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David Lynch Put His Disease in Me or: Muriel Awards, Best Feature Film 1986

Nevermind the Oscars. The Muriel Awards are currently being unveiled daily until March 4.

The 25th Anniversary Muriel Award for Best Feature Film of 1986 goes to:

  1. Blue Velvet [243 points, 33 votes]
  2. The Fly [121 points, 20 votes]
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters [112/18]

Full results of voting here.

With such an overwhelming mandate, they could’ve probably asked any halfwit to write up a post about the winner. So, that’s what they did. Among my ramblings, you’ll notice the only detail I left out was what shoes I was wearing as I wrote it. (Trick question: I was barefoot, and I have a pegleg.)

My ballot:

1. Blue Velvet
2. Down by Law
3. Something Wild
4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
5. The Fly


Big Trouble in Little China, Caravaggio, The Decline of the American Empire, Matador, Mona Lisa, She’s Gotta Have It, True Stories


Muriels: If I ran the Muriels

This year’s Muriels have been put to bed, so you no longer have to worry about any 2009 film awards, unless you’re dying to see what designer Sandra Bullock will be wearing to the Oscars.

So, now I can finally speak my mind without fear of oppression by those blowhards/proprietors of the Muriel Awards, Steve Carlson and Paul Clark. I’ll finally reveal my full 2009 ballot, and detail the awards as they SHOULD HAVE RIGHTFULLY GONE if only everyone thought just like me.

Best Film: Sita Sings the Blues.

Synopsis as posted during the Muriel Awards.

Watch the entire movie online for free thanks to Creative Commons licensing at

Best Actor: Sam Rockwell, Moon.

Rockwell plays an Everyman (somewhat literally) with a lonely job stuck out on the moon. Rockwell appeared in darn near every scene, and is ultimately watchable and believable as our narrator throughout this throwback sci-fi film.

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, Julia.

Swinton as a blackout drunk and a calculating kidnapper = OWNAGE. If I didn’t give her this award, she’d probably drive me over with a tank and snatch it.

More after the jump…

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Muriels: Countdown to Best Picture

Image courtesy of Craig Kennedy of Living in Cinema.

Today is the day that the Muriel Awards for Best Picture of 2009 gets announced. And it’s being celebrated with a countdown – Casey Kasem style – of every picture that received a #1 vote from the panel, including yours truly.

Updates every half-hour today  until Best Film of 2009 is revealed at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

On a personal note (which is odd for a blog, don’t you think?), I was more than honored to participate in this annual cine-geek-a-thon this year. Three cheers for Muriel! Long may you graze!

Muriels: Best Female Performance of the Decade

As pulled from the flick: This is the girl.

Read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

Muriels: Best Male Performance of the Decade


Read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

Muriels: Best film of the decade

Image courtesy Craig Kennedy of Living in Cinema.

Our mascot, Muriel, is one picky filmgoer, and proves it again with the award for best film of the 2000s.

No, it’s not the Tarantino. It’s the mind-bending Lynch.

It’s always fun to look back at the year (and now the decade), and I am proud to participate with the awarding of the Muriels again this year.

Even though I’ve never met any of my fellow voters in person, I’m saddened about the loss of one of co-founder Paul Clark’s other guinea pigs. RIP Charlotte.

As always, read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

Muriels – Regrets

Image courtesy of Craig Kennedy

Of course, I didn’t get to see everything that came out in 2009. And naturally I’ve got a litany of the usual excuses: Too busy. Too poor. Film too difficult to find. And then there are some others that require special regrets, specific to the films themselves.

Overall regrets:

Everlasting Moments (Jan Troell, 2008)

Metacritic 80, Rotten Tomatoes 89%.

IMDB synopsis: “In a time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, a young working class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery. The decision to keep it alters her whole life.”

Verdict: Too photographic. Too Swedish.

Forbidden Lie$ (Anna Broinowski, 2007)

MC 85, RT 90%.

“A dramatized documentary investigating accusations that ‘Forbidden Love’ author Norma Khouri made up her biographical tale of a Muslim friend who was killed for dating a Christian.”

Verdict: Too scandalous. Potentially too literary.

Passing Strange (Spike Lee, 2009)

MC 85, RT 100%

“A young black artist leaves his Los Angeles digs and travels to Europe to find himself. A theatrical stage production of the original Broadway musical.”

Verdict: Too theatrical/stagy. Too inspirational, and not in a Precious way.

Séraphine (Martin Provost, 2008)

MC 84, RT 89%

“Based on the life of French painter Séraphine de Senlis.”

Verdict: Oh yeah, ’cause I know who THAT is.

Still Walking (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2008)

MC 89, RT 100%

Still Walking is a family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents, which unfolds over one summer day. The aging parents have lived in the family home for decades. Their son and daughter return for a rare family reunion, bringing their own families with them. They have gathered to commemorate the tragic death of the eldest son, who drowned in an accident fifteen years ago. Although the roomy house is as comforting and unchanging as the mother’s homemade feast, everyone in the family has subtly changed.”

Verdict: Jeez, why don’t you tell me the whole movie? Plus it sounds awfully sad.

Tôkyô sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008)

MC 80, RT 92%

“An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.”

Verdict: Too reflective of the current economic climate.

Tulpan (Sergei Dvortsevoy, 2008)

MC 88, 97% RT

“On the steppes of Kazakhstan, Asa lives in a yurt with his sister Samal, her husband Ondas, and their three children. Ondas is a herdsman, tough and strong. It’s dry, dusty, and windy; too many lambs are stillborn. Against this backdrop, Asa, a dreamer who’s slight of build and recently finished with a stint in the Russian Navy, tries to establish a life on the steppes. He, his friend Boni, and Ondas call on Tulpan, the only single girl in the area. The men talk to her parents while she listens out of sight. Her answer and Asa’s later trips to talk to her form an arc of hope against the harsh land. Is this the place of Asa’s dreams? What about the other lambs?”

Verdict: Stories about mutton just make me hungry. Too delicious.

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Coming soon: the only annual film awards that matter

Can’t wait for the whirlwind to begin, category by category. Final results to be posted on

In the meantime, I’ve got some housework to do on this sorely abandoned site. May hafta consider slapping on a fresh coat of paint, or upgrading to a new address soon. At the very least, I need to clean the house for company.

Thus endeth the house analogies. Stay tuned.

Forget Punxsutawney Phil, it’s nearly Muriel time


(Incredible image above courtesy Craig Kennedy.)




(2007, Brad Bird)

I’m waaaay behind on reviewing, as well as viewing movies. Chalk it up to Life In General not allowing it to happen.

The good news? I’m finally catching up with some of the 2007 releases on my new 46″ Samsung LCD TV. Which is wonderful even if I now can’t afford to eat for several weeks after its purchase. Since NCAA tournament time and baseball season are revving up just in time, I guess I’ll survive that way.

So, the Rat Movie won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. OK. But it was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Hold on there, bucko.

This movie was so visually arresting that I think voters got blinded to some obvious problems with the script. Remy the rat, the main character of the film, is hidden from view and/or silent for large sections of the movie, and the thread about a filthy rat aspiring to be a great chef gets lost among all the chaos of the subplots. It’s a complex story that I think gets rather muddled, and comes off rather tame.

However, the film looked great as Brad Bird movies tend to. And, the Muriel Awards voters got it right, it contains one of the best cinematic moments of the year.