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The Best Picture Project – The Deer Hunter (1978)

The theatrical poster features Robert De Niro pointing a gun to his head. It is a black and white image with red highlighting his bandana.Directed by Michael Cimino

Screenplay by Deric Washburn, Story by Deric Washburn, Quinn K. Redeker, Michael Cimino and Louis Garfinkle

Starring Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, John Savage, Christopher Walken and John Cazale

The Deer Hunter might be the darkest film to ever win Best Picture, and if not the darkest, then at least the bleakest.  Certainly, over the years the Academy has recognized pictures that were not of the sunniest disposition – after all, Hamlet is several hours of brooding, followed by Hamlet’s death – but on the whole, the Academy has shown a decided tendency towards films that could either be called heartwarming, uplifting, or hopeful.  Think about Gigi, Around the World in 80 Days, Rocky, et al.  And even some of the darkest to win Best Picture haven’t been all that dark. Continue reading

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Defending Junk – Bret Ratner Edition

I’m pretty notorious around my house for buying cheap DVD’s. No, not those crappy $1 discs with the terrible photo-copied cover art you see at Sprawl-Mart offering old Howdy Doody episodes or other public-domain goodies. No, I mean discs that once were going for $20 or more – at least that was the cover-price – but now, thanks to overproduction or underselling, have found their way into a deep discount hell. Continue reading

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