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

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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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UPDATED: Gotham Awards 2016 – Nominees and Winners

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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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BLACK MASS Review – ****

I'm back. (Source)

I’m back. (Source)

It’s clear from early on that Black Mass will not be distinguished by its script, but by its faces. From the first glimpse of Jesse Plemons’ squashed Mickey Rooney-by-way-of-James Cagney mug, to Johnny Depp’s eerie visage (the product of some brilliant makeup), by turns reptilian and sepulchral, it’s the faces of the people we see which stick with us, more than the clumsy narrative or uneven dialogue.

That Black Mass exceeded my expectations and ended up an overall rewarding experience may be in large part because I respect a film which knows the value of faces. As a crime drama, it’s adequate, but as a visual essay in amorality, it has nuances which make it worth your while.

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Perfect 10: WHIPLASH, THE BABADOOK, TOP FIVE, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, ST. VINCENT, KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS, BEYOND THE LIGHTS, THE HOMESMAN, and HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Reviews

One hell of a motley crew.

One hell of a motley crew.

Dear God. I have never been this far behind. This is just like college.

Basically, I had an assload of reviews that I was way overdue on. I saw five movies this past weekend (it would’ve been six, but I decided Laggies could wait), and that when I had five other reviews waiting in the wings. It’s absurd. I don’t know how it’s gotten to this point. I’d assume being swamped with awards-season shit is a big part of it, but…

Way back in July, I posted my first article about starting to get burned out and needing to take some time off. I’ve never totally bounced back from that point. For every high point like my Interstellar review, there’ve been many times when I find myself not wanting to write or not really having enough to say. And the truth is, I could scrap the whole thing and the only fallout would be disappointment. But I don’t want to do that.

I’m going to have to work on a few things going forward. A greater sense of self-discipline (which has never been my strong suit), and, I think, a judicious application of the “work smarter, not harder” principle. Saving the long essays for the films that merit them. And when a film doesn’t inspire lengthy commentary, keep it concise. But keep it truthful. I feel I owe you that much for your time.

(UPDATE 12/25: All reviews marked with an asterisk are complete. Other reviews will be added one by one.)

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