My Ballot: Scream Factory 2017 releases

Scream Factory, an imprint from Shout! Factory, has been on a stellar run giving Criterion-like treatment to horror films.

They just ran a poll of titles they have rights to and are considering for release in 2017. In the above picture are my votes. When the results are announced I will update this post.

I have only seen one of my choices, so it should be an exciting wait.

Top Films of 1982

For the first time I composed a to list for year in retrospect. I’ve discussed my reticence to engage in revisionism anymore with the BAM Awards, but when Cinema Enthusiast was running a poll for the top films of 1982, I had to chime in.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

My choices are in the featured image. The overall poll results are available here.

My Ballot: Jameson Empire Awards 2014

Yup, it’s another My Ballot post. It’s not even that I intended to do another one of these so soon, but I saw this pop up yesterday and felt compelled to fill it out, even with my viewership of all these candidates not being very high. I am sure I won’t be nearly this inclined to fill out ballots once award season comes to a close this year, but we shall see.

Best Male Newcomer

Will Poulter (2013, Interview Magazine)

Will Poulter We’re the Millers

My reasoning behind this choice is the same as it was here.

Best Female Newcomer

The Great Gatsby (2013, Warner Bros.)

Elizabeth Debicki The Great Gatsby

This was an unusual category for me because I hadn’t seen many of the candidates and needed a refresher on who Debicki was. However, that has everything to do with the middling nature of the film rather than her.

Best Horror

The Conjuring (2013, New Line Cinema)

The Conjuring

This choice was obvious for me. Even though it didn’t top my 2013 horror list, it was a strong number two from James Wan.

Best Comedy

This is the End (2013, Sony Pictures)

This is the End

If I had a genre-specific comedy list this is the film that would’ve found itself in the #1 spot. It did make my best of the year.

Best Thriller

Captain Phillips (2013, Columbia)

Captain Phillips

I’m resistant to the notion of thriller as a genre. It seems to just be a catch-all. Despite some of the issues I had with the film, it is suspenseful and doesn’t resist reality in the end with regards to trauma, and eschews a typical Hollywood ending.

Best Sc-Fi/Fantasy

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Unsurprisingly my favorite Sci-Fi or Fantasy film from last year, and also my overall number one, was absent. Thus, this begins a portion of these selections where I lean heavily towards The Hobbit, in a move that kind of does surprise me too. However, when I think back I did enjoy this quite a bit too.

Best Supporting Actor

Thor: The Dark World (2013, Marvel)

Tom Hiddleston Thor: The Dark World

In my awards I went with a Marvel villain played by a British actor, just not this one. That’s not to slight Hiddleston. One of the keys to successfully interpreting villains, is not only being the hero of your own story but relishing it as an actor. Hiddleston definitely accomplishes that and in the capper to a Loki trilogy does his finest work in the Marvel Universe to date.

Best Supporting Actress

Blue Jasmine (2013, Sony Pictures Classics)

Sally Hawkins Blue Jasmine

Sally Hawkins was apparently taken aback by her Oscar nomination. I was too, not due to her performance but because the Oscars recognized the film for something other than Cate Blanchet. Hawkins name has rightfully appeared on many awards ballots this season and it pleases me each and every time.

Best British Film

The World's End (2013, Universal)

The World’s End

Here’s another one where I had to make an oddball choice for myself. I have seen none of the other candidates. The #3 movie on my list last year, Broken, is British but absent here. I was lukewarm about this film the first time I saw it, but it does have its fans and I’d be happy to see it win.

Best Actress

Blue Jasmine (2013, Sony Pictures Classics)

Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine

I’ve filled her name out everywhere I could this year. I will be stunned if she does not win the Oscar. I don’t know her odds here but it didn’t stop me.

Best Actor

Captain Phillips (2013, Columbia.)

Tom Hanks Captain Phillips

This is an Oscar snub I talked of some. I don’t get it. I know why I passed, but he is still great here.

Best Director

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.)

Peter Jackson The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Applying the logic of the director of the film I enjoyed the most this comes away the winner. And the reason I say it’s surprising is that technical foible (High Frame Rate) I am enjoying this series more than The Lord of the Rings. I know I’m weird, but I get weirder, because I’m not a huge fan of that one.

Best Film

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Out of the films listed on the ballot, I gave this one the highest score and I wouldn’t change it. It boils down to I wanted more even after all that time and the ending didn’t disappoint me.

My Ballot: LIONS for LAMBs

The Lions are awards voted on by members of LAMB, the world’s largest movie blogging community. Last year since they were both write-ins I combined these picks with my OMIEs post. This year the former had a field of selections so they deserve separate posts. This one is for those of us who are anal retentive and want a precise order not just an honoree (winner if you prefer and other nominees), as they reflect my BAM Awards choices.

Best Picture

Ender's Game (2013, Summit Entertainment)

Is no secret. Look at the order of my Top 10 and you see how I voted.

Best Director

Ender's Game (2013, Summit)

While each of the top directorial turns of the year (in my mind) clearly have their merits, I couldn’t shuffle the directors differently than I did film: so it’s Hood, Allen, Norris, Rubin and Park. For what titles these indicate check the BAM Awards.

Best Actor

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012, Tribeca Film)

No more being coy. From here on you get the slate. My best actor winner was Johan Heldenbergh for The Broken Circle Breakdown he narrowly edged countryman Koen De Graeve in a decision I stressed about. No less impressive was Igor Samobor in Class Enemy; it was really a choice of preference and what range they played in. It was next to impossible to separate Spencer Treat Clark and Nick Eversman in Cold Dark Canyon but I had to choose one and it kind of went to who had the most impressive single moment.

Best Actress

Blue Jasmine (2013, Sony Pictures Classics)

This was a ridiculously deep field. In any other year these ladies may have walked away with the prize. They had the misfortune of being up against each other. They ranked as follows:

Blanchett Blue Jasmine
Baetens The Broken Circle Breakdown
Dench Philomena
Sukowa Hannah Arendt
O’Hara Museum Hours

Best Supporting Actor

Iron Man 3 (2013, Marvel)

Quite an interesting year in this category from my perspective. There were flat-out dramatic performances and comedic ones, I went with the one that had the best of both to offer.

Kingsley Iron Man 3
Rockwell The Way, Way Back
McConaughey Mud
Ford Ender’s Game
Boh Class Enemy

Best Supporting Actress

The Awakening (2011, BBC Films)

Most of what I talked about in picking an honoree was an overlooked genre. There’s more to Imelda Staunton than being great in horror film, but it was a suitable tie-breaker. I’m glad Hawkins has gotten recognition elsewhere. More people have to see Nadrah and her film; Ullmann is a living legend, and Huppert is always wondrous. It came down to the part in shuffling these great performances.

Staunton The Awakening
Hawkins Blue Jasmine
Nadrah Class Enemy
Ullmann Two Lives
Huppert Amour

Best Screenplay

Broken (2012, Film Movement)

Interesting because it takes away the original and adapted monikers, so I decided to alternate starting between them starting with the stronger honoree, Broken.

Blue Jasmine
Ender’s Game
Class Enemy

Best Documentary

The Short Game (2013, Netflix)

Messages are great, but docs can be entertaining and artful too. That’s how I ended up ordering these.

The Short Game
The Diplomat
Brooklyn Castle
A Place at the Table

Best Foreign Film

Time of My Life (2012, Strand Releasing)

These foreign films didn’t get a lot of hype and crashed my top 15, so I’m glad to plug them yet again. What it all came down to was gut reaction. The winner destroyed me, in a good way.

Time of My Life
The Giants
Class Enemy
It’s All So Quiet
The Hunt

Best Cinematography

The Old Man (2013, Kazakh Film Studio)

All these films had such different narrative requirements the way they ended up being ordered had a lot to do with how organic the gorgeous imagery was to the story.

The Old Man
Only God Forgives
The Fifth Season
Post Tenebras Lux


Given a chance to comment, I took it this time saying:

For 2015 a new category should be sought that’s not on the Oscar slate whether it be something other award shows do like Best Cast or Performance by a Young Actor, or something unique to the LIONs.

If you are a member please vote, if you just enjoy the member blogs, you (as I will) should check out the results.

My Ballot: 2014 OMIEs

The OMIEs are an award, that’s voted on by users on the blog Flixploitation. It honors those the Oscars overlook. This year’s OMIEs ballot takes a slightly different approach than last year’s. Rather than being all write-ins there are suggestions for nominees. You can find them here. Below I will highlight my choices and explain why.

Most Deserving Documentary

Blackfish (2013, CNN Films)


In introducing my method in selection BAM Best Doc nominees I said:

With Best Documentary I again had a re-adjustment as award time started to roll around. I wanted to avoid redundancy in the topics as much as I could and really focus on the crafting on the film more so than any greater message or social purpose. Issue-based documentaries are great to rally behind and can incur real change, and they can also be great films, but you can have one without the other.

Because it lacked slightly as a film that eliminated it. However, based on the choices given, and the fact that I said this about it:

I heard of this film quite some time ago as it featured prominently on My Radar. I recorded the CNN airing a while ago but was reticent to watch it. In the end I’m glad I did. There are a few graphic and disturbing images but the takeaway from the film is far more profound than that. The scariest, most stomach-turning thing is the pervasiveness of lies documented that Sea World spews as facts. Lies that I as a child believed to be true and still recalled learning there. What this film shows is not only that these massive mammals are smarter and more complex that we can yet understand, but also that there are dangers inherent to the people who attempt to keep them in captivity as glorified circus performers.

this is clearly my winner.

Most Deserving Foreign Language Film

Two Lives (2012, IFC/Sundance Selects)
Two Lives

Two Lives is a very solid film. I’m a little surprised I haven’t heard more about it to be quite honest. I enjoyed it very much. Its omission in my foreign category was more about finding far more off-the-beaten path stuff that I enjoyed even more; as for the Oscars I have no idea.

Most Deserving Original Screenplay

The Way, Way Back (2013, Fox Searchlight)

The Way, Way Back

I didn’t get to discuss The Way, Way Back too much in the BAMs, or on the site in general. There are in this film several tremendous scenes and for as quirky, funny and witty the characters are they are very real and their interaction with one another is more so. Excellent work.

Most Deserving Adapted Screenplay


August: Osage County

This is one of those interesting ones where a contender for this year (due to it’s wide release coming in January – for more on my late-year release issues go here) is my choice for an award last year. There was much talk of the running time being chopped down, but it doesn’t feel like anything essential was lost.

Most Deserving Supporting Actress


Melonie Diaz Fruitvale Station

This was the first film that got any Oscar buzz. Of course, with its being released early in the year it was destined to get nothing. Diaz was a revelation.

Most Deserving Supporting Actor


Sam Rockwell The Way, Way Back

I was very close to picking Sam Rockwell. With regards to the Oscars there were a few things going against him: it was a summer release and it’s a comedic performance. Those shouldn’t matter, but it seems to. Rockwell is damn near perfect here.

Most Deserving Actress

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012, Tribeca Film)

Veerle Baetens The Broken Circle Breakdown

It was nearly a sweep for this film in the lead acting categories in my awards. Again, I’m astonished she hasn’t garnered more notice or a nomination. More attention needs to be drawn both to this film and her work in it.

Most Deserving Director

Woody Allen (2013, Esquire)

Woody Allen Blue Jasmine

Basically, the thought here (as it seems to be with the Oscars many years) is to award the director of the film you’re going to choose as best from the candidates.

Most Deserving Picture

Blue Jasmine (2013, Sony Pictures Classics)

Blue Jasmine

Not much to explain in my choice here, for a bit more detail check the BAMs or my brief write-up linked above. Similar logic to the above, essentially it was the highest ranking film of my top 10 to make the list.

If interested in casting your choice for nominees please follow the link!

My Ballot: 2014 EE BAFTA Rising Star Award

Whenever there is a publicly-voted award in the film world I will share my thoughts and vote here.

The first thing that bears saying is that I may have to mark down on my calendar other open-to-public-voting awards through the year so that I manage to post in this series more than once in a year. Regardless, here we are again at the BAFTAs this time replete with a new sponsor and another Rising Star Award race.

What I really like about this award year after year is that it’s a body-of-work award given to a young actor on the rise. However, on occasion nominees make it mainly on the strength of one performance.

Once again this is a pretty strong field and even though I am not 100% studied on all the candidates this year there are four I have something of a viewing history with. It wasn’t easy but I had a definite choice among these impressive nominees. And, importantly, it’s additional incentive to catch up on the titles making up the other candidates’ work. I have been a bit remiss in seeing some of the award-winning much ballyhooed titles of 2013 namely 12 Years a Slave, which marks one of the most acclaimed debuts in recent memory (Lupita Nyong’o), and Blue is the Warmest Color (Léa Seydoux), though I have seen quite a few Seydoux’s titles and enjoyed her work.

Dane DeHaan in Chronicle (20th Century Fox)

George Mackay is perhaps the best surprise on this list for me. I am familiar with his career as a young actor when he appeared in Peter Pan, which would’ve won a Best Youth Ensemble had it existed (he was Curly), then in the overlooked The Thief Lord, and in one of Daniel Radcliffe’s in-Potter-franchise departures The Boys Are Back. The 2013 titles are ones I have not heard of prior to this announcement, but I look forward to finding them.

Dane DeHaan, already a BAM Award nominee for Chronicle, is a close runner-up for my vote in this award. Had I caught his most recent titles that may have changed my mind, but the odds were stacked against him.

They are stacked against him because of Will Poulter. One of the myriad viewing tasks I’ve wanted to undertake was to see all of Will Poulter’s TV and film work from the UK heretofore unavailable to me. The reason that is that the first two parts I saw Poulter play, Son of Rambow and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he was not only nominated for my BAM Awards but won (for Son of Rambow Best Performance by a Child Actor and for Narnia Best Supporting Actor). I will soon, thanks to Netflix, see Wild Bill which earned Poulter a London Critics’ Circle Award nomination for Young British Performer of the Year. Son of Rambow set a precedent most young actors wouldn’t be able to live up to, but following very different paths Poulter and Milner have both proved their mettle and staying power. With his nerdy, American persona of Kenny Rossmore in We’re the Millers Poulter, introduces himself to a new audience who witness him only scratch the surface of his capabilities, and really only on the comedic end.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010, 20th Century Fox)

In my estimation, and in the estimation of those who watch more carefully, Poulter has already arrived. However, to most the appearance in We’re the Millers and the forthcoming The Maze Runner adaptation will signal his announcement as a cinematic presence for those who don’t know. He has the credentials but also defines the rising aspect of the award more so than the fellow candidates who have made a bigger, more notable splash in mass media consciousness terms. Simply because in my mind he’s already arisen selecting Poulter as Rising Star is a no-brainer to me.

The Ballot is open through February 14th, 2014. One vote per person, register via Twitter of Facebook.

My Ballot: LIONs for LAMBs and The OMIEs

As I indicated earlier, when there are public or open to membership voting that I qualify for, I will write a post here to discuss my picks and to publicize the poll. I have included two polls here.

They are both run by the LAMB, the Large Association of Movie Blogs, of which I am a part, or a member thereof. The first is Lions for the Lambs, which seeks ranked submissions in various categories. Since that closely reflects my BAM Award selections, I also included my Omie choices where I more closely considered “Oscar-viability” in my decision-making process.

LIONS for the LAMBs

Best Film

1. Django Unchained
2. The Turin Horse
3. Anna Karenina
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. North Sea Texas
6. The Cabin in the Woods
7. Les Misérables
8. The Dynamiter
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
10. Kauwboy

Best Director

1. Bela Tarr The Turin Horse
2. Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained
3. Bavo Derfune North Sea Texas
4. Joe Wright Anna Karenina
5. Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises

Leading Male Performances

1. Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln
2. Hugh Jackman Les Miserables
3. Denis Lavant Holy Motors
4. Matthew McConaughey Killer Joe
5. Logan Lerman The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Leading Female Performances

1. Keira Knightley Anna Karenina
2. Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin
3. Magaly Solier Amador
4. Noomi Rapace The Monitor
5. Erika Bók The Turin Horse

Supporting Male Performances

1. Leonardo DiCaprio Django Unchained
2. Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained
3. Eddie Redmayne Les Misérables
4. Mikkel Boe Foesgaard A Royal Affair
5. Matthew McConaughey Bernie

Supporting Female Performances

1. Anne Hathaway Les Misérables
2. Samantha Barks Les Misérables
3. Gina Gershon Killer Joe
4. Sally Field Lincoln
5. Anna Gunn Sassy Pants

Best Screenplays

1. Patrick Wang In the Family
2. Bavo Defurne and Andre Sollie North Sea Texas
3. Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained
4. Laszlo Krasznahorki and Bela Tarr The Turin Horse
5. Tom Stoppard Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

Best Foreign Film

1. The Turin Horse
2. North Sea Texas
3. Kauwboy
4. Holy Motors
5. The Raid: Redemption

As for the Ormies, as intimated above, it’s more of a snubbed award so here are my choices based on Oscar expectations. A few are admittedly wished-for surprises. These are open to anyone. Submit your choices here via email.

Best Picture

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Director

Tom Hooper Les Misérables

Best Actress

Keira Knightley Anna Karenina

Best Actor

Matthew McConaughey Killer Joe

Best Supporting Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress

Samantha Barks Les Misérables

Best Original Screenplay

The Cabin in the Woods

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Foreign Language Film


Animated Film

Rise of the Guardians



Original Song

“The Big Machine” Safety Not Guaranteed