Best Movie Moments of 2017

When writing about movies, I often use the term “cinematic.” Movies are obviously cinematic, but sometimes a film takes an idea or a moment and pushes it to the fore. It can capitalize on the experience of the film, or transcend the film entirely where it becomes the thing audiences rave about. I live for these moments. 2017 was chock full of them and I’ve handpicked ten that entertained and enraptured me. This may or may not be an indicator of what will end up on my upcoming best film list. While I am still busy catching up on the movies I’ve missed, here are my favorite movie moments of 2017.  Continue reading

We Need to Talk About Justice League

There’s a pivotal moment in Justice League where a weary Bruce Wayne champions Diana to lead the team, not him. The film wants to prove otherwise (THE LEAGUE NEEDS BATMAN). Thing is, the idea isn’t half bad. Wonder Woman is a far more efficient warrior; her steadfastness not only gets the job done, it saves Batman’s life. The film wants its team and its hierarchy, the same way Warner Bros. wants an Avengers-level success (so much so they brought in Joss Whedon). But there is no need for either aside from the machine-churning mentality of the studio blockbuster and a larger, interconnected universe – the new norm in franchise filmmaking. 2017 pushed the superhero into its golden age with stellar entries in the genre, making Justice League the sole casualty of the bunch.  Continue reading

‘Star Wars’ and the Nature of Expectation

“This is not going to go the way you think.”

There’s a reason this was the money quote for The Last Jedi. The very placement of this film as the middle chapter inevitably invites the comparison to Empire Strikes Back. Writer-director Rian Johnson seems acutely aware of this and it becomes his main storytelling drive to take everything we know about Star Wars and turn it on its head, much to the benefit of the franchise.  Continue reading

Blade Runner 2049: A Real Human Being

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Perhaps androids could if they actually slept. There’s not a single scene in Blade Runner 2049 where a character, human or replicant, is seen dozing off. Considering the experience of the film, that might precisely be the point. Each scene is so beautifully and evocatively rendered that it feels as though we’re in a dream, which goes on to complicate what’s “real.” Blade Runner may have asked what it means to be human, but 2049 forces us to reconsider the validity of emotions and memories and whether they’re exclusive to the human experience. Because if the human experience can be manufactured, what does that make humanity other than a baseline for something better?  Continue reading

‘Great News’: The Satire on Harassment Culture We Need

In the days since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came to light, we have witnessed the fall of one of Hollywood’s fattest biggest moguls. Weinstein has been fired from his own company, expelled from the Academy, and morally condemned by the public. Yet the most efficient takedown came from an unexpected source – NBC’s Great News. “Honeypot!,” the show’s most recent episode, deals with a growing harassment scandal in the offices of MMN, not at all unlike Weinstein’s snowballing accounts of abuse. Most surprising of all, this was purely coincidental.  Continue reading