If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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2016 Rising: The Grand Finale and Predicting My Awards

the-founder-poster

I like the poster. I liked the trailer. Will I like the film? (Source)

Let’s talk about 2016. Though you may understandably be reluctant so to do.

I don’t think many will disagree when I say this has been a bad year. They might take exception to the word “bad.” Which is fair. It might be better to say this year has been so crushingly weak.

But do the next two months offer some hope of salvation? That’s what I hope to determine.

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BATMAN v. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Review – **

BvS poster

A bucket of piss that tells you it’s Granny’s peach tea. (Source)

I’ll start with a confession: I am a Zack Snyder defender.

I consider Watchmen one of the most underrated films of the last decade, had good things to say about Sucker Punch (at the time, at least), and actively liked Man of Steel (while acknowledging its issues).

So I went into Batman v. Superman, not unimpressed by the fragments I had seen, bombarded by condemnations from most and staunch defenses from a few, prepared to take up the cause of advocating for a truly skilled director, if a less consistently able storyteller.

But I cannot defend this film beyond pointing out the handful of things it does fairly right, in light of the many, many things it does aggressively wrong.

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The Boyhood Juggernaut Devours All, Run For Your Lives!: Golden Globes Wrap-Up

Richard Linklater's grand experiment. ()

We cannot stop it. It has already grown too powerful.

Well.

Let’s see how I did.

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BIG EYES Review – ***

If only that "visionary director" had brought a little more vision to the table. (Source)

If only that “visionary director” had brought a little more vision to the table. (Source)

Tim Burton’s recent track record has been uneven. Although Alice in Wonderland was his biggest hit to date, it met with mixed reviews at best, and 2012’s Dark Shadows was a critical dud and financial letdown (though I think it’s better than its reputation suggests), while the utterly delightful Frankenweenie, despite good reviews (and an Oscar nomination), saw only modest returns.

So he made his first non-fantasy/horror film in 20 years, and arguably his most down-to-earth film yet. And…well, the modestly positive reviews and the modest box-office are rather fitting. Because this is a modestly good film, but to my mind less rewarding than a more characteristic effort like Dark Shadows, because it never quite catches fire. The actors do their damnedest, the production values are not lacking, and there are some fine moments…but there’s a compromised feel to it, and a crucial moment doesn’t quite come off, leaving the whole film on thematically shaky ground.

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TRAILER SALAD IV: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, BIG EYES, THE BETTER ANGELS, JOHN WICK, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, NORTHERN SOUL, STRETCH (NSFW clip), THE INTERVIEW (NSFW), and FORCE MAJEURE

J.C. Chandor’s drama set in crime-ridden 1981 New York looks to be a solid period piece and a worthy progression from Margin Call and All is Lost. It’s getting early Oscar buzz for Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, and I could imagine Chandor will get a second Screenplay nomination (he was nominated for Margin Call). I think it looks good, though I won’t say I’m totally dazzled yet.

There’s a lot of potential here. Tim Burton potentially returning to form (by reuniting with the writers of Ed Wood), and moving away from grotesque fantasy–while focusing on a different kind of grotesquerie. Amy Adams will be gunning for an Oscar with this, Christoph Waltz looks wonderfully slimy, and I’m really digging the score. So hopefully this pans out. I definitely liked the trailer more on the second viewing, which bodes well.

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Predicting my 4th Annual Film Awards: Second Round

Do I think it'll be a contender? Read on. ()

Do I think it’ll be a contender? Read on. (Source)

It’s been three months since my first attempt at predicting what I’ll nominate come January, and it seems to me, with the Venice and Telluride film festivals underway (and once the Toronto festival is over, I’ll go over what films are looking good, which are looking iffy or bad, which are now on my radar which previously weren’t, etc.), it’s a good time to take another look at what I’ll be trumpeting this year.

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Predicting my 4th Annual Film Awards: First Round

As we’re edging towards my 6-Month Film Awards, it’s a good time to start theorizing on what the end of the year will bring. So, based on what looks good, what’s gotten good festival buzz, and what I’ve already seen, here are the first predictions. Obviously, there’s a great deal of guesswork here (last year I had high hopes for The Counselor, and…yeah), but I always get a kick out of doing this.

Each category will have a Top 5 and a 6-10, except for Best Picture, which will have a Top 10 and an 11-20.

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