Hi, Wayne. Thanks for your comments on all three stories. I agree with you about KING CREOLE being one of Elvis' best (and best-acted) films. I would also rank FOLLOW THAT DREAM and KID GALAHAD among his finest flicks (though neither are musicals, of course).
As to your comment on the Worst article: Yes to the dreadful UNDER THE CHERRY MOON. And let's not forget that mind-boggling futuristic-disco movie THE APPLE.
I would replace "Almost Famous" with "Under the Cherry Moon" or "The Song Remains the Same."
Pretty good list overall, although I would agree that "Don't Look Back" has been sadly overlooked. I own eight of these but should also have "Stop Making Sense" and "Yellow Submarine."
Shapiro: Elvis actually had two other standouts in his cinematic career. "Viva Las Vegas" was the best of his '60s cheeseball films and is quite entertaining, but "King Creole" is the real diamond in the rough. For one thing, it was directed by Michael Curtiz, who was responsible for no less than "Casablanca" among other classics. Like "Jailhouse Rock," it was a tougher film than what came later, and Elvis and the rest of the cast (including Walter Matthau, Carolyn Jones, and Dean Jagger) give worthy performances. And though the music might not be classified as straight rock 'n' roll, it's still Elvis doing his thing, so close enough.
Besides "Don't Look Back," which most definitely should've been on the list, I would also like to mention "X: The Unheard Music," "The Girl Can't Help It," "Urgh! A Music War" and "Absolute Beginners" (which technically is mostly jazz-pop, but close enough). "The Runaways" ain't bad either, and I have a lot of affection for the Beatlemania tribute "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." And where does "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" fit in the grand history of rock movies? Good, bad, undecided? Shukla: I graduated from high school in 1980 but didn't have any exposure to "The Song Remains the Same" until someone decided to play it at the Tower Video store I was working at years later. It annoyed the ever-lovin' shit outta me!
I have yet to see The Paperboy but do believe this was overall a particularly weak year for movies. I didn't give 4 stars to any film in 2012, and I tend to average 2-3 of them per year.
As for your interesting question of the last time the best picture won Best Picture, I would say 2007's No Country for Old Men, a rather daring pick for the normally conservative Academy.
Matt, if I have to choose, I'd prefer Lincoln or Beasts of the Southern Wild. But frankly, I'm still nonplussed at how few nominations The Paperboy got in all the various awards competitions. The whole Argo v. Lincoln media meme has just become tiresome.
So I'm assuming you're Team Lincoln? Or maybe Zero Dark Thirty? (I don't see you rooting for Les Miserables.)
As a long, loooooongtime movie fan, and as your former editor, Matt, I'll say that if Argo wins best film, I will slit my wrists, and maybe yours too. That film -- a decent political thriller but that's about it -- has no more business winning best film, or even being nominated for that matter, than Life of Pi, one of the most disastrous, wrongheaded interpretations of a book I've ever seen. Then again, when's the last time the actual best film won? The Oscars seem more internal-politics-ridden than at anytime I can remember, so nothing would surprise me. Make me sick to my stomach, maybe, but not surprise me.
Hi, Diana. Thanks for writing. To be honest, I like the song, but also find it to be a wee bit overrated.
I'm seriously questioning your 10 Best Bond Theme Songs that you indicated were in "preferential order" that did not list LIVE AND LET DIE.
I'm seriously questioning your 10 Best Bond Theme Songs you indicated that are in "preferential order" that doesn't list Live and Let Die.
Timothy Dalton is the WORST Bond ever. This is shameful.
Hi, Stephen. Thanks for writing.
The Most Poignant list is, as noted, in chronological order. Otherwise, she would have been first.
And Roger Moore was also the "new" Bond for most of the flicks when I was a kid as well. But sentimentality and nostalgia can only take one so far, and compared to Connery, Craig and, yes, the underrated Dalton, he doesn't quite cut it. And you might be the first person I've known who ranks Brosnan among the best!
The fact that you rate Timothy Dalton above Pierce Brosnan, and Roger Moore even *, shows the list is very suspect.
And rating Tracy's death as the fourth most poignant? It's the only really significant death in the movies pre-Craig, where it seems they are trying to kill off everyone, one at a time.
* I know Roger Moore wasn't all that good. But he was the "new" Bond for most of the flicks when I was a kid.
The Watch was awesome, a pleasant (and actually humorous) film for Ben Stiller to star in. Oh and you forgot Dredd, which is better than the original, and pays a bigger homage to the comic series. The best action film I have seen in a long time.
Safety Not Guaranteed -- you missed that one.
Thanks for including Searching for Sugar Man! That doc is GREAT!
Hi, Brownie. Thanks for writing. To be honest, I was surprised at how many of our critics loathed Almost Famous. While many of us (including me) rated it highly, about an equal number couldn't stand it. Hence why it made both lists.
As for Eddie and the Cruisers ... well, we all tended to agree that it (and its sequel) were pretty poor.
Wait, why is "Almost Famous" on the list? Especially since you say it was on your 20 best. I'm sure not everybody loves it, but I've never heard anybody call it a terrible film, especially not when compared to some of these stinkers like Sgt. Pepper, Xanadu, Staying Alive, etc. I don't really understand Eddie And The Cruisers either. I don't really like it, but once again I wouldn't compare it to some of the stuff on this list. I've never bothered with the sequel, the only reason I saw the original is because it was on HBO one day when I was home sick and I was too lazy to change the channel. I've heard the sequel is pretty bad.
Your's is the best and most honest batman review I have read in years.
Thank you for making the internet a better place.
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