Friday, January 30, 2009

The Hulu Top Twenty




Here are the 20 most popular movies on Hulu this week. With only 1 new notable movie hitting the charts, lots of old favorites stormed back onto the list.



1. Black Knight
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Martin Lawrence stars in this godawful stinker of a movie about a man who travels back through time to the days of King Arthur. Lame jokes, shameless mugging, and a general shredding of the comedic movie genre are the hallmarks of this effort, although calling it an effort may be too kind. I present its placement at the top of our list as proof positive that there is no God.

2. Swimfan (2002)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (2)
Notes:
Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen in bathing suits? That seems to be the pitch that sold this humdrum Fatal Attraction redux, in which Christensen stalks Bradford after becoming romantically obsessed with him. My then-girlfriend had a policy of seeing all Jesse Bradford releases, so I actually plunked down box office cash for this one.

3. Picture Perfect
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: This romantic comedy is a predictable trifle, but critics were pacified by the sweet match up of Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr. The plot involves Aniston inventing a fictional fiancee in an effort to get ahead at work. To hold the top slot after 4 weeks is completely unprecedented. People must love Jay Mohr or something.

4. Wrong Turn (2003)
Last Week's Ranking: 13
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: Eliza Dushku is about to become a hot commodity (if you believe that Joss Whedon can make a Friday night time slot work for Dushku's "Dollhouse," that is). But this by-the-numbers slasher flick is always going to be a black mark on her resume. It plays like an unofficial sequel to any number of unispired movies, from "The Hills Have Eyes" to the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake.

5. The Fifth Element
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Weeks on List: 9 (13)
Notes: Bruce Willis is a cab driver...in the future! Kind of. He and Milla Jovovich tear it up in this pure action adventure that keeps drawing in the Hulu viewers. With "The Girl Next Door" gone for good, this is the most popular movie of all time on Hulu. Strange, innit? I chalk it up to the promo picture on Hulu, which features Jovovich in a skimpy white costume. I think it's utterly unflattering, but I recognize that it will appeal to a certain group of people.

6. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: A goofy spoof of kung fu films in which director Steve Oedekerk digitally inserts himself into an already-laughable action flick. Critics largely hated the comedic effort, with the main criticism being that it's a 2-minute joke stretched out to an excruciating 80 minutes. It's holding strong on our list.

7. Jumanji (1995)
Last Week's Ranking: 10
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: This family-friendly Robin Williams vehicle has earned a place in the heart of many a child of the 90s, as is evidenced by the sequel, animated series, and assorted spawn. Did you remember that the girl in the movie is Kirsten Dunst?

8. Less Than Zero (1987)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: This 80s drama headlined Andrew McCarthy, but modern movie-goers will be more interested in Robery Downey Jr.'s role as an out of control drug addict. Loosely based on the soul-deadening novel by Brett Easton Ellis, it also features Jami Gertz and James Spader. The storyline revolves around dating college students who discover their friend's addiction and try to help him. This is the only new offering on Hulu that made the top 20.

9. Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Last Week's Ranking: 11
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: What if "Weekend at Bernies" was a decent movie? It would be "Waking Ned Devine", that's what. An Irish indie film about the requisite ragtag group of local oddballs who must pretend that the recently deceased Ned Devine is alive and well, so that they can collect his multi-million lottery winnings.

10. The Manhattan Project
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: This 1986 effort by Director Marshall Brickman (best known for writing Annie Hall) is about a high school student who builds an A Bomb for his school's science fair, after which he is branded a terrorist by the government. John Lithgow stars, alongside a pre-Sex And The City Cynthia Nixon. Critics gave it a tepid reaction.

Last Week's Ranking: 7
Weeks on List: 12
Notes: Jim Carrey goofs it up in a decent comedy that puts all of his face-stretching talents on display. If you can get through his current offering, "Yes Man," without puking, then this will give you paroxysms of delight. With 3 months in the top 20, this is showing some serious legs.

12. Basic Instinct
Last Week's Ranking: 14
Weeks on List: 11
Notes: Sixteen years on, Sharon Stone's hoohoo is still drawing eyeballs in massive numbers. I hope she has that thing insured! At any rate, this is showing some serious staying power on the list. I guess vagina never really goes out of style.

13.Men In Black (1997)
Last Week's Ranking: 15
Weeks on List: 2 (5)
Notes: Pairing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as government agents who round up aliens must have sounded like crappy gimmickry, but this feature had enough wits and charm to transport us. The sequel? Now that was crappy gimmickry.

14. The Family Man
Last Week's Ranking: 12
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: Studio workhorse Brett Ratner directs this Nicolas Cage vehicle to predictable results. It's a Christmas story in which the financially successful but morally bankrupt Cage gets an opportunity to live an alternate version of his own life, one in which he is an average schmo happily married to Tea Leoni. The movie is well done, but brings nothing new to the table, and we know the outcome of the movie before our asses hit the theater seats (or, in this case, our computer chairs). Don Cheadle has a role as the mystic author of Cage's personal journey.

15. Someone Like You
Last Week's Ranking: 6
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman star in this 2001 romantic comedy, which features the requisite setting of a high-powered magazine company, and lots of schmaltz. It's nothing special, but the leads, along with Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei, are always fun to watch.


16. Gattaca (1997)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (5)
Notes:
This 1997 Jude Law/Ethan Hawke vehicle is a true sci-fi film. It gives us a complete and compelling portrait of a dystopian future in which an intrusive government controls the very genes of its citizens. The romance between Hawke and Uma Thurman is just prevalent enough to give it an appealing, soft edge. It comes back into the top 20 on the eve of it's Hulu expiration date, probably because people are taking advantage of their last chance to download a clean, complete copy.

17. Look Who's Talking (1989)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (2)
Notes: Meet John Travolta 2.0. In between being cool as Vinnie Babarino, and cool as a Pulp Fiction gangster, he was known as a lovable blue collar schmoe who had a certain way with the ladies. Pair him with a still-somewhat-sexy Kirstie Alley, throw a baby into the mix, and you have a bona fide franchise. The fact that the franchise could only devolve into a limp mishmash of talking animals doesn't detract from the fact that it made serious money.

18. The Professional (1994)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (6)
Notes: Natalie Portman debuts her acting chops alongside a career-best performance by Jean Reno. One of the few quality Hulu offerings that is ranking consistently among the most popular. If you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend that you invest the time to watch this one. It surged in popularity on Hulu on the eve of its expiration.

19. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (3)
Notes: Do we give points to movies for excelling at depressing us? I'm not sure. But Ellen Burstyn in a downward spiral is too horrific to turn away from. Also: how about that arm? Features Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, and one of those Wayanses.

20. American Virgin (2000)
Last Week's Ranking: 16
Weeks on List: 3 (6)
Notes: Bob Hoskins and Mena Suvari star in the lowly-regarded 2000 comedy.

Notably Absent:
These movies have dropped off the list this week.

A Dog's Breakfast (2007)
Last Week's Ranking: 8
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: A mentally unstable brother may come undone when he discovers that his sister's fiancee may be certifiably insane. This black comedy is directed by David Hewlett (no apparent relation to the printer), and stars David and his real life sister, Kate Hewlett.

Crawford (2008)
Last Week's Ranking: 9
Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Crawford is Hulu's first movie premiere, but it didn't make the short list of feature-length docs in the Hulu Awards. Last week, it made a triumphant return to our list, presumably because people were wondering where Bush is now that he's done trashing the nation.

St Elmo's Fire (1985)
Last Week's Ranking: 17
Weeks on List: 3
Notes:
An iconic movie of the 80s featuring all of your favorites, such as Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Molly Ringwald (among others).

Saints and Soldiers (2005)
Last Week's Ranking: 19
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: A Mormon sniper and an atheist medic clash as their platoon struggles to survive behind Nazi lines in this 2005 actioner.

Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
Last Week's Ranking: 20
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette vehicle featuring a rascally conman posing as a gunfighter. In this guise, he tangles with the law and the outlaws. A lighthearted western in the tradition of Maverick.

Hall of Fame:
These are the movies that have had the longest run on the list in the past. Right now, the threshold for inclusion is 6 weeks, but I anticipate that it will go up over time. No new inductees this week.

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
Last Week's Ranking: 20
Weeks on List: 8
Notes: There must be something I'm not getting about this I-Max documentary featuring fighter pilots. The message board for the movie has a lot of military folks chatting it up, so that may have something to do with it. After weeks near the top of this chart, it finally lost its lift.

Underworld: Evolution
Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Kate Beckinsale as a goth-boy's wet dream can't save this dark and dreary action flick from the weight of its futuristic vampire world.

Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner teamed up in this stoner flick just before they became breakout stars.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Worst Movie: Official Nominees

We are down to six official nominees for "Worst Movie!"

Hulu Review readers and the general public can still cast their votes. The total audience vote is equal to the vote of one panel member. In addition, the show that gets the most audience votes will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

In the previous round, "Startship Troopers" won the most audience votes, and so has become a finalist.

Let's see which films have splattered the theater walls with the vomit of disgust:

CLICK ON YOUR (least) FAVORITE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!







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This Just In: Best News Show Race is Getting Tense

In the race for the "Best News Show," we've gone from 27 eligible shows to 14 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 14 proposed nominees. Tune in next week to see which shows make the cut as official nominees!

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!

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Best Informational Show benefits from some informed opinions

In the race for the "Best Informational Show," we've gone from 35 eligible shows to 13 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the dirty dozen. Tune in next week to see which shows make the cut as official nominees!

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!


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Best Talk and Interview Show gets long-winded

In the race for the "Best Talk and Interview Show," we've gone from 27 eligible shows to 10 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 10 proposed nominees. Tune in next week to see which shows make the cut as official nominees!

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!


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Best Television Network Race gets serious

There are no less than 75 television networks offering content on Hulu. Our panelists and audience members have narrowed down the field to the 15 that make our Hulu viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

Major networks NBC and Fox are not eligible for this award, although their subsidiary studios are.

You can view the offerings of all 15 proposed nominees here.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round. MSNBC is the audience pick going into this round.

Here are the 15 proposed nominees. Tune in next week to see which shows make the cut as official nominees!

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!

20th Century Fox
Sony
USA
PBS
Sci-Fi
BRAVO
Universal Media Studios
Comedy Central
Sundance
FX
National Geographic Channel
DIY Network
Crackle
MSNBC
Funimation

Best Major Network: Official Nominees

When it comes to major networks on Hulu, there are only 2 games in town, NBC and Fox.

Hulu Review readers and the general public can still cast their votes. The total audience vote is equal to the vote of one panel member. In addition, the show that gets the most audience votes will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

CLICK ON YOUR FAVORITE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!






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Best Movie Studio: Official Nominees

We are down to four official nominees for "Best Movie Studio!"

Hulu Review readers and the general public can still cast their votes. The total audience vote is equal to the vote of one panel member. In addition, the show that gets the most audience votes will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Be sure you review the offerings from each studio here before you cast your vote.

Let's see which outfits have produced the most memorable movies for our panelists:

CLICK ON YOUR FAVORITE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!







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Worst Scripted Television Show: Official Nominees

We are down to six official nominees for "Worst Scripted Television Show!"

Hulu Review readers and the general public can still cast their votes. The total audience vote is equal to the vote of one panel member. In addition, the show that gets the most audience votes will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

In the previous round, "Heroes" won the most audience votes, and so has become a finalist.

Let's see which shows have caused the most televisions to be smashed in living rooms across the country:

CLICK ON YOUR FAVORITE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!





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Best Scifi/Fantasy Series: Official Nominees

We are down to the five official nominees for "Best Scifi/Fantasy Television Series!"

A swarm of browncoats has descended and done their work (although, to be honest, I don't know that they were that out of line with our panelists). I think we're all going to recognize Joss Whedon's unholy hand behind three of these nominees.

Hulu Review readers and the general public can still cast their votes. The total audience vote is equal to the vote of one panel member. In addition, the show that gets the most audience votes will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Let's see what has our panelists picked:

CLICK ON YOUR FAVORITE TO CAST YOUR VOTE!

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Best Television Show

It's time to determine the best television show on Hulu.

The eligible show list is made up of the final nominees in other television categories.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 45 eligible tv shows: A shortened list of nominees will be posted next week.

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

Comedies:
30 Rock
Arrested Development
The Office
Saturday Night Live
The Simpsons

Drama:
Bones
Burn Notice
ER
Friday Night Lights
House

Action:
24
Chuck
Journeyman
Prison Break

80s Shows:
Alf
The A-Team
Benson
The Facts of Life
Married With Children

70s Shows:
Barney Miller
The Bob Newhart Show
Charlie's Angels
I Dream of Jeannie
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Cartoon:
Family Guy
Futurama
King of the Hill
Wallace and Grommit

Anime:
Astro Boy
Death Note
Mushi-shi
Naruto
Speed Racer

Cartoon:
Family Guy
Futurama
King of the Hill
Wallace and Grommit

Classic:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Bewitched
The Dick Van Dyke Show

Scifi/Fantasy:
Firefly
Angel
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Battlestar Galactica
Fringe





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Monday, January 26, 2009

Best Clip (non-comedy)


We've dealt with the humorous Hulu clips. Now let's take a gander at some clips that are inspiring, thought-provoking, or amazing in some other way.

You can nominate any non-comedic clip on Hulu, but that's a very big field, so I'm going to give some pointers on how to narrow it down based on my own opinions.

First off, let's take movie clips. Here are the highest rated dramatic movie clips of all time on Hulu. You'll notice many of them are clearly there because they have some sex angle going on, so I would just disregard those and focus on the remainder. Unless you want to nominate the sexy ones. I'm not your father.

You can manipulate the filters to close out the drama setting, and look at other movie clips that are either very popular, or very highly rated.

Next, you want to consider the television clips. Now, you may have a favorite talk show or scripted television show that you think has an outstanding clip. If you do, go for it. For me, the only outstanding clips are in the fields of science, nature, and politics. You can go to your favorite channels in these fields (National Geographic, Historic Campaign Commercials, Spacerip, Presidential Inaugurations, etc), or you can see large listings of them here. In this case, you want to manipulate the filters under "News and Information" to parse it down to some real quality clips.

This is another area where I'm hoping the voting audience can provide some help. So, I'm allowing audience members to propose eligible clips. If you know of a great clip on Hulu that deserves some recognition, just post the name of the clip in the comments section, and it will be presented to the panelists for their consideration.

Please note that some items are mislabeled as clips, when they are clearly not. Specifically, I've noticed some full-length, National Geographic episodes listed as clips, even though they are 44 minutes long. So just use your best judgment.

A shortened list of proposed nominees will be posted next week.

NAME YOUR FAVORITE CLIP IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Best Unscripted Television Show

Among the much-maligned genre of reality television, there are some gems, I promise you. Our job is to find the best reality show on Hulu.

The worst shows have already been parsed out, as the eligible show list is made up of the final nominees in other unscripted television categories.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 30 eligible tv shows: A shortened list of nominees will be posted next week.


VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

Competitive Reality:
The Biggest Loser
Hell's Kitchen
Last Comic Standing
Project Runway
Top Chef
Make Me A Supermodel

Celebrity Driven Reality:
Clean House
The Girls Next Door
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List
Kitchen Nightmares
Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

Non-competitive Reality:
30 Days
America's Most Wanted
Destination Truth
Ghost Hunters
Queer Eye
Pressure Cook

Travel/Leisure:
After Hours With Daniel
Any Given Latitude
Bikini Destinations
The Rachel Zoe Project
Uncorked

Cooking/Food:
30 Minute Meals
Ace of Cakes
Good Eats

Sports:
American Gladiators
Firsthand
NHL
Ninja Warrior
A Shot at Glory


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Best Movie

In previous weeks, we've separated the wheat from the chaff, but now it's time to get the absolute cream of the crop.

In the "Best Movie" category, we're taking all of the movie nominees in the other movie categories (comedy, drama, horror, etc.), and finding the absolute best film among them. As in Highlander (not nominated), there can be only one.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 29 eligible movies: A shortened list of nominees will be posted next week.

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

Comedies:
Eddie Murphy: Raw
Ghostbusters
Men In Black
Raising Arizona
Three Amigos

Drama:
The Karate Kid
Lost in Translation
Of Mice and Men
Sense and Sensibility
Sleepless in Seattle

Science Fiction:
The Fifth Element
Planet of the Apes
Starship Troopers
The Thing

Horror:
28 Days Later
Christine
Naked Lunch
When a Stranger Calls

Documentary:
Africa: The Serengeti
Burger Town
Cosmic Voyage
Hoop Dreams
Split: A Divided America

Family:
Dragonheart
Jumanji

Classic:
Night of the Living Dead
Pride of the Yankees
Some Like It Hot
Wuthering Heights





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Best Comedic Clip

There are loads of hilarious clips on Hulu.

SNL, The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philly, Family Guy, The Groundlings, and The Simpsons are just a few of the outfits who have posted their comedic content.

The problem isn't finding a funny clip. The problem is distilling the vast number down to a manageable number of contenders.

So, I'm asking the audience for some help here. For the first time in the competition, I'm allowing audience members to propose eligible clips. If you know of a funny clip on Hulu that deserves some recognition, just post the name of the clip in the comments section, and it will be presented to the panelists for their consideration.

In order to peruse some clips, just go to your favorite comedy channel on Hulu, or go to this page, which has all 8,500+ of Hulu's comedic television clips listed, with the highest rated presented first.

You can also check out this page, which has all 800 funny movie clips listed, also with the highest rated presented first.

I leave it up to you to find the hidden gems.

One important caveat: There are a few items identified as clips that are clearly not clips. Most notably, "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog." So, I know there are a lot of Whedonites out there, but please don't vote for Dr. H here. It won't count.

A shortened list of proposed nominees will be posted next week.

NAME YOUR FAVORITE CLIP IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW

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The Hulu Top Twenty




Here are the 20 most popular movies on Hulu this week. There weren't too many new offerings of consequence on Hulu, so lots of older offerings are posting strong numbers.




1. Picture Perfect
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: This romantic comedy is a predictable trifle, but critics were pacified by the sweet match up of Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr. The plot involves Aniston inventing a fictional fiancee in an effort to get ahead at work. To hold the top slot after 4 weeks is completely unprecedented. People must love Jay Mohr or something.

2. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: A goofy spoof of kung fu films in which director Steve Oedekerk digitally inserts himself into an already-laughable action flick. Critics largely hated the comedic effort, with the main criticism being that it's a 2-minute joke stretched out to an excruciating 80 minutes. It's holding strong on our list.

3. Black Knight
Last Week's Ranking: 11
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: Martin Lawrence stars in this godawful stinker of a movie about a man who travels back through time to the days of King Arthur. Lame jokes, shameless mugging, and a general shredding of the comedic movie genre are the hallmarks of this effort, although calling it an effort may be too kind. After five weeks, it's ranking third? What's wrong with you people?

4. The Manhattan Project
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: This 1986 effort by Director Marshall Brickman (best known for writing Annie Hall) is about a high school student who builds an A Bomb for his school's science fair, after which he is branded a terrorist by the government. John Lithgow stars, alongside a pre-Sex And The City Cynthia Nixon. Critics gave it a tepid reaction.

5. The Fifth Element
Last Week's Ranking: 9
Weeks on List: 8 (12)
Notes: Bruce Willis is a cab driver...in the future! Kind of. He and Milla Jovovich tear it up in this pure action adventure that keeps drawing in the Hulu viewers. With "The Girl Next Door" gone for good, this is the most popular movie of all time on Hulu. Strange, innit? I chalk it up to the promo picture on Hulu, which features Jovovich in a skimpy white costume. I think it's utterly unflattering, but I recognize that it will appeal to a certain group of people.

6. Someone Like You
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman star in this 2001 romantic comedy, which features the requisite setting of a high-powered magazine company, and lots of schmaltz. It's nothing special, but the leads, along with Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei, are always fun to watch.


Last Week's Ranking: 12
Weeks on List: 11
Notes: Jim Carrey goofs it up in a decent comedy that puts all of his face-stretching talents on display. If you can get through his current offering, "Yes Man," without puking, then this will give you paroxysms of delight. With nearly 3 months in the top 20, this is showing some serious legs.

8. A Dog's Breakfast (2007)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: A mentally unstable brother may come undone when he discovers that his sister's fiancee may be certifiably insane. This black comedy is directed by David Hewlett (no apparent relation to the printer), and stars David and his real life sister, Kate Hewlett.

9. Crawford (2008)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (6)
Notes: Crawford is Hulu's first movie premiere, but it didn't make the short list of feature-length docs in the Hulu Awards. It makes a triumphant return to our list, presumably because people are now wondering where Bush is now that he's done trashing the nation.

10. Jumanji (1995)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: This family-friendly Robin Williams vehicle has earned a place in the heart of many a child of the 90s, as is evidenced by the sequel, animated series, and assorted spawn. Did you remember that the girl in the movie is Kirsten Dunst?

11. Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Last Week's Ranking: 6
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: What if "Weekend at Bernies" was a decent movie? It would be "Waking Ned Devine", that's what. An Irish indie film about the requisite ragtag group of local oddballs who must pretend that the recently deceased Ned Devine is alive and well, so that they can collect his multi-million lottery winnings.

12. The Family Man
Last Week's Ranking: 13
Weeks on List: 4
Notes: Studio workhorse Brett Ratner directs this Nicolas Cage vehicle to predictable results. It's a Christmas story in which the financially successful but morally bankrupt Cage gets an opportunity to live an alternate version of his own life, one in which he is an average schmo happily married to Tea Leoni. The movie is well done, but brings nothing new to the table, and we know the outcome of the movie before our asses hit the theater seats (or, in this case, our computer chairs). Don Cheadle has a role as the mystic author of Cage's personal journey.

13. Wrong Turn (2003)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Eliza Dushku is about to become a hot commodity (if you believe that Joss Whedon can make a Friday night time slot work for Dushku's "Dollhouse," that is). But this by-the-numbers slasher flick is always going to be a black mark on her resume. It plays like an unofficial sequel to any number of unispired movies, from "The Hills Have Eyes" to the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake.

14. Basic Instinct
Last Week's Ranking: 17
Weeks on List: 10
Notes: Sixteen years on, Sharon Stone's hoohoo is still drawing eyeballs in massive numbers. I hope she has that thing insured! At any rate, this is showing some serious staying power on the list. They should make a sequel. Oh, they did? It must have done really well.

15.Men In Black (1997)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (4)
Notes: Pairing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as government agents who round up aliens must have sounded like crappy gimmickry, but this feature had enough wits and charm to transport us. The sequel? Now that was crappy gimmickry.

16. American Virgin (2000)
Last Week's Ranking: 18
Weeks on List: 2 (5)
Notes: Bob Hoskins and Mena Suvari star in the lowly-regarded 2000 comedy.

17. St Elmo's Fire (1985)
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Weeks on List: 3
Notes:
An iconic movie of the 80s featuring all of your favorites, such as Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Molly Ringwald (among others). Last week, I said that if it moved up the rankings this week, we could draw conclusions about the Hulu viewer. Well it did, and we can--
welcome to Hulu, children of the 80s. You will find many crappy 80s flicks to keep you entertained during your visit!

18. Go (1999)
Last Week's Ranking: 15
Weeks on List: 6
Notes: I love this movie and everyone in it. There, I said it. Taye Diggs, Sarah Polley, William Fichtner, Timothy Olyphant, Scott Wolf, Jay Mohr, and a just-starting-out Katie Holmes are part of the ensemble cast that Director Doug Liman brings together in a fantastic blend of youth culture and Pulp Fiction. Other movies try to shock us by increasing the amount of money that's been stolen, or demanded in ransom, or whatever. Go shows us that, in certain circles, just a couple of hundred dollars can make the world go round. There are some great performances, a real sense of style, and a fun, fast-paced storyline that plays with the chronology in just the right way.

19. Saints and Soldiers (2005)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1 (5)
Notes: A Mormon sniper and an atheist medic clash as their platoon struggles to survive behind Nazi lines in this 2005 actioner. It makes a somewhat surprising return to the list.

20. Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
Last Week's Ranking: NA
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette vehicle featuring a rascally conman posing as a gunfighter. In this guise, he tangles with the law and the outlaws. A lighthearted western in the tradition of Maverick.

Notably Absent:
These movies have dropped off the list this week.

Toys
Last Week's Ranking: 7
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: When this came out, it seemed like an epic flop of Hudson Hawkish proportions, but the 25% approval rating from the critics of Rotten Tomatoes mean that it is simply, banally bad. It has all of the eccentricity of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka movie, but none of the cleverness. Or maybe it's too much cleverness. I'm not sure, but look for this one to slip off the Top Twenty as if it were coated with teflon. L.L. Cool J and Robin Wright also star.


Look Who's Talking (1989)
Last Week's Ranking: 8
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: Meet John Travolta 2.0. In between being cool as Vinnie Babarino, and cool as a Pulp Fiction gangster, he was known as a lovable blue collar schmoe who had a certain way with the ladies. Pair him with a still-somewhat-sexy Kirstie Alley, throw a baby into the mix, and you have a bona fide franchise. The fact that the franchise could only devolve into a limp mishmash of talking animals doesn't detract from the fact that it made serious money.

Wolf (1994)
Last Week's Ranking: 10
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: I have to admit that when this movie came out, I thought it was the definitive werewolf movie, featuring Jack Nicholson as a bone-crunching lycanthrope, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The dramatics and revelations don't really hold up to a more seasoned viewer, although it's always fn to see Nicholson sinking his teeth into a decent line. And now, 15 years later, I know that the definitive werewolf movie is Teen Wolf. Older and wiser, that's what I am.

Speed 2: Cruise Control(1997)
Last Week's Ranking: 14
Weeks on List: 1
Notes: This is what the guy from the Matrix was known for before the Matrix and after the Bill and Ted movies. Reeves and costar Sandra Bullock milk every last drop out of the rehashed concept-- we're in a vehicle! And we! Can't! Stop!

The Siege
Last Week's Ranking: 16
Weeks on List: 2
Notes: A pre 911 movie about Muslim terrorists attacking NYC starring Denzel Washington, who seems to continually evade the stink of the many, many bad movies he's made. This one is decent enough, with supporting roles by action movie icon Bruce Willis and Annette Benning.

The Times of Harvey Milk
Last Week's Ranking: 19
Weeks on List: 3
Notes: Hulu is showing some savvy by timing their premiere of this 1984 Harvey Milk documentary with the Hollywood release, which stars Sean Penn as the gay rights activist turned mayor. That's not to suggest that this isn't a good movie, as it boasts an Academy Award for Best Documentary and a 100% approval rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.

21 Grams
Last Week's Ranking: 20
Weeks on List: 5
Notes: Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in this strangely-structured drama that warms the cockles of our cold, dead hearts. The critics give it high praise, but always with a hint of frustration that this good movie fell short of being a great one.


Hall of Fame:
These are the movies that have had the longest run on the list in the past. Right now, the threshold for inclusion is 6 weeks, but I anticipate that it will go up over time. No new inductees this week.

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
Last Week's Ranking: 20
Weeks on List: 8
Notes: There must be something I'm not getting about this I-Max documentary featuring fighter pilots. The message board for the movie has a lot of military folks chatting it up, so that may have something to do with it. After weeks near the top of this chart, it finally lost its' lift.

Underworld: Evolution
Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Kate Beckinsale as a goth-boy's wet dream can't save this dark and dreary action flick from the weight of its futuristic vampire world. Reappears on the list after a hiatus, but hurry up and watch! It has an expiration notice that should kick in tomorrow.

Weeks on List: 6
Notes: Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner teamed up in this stoner flick just before they became breakout stars.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Help! I'm drowning in browncoats!

The Hulu Awards have recently been mentioned on whedonesque.com, which, as any Buffyphile can tell you, is dedicated to all things Joss Whedon.

So, for you Whedon fans who are here for the first time, here are the ten things you probably care about the most, as far as The Hulu Awards go:

1. One vote per category, per person, please!

2. You can vote by clicking on the category title to the right

3. Dr. Horrible has been nominated for "Best Web Original"

4. Buffy, Firefly, and Angel have all been proposed as potential nominees for "Best Scifi/Fantasy Series." Early next week, the list of final nominees will be posted, and you'll have another chance to vote for the winner.

5. Buffy is also one of the nominees for "Best Comedy." This is because Hulu has called the show a comedy, and also because I felt that there were enough comedic elements in the show to have it listed as a comedy.

6. "Serenity" is not up for best Scifi movie because it's not on Hulu, and is therefore not eligible.

7. Next week, the Whedon tv shows that have won nominations (if any) will come up one last time in the battle for "Best Television Show on Hulu."

8. The Hulu Award winners will be announced on this site during our online awards ceremony, which will be in March

9. If "Dollhouse" is posted on Hulu, it will be eligible for next year's awards, not this year's awards.

10. I have an opening on our panel of journalists and bloggers. I would love to have one of the top dogs from Whedonesque fill that slot. So, if the appropriate person could contact me, that would be great!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Worst of the Worst Scripted Television Series

When you think of a massive list of 222 eligible scripted television shows, you would probably assume that there would be a lot of disagreement as to which ones were the worst.

But out panelists had no problem weeding out the decent shows, and have zeroed in on just 12 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the highest vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the dirty dozen. Tune in next week to see which ones will have the dubious distinction of being nominated.


VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION

Knight Rider
Team Knight Rider
The Munsters Today
American Dad
Family Guy
Kath and Kim
The Return of Jezebel James
Testees


Worst Movies Emerging

We are slowly circling in on the worst movie on Hulu. We've gone from a whopping 102 eligible movies to just 14 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the highest vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the proposed nominees. A list of final nominees will be posted next week.

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION




Best Scifi/Fantasy Series Race Advances

In the race for the "Best Scifi/Fantasy TV Series," we've gone from 25 eligible shows to 11 proposed nominees.

Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.

Here are the 11 proposed nominees. Tune in next week to see which shows make the cut as official nominees!

VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!