The Florida Project: True Movie Magic

florida-project.jpgIt’s December, which means we’re deep into award season–where the standard offerings might include family dramas you’ve seen before, but with a slight new flavor (Lady Bird) or the period drama your grandparents will rave about (Darkest Hour). None of these films will do anything inventive with the form because they’re like pizza – not fine dining, but you know what to expect regardless of where it comes from.

The Florida Project is the kid that steals that proverbial pizza, throws it on the ground, and asks if you want to go spit on cars.

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Lessons for 2017 Superhero Films: Spider-Man (2002)

spider-man-stills-006.jpgReleased in 2002, the original Spider-Man is what arguably kicked off the superhero movie craze*. As we enter what might be the peak saturation point for the genre, re-watching the spidey film for perspective reveals less how far the genre has come, and actually highlights where it has faltered. 

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mother! is the Allegorical, Social Commentary Horror Film 2017 Deserves

mothermotheris a scathing critique of patriarchal gender roles and a deformed, Cronenberg-esque literalization of the horrors of celebrity, all wrapped in a theological metaphor that paints God as a cosmic asshole we’d all be better off without. No wonder people are pissed about it.

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Fire, Flashbangs, Filmmaking: Inauguration 2017

Fellow filmmaker and friend Georg Koszulinski invited me to DC to help him shoot a documentary focusing on the  inauguration of Donald Trump. There were massive protests scheduled on inauguration day and the day following; they would include a coalition of the willing that would make George W. Bush jealous. We ran amok with DSLR cameras trying to capture the feeling of the space and the feeling of the people (protesters and Trump supporters alike). We wanted to find a way to make sense of the madness during this shocking plot twist in American history, as a reality TV star (which already sounds like I’m making this shit up) was sworn in as President of the United States of America. Continue reading

Star Wars: The Force Fights Nerds

CTjp0HBWsAEs1N5.jpg-largeNow that Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TFA) is finally out, box office records are being broken and fans are gushing with praise. Quietly though, the film’s greatest success may be its smackdown of the nerd community’s Dark Side.

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The Dark Knight Rises: The one where Nolan disappoints

There are a handful of franchises that have pulled off successful trilogies.  Back to the FutureIndiana Jones.  Star Wars (IV, V, VI).  Then you have the failed trilogies: Alien, Terminator, The Godfather.  For whatever reason, the third film often seems to find consistent quality elusive. The one franchise that looked to define a generation of filmgoers outside of wizards and Hobbiton was Christopher Nolan’s Batman.  Despite a powerful filmography of solid films, from Nolan’s debut black and white thriller Following to 2010’s Inception, The Dark Knight Rises disappointingly stands as his worst film.

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The Amazing Spider-Man lives up to its name

ImageOver the last decade Hollywood has made it easy to be cynical of sequels, prequels, re-makes…we even got an adaptation of a board game.  Worse, studios keep converting films to 3D in order to make up for lackluster ticket sales,  and the rush to convert to digital projectors in order to screen said films has come at the cost of visual quality (anyone else sick of the image smear when a camera pans too quickly for these “state of the art” technologies?).

So there’s a lot wrong with movie going these days, but there’s a lot right with The Amazing Spider-Man, even if it is a naked attempt at your wallet. This is why you should see it….

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