Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Best Picture Project – Casablanca (1943)

casablanca movie posterDirected by Michael Curtiz

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains

Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch

In some ways, working on the Best Picture Project has been a curse.  Setting a goal to see each and every Best Picture winner has meant having to watch some truly awful movies, many of which were made all the more awful because I had to watch them – you cannot believe how many times I mentally found myself reliving the tenth grade experience of slogging through The Scarlet Letter.  Not the first example, but probably the worst, was The Broadway Melody.

 However, in other ways, this Project has been a revelation, forcing me to watch movies I’d not ordinarily watch, or films I’d tried to watch but gave up on too early, only to find out later that I’d been unjust in dismissing.  This weeks entry, Casablanca, is just such a film. Continue reading

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I feel bad for not having posted in more than a week but I was tied up on two projects.  One was a carpenter ant invasion in my dining room floor that required it to be torn up and replaced.  Not a great way to spend my time, but the floor is really starting to look great again.

The other project was a quick proofread of my latest manuscript – this is not a chick flick – the trailer for which is linkable from this page.  I’ve started submitting to agents and have a few nibbles.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Until then, I promise I will be back in a day or two with a new entry in The Best Picture Project

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The Best Picture Project – No Country For Old Men (2007)

No Country For Old Men

Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

From the novel by Cormac McCarthy

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Kelly Macdonald

There was a great debate in my house after watching No Country For Old Men, between me and my almost-14 year-old daughter, about whether No Country For Old Men, your 2007 Best Picture winner, was a more deserving film that what was presumably it’s fiercest competition, There Will Be Blood.  And since she and I both generally agree that There Will Be Blood was the superior film, it’s not really much of a debate. 

Back in late 2006, or early 2007, when I heard that the Coen’s were adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel I went ahead and bought a copy of the book and read it.  I’d never read anything by McCarthy but figured if the Coen’s felt him worthy of adaptation he couldn’t be all bad.  Unfortunately, McCarthy can be a bit of a difficult writer – his prose is spare, unbroken by quotation marks, and though it might sometimes be ‘lyrical’ it can sometimes feel like a slog.  Continue reading

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More Shameless Shilling For ‘Girl Band’


In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I wrote a little book called Girl Band – you might have seen the little spiel on it in the column on the right side of the front page.  You might have also seen posts on it regularly.  And since this is my blog and I don’t mind a little shameless shilling, so here’s some more…

For a while now Girl Band has been available through , at a bargain price of $10.  In spite of this it’s only finally just been formatted for reading on the Kindle, so, if you aren’t into spending $10 for a book by some bozo who runs a blog, how does $0.99 sound?  Because if you buy it for the Kindle, that’s all it’ll be.

Now, come on, you know you want to buy it, so go do it already.

Also, back later today, or maybe tomorrow with a fresh post.

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Year In Review – Best Picture Project

Well, the end of the calendar year fell on Saturday, a sour day in which I saw my beloved Michigan State Spartan’s get absolutely decimated by Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.  On the upside, the Manchester United got a much-needed away win.  More importantly, it was the close of the first full calendar year of this blogs existence.

Initially I started this blog to give me another writing outlet from the fiction I conjure up in my spare time, and also from my work as a lawyer.  Most of my features were scattered in topic – actresses and nudity, the length of films, etc. – but as of late I’ve focused most on the Best Picture Project.  Since the beginning of the project I’ve seen 29 Best Picture winners, some were late models – such as The Hurt Locker – but 17 of the 29 were drawn from the pre-1960 winners.  If the number counted pre-1980 films, I think the number is 26 of 29. Continue reading

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