Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Best Sounds of 2016's First Half

Well, the first half of the year is over, and while life got in the way of the blog and my ability to keep up with Tuesday Tunes Tastings, life didn't prohibit me from actually listening to almost every new album that came out.  In fact, I've ingested well over 100 albums this year (128 to be exact, not including the countless EP's I've listened to) and so I wanted to give a quick rundown on the 30 albums at the top of my list so far.  These 30 albums are made up of my current ballots in the six categories that I have for the Mouthis (Pop, Urban Contemporary, Alternative, Country, Rock, Dance/Electronica).  I did not include my favorite EP's in the actual list, but I'll give them to you now:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

1999 Fisti Awards

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1999.  DAYAM!  That is all I can really say about this year.  Such a rich bounty of GREAT films cluttered this year, making narrowing down almost all of these categories (but mainly Best Picture and Supporting Actress) hard as f*ck.  In fact, I came VERY close to mirroring Oscar's 1939 decision and extending my Best Picture field to a ballot of 10, but at the very last minute I reverted back to five, since in my mind there was a clear five (despite LOVING about 20 films this year).

Now this is the year that Oscar went with American Beauty, and it's one of those longstanding controversial decisions because many, many people feel as though the film doesn't hold up.  On the flip side, many, many people feel as though it does.  It's a split decision, which always makes discussion of this year so rich.

Personally it wouldn't have been my choice of Oscar's ballot, but at the end of the day I do still adore it and it lands in my Top Twelve.

What makes this year so incredible is the rich tapestry and themes, ideas, concepts and constructions that take place.  You have so much variety here, and I indulged in so much.  This is one of those weird Fisti years though, that despite so much wealth I opted NOT to spread it much and actually handed a slew of noms/wins to one film in particular that over the years has grown and grown and grown in my esteem.

With 10 individual noms, 7 of which netted actual wins, I'd say we have a clear champion of the year that was 1999.

So, with that in mind I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1999!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

1983 Fisti Awards

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1983.  My LORD does this year suck.  The 80's as a whole was such a wasteland of film, which is so tragic, but this year in particular (especially when you go by Oscar's ballots) is just so incredibly dire.  So much of this year just feels so...basic.  Yeah, this movie is good and that movie was nice and then that movie over there was entertaining but at the end of the day there is very little about 1983 that makes me care at all.

And that Oscar Best Picture lineup is...unfortunate.  It's not that they're terrible films (well, Tender Mercies is borderline awful) but they are just so...blandly uninspired.  The Dresser is the only film of the five that had any real impact on me, and while it would most likely make my Top 12, I don't think it would any other year (more on the 'would' in a moment).  Terms of Endearment is nice and all, but pretty much a glorified Soap Opera, and The Right Stuff is generic biopic bait that is overlong and disengaging.  The Big Chill has its moments and is charming to a degree, but it feels more like a performance piece than anything else.

Quite frankly, I'm baffled Fanny and Alexander was snubbed, considering how much Bergman had been embraced (as far as foreign directors are concerned) but the Academy, but I'm kind of glad it was snubbed because it would have still lost and having that masterpiece lose to any of the other nominated films would have been disgraceful.

All of that said, this next truth is going to sounds really odd, but like 2013, I fudged my own rules and have 6 BP nominees.  Why?  In a year that is so dire and so...awful collectively?  Because of all the basic crap being shelled out this year, there were 6 films that were such a clear notch above the rest I couldn't not nominate all of them.

I kind of love the range of these films, too.  I mean, a nostalgic film noir straight out of the 40's, a foreign familial drama with an epic touch, a Scorsese comedy/thriller, a thought-provoking documentary, a sci-fi soap opera and a slapstick mockumentary!

After those 6 films, the quality of film drops rather drastically.  In fact, this year I didn't bother doing a Top 12 at all!  Yup, it just didn't feel right.  Sure, there are other films I like, but like enough to consider them among the 'best of the year'?  Not really.

Excited, aren't you?

Oh, and before we begin; SUCK IT HATERS, Return of the Jedi is not only an amazing movie but is, in my opinion, the BEST Star Wars film!

LOL, so with that in mind, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1983!