Welcome to the Third Annual Groucho Awards! This is my own platform to nominate and award the movies of my choosing, because it seems that far too often, the movies with the biggest campaigns get Oscar nominations and the little guys are left out in the cold. This year I really didn’t take issue with hardly any of the Oscar nominations, but still have to do my own thing. Overall, 2016 was a great and underrated year for movies. It was a very disappointing year for blockbusters, so there might be a perception out there that it was a bad year for movies, but for those willing to dig a little deeper, I found it to be a very solid year.
Most of us have loved Chris Pratt since we first met him as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec. Then he made his dramatic debuts in Academy Award Best Picture nominees Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. The latter revealed that he could be an action star, so it came as no surprise when he helmed two of the biggest worldwide action blockbuster films, Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World.
I’ve been a huge fan of Chris Pratt’s from the beginning. He’s funny, he’s down to earth, and he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
But I’ve also admired him for several years now because of what I’ve seen from him as a family man. Watching this video of him teaching his son the Pledge of Allegiance and respect for the American flag around Independence Day really got me.
2016 has largely been seen as a bad year, with one of the prominent reasons being the passing of so many artists and celebrities. While it certainly was painful to lose talents like Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, and dozens of others, those ends didn’t take away from the huge gains entertainment made this year. It was a spectacular year in those regards, and I can’t think of a better legacy for those that have left us than the tremendous work the following artists churned out the last 365 days. Read more
I traveled to visit family this weekend, so as new trailers came pouring in over the weekend from San Diego’s Comic-Con, I was only able to watch a couple of them. I’m sure many of you may be interested in seeing them, debating them, and discussing them. So I figured as I caught up on them, I would put them all in one spot here at The Wise Guise for your viewing ease and pleasure.
So in the world of TV and film, here’s all the latest trailers and previews from Comic-Con. And because I’m feeling opinionated, I thought I’d grade each one for you and provide some small commentary.
It was a hot Friday night in the summer of 1994. My parents and I had just walked into our house from a lengthy little league game of mine. Despite hours in the heat, I was wound up from the excitement of a win and eager to dive into the sack of treats from a newly opened McDonald’s we stopped by on the way home. Before I bit into my first salty, golden fry, I heard my mother yell from the living room. “Come in here now!” she said, as my father and I darted out of the kitchen. “They’re pursuing O.J. in California!” Read more
Imagine the following: a popular movie genre is categorized by smart but formulaic films, enjoyable and entertaining while also going out of their way to explain everything explicitly to the viewer and not engage any level of mystery or metaphysical questions. Another film comes along in this genre and while spending a lot of time on epic clashes and action sequences, it also deals with questions of how father figures impact who we are and how we view God; the nature of God’s relationship with man; the nature of good versus evil within the world and within ourselves; and whether change is possible and the extent to which we can control that change.
You might expect this film to be met with critical acclaim, or at least be recognized for taking risks. Instead, when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered several weeks ago, it was critically panned and mocked.
So when I saw it this past week, I was shocked that I loved it. I don’t think it’s the greatest superhero movie ever made (that distinction goes to Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight), but I liked it more than most of the current crop of Marvel films, most of which I enjoy immensely may I add.
So why did the film attract so much hatred? Friends whose opinions I respect range on this topic, from criticizing the fact that it wasn’t “fun enough”, didn’t have “enough plot”, or differed greatly from the characters we know and love. I can tackle each of these criticisms in turn, but I think that would be a waste to fill a blogpost with thousands of words dissecting each aspect of the film. In fact, I think doing so completely misses the point of the film, which in my mind was to force the viewer to grapple with deeper, more personal questions while also setting in motion the cinematic DC Extended Universe.