This Week in Rankings

Since the last update I finished the new Chinese Cinema site. All my old reviews have been re-edited and updated and reorganized. Any new reviews are for subscribers only, at the low low price of $1/month or $10/year. I’ve decided to leave that as the price for the foreseeable future rather than bump it up. I hope you’ll consider subscribing.

Recent reviews include the Tsui Hark/Dante Lam/Chen Kaige war movies The Battle at Lake Changjin I & II, the Sammo Hung/Jackie Chan/Yuen Biao classic Dragons Forever, Guan Hu’s controversial The Eight Hundred, the Kara Hui Girls with Guns/Hopping Vampire comedy Who Cares, Wong Jing’s epic Jet Li wuxia Kung Fu Cult Master, the Moon Lee/Cynthia Khan/Oshima Yukaria vehicle The Avenging Quartet, and Ohku Akiko’s not-quite rom-com My Sweet Grappa Remedies.

Elsewhere I wrote about Michelle Yeoh and her new hit film Everything Everywhere All At Once for the Mubi Notebook, the only review of that film I know of to make extensive reference not only to her Hong Kong career, but also Star Trek: Discovery and Last Christmas. At InReview Online I have reviews for Chan Tze-woon’s new protest documentary Blue Island and Ann Hui’s latest Eileen Chang adaptation Love After Love. And here at The End, I handed out the Endy Awards for 2021.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

How to Play Baseball (Jack Kinney) – 16, 1942
This is Korea (John Ford) – 38, 1951
Steal Wool (Chuck Jones) – 23, 1957
A Witch’s Tangled Hare (Abe Levitow) – 23, 1959

Three Styles of Hung School’s Kung Fu (Chang Cheh) – 34, 1974
Freaky Friday (Gary Nelson) – 29, 1976
Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges) – 24, 1980
The Natural (Barry Levinson) – 32, 1984
Yes, Madam (Corey Yuen) – 8, 1985

Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter) – 9, 1986
Royal Warriors (David Chung) – 24, 1986
Magnificent Warriors (David Chung) – 25, 1987
Bull Durham (Ron Shelton) – 2, 1988
Dragons Forever (Sammo Hung) – 30, 1988

Field of Dreams (Phil Alden Robinson) – 22, 1989
Devil Hunters (Tony Lou Chun-ku) – 48, 1989
Who Cares (Max Lee Chiu-chun) – 54, 1989
Howards End (James Ivory) – 6, 1992
A League of Their Own (Penny Marshall) – 48, 1992

Kung Fu Cult Master (Wong Jing) – 18, 1993
Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough) – 25, 1993
The Remains of the Day (James Ivory) – 35, 1993
Butterfly & Sword (Michael Mak) – 65, 1993
The Avenging Quartet (Stanley Siu Wing) – 71, 1993

10 Things I Hate About You (Gil Junger) – 37, 1999
Adventureland (Greg Mottola) – 14, 2009
Lost in the Mountains (Hong Sangsoo) – 18, 2009
Oki’s Movie (Hong Sangsoo) – 1, 2010

Our Sunhi (Hong Sangsoo) – 12, 2013
Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (Hong Sangsoo) – 17, 2013
The Peanuts Movie (Steve Martino) – 106, 2015
My Sweet Grappa Remedies (Ohku Akiko) – 21, 2019
Last Christmas (Paul Feig) – 85, 2019
The Eight Hundred (Guan Hu) – 44, 2020
The Battle at Lake Changjin (Tsui Hark, Dante Lam, & Chen Kaige) – 2021
CODA (Sian Heder) – 70, 2021

Captain Ahab: The Story of Dave Stieb (Jon Bois) – 1, 2022
RRR (SS Rajamouli) – 2, 2022
The Battle at Lake Changjin II (Tsui Hark, Dante Lam, & Chen Kaige) – 3, 2022
Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert) – 5, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi) – 6, 2022
Scream (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett) – 8, 2022

Predictions for the 94th Annual Academy Awards

These are my Oscar predictions. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to live-tweet the Endy Award winners during the ceremony again this year. Maybe.

BEST PICTURE

Belfast
CODA
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

BEST DIRECTOR

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

BEST ACTOR

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield, tick, tick…BOOM!
Will Smith, King Richard
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Belfast
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Worst Person in the World

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

CODA
Drive My Car
Dune
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Dune
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

BEST FILM EDITING

Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
Tick, Tick…Boom!

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dune
Free Guy
No Time To Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Dune
Nightmare Alley
Power
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Coming 2 America
Cruella
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Don’t Look Up
Dune
Encanto
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Be Alive,” King Richard, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Dixson
“Dos Oroguitos,” Encanto, Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy,” Belfast, Van Morrison
“No Time To Die,” No Time To Die, Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell
“Somehow You Do,” Four Good Days, Diane Warren

BEST SOUND

Belfast
Dune
No Time To Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Ascension
Attica
Flee
Summer of Soul
Writing With Fire

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Drive My Car (Japan)
Flee (Denmark)
The Hand of God (Italy)
Yanna (Bhutan)
The Worst Person in the World (Norway)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Audible
Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs of Benazir
When We Were Bullies

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Ala Kacchu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye
On My Mind
Please Hold

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Affairs of the Art
Bestia
Boxballet
Robin Robin
The Windshield Wiper

This Week in Rankings

The big news since the last rankings update is that I’ve launched a new home for my Chinese Cinema project. I’m moving all the old writings over there, and they’ll remain free for everyone. But all my future full reviews will be behind a modest paywall. The subscription is $1/month or $10/year while the site is under construction; after that’s done (or after April 1, whichever is later), it’ll go up to $2/month or $20/year. So far I’ve revised and transferred everything in the 36th Chamber category, and I’m about halfway through the Fallen Angels. New subscriber only reviews are up for the late Chor Yuen’s Web of Death and Fruit Chan’s latest, Coffin Homes. I really like how the site is shaping up and if you enjoy my writings, I hope you’ll consider subscribing.

Before the move, I wrote about a number of films at the old Chinese Cinema site, including: Kung Fu Stuntmen, The Rescue, Schemes in Antiques, 7 Grandmasters, The 36 Deadly Styles, The World of the Drunken Master, The Shaolin Kids, The 18 Bronzemen, Return of the 18 Bronzemen, Project S, The Inspector Wears Skirts series, The Seventh Curse, The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk, The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk II, Burning Ambition, and Angel Terminators 2.

Elsewhere, I reviewed Hosoda Mamoru’s Belle, the reconstruction of John Liu’s New York Ninja, Hell Hath No Fury and Kate, West Side Story, Karnan, and One Shot at Seattle Screen Scene. I also wrote about Benedetta and Licorice Pizza for InReview Online, had some double feature ideas for the Mubi Notebook, and wrote about Bob Dylan’s Shadow Kingdom at Frame.land.

I also appeared on a couple of podcasts: talking about Lau Kar-leung and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin on The Dead Beat Film Society; and about Jia Zhangke for The Great Movies Pod.

End of the year content here at The End includes the best books I read last year, my favorite film discoveries, and the Endy Award nominees of 2021.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

The Haunted House (Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton) – 11, 1921
Mickey’s Trailer (Ben Sharpsteen) – 9, 1938
Casey at the Bat (Jack Kinney) – 13, 1946
Rabbit Transit (Friz Freleng) – 17, 1947
Buccaneer Bunny (Friz Freleng) – 24, 1948

Beep, Beep (Chuck Jones) – 12, 1952
Operation: Rabbit (Chuck Jones) – 17, 1952
Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones) – 5, 1953
Robot Rabbit (Friz Freleng) – 31, 1953
Roman Legion-Hare (Friz Freleng) – 40, 1955
Yankee Dood It (Friz Freleng) – 29, 1956

Hercules in the Haunted World (Mario Bava) – 8, 1961
A Charlie Brown Christmas (Bill Melendez) – 3, 1965
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Chuck Jones) – 15, 1966
Original Cast Album: Company (DA Pennebaker) – 4, 1970
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (Bill Melendez & Phil Roman) – 38, 1973

Shaolin Kung Fu (Joseph Kuo) – 39, 1974
The Shaolin Kids (Joseph Kuo) – 15, 1975
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (Phil Roman) – 19, 1975
The Web of Death (Chor Yuen) – 14, 1976
The 18 Bronzemen (Joseph Kuo) – 23, 1976
Return of the 18 Bronzemen (Joseph Kuo) – 28, 1976

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau Kar-leung) – 2, 1978
The 7 Grandmasters (Joseph Kuo) – 15, 1978
Warriors Two (Sammo Hung) – 23, 1978
The 36 Deadly Styles (Joseph Kuo) – 23, 1979
The World of the Drunken Master (Joseph Kuo) – 38, 1979
The Old Master (Joseph Kuo) – 43, 1979

Airplane! (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker) – 6, 1980
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Steven Spielberg) – 32, 1984
Lost in America (Albert Brooks) – 9, 1985
Mr. Vampire (Ricky Lau) – 15, 1985
The Seventh Curse (Lam Nai-choi) – 15, 1986

The Inspector Wears Skirts (Wellson Chin) – 50, 1988
Mr. Canton & Lady Rose (Jackie Chan) – 21, 1989
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Steven Spielberg) – 28, 1989
Burning Ambition (Frankie Chan) – 33, 1989
The Inspector Wears Skirts II (Wellson Chin) – 62, 1989

Outlaw Brothers (Frankie Chan) – 50, 1990
Home Alone (Chris Columbus) – 70, 1990
Raid on Royal Casino Marine (Wellson Chin) – 78, 1990
Dreaming the Reality (Tony Lou Chun-ku) – 46, 1991
Naked Killer (Clarence Fok) – 22, 1992
Angel Terminators 2 (Tony Lu Chun-ku & Chan Lau) – 47, 1992
The Inspector Wears Skirts IV (Wellson Chin) – 57, 1992
Angel Terminators (Wai Lit) – 61, 1992

The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk (Corey Yuen) – 10, 1993
Addams Family Values (Barry Sonnenfeld) – 36, 1993
The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk II (Corey Yuen) – 47, 1993
Project S (Stanley Tong) – 66, 1993
The Sandlot (David Mickey Evans) – 75, 1993

Drunken Master II (Lau Kar-leung) – 6, 1994
Party Girl (Daisy von Scherler Mayer) – 16, 1995
The Daytrippers (Greg Mottola) – 12, 1996
Forbidden City Cop (Stephen Chow & Vincent Kok) – 41, 1996
Muppet Treasure Island (Brian Henson) – 55, 1996

The Matrix (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 3, 1999
Platform (Jia Zhangke) – 2, 2000
The Cat’s Meow (Peter Bogdanovich) – 34, 2001
The Matrix Reloaded (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 16, 2003
The Matrix Revolutions (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 32, 2003
Elf (Jon Favreau) – 42, 2003

Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow) – 5, 2004
Howl’s Moving Castle (Miyazaki Hayao) – 22, 2004
Still Life (Jia Zhangke) – 2, 2006
Speed Racer (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 2, 2008

A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke) – 7, 2013
The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (Miike Takashi) – 28, 2013
Spectre (Sam Mendes) – 109, 2015
The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio (Miike Takashi) – 113, 2016
Trainspotting 2 (Danny Boyle) – 137, 2017
Peter Rabbit (Will Gluck) – 139, 2018

Kung Fu Stuntmen (Wei Junzi) – 28, 2020
Love After Love (Ann Hui) – 45, 2020
The Rescue (Dante Lam) – 52, 2020
The New Mutants (Josh Boone) – 60, 2020

Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven) – 4, 2021
West Side Story (Steven Spielberg) – 5, 2021
Get Back (Peter Jackson) – 8, 2021
Karnan (Mari Selvaraj) – 9, 2021
Belle (Hosoda Mamoru) – 12, 2021

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (Jane Schoenbrun) – 15, 2021
The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski) – 19, 2021
Drifting Petals (Clara Law) – 21, 2021
One Shot (James Nunn) – 30, 2021
Hell Hath No Fury (Jesse V. Johnson) – 32, 2021

Coffin Homes (Fruit Chan) – 34, 2021
The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier) – 35, 2021
The Voyeurs (Michael Mohan) – 39, 2021
Kate (Cedric Nicolas-Troyan) – 40, 2021
The Last Duel (Ridley Scott) – 42, 2021

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas (Steve Cox) – 43, 2021
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts) – 51, 2021
JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass (Oliver Stone) – 52, 2021
Schemes in Antiques (Derek Kwok) – 54, 2021
No Time to Die (Cary Joji Fukunaga) – 58, 2021

Nightmare Alley (Guillermo del Toro) – 59, 2021
The Mole Song: Final (Miike Takashi) – 60, 2021
Queenpins (Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly) – 61, 2021
King Richard (Reinaldo Marcus Green) – 62, 2021
New York Ninja (John Liu & Kurtis Spieler) – 67, 2021

Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay) – 69, 2021
House of Gucci (Ridley Scott) – 70, 2021
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Michael Showalter) – 71, 2021
Gunpowder Milkshake (Navot Papushado) – 73, 2021

Blue Island (Chan Tze-woon) – 1, 2022
I Want You Back (Jason Orley) – 2, 2022

2021 Endy Awards

These are the 2021 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best movies, performances, etc of this year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Films are presented in alphabetical order, and the winners are in bold. As always, the awards and nominees are subject to change as I watch more movies. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. Benedetta
2. Drive My Car
3. Get Back
4. In Front of Your Face
5. Karnan
6. Licorice Pizza
7. Shadow Kingdom
8. West Side Story
9. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
10. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched

Best Director:

1. Paul Verhoeven, Benedetta
2. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Drive My Car
3. Hong Sangsoo, In Front of Your Face
4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
5. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Best Actor:

1. Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter
2. Yu Hewei, Cliff Walkers
3. Nishijima Hidetoshi, Drive My Car
4. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah
5. Dhanush, Karnan
6. Matt Damon, The Last Duel
7. Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
8. Gordon Lam, Limbo
9. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
10. Bob Dylan, Shadow Kingdom

Best Actress:

1. Virginie Efira, Benedetta
2. Vicky Krieps, Bergman Island
3. Alyssa Chia, The Falls
4. Nina Bergman, Hell Hath No Fury
5. Lee Hyeyoung, In Front of Your Face
6. Rajisha Vijayan, Karnan
7. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
8. Anna Cobb, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
10. Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Supporting Actor:

1. Jeffrey Wright, The French Dispatch
2. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
3. Ben Affleck, The Last Duel
4. David Alvarez, West Side Story
5. Mike Faist, West Side Story
6. Shibukawa Kiyohiko, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Supporting Actress:

1. Daphne Patakia, Benedetta
2. Charlotte Rampling, Benedetta
3. Park Yoorim, Drive My Car
4. Ana de Armas, No Time to Die
5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
6. Urabe Fusako, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Original Screenplay:

1. Mia Hansen-Løve, Bergman Island
2. Hong Sangsoo, In Front of Your Face
3. Mari Selvaraj, Karnan
4. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
5. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Hosoda Mamoru, Belle
2. David Birke & Paul Verhoeven, Benedetta
3. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke & Oe Takamasa, Drive My Car
4. Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell & Aleksandar Hemon, The Matrix Resurrections
5. Tony Kushner, West Side Story

English Language Film:

1. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)
2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
3. Shadow Kingdom (Alma Har’el)
4. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)
5. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched (Kier-La Janisse)

Non-English Language Film:

1. Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)
2. Drive My Car (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)
3. In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo)
4. Karnan (Mari Selvaraj)
5. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)

Non-Fiction Feature Film:

1. Get Back (Peter Jackson)
2. The History of the Atlanta Falcons (Jon Bois)
3. Shadow Kingdom (Alma Har’el)
4. The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes)
5. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched (Kier-La Janisse)

Animated Film:

1. Belle (Hosoda Mamoru)
2. Evangelion 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time (Anno Hideaki)
3. Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas (Steve Cox)
4. Pompo: The Cinephile (Hirao Takayuki)

Unseen Film:

1. Annette (Leos Carax)
2. Macbeth (Joel Coen)
3. Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
4. 77 Heartwarmings (Herman Yau)
5. What We See When We Look at the Sky (Alexandre Koberidze)

Film Editing:

1. Drive My Car
2. Karnan
3. Licorice Pizza
4. The Velvet Underground
5. West Side Story

Cinematography:

1. Cliff Walkers
2. The Green Knight
3. Licorice Pizza
4. One Shot
5. West Side Story

Art Direction:

1. Dune
2. Limbo
3. Shadow Kingdom
4. West Side Story
5. A Writer’s Odyssey

Costume Design:

1. Cliff Walkers
2. The French Dispatch
3. Licorice Pizza
4. The Power of the Dog
5. West Side Story

Make-up and Hair:

1. The French Dispatch
2. Licorice Pizza
3. Malignant
4. Old
5. West Side Story

Original Score:

1. Dune
2. The French Dispatch
3. The Green Knight
4. Karnan
5. The Power of the Dog

Adapted Score:

1. Can’t Get You Out of My Head
2. The French Dispatch
3. Licorice Pizza
4. Shadow Kingdom
5. West Side Story

Sound:

1. Drive My Car
2. Dune
3. Get Back
4. Licorice Pizza
5. West Side Story

Sound Editing:

1. Get Back
2. The Matrix Resurrections
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home
4. The Velvet Underground
5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Visual Effects:

1. Cloudy Mountain
2. Dune
3. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
4. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
5. A Writer’s Odyssey

The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2021

An annual tradition here at The End, this is a look at my favorite film discoveries of the year, any movie more than a few years old that I saw for the first time in 2021. Previous years include: 2020, 2019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched just over 260 films this year, less than a quarter of which qualified for this list. Here are 55 of my favorites.

1. His Motorbike, Her Island (Ōbayashi Nobuhiko, 1986)
2. The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)
3. Yokohama BJ Blues (Kudō Eiichi, 1981)
4. The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 1966)
5. Hercules in the Haunted World (Mario Bava, 1961)
6. Django (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
7. Mirage (Tsui Siu-ming, 1987)
8. The Gunfighter (Henry King, 1950)
9. Hard Rain (Jacques Levy, 1976)
10. Conquest (Lucio Fulci, 1983)

11. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (Jonathan Demme, 2006)
12. Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 1966)
13. Hercules and the Captive Women (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1961)
14. The Iron Rose (Jean Rollin, 1973)
15. Jerichow (Christian Petzold, 2008)
16. Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
17. Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)
18. Queen of Sports (Sun Yu, 1934)
19. Debra Paget, For Example (Mark Rappaport, 2016)
20. The Street Fighter (Ozawa Shigehiro, 1974)

21. Ulysses (Mario Camerini, 1954)
22. The Cat o’Nine Tails (Dario Argento, 1971)
23. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
24. Every Which Way But Loose (James Fargo, 1978)
25. The Holiday (Nancy Meyers, 2006)
26. Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young, 1979)
27. The Mysterious Rider (Riccardo Freda, 1948)
28. Festival! (Murray Lerner, 1967)
29. The Road to Fort Alamo (Mario Bava, 1964)
30. The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood, 1975)


31. Iron Angels 2 (Teresa Woo, 1987)
32. Erik the Conquerer (Mario Bava, 1961)
33. Ninja, a Band of Assassins (Yamamoto Satsuo, 1962)
34. Scream 3 (Wes Craven, 2000)
35. Bury Me High (Tsui Siu-ming, 1991)
36. Hercules Unchained (Pietro Francisci, 1959)
37. China 9, Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman, 1978)
38. The American Epic (Bernard MacMahon, 2017)
39. The Mystery of Chess Boxing (Joseph Kuo, 1979)
40. The Other Side of the Mirror (Murray Lerner, 2007)

41. Iron Angels 3 (Teresa Woo, 1989)
42. Red Hollywood (Thom Andersen & Noël Burch, 1996)
43. Scream 4 (Wes Craven, 2011)
44. Hercules (Pietro Francisci, 1958)
45. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Brad Silberling, 2004)
46. Akeelah and the Bee (Doug Atchison, 2006)
47. Corpse Bride (Tim Burton & Mike Johnson, 2005)
48. Feel Like Going Home (Martin Scorsese, 2003)
49. Trouble No More (Jennifer LeBeau, 2017)

50. Fatal Termination (Andrew Kam, 1990)
51. Jumanji (Joe Johnston, 1995)
52. The Rocketeer (Joe Johnston, 1991)
53. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Danny Cannon, 1998)
54. Paper Marriage (Alfred Cheung, 1988)
55. Princess Madam (Godfrey Ho, 1989)

Books of 2021

This is a ranked list of the books I finished reading in 2021:

1. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
2. Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
3. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
4. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
5. Hard Times, Charles Dickens
6. As You Like It, William Shakespeare
7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Unknown
8. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
9. The Old Weird America, Greil Marcus
10. Hawkeye, Matt Fraction
11. The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford
12. Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson
13. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
14. All of the Marvels, Douglas Wolk
15. Shakey, Jimmy McDonough
16. Watching the River Flow, Paul Williams
17. Performing Artist 1960-1973, 1974-1986, & 1986-1990 & Beyond, Paul Williams
18. Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson
19. The ABC Murders, Agatha Christie
20. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film, Donald Richie
21. Alright Alright Alright, Melissa Maerz
22. When We Were Good, Robert Cantwell
23. Bob Dylan, Greil Marcus
24. Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens
25. Neil Young: Love to Burn, Paul Williams
26. Hellboy Vol. 1, Mike Mignola
27. True Believer, Abraham Riesman
28. Revolution in the Air & Still on the Road, Clinton Heylin
29. One More Night, Andrew Muir
30. The Time Machine Did It, John Swartzwelder

And here are the books I’m still working on, in order of how long I’ve been reading them:

  1. Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon
  2. The Fourth World Omnibus, Jack Kirby
  3. The Path to Power, Robert Caro
  4. City of Quartz, Mike Davis
  5. Emerson: The Mind on Fire, Robert D. Richardson
  6. The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia
  7. Don Quixote, Cervantes
  8. American Renaissance, FO Matthiessen
  9. The Ramayana: A New Retelling, Linda Egenes & Kumuda Reddy
  10. James Joyce, Richard Ellman
  11. Before the Storm, Rick Perlstein
  12. Debt: the First 5000 Years, David Graeber
  13. Crisis on Infinite Earths (plus Crossovers), Marv Wolfman, etc
  14. Bach: The Learned Musician, Christoph Wolff
  15. The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber), Cao Xueqin
  16. Dickens, Peter Ackroyd
  17. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
  18. Chaucer: A European Life, Marion Turner
  19. The Canterbury Tales (Riverside), Geoffrey Chaucer
  20. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard
  21. The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber & David Wengrow
  22. The Annotated Arabian Nights, trans. Yasmine Seale
  23. The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Robert Irwin
  24. Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald
  25. Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut
  26. Norwood, Charles Portis

This Week in Rankings

I’ve reviewed a bunch of movies since the last update: Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, Licorice Pizza, The Eternals and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Card Counter, Cloudy Mountain, Limbo, Inside the Red Brick Wall, and In Front of Your Face. I also put all my reviews of the Once Upon a Time in China films in one convenient place.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

The Skeleton Dance (Walt Disney) – 7, 1929
Frankenstein (James Whale) – 5, 1931
Lonesome Ghosts (Burt Gillett) – 16, 1937
Porky in Wackyland (Bob Clampett) – 9, 1938

Trick or Treat (Jack Hannah) – 20, 1952
Ali Baba Bunny (Chuck Jones) – 26, 1957
The Abominable Snow Rabbit (Chuck Jones & Maurice Noble) – 14, 1961
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez) – 2, 1966

The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy) – 21, 1973
The Iron Rose (Jean Rollin) – 22, 1973
Michael Jackson’s Thriller (John Landis) – 7, 1983
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Jack Clayton) – 28, 1983

Clue (Jonathan Lynn) – 19, 1985
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola) – 7, 1992
Jumanji (Joe Johnston) – 66, 1995
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (David Mirkin) – 37, 1997

Resident Evil (Paul WS Anderson) – 19, 2002
School of Rock (Richard Linklater) – 18, 2003
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Alexander Witt) – 38, 2004
Corpse Bride (Tim Burton & Mike Johnson) – 37, 2005
The Holiday (Nancy Meyers) – 27, 2006

Resident Evil: Extinction (Russell Mulcahy) – 13, 2007
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Paul WS Anderson) – 12, 2010
Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul WS Anderson) – 7, 2012
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson) – 7, 2016

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman) – 15, 2018
The Fable (Eguchi Kan) – 38, 2019
Inside the Red Brick Wall (Honk Kong Documentary Filmmakers) – 12, 2020
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Yamaguchi Junta) – 19, 2020

Drive My Car (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke) – 1, 2021
In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo) – 3, 2021
Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 4, 2021
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke) – 5, 2021
The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson) – 6, 2021

The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes) – 7, 2021
Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve) – 8, 2021
The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion) – 13, 2021
Limbo (Soi Cheang) – 17, 2021
Dune (Denis Villeneuve) – 18, 2021

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (Robert Weide) – 22, 2021
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Andy Serkis) – 25, 2021
The Witches of the Orient (Julien Faraut) – 26, 2021
Cliff Walkers (Zhang Yimou) – 27, 2021
The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill (Eguchi Kan) – 32, 2021

Muppets Haunted Mansion (Kirk Thatcher) – 33, 2021
The Many Saints of Newark (David Chase) – 35, 2021
Eternals (Chloé Zhao) – 36, 2021
Cloudy Mountain (Li Jun) – 39, 2021

This Week in Rankings

Since the last update, my essay for the Criterion Collection edition of Johnnie To’s Throw Down was published, along with the disc itself. I reviewed Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho, James Wan’s Malignant, and David Lowery’s The Green Knight at Seattle Screen Scene, and Benny Chan’s Raging Fire at The Chinese Cinema. I talked about Tsui Hark, specifically The Butterfly Murders, Green Snake, Peking Opera Blues, and The Blade, on the Optimism Vaccine podcast. Over at InReview Online I wrote about some festival films: at the New York Asian Film Festival (Keep Rolling, Hold Me Back, My Missing Valentine, and Hand-Rolled Cigarette); at Fantasia Fest (Pompo: The Cinephile and The 12 Day Tale of the Monster that Died in 8); and at the Toronto Film Festival (The Falls and One Second).

Also at Seattle Screen Scene, Mike and I completed our ten-year long Top Films of All-Time Project, while I published the 2021 version of my Top 100 Films list here at The End.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

The Maltese Falcon (John Huston) – 5, 1941
Hair-Raising Hare (Chuck Jones) – 28, 1946
The Fair Haired Hare (Friz Freleng) – 34, 1951
The Super Snooper (Robert McKimson) – 35, 1952
Kiss Me Kate (George Sidney) – 1, 1953

Stupor Duck (Robert McKimson) – 37, 1956
Deduce, You Say (Chuck Jones) – 38, 1956
Bedevilled Rabbit (Robert McKimson) – 61, 1957
Knighty Knight Bugs (Friz Freleng) – 31, 1958
The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman) – 33, 1963

The Mystery of Chess Boxing (Joseph Kuo) – 34, 1979
Victory (John Huston) – 39, 1981
Young Sherlock Holmes (Barry Levinson) – 47, 1985
Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton) – 18, 1990
The Rocketeer (Joe Johnston) – 46, 1991

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Danny Cannon) – 58, 1998
The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin) – 8, 2000
Scream 3 (Wes Craven) – 30, 2000
Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic) – 46, 2001
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Brad Silberling) – 49, 2004
Walk the Line (James Mangold) – 48, 2005

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (Anno Hideaki, et al) – 34, 2007
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Steven Spielberg) – 35, 2008
Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance (Anno Hideaki, et al) – 37, 2009
Scream 4 (Wes Craven) – 30, 2011
Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo (Anno Hideaki, et al) – 28, 2012

Hold Me Back (Ohku Akiko) – 10, 2020
Keep Rolling (Lim Chung Man) – 17, 2020
My Missing Valentine (Chen Yu-hsun) – 25, 2020
One Second (Zhang Yimou) – 29, 2020
Hand Rolled Cigarette (Chan Kin-long) – 31, 2020
12 Day Tale of the Monster that Died in 8 (Iwai Shunji) – 34, 2020

Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time (Anno Hideaki, et al) – 3, 2021
The History of the Atlanta Falcons (Jon Bois) – 4, 2021
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched (Kier-La Janisse) – 5, 2021
Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Adam Curtis) – 6, 2021
The Green Knight (David Lowery) – 7, 2021

The Falls (Chung Mong-hong) – 10, 2021
Old (M. Night Shyamalan) – 13, 2021
Cry Macho (Clint Eastwood) – 14, 2021
Malignant (James Wan) – 15, 2021
Pompo: the Cinephile (Hirao Takayuki) – 16, 2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Destin Daniel Cretton) – 17, 2021
The Suicide Squad (James Gunn) – 18, 2021
Raging Fire (Benny Chan) – 21, 2021
Woodstock 99: Peace Love and Rage (Garret Price) – 24, 2021

A Top 100 Films of All-Time

It is time once again for a Top 100 Films of All-Time list. As I’ve done for the last few years, the first ten spots on the list comprise a hypothetical Sight & Sound-style ballot. We had an on-going project related to this on The George Sanders Show, that is now based at Seattle Screen Scene. This top ten is presented here in chronological order. The remaining 90 films were randomly selected from a consideration set of 1024 films, which excluded films that made my Top Tens in 201220132014201520162017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

1. Hellzapoppin’ (HC Potter, 1941)

2. Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)

3. Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973)

4. Renaldo & Clara (Bob Dylan, 1978)

5. His Motorbike, Her Island (Obayashi Nobuhiko, 1986)

6. Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1990)

7. Ballet (Frederick Wiseman, 1995)

8. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2003)

9. Throw Down (Johnnie To, 2004)

10. Claire’s Camera (Hong Sangsoo, 2017)

11. New York, New York (Martin Scorsese, 1977)

12. Woodstock (Michael Wadleigh, 1970)

13. Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)

14. Mr. Thank You (Shimizu Hiroshi, 1936)

15. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

16. They Live by Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948)

17. Predator (John McTiernan, 1987)

18. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1969)

19. Miami Vice (Michael Mann, 2006)

20. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)

21. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Eric Rohmer, 2007)

22. Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)

23. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)

24. Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock, 1941)

25. My Night at Maud’s (Eric Rohmer, 1969)

26. Window Water Baby Moving (Stan Brakhage, 1959)

27. A Matter of Interpretation (Lee Kwangkuk, 2014)

28. How Green was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)

29. Bye Bye Birdie (George Sidney, 1963)

30. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933)

31. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Itō Shunya, 1972)

32. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)

33. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999)

34. Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967)

35. Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)

36. 24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami, 2017)

37. Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)

38. Judge Priest (John Ford, 1934)

39. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)

40. PTU (Johnnie To, 2003)

41. Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)

42. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

43. Charade (Stanley Donen, 1963)

44. Humanity and Paper Balloons (Yamanaka Sadao, 1937)

45. My Young Auntie (Lau Kar-leung, 1981)

46. Our Hospitality (Buster Keaton & John G. Blystone, 1923)

47. The Thin Man (WS Van Dyke, 1934)

48. My Fair Lady (George Cukor, 1964)

49. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

50. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)

51. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965)

52. Vengeance! (Chang Cheh, 1970)

53. The Southerner (Jean Renoir, 1945)

54. My Heart is that Eternal Rose (Patrick Tam, 1989)

55. Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)

56. On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray, 1951)

57. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)

58. The Miracle Fighters (Yuen Woo-ping, 1982)

59. Vampir-Caudecuc (Pere Portabella, 1973)

60. Rashomon (Kurosawa Akira, 1950)

61. Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994)

62. Dodsworth (William Wyler, 1936)

63. The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois, 2020)

64. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello, 2019)

65. Crippled Avengers (Chang Cheh, 1978)

66. M. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953)

67. The Untold Story (Herman Yau, 1993)

68. Kamikaze Taxi (Herman Yau, 1993)

69. Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930)

70. Pride and Prejudice (Andrew Davies, 1995)

71. The ‘Burbs (Joe Dante, 1989)

72. Wife of a Spy (Kurosawa Kiyoshi, 2020)

73. Office Space (Mike Judge, 1999)

74. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011)

75. Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

76. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1953)

77. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles, 2019)

78. Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1988)

79. Unknown Pleasures (Jia Zhangke, 2002)

80. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)

81. The Sting (George Roy Hill, 1973)

82. The One-Armed Swordsman (Chang Cheh, 1967)

83. 7 Women (John Ford, 1966)

84. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

85. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

86. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)

87. The Bad News Bears (MIchael Ritchie, 1976)

88. The Pirate (Vicente Minnelli, 1948)

89. Paterson (Paterson, 2016)

90. The French Connection (William Friedkin, 1971)

91. Brigadoon (Vincente MInnelli, 1954)

92. Grass (Hong Sangsoo, 2018)

93. Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein, 1938)

94. Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983)

95. 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis, 2008)

96. Sparrow (Johnnie To, 2008)

97. The Set-Up (Robert Wise, 1949)

98. Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948)

99. The World (Jia Zhangke, 2004)

100. Madame de… (Marcel Ophuls, 1953)

This Week in Rankings

Since the last update I wrote the liner notes essay for the upcoming Criterion Collection release of Johnnie To’s Throw Down (preorder now!). I also wrote about Christian Petzold’s Jerichow for InReview Online and the Demon Slayer movie at Seattle Screen Scene. I also handed out the 2020 Endy Awards.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.


The Goat (Buster Keaton & Malcolm St. Clair) – 5, 1921
Duck Soup (Leo McCarey) – 1, 1933
Three Little Pigs (Burt Gillett) – 22, 1933
Queen of Sports (Sun Yu) – 22, 1934
The Foghorn Leghorn (Robert McKimson) – 24, 1948

Rabbit Seasoning (Chuck Jones) – 10, 1952
Feed the Kitty (Chuck Jones) – 13, 1952
One Froggy Evening (Chuck Jones) – 3, 1955
What’s Opera, Doc? (Chuck Jones) – 3, 1957
Hare-way to the Stars (Chuck Jones) – 17, 1958
Robin Hood Daffy (CHuck Jones) – 21, 1958

The Road to Fort Alamo (Mario Bava) – 25, 1964
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Sergio Leone) – 1, 1966
The Shooting (Monte Hellman) – 6, 1966
Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman) – 7, 1966
Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci) – 16, 1966

Festival (Murray Lerner) – 20, 1967
The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci) – 7, 1968
The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May) – 5, 1972
The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood) – 15, 1975
The Bad News Bears (Michael Ritchie) – 6, 1976
Hard Rain (Jacques Levy) – 16, 1976

China 9, Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman) – 11, 1978
Every Which Way but Loose (James Fargo) – 26, 1978
The Butterfly Murders (Tsui Hark) – 19, 1979
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (Tsui Hark) – 5, 1983
Wheels on Meals (Sammo Hung) – 2, 1984
The Muppets Take Manhattan (Frank Oz) – 48, 1984

Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark) – 3, 1986
Willow (Ron Howard) – 38, 1988
Paper Marriage (Alfred Cheung) – 48, 1988
Green Snake (Tsui Hark) – 2, 1993
Dylan at Woodstock ’94 (Bruce Gowers) – 49, 1994

The Blade (Tsui Hark) – 7, 1995
Scream (Wes Craven) – 18, 1996
Independence Day (Roland Emmerich) – 56, 1996
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie) – 45, 1997
Scream 2 (Wes Craven) – 55, 1997

Chicken Run (Nick Park & Peter Lord) – 30, 2000
Running Out of Time 2 (Johnnie To & Law Wing-cheong) – 14, 2001
Fat Choi Spirit (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 6, 2002
Feel Like Going Home (Martin Scorsese) – 27, 2003

Throw Down (Johnnie To) – 2, 2004
Breaking News (Johnnie To) – 14, 2004
Yesterday Once More (Johnnie To) – 17, 2004
War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg) – 7, 2005
No Direction Home (Martin Scorsese) – 12, 2005
Akeelah and the Bee (Doug Atchison) – 30, 2006

1966-1978: After the Crash (Chrome Dreams) – 34, 2006
The Other Side of the Mirror (Murray Lerner) – 33, 2007
Sparrow (Johnnie To) – 4, 2008
Jerichow (Christian Petzold) – 13, 2008
1978-1989: Both Ends of the Rainbow (Chrome Dreams) – 46, 2008
Coraline (Henry Selick) – 45, 2009
1990-2006: The Never-Ending Narrative (Chrome Dreams) – 58, 2011

Into the Woods (Rob Marshall) – 45, 2014
Roads Rapidly Changing (Tom O’Dell) – 63, 2015
The American Epic (Bernard MacMahon) – 61, 2017
Trouble No More (Jennifer Lebeau) – 65, 2017

Wife of a Spy (Kurosawa Kiyoshi) – 4, 2020
Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (Satozaki Haruo) – 25, 2020
Mank (David Fincher) – 44, 2020
Shadow Kingdom (Alma Har’el) – 1, 2021
Black Widow (Cate Shortland) – 8, 2021