Category Archives: Lists

15 Films of Christmas (December Movie Preview)

In order for a film to qualify for the Academy Awards, it must be released theatrically before December 31st of a given year.  So December is when the drama train comes through after the pipe bomb explosion of summer blockbusters.  This year in particular, there is a lot to look forward to.

:note: Films listed as limited are those being released in New York City, L.A., and possibly Chicago.  This allows the film to receive exposure in the major markets and if it does well, get rolled out to other cities. Continue reading

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies! The Walking Dead, WWZ, The New Dead

Some readers might have noticed the conspicuous absence of The Walking Dead from my post on tv worth watching.  Though it has earned over 5 million viewers in its premiere episode, I was worried that the show didn’t have the heart of the comic books.  However, after seeing the third episode I am glad to welcome this new series, which looks to be heading toward less zombie killing gratuity, and more dissections of what it means to exist within this apocalyptic setting. Continue reading

TV Worth Watching: Community’s Battlestar Galactica is Breaking Bad at Sealab 2021

I suppose one of the defining features of a film snob is abhorrence for television.  All those commercial breaks, laugh tracks, overwrought dramatics.  But in both film and television there’s a lot of crap – you just have to know where to find the good stuff.  So as a film fan who does not have cable or those digital boxes to even watch basic channels, here are the shows (past and present) that make me wish I did. Continue reading

Fall Movie Preview: November

I have to remind myself to avoid too much information about a film (interviews, trailers) because when I enter the cinema, I’m looking for a fresh experience.  So if you find my synopses compelling enough to see a film, I would advise against watching a full trailer.  However, if you’re on the fence, that’s what the trailer is for.

November 5

Due Date

Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. go on a road trip.  Need I say more?

127 Hours (limited release)

Director Danny Boyle has tackled horror (28 Days Later), sci-fi (Sunshine), and melodramatic realism (Slumdog Millionaire).  Though I found Slumdog the lesser of the three, this is a director willing to dive into worn paths and bulldoze fresh new territory.  Re-creating Aron Ralston’s harrowing ordeal of extricating oneself from the clutches of a boulder (James Franco stars), I’m sure Boyle will make it powerful.

November 12

Skyline

Despite the fact that Aliens vs Predator: Requiem was universally panned, I found it to be light years ahead of the original and part of that was due to the solid special effects work by directors, The Brothers Strause.  There’s been considerable buzz concerning Skyline, but it’s up in the air if these guys can craft a quality story around the genocide of humanity.

November 19

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (pt 1)

You don’t need me to tell you to see or avoid this film.  The marketing behemoth for this thing will make sure your asses are in the seats.

Two Truly Terrifying Tales

In Danse Macabre, Stephen King says there are three types of horror: terror, horror, and revulsion/disgust.  The first is psychological, the second terrifying based on sight, and the third a horror stemming from a reaction to grotesqueries.  With most horror films playing into straight horror (“Look at that freaky monster!”), I thought I’d suggest some stories that fit the “terror”category–things that keep your brain churning as you try to sleep…. Continue reading

Ten You Missed

We are a rather fortunate bunch. Our grandparents only had two chances to see a film: either when it came out in theatres or if it popped up on television, which is what made the annual television screenings of The Wizard of Oz such a big deal. It was not until VHS revolutionized the industry and films could be watched whenever we desired. Combine this with the communication powers of the internet and a film that never got past screenings in New York can suddenly make a ton of cash and notoriety.

With such fortunes, I find it our job as film enthusiasts to promote our favorite smaller films as a counter-weight to the advertising juggernauts that rumble across our cultural plains. Continue reading