 Ways a Best Picture: 2009


It's time for another edition of 4 Ways a Best Picture!!!  I almost feel like I should coin this 'the one where Drew turns into a dick and tries to tell everyone else how to grade movies' but...let's just pretend that didn't happen.

LOL...wait for it.

This was a fun discussion for a group of winners that definitely had us united and divided in all the best possible ways.  Once again, I love this group of bloggers and am so happy to have them with me on this journey!  We're nearing the end (OMG, WHAT!) as we close out the aughts with our discussion of 2009.  Next week we'll be into the 2010's...so...that'll be passionate, I'm sure!

Once more, here is our panel:

Britt from Rambling Film
Drew (me, duh) from A Fistful of Films
Jeffery from jdbrecords
Wendell from Dell on Movies

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We're Going on a Bear Hunt; reimagined...


Ok, so...here goes nothing.

I've made it clear here before that I have aspirations of being an author.  I have also made it clear that finding the time to write for myself is really hard to do.  So, I've been trying to find outlets to, well, continue to be creative outside of merely judging other people's work.  With my growing affection for cinema, I started to think about writing in terms of cinematic art and with my daughter's growing interest in being an actress (she's quite the entertainer) I thought about how neat it would be to make a film with her.

So, last year I decided to write a screenplay.  

I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite movie experiences was seeing Where the Wild Things Are with my daughter in the theater.  It's such a beautiful film and such a stunning adaptation of a very deeply provoking children's book.  Another children's book that I adore is We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and so I decided to attempt to adapt it into a film.  My approach to this was far more lyrical in scope, think Terrence Malick, but with the focus on the role of the father more than anything else, since, well, I feel like a broken record talking so much lately about being a daddy, but it's my life so I might as well embrace it.

We have plans to attempt (I say this in all sincerity, but watch this never happen) to actually film this next year, when my son is old enough to participate and when I have the funds to purchase a proper camera (maybe I should try Kickstarter) but in the meantime, I thought I'd put this out to my readers for any feedback.  I'm all about constructive criticism, so lay it on me.  I'd love to hear your interpretations of the story and where you think the truth lies in all the scenes.  I don't want to influence your take on the story, so I'll refrain from saying any more.

I didn't write this in strict screenplay form, as I always find that tiresome to read.  I also want to note that a lot of the scenes are left a little open as far as the structure of the scene because I plan of shooting a LOT of footage and editing them into almost a collection of montages.  The feel of the film, for me, is a very 'home movie' type feel and so I want to leave the scenes open to improvisations and not so 'script bound'.  I've also included videos of all the musical selections so that you can play the selected music during the scenes intended.  

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday Movie Picks: Sibling Relationships


It's Thursday, and so that means that it's time for another edition of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks!  So this week was fun, and there was so much (like, an overwhelming bounty) that I decided to do a sub-category or sub-theme so that it was easier to condense and present.

Here's the theme:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's time to go hug my children...


I’m going to get real here for a minute, so please bear with me.

A few months ago, my seven year old got her first diary.  She was so excited to be able to fill it with her deepest ‘secrets’ she said, and she bounded up the stairs and locked herself (figuratively, since my seven year old does not actually have a lock on her door) in her room to write.  The next day, I was tidying up her room and I saw her diary staring right up at me from her bookshelf and I couldn’t resist the urge to pop it open and read her first entry.  Expecting to read about the boy she had a crush on and her dreams of being with him (yes, sadly I’m already dealing with that) I literally felt my stomach hit the floor when the first words I read were, “I am sad”.  My eyes glazed over with tears as I continued reading and saw, “Everyone says they love me but I’m not sure they really do”.

I’ll tell you this, I have never been so crushed as a father than I was in that moment.  Immediately I started to analyze every conversation I’ve ever had with my daughter, every disagreement we’ve had, every fight, every time I’d disciplined her or punished her or yelled at her.  I questioned if I told her I loved her enough, did enough with her, spent enough quality time with her.  HOW COULD SHE NOT KNOW THAT WE LOVED HER MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF!?!?!  This was my happy girl, my beautiful, joyful, happy girl who brightens every room and loves everyone and who literally says her motto is, “Make a new friend every day”, and she does that.  How could she be sad?  How could she be saying these things?

Needless to say, she was not very happy with me when I told her that I read her diary, but there was no way we were not going to talk about this.  It was in that moment, as she laid her head on my lap and cried about how she couldn’t explain her feelings but she just felt that way that I realized what parenthood was all about, and when I dried her eyes and she hugged me close and said, “Thank you daddy, I feel better now”, I knew that everything would be alright, and that this was just par for the course, but I also knew, in my gut, that this would NOT be the last time we’d be having this conversation.

Much like Pete Docter, the writer/director of Pixar’s newest masterpiece, ‘Inside Out’, I just want to understand my daughter better. 

After seeing ‘Inside Out’, I’m so thankful that my daughter can understand herself a little better as well.

In Memoriam: James Horner


Yesterday, when news broke that a plane registered to the Oscar winning composer, James Horner, had crashed in Santa Barbara, I said a silent prayer that Horner was not in the plane (which seems almost silly since, in the plane or not, someone had died), but it has since been confirmed that Horner was indeed flying the plane and so, as of yesterday afternoon, we have lost one of the all time great film composers.

This is a sad day indeed.  In looking over his incredible contributions to film, one thing is very clear, his music shaped a lot of my childhood, and if you know me, I have a very emotional connection to childhood.  

This one hurts.

So, I felt like the best way to honor the man that provided us with such incredible musical moments was to dedicate this post to the scores he created that had the biggest impact on me, the scores that I continue to listen to and embrace as some of the best cinema has ever offered us.  So, if you have the time, indulge in my ten favorite James Horner scores and allow the calm of nostalgia to overtake you and comfort you in the throws of this sad, sad day.

4 Ways a Best Picture: 2008


It's Tuesday and so I'm here to present to you another 4 Ways a Best Picture Bloggers Roundtable!  In case you aren't aware yet, this is where five bloggers (myself included) take on the four films that won a Best Picture Oscar in a given year.  By Best Picture, we mean Documentary Feature, Foreign Language Film, Animated Film and Best Picture of the Year.  This week, it's all about 2008!

Once again, here is our panel:

Britt from Rambling Film
Drew (me, duh) from A Fistful of Films
Jeffery from jdbrecords
Wendell from Dell on Movies

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pondering Inside Out...


No, I haven't seen this yet.  I won't be seeing it until sometime next week, unfortunately, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about this, since everyone else is.  So, what exactly are we pondering?  Now, this may seem way far fetched, but there have been rumblings for months now that this was Pixar GOLD and by gold, we mean Oscar gold, and so maybe this is something you'd already semi-considered; but today we're pondering whether Inside Out could actually make a dash for Oscar's big prize; Best Picture.

Yes, this is a serious post.

Thursday Movie Picks: Animated Films


This was a fun Thursday Movie Picks for me.  I say fun, and I also me slightly frustrating because choosing only three was really, really hard.  So I cheated.  Why stick to mere rules!  I laugh in the face of rules!  LAUGH!  Actually, I don't.  I try hard to stick to them, but really...I couldn't knock off any of these so I'm doubling it and going with six.  "Six what?", you may ask.

The theme of the week is:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

4 Ways a Best Picture Bloggers Roundtable: 2007


It's Tuesday, and time for another episode of 4 Ways a Best Picture, where our incredibly awesome panel of bloggers discuss in detail the four films that won a Best Picture type Oscar (Best Picture, Animated Film, Foreign Film, Documentary Feature) in a particular film year.  This week we discuss the year that was 2007.

Once again, here is our panel:

Britt from Rambling Film
Drew (me, duh) from A Fistful of Films
Jeffery from jdbrecords
Wendell from Dell on Movies

Let's get right into this!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The 1962 Fist Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

1962.  You already know how I feel about this year.  What more can I say; it's just incredible.  As you saw from that Top Twenty, Oscar's Best Picture winner did not appear there.  I am in the minority when I say this, but Lawrence of Arabia is one of those Best Picture winners I just don't get.  I find it vapid and empty and void of any real impact, outside of the exquisite visuals.  In fact, as you'll notice below, it snags a mere four noms (and hate to break it to you, but it loses all four).

But enough about Oscar, let's talk Fistis!

There is a sweeper here, a film that is just so good it snags seven wins, and in all honesty it's my #2 favorite film of all time...but I'm not joking when I say that nearly every film in my Top Twelve could compete for a spot in my Top 100 of All Time.  Narrowing down these ballots was so hard to do, to the point where I made a decision.  Rules are made to be broken, and so for 1962 I'm breaking my '5 nominees per ballot' rule and extending it to 6, for the acting categories only.  Yes, there were just so many incredible performances this year that keeping it at 5 was just too hard, and there are still a bounty of snubs.  In fact, I could have nominated any combination of my Top Twelve in pretty much every category and been happy with the result, this year is THAT rich.  But there is another reason why I decided to extend my acting ballots to 6 this year.  This is the only year that in Fisti history (so far) where there was an acting pair (two actors from the same film) competing for a spot on my ballot in every category.  Yes, two Supporting Actors from the same film, Supporting Actresses from the same film, Lead Actors from the same film and Lead Actresses from the same film, and so I decided to extend my ballots in order to nominate both in every category.  This is Fisti history here, as I highly doubt this will ever happen again.

With that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1962!

A Fistful of Thoughts...about pregnant movie stars, passing legends, shaken expectations, Jurassica Chastain and 'the one I obsess about'!


Happy Monday, people!  Did you have a great weekend.  You know who had a great weekend?  Chris Pratt, but we'll talk about that in a few minutes.  Did you contribute to Pratt's great weekend?  I did!  So, because it's Monday, it's time for another Fistful of Thoughts.

So here's what I'm thinking about.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

20 Reasons Why 1962 Could Be the Best Cinematic Year Ever!


So, I've been doing a lot of digging into the year that was 1962 lately (yes, the Fist Awards for 1962 are coming very soon) and in the process of doing so, I realized something; 1962 may actually be the greatest year in cinematic history.  Now, I know that this is a really big title to lavish onto any given year, and personal taste is going to play in a lot here, but in condensing my ballots and trying desperately to make heads or tales of what films I was inevitably going to snub, I realized that it was actually paining me to leave off such spectacular films.  The variety this year as well is so beautiful.  From comedies (such rich comedies) to crushing dramas to inventive science fiction and sweeping epics, controversial tales (ahead of its time in some respects) and memorable coming of age tales, foreign and even short films; 1962 has it all.

And this isn't even including Oscar's Best Picture winner, because it wouldn't make my Top Twenty!

So, while I may have to snub so many great titles from my personal ballots (and even my extended Top 12), I wanted to give them their due.  So, here are the 20 best films of 1962* and all the proof you need to be convinced that this is the greatest year for cinematic treasures...you know, until I explore another great year in this much depth. 

Also, these are in alphabetical order because I'm trying to leave some mystery in my personal ballots coming later. 

*Due to release dates for some foreign films, I understand that some of these films will not be considered 1962 releases by everyone, but for me they are counted in this particular film year.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The 2011 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

2011.  I'm going to go on record now stating that I was thrilled The Artist swept at the Oscars, and I still love that film, very, very much.  That being said, it doesn't land on my Best Picture ballot.  A major step up from 2010, 2011 boasts some of the best films of the decade so far, a bounty of truly touching and poignant dramas that reveal a depth of human development that is so rich and sadly so rare.  This was also a really great year for gay themed cinema, and in all actuality it feels like this year started a trend of well made and deeply effecting portraits of a way of life that, for the most part, gets shoddy cinematic treatment.  With films like Beginners, Tomboy, Weekend, Heartbeats, 3, Pariah and even Albert Nobbs, we saw real stories with real people that helped bridge a gap often associated with gay themed stories.  Coming of age stories were also strong this year, with the aforementioned Tomboy and even Beginners (in a way) alongside films like Hugo, Hanna, Super 8 and The Tree of Life, and within that little cluster we also see another aspect of 2011 that is so special; the diversity of genre (and quality within that genre) is outstanding.  With that, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 2011!

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Set in High School (Secondary School or the Equivalent)


Another Thursday, another selection of three films that relate to a singular topic (Thursday Movie Picks!).  This week was felt a little bit like a rehash of a previous week, but we'll get to that in a minute.  

The theme of the week is:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

4 Ways a Best Picture Bloggers Roundtable: 2006


It's time for another episode of 4 Ways a Best Picture!  I didn't think anything would ever top the incredible conversation surrounding Crash and my complete breakdown over Tsotsi...and then Wendell told us a story about dancing penguins and hysterical wives and I just...well...you'll have to read further to find out, but I think it's all been topped.

Let's just get into this mixed bag of winners!

First, our panel:

Britt from Rambling Film
Drew (me, duh) from A Fistful of Films
Jeffery from jdbrecords
Wendell from Dell on Movies

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about pointless stories, ageism, non-celebrities, selling a movie, a swift kick in the balls and the most important movie any parent can see!


Happy Monday everyone!  Time to get back into the swing of all things life related and leave the fun-filled weekend memories behind.  Here's to hoping you had a fun-filled weekend.  Mine was pretty great, can't lie, but it's Monday and work is already starting to look like it's going to be...long, so I'm here to break up that monotony with a little cinematic dishing.  Yup, it's time for A Fistful of Thoughts, and since I'm feeling generous today I'm going to talk about six things instead of five!

Apparently, my coffee is kicking in.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June Oscar Predictions...


The major development or change here is that I'm currently predicting Silence to come out this year.  I could be wrong, and there are reasons to predict it for this year and reasons to predict it for next, but word is that he's finished shooting, and while he has stated he's aiming for 2016, the studio has said they are aiming for November...of this year, so for now I'm assuming we'll get it this year.

Which makes me an ass, I know.

Between the reactions from Cannes for Carol, early ink on Inside Out and the new Suffragette trailer, some presumed front-runners are making themselves seen in my predictions.  

So, here are my current predictions:

Trailer Break: Suffragette

I plan on posting my updated Oscar predictions later this afternoon, but to get you in the mood for what's about to come, check out the trailer below for the film I've been predicting to be HUGE this Oscar season:


There is a slightly different, and equally impressive, US trailer you can watch here (I couldn't embed it).

Yeah, I'm still sold on this being a big player.  Also, Carey Mulligan is looking really good for the actual Oscar.  The stars may be aligning for one of our generations most talented actresses to finally snag the Oscar she so richly deserves.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

4 Ways a Best Picture Bloggers Roundtable: 2005


If you don't have a drink by your side, I think you should take a minute to get one, because this year in review is best read (and salivated over) a bit tipsy...or outright wasted!  Yes, we've reached the pivotal year in our 4 Ways a Best Picture discussions where we can basically bitch all over every single film that won (unless you're Kevin) because it's 2005, and 2005 (judging on wins here) SUCKS!!!

We have the shortest discussion (like, no one had words for how awful a win that one was) and our longest discussion (by almost DOUBLE any other discussion) because this year would do that to us.  So, get a drink or two or seven (I don't care if it isn't breakfast yet, you owe it to yourself to start this Tuesday shitfaced) and indulge.  I promise it's all worth it!

Before you do, get re-aquanted with our panel:

Britt from Rambling Film
Drew (me, duh) from A Fistful of Films
Jeffery from jdbrecords
Wendell from Dell on Movies

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about thrilling developments, directorial conundrums and outright disappointments!


Alright guys, it's Monday and that means that it's time for me to attempt to stay consistent (I've slipped, sort of) with my Fistful of Thoughts posts.  This week has been a mess of me pretty much being obsessed with watching the Duggars BURN and so finding things to talk about, cinematically, was a bit of a struggle, and then I decided to just dedicate this to upcoming projects I'm either totally stoked about or really concerned about.

Let's chit chat.