Tuesday, December 31, 2013

True Grit (1969)

Film: True Grit
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on laptop.

I had hoped to put up a review of Driving Miss Daisy today, since it’s the only Best Picture winner I haven’t reviewed. Alas, the vagaries of NetFlix delivery and the USPS have prevented me from getting a copy until later this week. Ah, well. But there’s still time for a last review before the year turns.

When you talk about John Wayne films, eventually someone will get around to True Grit. It certainly ranks in the pantheon of Wayne’s performances, but for my money, it’s not anywhere close to his best film. The Searchers is one of the two or three greatest Westerns ever made, and it would be hard to discount Stagecoach and The Shootist. And yet, True Grit is the film for which Wayne won an Oscar.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Take the High Ground!

Film: Take the High Ground!
Format: Turner Classic Movies on rockin’ flatscreen.

For most people, the best part of a film like Full Metal Jacket is the first half, the part concerning basic training. I’m not sure what it is about training sequences that we find so fascinating, but there is no doubt that we do. Take the High Ground! is that sort of film; we start with a collection of misfit, ragtag recruits and a little more than 90 minute later, we leave with a platoon of well-trained men thanks to the efforts of our tough-as-nails drill sergeant.

The drill sergeant in question is the awesomely named Thorne Ryan (Richard Widmark), who is almost a caricature of what a drill sergeant is. Ryan wants nothing more than a transfer to the shooting war in Korea but is stuck training raw recruits with the assistance of Sergeant Laverne Holt (Karl Malden). While the traditional drill sergeant puts on an act of hating the men under his command, Ryan seems to genuinely hate them while Holt is far more willing to give the men a little leeway when they need it.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Last Emperor

Film: The Last Emperor
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on The Nook.

One of the things I love about historical dramas is that I frequently learn about something I’d have otherwise never known. The Last Emperor is a case in point. I know a very tiny bit of Chinese history, mostly connected to World War II. Even so, I knew very little of the history of the Chinese monarchy before seeing this (and I remembered very little before this rewatch). The problem with historical dramas is that any deviation from actual history becomes canon.

Pu Yi (played as a toddler by Richard Vuu, as a child by Tsou Tijger, and as an adult by John Lone) is named as the Emperor of China at the tender age of three. He is moved into the Forbidden City and is forever unable to leave it. While is power is complete and supreme, he is a prisoner of his own position. Additionally, unknown to him because such things are kept from him, China has become a republic, and the position of emperor is nothing more than an elaborate figurehead.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Frances Ha

Film: Frances Ha
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on The Nook.

The goal of a movie review is, at least in part, to define the movie in question. With something like Frances Ha, that’s a difficult proposition, because Frances Ha is at least in part indefinable. This is a film that needs to be felt more than understood consciously. It takes on the entirety of the hipster generation, and the fact that the hopes and dreams of that generation are already fading, leaving yet again a collection of 20-somethings in exactly the same position of the previous generations—we’re all convinced that we’re important and going to change the world, and we’re going to do this by essentially standing still.

All of this takes place through the lens of Frances (Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the script with director Noah Baumbach). Frances wants to be a professional modern dancer, and is in the way that most people who want that profession are—she’s an understudy/trainee for a dance company and she teaches ballet to children. Her world is wrapped tightly with her friend and roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner). Frances even breaks up with her boyfriend Dan (Michael Esper) when he asks her to move in with him, opting instead to stay with Sophie.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Film: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on The Nook.

I would love to know how Charlie Kaufman’s mind works. He creates the strangest and most compelling worlds in his scripts and fortunately manages to get equally visionary people to then film them. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a case in point. In this case, though, I have a strange indicator of where the idea may have come from: cartoonist Carol Lay. It’s possible that this was an entirely independent idea, of course, but Lay created a comic called “Repeat Performance” in which couples repeatedly go to a service to have their memories wiped only to get back together afterward.

And that is the story here. Joel (Jim Carrey) has had a relationship with a woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet). After a few years and a bitter break-up, Joel discovers that Clem has gone to a company called Lacuna which eliminates him completely from her memory. For Clementine, her relationship with Joel no longer exists. In pain, Joel decides to do the same thing to her. He meets with Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkenson), the creator of the process, and arranges for the erasing to happen that night.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Beautiful Mind

Film: A Beautiful Mind
Format: DVD from NetFlix on laptop.

It’s been some time since I’ve seen A Beautiful Mind. Depending on how you look at it, I’ve either been saving in for close to the end of watching/rewatching all of the Best Picture winners or I’ve been avoiding it. Avoiding it might be closer to the truth. I don’t dislike this film, but I don’t love it, either. I know the license it takes with the actual history of John Nash. More to the point, I know where the different beats come in the story. This is one of those films that works once. It doesn’t carry over nearly as well to a second viewing. This is a film that requires spoiling to really discuss, so consider the rest of this review under a spoiler tab.

We’re shown the life of John Nash (Russell Crowe), who won a Nobel Prize for his work on game theory. The film shows his triumphs and his personal tragedies, namely his struggle with schizophrenia. The real John Nash suffered from auditory hallucinations. This version of Nash has visual ones as well. I imagine this is because giving us visual hallucinations gives us something to look at.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gifts for Everyone!

Every year since this blog has been around, I’ve posted a list of films that I think should be added. Except for the first year, before I actually posted reviews, it’s become a Christmas tradition.

This year, though, the Listmakers opted for a major overhaul, going back to the beginnings of film and adding a ton. Technically, they re-added three, switched out another 47, and stuffed two more Toy Story films into a single entry and called it 50 new films. In that spirit, I’m going to suggest a bunch.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crimes of the Heart

Film: Crimes of the Heart
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on laptop.

At my core, I am a practical person. I can’t say I was looking forward to watching Crimes of the Heart based on the name alone, but again, I’m practical. When it’s about to vanish from streaming on NetFlix and I discover that NetFlix doesn’t have physical copies, it’s time to buckle down and get through it. I survived Terms of Endearment, after all. How much worse could this be?

Well, I knew it was trouble in the opening credits. While a tinkling piano plays soft and low, we see the names of our three stars appear in slow succession: Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek. As the pseudo-romantic piano tinkles along, a pink heart shape falls from the top of the screen and replaces the “A” in the last name of each of the three stars. This was going to be a rough ride.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tom Jones

Film: Tom Jones
Format: DVD from Rockford Lutheran High School/Jr. High Library on rockin’ flatscreen.

For whatever reason, Tom Jones was really difficult for me to track down. NetFlix doesn’t carry it, and I couldn’t find it in a local library. Of all the Best Picture winners, only Cavalcade was harder to pin down. Well, I found it in a high school library of all places, mildly shocking due to the racy nature of the film. Oh, there’s no nudity and no language, but there’s plenty of sauciness and implied sex.

Tom Jones is marginally a romance and very much a comedy. It’s worth noting at IMDB also calls it an adventure film, something with which I disagree. It is, more or less, a Georgian Don Juan tale. Our titular character (Albert Finney) is irresistible to women. That he’s also a presumed bastard child of a servant makes no difference. In fact, Tom’s alleged mother is kicked out of the service of her employer, as is the supposed father. Tom is raised in the home of his purported parents’ former employer, Squire Allworthy (George Devine).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Grifters

Film: The Grifters
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on laptop.

I really like The Grifters. I’ve always considered this to be the movie where John Cusack graduated from teen comedies (even some pretty good ones) into adult fare. The Grifters is a film that doesn’t pull any punches. It’s a brutal film. What it reminds me of more than anything is a film like The Sting, but run through a very gritty, ugly filter. This is neo-noir at its finest, featuring not one, but two femmes fatale and a host of characters, all on the take from somewhere.

Our three main characters start with no connection, but are soon united. First is Roy (John Cusack), a commission salesman who supplements his income liberally with short con games, such as showing a bartender a $20 bill and paying with a $10. He tries this once too often and gets a slug from a baseball bat in the gut. Second is Lilly (Anjelica Huston), whose job is to go to racetracks and bet heavily on longshots to reduce the odds, making the payouts far easier to handle. Third is Myra (Annette Bening) who uses sex as liberally as possible to get what she wants. It’s not too long into the film that we discover that Roy and Myra are not quite an item but are frequently in each other’s company and that Lilly is Roy’s mother.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Film: Oliver!
Format: DVD from NetFlix on various players

Much like Going My Way, which I watched a couple of months ago, I had seen Oliver! before this viewing. This was another film that played regularly on the local station on Sunday afternoons. It would be unfair to suggest that I remembered much of it, though. It’s seriously been more than three decades since I’d last seen it. I remembered a couple of the songs, but that was it. Oliver! is the last Oscar gasp of Old Hollywood, the final clinging bit of glory before everything changed the next year—it’s also the last family (read: G-rated) film to win Best Picture.

Now that I’ve said that, it is the damnedest film to place in its intent. I mean, this is a film about an orphan who is terribly abused and mistreated his entire life, and yet it’s filled with jaunty musical numbers. I won’t say that Oliver! glamorizes the plight of our poor wretch Oliver Twist (Mark Lester), but it certainly makes light of it. It’s bizarre to watch hungry waifs singing and dancing. It’s worth saying that I’m not a fan of Charles Dickens, who wrote the original story. I think it’s evident that Dickens was paid by the word, and the term “Dickensian coincidence” exists for a reason.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trader Horn

Film: Trader Horn
Format: Turner Classic Movies on rockin’ flatscreen.

Sometimes I decide to do something, and it seems like a great idea when I think of it. Then something like Trader Horn happens, and I wonder what the hell I was thinking about. Trader Horn was nominated for Best Picture in 1931, evidently one of the weakest Best Picture classes in Oscar history. This is evidenced by the fact that I’m not terribly upset that this film lost to Cimarron. Trader Horn, while no doubt impressive for its time (it was the first film shot on location in Africa), is aggressively racially and sexually offensive and even in the most generous and understanding opinion, is average it best, and even that is with giving the film as much benefit of the doubt as possible.

This is allegedly the story of African trader Aloysius Horn (Harry Carey) and his adventures in discovering a missing “white goddess” living among a savage tribe. Horn is joined by Peru (Duncan Renaldo), who is notable for both his thick accent and his hat, which deserved its own screen credit. Seriously, Peru’s hat is a pith helmet made for Andre the Giant. It extends a foot in front of his face and ends touching his shoulder blades and looks for all the world like a three-tiered beehive. Had there been a hat party during the course of the film, his would have been awarded as the grandest of all. Horn is also joined by Rencharo (Mutia Omoolu, the only African in the film treated with any respect), his gun bearer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mona Lisa

Film: Mona Lisa
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on laptop.

I find it difficult not to enjoy the performances of Bob Hoskins. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was (I think) my introduction to him as an actor. He always seems like the sort of guy it would be cool to know. Hoskins often plays men with a gruff exterior and a heart of gold. It’s difficult for me to not find that appealing, especially when it’s done as well as Hoskins tends to do it. That’s definitely the case with Mona Lisa, a crime/romance film that has managed to slip under my radar until today.

We start by learning a little bit about George (Hoskins). There’s tension between him and his wife, caused by George spending seven years in prison. Now that he’s out, he’s looking for some payback from Mortwell (Michael Caine), the man he used to work for. He’s given a job he doesn’t much want: driving a high-class prostitute named Simone (Cathy Tyson) to and from her appointments. There is immediate friction between the two, of course, and eventually, they come to both like and trust each other.

A Quick Note on the Poll

I've changed the focus of this blog toward mainly Oscar nominees. As you can see on the right, I've created categories for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.

I've been considering adding a few other categories as well, but I can't decide which to use, hence the poll at the top right. Here are the four (kinda five) new potential categories, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Best Foreign Language Feature: adds 225 films to the list
Pros: Continues to expose me to the best non-English films the world has to offer.
Cons: Adds 225 films, many of which are difficult (if not impossible) to locate.

Best Supporting Actor/Actress: adds 197 films to the list
Pros: A natural addition to Best Actor/Actress.
Cons: Adds a lot of films, many of which may have little to offer save the one performance.

Best Adapted Screenplay: adds 77 films to the list
Pros: Covers the entirety of Oscar history and fits in naturally with Original Screenplay.
Cons: It's difficult to tell the quality of the adaptation if I'm not familiar with the original source material.

Best Animated Feature: adds 38 films to the list
Pros: Beefs up a sadly neglected area of film on this blog, and doesn't swamp me with new, hard-to-find films. Cons: Feels like a lightweight category compared with the others.

So, please take a moment, consider, and vote. Thanks!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Off Script: Sisters

Film: Sisters
Format: Turner Classic Movies on rockin’ flatscreen.

For a guy who has made some pretty important films, Brian De Palma doesn’t seem to get a lot of credit. Who remembers Dressed to Kill, for instance? Folks remember Scarface, but even that film’s once-stellar reputation has faded a bit. Sisters is an early De Palma film, and one of his first successes, but it too seems to be all but forgotten. That’s a damn shame, because this is a film that belongs in a special class of horror thrillers. Like Jacob’s Ladder and Altered States, Sisters is the sort of film that plays merry hob with what it presents to the viewer, making it difficult to determine what is reality and what is delusion.

The title comes from the condition of Danielle and Dominique Blanchion (Margot Kidder), formerly conjoined twins who were separated as adults. Danielle is a model and actress who spends a night with a man she meets in the course of a television acting job. The man (Lisle Wilson) contends with Danielle’s former husband Emil (William Finley) and ends up spending the night. The next morning, he overhears Danielle in conversation with her sister and discovers it is their birthday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quiz Show

Film: Quiz Show
Format: DVD from NetFlix on laptop.

I really like Quiz Show. I like it because first of all, it’s a really well-made film with a fantastic cast. There were some fabrications and changes from real life to the filmed version, of course, but I’m not that upset by it. Quiz Show is a really simple film, and that’s very much the point here. The story itself is so compelling that it needed only a little massaging in places and nothing else to make it worth seeing.

The film is based around the real quiz show scandal of the late 1950s where particular contestants on game shows were fed answers to make them media stars and boost ratings. Specifically, this is the case of the quiz show “Twenty One.” The basics of the show were pretty simple and completely fascinating. Two contestants are placed in separate isolation booths and race to 21 points. The more points they go for, the more difficult the question. The catch in the game is that the contestants don’t know the other person’s score.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sarah and Son

Film: Sarah and Son
Format: Internet video on laptop.

Sometimes, when one watches a very old film, the idea crops up that it might be worth remaking. Such is not the case with Sarah and Son. This is a painfully stupid film, one that hurt to watch frame by frame. I admit that a part of this is that the print I watched was bad—fuzzy and with pretty wretched sound, but I do my best to overlook that. Had Sarah and Son been a perfect print, though, I’m not sure it would have been much better. In fact, there’s a good chance that with additional clarity I’d have liked it less.

We have our titular character Sarah (an Oscar-nominated Ruth Chatterton), who is a Dutch immigrant longing for a career on stage. She’s teaching herself to dance and is working as best she can with her partner, Jim Grey (Fuller Mellish, Jr.), who is lazy in a way that only melodramatic movie characters can be. Sarah’s real talent is singing, though, where she miraculously loses her thick accent. Eventually, Sarah and Jim end up on the stage and have something like a beginning career. When Sarah gets news of her sister’s death back in the old country, she collapses in Jim’s arms. Before you can say, “Doodly-doodly-doop!” they have a baby.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hamlet (1948)

Film: Hamlet
Format: DVD from NetFlix on laptop.

When I look at ranked lists of Best Picture winners, I tend to see 1948’s winner, Hamlet near the bottom. I wonder why this is. A part of me thinks it’s a way for the critic in question to assert “regular viewer” status. Hamlet is the epitome of highbrow, after all. If you admit to liking it, you’re instantly a snob. If you denigrate it, it means you’re more likely to be the sort of person who will drink beer out of the can and enjoy watching movies so bad they’re good. I’ll freely admit that I prefer Kenneth Branagh’s version of the story, but dammit, I like Hamlet, unfavorable opinions or snob status be damned. And more to the point, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) film actors of the last century won his only performance Oscar in this film. If for no other reason, it should be respected for that. I mean, if you want to forget that the play is considered the greatest drama ever penned, that’s on your head.

A film like West Side Story is a hard sell for me not because it’s a musical, but because I don’t care much for the source material. That’s not the case here, and because Olivier’s adaptation is very dedicated to the source material, it would be difficult for me to dislike it much. Toss in the fact that it’s Olivier, and you’ve got something worth watching.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Broadway Melody

Film: The Broadway Melody
Format: DVD from Galena Public Library through interlibrary loan on laptop.

So I was warned about The Broadway Melody. It was going to take a complete stinker to take the place of Gigi on the bottom of my personal rankings of Best Picture winners. And yet here I am in a quandary. This is objectively a worse film than Gigi, but I’m not sure I liked it less. It’s a worse film, but Gigi is morally objectionable, but it’s really well made. The Broadway Melody is silly, stupid, maudlin, melodramatic, and annoying. The film runs 100 minutes. It feels like 1,000.

This is a pretty typical “behind the scenes” style of musical, the sort that seemed to be popular as all hell through the ‘40s and crop up now and again. Everyone we see is connected to show business in one respect or another. We start with Eddie Kearns (Charles King) who has just penned a new song called “The Broadway Melody,” which would be a snappy name for a new picture. Anyway, he’s giving it to a sister act called the Mahoney Sisters. These are Harriet “Hank” Mahoney (Bessie Love), the older and smarter sister, and Queenie Mahoney (Anita Page), the younger and prettier one. As it happens, Eddie is engaged to Hank, and has promised them big things if they come to New York. He’s sold his new song to Francis Zanfield (Eddie Kane) for one of his new stage shows, and he wants the girls to sing it with him.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Film: Doctor Dolittle
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on rockin’ flatscreen.

When I was little, I had a Doctor Dolittle book that I read pretty frequently. I liked the idea of Doctor Dolittle perhaps more than I liked that particular story. I was feeling nostalgic, and since the 1967 version of Doctor Dolittle, which follows the story with which I was familiar was streaming, I decided it was worth watching. I didn’t realize just how long this film is, but once I’d started I was too far into it to turn back.

In the early part of the Victorian era, Doctor John Dolittle (Rex Harrison) is a physician turned veterinarian since he’s decided that he genuinely likes animals and simply doesn’t understand people. He does understand animals, though, in a very literal fashion. Dolittle can literally speak to animals, and is fluent in hundreds of animal languages. These have been taught to him by his parrot, Polynesia (voiced by an uncredited Ginny Tyler). Dolittle frequently goes on jaunts around the world to help animals or to discover new ones. As the film starts, his dream is to find a legendary giant pink sea snail. The problem is that the doesn’t have the money to go, and as a doctor who treats animals on their own terms rather than dealing with any humans who might own them, he’s not likely to get any more.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Great Ziegfeld

Film: The Great Ziegfeld
Format: DVD from NetFlix on laptop.

I haven’t heard a great deal of enthusiasm for The Great Ziegfeld, the winner for Best Picture in 1936. Because of this, I can’t admit to going into it with a great deal of excitement. That lack of excitement cooled even further when I realized that it clocks in somewhere north of three hours. This was countered by the realization that it stars William Powell and features an appearance from Myrna Loy. I like Powell and I like Loy, and I particularly like them together, so I had hope. I didn’t realize that Myrna Loy doesn’t show up until well into the final hour of the film.

This is the story of Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. (William Powell), the frequently-broke Broadway impresario. We go from the start of his career as a carnival barker through his hit and failed shows and his tremendous ups and downs, his two great romances, his failures, his triumphs, and his eventual death. A lot of what we see are bits and pieces of the shows he put on—we get a ton of musical numbers to show us exactly where his money was going and to show us why he was considered a great showman. It would be unfair to suggest that these numbers are a waste of time. There’s some great spectacle with some of them, and just after the intermission, we get Ray Bolger’s first feature film dance performance that is truly one of the great comedy dance routines ever created.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Film: Cavalcade
Format: Internet video on laptop.

Of all of the Best Picture winners, Cavalcade is the one that is nearly impossible to find. I mean, I located it in nearly a dozen parts on YouTube, but if you want a DVD version, you’re pretty much out of luck. There evidently is a Blu-Ray release, but I’m not dropping $20 on something sight-unseen just because it happened to win Best Picture 80 years ago. I gave it as much leeway as I could; the audio was a touch out of step with the video, so it was a bit disconcerting.

There’s not a ton here in terms of a plot or much to summarize. The film is called Cavalcade because it presents a sweep of world history—30 plus years of it—through the eyes of the Marryot family of London. We get one of the Boer Wars, the end of the Victorian era, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War I, among other events, not as they were experienced by the world, but specifically as they affected the wealthy Marryots and their social circle.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The High and the Mighty

Film: The High and the Mighty
Format: DVD from Rockford Public Library on laptop.

The High and the Mighty is a “Noah’s Ark” film. I believe that term came from Roger Ebert. What it means is that the film contains a large collection of varied and different personalities, all thrown into some sort of conveyance and then thrown into peril. While the peril is a big part of the film, another big part of the film is the clashing personalities and all of the different issues and problems they bring to the table. In this case, that conveyance is an airplane. The peril, thus, makes The High and the Mighty something of a disaster film as well.

I’ll be blunt—there are too damn many characters here to go through all of them and all of their foibles. We have a plane with a dozen and half or so passengers and a crew of five heading from Honolulu to San Francisco. Among these passengers is a newlywed couple on their way back from their honeymoon, another married couple returning from a disappointing vacation, a third married couple about to get a divorce, a wealthy ladies man, the husband of a woman who may or may not have been having an affair, an old Italian fisherman, a terminally ill man, a Korean woman, and a former beauty queen. Everyone has his or her own issues and problems and worries.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Film: Becket
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on laptop.

I’m never really sure how to react to substantially religious epics. It’s always interesting to see someone willing to die for the courage of his or her conviction, but when that conviction is something I find so nebulous, I can’t help but ponder what I see as the waste of a life. That’s certainly the case with Becket, a story of warring ideologies and conflicted devotions. Admittedly, this is less a religious epic and more of a film about those divided loyalties and about perceived betrayal, but when so much of the film takes place inside a church and in characters wearing ecclesiastical garb, it’s difficult not to consider the intense religious overtones of the film.

What Becket really is at its core is the story of a friendship gone bad. The difference between a typical story of such a friendship and this one is that Becket concerns men at the height of temporal power. The two men in question are Thomas Becket (Richard Burton) and King Henry II (Peter O’Toole). The friendship is an interesting one. Henry is the heir of William the Conqueror, and thus a Norman in a still-hostile land filled with Saxon peasants. Becket is a Saxon raised to nobility by Henry. This leaves him in a very real sense as a man without a place to go. The other nobles hate him because he is a Saxon and the Saxons hate him because they believe he has willingly betrayed them for his position. This only becomes more the thought on all sides when Henry names him Lord Chancellor.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Directions

So I've put some thought into where this blog is going to go over the coming months and years.

The following are how I plan to change things up a bit starting, well, with my next review.

1) I'm done with the goofy titles. I'll bring them back for new editions of the 1001 Movies list, but they're too damn hard to think of all the time. From this point forward, except for 1001 Movies reviews, I'll just be using the title of the film and the year if it's needed to differentiate from remakes or other films with the same name.

2) New lists. At the right, under the title "Pages" you can find a series of lists. There's a link to the main list, of course, but also to five Oscar categories and a trio of horror movie lists. Those will be taking the bulk of my time now, although I probably won't remain exclusive to them. I'll also likely add some Oscar categories in the future.

3) Letterboxd. I have taken the plunge on Letterboxd. My name there is SJHoneywell. I'll be slowly adding reviews in the months ahead. All of my Letterboxd reviews will be in haiku form and will all have the tag "haiku review."

4) New features. Starting in January, I'll be announcing two new features for the blog. One will happen weekly (I hope) and the other will happen monthly. Look for the first around the end of the first week of the month and the other in the middle of the month starting next year.