How “The Fast and the Furious” franchise is still operational after 12 years is beyond me. The series should’ve crashed-and-burned after 2006’s dreadful third installment, “Tokyo Drift,” which saw the primary cast bail on the fast cars that made them famous.
A lack of success outside of Universal’s lucrative property brought the main players back for a fourth outing in 2009 that proved to be a surprise smash at the box office. Since then, the franchise has been on fire. The last film, “Fast Five,” won over more than just audience approval; this time around, the critics were on board, as well. (It also brought Joseph back to the series in all his hype-loving glory.)
It’s everything you ever dreamed it would be. The elaborate costumes, the overblown sets, the dazzling effects, the quick and furious cuts, the smoothly incorporated soundtrack – all the hallmarks of director Baz Luhrmann are apparent in “The Great Gatsby.” Read more
It’s difficult to remember now, but when the first “Iron Man” blasted into theaters in 2008, the Marvel film was a bit of a shocker. Audiences were expecting standard superhero fare, and what they got was a smart, witty blockbuster that earned some of the best reviews of the year and had a sensational box office run.
Maybe that’s why when “Iron Man 2” debuted in 2010, the reception was unenthused, to say the least. The sequel isn’t guilty of being a poor production, but rather just a lackluster outing where completion of the project on time seems to have taken precedent over creativity.
Director Shane Black knows this is the series’ shot at redemption, and he wastes no time in infusing this third installment with the charm with which the first film won so many over. Robert Downey Jr. and company are back, loaded yet again with plenty of sly one-liners that are intended for more than just small chuckles. Read more
Today Joseph and Palmer give their thoughts on the new film that is spreading like wildfire, Mud. Read more
Everything I seemed to read going into The Place Beyond the Pines tended to focus mainly on the buzzword “ambitious”. For Trance, the buzzword was “stylistic.” While I liked The Place Beyond The Pines much more than Trance, I think they both deserve a lot of praise more for what they tried to do than what they actually succeeded in doing. Read more
Wise Guise contributor Sutter Vaught returns today with a wonderful review of Terrance Malick’s latest film, To the Wonder. He has previously pontificated on the similarities between Don Draper and Jeff Winger, while also debating Joseph about Christmas films in the First Annual Wise Guise Christmas Movie Fantasy Draft. Enjoy!
I went into To The Wonder with high expectations. Dangerously high expectations. In my book, The Tree of Life was hands down the best movie of 2011, and The Thin Red Line is the greatest war movie ever. I’m pretty admittedly an all-around Malick fanboy, although The New World didn’t really do it for me. And so I was looking forward to this one so much that I was inevitably setting myself up for a disappointment.
Alright good people… I have crawled into the belly of the beast and taken on Spring Breakers so that you wouldn’t have to. I took to Facebook, Twitter and email to ask for questions about the film and my experience and this is what we came up with. Read more
Rediscovery is a beautiful thing. It’s especially wonderful when you believe the initial discovery was lackluster. When I entered college, I was already a cinephile who probably viewed myself as being more knowledgeable on film than I really was at the time. One category of the medium that escaped me in terms of understanding were motion pictures in a foreign language.
I suppose my youth led me to ignore them, as I deplored having to sit for hours reading large white subtitles scroll at the bottom of a screen. And while I’ve seen many spectacular foreign language films since those days, I still carry the idea some of the “classics” are praised more for their artistic premise than so-so execution. Read more
When it comes to viewing Steven Soderbergh films, you usually know you’re going to have to make both an emotional and intellectual investment. His latest film, which he has proclaimed will be his final cinematic venture, is no exception. Read more
All good things must come to an end. I hope you’ve considered my top 50 films of 2012 countdown a good thing and I hope to bring it home with a strong top 10 finale. A big part of why I like to write about movies so much is that I want to make people aware of all the special movies that are made that don’t have the budget to air commercials every half hour for weeks on end. There are a lot of creative and brilliant filmmakers out there who make brilliant works of art but they don’t have mass appeal, so they often get swept under the rug. Through this list I’ve tried to highlight as many of these as possible without being that tool that only names obscure movies to try to look cool. Nobody likes that guy and that’s not my intention.
So as we conclude this list, my hope is that you’ll look back through 11-30 and 31-50 and pick out a few films you may have missed from 2012 and give them a fair shot. And by a fair shot, I mean that you shouldn’t just stare at your phone the whole time and then tell me I recommend boring movies. Also one last reminder that if you click on the titles of these films, I’ve already linked a trailer for you. Read more