Category Archives: poll

Holiday Movie Survey 2016


2016-holiday-movies

Merry Christmas everyone!

This past summer, we wrapped up the movie season with a survey to determine how readers ranked the movies they saw from worst to first.  It was so much fun, I thought, let’s do it again for this year’s holiday releases.  After the jump, you will be asked to weigh in on 25 movies which received wide releases in November and December.  Your choices for each movie are “Thumbs Up”, “Thumbs Down” and “Didn’t See It”.  I’ll give everyone through the end of the year to respond and then I will tally up the results.  Feel free to elaborate in the comments section.

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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Rick Astley vs Starship


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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.

Okay people, here it is. The ultimate matchup of cheesy ’80s pop songs that have become more and more notorious as the years have worn on. If you had asked members of the graduating class of 1988 about these two songs you probably would have gotten one of a couple of responses. One would be some version of “Ugh. Those mass-produced pieces of fluff? Who cares about them. I’m trying to forget them.” The other would go something like “Oh, those are fun songs! Have you heard ‘Together Forever’ yet?” Both of these responses might have suggested that “We Built This City” and “Never Gonna Give You Up” would have relatively short lives in the collective pop culture consciousness…but that’s not what happened.
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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Barbra Streisand vs. Charlene


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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.

This is a touchy one, isn’t it? I’ve paired these two songs quite purposefully because I want to throw myself down this particular chasm and try to walk away without having to face one of them another week. Yes, both songs have thematics based on female sensuality, but I’ll argue that while that does have a hand in making them both cheesy, it’s not judgmental to label them so. After all, it’s the execution here that helps to lay on the gouda heavy and well, if you’re talking judgmental…just get a load of one of our nominees.
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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Supertramp vs Smash Mouth


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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’ve got another inter-decade matchup with a high concept, high-production rock band taking on a group that quickly revealed themselves to be a serial novelty act. The question in both cases will likely be whether the tongue they may or may not have planted in their cheeks gets them off the hook for inclusion alongside people like Melissa Manchester, Meatloaf, and Dan Hill. Join us after the break and let’s talk!
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Summer Movie Survey 2016


Summer Movies 2016

Another summer movie season has come and gone.  Next week, Daffy and I will have a recap of what we saw and what we thought.  But I wanted to give you readers a chance to have your say.  After the jump, there is a survey consisting of 30 of the biggest summer releases.  For each one, let us know if you gave it or thumbs up or a thumbs down or if you just didn’t see it.  Next Sunday we’ll include your responses in our summer movie round-up.  (Don’t worry if you haven’t seen most of them.  I doubt many readers have.)

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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Harry Nilsson vs Elvis Presley


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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’s competitors were released just two years apart from one another, but also more than forty years ago so most of us probably don’t remember when they were current. To be honest, I find it a little bit alarming that these “oldies” were less than a decade old when I started hearing them on my little clock radio in the fourth grade. Time sure does speed up as it goes along. Another thing that both of these artists have in common is that they passed away well before their time. Let’s talk about both of these songs so we can decide if they belong on our list of wonderfully corny recordings!
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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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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Melissa Manchester vs. Meatloaf


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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’s pairing features an over-the-top ballad from the 1970s and a comeback hit by a fellow ’70s artist who specialized in dramatic pop. Come help us decide which of these songs belongs on our list!
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LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Rebecca Black vs. Foreigner


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When I introduced LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics by pairing it with one of my “Nope, Not a 1-Hit Wonder” articles I included a poll at the end of the piece asking you readers whether you thought its subject, Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch,” deserved the Cheesetastic Classic label. The result was historic for LeBlog, in that every single vote was cast with the same response. Hill’s touchy-feely ballad was declared awesomely cheesy by 100% of the participating readers. No previous poll here at LeBlog shares this distinction. This got me to thinking. Did the simple yes/no nature of the poll lead to this unanimity? Would future Cheesetastic Classics tend to be identified with such certainty? My solution to this quandary is to present candidates for LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics in competing pairs, giving readers the chance to vote for the most recent entry. Let’s see how that works!

As you know if you read the Dan Hill article, a Cheesetastic Classic for our purposes here is defined as a song, most likely of some renown at the time of its release, which is both painfully trite or corny and undeniably wonderful. Ideally, these two qualities should collide head-on in your brain while you’re listening. Since we’re still so early in this activity, I can only guide you by sharing this vaguely specific definition and saying that “Sometimes When We Touch” is the inaugural inductee onto our list of cheese. Let’s move forward with those instructions and see how today’s entry turns out.
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Nope, Not a 1-hit Wonder/LeBlog’s Cheesetastic Classics: Dan Hill


You might have noticed that the “Nope, Not a 1-hit Wonder” parade has slowed down a little since its introductory burst onto the LeBlog scene a couple of years ago. Between Jeff the Wildman and I, we’ve covered more than twenty artists who common perception might have, through forgetfulness or some other whim of fate, inaccurately labeled as one with just a single claim to fame. While I’m hoping we’ll continue to cover these artists as the fancy strikes us, I also want to start up a new series that might help to soften the landing as Lebeau’s long-running analysis of the Golden Raspberries catches up with the current day in just a couple of weeks.

The schadenfreude associated with watching someone aim high (or very low) and somehow end up the target of derision is both personally shameful and undeniably delicious. What I’m hoping to do is to take that same experience, as is often delivered by Razzie winning movies, and apply it to popular music forms. This will manifest itself as “LeBlog’s Cheestastic Classics,” which will attempt to aim somewhere near that delectable spot that a movie like Mommie Dearest inhabits. 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. This is almost certainly the case with our first case study, an artist who manages to fulfill the requirements to take a place in both the “Nope, Not a 1-hit Wonder” and “LeBlog’s Cheestastic Classics” canons, thereby becoming the ideal introduction to the new series through connection to the prior one. Here comes Dan Hill.
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What if the LeBlog Readers Ran the Academy Awards?


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Do you sometimes wish you lived in one of those ‘parallel universes’ or ‘alternate realities’ science fiction stories are so fond of dreaming up? You know, the kind where the whims of you and your friends would just fall into place and where your own tastes were pretty much accepted as common knowledge. Well, we’re going to give you just a little taste of what such a place would be like today. In this scenario, we plunge into the heart of a black hole and come out on the other end in a universe in which LeBlog readers are the arbiters of all pop culture taste. So much so, in fact, that when it’s time to give out the yearly awards in film (affectionately nicknamed “the Lebeaus”) it is only the members of the Academy of our readership who get a vote on the major categories. The golden statuette is a reference to two of our favorite genre pictures, Star Wars and Goldfinger. It carries a sword to deal with any smart guys who find it necessary to point out that the history of these awards goes back thirty-five years prior to either of those movies.

Today we will discover how such a world would be different from our own in respects to the film awards that were given out just this past weekend in our own tawdry original timeline. How do we know such a thing? Well, thankfully we’ve been collecting data from our readers over the last couple of weeks for just such an occasion. Obviously, from the top image you can tell that our wise readers have selected George Miller’s thrilling action sequel Mad Max: Fury Road as Best Picture of the year. The decision was not unanimous, with Earth 616’s eventual winner Spotlight posting a strong second place showing. In the end, however, brilliant production design and water tight staging of action sequences won the Lebeau for Miller and company.

Would you like to see the rest of this parallel universe? Just click below and enter a most glorious place and time.
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This Year’s Costume Design Nominees


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Hello! I’m Allison, and I care about costume design.  These days I mostly express that by calling out the zany Y2K looks of an old Disney Channel sitcom, but at other times in my life I’ve had the more constructive outlets of costuming theatre productions and teaching costume design and costume history workshops at a theatre camp. I’ve occasionally had to consult my friend Camille’s encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history when designing, so she’s my collaborator for this post as well (which was especially handy when she was brave enough to watch The Revenant, a task I could not stomach).

When it comes to this award, the Oscars love a period piece –  since 1967, only two films have won for contemporary costuming. More recently, over-the-top designs for films like The Great Gatsby and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland have been dazzling the Academy. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, this category has not been kind to gritty survivalist stories, which is bad news for the beautifully bonkers design of Mad Max: Fury Road and the designated haberdashery of Leo’s suffering in The Revenant. Bear those trends in mind and it seems likely that it’ll be Cinderella’s year, but there are strong nominees that could challenge it on Sunday night.

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This Year’s Best Picture Nominees


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This here is the big kahuna. Best Picture. The film that is held up as the best of the year and made to embody that year for the rest of all time. So why is the winner so often overshadowed by another nominee that gains with repeat watchings, or ages better, or simply is better? Why by my estimation are there more than forty nominated films over the years that have been better than the movie that ended up beating them for this honor? Well, group think is part of the explanation. A few of the right people start spreading an opinion and suddenly those around them start nodding along. It’s also fair to say that it’s not always easy to figure out what will age well or be seen as not just out of fashion, but downright corny or offensive by future generations. You can’t expect the voters to be soothsayers. The sooth is not simple to say. You’ll also have to look at it from the other point of view. More than forty of the Best Picture winners actually are tops among the nominated films of the year. By my estimation, at least.

Now let’s have a look at this year’s nominated films!
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