Wednesday, November 29, 2017

From My Collection: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T Movie Review

Way back in the mid-1950s Theodore Geisel wrote a screenplay. If you don’t know who Geisel is, you probably know him by his pseudonym Dr. Seuss. Yes, that Dr. Seuss. The one who wrote about fifty children’s rhyming books between 1937 and 1990, all of which take place in fantastic worlds populated by bizarre creatures from the mind of a genius. His screenplay, for which he also conceived the story, is The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

It is a scarcely remembered movie, with barely even a cult following, that I first came upon as a freshman in college, where the Film Society made it the first in a Halloween double feature with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I loved it that first time I saw it and again the next year again (when I became president of the Film Society I could no longer justify the $250 rental fee with only about $20 in ticket sales). But I returned to it again recently with my son, who is well-versed in many of Seuss’s books.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Everything I Saw in the First Half of 2017

28.6 Baby Driver (2017) [cinema]
27.6 "Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 8" (2017) [Showtime streaming]
21-22.6 Frantz (2017) [DVD]
21.6 Alien: Resurrection (1997) [DVD]*
19.6 "Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 7" (2017) [Showtime streaming]
17-18.6 Alien 3 (1992) [DVD]*
15.6 The Great Wall (2017) [Blu-Ray]
13-14.6 A Cure for Wellness (2017) [Blu-Ray]
13.6 "Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 6" (2017) [Showtime streaming]
10-13.6 Aliens (1986) [Blu-Ray]*
7.6 Alien (1979) [Blu-Ray]*
6.6 Wonder Woman (2017) [cinema]

Sunday, February 26, 2017

89th Academy Awards - final predictions

Now that I've seen every single Oscar-nominated movie (with one small exception that I will get to before the show tonight), I'm ready to make my final predictions.

La La Land

Damien Chazelle - La La Land

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Quick Oscar Predictions for 89th Academy Awards (not final)

So these should not be considered my final predictions for the winners at the 89th Academy Awards, but my instinct upon the announcement of all the nominees.

Many of these predictions are likely to remain the same on my final list a few days before the ceremony and some will change. Some have already changed, in fact, but these are what I picked on January 24.

La La Land - it's got momentum and a lot of love. It's a happy story, it's vibrant and exciting. It's the kind of thing people want to vote for. Plus it's about Hollywood, which Hollywood loves.

Damien Chazelle - La La Land - this choice may change over the next three weeks, but don't count on it. A significant part of what makes this movie so wonderful is Chazelle's direction.

Isabelle Huppert - Elle - because of her Golden Globe win (a bit of a surprise, actually), this is my snapshot impression, although I may go with another choice in the end as momentum swings in a different direction.

Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea - the smart money says he will win as he's won so many precursor awards, but this is shaping up to be unpredictable like the Best Actress category. Can't remember the last time there wasn't a foregone conclusion in at least one of the lead acting categories.

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis - Fences - unlikely to change

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight - unlikely to change

Original Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea - I could waver on this one, but probably not

Adapted Screenplay

Animated Feature
Moana - this could go another direction

Film Editing
La La Land

Production Design
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

La La Land

Costume Design
La La Land

Original Score
La La Land

Original Song
"City of Stars" from La La Land

Makeup and Hairstyling
Suicide Squad

Sound Mixing
La La Land

Sound Editing
Hacksaw Ridge

Visual Effects
Doctor Strange

Foreign Language Film
The Salesman from Iran

Documentary Feature

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How'd I Do? 89th Academy Awards Edition

I scored 17/20 in the acting categories, which is 2 choices down from last year. In the top 8 (acting, directing, screenplay, and picture) I got 36/44. That's a minor statistical improvement over last year when I got 35/43. That's a jump from 81.3% to 81.8%.

Throughout the entire field I scored 79/107 or 73.8%

Picture 7/9

Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

I missed: Hacksaw Ridge and Hidden Figures
Predicted: Loving

Sunday, January 22, 2017

89th Academy Awards Nomination Predictions

So on Tuesday morning the nominations will be announced for the 89th Academy Awards, which will then be awarded in a ceremony on February 26.

For now, here's how I have the nominees coming together in all but the short film categories.


There can, as usual, be anywhere from 5 - 10 nominees in this category.

First of all, there are the 5 that I consider absolute locks for nominations:

La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Following that I have a list of 5 more films in order of likelihood:

Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures

Now I'm predicting there will be 8 nominees, with Silence and Hidden Figures missing out after the others. I don't have high confidence in anything after Lion. Loving was a wonderful little movie, but maybe isn't drawing enough big attention to get nominated here. Hell or High Water is getting a lot of attention, but I didn't personally think it as great as many others do. Hidden Figures just isn't a very good movie by any stretch. It's not even as good as The Help, which received an undeserved Best Picture nomination several years ago. I really like Silence and it would be a deserving nominee but I wonder if it's going to connect with voters. As much as I admired it, I felt no emotional connection.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everything I Saw in the Second Half of 2016

31.12 The Witness (2016) [Netflix]
30-31.12 Twin Peaks s.2 e.1 "May the Giant Be with You" (1990) [DVD]
29.12 Loving (2016) [cinema]
29.12 Toni Erdmann (2016) [cinema]
27.12 Fences (2016) [cinema]
25.12 Lion (2016) [cinema]
21.12 Rogue One - A Star Wars Story (2016) [cinema]
12.14 - 12.16 Sausage Party (2016) [Blu-Ray]
13.12 Miss Sloane (2016) [cinema]
10.12 A Christmas Story (1983) [Blu-Ray]*
7.12 Manchester by the Sea (2016) [cinema]
7.12 Twin Peaks s.1 e.7 "The Last Evening" (1990) [DVD]*
6.12 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) [cinema]
2-3.12 13th (2016) [Netflix]
3.12 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) [Blu-Ray]*
2.12 Twin Peaks s.1 e.6 "Realization Time" (1990) [DVD - second half]*
29.11 Allied (2016) [cinema]
29.11 Moana (2016) [cinema]
29.11 Inner Workings (2016) [cinema - animated short]
25.11 The Innocents (2016) [Blu-Ray - second half]
24.11 Cafe Society (2016) [Amazon Instant]*
22.11 Moonlight (2016) [cinema]
20.11 Arrival (2016) [cinema]
16-17.11 Indignation (2016) [Blu-Ray]
9.11 Doctor Strange (2016) [cinema]
3.11 The Innocents (2016) [Blu-Ray - first half]
2.11 Twin Peaks s.1 e.6 "Realization Time" (1990) [DVD - first half]*
2.11 Twin Peaks s.1 e.5 "Cooper's Dreams" (1990) [DVD - second half]*
29.10 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) [cinema]
27.10 The Lobster (2016) [Blu-Ray]
25.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.5 (1990) [DVD - first half]*
20-22.10 The Sound of Music (1965) [Blu-Ray]*
21.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.4 "The One-Armed Man" (1990) [DVD]*
19.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.3 "Rest in Pain" (1990) [DVD]*
16.10 Certain Women (2016) [cinema]
15.10 X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) [Blu-Ray]
12.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.2 "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer" (1990) [DVD]*
8.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.1 "Traces to Nowhere" (1990) [DVD]*
6.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.1 "Traces to Nowhere" (1990) [DVD]*
6.10 The Birth of a Nation (2016) [cinema]
5.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.Pilot "Northwest Passage" (1990) [DVD - second half]*
1.10 Stranger Things s.1 e.5 "Chapter Five:
The Acrobat and the Flea" (2016) [Netflix]
1.10 Twin Peaks s.1 e.Pilot "Northwest Passage" (1990) [DVD - first half]*
1.10 Mulan (1998) [DVD - first half]
29.9 Stranger Things s.1 e.4 "Chapter Four: The Body" (2016) [Netflix]
29.9 Stranger Things s.1 e.3 "Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly" (2016) [Netflix]
28.9 Captain America: Civil War (2016) [Amazon]*
24.9 Stranger Things s. 1 e. 2 "Chapter Two:
The Weirdo on Maple Street" (2016) [Netflix]
24.9 The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953) [Blu-Ray]*
23.9 Stranger Things s.1 e.1 "Chapter One:
The Vanishing of Will Byer" (2016) [Netflix]
22.9 The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016) [Hulu]
21.9 Snowden (2016) [cinema]
17.9 Inside Out (2015) [Blu-Ray]*
17.9 Lava (2015) [Blu-Ray - animated short]*
16.9 The Nice Guys (2016) [DVD]
25.8 Captain Fantastic (2016) [cinema]
25.8 Hercules (1997) [DVD]
24.8 Hell or High Water (2016) [cinema]
17.8 The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) [DVD]
12.8 Pocahontas (1995) [DVD]*
10.8 Eye in the Sky (2016) [Blu-Ray]
10.8 The Lion King (1994) [Blu-Ray]*
5.8 The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) [Amazon Instant]*
4.8 The Bourne Supremacy (2004) [Amazon Instant]*
2.8-4.8 The Bourne Identity (2002) [DVD]*
31.7 Star Trek Beyond (2016) [cinema]
31.7 Cafe Society (2016) [cinema]
29.7 Jason Bourne (2016) [cinema]
26.7 The Infiltrator (2016) [cinema]
22.7 Beauty and the Beast (1991) [DVD]*
19.7 Ghostbusters (2016) [cinema]
12.7 Midnight Special (2016) [Blu-Ray]
12.7 The Rescuers Down Under (1990) [DVD]
5.7 Puss Cafe (1950) [DVD - animated short]
5.7 Finding Dory (2016) [cinema]
5.7 Piper (2016) [cinema - animated short]
2.7 Swiss Family Robinson (1960) [DVD]*