Steven Hyden introduced his five-albums test more than a decade ago as a third way to judge a band, short of its popularity or its critical acclaim. While this one is not meant to stand on its own—for example, he’s not sure that either Bob Dylan nor the Rolling Stones had made five great albums… Read More The Five-Movies Test or: Which Director Has Had the Best Stretch of Consecutive Feature-Length Films in English?
Dir. Norman Jewison. Starring Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden Spoilers follow…I almost never do spoiler warnings, and I can’t remember if I’ve ever done one for a film from the 20th Century. Yet this film ends so dramatically and boldly that the shock, one way or another, feels especially meaningful. It’s not a… Read More The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
One of the Grantland legacies I’m fond of, although I’m sure the idea didn’t start there, is the championship belt (RIP Grantland, long live Barnwell and Hyden). The purpose is to go year by year and create a list of who’s at the top of some field, which is a deceptively simple task, and one… Read More Anglophone Director Championship Belt, 1918-2018
I’m joining in the spirit of the year-in-review post, even though the way I watch movies isn’t really conducive to the kind of list that one usually sees at the end of the year. (Incidentally, if you happen to be a recent music aficionado, friend of the blog Matt will have his year-end list of… Read More 2018 Year-End Review: Fifty Movies
The following is from my series of Oscar Best Picture rankings, as well as my strongly worded suggestions for what should have won from among the nominees. For an introduction to the project, click here. For a way to vote on some Oscar-related ideas, click here. If I’ve written a review on any of the… Read More Better than the Oscars: 25-21
Dir. Hal Ashby. Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid The Last Detail, with its frustrated young men, faithfully rendered milieu, and miles of walk-and-talk, screams “Linklater movie.” It’s no wonder that Last Flag Flying borrows from this movie; the guidebook is right here in Hal Ashby’s direction and Robert Towne’s screenplay before either of them lost… Read More The Last Detail (1973)
You can read up on the basis for this series here, and also find links to other posts in the series. Movies I’ve reviewed on this site have a link in the title which you can follow to read my full review. As it stands, we are fifty movies down, with fifty more to… Read More 100 Exceptional American Movies in 10 Genres: Lovers, 10-6
Dir. Hal Ashby. Starring Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern There’s a “Just So” story I encountered for the first time when I was a little boy. It was depicted in 3-D comic book form and came with the requisite glasses. (I may be making this up, but I’m pretty sure it came from a… Read More Coming Home (1978)