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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Since the last Rankings update, I watched all of Jia Zhangke’s movies in order, and then all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in order, and then watched some more Jia Zhangke movies. I watched a bunch of other stuff too. I wrote about Jia at Mubi, and again about his use of music in his films at the VIFF blog, in the lead up to a lecture on his films I did in Vancouver. I also appeared on the Film Stage podcast to talk about Jia’s Ash is Purest White.

Also at Mubi I wrote about this year’s crop of Lunar New Year films, the rerelease of King Hu’s The Fate of Lee Khan, and Yuen Woo-ping’s Master Z. At InReview Online I wrote about the documentary Father, and at Seattle Screen Scene I reviewed: Ramen ShopWar and PeaceTriple Threat, What is Democracy?FurieCaptain Marvel, Legend of the Demon CatMissbehavior, and Hotel by the River.

Awards season passed by as well. I handed out the 2018 Endy Awards and revised a bunch of older awards and added new ones for the years 1979-1987.

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.

War and Peace (Sergey Bondarchuk) – 9, 1966
The Fate of Lee Khan (King Hu) – 5, 1973
Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet) – 35, 1974
Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple) – 1, 1976
Excalibur (John Boorman) – 4, 1981

The Thing (John Carpenter) – 6, 1982
Breakin’ (Joel Silberg) – 47, 1984
Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman) – 4, 1985
Platoon (Oliver Stone) – 11, 1986
Pretty in Pink (Howard Deutch) – 28, 1986

Tragic Hero (Taylor Wong) – 54, 1987
Heathers (Michael Lehmann) – 13, 1988
Ju Dou (Zhang Yimou & Yang Fenliang) – 31, 1990
Fight Back to School (Gordon Chan) – 23, 1991
Fist of Fury 1991 (Cho Chung-sing) – 59, 1991

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola) – 7, 1992
From Beijing with Love (Stephen Chow & lee Lik-chi) – 19, 1994
Love on Delivery (Stephen Chow & Lee Lik-chi) – 39, 1994
Xiao Shan Going Home (Jia Zhangke) – 48, 1995
Scream (Wes Craven) – 18, 1996

The God of Cookery (Stephen Chow & Lee Lik-chi) – 20, 1996
Xiao Wu (Jia Zhangke) – 4, 1997
The King of Comedy (Stephen Chow & Lee Lik-chi) – 9, 1999
Office Space (Mike Judge) – 11, 1999
Platform (Jia Zhangke) – 2, 2000

In Public (Jia Zhangke) – 41, 2001
The Condition of Dogs (Jia Zhangke) – 58, 2001
Unknown Pleasures (Jia Zhangke) – 5, 2002
The World (Jia Zhangke) – 7, 2004
War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg) – 11, 2005

Still Life (Jia Zhangke) – 5, 2006
Dong (Jia Zhangke) – 29, 2006
Useless (Jia Zhangke) – 23, 2007
24 City (Jia Zhangke) – 7, 2008
Cry My a River (Jia Zhangke) – 16, 2008

Iron Man (Jon Favreau) – 39, 2008
Ip Man (Wilson Yip) – 49, 2008
The Incredible Hulk (Louis Letterier) – 56, 2008
The Clone Wars (Dave Filoni) – 59, 2008
Let the Bullets Fly (Jiang Wen) – 4, 2010

The Legend is Born: Ip Man (Herman Yau) – 21, 2010
I Wish I Knew (Jia Zhangke) – 22, 2010
Ip Man 2 (Wilson Yip) – 53, 2010
Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau) – 67, 2010
Thor (Kenneth Branagh) – 39, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (Joe Johnston) – 45, 2011
The Avengers (Joss Whedon) – 53, 2012
The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai) – 1, 2013
A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke) – 2, 2013
Ip Man: The Final Fight (Herman Yau) – 21, 2013

Iron Man 3 (Shane Black) – 43, 2013
Thor: The Dark World (Alan Taylor) – 73, 2013
Gone with the Bullets (Jiang Wen) – 18, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn) – 55, 2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe & Anthony Russo) – 63, 2014

Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang (Walter Salles) – 84, 2014
Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke) – 4, 2015
Jupiter Ascending (Lilly & Lana Wachowski) – 22, 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon) – 75, 2015
Ant-Man (Peyton Reed) – 92, 2015

Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip) – 110, 2015
The Hedonists (Jia Zhangke) – 12, 2016
Mrs. K (Ho Yuhang) – 65, 2016
Captain America: Civil War (Joe & Anthony Russo) – 72, 2016
Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson) – 111, 2016

Thor: Ragnorak (Taika Waititi) – 40, 2017
Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts) – 49, 2017
Legend of the Demon Cat (Chen Kaige) – 54, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 (James Gunn) – 57, 2017
Father (Yang Li-chou) – 100, 2017

Ash is Purest White (Jia Zhangke) – 1, 2018
Blackkklansman (Spike Lee) – 4, 2018
Hidden Man (Jiang Wen) – 38, 2018
Hotel by the River (Hong Sangsoo) – 39, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (Joe & Anthony Russo) – 44, 2018
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler) – 48, 2018

An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo) – 58, 2018
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Yuen Woo-ping) – 72, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed) – 76, 2018
What is Democracy? (Astra Taylor) – 90, 2018
Projet Gutenberg (Felix Chong) – 117, 2018
Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke) – 120, 2018

The New King of Comedy (Stephen Chow) – 1, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (Joe & Anthony Russo) – 2, 2019
Us (Jordan Peele) – 3, 2019
Missbehavior (Pang Ho-cheung) – 4, 2019
Furie (Lê Văn Kiệt) – 5, 2019

Pegasus (Han Han) – 6, 2019
Triple Threat (Jesse V. Johnson) – 7, 2019
Captain Marvel (Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden) – 8, 2019
The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo) – 9, 2019
Integrity (Alan Mak) – 10, 2019
Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year (Zhang Dapeng) – 11, 2019

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 rankings update, I’ve been to the Vancouver Film Festival, where I saw a whole lot of movies and wrote about a few of them: Mirai, Asako I & II, Diamantino, Spice It Up; and talked about a few more on The Frances Farmer Show. Also at Seattle Screen Scene I’ve written about Bisbee ’17, Golden Job, The Great Battle, In the Intense Now, Cieloand Big Brother. Here at The End I posted my annual Top 100 Films of All-Time list.

Over at The Chinese Cinema, I wrote about Hong Sangsoo’s short film List, and A City of Sadness and the Hou Hsiao-hsien series that played in Austin. At Mubi I wrote about the Shaw Brothers Horror series playing at the Metrograph. At InReview Online I’m contributing to their retrospective on the career of Hong Sangsoo, with my look at On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate up already and a couple more (on Our Sunhi and Claire’s Camera) going up in the next few days.

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.

Attack on a China Mission (James Williamson) – 1, 1900
Black Magic (Ho Meng-hua) – 24, 1975
Black Magic II (Ho Meng-hua) – 32, 1976
The Ghost Story (Li Han-hsiang) – 31, 1979
Bewitched (Kuei Chih-hung) – 25, 1981

Human Lanterns (Sun Chung) – 33, 1982
Centipede Horror (Keith Li) – 38, 1982
The Boxer’s Omen (Kuei Chih-hung) – 14, 1983
Seeding of a Ghost (Richard Yeung Kuen) – 29, 1983
A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien) – 3, 1989

Cabin Boy (Adam Resnick) – 17, 1994
The Matrix (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 3, 1999
The Matrix Reloaded (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 14, 2003
The Matrix Revolutions (Lana & Lilly Wachowski) – 30, 2003
List (Hong Sangsoo) – 8, 2011
Boundless (Ferris Lin) – 35, 2013
Maybe If It Were a Nice Room (Alicia Harris) – 149, 2016

Pumpkin Movie (Sophy Romvari) – 29, 2017
One Cut of the Dead (Shinichirou Ueda) – 46, 2017
The Running Actress (Moon Sori) – 51, 2017
In the Intense Now (João Moreira Salles) – 59, 2017
Cielo (Alison McAlpine) – 87, 2017

Ash is Purest White (Jia Zhangke) – 1, 2018
Asako I & II (Ryusūke Hamaguchi) – 2, 2018
Blackkklansman (Spike Lee) – 5, 2018
Transit (Christian Petzold) – 6, 2018
Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski) – 7, 2018

The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack) – 8, 2018
Long Day’s Journey into Night (Bi Gan) – 9, 2018
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini) – 10, 2018
Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene) – 11, 2018
A Simple Favor (Paul Feig) – 13, 2018

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Julien Faraut) – 15, 2018
Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas) – 16, 2018
Mirai (Mamoru Hosada) – 20, 2018
La cartographe (Nathan Douglas) – 21, 2018
Hotel by the River (Hong Sangsoo) – 22, 2018

Veslemøy’s Song (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 23, 2018
No. 1 Chung Ying Street (Derek Chiu) – 24, 2018
Norman Norman (Sophy Romvari) – 25, 2018
Where (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 26, 2018
The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins) – 27, 2018

The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard) – 28, 2018
Spice It Up (Lev Lewis, Yonah Lewis & Calvin Thomas) – 29, 2018
Roy Thomson (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 30, 2018
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt) – 32, 2018
Mangoshake (Terry Chiu) – 33, 2018

Shoplifters (Koreeda Hirokazu) – 34, 2018
A Land Imagined (Siew Hua Yeo) – 35, 2018
The Wolf House (Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña) – 36, 2018
Turbine (Alex Boya) – 46, 2018
The Wild Pear Tree (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) – 47, 2018

Lush Reeds (Yang Yishu) – 49, 2018
Manta Ray (Phuttiphong Aroonpheng) – 50, 2018
Hole (G. Goletski) – 52, 2018
A Family Tour (Ying Liang) – 53, 2018
The Old Man & the Gun (David Lowery) – 55, 2018

The Great Battle (Kim Kwangsik) – 63, 2018
The Darling (Lee Seungyup) – 66, 2018
From Across the Street and Through Two Sets of Windows (Steven McCarthy) – 68, 2018
The Soft Space (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 70, 2018
Waiting for April (Olivier Godin) – 71, 2018

Shadow (Zhang Yimou) – 72, 2018
Set It Up (Claire Scanlon) – 73, 2018
Golden Job (Chin Ka-lok) – 77, 2018
Big Brother (Kam Ka-wai) – 78, 2018
7A (Zachary Russell) – 79, 2018
Seder-Masochism (Nina Paley) – 83, 2018
Paddock (Michel Kandinsky) – 84, 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

Since the last update I’ve been covering some film programs outside of the Seattle area, writing short reviews of a handful of films playing at the New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts for InReview Online. I also made an index which includes some old and new longer reviews here for the NYAFF. There was a very cool Johnnie To series in SanFrancisco I made an index of older reviews for, and I proposed some alternate titles for Seattle’s too short but welcome nonetheless Hong Kong miniseries. And I have an index ready for the Old School Kung Fu Film Fest coming to New York in a couple of weeks.

Mid-year also passed since the last update, and as is tradition I listed a bunch of my favorite films of the year so far. Over at Seattle Screen Scene I reviewed Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior 2, Louis Koo’s giant alien cat movie Meow, Ann Hui’s Our Time Will Come, DA Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop, Stevefat’s Weeds on Fire, and Wong Chun’s Mad World. Also over at Frame.land, I wrote about Samuel Fuller’s Merrill’s Marauders.

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

Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker) – 17, 1954
Le trou (Jacques Becker) – 7, 1960
Merrill’s Marauders (Samuel Fuller) – 11, 1962
The TAMI Show (Steve Binder) – 12, 1964
Hong Kong Nocturne (Inoue Umetsugu) – 24, 1967

Monterey Pop (DA Pennebaker) – 12, 1968
Let It Be (Michael Lindsay-Hogg) – 4, 1970
The Beguiled (Don Siegel) – 14, 1971
The Black Tavern (Teddy Yip) – 18, 1972
Lady Whirlwind (Huang Feng) – 26, 1972

When Taekwando Strikes (Huang Feng) – 31, 1973
The Skyhawk (Walter Chung Chang-Hwa) – 39, 1974
Jumping Ash (Josephine Siao & Leong Po-Chih) – 18, 1976
A Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker) – 5, 1977
Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog (Karl Maka) – 33, 1978

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (Allan Arkush) – 8, 1979
The Odd Couple (Lau Kar-wing) – 11, 1979
The Muppet Movie (James Frawley) – 14, 1979
The Young Master (Jackie Chan) – 9, 1980
The Victim (Sammo Hung) – 11, 1980

The Prodigal Son (Sammo Hung) – 8, 1981
Carry On Pickpocket (Sammo Hung) – 19, 1982
Jimi Plays Monterey (DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus) – 21, 1986
Millionaire’s Express (Sammo Hung) – 30, 1986
Broadcast News (James L. Brooks) – 1, 1987

Eastern Condors (Sammo Hung) – 10, 1987
Pedicab Driver (Sammo Hung) – 6, 1989
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon (Lau Kar-wing) – 60, 1990
Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise) – 46, 1991
Pandora’s Box (Adam Curtis) – 11, 1992
Moon Warriors (Sammo Hung) – 30, 1992

Blade of Fury (Sammo Hung) – 61, 1993
Don’t Give a Damn (Sammo Hung) – 57, 1995
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye) – 16, 1996
Mr. Nice Guy (Sammo Hung) – 41, 1997
Beast Cops (Gordon Chan & Dante Lam) – 12, 1998

Something’s Gotta Give (Nancy Meyers) – 19, 2003
Infernal Affairs II (Andrew Lau & Alan Mak) – 23, 2003
Cinema Hong Kong (Ian Taylor) – 31, 2003
The Wrecking Crew! (Danny Tedesco) – 65, 2008
Hear My Train A-Comin’ (Bob Smeaton) – 71, 2013

Wolf Warriors (Wu Jing) – 111, 2015
The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig) – 32, 2016
Wet Woman in the Wind (Akihiko Shiota) – 66, 2016
Over the Fence (Nobuhrio Yamashita) – 90, 2016
Mad World (Wong Chun) – 100, 2016

Blood of Youth (Yang Shu-peng) – 128, 2016
Someone to Talk To (Liu Yulin) – 138, 2016
Our Time Will Come (Ann Hui) – 4, 2017
Love and Goodbye and Hawaii (Shingo Matsumura) – 8, 2017
The Village of No Return (Chen Yu-hsun) – 10, 2017

Long Strange Trip (Amir Bar-Lev) – 21, 2017
Oh Hello: On Broadway (Michael John Warren & Alex Timbers) – 24, 2017
Duckweed (Han Han) – 25, 2017
Ingrid Goes West (Matt Spicer) – 26, 2017
The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (Yuya Ishii) – 27, 2017

Meow (Benny Chan) – 30, 2017
Hengyoro (Gō Takemine) – 31, 2017
The Incredible Jessica James (James Strouse) – 32, 2017
Wolf Warrior 2 (Wu Jing) – 35, 2017

The Gangster’s Daughter (Chen Mei-juin) – 37, 2017
Extraordinary Mission (Alan Mak & Anthony Pun) – 40, 2017
Descendants 2 (Kenny Ortega) – 43, 2017
Despicable Me 3 (Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda) – 44, 2017

A Top 50 Films of 2016, More or Less

As I did last year and the year before, I’m making a Best of the Year list following the conventional system for what counts as a 2016 film, mainly the nonsensical and ahistorical system that decrees that critics may only consider movies to have existed once they have played for a week in a commercial venue in New York City, or, in a new twist this year, on a television or streaming service in New York. This is the system that claims my favorite film of 2013 (La última película), which played for a week in Seattle in 2014, can only be considered a 2015 film because that is when it finally got a New York release, although it played Los Angeles for the first time in 2016. Not to mention the absurdity that my favorite film from 1991, Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday, qualifies for this list, along with a 30 year old Edward Yang movie and an Apichatpong Weerasethakul movie I saw in Vancouver in 2012. But alas, we all must bow to convention, however silly, every once in awhile.

My 2016 list of course will never be finalized, as there’s no such thing as a final list here at The End: there are always more new movies to discover and old movies to reevaluate. But in a couple of weeks I’ll have the nominations up for the 2016 Endy Awards, with the winners to be announced during the Academy Awards ceremony. This list is a snapshot of my favorites of 2016 as they stand now, on the last day of the year.

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1. Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata)

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2. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)

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3. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman)

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4. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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5. Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke)

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6. Elle (Paul Verhoeven)

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7. Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles & Kahlil Joseph)

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8. Things to Come Mia Hansen-Løve)

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9. SPL 2: A Time for Consequences (Soi Cheang)

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10. Cemetery of Splendor (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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11. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

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12. Sully (Clint Eastwood)

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13. Sunset Song (Terence Davies)

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14. The Love Witch (Anna Biller)

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15. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang)

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16. Three (Johnnie To)

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17. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)

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18. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo)

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19. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)

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20. The Mermaid (Stephen Chow)

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21. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Karan Johar)

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22. The Age of Shadows (Kim Ji-woon)

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23. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)

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24. The Thoughts that Once We Had (Thom Andersen)

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25. Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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26. Hail, Caesar! (The Coen Brothers)

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27. Crosscurrent (Yang Chao)

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28. The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)

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29. I Am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang)

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30. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra)

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31. Tower (Keith Maitland)

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32. Rogue One (Gareth Edwards)

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33. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)

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34. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)

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35. Train to Busan (Yeon Sangho)

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36. OJ: Made in America (Ezra Edelman)

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37. De Palma (Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow)

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38. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)

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39. Short Stay (Ted Fendt)

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40. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho)

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41. The Witch (Robert Eggers)

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42. My Beloved Bodyguard (Sammo Hung)

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43. A Train Arrives at the Station (Thom Andersen)

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44. The Wasted Times (Cheng Er)

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45. One Night Only (Matt Wu)

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46. Indefinite Pitch (James Kienitz Wilkins)

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47. SoulMate (Derek Tsang)

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48. Call of Heroes (Benny Chan)

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49. Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to Be Special (Riki Lindhome & Jeremy Konner)

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50. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)