Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1978

Well, I kind of suffered through a crisis situation with this blog, one that on led me to question whether or not to keep on going. In the end I decided to keep the blog, but I still never even touched it for a good three weeks. Good thing I had enough posts in queue to weather this storm, but now the crisis is over and I can move on. Although if you consider how much fun I had the past three weeks maybe I shouldn't have to stress about the blog.* Then again I had agreed to take up the responsibility of sharing these Oscar nominated films to the world, and I might as well make good on this responsibility!

*After all, since that little crisis I had a great lock-in with the people of the Longview Comic Book Club; I drove 20 hours from Texas to Northern Virginia in essentially one sitting, where I watched the Sun set and rise again nine hours later; I went to a Nationals game and watch the Nats topple Cole Hamels; I went to the National Sports Collectors Convention and got to meet Whitey Herzog, Phil Niekro, and Gaylord Perry; I went to Akron General where I had a great rotation in infections disease; I went to Pittsburgh and saw the grave of Pud Galvin and watched Jason Marquis throw a complete game shutout against the Pirates, my first since August 7, 2005

Friday, August 24, 2012

Spirited Away: A Personal Journey

So, this post is kind of unrelated to Oscar nominated animated shorts, but it is about an Oscar winning piece of animation, so it's got more in common than the one post that has the most views on this blog: the top 5 animated nuclear explosions.

Anyways, my favorite movie of all time turned 10 last year. It's a pretty significant milestone, and I celebrated it by watching the film (although I missed the actual anniversary by a couple of days.) I didn't do any writing about it, probably because I wanted to get back to playing Tales of Symphonia. However, now is the time that is a much more significant anniversary for me personally: the 10th anniversary of the first time I watched the film. Now that this anniversary has arrived, I think it's a good time to look back on my experiences with the movie.

So what movie am I talking about? Well, it's in the title, but just for the heck of it, it's 千と千尋の神隠し (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi), better known in the United States as Spirited Away.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1979 (NSFW)

We have arrived in the 1970s in our trip through the Best Animated Short Oscar. The 1970s, as you know, are a decade full of crisis and turmoil. Another source of crisis and turmoil for this blog is our ever-lengthening introductions. Originally I had trouble putting enough substance in my intros, but for the past four reviews I've noticed that my introductions are getting longer than my reviews. This probably came about from when I started adding baseball stories for that particular year. I love baseball and have the tendency to ramble when it comes to baseball. And I can go off on Oscars stuff as well. Frankly I love doing these things more than coming up with historical events for that year, but if you have any suggestions as to what I should to please leave it in the comments. I've only gotten one comment so far, and it wasn't even in any of the reviews.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1980

Our valiant journey through the best of the Academy Awards has taken us to 1980. It is a significant year not only because it was the first year of the 1980s, a decade that certainly left a strong mark on pop culture, but it is also an important year in my family history. After all, it was the year that saw the birth of The First Child in my generation.

I don't know how common it is to celebrate the first child born in a generation, and I don't even think it was that big of a deal in my family. However, it is still quite significant. I guess if you go back far enough there were many people that is considered my generation that were born before 1980. There are people from my generation that are the descendants from my great grandfather's eldest brother that are older than my parents. If you take just my parents' immediate family, then there are 15 people in my generation, a rather small amount considering I have 7 aunts and uncles on both sides of the family. Of the 15 I rank as the fourth oldest. The youngest was born in 1999. And there were two born in 1980. My cousin Andy was born in June, and my cousin Ada was born in January, exactly five years before I was born. Now she is an osteopathic physician who is taking some time off to take care of her three kids, and also keeping a blog featuring her husband (an anesthesiologist) sleeping.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1981

We have now begun the fourth decade through the annals of Best Animated Short. And so far I have reviewed all but one of the nominees. Since we are going backwards we have arrived at the year 1981, a year that I seem to remember being as pretty tumultuous, not that I was alive for any of it.

The year began on a rather high note, as 52 American hostages were freed after being held for well over a year in Iran. This happened just as Ronald Reagan was being sworn in as President in the US. However, only two months later Reagan is shot by an insane murderous psycho who was hopelessly in lust with Jodie Foster. Thankfully, emergency medical care was much improved since the James Garfield assassination 100 years earlier and Reagan survived. The Space Shuttle program launched in April when Columbia lifted off, but only after three workers died from asphyxiation during a test run. The first reports of a strange form of pneumonia immunocompromised homosexual men came out. The disease would later be classified as Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. 114 people were killed when a walkway collapsed in the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was assassinated in October. He wasn't as lucky as Reagen. And two months later 900 civilians were killed by the El Salvadore army during the Salvadorian Civil War. And MTV is unleashed upon unsuspecting viewers of cable television. On the brighter side of things, Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first female justice of the Supreme Court. And Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer for the largest royal wedding until 30 years later.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ranking the Oscar Nominated Shorts: 1982-1991

Well, we have gotten through the third decade of reviewing Oscar nominated shorts. And you know what that means, don't you? It means G-men! To be shot down like a...okay, I guess we're getting ahead of ourselves. Actually, it's time for yet another super special awesome post where I rank the nominated films in the ten year period we just finished, just like what I did for 1992-2001 and 2002-2011. Anyways, I just think it's fun, even if you'll probably disagree with almost all of the list.

So the era we just finished established a record for fewest nominations in a ten year period, one that may never be broken. After all, the rules state that the minimum number of nominees in a year is three. Even if less than three meet the scoring minimum, they just take the three films with the best average score and name them the nominees. So I don't believe it's possible that there would be a year with only two nominees, like Best Makeup did in 2002 or Best Original Song did this past year. (Embarrassing.) Every single year in this ten year period had exactly three nominees, so there were exactly 30 nominees to rank. And I'm able to rank them all, because this was the first ten-year period where I was able to watch all of the nominees. And how do they rank? Let's get started and find out.