Category Archives: Awards

Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: Citizen Kane


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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

Okay, so this is a pretty big one, right? For decades now, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has been one of the ultimate go-to answers amongst film critics and aficionados when asked about what is The Greatest Film of All Time. It has, in fact, held down the top spot on multiple high profile lists, including the American Film Institute’s top 100 lists of both 1998 and 2007 and for forty years in the critics Sight and Sound poll. Just last year, the movie was again pronounced the greatest American film of all time by a poll of critics from the BBC. Roger Ebert included it in his unranked list of his top ten films. For quite some time it was just the standard answer to the question, as if it was a foregone conclusion. But time is a funny thing, and Citizen Kane has actually gone through a wide re-evaluation…or two.
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Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner


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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

Just two moves to the right of The Graduate (1967) on my movie posters puzzle is another well-known movie from the same iconic year in American history. This one stars three Academy Award winners and is also set in the San Francisco area. It’s also a reminder that the sexual revolution of the era which is so often associated with the peace and love hippie movement going on just a few neighborhoods over from where the action of this film takes place was a much wider phenomenon than that. The expanding presence of young women in the professional world combined with the advent and wide availability of effective birth control had an effect across a large range of populations. The script for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner touches this in only the gentlest of ways, but its social concerns are much more focused on another issue of the time which has, unfortunately, not shown anywhere close to the progress its characters appear to think it will.
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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Corey Hart vs. Richard Harris


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Welcome to the next matchup in our continuing search for the most satisfyingly cheesy pop songs of all time! A LeBlog Cheestastic Classic should be both undeniably corny or over-the-top while also possessing some quality that makes some of us grin and pump our fists in gleeful irony. Some people might also use the term “guilty pleasure.” But I’m not going to. For our purposes here, these are “LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics.” The skill and talent involved in producing some of these songs may, in fact, be quite impressive and at their core these songs might actually be rather superior to some which are considered cool. But somewhere along the way the songwriter or performer took that wrong turn at Albuquerque and landed themselves in the land of cheese.

Today we’re looking at two of the most notoriously cheesy pop songs of all time; one from the 1960s and another from the 1980s. It can be argued that neither song could have been conceived, financed, and become popular in anything but their own decade. Let’s have a chat and decide whether these recordings fit our understandings of Cheesetastic.
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Building my Movie Posters Puzzle: For Whom the Bell Tolls


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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

This is one of the movies I have looked forward to seeing since setting this task for myself. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a toweringly famous novel, but the film version has faded from the public mind over the intervening decades. Come with me as I discuss my viewing of this forgotten curiosity.
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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game Winner


 

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Most of our bracket games run for a couple of weeks, but this one is a little different in that it ties into the completion of a series that ran for nine months.  As such, crowning the winner feels like we have come to the end of a lengthy journey.  As you can see from the picture above, the title of Best Worst Picture has been awarded to John Travolta’s ultimate vanity project, Battlefield Earth.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Mommie Dearest Vs. Battlefield Earth


Mommie Dearest Vs. Battlefield Earth

That wasn’t really close.  Battlefield Earth annihilated I Know Who Killed Me with over 80% of the votes.  That means you’re looking at our two finalists right here.  It’s Mommie Dearest vs. Battlefield Earth for the title of Best Worst Picture.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Battlefield Earth Vs. I Know Who Killed Me


Battlefield Earth Vs. I Know Who Killed Me

If you’re still coping with the fact that the weekly Golden Raspberry articles have caught up to current day, never fear.  We’re going to ease you off your Razzie addiction with a few more days of the Best Worst Picture Bracket Game.  Today’s match-up is between a torture porn movie and a movie that is just plain torture.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2015


Razzies 2015

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The thirty-sixth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2015.   Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World were the top movies of the year. Spotlight was named Best Picture and Alejandro G. Iñárritu won his second consecutive Best Director prize for The Revenant.  That movie’s star, Leonardo DiCaprio, finally won Best Actor and Brie Larson was named Best Actress.  The Razzies got all hot and bothered over bondage and less-than-fantastic super hero teams.

Also, the Razzies sort of apologized to their biggest target.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Mommie Dearest Vs. Showgirls


Mommie Dearest vs. Showgirls

We’re down to our final four contenders for the crown of Best Worst Picture.  If you interpret that to mean “movies so bad that they are good”, today’s match has you covered.  Both Mommie Dearest and Showgirls were initially billed as dramatic movies.  As dramas, they both failed.  But audiences embraced both movies as campy comedies.  The degree to which that was intentional is both debatable and irrelevant.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: I Know Who Killed Me Vs. Fifty Shades of Grey


I Know Who Killed Me Vs. 50 Shades

Is it getting a little hot in here?  I don’t know if the competition is heating up or if its the contented looks on Lindsay Lohan’s and Dakota Johnson’s faces.  Today’s showdown is between two movies you don’t want to watch with your parents.  That is, unless mom’s into torture porn and S&M, in which case, knock yourselves out.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Battlefield Earth Vs Wild Wild West


Battlefield Earth Vs. Wild Wild West

The most obvious connection between Battlefield Earth and Wild Wild West is that they both have science fiction elements.  Battlefield Earth is futuristic taking place in a world in which humans have been enslaved by giant dread-locked aliens.  Wild Wild West is a rare cinematic take on the subgenre of steam punk.  Unfortunately, its failure poisoned the water for anyone else who might have been thinking of following suit.  But there’s another connection which is admittedly a bit of a stretch.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Showgirls Vs. Under the Cherry Moon


Showgirls Vs. Under the Cherry Moon

Yeah, I’m pretty happy with the pairing of those two pictures.  It’s the little things like making it look like Prince is watching Elizabeth Berkley lick a stripper pole that make blogging such a rewarding endeavor.  Happy Father’s Day, everybody!  Let’s celebrate with the latest installment of the Best Worst Picture Bracket Game.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: Mommie Dearest Vs. The Lonely Lady


Mommie Dearest Vs. The Lonely Lady

As we head into the second round of the Best Worst Picture game, we’re time warping back to the early days of the Golden Raspberry Awards when Faye Dunaway and Pia Zadora were regular nominees for Worst Actress.  We’re kicking off round two with Mommie Dearest vs. The Lonely Lady.

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