DOPE Review – ***½

¹Dope is the kind of film that defies easy categorization and criticism. Its tone, its story, and its special mixture of strengths and weaknesses cannot be easily summarized. It’s the kind of film which many will consider better than it is–and for valid reasons. It’s the kind of film you want to like, and there are times when…

SELMA Review – ****

The historical drama film carries a certain kind of baggage. There’s always the risk that history will be distorted, often for the sake of a more “dramatic” narrative, or that the historical figures will be depicted as more saintly–or demonic–than they truly were. Selma is the kind of film which manages to be both compelling…

My Top 20 and Bottom 20 of 2013

I wasn’t originally going to do this–I figured I’d said enough about these films over the last few weeks–but what the hell? This and my post-Oscar article will round the year off nicely (he said in March). My Top 10: 1. Spring Breakers Because this is 2013. This is how we live now. Is it an exaggerated…

My 3rd Annual Film Awards: The Official Nominees

Picture: Captain Phillips Her Nebraska Prisoners Short Term 12 Spring Breakers A Touch of Sin 12 Years a Slave Upstream Color The Wolf of Wall Street Director: Shane Carruth (Upstream Color) Spike Jonze (Her) Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin) Actor: Bruce Dern (Nebraska) Leonardo…

Longlists to Nominees: Supporting Actor

You cannot make bricks without clay, and we’ve got a shit-ton of clay to work with here; 14 actors representing 16 performances. I think I know what I want to do here…but there might be some surprises along the way. Side note: Am I the only one who’s surprised NO ONE nominated Clooney for Gravity? Everyone…

Longlists to Nominees: Original Song

Here’s a nice easy one. Unlike Original Score, where you have a feature-length score to consider, here you’ve got a (typically) 2-5 minute song to worry about. And since there wasn’t an overflow of great movie songs this year, I think I can knock this one out pretty quickly. But let’s do it right. “In…