This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update we passed the midpoint of the year and so I listed the Best Movies of 2019 (So Far), including my favorite discoveries of 2019. I also made a list of the Top 113 Chinese Language Movies of the 2010s.

At the Mubi Notebook I wrote about The Metrograph’s Shaw Sisters series, Jeffrey Lau and Stephen Chow’s A Chinese Odyssey, Herman Yau’s The White Storm 2: Drug Lords, Zhang Yimou’s Shadow, and New King of Comedy & Hidden Man, by Stephen Chow and Jiang Wen, respectively. I also wrote about the New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts.

At InReview Online I contributed a review of Suzhou River to their look at Lou Ye, and at Frame.land I revised my old timeline of Shaolin related movies into The Shaolin Cinematic Universe. At Seattle Screen Scene, I reviewed Once Upon a Time in HollywoodChasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch, Savageand Suburban Birds. And as part of our coverage of the Seattle International Film Festival, I wrote about Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Storm in My Heart, and Lynch: A History. We also discussed a number of other SIFF movies on an episode of The Frances Farmer Show.

At The Chinese Cinema, I wrote about a few films from the Austin Asian American Film Festival (Girls Always Happy, Chinese Portrait, House of Hummingbird and The Third Wife). And I also finally finished re-editing and reformatting all my old writings on Chinese film. The Index is now up to date, and I can get to work filling in all the massive blind spots I still have, after years and years and hundreds of movies watched.

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 months, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

City Lights (Charles Chaplin) – 1, 1931
Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy) – 5, 1933
To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch) – 8, 1942
Between the Lines (Joan Micklin Silver) – 10, 1977
All that Jazz (Bob Fosse) – 1, 1979
The Secret (Ann Hui) – 14, 1979

The Spooky Bunch (Ann Hui) – 25, 1980
The Story of Woo Viet (Ann Hui) – 9, 1981
Buddha’s Palm (Taylor Wong) – 22, 1982
Love in a Fallen City (Ann Hui) – 16, 1984
The Siamese Twins (Angela Mak) – 38, 1984

My Name Ain’t Suzie (Angie Chen) – 12, 1985
The Illegal Immigrant (Mabel Cheung) – 23, 1985
Legend of the Stardust Brothers (Makoto Tezuka) – 28, 1985
Puppy Love (So Jing-man) – 42, 1985
Howard the Duck (Willard Huyck) – 49, 1986
An Autumn’s Tale (Mabel Cheung) – 18, 1987
The Romance of Book and Sword/Princess Fragrance (Ann Hui) – 20, 1987

My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki) – 1, 1988
Starry is the Night (Ann Hui) – 27, 1988
The Twin Bracelets (Huang Yu-shan) – 28, 1991
Don’t Fool Me (Herman Yau) – 61, 1991
Iron Monkey (Yuen Woo-ping) – 5, 1993
Taxi Hunter (Herman Yau) – 22, 1993
The Untold Story (Herman Yau) – 30, 1993
The Eagle-Shooting Heroes (Jeffrey Lau) – 54, 1993

A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora’s Box/Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau) – 13, 1995
Bullet Ballet (Shinya Tsukamoto) – 20, 1998
Troublesome Night 3 (Herman Yau) – 23, 1998
The Untold Story III (Herman Yau) – 22, 1999
Suzhou River (Lou Ye) – 13, 2000

From the Queen to the Chief Executive (Herman Yau) – 14, 2001
Spider-Man (Sam Raimi) – 33, 2002
Face to Face (Casey Chan) – 40, 2002
The Mindscape of Alan Moore (Dez Vylenz) – 34, 2003
Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi) – 31, 2004
Mean Girls (Mark Waters) – 34, 2004

Spider-Man 3 (Sam Raimi) – 24, 2007
Speed Racer (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 2, 2008
Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (Andrew Beall & Frank Molieri) – 14, 2011
K-On! the Movie (Naoko Yamada) – 18, 2011
The White Storm (Benny Chan) – 71, 2013
See You Tomorrow (Zhang Jiajia) – 90, 2016

Liz and the Blue Bird (Naoko Yamada) – 4, 2018
The Crossing (Bai Xue) – 26, 2018
Classical Period (Ted Fendt) – 32, 2018
Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng) – 40, 2018
Chinese Portrait (Wang Xiaoshuai) – 43, 2018
The Kamagasaki Cauldron War (Leo Sato) – 46, 2018
A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper) – 49, 2018

Shadow (Zhang Yimou) – 64, 2018
And Your Bird Can Sing (Sho Miyake) – 77, 2018
Killing (Shinya Tsukamoto) – 82, 2018
The Third Wife (Ash Mayfair) – 85, 2018
House of Hummingbird (Kim Bora) – 86, 2018
Storm in My Heart (Mark Cousins) – 92, 2018

Song Lang (Leon Le) – 100, 2018
Jam (Sabu) – 114, 2018
Savage (Cui Siwei) – 124, 2018
Hard-Core (Nobuhiro Yamashita) – 130, 2018
Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground (Chuck Smith) – 135, 2018
Invest in Failure (Notes on Film 06-C, Monologue 03) (Norbert Pfaffenbichler) – 155, 2018

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino) -1,  2019
A Home with a View (Herman Yau) – 2, 2019
Lynch: A History (David Shields) – 3, 2019
The Dead Don’t Die (Jim Jarmusch) – 4, 2019
Rolling Thunder Revue (Martin Scorsese) – 5, 2019

Deadwood: The Movie (Daniel Minahan) – 6, 2019
Jeux de plage (Aimi Natsuto) – 8, 2019
The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (Herman Yau) – 11, 2019
White Snake (Amp Wong & Zhao Ji) – 15, 2019
Booksmart (Olivia Wilde) – 16, 2019

Demolition Girl (Genta Matsugami) – 17,2019
Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley) – 19, 2019
John Wick 3: Parabellum (Chad Stahelski) – 20, 2019
Spider-Man: Far from Home (Jon Watts) – 21, 2019
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Stanley Nelson, Jr) – 23, 2019

Blue Hour (Yuko Hakota) – 25, 2019
Always By My Maybe (Nahnatchka Khan) – 26, 2019
Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (Wong Jing & Jason Kwan) – 28, 2019
The Journalist (Michihito Fujii) – 2019
Dark Phoenix (Simon Kinberg) – 2019

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This Week in Rankings

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A lot of end of the year stuff since the last update: the nominees for the 2018 Endy Awards, the Best Books I Read in 2018, my favorite Film Discoveries of the Year, and the Seattle Film Critics Society Awards. I contributed to Frame.land’s Favorite Cinematic Moments of 2018 and Underseen and Unloved Films of 2018 (on Ash is Purest White and Liz and the Blue Bird, respectively), InReview’s Top 20 Films of 2018 (on Blackkklansman) and the Mubi Notebook’s annual Fantasy Double Features collection.

Also at the Notebook I had a column on the Best Chinese Films of the year and a retrospective on the work of the late Ringo Lam. Only one review over at Seattle Screen Scene, on Mojin: The Worm Valley, where we also have a round-up of our Favorite Things of 2018.

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.

Something Good–Negro Kiss (William Selig) – 1, 1898
Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi) – 4, 1937
Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu) – 3, 1948
A Charlie Brown Christmas (Bill Melendez) – 4, 1965
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Chuck Jones) – 13, 1966
Three Sad Tigers (Raúl Ruiz) – 15, 1968

Chan is Missing (Wayne Wang) – 3, 1982
Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige) – 13, 1984
The Horse Thief (Tain Zhuangzhuang) – 17, 1986
City on Fire (Ringo Lam) – 2, 1987
Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou) – 5, 1987

School on Fire (Ringo Lam) – 2, 1988
Full Contact (Ringo Lam) – 11, 1992
Farewell, My Concubine (Chen Kaige) – 62, 1993
Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (David Mamet) – 29, 1996
Maximum Risk (Ringo Lam) – 53, 1996

Full Alert (Ringo Lam) – 17, 1997
X-Men (Bryan Singer) – 37, 2000
Replicant (Ringo Lam) – 39, 2001
Springtime in a Small Town (Tian Zhuangzhuang) – 21, 2002
Looking for Mr. Perfect (Ringo Lam) – 15, 2003
X2 (Bryan Singer) – 33, 2003

In Hell (Ringo Lam) – 44, 2003
Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright) – 18, 2004
X-Men: The Last Stand (Brett Ratner) – 68, 2006
Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright) – 32, 2007
X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn) – 65, 2011

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema (Chinlin Hsieh) – 48, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer) – 76, 2014
X-Men: Apocalypse (Bryan Singer) – 121, 2016
Deadpool (Tim Miller) – 137, 2016
Paddington 2 (Paul King) – 99, 2017

Blackkklansman (Spike Lee) – 4, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) – 6, 2018
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr. & Rodney Rothman) – 16, 2018
Blue (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) – 21, 2018
Us and Them (René Liu) – 41, 2018

Venom (Ruben Fleischer) – 47, 2018
Aquaman (James Wan) – 48, 2018
Animal World (Han Yan) – 54, 2018
Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher) – 58, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo) – 61, 2018
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler) – 69, 2018

The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard) – 72, 2018
A Quiet Place (John Krasinski) – 76, 2018
Deadpool 2 (David Leitch) – 78, 2018
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel) – 79, 2018
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) – 81, 2018

A Cool Fish (Rao Xiaozhi) – 85, 2018
Blockers (Kay Cannon) – 91, 2018
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) – 93, 2018
The Leakers (Herman Yau) – 98, 2018
Springsteen on Broadway (Thom Zimney) – 110, 2018

Mojin: The Worm Valley (Fei Xing) – 112, 2018
Destroyer (Karyn Kusama) – 113, 2018
Fat Buddies (Bao Beier) – 126, 2018
Green Book (Peter Farrelly) – 128, 2018
Vox Lux (Brady Corbett) – 134, 2018
Vice (Adam McKay) – 137, 2018

This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update I wrote about Lau Kar-leung on the occasion of his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, and also about the Japan Cuts festival at the Japan Society in New York. Also at Mubi my July column was on Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee: Four Heavenly Kings, at Seattle Screen Scene I wrote about Huang Bo’s The Island, and at Frame.land I contributed a brief review of Fruit Chan’s The Longest Summer. At InReview Online, I have brief reviews as part of their coverage of Japan Cuts and the NYAFF, on Ramen Shop and Men on the Dragon, respectively. Here at The End, I posted my annual look at The Year in Film (So Far).

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen Scene, The 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 Elusive Pimpernel (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) – 31, 1950
Wanda (Barbara Loden) – 1, 1970
Challenge of the Masters (Lau Kar-leung) – 16, 1976
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau Kar-leung) – 2, 1978
Dirty Ho (Lau Kar-leung) – 5, 1979
Mad Monkey Kung Fu (Lau Kar-leung) – 24, 1979

Nine to Five (Colin Higgins) – 11, 1980
Return to the 36th Chamber (Lau Kar-leung) – 28, 1980
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg) – 1, 1981
My Young Auntie (Lau Kar-leung) – 12, 1981
Martial Club (Lau Kar-leung) – 15, 1981
Masked Avengers (Chang Cheh) – 29, 1981

Legendary Weapons of China (Lau Kar-leung) – 25, 1982
The Eight-Diagram Pole Fighter (Lau Kar-leung) – 6, 1984
Abnormal Family: Older Brother’s Bride (Masayuki Suo) – 52, 1984
Clue (Jonathan Lynn) – 15, 1985

Bound for the Mountains, the Fields, and the Seacoast (Nobuhiko Obayashi) – 4, 1986
Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter) – 10, 1986
Martial Arts of Shaolin (Lau Kar-leung) – 34, 1986
Die Hard (John McTiernan) – 6, 1988
The Longest Summer (Fruit Chan) – 8, 1998

Mind Game (Masaaki Yuasa) – 17, 2004
Constantine (Francis Lawrence) – 25, 2005
The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel) – 35, 2006
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (Tsui Hark) – 31, 2010

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (Brett Whitcomb) – 78, 2012
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (Tsui Hark) – 23, 2013
Man of Steel (Zack Snyder) – 35, 2013
Batman v Super: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder) – 88, 2016

Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Masaaki Yuasa) – 12, 2017
Hanagatami (Nobuhiko Obayashi) – 13, 2017
Tremble All You Want (Akiko Ohku) – 18, 2017
Amiko (Yoko Yamanaka) – 89, 2017
Justice League (Zack Snyder) – 102, 2017

Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski) – 2, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley) – 3, 2018
Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (Tsui Hark) – 5, 2018
Tourism (Daisuke Miyazaki) – 7, 2018
The Island (Huang Bo) – 13, 2018

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (Peter Rida Michail & Aaron Horvath) – 15, 2018
Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle) – 16, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed) – 20, 2018
Ramen Shop (Eric Khoo) – 25, 2018
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie) – 30, 2018
Men on the Dragon (Sunny Chan) – 36, 2018

This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update quite a few film festivals have come and gone. Over at Mubi I wrote about retrospectives on Sylvia Chang and Chang Cheh, as well as the New York Asian Film Festival and the Chinese film program at the Seattle International Film Festival. We also covered SIFF at Seattle Screen Scene, where I had brief reviews of Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, Matangi/Maya/MIA, People’s Republic of Desire, Girls Always Happy and The Widowed Witch, along with longer reviews of Dead Pigs and The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful and non-SIFF titles Solo, ManhuntHow Long Will I Love U, Ocean’s 8 and Lu Over the Wall. We also recorded an episode of The Frances Farmer Show, devoted to this year’s SIFF. At The Chinese Cinema I posted a bibliography of the various sources I’ve used over the years.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen Scene, The 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.

Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (Bill Melendez) – 28, 1966
The Water Margin (Chang Cheh, Wu Ma & Pao Hsueh-li) – 18, 1972
Shaolin Temple (Chang Cheh) – 15, 1976
The Dream of the Red Chamber (Li Han-hsiang) – 9, 1977
The Brave Archer (Chang Cheh) – 20, 1977

Crippled Avengers (Chang Cheh) – 8, 1978
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg) – 3, 1982
House of Traps (Chang Cheh) – 36, 1982
That Day, On the Beach (Edward Yang) – 5, 1983
Passion (Sylvia Chang) – 21, 1986

Sisters of the World Unite (Sylvia Chang & Maisy Tsui) – 39, 1991
Mary from Beijing (Sylvia Chang) – 42, 1992
Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee) – 21, 1994
Kamikaze Taxi (Masato Harada) – 10, 1995
Siao Yu (Sylvia Chang) – 33, 1995

Tonight Nobody Goes Home (Sylvia Chang) – 20, 1996
Tempting Heart (Sylvia Chang) – 8, 1999
Tears of the Black Tiger (Wisit Sasanatieng) – 10, 2000
20 30 40 (Sylvia Chang) – 9, 2004

Beast Stalker (Dante Lam ) – 38, 2008
Run Papa Run (Sylvia Chang) – 55, 2008
Tig (Kristina Goolsby & Ashley York) – 65, 2015
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 13, 2017
Let the Sunshine In (Claire Denis) – 17, 2017

Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu) – 21, 2017
Hit the Night (Jeong Gayoung) – 28, 2017
1987: When the Day Comes (Jang Joonhwan) – 33, 2017
Sekigahara (Masato Harada) – 37, 2017
Wrath of Silence (Xin Yukun) – 42, 2017

Lu Over the Wall (Masaaki Yuasa) – 57, 2017
Microhabitat (Jeon Gowoon) – 64, 2017
The Third Murder (Kore-eda Hirokazu) – 67, 2017
The Looming Storm (Dong Yue) – 87, 2017
The Brink (Jonathan Li) – 97, 2017

The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful (Yang Ya-che) – 120, 2017
Little Fiorest (Yim Soonrye) – 2, 2018
Dead Pigs (Cathy Yan) – 3, 2018
Matangi/Maya/MIA (Steven Loveridge) – 5, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo) – 8, 2018

La cartographe (Nathan Douglas) – 11, 2018
Girls Always Happy (Yang Mingming) – 12, 2018
The Widowed Witch (Cai Chengjie) – 14, 018
Solo (Ron Howard) – 16, 2018
People’s Republic of Desire (Hao Wu) – 18, 2018

Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg) – 19, 2018
Game Night (John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein) – 20, 2018
Freaks and Geeks: the Documentary (Brent Hodge) – 23, 2018
Ocean’s 8 (Gary Ross) – 24, 2018
House of the Rising Sons (Antony Chan) – 25, 2018

This Week in Rankings

Since the last update I made several end of the year lists for 2016: of The Best Older Films I Saw, The Best Books I Read, and The Best Films of the Year (via conventional chronology), along with a collection of pictures I took of passages from books I read throughout the year. I also announced the nominees for this year’s Endy Awards and wrote about the first two of Tsui Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China movies. Over at Seattle Screen Scene I wrote about Paul WS Anderson’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, the Jackie Chan vehicle Railroad Tigers, Cheng Er’s The Wasted Times, and Derek Yee’s The Sword Master.

Also at SSS, we had the results of our annual year-end poll of local critics, programmers and directors, along with a fourpart roundtable discussion of the year in film among regular SSS contributors. I wrote about Oliver Stone’s JFK for Movie Mezzanine, contributed some Double Features to Mubi’s year-end collection, wrote about Toni Erdmann and Zhao Tao for InReview Online, voted in Movie Mezzanine’s end of the year poll and wrote about the Best Chinese Films of the Year and my Film Discoveries of 2016 for them. I also recapped the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival for Offscreen.

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

Dangerous Encounters – First Kind (Tsui Hark) – 5, 1980
When Harry Met Sally… (Rob Reiner) – 8, 1989
Once Upon a Time in China (Tsui Hark) – 5, 1991
JFK (Oliver Stone) – 12, 1991
Once Upon a Time in China II (Tsui Hark) – 10, 1992

Once Upon a Time in China III (Tsui Hark) – 50, 1993
Whisper of the Heart (Yoshifumi Kondō) – 3, 1995
Resident Evil (Paul WS Anderson) – 18, 2002
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Alexander Witt) – 34, 2004
Resident Evil: Extinction (Russell Mulcahy) – 14, 2007

Missing (Tsui Hark) – 28, 2008
All About Women (Tsui Hark) – 32, 2008
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Paul WS Anderson) – 11, 2010
Wishful Drinking – 51, 2010
Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul WS Anderson) – 13, 2012

Pompeii (Paul WS Anderson) – 27, 2014
The LEGO Movie (Chris Miller & Phil Lord) – 63, 2014
The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer) – 59, 2015
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino) – 108, 2015
Silence (Martin Scorsese) – 5, 2016

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins) – 9, 2016
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson) – 14, 2016
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Karan Johar) – 19, 2016
The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig) – 25, 2016
Tower (Keith Maitland) – 30, 2016

The Wasted Times (Cheng Er) – 31, 2016
Rogue One (Gareth Edwards) – 32, 2016
Train to Busan (Yeon Sangho) – 36, 2016
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan) – 38, 2016
Let Your Heart Be Light (Sophy Romvari) – 39, 2016
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) – 45, 2016

Garfunkel & Oates: Trying to be Special (Riki Lindhome & Jeremy Konner) – 65, 2016
The Wailing (Na Hongjin) – 67, 2016
🌲🌲🌲 (Various) – 76, 2016
13th (Ava DuVernay) – 82, 2016
Railroad Tigers (Ding Sheng) – 85, 2016

Sword Master (Derek Yee) – 88, 2016
Allied (Robert Zemeckis) – 89, 2016
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie) – 92, 2016
Sing (Garth Jennings) – 95, 2016
Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin) – 108, 2016