My Daughter and Captain Marvel

When my daughter begged to go see Captain Marvel again, I knew this was something special. She never begs me for anything, you see. She tells me we’re going to McDonald’s; that I’m getting her a new toy, or that we’re making another tub of slime. (Please, my living room, it looks like the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. HELP) When I picked her up the week following Captain Marvel’s release, she came out of her classroom sporting a marvelous jumper and I knew.

I did the same thing after watching 2000’s X-Men and I wore no other shirts to school except ones that had Wolverine on them, and again after 2002’s Spider-Man. My little captain told me about her favorite parts of the movie while stressing that though she had seen it already, she HAD to see it twice. I said we’ll go this weekend. No, she meant today. Like, right now.

I said okay, but we have to do her homework first.

She told me she’d get started during the drive. She REALLY wanted to see Captain Marvel again. Continue reading

And the Oscar Goes to… Bradley Cooper

Update: 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

It was during the meltdown scene in Silver Linings Playbook when I realized how much I underestimated Bradley Cooper as an actor. He goes from tender to volatile, rage-filled to repentant. Some of the best actors often overdo high-emotion scenes like this. When it’s a bipolar character in question, it becomes all the more crucial to get the nuances right otherwise you risk mocking the affliction. Cooper, fortunately, nails it with heartbreaking frequency.

In any other year, I firmly believe Bradley Cooper would’ve walked away with the trophy for his performance as Pat Solitano, but there’s just no competing with Daniel Day Lewis.

This year might finally be his. Cooper faces stiff competition for sure with Rami Malek poised to win and Christian Bale in position to pull off an upset. But Cooper’s performance as Jackson Maine, more than any of the 2019 Best Actor nominees, feels the most complete to me. Continue reading

Oscars 2019: Best Picture – ‘Black Panther’ Is Absolutely Oscar-Worthy

What makes a Best Picture? I ask this because I think a lot of us use the platform of the Oscars to represent our personal taste and opinions. That’s a little too singular for an organization comprised of 7,000 members. Think bigger than critics and Rotten Tomatoes scores. Think about the cultural moment we’re in. Think about what film as a medium can do, and how both the modern condition and today’s technology can push that. Continue reading

Oscars 2019: Best Director Race – Auteur Meets Relevancy

There are only 2 Oscar categories I care about this year: Best Director and Best Picture. The latter I’ll get to. The former I’ll jump right in. There are going to be some pretty divisive snubs come Tuesday, which seems like it’s always the case as the Oscars continue to toe between prestige and trendiness. Oddly enough, that’s what also makes this race so exciting, because more and more films are meeting at that precipice.  Continue reading

Best Films of 2018

Movies made 2018 somewhat tolerable for me. Judging by 2018’s record box office receipts, it seems like films made the year tolerable for the lot of you.

Here comes the hard part: choosing 10 of my favorite films of the year and ranking them by way of preference. This is my sixth time composing this year-end list and it doesn’t get any easier when the slate is this good.

I will fight anyone who says 2018 was a lame year for movies. From small and independent fare that wended their way into the mainstream conscience (A Quiet Place, Hereditary), to big budget extravaganzas that delivered the hype and obliterated expectations (Black Panther, M:I – Fallout), to Oscar dramas that wound up becoming event films in and of themselves (A Star Is Born, Roma). The past year in movies may be set and done but it nonetheless sets the bar astronomically high for 2019. These were the best movies of 2018 IMO:  Continue reading