I suppose that, thirty years from now, Peter O’Toole and I will still be appearing on talk shows, plugging for our first Oscar.

And the Oscar Should Have Gone to… The 1969 Contenders Ranked   “The greatest decade in the history of the human race and….” Obviously, that statement came from someone stoned mightily out of his gourd, but the shadow cast by the ’60s is nevertheless a very long one. And however much it was by design (Tavistock, CIA, NASA bringing up the rear, whomsoever) or happenstance, it came to a very pronounced, curtailed fizzle in its last year, not least thanks to some prolific, Hollywood-shaking murders. Whether these were legit either – meaning happened, as reported, or happened, owing to MKUltra

You must have been born under a particularly favourable conjunction of celestial circumstances.

Doctor Who Season 17 – Worst to Best   For a good spell, the seventeenth was surely the most reviled season of Doctor Who. Luckily, Seasons 23 and 24 would come along, in the process vilifying the same producer who’d received so many garlands in the wake of Season 18, purported to have mended all the aberrations inflicted by Graham Williams. You know, Graybags, who just didn’t respect the show sufficiently, didn’t take it seriously, couldn’t control Tom Baker and – worst of all – hadn’t a care for continuity. This was the first full season I recall watching, although

A bad workman always blames his fools.

Doctor Who  Season 24 – Worst to Best   The most unloved original season of Doctor Who, and so of any season of Who old or nu-, aside from anything Chibbers has pooped out on the side of the road, usually comes down to two contenders: Season 23 or Season 24. Now, I actually quite like Season 23, for all that it makes some, er, regrettable choices. I liked it at the time, and I like it now, more or less. Season 24, I did not like then, and more or less, I’m none too keen on it now. It’s a conflation of

Why, it’s just a hat, darling, belonging to a small-headed man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken.

James Bond 007 Ranked   So the Daniel Craig era is over. Some might suggest it took more than long enough to make a measly five movies. Connery managed it in less than a third of the time. Moore in just over half. And still Daniel looked glum and resolutely unsuave, indifferent to the unfeasible sums they kept paying him to keep on coming back and keep those massive man tits in tip-top condition. Who knows where the series goes from here, if the series goes from here (if anything goes from here). I dare say Eon would be more reluctant than most movie production companies

You are not brought upon this world to get it!

John Carpenter  Ranked   For anyone’s whose formative film viewing experience took place during the 1980s, certain directors held undeniable, persuasive genre (SF/fantasy/horror genre) cachet. James Cameron. Ridley Scott (when he was tackling genre). Joe Dante. David Cronenberg. John Carpenter. Thanks to Halloween, Carpenter’s name became synonymous with horror, but he made relatively few undiluted movies in that vein (the aforementioned, The Fog, Christine, Prince of Darkness – although, it has an SF/fantasy streak – In the Mouth of Madness, The Ward). Certainly, the pictures that cemented my appreciation for his work – Dark Star, The Thing – had only a foot or not at all in that mode. Carpenter flirted

I’m offering you a half-share in the universe.

Doctor Who Season 8 – Worst to Best   I’m not sure I’d watched Season 8 chronologically before. While I have no hesitation in placing it as the second-best Pertwee season, based on its stories, I’m not sure it pays the same dividends watched as a unit. Simply, there’s too much Master, even as Roger Delgado never gets boring to watch and the stories themselves offer sufficient variety. His presence, turning up like clockwork, is inevitably repetitive. There were no particular revelatory reassessments resulting from this visit, then, except that, taken together – and as The Directing Route extra on the Blu-ray

Oh, I love funny exiting lines.

Alfred Hitchcock  Ranked: 26-1   The master’s top tier ranked from worst to best. You can find 52-27 here.  The Lodger (1927) The first real sign of the director’s signature style, and by some distance, the best film of his silent period. The Lodger finds a – yes – innocent man under suspicion of being a murderer, a ripper-in-their-midst idea Hitch would still find appealing as much as 45 years later with Frenzy. Rather like Grant in Suspicion – well, in spite of the director’s intentions – the titular lodger couldn’t be the killer because he’s played by Ivor Novello. The first of his movies that could

I always think of my murderers as my heroes.

Alfred Hitchcock Ranked: 52-27   The all-time most renowned director? It’s probably a toss-up with the Beard, although really, the latter’s nothing but a small-fry pretender who went off the boil quite early on. Hitch’s zenith may vary according to your tastes – anywhere from the mid-1930s to about 1960 makes for an entirely reasonable pick – but he offers so much choice, there’s more than likely something for everyone in there. The following, since I’m relatively youthful and/or don’t have a top-secret archive of rare and lost features, does not include his second film, 1926’s The Mountain Eagle, but everything else finds

Another case of the screaming oopizootics.

Doctor Who Season 14 – Worst to Best   The best Doctor Who season? In terms of general recognition and unadulterated celebration, there’s certainly a strong case to be made for 14. The zenith of Robert Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe’s plans for the series finds it relinquishing the cosy rapport of the Doctor and Sarah in favour of the less-trodden terrain of a solo adventure and underlying conflict with new companion Leela. More especially, it sees the production team finally stretching themselves conceptually after thoroughly exploring their “gothic horror” template over the course of the previous two seasons (well, mostly the previous

Doctor, eh? You’re not in the best of shape yourself, though, are you?

Doctor Who  Season 26 – Worst to Best   I’m not a big Seventh Doctor fan. For me, Doctor Who pretty much ended with Season 23 (and not because it was awful: see here). Yes, there have been a few nu-Who reprieves (mostly notably Matt Smith’s first season), but the McCoy era flaunted an abundance of sins, from a lead who wasn’t up to snuff, to a script-editor messaging his social conscience wrapped in a breeze block (or bilge bag), to production values that made any given earlier era look absurdly lavish in comparison. And then there was the “masterplan” (which, by contrast, at least