If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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My 5th Annual Film Awards: Your Winners, My Winners, and My Rankings for Each Category

It’s time.

I was going to have a survey here, but I’ll save that for Monday.

A quick thanks to all of you who voted and all of you who got the vote out. The turn-out this year was lower than last year’s, but I must attribute some of that to my getting the polls up so late. I’ll see if I can’t do better next year.

Click that button to see our results.

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CHI-RAQ Review – ***

Chi-Raq poster

Spike Lee returns, if not to form. (Source)

When I was in Chicago for Thanksgiving, the subject of Chi-Raq came up at dinner, and my uncle’s girlfriend dropped her voice to a whisper, noting that the city fathers of Chicago had condemned the film, starting with its title, a damning nickname for a city long infamous for violence and crime, which Spike Lee was asked (and refused) to change. It increased my excitement for a film which, on paper, sounded like a must-see.

I’m not inclined to say that it is, but I’m less inclined to say that it isn’t. In some respects, it’s vintage Lee–righteously angry, incendiary, exuberantly stylized–and uneven in tone and quality. But it lacks the emotional or thematic unity to wholly overcome that unevenness, and it cannot be counted as one of his masterpieces.

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My Six-Month Film Awards: 2015

Not a bad start to the year.

Not a bad start to the year.

I decided to list the top 20 in each category, though most categories don’t have even half that many contenders. The top 5 in each category are my nominees, and as such are bolded.

Picture:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Inside Out
  3. Love & Mercy
  4. Ex Machina
  5. Spy
  6. It Follows
  7. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  8. Maps to the Stars
  9. ’71
  10. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  11. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  12. Avengers: Age of Ultron

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LOVE & MERCY Review – ****½

One of the better posters of the year so far. And one of the better films. (Source)

One of the better posters of the year so far. And one of the better films. (Source)

So I’m back home and back reviewing movies, and I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do. There are a number of reviews I’d like to get out in the next two weeks, and originally this was to be part of a triple review with Tomorrowland and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. But this film is good enough to have its own article, and indeed, it’s one of the nicest surprises of the first half of 2015: a musical biopic that just might stand on its own cinematic legs in the years to come. As with many such films, it highlights a superior lead performance(s), but Love & Mercy has more to it than that. It’s a hell of a film in a lot of ways, and even if it probably won’t make a tenth of what Jurassic World made in its first weekend, it’s by far the better film.

See it before it’s gone.

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Top 10 Watch: Trailers for MAPS TO THE STARS, GONE GIRL, and THE HOMESMAN (NSFW) (UPDATED)

We now have trailers for two of my most anticipated films of the year, along with a third film I’m quite intrigued by.

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