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Fixing Oscar For One Film: Part One

Okay, so I’m obviously an unrepentant lover of the yearly film Bacchanalia that is the Oscars. That should be obvious by my obsessive yearly coverage of the awards here at LeBlog. At the same time, it’s not like I’m not fully aware of the shortcomings of the whole exercise and some of the mistakes the Academy’s voters might have made along the way. My recent article on the history of the Best Picture category touches a bit on these things. Anybody with a love of film who has taken the time to consider the winners and losers with any detail or who has sat down and watched the ceremony play out in real time more than a few times probably has that one choice by the Academy that sticks in their craw just a little. Yes, in the end it’s just a meaningless award, but darn it movie Y obviously should have beaten movie X in 19-blah-dee-blah.

Well, I’m here to offer the readers of LeBlog an opportunity to scratch that itch. As a team, we will be sifting through some of the greatest Best Picture nominees to ever come up short on cinema’s biggest night. Every other day for the next couple of weeks I’m going to be presenting five such pictures for your consideration, sharing a few of each movie’s credentials, and giving you a chance to vote for your favorite amongst them. Once we’ve acquired a winner for each group of five, those surviving films will be pitted against one another in a winner-take-all competition whose champion will forever after be known as “LeBlog’s best-Loved Loser.” Yes, anytime the film is spoken of here at LeBlog in the future, that moniker will be attached to it (I can imagine we will come up with reasons to mention it more often than we otherwise would have).

While we won’t strictly be moving forward by decade, some effort has been made to group the films in roughly appropriate chronological sets. Today we start with a rather tightly packed bunch of movies stretching from 1938 all the way to 1940. What can I say? It was a pretty good time for movies.
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Lego Dimensions: Fun With Fun Packs: Wicked Witch of the West and Doc Brown

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Late last summer, I picked up the Lego Dimensions Starter Pack on a whim.  It was on sale and I was going to spend a week at home with the girls just before the new school year.  Turns out it was a rainy week and we got a lot of use out of the new toy/game.  When I made that purchase, I had not anticipated it turning into such an investment either financially or in terms of time.  Today’s article is the fourteenth weekly write-up covering expansions for the game and it is also the last one dealing with the game’s first year offerings.  As a result, the two Fun Packs I’m reviewing may seem a bit random.

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The Movie That Changed My Life

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It’s been a little while since we had a Movieline list article.  These were a staple of the magazine.  Whenever they needed to fill a little space, they’d just start calling around Hollywood until they got a set number of responses to a question.  For the December 1996 “Black Hollywood” issue, they asked 65 African-American industry players to tell them about the film that had the greatest impact on their personal lives.

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Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: The Wizard of Oz

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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.

We’re picking up here with a movie that was released eleven years after The Man Who Laughs, the fascinating piece of expressionist melodrama which was my first installment. Most obviously, The Wizard of Oz is a much more famous movie; one of the most famous and iconic pieces of film ever made, in fact. What is just as stunning is the extreme technological advances in the art form. Between 1928 and 1939, both full sound and color had become available to filmmakers. That’s an amazing leap forward that has helped to make The Wizard of Oz an enduring classic even for modern audiences who are used to things like widescreen presentation, 3D, and computer generated special effects. I can’t imagine those same audiences would sit still for a version of Dorothy and friends which was black and white all the way through and was absent the film’s famous songs. The technology of film sure hasn’t moved that much since 2005.
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Movie Heroines Bracket Game: Princess Leia Vs. Dorothy Gale

Princess Leia Vs. Dorothy Gale

With Cinderella and Insurgent in theaters, it seemed like an excellent time to rank our female heroes.  What exactly it means to be a movie heroine is open to interpretation.  We’ve got some of the action heroines you would expect.  But we also have some real world figures and some flawed protagonists.  Who’s the best movie heroine?  It’s time to find out.

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Movie Heroines Bracket Game: Dorothy Gale Vs. Scarlett O’Hara

Dorothy Gale Vs. Scarlett Ohara

With Cinderella and the Divergent sequel in theaters, it seemed like an excellent time to rank our female heroes.  What exactly it means to be a movie heroine is open to interpretation.  We’ve got some of the action heroines you would expect.  But we also have some real world figures and some flawed protagonists.  Who’s the best movie heroine?  It’s time to find out.

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