Gotham Awards 2016


A striking poster for what might turn out to be one of the year’s best films. (Source)

It’s starting, kids.

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: I have no damn clue what the Oscars are going to look like this year. I’ll go into why more comprehensively in a future post (hopefully within the next 2-3 days), but suffice to say today’s nominations give us the first semblance of a foundation to build a season on.

Let’s dig right in.

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DON’T THINK TWICE Review – ****


This may not be a great year, but it’s been a hell of a good one for comedies. (Source)

Sometimes, you see a film at the exact right moment and it hits the exact right buttons so as to send you out on a cloud, convinced you’ve seen a great film, certain you’ve got a new favorite to add to your repertoire, and eager to evangelize about its virtues to the world.

Don’t Think Twice is such a film. I needed so warm and funny a film the day I saw it (more precisely, the specific time of that day), and based on my experiences of doing improv comedy in college, and my knowledge of what is to be a performing artist, it rang entirely true. It may not be a perfect film, and no future viewing is likely to benefit from the circumstances which made this one so uniquely rewarding, but it is an excellent film and one I can heartily recommend.

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HIGH-RISE: Final Review – ***½

“We want you to lead a delegation.” “To where, the United Nations?” “To the supermarket.”

As of this writing, High-Rise ranks very highly in several of my awards categories, and for good reason: in certain particulars it’s an unqualified success. It’s superbly directed, gorgeously designed and photographed, and well acted. Its best scenes can be treasured by the keen viewer.

And yet, it is not even in my top 10 films of the year to date, and a lot of it comes down to the story. Based on J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel, I am not entirely sure how much High-Rise has to offer a contemporary audience. But is the issue the source material, or the way director Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump brought it to the screen?

I previously published my initial thoughts on the film with the proviso that they would be incorporated into my final review. That is precisely what I have done here.

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Crystal Pepsi Review

In 1992, Crystal Pepsi came onto the scene, and despite heavy promotion was gone by 1994, having taken its place alongside New Coke as a failed attempt at shaking up the entrenched American soda paradigm. However, just as Surge was brought back from the dead, so, to my surprise, has Crystal Pepsi been given a new lease on life.

You know I’ve got to give it a shot. I missed it the first time around (that I can remember). I’m not making that mistake again. I’ll be honest, I’m not a Pepsi fan – I’m definitely on the Coke side of the eternal cola dichotomy – but no matter.

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THE BFG Review – ***

BFG poster

Probably, unfortunately, no one’s idea of a whizzpopper. (Source)

There’s not much to say about The BFG, as it is quite frankly Spielberg’s slightest film in a long while, and a decided come-down after the excellent Bridge of Spies. That is still a decent film, and at least free of the stodgy tastefulness which marred some of his other recent output, is at best a mild comfort, but it will have to do.

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2016 Rising, Actus Tertius: Reflections

It’s time to close the door on 2015. Past time, even. But I wanted to round off this awards season, as patchy as my coverage of it may have been, with a poll (seen above), some statistical fun, and some reflection on my awards past.

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