Thursday - June 27, 2019
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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

They Stuck the Landing

June 23rd, 2019

It fascinates me how people respond to art in general, and movies in particular. If I had a beer with you right now, the odds are good we’d eventually talk movies. I’d pick your brain about them and try to get a handle on what you like, what you dislike, and why. One person views Forrest Gump as a sweet-natured fable, while a second person thinks of it as anti-liberal propaganda. That’s fine, as most films occupy some kind of a middle ground. What about the classics? What about the few films that stand among the elite? And what about the people who hate those classics? That’s why I adore... Read More

New Team, New Place, Same Flashy Thing

June 16th, 2019

Let’s say you get the idea stuck in your craw that you wanted to write or direct a summer blockbuster. To do that, you’ll want to study the best of the best. What you don’t want is something stupid, cynical, or pandering. Look, I get it. For many of us, the summer movie season is a nightmare. We’re ritually bludgeoned with special effects, broad humor, and cloying animation. Ask the average filmgoer, and they might tell you that summer movies aren’t even intended to be good. They exist to move a franchise forward or sell toys. The average filmgoer might even think that an entertaining... Read More

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

June 9th, 2019

Hearing the right song at the right moment can be life-changing. It can put the love of your life into hyper-focus, pull you back from the abyss, and give you the confidence to stand up to someone twice your size. The right song can feel like it was written just for you, yet millions of people can relate to it. Those kinds of songs are not easy to create, much less perform in a way that feels heartfelt. Elton John has been in the business of creating precisely those kinds of songs for decades. Fine, maybe his stuff isn’t necessarily for you, but whether you like his music or not is almost irrelevant.... Read More

Straight A’s, Zero F’s

June 2nd, 2019

In our own ways, we all have power. From petitions, to marches, to your own creativity, everyone has the power to push the needle in a positive direction. Film has a power that’s mighty, and one of my favorite things is championing a film, getting absolutely blissed-out, and transforming into a cinematic evangelist. The right film can open eyes, change a life, and make the unbearable a little easier to bear. But what if you had the power to prevent a great film from becoming a train wreck? Office Space and Clue are some of the most beloved comedies ever made. They were also disasters at the box... Read More

We Need to Talk About Kal-El

May 26th, 2019

As a human being, I have the ability to hold two completely contradictory ideas in my noggin at the same time. The first idea is that I love superheroes. They’re part of a genre that’s remarkably malleable, and with a bit of creativity, you can tell virtually any kind of story with them. The second idea is that, if superheroes truly existed, they would be terrifying. Let’s talk about Batman, for example. In movies, comics, and other media, he’s a relentless crusader. A protector of the innocent. He’s a hero—one of the good guys. One of his defining attributes is that he always knows... Read More

A Man of Focus

May 19th, 2019

Let’s begin with something that’s indisputable. On April 1, 2009, Alfonso Hernandez and Michael Edmonds thought it would be funny to shoot a dog dead. Why? All cruelty has ever needed to flourish is an opportunity. In this case, Hernandez and Edmonds saw a yellow Labrador puppy outside a home. They shot the dog with a .357 Magnum pistol, then stood over her body, laughing. In addition to being evil, this was a seriously dumb move. The puppy’s name was Dasy. Her guardian was Marcus Luttrell, a SEAL team member awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in combat while serving in Afghanistan. He was... Read More

Detective Deadpool

May 12th, 2019
tim goodman

In order to understand Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, you need to understand a couple of startling facts. First, let’s explain what Pokémon actually is. Created in 1995, this Japanese franchise concerns itself with a world overflowing with what are known a   s pocket monsters. Folks known as trainers must capture different species of Pokémon, which are weird critters that have fantastic powers. From there, they do battle with other trainers to become a champion.* You probably know this, but Pokémon is massive. 807 distinct species of the titular beastie have been created so far, and they appear... Read More

When Everything Works

May 5th, 2019

I don’t know if you guys knew this, but Hollywood is kind of shallow. If you’re a woman, regardless of your talent, intelligence, or drive, an awful lot of people are going to base their first and last impressions of you on your looks and body type. How many wildly talented women never got their shot because they didn’t wear a size zero? Take Charlize Theron for example. Impossibly attractive, she was first noticed in 1996’s 2 Days in the Valley.* For several years, she appeared in a string of forgettable films. She took a risk in 2003 playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. The... Read More

The End Is The Beginning

April 28th, 2019

“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” That quote comes from the under-loved Avengers: Age of Ultron. Upon its 2015 release, we were 11 films deep and there were two schools of thought about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a sprawling epic of interconnectivity. Eager nerds like myself were excited. Comic book creators and imagination machines like Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Steve Ditko used these characters, perhaps unwittingly, as a kind of modern mythology. There were lessons of tolerance, justice, decency. You could take something of real value away from the adventures of a bunch of... Read More

Hell No

April 21st, 2019

Some characters lend themselves to endless interpretations. Batman is one of them. Let’s say you’re planning to make a Batman movie, and by some miracle, you don’t have to attach it to an expanded universe or follow up on threads from a previous installment. Warner Brothers gives you a $90 million budget and sends you on your merry way. What kind of film should you make? Lucky you, because you have options! Just a few of them might be:   A goofy comedy that’s tonally similar to the 1966 Batman television series A horror movie where Batman is trapped within Arkham Asylum A procedural... Read More