It’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.
Over 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….
When I tell people I’m into watching and making horror films, some try to shrivel into themselves like a turtle – with others, you practically hear the eyes rolling in their heads. They seem to chalk the entire genre up to consisting merely of the ghoulish or the cheap trick, whereas, I’ve found the horror genre to be fertile ground for exploring human tragedies (The Descent) or tinkering with our own mythologies (zombies, vampires, etc.).
Horror films to me aren’t scary; there remains a distance. It’s always a guy in a rubber mask, the knife is fake, and the dark is nothing to be afraid of. There are always cinematic artifices that maintain the boundaries between reality and fiction: a film’s score, the editing, or the spectacle of special effects. Even as a child I don’t know if I’ve ever been truly disturbed, unsettled at my core, by a horror film
Until now. Continue reading
The Grey star Liam Neeson and director Joe Carnahan have both been living it up in Hollywood productions for the last several years. Neeson continues to pop up as some grizzled badass who will kill your childhood puppy, and Carnahan has been making zany slick action flicks like Smokin’ Aces and A-Team after making a big splash in 2002 with his gritty cop drama Narc (Ray Liotta, Jason Patric). With The Grey, Carnahan and Neeson both return with less pomp and more dramatic flavor. Continue reading
Posted in Reviews
Tagged Disaster, Drama, Film, Joe Carnahan, Liam Neeson, Movies, Survival, The Grey, The Road, Winter, Wolves
Am I dreaming? I just walked out of a movie theater that had more people in attendance than any I’ve been in all year (save Harry Potter at midnight). The audience refused to talk throughout the 100-minute-long picture. We hesitantly munched our popcorn, or opened our candy, afraid to disturb the tranquil silence which had descended upon us. We laughed in unison, gasped together, and when the lights came back up, all of us, and I mean all, applauded. I just saw a silent film with more than a hundred people and all of them loved it more than I’ve ever seen an audience love any movie, including the final installment to the largest franchise in movie history. I just saw The Artist. Continue reading
We’re a little more than half-way through the year and given the plethora of films I, Remington Smith, and writer co-hort Ben Creech, review, we thought it would be a good time to chat about our favorite films of the year so far. Here’s that conversation: Continue reading
Posted in News, Reviews
Tagged 13 Assassins, 2011, best of, Certified Copy, Drive Angry 3D, Film, Hanna, Hobo with a Shotgun, Of Gods and Men, Rango, Source Code, Stake Land, Super, Super 8, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Tree of Life, Troll Hunter, X-Men: First Class
Next to Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s M is one of his most famous films. The film’s narrative (police and criminals alike searching for a child killer), the noir lighting, its breakthroughs in sound (introduced a mere four years prior), and Peter Lorre’s infamous monologue all cement M as a classic, even nearly a century after its release. Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is unjustly infamous for its manipulation of history. What I find most fascinating about the two films is how they treat their respective monsters (child killers and Nazis) and how their stories reflect attitudes toward societal ills.
Posted in Articles
Tagged child killers, Cinema, dehumanization, Film, Fritz Lang, Hitler, humanity, Inglourious Basterds, M, Third Reich, World War II
After a long night of laughs, cries, spectacle, and surprises, the Oscars have come and gone once again. Who walked away with the gold and who left empty handed? The Oscars went to…
Posted in News
Tagged Aaron Sorkin, Christian Bale, Colin Firth, Film, Inception, Melissa Leo, Movies, Natalie Portman, Oscars, The Academy Awards, Tom Hooper, Winners
Anyone who has seen a film by Darren Aronofsky is not likely to describe it as a completely pleasurable experience. My first experience with Aronofsky’s work was seeing Requiem for a Dream on the big screen. It was good – but I avoided it for the next two years because of its intensity.
For Aronofsky is it not enough to show us the hardships of a protagonist. He has to actually make us feel the experiences of our protagonists. In Black Swan Aronofsky continues to force us to suffer with our onscreen hero – and this time around you’ll be hard pressed to figure out why you should care. Continue reading
Director Terrance Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World) has a new film being released in 2011, The Tree of Life. Previously only attached to screenings of Black Swan, the trailer for Tree of Life was released online yesterday. Continue reading