Thursday, February 23, 2017

Alternative Oscars! What If I Were The Only Oscar Voter?

So here's the deal. The following list compares the Best Picture winners of the Academy Awards from the present right back to the very beginning. And right alongside it is MY pick for the best film of the year. Not my personal list but the movie I would have voted for if I were an Oscar voter. In this alternate universe, I'm the ONLY voter so the right film always wins. And here's the story on Huffington Post where I defend/explain my picks.

And the Oscar goes to...

OSCAR'S PICK                                  MY PICK

2016: La La Land                                  Manchester By The Sea
2015: Spotlight                                      Mad Max: Fury Road
2014: Birdman                                       The Grand Budapest Hotel
2013: 12 Years A Slave                          Her
2012: Argo                                             Amour
2011: The Artist                                     The Tree Of Life
2010: The King's Speech                       Toy Story 3
2009: Hurt Locker                                  Inglorious Basterds
2008: Slumdog Millionaires                   NO AWARD!
2007: No Country For Old Men             There Will Be Blood
2006: The Departed                                NO AWARD!
2005: Crash                                             Brokeback Mountain
2004: Million Dollar Baby                      Million Dollar Baby
2003: LOTR: Return of The King           Master and Commander
2002: Chicago                                          LOTR: The Two Towers
2001: A Beautiful Mind                           Gosford Park
2000: Gladiator                                         Crouching Tiger, Hidden...
1999: American Beauty                            The Insider
1998: Shakespeare In Love                       The Thin Red Line
1997: Titanic                                              L.A. Confidential
1996: The English Patient                         Fargo
1995: Braveheart                                       Babe
1994: Forrest Gump                                  Quiz Show
1993: Schindler's List                                The Piano
1992: Unforgiven                                       Howards End
1991: The Silence Of The Lambs              Beauty And The Beast
1990: Dances With Wolves                        GoodFellas
1989: Driving Miss Daisy                          Field Of Dreams
1988: Rain Man                                          Dangerous Liaisons
1987: The Last Emperor                             Broadcast News
1986: Platoon                                              Hannah And Her Sisters
1985: Out Of Africa                                    Witness
1984: Amadeus                                           Amadeus
1983: Terms Of Endearment                       The Right Stuff
1982: Gandhi                                               Tootsie
1981: Chariots Of Fire                                 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1980: Ordinary People                                 Raging Bull
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer                            Apocalypse Now
1978: The Deer Hunter                                Coming Home
1977: Annie Hall                                          Star Wars
1976: Rocky                                                 All The President's Men
1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest     Dog Day Afternoon
1974: The Godfather Part II                         Chinatown
1973: The Sting                                            Cries and Whispers
1972: The Godfather                                    The Godfather
1971: The French Connection                      The Last Picture Show
1970: Patton                                                MASH
1969: Midnight Cowboy                              Butch Cassidy....
1968: Oliver!                                                Romeo & Juliet
1967: In The Heat Of The Night                  Bonnie And Clyde
1966: A Man For All Seasons                      Who's Afraid Of V. Woolf?
1965: The Sound Of Music                           The Sound Of Music
1964: My Fair Lady                                      Dr. Strangelove
1963: Tom Jones                                           America America
1962: Lawrence Of Arabia                           Lawrence Of Arabia
1961: West Side Story                                  The Hustler
1960: The Apartment                                    The Apartment
1959: Ben-Hur                                               Anatomy Of A Murder
1958: Gigi                                                     Separate Tables
1957: The Bridge On The River Kwai         12 Angry Men
1956: Around The World in Eighty Days     The Ten Commandments
1955: Marty                                                   Mister Roberts
1954: On The Waterfront                              On The Waterfront
1953: From Here To Eternity                         Shane
1952: The Greatest Show On Earth               The Quiet Man
1951: An American In Paris                          A Place In The Sun
1950: All About Eve                                      All About Eve
1949: All The King's Men                             The Heiress
1948: Hamlet                                                 Treasure Of Sierra Madre
1947: Gentleman's Agreement                      Great Expectations
1946: The Best Years Of Our Lives              It's A Wonderful Life
1945: The Lost Weekend                               Mildred Pierce
1944: Going My Way                                    Double Indemnity
1943: Casablanca                                           Casablanca
1942: Mrs. Miniver                                        The Magnificent Ambersons
1941: How Green Was My Valley                 Citizen Kane
1940: Rebecca                                                The Philadelphia Story
1939: Gone With The Wind                           Mr. Smith...Washington
1938: You Can't Take It With You                 Adventures...Robin Hood
1937: The Life Of Emile Zola                       The Awful Truth
1936: The Great Ziegfeld                              Dodsworth
1935: Mutiny On The Bounty                       Top Hat
1934: It Happened One Night                       The Thin Man
1932/1933: Cavalcade                                   Little Women
1931/1932: Grand Hotel                               Shanghai Express
1930/1931: Cimarron                                    The Front Page
1929/1930: All Quiet On The Western...      All Quiet...Western Front
1928/1929: The Broadway Melody              In Old Arizona
1927/1928: Wings                                         Sunrise

Monday, February 13, 2017



Here are the rules:
All tiles except the blanks, which aren’t used, are placed upside down on the table and randomized. 
The dealer begins turning over tiles, and after each tile is turned, waits, until one gets the sense that everyone is ready for another tile. This forms the pool from which tiles can be drawn.
Words must be 4 or more letters (advanced players sometimes insist on 5 or more) and the usual Scrabble prohibitions are in place: no proper names, no contractions, etc.
Players may call out a new word AT ANY TIME. It’s speed that matters. The caller then moves the letters in from of him, and forms the word called, but facing the other players, upside down to the caller. That word  TEMPORARILY belongs to the caller. AT ANY TIME, another player can see how to take one or more tiles from the pool and take that word (or any other word already made) and call it out (as fast as possible. So words can be stolen back and forth, and it is important for players to protect their own words by making new words of them. 
   A new word made from an old word must always change the stem. Thus you can’t turn CHARM into CHARMING or CHARMED or CHARMS but you can turn it into MARCHING, or MARCHED.  
At the end of the game, words still possessed get scored. Our rule is 4-letter words count 4, no matter what letters compose them. Thus QUIT is only 4 points, but QUITE (or QUIET is 14–10 for the Q and 1 for each other letter.