1st (and Last Ever) Miscellaneous Film Awards

The last and first few months of the year tend to get mad pretentious with all this awards talk. If you suddenly find yourself insanely posh and judgmental, you know why. Everyone, it seems, is touting a frontrunner for every major film category out there. But what about the ones that reaaaaallly matter? If you wondered to yourself what was the Most 2018-Sounding Profession, or Longest Movie Title, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading

Best Movie Moments of 2018

I live for the movie moment – the one scene where everything sings, soars, makes us speak in mad allusions. They’re happening all the time. Characters may literally break into song, or actually take flight. No matter how cheesy they might seem, the truly memorable ones tend to find you when you need them the most.

2018 is somehow both rapidly winding down and not even close to being over, because my do I still have a lot of film-catching up to do. This year was so stellar that it broke my usual top ten listing. It’s a weird number, but who cares. Here are my 11 favorite cinematic moments of 2018:

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‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’: A Master Class in Action Filmmaking

I blame my taste in action movies on Jackie Chan. Police Story 3: Supercop left quite the impression on me as a kid. I grew up during the action boom of the ‘90s. Movies like Speed, Hard Boiled, The Professional, Point Break, and Lethal Weapon (to name a few) were more memories to me than movies. Supercop is a particularly cherished one.

When Jackie Chan is dangling off that helicopter, or when Michelle Yeoh is hanging onto that truck for dear life, I was immediately engaged. They could fall! Indeed they do. When they fight teams of bad guys, it looks like they actually got hit, or hurt. They do, and when you see the end credits, you know that they did many times over. Both Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh did superhuman things, but they always came across as unpretentiously human. To me, that’s what makes a great action film.

I thought a lot about Supercop as I watched Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Continue reading

In Praise of David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

“She’s different,” Armansky says, words that mark the worldwide iconographic appeal of the title-heroine. “In what way?” Dirch Frode asks. “In every way.” I can’t think of a more unique blockbuster in recent memory. No, not the R-rated drama aspect of David Fincher’s lurid and underrated gem. The hard-R studio adult franchise, or the promising start of one. Considering Fincher never got to see through to a trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remains as a defiant standalone movie that’s wholly unique and of a blockbuster caliber that’s rarely been attempted since. Continue reading

A 2018 Look at ‘Spider-Man 3’

Last night, before heading off to watch Venom, some friends and I gathered to behold the modern-day masterpiece known as Spider-Man 3. I’m half being ironic here because we expected to cover our eyes out of cringe-inducing embarrassment. What we found instead was a much more watchable film than any of us remembered. Spider-Man 3’s problems, like its unaffecting villains, are still there, but they are no more outrageous than the sins committed by some of today’s biggest studio misfires. Spider-Man 3 may have emerged as an unexpected gif-sensation, but it is also an interesting case study as far as where Sony was with its veritable Spider-Man franchise and, unfortunately, where it still is.  Continue reading