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. John Carpenter. Starring Karen Allen, Jeff Bridges, Charles Martin Smith What separates grief from its lesser emotional cousins is how total it is, how difficult it is to shake, how nearly it stalks. In a film filled with gorgeous moments, the one that stands out most to me takes place in a truck stop… Read More Starman (1984)
Tim: Happy Super Bowl Sunday, buddy. May the Pats be struck down. Matt: Now and forever, amen. Tim: (This is going to look worse when this goes up and the Patriots win by thirty two hours later.) Speaking of championships, ha ha, today we chat a smidge about this championship belt project that both of… Read More Baumann and Burch Conversations #12: Belts
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
Dir. Albert Brooks. Starring Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Garry Marshall Dir. John Carpenter. Starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, Peter Jason Any fool can point at an American movie from the ’80s and say, with some authority, “Well, I declare! This picture here’s a critique of Reagan-era capitalistic excess!” What strikes me about the pairing of… Read More Lost in America (1985) and They Live (1988)
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. 5) The Thing (1982), directed by John Carpenter It’s worth noting that the… Read More 100 Exceptional American Movies in 10 Genres: Location, 5-1
(For an introduction to the project and an index of other entries in the series, click here. For a list of more than 800 films which I considered for the top 450 and my eligibility qualifications, click here. And for a way to vote on what you think the top 100 American narrative fiction feature films are, click here.… Read More Better than AFI’s Top 100: Un Certain Regard
Dir. John Carpenter. Starring Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun, Kim Cattrall I think everything you need to know about the movie is abundantly clear from the name. Films are not usually catchy, but this one is; it uses abundant color, histrionic acting, and runaway dialogue so that you can’t help but get swept up in it. For… Read More Big Trouble in Little China (1986)