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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

A Million Shattered Pieces

January 28th, 2019

Movies aren’t for everyone, though people think they are. A bunch of years ago, my wife and I caught the very good film Adaptation in the theaters. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen or thought about it, Adaptation is about a lonely screenwriter struggling to adapt a book about an orchid thief. It’s got strong performances by Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and a great deal to say about the creative process. Joining us in our cinematic excursion was an Unnamed Member Of Our Extended Family. He’s a great guy, but the film tastes of the aforementioned UMOOEF, as he will be known going... Read More

Make It Stop

January 28th, 2019

I kind of hate January. There, I said it. Yes, it’s the first month of a new year, and it represents a new start and new possibilities and blah blah blah. After the warmth of the holiday season, January is cold, bleak, bereft of life. The main reason I hate January, though? It’s the month where movies go to die. For the most part, certain times of the year correspond with certain movies. Summer is for big blockbusters. Late fall is when then Academy Award hopefuls are rolled out. January is the dumping ground of the studios. People are going back to work or back to school, and there generally... Read More

The Glass Between Their Love

January 28th, 2019

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile died tragically and pointlessly. Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile over during a traffic stop. Later, Yanez claimed Castile was pulled over because he looked like the suspect in a robbery. In the car with Castile was his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Her four-year-old daughter was in the back seat. As Yanez asked Castile to produce his license and insurance, Castile informed the police officer that he had a licensed firearm in his possession. At this point, Officer Yanez panicked. He raised his voice, unholstered his firearm, and fired at Philando Castile seven... Read More

Cell Theory

March 17th, 2018

How do you solve a problem like Annihilation? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good and very challenging film, and one that everyone should see as quickly as possible. Before we get into the specifics, let’s talk about the tragedy of its release, and why it bodes ill for intelligent art. Paramount Pictures ponied up $55 million to adapt the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. Alex Garland, the director of the superb Ex Machina, was hired to write the screenplay and direct. An impressive team of actors was hired. Things were a go. Upon the film’s completion, as always... Read More

The Ultimate Beer and Pretzels Game

March 17th, 2018

Has there been any movie genre more maligned recently than the studio comedy? Back in the day, movies with Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and others were guaranteed to open to enormous business. They would stick around for quite a while and, if you didn’t like the looks of a particular one, no big deal. Another comedy would open soon. Things changed, and there’s a ruthlessly unfunny reason for that. Major studios don’t think regionally or nationally any longer, they think globally. Movie attendance in America has been steadily dropping, but attendance is huge elsewhere. The most profitable... Read More

Big Hearted

March 17th, 2018

We need Fred Rogers these days, or someone very much like him. If you’re a younger reader, you can be forgiven for not knowing his work, since he’s more of a contemporary for those of us of a certain age. But his refreshing lack of cynicism is a warm and safe hug, something that effortlessly passes beyond a single generation. Rogers was the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a children’s program that ran for decades on public television. During each half hour episode, there were puppet shows, tours of factories and experiments, and Rogers himself. He would simply and honestly... Read More

Manners Maketh Man

September 24th, 2017

Hollywood is built on sequels. For decades, studios have ruthlessly focused on IP’s and searched for profitable films that can be milked for additional installments. For decades, critics have gnashed their teeth and bemoaned the lack of originality in filmmaking. For decades, audiences have complained about Hollywood never doing anything new and then subsequently flocked to the theaters to catch the latest Star Wars installment.* All of that must mean that sequels are bad, right? Well…not necessarily. They can be bad. Jaws 2 and onward are godawful. Speed 2: Cruise Control is... Read More

You Are Not Prepared

September 18th, 2017

If you’re anything close to a movie nerd, you’ve probably seen references to CinemaScore. Let’s talk about what that is before we get to the subject of today’s review. CinemaScore is a market research firm out of Las Vegas. They perform audience surveys to rate their experiences in 25 major cities around the United States. Essentially, you’re given a card and asked to rate the film on a scale from A to F, whether or not you would buy the film on DVD, and why you chose to see that particular film. Bear in mind that it’s not necessarily an indicator of quality.... Read More