Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Prime Geek (video) Thanksgiving week 2018

November 17, 2018

Prime Geek (video) Thanksgiving week 2018

You already have

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

right?

You’re a geek, right?

You’re a geek who watches TV, right?

If those three things are true, you are in luck!

There are thousands of hours geek-friendly TV included in your Prime membership at no additional cost.

There are so many, in fact, that as is often the case with content nowadays, the challenge is discovery, not availability. Well, The Measured Circle hopes to help you out with some recommendations…


It’s Thanksgiving week (in the USA)! While that certainly can mean time with the family, it also can mean travel time. Whether your on a plane, a train, or a passenger in a car, video can be a good way to pass the time. Personally I’m an omnivorous media consumer:  I usually have video, books, magazines, old time radio shows…just for one trip. 😉

Of course, you may also have “downtime” at your location, especially if you are in a different time zone (you might wake up earlier than the household…or stay up later). If you aren’t traveling, you could still have time, maybe while waiting in line on Black Friday. 😉

Note that some of the videos may not be downloadable:: you may need to be connected to wi-fi or through cellular. That has gotten to be increasingly easy, even on airplanes.

Also, titles could hypothetically leave Prime after you read this, but you’ll be able to tell if it’s included at no extra cost.

I’ll feature a few movies (Amazon has, in my opinion, recently gotten a much better geeky selection), then list a bunch, then feature a few bingeable TV shows, and then list more of those. 🙂

Westworld (the original movie)

  • 1973, 1 hour 28 minutes, downloadable
  • Key geek names: Michael Crichton (a known author at this point, he wrote and directed this movie); Majel Rodenberry (Nurse Chapel/Number One on Star Trek: The Original Series)
  • Legacy: HBO series inspired by it, sequel, TV series
  • Premise: luxury resort with human-like androids where guests can live out their fantasies
  • at TMCGTT

I consider this one essential to a quality geek education. 😉 It’s rather different from the HBO series…don’t go into it expecting that. This is from the point of view of the guests, not the robots. There is implied (but not shown) sexual activity, violence but not gore…and quite a bit of humor. It was influential: seeing the point of view of a robot (with a different visual system), and an “unstoppable” are elements that have occurred in later movies/TV. Yul Brynner is great playing a gunslinger robot which is (unofficially) modeled on his The Magnificent Seven character.

Galaxy Quest

  • 1999, 1 hr 42 mins, downloadable
  • Key geek names: Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Alien, Avatar), Tim Allen (Toy Story, The Santa Clause), Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
  • Premise: years after a Star Trek like show has gone off the air, aliens arrive believing it was all real

Fun comedy (with some heart) with a quotable script, special effects, and a strong cast…not just in the principles, but also from the always reliable Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalhoub, and Missi Pyle.

Carrie

  • 1976, 1 hr 28 mins, downloadable
  • Key geek names: Stephen King (It, The Dead Zone…well, lots of stuff), Brian De Palma (Phantom of the Paradise, The Fury), William Katt (Greatest American Hero)
  • Premise: bullied sheltered teen is telekinetic
  • at TMCGTT

First Stephen King adaptation (from his first novel), has a stand-out performance from Sissy Spacek, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Great horror movie, which has had a sequel and a remake. As visually stylish as any De Palma movie, it also features John Travolta, Amy Irving, and Piper Laurie.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

  • 1984, 1 hr 42 mins, downloadable
  • Key geek names: W.D. Richter (Big Trouble in Little China), Peter Weller (RoboCop, Star Trek Into Darkness), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly, Thor: Ragnarok), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun)
  • Premise: Multi-hyphenate (a la Doc Savage) Buckaroo Banzai and his friends face aliens from another dimension

I loved the premise of this movie, and there was some really clever writing…but many people found it, well, confusing. I’m still a fan, and I’m not alone.

  • Hot Tub Time Machine: raunchy comedy
  • Lifeforce: Tobe Hooper directed, with lots of nudity
  • Night of the Comet: very 1980s apocalyptic comedy
  • Donnie Darko: cult weirdness
  • Star Trek: the first of the reboot series with Chris Pine
  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
  • Logan’s Run: turning 30 is fatal…stars Michael York and Jenny Agutter. Pair this with The Island of Dr. Moreau (also starring Michael York)
  • Robot & Frank: critically-acclaimed comedy with Frank Langella
  • Soylent Green: great 70s social sci-fi which still gets quoted, with Charlton Heston. Pair this with The Omega Man with Heston (a version of I Am Legend). They also have my favorite adaptation of I Am Legend: The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price. I recommend that one!
  • Saturn 3: Stanley Donen directs Kirk Douglas, Harvey Keitel, and Farah Fawcett…like a cop thriller in space
  • Mad Max (the first of the movies…The Road Warrior is a lot more accessible, this one more thoughtful)
  •  A Clockwork Orange: Stanley Kubrick with a star-making performance by Malcolm McDowell
  • THX 1138: George Lucas’ first
  • Arrival: lots of significant Oscar noms. Not to be confused with The Arrival (1996) with Charlie Sheen…which you can also watch with Prime
  • Attack of the Crab Monsters: like a lot of other Roger Corman movies, cleverer than you might think from the title
  • Demon Seed: oh, I’ve been hoping they would get this! It’s a great warning about Smart Homes…from 1977! Tacky, goofy, sure, but I’ll watch it again to see if it is relevant as I remember
  • 4D Man: 1959 low-budget but worth seeing movie from Jack H. Harris with Robert Lansing and Lee Meriwether
  • Horror Express: Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and…um…a caveman on a train. It’s much more atmospheric than that suggests
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space: considered by many to be the worst movie of all time…I could suggest others, but it’s certainly sincere. Pair this with popular parody of 1950s low-budget sci-fi, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
  • Kick-Ass: 2010 superhero movie with a remarkable performance by then 12-13 year old Chloë Grace Moretz
  • Things to Come: serious science fiction, based on H.G. Wells, from William Cameron Menzies
  • Liquid Sky: cult trippy 1980s movie
  • Get Out: Oscar-recognized…pair this with The Stepford Wives
  • Dreamscape, The Cell, Devil (character-based horror), Let Me In, Dog Soldiers, The Fog
  • The Wasp Woman, The Giant Gila Monster, Varan the Unbelievable,
  • Paranormal Activity
  • The Girl with All the Gifts (Glenn Close in a zombie movie…really)
  • Flatliners
  • Candyman
  • Tales from the Crypt
  • Vampire’s Kiss: Nic Cage
  • The Hunger: David Bowie
  • Q: The Winged Serpent…don’t be misled by the title, this is much more sophisticated than it sounds
  • Ghoulies
  • The Raven
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Nosferatu
  • Blacula (blaxploitation, but a solid performance from William Marshall)
  • Dracula A.D. 1972
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers, Vampire Circus
  • Frogs
  • Squirm
  • Dr. Phibes Rises Again (wish they had the original…I don’t like to watch things out of order)
  • 5ive: low budget but all about the script and acting
  • Night of the Living Dead: pair this with The Crazies, also by George Romero
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • House on Haunted Hill: Vincent Price
  • Attack of the Giant Leeches
  • Countess Dracula
  • Phantom from Space
  • The Monster Club
  • Carnival of Souls
  • Turbo Kid: really fun 1980s homage. Laurence Leboeuf is terrific, and so nice to see Michael Ironside in a significant role
  • The Toxic Avenger
  • The Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney)
  • Little Shop of Horror (the original, restored in black and white)
  • Piranha
  • Trilogy of Terror: I saw it again in the past few years, and I was even more creeped out!
  • Dementia 13
  • The Nun
  • The Beast of Yucca Flats
  • The Ghoul: rediscovered lost Karloff movie
  • Caltiki: The Immortal Monster
  • Legend: Tim Curry, Tom Cruise, directed by Ridley Scott
  • Weird Science
  • Highlander
  • Angry Red Planet

Well, really! I could keep going, but I’ve given you plenty on movies for now!

I’ll switch to TV shows, but I’ll have to make it another seed catalogue, like the bottom section of the above:

  • Stargate SG-1 (and Atlantis)
  • True Blood
  • Doctor Who
  • Eureka
  • The Expanse
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Battlestar Galactica (the beloved reboot)
  • Medium
  • Carnivale
  • Kung Fu
  • Under the Dome
  • Star Trek (a bunch of series)
  • Humans
  • Defiance
  • Babylon 5
  • The Tick (the Patrick Warburton version)
  • The Twilight Zone (the original)
  • Dark Shadows
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981 version)
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day
  • Lexx
  • Tin Man
  • PSI factor
  • Sapphire and Steel
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • The Prisoner
  • Teen Wolf

I might add to this, but feel free to add your own Prime Video suggesstions in the comments!

Have a great holiday!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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The Oscars new unpopular popular film category

September 3, 2018

The Oscars new unpopular popular film category

Oh, my.

It’s rare that an organization makes a decision and I just have an immediate, visceral reaction that it’s wrong.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in a

tweet

tweet post recently that it is going to give out a new award for “achievement in popular film”.

Creating a new category is rare for the Oscars…people have argued for new categories for years, such as one for stunts, but the last major addition was Best Animated Feature, first awarded in 2001.

With any carefully considered change (especially an institutional one), it is reasonable to ask this question: why?

The first obvious requirement is that the new category is comprised of something different from the old category (unless it contains entirely novel items, which is not the case here). After all, imagine this conversation:

You: “What’s in category A?”
Them: “Polka dots.”
You: “What in category B?”
Them: “Polka dots.”
You: “What are the differences between them?”
Them: “There aren’t any.”

At that point, you’d no doubt be left wondering why there were two categories.

So, what makes a popular movie different enough from other movies that it needs a separate category?

We can assume by “popular” they mean that more people went to see it in the theatres, and the easiest measurement of that is box office (probably specifically domestic box office, what I call “dogro” for domestic gross). We have a category on this blog for that

Box Office

and keep quite a close eye on it.

Let’s just arbitrarily set the dividing line at $100 million dogro. That or above and the movie falls into the “popular” category, below, and it stays in the main categories (unless they are going to create an “unpopular” category, which seems unlikely). 😉

If we look at last year’s Best Picture nominees and their dogros, we can perhaps discern a pattern:

  • The Shape of Water | $68.0m
  • Call Me by Your Name | $18.1m
  • Darkest Hour | $56.5m
  • Dunkirk | $188.0m
  • Get Out | $176.0m
  • Lady Bird | $49.0m
  • Phantom Thread | $21.1m
  • The Post | $81.9m
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | $54.5m

It’s obvious that the vast majority (80%) of the Best Picture nominees made under $100m, and some have suggested that has something to do with declining viewership of the Oscars telecast. Wouldn’t more people watch the Oscars if they were familiar with the movies in the category that gets the most coverage? They might want to see if one of their favorites wins…and it’s hard to have a personal favorite amongst movies you most likely haven’t seen.

That 80% figure…how does that compare to the movies which were released?

According to

Box Office Mojo

33 movies released in 2017 dogroed more than $100m, out of 740 movies.

That’s about 4.5% meaning that $100m+ movies are disproportionately more often nominated for Best Picture…something like five times as much as would be expected.

However, that assumes that all movies released are intrinsically equally good…and that seems unlikely. Is it possible that movies which are equally as good as those which do get nominated do not get nominated because of a prejudice against popular movies?

For this, we’ll use the critical review scores from the

Movie Review Query Engine

We’ll look at the ten nominees, then the ten highest dogroing features:

  • The Shape of Water | 79
  • Call Me by Your Name | 85
  • Darkest Hour | 75
  • Dunkirk | 85
  • Get Out | 80
  • Lady Bird | 83
  • Phantom Thread | 79
  • The Post | 80
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | 86

Average: 81.3

Highest dogro (may have been released in 2016, but was on this table for 2017):

  • Star Wars: the Last Jedi | 82
  • Beauty and the Beast | 68
  • Wonder Woman | 74
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle | 64
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | 70
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming | 72
  • It | 66
  • Thor: Ragnar | 71
  • Despicable Me 3 | 55
  • Justice League | 54

Average: 68

The average doesn’t suggest an anti-blockbuster bias. However, The Last Jedi does average out high enough to be a nominee…but there are obviously more factors than just what the critics think.

If such a prejudice did exist, that might be a reason to create a separate category. Arguably, that was the purpose of introducing the Best Animated Feature category…an animated movie might not be nominated for Best Picture, because of reluctance to recognize “a cartoon”. Only one (Beauty and the Beast) had been nominated prior to the introduction of the category (although there had been other special recognition).

Some people have suggested that the purpose of creating the Best Animated Feature category was to make it less likely that they would be nominated for Best Picture…and the same argument is being made for a possible “Popular Film” category.

It may be worth noting that two animated features (Up and Toy Story 3) have been nominated for Best Picture since the introduction of the Animated Feature category…twice as many. Certainly, arguments can be made that some others “should” have been nominated (notably WALL-E, which has an 88 at MRQE), but contrary to my initial gut feeling, I’m not seeing clear evidence of prejudice in my admittedly small sample.

I don’t think the pushback I’ve seen would all have come about because the category simply wasn’t needed, though.

There is also this:

It smacks of elitism, with the idea that the general populace doesn’t like the best movies…perhaps because they prefer less challenging movies?

That one is harder to analyze, but it seems like that would be flawed logic on the Academy’s part. Great movies can never be box office hits? The King’s Speech won a lot of Oscars, and eventually dogroed close to $140m. The two categories of “Best Picture” and blockbuster don’t appear to be self-exclusive.

I do think the point of creating a category like this would be more about increasing viewership (and other public acceptance) than genuinely recognizing value. It’s not like blockbusters are particularly unrewarded. I mean, gee, if there was only some way we could reward movies based on how many people see them. You know, like have each person who goes to see a movie could indicate that somehow…maybe by paying some money? I don’t know what we might call that, but that seems like that’s “the ticket”. 😉

Is there some advantage to the Academy in appearing to be the elite? Perhaps, yes…there are other awards more based on popularity, so it might remove some of the Oscars’ uniqueness if there was also a popular film Oscar.

The Oscars already expanded the possible number of Best Picture nominees from five to ten, starting with the awards given in 2009, again, presumably to increase viewership by providing more diversity in the titles.

Personally? I don’t think an “achievement in popular film” Oscar is a good idea…I also didn’t like the expansion of the number of nominees. It does seem to dilute the value of the award.

I would like to see some changes. I’d like to go back to five nominees for Best Picture. I’d like to see that Stunt category happen, which certainly might interest the general populace.

I’d like to see the elimination of gender separation in the acting categories (which MTV has done). It doesn’t really make sense to me. Is the argument that Gal Gadot’s lauded (but not nominated) performance as Wonder Woman is more comparable to, say, Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond because they have a similar chromosome structure than it is to Chris Evans’ performance as Captain America, another principled, fish out of water superhero? If the thought there is that prejudice (again) would keep women from being nominated for Best Actor, why aren’t there separate acting categories for other protected employment groups? People would definitely not be happy if those were introduced! That’s a topic for another time, though…

What do you think? Would it be a good thing for the Academy to recognize achievement in popular films? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Prime Geek (movies): August 5 2018

August 5, 2018

Prime Geek (movies): August 5 2018

You already have

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

right?

You’re a geek, right?

You’re a geek who watches movies, right?

If those three things are true, you are in luck!

There are thousands of geek-friendly movies included in your Prime membership at no additional cost.

There are so many, in fact, that as is often the case with content nowadays, the challenge is discovery, not availability. Well, The Measured Circle hopes to help you out with some recommendations…

Playing catchup (theatrical releases from the last two years)

  • Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017) (also available: The Nut Job…so you can watch from the beginning)
  • Nine Lives (Kevin Spacey becomes a cat)
  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
  • The Witch (2016)
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016)
  • Equals (2016): Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult resist in a repressed future
  • Tear Me Apart (2016)
  • Muse (2016)
  • Vamps (2016)
  • The Girl With All The Gifts (2017) (Glenn Close…and sort of zombies. BAFTA-nominated)

Mid-terms (not in the past two years, but in the past two decades)

  • Zathura (sequel to Jumanji)
  • Star Trek (the first of the Chris Pine movies) (2009)
  • Beastly (2011)
  • Twilight (2008): the first of the blockbuster series (also available: New Moon, Eclipse)
  • Paranormal Activity (2009)
  • The Woman in Black (2012): Daniel Radcliffe
  • Them (2006): not the giant ant movie
  • Watchmen (2002): The Ultimate Cut (24 extra minutes)

Genre-busters/Award Nominees (popular with non-geeks, too)

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939…the Judy Garland movie)
  • Hugo (2011)
  • Arrival (2016)
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Jaws (1975) (also available: Jaws 2, Jaws 3, Jaws the Revenge))

Nostalgeek (remember when?)

  • The Care Bears Movie (1985)
  • Devil Girl from Mars (1954)
  • Galaxy of Terror (1981)
  • Carrie (1976) (also available: The Rage – Carrie 2)
  • The Crow (1994)
  • Highlander (1986) (“There can be only one”) (also available: Highlander II: The Quickening)
  • Leprechaun (1993) (also available: Leprechaun 2; Leprechaun 3; Leprechaun 4: In Space; Leprechaun 5 AKA Leprechaun in the Hood)
  • Barbarian Queen (1985)
  • Prancer (1989)
  • Trilogy of Terror (1975): I recently re-watched this…even more disturbing than I remembered. If you remember anything about it, it’s likely to be Karen Black (who plays three parts in this) being chased around by a small exotic “doll”
  • Nosferatu (1922): unauthorized silent adaptation of Dracula in 1922, Bram Stoker’s widow one a case and all the prints were supposed to be destroyed…an undead movie in more than one way
  • House on Haunted Hill (1958) colorized
  • Stargate (1994)
  • Piranha (1978)
  • Vampire in Brooklyn (1995): Eddie Murphy
  • Spaceballs (1987)
  • The Final Countdown (1980): More than the memorable theme song, this was time travel with a heavy dose of admiration for the military
  • The Running Man (1987): Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in a Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) adaptation. Falsely accused and put on a suicide mission Death Race 2000-esque game show, when Arnold says, “I’ll be back” it’s an existential threat to Richard Dawson’s game show character…and the status quo
  • Universal Soldier (1992): Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren (also available: Cyborg with JVD)
  • Humanoids from the Deep (1980): gory, exploitative monster movie from Roger Corman (uncredited EP), starring Doug McClure
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964): my favorite version of I Am Legend (although this version is colorized…that may not be an improvement over the original black and white)
  • Invaders from Mars (1953): deliberately dream-like, many of us are still haunted by the image of what happens in the sand (also available: the 1986 Karen Black remake)
  • Missile to the Moon (1958) (colorized)
  • Mazes and Monsters (1982) (Tom Hanks)
  • Galaxina (1980)
  • Little Shop of Horrors (1960) the original, not the musical…colorized
  • The Monster Club (1981)
  • Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
  • Behemoth The Sea Monster (1958)
  • The Angry Red Planet (1959)
  • The Addams Family (1991) (the first of the big-screen reboot series)
  • A Boy and His Dog (1976) (based on a Harlan Ellison story…not surprisingly, Ellison wasn’t satisfied with the adaptation)
  • The Last Unicorn (1982)
  • The Company of Wolves (1985): David Warner, Angela Lansbury, directed by Neil Jordan
  • Attack of the Mushroom People (1963)
  • Cool World (1992)
  • The Day of the Triffids (1962): “And I really got hot, when I watched Janette Scott…”
  • Chapping Mall (1986)
  • Invasion U.S.A (1952): Eddie G. Robinson…and two TV Lois Lanes
  • Giant from the Unknown (1958)
  • The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)

Fauxstalgia (movies made to look as though they were from a previous era)

  • The Late Night Double Feature (2014): faking the Fifties

Remakes, Revivals, and Reboots

  • Top Cat Begins (2017)
  • The Invisible Man (2018)
  • SpaceDisco One (2007)…a crossover for 1984 and Logan’s Run

Theme: Dorsal fins!

  • Jaws through Jaws: The Revenge
  • Ice Sharks
  • 2 Headed Shark Attack
  • 5 Headed Shark Attack
  • Empire of the Sharks
  • SharkMan
  • Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark

Thinkers

  • Coherence (2014): $50,000 budget dogroed close to $70m…
  • The Frame (2014): From Jamin Winans…
  • (Jerome Bixby’s) The Man from Earth (2007)
  • The Penitent Man (2013)
  • Shuffle (2011)

You Might Not Have Seen…

  • Evolution: Ivan Reitman-directed 2001 comedy with David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Julianne Moore, Seann William Scott…some really interesting aliens. $80m budget, dogro (domestic gross) under $40m
  • Event Horizon (1997): Lawrence Fishburne and Sam Neill for director Paul W.S. Anderson: $60m budget, under $30m dogro
  • Radio Free Albemuth (2014): a Philip K. Dick adaptation
  • Princess of Mars (2009): definitely not the recent Disney John Carter movie, this one has Traci Lords and Antonio Sabato Jr.

Need I Say More?

  • 5-Headed Shark Attack (2017)
  • The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu (2011)
  • Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (2010)
  • Zombeavers (2015)

That’s just a sampling…if you have other suggestions, let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


 

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Box office 2018: A Year of No Flops?

July 19, 2018

Box office 2018: A Year of No Flops?

There have been some really big movie hits so far this year! We track the “most profitable” movies in this IMDb list:

2018 The Measured Circle’s Most Profitable Movies

That’s based on dogro (domestic gross) versus the production budget.

The most profitable movies by percentage don’t tend to be the most expensive to make…but this year, certainly, some expensive movies have been worth the investment.

  • Black Panther has an estimated production budget of $200 million…and has received our “Golden” award, for dogroing at least three times that. That’s not at all common for movies which cost over $100m to make, although it does happen (especially for Disney/Marvel movies)
  • Avengers: Infinity War, with an estimated production budget of $300 million, has profited over $300 million

Another category in the past few years has been relatively low budget movies which go on to break $100 million dogro. This year, A Quiet Place has a reported budget of $17 million, and has received our “Triple Golden” award (its dogro is more than 900 percent of its production budget).

However, something which has particularly stood out to me this year is the absence of what we call “Underperformers”: movies which dogro less than 50% of their production budgets.

After the Fourth of July weekend, there weren’t any.

While you might have guessed that A Wrinkle in Time, Rampage, or Ready Player One might have been on that list, they’ve all dogroed more than 50%.

Let’s compare that to other recent years.

2017: 2018 is continuing the trend of 2017, which had no underperformers at the end of the year.

2016:

Underperformer Sub-40s (budget at least $40.0m):

Gods of Egypt $31.1m (reported budget: $140.0m) | USA release date: 02/26/16 The Finest Hours $27.6m (reported budget: $80.0m) | USA release date 01/29/16 Ben-Hur $26.4m (reported budget: $100.0m) | USA release date 08/19/16 Free State of Jones $20.8m (reported budget: $50.0m) | USA release date 06/24/16 Keeping Up with the Joneses $14.9m (reported budget: $40.0m) | USA release date 10/21/16

2015:

Underachiever Sub-40s (prodbud at least $40.0m)

Seventh Son: $17.2m (reported budget: $95.0m) Blackhat: $7.9m (reported budget: $70.0m) Mortdecai: $7.7m (reported budget: $60.0m) The Last Witch Hunter $27.1m (reported budget: $90.0m) Pan $34.8m (reported budget: $150.0m) In the Heart of the Sea: $25.0m (reported budget: $100.0m) Point Break: $28.7m (reported budget: $105m)

2014:

Underachiever Sub-40s (budget at least $40.0m):

The Legend of Hercules: $18.8m= (reported budget: $70.0m) 27% I, Frankenstein: $19.1m (reported budget: $65.0m) 29% Transcendence: $23.0m (reported budget: $100.0m) 23% Pompeii $23.2m (reported budget: $100.0m) 23% Winter’s Tale $12.6m (reported budget: $60.0m) 21% Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return $8.5m (reported budget: $70.0m) 12%

2013:

We hadn’t by this point made the listing quite so easy to copy and paste, but there were severaL

  • Jack the Giant Slayer (34%)
  • After Earth (47%)
  • White House Down (49% when we last updated it….so it might have made it)
  • The Lone Ranger (42%)

It looks like 2018 proves that 2017 wasn’t a fluke…a flopless fluke, I suppose. 😉

What’s the reason?

My guess is that there are a few factors:

  • Movie studios may have become more cautious about what they release…there is a lot of competition now, and a lot of post-release value in movies. You want something that people want to stream later: a middling box office movie likely will be seen as a reasonable choice to watch at home, but a giant flop might not be
  • There are more data available to use to predict success…and it wouldn’t surprise me if algorithms are part of the prediction process
  • The studios have started to expand the audience, in part by elevating the prominence of the portrayal and production participation of various minority groups (not just ethnic)

I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see years in the near future with very many underperformers.

One other factor to note: the power of the international box office for American releases has been growing. In 2017, we added a “Road Winner” award, for movies that have at least 67% of their box office (according to BoxOfficeMojo) from “foreign” box office. That doesn’t change the Underperformer award, which is based just on dogro…but similar to the post-release value I mentioned above, a movie may do better in foreign markets if it did reasonably well in the domestic market.

I don’t think the strategy of going for “in the ballpark base hits” rather than swinging for the home run and increasing your strikeout risk has reduced innovation. The success of those low budget horror movies is based solidly on innovation…Get Out and A Quiet Place are well-made, original stories.

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Oh, and of course, knock virtual wood! 😉

See you in the movies!


 

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

BOPMadness 2018: final results and comments

March 24, 2018

BOPMadness 2018: final results and comments

It was a good year for the team!

It’s been a few weeks since the Oscars ceremony, so a quick summary:

I’ve been doing an Oscar predictions thing for decades. Anybody can play. Players rate every nominee in every category based on what they think the Academy will do. I aggregate those guesses and put them out before the ceremony. Our system tends to do pretty well (although I don’t get them out soon enough to help you in your office games).

We break it down into two categories (and the overall):

  • The Big Six: the acting categories, Best Picture, and Best Director
  • The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section: everything else

Let’s start with the Big Six:

The group scored a 97%! We called every category except for Best Picture (we went with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Montana…but we did have The Shape of Water second).

  • Best Picture: The Shape of Water (we gave it an 86%, and Three Billboards a 92%): I got this one wrong: I was concerned that the plagiarism allegations were going to affect it. This is a major win for geeky movies…it’s rare for a non-musical geeky movie to win
  • Best Director: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water: we were 100% on this one. Nothing else was even close. Obviously, I picked this one as well. Another advance for geeky moviemakers
  • Lead Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Montana: we were 100%
  • Lead Actor: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour: 100% Oldman has a lot of geeky credits, so this is a pedigeek win
  • Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell in Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Montana: 100%…and another pedigeek win
  • Supporting Actress: Allison Janney in I, Tonya: 95% (but we picked it as the winner…Laurie Metcalf was closest at 85%

The team picked every category except Best Picture, and scored a 97%. Two of our players scored 100%: Marianne and Scott. Amazing! I personally got a 94%. By the way, I make my guesses before I see anybody else’s guesses, just to be fair.

Now, the Incredibly Difficult Maven Section.

There was a complication this year. I keep trying to find a best way to do this online. This year, I went with an Excel form…that was good for analysis, but it had a limitation I didn’t realize at first. You can only have 100 questions in a survey…since each nominee is a question, that wasn’t enough. That meant that there were two surveys: that’s also been true with some systems in the past but because I realized it up front, I could make the instructions very clear. Fully a third of our players didn’t complete the second survey. That affects those individuals scores, but I’ve decided not to have it affect the team scores. The percentage of the prediction will be based on the guesses on those questions, not the non-guesses, and that seems fair.

  • Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele for Get Out: 95%, and we got it right as a group. This is another win for geeky movies
  • Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me By Your Name: 100%
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Bladerunner 2049: we missed this one, but just barely. 🙂 The group picked Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk. I personally missed this one…I really underestimated the love for Bladerunner 2049 throughout…I gave this the lowest possibility, a one out of five. The group gave it a 70%, and we gave Dunkirk a 75%. That means the group still gets four points our of five, since that was our second highest
  • Costume: Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread: 90%, and we called it
  • Film Editing: Lee Smith for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Sound Mixing: Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Sound Editing: Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Visual Effects: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049: 65% chance for the group, and we had a couple of ties, so we got 2.5 points. We picked War for the Planet of the Apes, but we weren’t confident on this. I really blew this one this year, and made this this least likely
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour: 100% and we called it
  • Original Song: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez or “Remember Me” from Coco: we gave it 85% and we called it
  • Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water and we called it unanimously (100%)
  • Animated Short: Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball: we called it with 85%
  • Live Action Short: Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child: we picked DeKalb Elementary with 80%…but we had this picked second at 70%, so we get 4 points
  • Animated Feature: Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson for Coco: wnanimous at 100%, so we get this one
  • Best Documentary Short: Frank Stiefel: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405: We were pretty sure it was going to be Heroin(e) or Edith+Eddie…we gave them both 85%. We only gave the winner 50%, and we get 3.5 points
  • Best Documentary Feature: Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan for Icarus: we thought it would be Faces Places…we ended up with 2.5 points, and had predicted the winner at 55%
  • Foreign Language: Chile won for A Fantastic Woman. We had that one at 90% and we called it
  • Production Design: Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, and Jeffrey A. Melvin for The Shape of Water: 90% and we called it

We did well on this! We called 13 out of 18 and this is always tough. We got enough right and were close on others, so we end up with a 90%!

George Monkey was the Maven winner with 93%! Congratulations, George Monkey!

For the last accounting, looking at the overall:

The team scored 94%.

Our overall winner was George Monkey with 93%.

This year’s winners:

  • Big Six: Marianne and Scott (tie)
  • The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section: George Monkey
  • Overall: George Monkey

I’ve learned some things about the way I did it this year…hopefully, next year will reap a benefit from this year’s experience in that category…and that next year is another good year for the predictions!

Thanks for playing, everybody! See you in the movies!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Find Bigfoot (on the big screen) this weekend in SF! Loren Coleman, Daniel Perez guest speakers

March 9, 2018

Find Bigfoot (on the big screen) this weekend in SF! Loren Coleman, Daniel Perez guest speakers

There is something special about watching obscure movies and TV shows in a movie theatre with a crowd of enthusiasts. Don’t get me wrong, I typically spend hours a week watching videos in Virtual Reality (which for me, is the killer app for VR at this point), and sure, that one-person experience is my favorite way to watch movies and TV shows…by myself.

However, I’ll never forget spending over night in a theatre watching “bad movies”. There is something about that communal experience that satisfies an important part of the human psyche.

And, you know, it’s just fun. 😉

The key to something like this working is the curation, the decision for what videos to be shown and in what order.

This weekend (March 10th and 11th)

Super Shangri-La Show

brings their uniquely geeky programming skills to

The Great Bigfoot Bonanza

at the historic Vogue Theater in San Francisco.

I really wish I had known about them earlier! I became aware of this event through the

Twitter feed of Loren Coleman (@CryptoLoren)

the “Curator of Cryptids”, the leading expert on cryptozoology who has appeared on many TV shows, runs the

International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine

and whose

Creatures of the Outer Edge (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

one of many successful and significant books he has authored on cryptozoology and Fortean topics (he also has a Master of Social Work ((MSW)) degree, and his book, The Copycat Effect (at AmazonSmile*) has been getting a lot of interest lately in its analysis of the intersection of mass media and mass murder), is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Full disclosure: I’ve had some correspondence with Loren Coleman over the years, donated a specimen to the museum, and had some other interactions, but we have never met in person and do not share any financial interests. Loren graciously said I could use the term “Weird World” after I started using it, not realizing he had already done so. I have always used the term “Bufo’s Weird World” since I became aware of it, but I have always appreciated that when we did not know each other. Loren has been similarly supportive of other people getting into this area.

The Super Shangri-La Show’s past events certainly align with my tastes: they’ve shown the “Turkish Star Wars”, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (I have a giant theatrical poster of it somewhere), and a double feature of William Shatner playing dual roles (Star Trek: The Original Series’ The Enemy Within and White Comanche).

This weekend has “Sasquatch Saturday”, which gives you a full day of documentaries and fictional movies (The Legend of Boggy Creek! John Carradine and Joi Lansing in Bigfoot!), and “Snowman Sunday” (Man Beast! Jonny Quest’s Murder in the Monastery!). I want to particularly point out the Ultraman episode, Phantom  of the Snow Mountain. The Bay Area was the TV home of Bob Wilkins (Creature Features) who was instrumental in bringing Japanese geekiness to the USA as Captain Cosmic.

The tickets for a full-day of entertainment including guest speakers are quite reasonable: $25 for just Sasquatch Saturday, $20 for just Snowman Sunday, or $40 for both. If you are able to be in San Francisco this weekend for a rare West Coast opportunity to see Loren (he speaks both days…another nice touch by the organizers which doesn’t always happen in these sorts of things), I’m sure it will be an event you will long remember.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

BOPMadness final Oscar predictions (results will also appear here later)

March 4, 2018

BOPMadness final Oscar predictions (results will also appear here later)

Here are our final predictions for tonight’s Oscars! Thanks to everyone who played!

Each player/team ranks each nominee in each category. That enables me to come up with the percentage chance that the group gave of each nominee winning. Note that the players are predicting, not saying what they would like to see win.

As has happened in the past, we have some ties in the predictions. Let’s say two of the nominees in the same 5-nominew category are tied for being the most likely. If one nominee had the highest total and it won, we’d get five points. However, if there are two, we’ll only get 4.5 points.

I’ll put the winners in here, and we can see how we did. 🙂

Before it starts, though, I’ll note our surest bests and longest shots:

Surest bets (100% chance):

  • Lead Actor: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour
  • Lead Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Directing: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water
  • Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name
  • Makeup & Hairstyling: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour
  • Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water
  • Animated Feature: Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson for Coco

Longest shots (20%):

  • Lead Actress: Meryl Streep in The Post
  • Directing: Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread

The Big Six

Best Picture:

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: 92%
  2. The Shape of Water 86% Winner [missed it: 8 points]
  3. Get Out 83%
  4. Dunkirk 69%
  5. Lady Bird 58%
  6. Call Me By Your Name 33%
  7. Darkest Hour/Phantom Thread 28%
  8. –Tie
  9. The Post 22%

Lead Actor

  1. Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out 65%
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread 55%
  4. Timothee Chalomet in Call Me by Your Name 50%
  5. Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. 30%

Lead Actress

  1. Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water 75%
  3. Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird 65%
  4. Margot Robbie in I, Tonya 40%
  5. Meryl Streep in The Post 20%

Supporting Actress

  1. Allison Janney in I, Tonya 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird 85%
  3. Mary J. Blige in Mudbound 45%
  4. Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread 40%
  5. Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water 35%

Supporting Actor

  1. Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 100% Winner  [called it]
  2. Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project 65%
  3. Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World 55%
  4. Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water 50%
  5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 30%

Directing

  1. Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird/Jordan Peele for Get Out 65%
  3. –Tie
  4. Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk 50%
  5. Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread 20%

The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section

Original Screenplay

  1. Jordan Peele for Get Out 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 75%
  3. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird 70%
  4. Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water 35%
  5. Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick 25%

Adapted Screenplay

  1. James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Dee Rees, Virgil Williams for Mudbound 75%
  3. Aaron Sorkin for Molly’s Game 60%
  4. Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green for Logan 35%
  5. Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist 30%

Cinematography

  1. Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk 75%
  2. Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 70% Winner [missed it: 4 points]
  3. Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water 65%
  4. Rachel Morrison for Mudbound 55%
  5. Bruno Delbonnel for the Darkest Hour 35%

Costume

  1. Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread 90% Winner [called it]
  2. Luis Sequiera for The Shape of Water 75%
  3. Consolata Boyle for Victoria & Abdul 50%
  4. Jacqueline Durran for Beauty and the Beast 45%
  5. Jacqueline Durran for Darkest Hour 40%

Film Editing

  1. Lee Smith for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water 60%
  3. Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver 55%
  4. Jon Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 50%
  5. Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya 40%

Sound Mixing

  1. Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Tim Cavigan, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater for Baby Driver 60%
  3. Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern for The Shape of Water 50%
  4. (tie)
  5. Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth for Blade Runner 2049 45%

Sound Editing

  1. Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Julian Slater for Baby Driver/Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi 60%
  3. (tie)
  4. Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green for Blade Runner 2049  50%
  5. Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira for The Shape of Water  35%

Visual Effects

  1. Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould for Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist for War for the Planet of the Apes  70%
  2. –tie
  3. John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049 Winner [missed it: 2.5 points]/Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Daniel Sudnick for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 65% Winner
  4. –tie
  5. Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Michael Meinardus for Kong: Skull Island 30%

Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Arjen Tuiten for Wonder 58%
  3. Daniel Phillips, Louis Sheppard for Victoria & Abdul 42%

Original Song

  1. Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez for “Remember Me” from Coco 85% Winner [called it]
  2. Benj Pasek, Justin Paul for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman 75%
  3. Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name 55%
  4. Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, Taura Stinson for “Mighty River” from Mudbound 45%
  5. Common, Diane Warren for “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall 40%

Original Score

  1. Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water 100% winner [called it]
  2. Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk 75%
  3. Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 45%
  4. Johnny Greenwood for Phantom Thread/John Williams for Star Wars: The Last Jedi 40%
  5. –tie

Live Action Short

  1. Reed Van Dyk for DeKalb Elementary 80%
  2. Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child 70% Winner [missed it: 4 points]
  3. Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen for Watu Wote: All of Us 65%
  4. Derin Seale, Josh Lawson for The Eleven O’Clock 50%
  5. Kevin Wilson Jr. for My Nephew Emmett 35%

Animated Short

  1. Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball 85% Winner [called it]
  2. Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer for Revolting Rhymes Part One 60%
  3. Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon for Garden Party/Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata for Negative Space 55%
  4. –tie
  5. Dave Mullins, Dana Murray for Lou 45%

Animated Feature

  1. Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson for Coco 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart for Loving Vincent 80%
  3. Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo for The Breadwinner 55%
  4. Carlos Saldanha for Ferdinand 40%
  5. Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito for The Boss Baby 25%

Documentary Short

  1. Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright for Edith+Eddie/Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin James Sheldon for Heroin(e) 85%
  2. –tie
  3. Frank Stiefel for Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 50% Winner [missed it: 3.5 points]
  4. Kate Davis, David Heilbroner for Traffic Stop 45%
  5. Thomas Lennon for Knife Skills 35%

Documentary Feature

  1. Agnes Varda, Rosalie Varda, Jr. for Faces Places 75%
  2. Kareem Abeed, Soeren Steen Jesperson, Feras Fayyad for Last Men in Aleppo 70%
  3. Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan for Icarus/Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes for Strong Island 55% Winner [missed: 2.5 points]
  4. –tie
  5. Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail 45%

Foreign Language

  1. A Fantastic Woman (Chile) 90% Winner [called it]
  2. The Square (Sweden) 70%
  3. On Body and Soul (Hungary)/The Insult (Lebanon) 50%
  4. –tie
  5. Loveless (Russia) 40%

Production Design

  1. Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin for The Shape of Water 90% Winner [called it]
  2. Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis for Dunkirk/Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola for Blade Runner 2049 65%
  3. –tie
  4. Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer for Darkest Hour 50%
  5. Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer for Beauty and the Beast 30%

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

24 hours left to make your Oscar predictions! See our current odds

March 3, 2018

24 hours left to make your Oscar predictions! See our current odds

Want to make your predictions for the Oscar winners? They are due by noon Pacific time, Sunday March 4th (so I can get our final predictions out to the world before the show).

I’m going to include in this post where we are at time of writing, but I do expect the final numbers will be different. My intuition is that the more people who play, the more accurate we are as a group (and we’ve been pretty accurate in the past), so feel free to let people know about it!

Here are the links:

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 1:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmSsbx6vG5Gcl96f?wdFormId=%7BE5793882%2D0660%2D4E4D%2DAB01%2DC36113A0B277%7D

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 2:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmYLK7pAZBjqYs8w?wdFormId=%7BAF2B6048%2DE94B%2D426C%2DA3FF%2D5FF981F1FB14%7D

Please complete both parts, and make a guess for every nominee in every category. That’s what makes this work: data! 🙂 Also, use each number only once…if it is a five-nominee category, don’t give two nominees both the number 5. If you do…I guess I’ll have to randomize which one is which, but please use your intuition.

You don’t need to sign up or anything, just play. 🙂 I do require an e-mail address (which I use only for BOPMadness communications and do not share with the public) and I do require that you make guesses about every nominee in every category…the more answers, I think the better we should do (based on the wisdom of crowds).


Our odds at time of writing:

Best Picture: Call Me by Your Name Best Picture: Darkest Hour Best Picture: Dunkirk Best Picture: Get Out Best Picture: Lady Bird Best Picture: Phantom Thread Best Picture: The Post Best Picture: The Shape of Water Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
33% 28% 69% 83% 58% 28% 22% 86% 92%
Lead Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread Lead Actor: Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out Lead Actor: Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Lead Actor: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour Lead Actor: Timothee Chalomet in Call Me by Your Name
55% 65% 30% 100% 50%
Lead Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Lead Actress: Margot Robbie in I, Tonya Lead Actress: Meryl Streep in The Post Lead Actress: Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water Lead Actress: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
100% 40% 20% 75% 65%
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney in I, Tonya Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird Supporting Actress: Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread Supporting Actress: Mary J. Blige in Mudbound Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water
95% 85% 40% 45% 35%
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World Supporting Actor: Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 50% 100% 65% 30%
Directing: Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk Directing: Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird Directing: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water Directing: Jordan Peele for Get Out Directing: Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread
50% 65% 100% 65% 20%
Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele for Get Out Original Screenplay: Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird Original Screenplay: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
95% 70% 25% 35% 75%
Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name Adapted Screenplay: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green for Logan Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for Molly’s Game Adapted Screenplay: Dee Rees, Virgil Williams for Mudbound Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist
100% 35% 60% 75% 30%
Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel for the Darkest Hour Cinematography: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk Cinematography: Rachel Morrison for Mudbound Cinematography: Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water
70% 35% 75% 55% 65%
Costume: Jacqueline Durran for Beauty and the Beast Costume: Jacqueline Durran for Darkest Hour Costume: Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread Costume: Luis Sequiera for The Shape of Water Costume: Consolata Boyle for Victoria & Abdul
45% 40% 90% 75% 50%
Sound Mixing: Tim Cavigan, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater for Baby Driver Sound Mixing: Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth for Blade Runner 2049 Sound Mixing: Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk Sound Mixing: Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sound Mixing: Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern for The Shape of Water
60% 45% 95% 50% 50%
Sound Editing: Julian Slater for Baby Driver Sound Editing: Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green for Blade Runner 2049 Sound Editing: Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk Sound Editing: Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sound Editing: Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira for The Shape of Water
60% 50% 95% 60% 35%
Film Editing: Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver Film Editing: Lee Smith for Dunkirk Film Editing: Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya Film Editing: Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water Film Editing: Jon Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 95% 40% 60% 50%
Visual Effects: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049 Visual Effects: Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Daniel Sudnick for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Visual Effects: Stephen Rosenbaum,
Jeff White, Scott Benza, Michael Meinardus for Kong: Skull Island
Visual Effects: Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist for War for the Planet of the Apes
65% 65% 30% 70% 70%
Makeup and Hairstyling: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour Makeup and Hairstyling: Daniel Phillips, Louis Sheppard for Victoria & Abdul Makeup and Hairstyling: Arjen Tuiten for Wonder
100% 42% 58%
Original Song: Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name Original Song: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez for “Remember Me” from Coco Original Song: Common, Diane Warren for “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall Original Song: Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, Taura Stinson for “Mighty River” from Mudbound Original Song: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman
5% 85% 40% 45% 75%
Original Song: Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name2 Original Score: Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk Original Score: Johnny Greenwood for Phantom Thread Original Score: John Williams for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water Original Score: Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 75% 40% 40% 100% 45%
Animated Short: Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball Animated Short: Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon for Garden Party Animated Short: Dave Mullins, Dana Murray for Lou Animated Short: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata for Negative Space Animated Short: Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer for Revolting Rhymes Part One
85% 55% 45% 55% 60%
Live Action Short: Reed Van Dyk for DeKalb Elementary Live Action Short: Kevin Wilson Jr. for My Nephew Emmett Live Action Short: Derin Seale, Josh Lawson for The Eleven O’Clock Live Action Short: Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child Live Action Short: Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen for Watu Wote: All of Us
80% 35% 50% 70% 65%

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

BOPMadness 2018! Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness: make your own & see what we say

February 25, 2018

BOPMadness 2018! Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness: make your own & see what we say

For more than two decades, I’ve been doing an Oscar prediction contest. We only play for that most valuable of all human possessions…braggin’ rights. 😉 I’ve developed a particular way that we do it, and partially as a result of that, we tend to do quite well as a group in predictions…two years ago we were 90% overall. Last year, we didn’t do as well, I think in part because of the Academy’s transition.

I’m doing it a bit differently again this year (just in terms of process)…I haven’t found a perfect method, easy for players to use to enter their guesses, and easy to analyze. This year, I’ve switched to using an Excel survey. I thought I’d be able to get all of the categories into one survey, but there was a 100 question limit, so there are two:

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 1:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmSsbx6vG5Gcl96f?wdFormId=%7BE5793882%2D0660%2D4E4D%2DAB01%2DC36113A0B277%7D

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 2:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmYLK7pAZBjqYs8w?wdFormId=%7BAF2B6048%2DE94B%2D426C%2DA3FF%2D5FF981F1FB14%7D

Please complete both parts, and make a guess for every nominee in every category. That’s what makes this work: data! 🙂 Also, use each number only once…if it is a five-nominee category, don’t give two nominees both the number 5. If you do…I guess I’ll have to randomize which one is which, but please use your intuition.

You don’t need to sign up or anything, just play. 🙂 I do require an e-mail address (which I use only for BOPMadness communications and do not share with the public) and I do require that you make guesses about every nominee in every category…the more answers, I think the better we should do (based on the wisdom of crowds).

Feel free to spread the word! There’s only a week left. 😉

NOTE: the deadline for entries is noon Pacific time on Sunday, March 4th (Oscar day). That way, I can get the group’s predictions out before the ceremony.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

2018 Oscar noms

January 23, 2018

2018 Oscar noms

This is preliminary, almost live-blogging…I’ll refine it soon this morning.

Some thoughts:

  • Wow! After the Screen Actors Guild went full Muggle with the winners, I was feeling a tad less confident that this would be the big year for geeky movies at the Oscars I had anticipated…but I was wrong. Complete embrace of geeky and hip movies…the Oscars have never looked as young as they do at 90
  • Love how they are presenting the noms! They are doing short movies with well-known people to illustrate the concept of the category. It also shows the non-traditionalality 😉 of the Oscars, to have them presented by Andy Serkis (best known as the mocap king ((motion capture))) and Tiffany Haddish, who is an up and comer in an edgy movie (in particular)
  • Blade Runner 2049 got a lot of recognition, as did Get Out and especially The Shape of Water
  • The buzz as a snub? Wonder Woman…that’s part of why I’m doing this without having put everything together carefully. It’s going to be a big flap online this morning
  • I had tried to anticipate what some of the nominees might be…I’ll get those into their proper nominations shortly…sorry, woke up with a cold this morning 🙂
  • Beauty and the Beast also got a lot of noms
  • If you want to see the big name movies online, you can shell out for HBO and watch them on Now or Go (or, if you have AT&T for internet, you get it on DirecTV…although I have to say, I find that app particularly difficult to use). For the roughly $10 a month club, it’s definitely Netflix, at least for geeky titles

I’m going to call out the geeky nominees, and I’ll make some comments.

Best Original Song

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Remember Me from Coco
  • Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, This is Me from The Greatest Showman

SFX (Special Effects)

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

Doc Short

Documentary Feature

Editing

  • Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water

Sound Mixing

  • Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern, The Shape of Water
  • Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth, Blade Runner 2049
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (original title)
    Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Editing

  • Nathan Robitaille, The Shape of Water
  • Mark A. Mangini, Blade Runner 2049
  • Matthew Wood, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Shape of Water

Live Action Short

Animated Short

  • Revolting Rhymes Part One
  • may be others…

Best Animated Feature

  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • The Boss Baby

 Supporting Actor

  • Richard Jenkins, Shape of Water

Supporting Actress

  • Octavia Spencer, Shape of Water

Makeup and Hairstyling

No geeky nominees in this category

Costume

  • Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast
  • Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water

Cinematography

  • Roger Deakins, Bladerunner 2049
  • Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

Original Screenplay

  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Adapted Screenplay

  • Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green, Logan

Original Score

  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Foreign Language

Directing

  • Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out

Other geeky movies which had buzz in this category:

  • Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman

Lead Actress

  • Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Lead Actor

  • Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

Best Picture

  • Get Out
  • The Shape of Water

Other geeky movies which had buzz in this category:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Coco
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Logan
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Downsizing
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • Okja

A special Oscar is being awarded to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Carne y Arena, a virtual reality work.

Where can you legally stream any of these Oscar nominees without paying additional money (subscriptions required)?

Amazon Prime:

Hulu:

Netflix:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • The Boss Baby
  • Beauty and the Beast

HBO Now/HBO Go

Kong: Skull Island
Get Out
Logan

How about streaming if you are willing to piece pay to rent or buy? All links are to JustWatch:

Complete list of nominees from the Academy website:

http://oscar.go.com/nominees

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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