Saturday, March 12, 2011

Anniversary Addendum: More Thoughts on Blog's 2nd Anniversary

Now, I note in my anniversary comments that I might have left out a few things. No biggie, just a few odds and ends that might be of interest only to me.

For example, I noted that I have a goal of watching every Best Picture winner: all 83 of them. Now, I may have written reviews for just ten of them, but I have seen 67 out of them*. If you are curious as to which ones I haven't seen, well, they are in chronological order:
  1. Wings

  2. Cavalcade

  3. The Lost Weekend

  4. Tom Jones

  5. In the Heat of the Night

  6. Patton

  7. The Sting

  8. Annie Hall

  9. The Deer Hunter

  10. Kramer Vs. Kramer

  11. Ordinary People

  12. Terms of Endearment

  13. Platoon

  14. Unforgiven

  15. Braveheart

If one is to be extremely technical, I do believe I've seen the last two, but I have no memory of them, so I've opted to include them in my "Unwatched" List. Wings is the only one not to have been released on DVD in the United States as of this writing. There is a VHS version, and Cavalcade has I believe been released as part of a package of other Best Picture winners, though no stand-alone version is available. Fortunately, both are now waiting patiently for me on my DVR.

As for the 15 masterpieces released from March 2009 to March 2011, I began to wonder which one would be The Ultimate. So first, let's see which ones were among the contenders. In alphabetical order:

(500) Days of Summer

Black Swan

The Fighter

Food, Inc.

The Hangover


Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

The King's Speech

Michael Jackson's This Is It (aka This Is It)


The Social Network

Toy Story 3


Waiting For "Superman"

The Young Victoria

Quite a collection, ain't it?

I have opted to look over a wide variety: documentaries, comedies, costume dramas, and animation. A film should be judged by the quality in the filmmaking as well as the standards it was setting out to fulfill. That being the case, I can't quite bring myself to say Precious is better than The Hangover but I love them both. Each of those films is brilliant in its own way and should be appreciated as such.

As such, I have decided not to select the very Best of the Masterpieces. I will say that both UP and Toy Story 3 had great emotional impact, but then again, so did Precious (a film I still find extremely haunting, heartbreaking, and oddly, even uplifting).  The Hangover was completely hilarious, but they never had their laughs at the expense of their characters. Rather, it was their situations and their reactions to them that brought the laughter, and what's wrong with laughing every now and again?

Other films, like Inception and Black Swan, did something I always like in a film: they trusted me to keep up with them; they did not insult my intelligence by dumbing things down but rather called on my mind to put things together.

I doubt I'll finish by year's end, going over every Best Picture. I have endless drafts of reviews waiting patiently for me to finish them. I have more retrospectives to complete as well as begin. I hope to start a Planet of the Apes films retrospective before Rise of The Apes is released. Yes, my work is not finished, not by a long shot. I have much to do, but I will not be discouraged. In the words of President Kennedy, "...but let us begin".

* July 2017 Update: All the Best Picture winners have been seen, though not reviewed. 

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