So I just happened to see Memphis, Tennessee briefly trending earlier today on Facebook (it appears to have already dropped half an hour after I first saw it), and so I obviously had to see what was going on. I was thrilled to see it was for another positive Read more
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 Read more
Every now and then the media chooses to spend a little time on positive stories to share with the general public. I think it's important that we, as consumers, show up with website hits and/or media views to reinforce this positive publicity in a society dominated by negative news 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 Read more
(Written by @JeremyWilson412. For more coverage of this season's The Bachelor, go here)
Another season has come and gone, and one thing was clear from start to finish: America loves Ben. Admit it, you love Ben. It doesn’t matter if you are a single girl, a married woman, or a Read more
We’re three weeks from the latest cinematic incarnation of Batman, brought to us this time by action film director Zack Snyder. I would be lying if I didn’t express a certain amount of apprehension for “Batman V Superman: The Dawn of Justice.” Snyder is known for his bombastic sense Read more
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.
We’re three weeks from the latest cinematic incarnation of Batman, brought to us this time by action film director Zack Snyder. I would be lying if I didn’t express a certain amount of apprehension for “Batman V Superman: The Dawn of Justice.” Snyder is known for his bombastic sense of adventure in action sequences, but not so much in storytelling. Read more
OK…I’m going to try to make this as short and sweet as possible so that I can close the book on the 2016 Academy Awards.
A couple quick notes before we dive in:
I love Chris Rock but I thought his material was just okay. I both wanted and expected a bunch of race jokes, but I think we can all agree we reached a point pretty quickly where it became overkill. Before I go any further…I’m all for championing diversity, and I do think Hollywood is made up of a collection of individuals that clearly do need to open their minds a little. I get that it’s a business, but it’s also laziness. However, Chris Rock’s material almost seemed to come from the perspective of someone who was the first person ever to notice racial discrepancies in the Oscars. Unfortunately for Chris, it’s a subject that has been worn out lately leading up to the awards and so when he kept just repeatedly going back and hitting on that it lost any power it might have had in my mind. The people whose minds you’re trying to change are also going to get turned off to your message when you just keep throwing it in their face for the duration of the night. I feel like a handful of well-crafted quick hitter jokes would’ve been twice as effective, but that’s just me. Chris Rock is a very intelligent guy and certainly knows humor, so I’m sure he had his reasons for doing it the way he did. Those reasons likely being that he just doesn’t give a damn, which I do mostly respect.
Just because I’m not going to mention the “shorts” categories below, I want to give a big shoutout to my dude Louis C.K. who killed it introducing the Best Documentary Short Film category. It was hands down the funniest and most truthful moment of the night. If you missed it, be sure to watch the clip below!
Welcome back, movie nerds! Last year I started a new tradition of hosting my own annual movie awards that I deemed “The Grouchos”. This name is obviously meant to be an homage to Groucho Marx, and is doubly fitting because I tend to get snarky when it comes to discussing movies. Also, the more I learn about the Oscars voting process, the more grouchy I get with that as well.
Anyway, last year’s post can be found here, and I hope you enjoy this year’s edition. Feel free to give your feedback in the comments below. Just remember that I’m using some weird, unofficial formula in my head that merges what I consider to be artistic merit with what gave me the most enjoyment in general.
It’s easy to think of The Revenant as simply the vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio’s brutally other-worldly Oscar-winning performance or as Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up to last year’s Award-winning Birdman.
In fact, as I was sitting in the theater watching Leo eat raw bison liver and sleep in animal carcasses, I kept wishing he’d already won an Oscar (even though I don’t think he’s had a performance I would have voted for before this one) so the craziness would end. I kept mumbling to myself, “It didn’t have to be this way. Give him an Oscar so the insanity will stop already!” But in all seriousness, Leo’s performance should go down as one of the best of all-time, but the subplot surrounding his striving for an Oscar distracts a bit from it, at least on this side of what will hopefully be his first Oscar win.
Sadly, it also distracts from how magnificent and brilliant this film is as a whole. In fact, I think The Revenant would be my vote for Best Picture of the past two years. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to get the respect and recognition it deserves due to Iñárritu’s success last year.
So what makes The Revenant so powerful? It is filmmaking operating on all cylinders, pushing each of those cylinders to the max in a breathtaking experience that leaves you gasping for air while pumping your fist.