If you want the gravy…

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The Big Screen and I, Part I

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The movie that changed everything for me. (Source)

In case you didn’t know, I like movies.

And more than that, I like going to the movies. Watching a movie at home, there are all too many distractions. In the theater, your attention is compelled. Distractions are discouraged, even penalized. In the theater, the film rules all. So I go to theater quite a bit.

But it wasn’t always that way. Growing up, going to the movies was a comparatively rare treat. It wasn’t like we couldn’t afford it – once my dad got a DVD player we began amassing a collection which now numbers in the thousands. But we didn’t go to the cinema as a matter of course.

The first film I can definitively remember seeing in the theater was The Pagemaster. I’m sure there were others before it, but I no longer have even a shadow of a memory of them. I saw Titanic at age 8 and said “Eww!” at the sex scene; I saw The Phantom Menace and hated it intensely; we went to the next town over to see Fantasia 2000 because it didn’t play everywhere in its non-IMAX release.

And of course, we saw The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, and so forth – we also saw both the 1998 Godzilla and Godzilla 2000. (I can also claim to have seen Alexander in the theater, for what that’s worth.) But for the most part, we watched movies at home. In 2006 – not, admittedly, a banner year for cinema – I think we only went once, to see The DaVinci Code.

It was the next year – March 9, 2007, at 9:30 p.m., to be exact – that things began to change. I didn’t become a ravenous film-goer overnight, but visit by visit my cinephilia grew, and the end result is this article; a trip down memory lane, and a long lane it is. So join me, if you will, and remember.

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My Most Anticipated Films of 2017 v. 1.0

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A Janus Films release; a future Criterion Collection entry, perhaps? (Source)

As we work our way through the 2016 awards season and try to wrap up the last of that contentious year, it’s only right that we also look to the future. I can’t say if 2017 will go down as good year in film or not; less than two weeks into it I don’t even have the firmest grasp on what will come out.

But we have to start somewhere, and after some research I’ve compiled a list of 80 films which I’m anticipating – or, in some cases, dreading.

Please note that not all of my analyses are as thoughtful or in-depth as might be optimal. This is just a first casting of the net to see what awaits us. I’ll put out another rendition of this list later in the year, probably either after Cannes or right around when I do my Six-Month Awards.

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TRAILER SALAD V: INHERENT VICE, MOMMY, THE BABADOOK, THE HEART MACHINE, BLACKHAT

It’s finally arrived. I can now only think of one more major trailer that has not yet arrived–that for Ava DuVernay’s Selma.

Now, what do I think of it? I think it looks fun. I’m getting a definite Big Lebowski vibe (which has been confirmed by a friend of mine who’s read the book), along with a hint of Fear and Loathing–and since I love both of those films, that is, I would say, a good thing. I will say I’m not sold on it being in my Best Picture lineup (not yet, at least), but I do think it’s got potential (from both the Academy and myself) for Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (for Josh Brolin), and Costume Design recognition. And who knows, Joanna Newsom’s narration might earn her Supporting Actress consideration.

Really, though, I don’t know what to expect. Anderson’s trailers often feature footage that didn’t make the final cut (The Master especially), so who knows what we’ll really get? I’ll read the novel before I see the film, but even that might not prepare me for what Anderson’s going to do to it. He’s going from arguably his bleakest film to his funniest.

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