In cinematic circles, there are a few names for this time of year. Awards-minded individuals call the fall “Oscar season” because this is when the campaigning for little gold men gets particularly hot and heavy. The late film critic Roger Ebert used to call it “good movie season,” because the byproduct of all that campaigning was all of the studios’ most promising and intellectually stimulating titles getting released together in the span of two months. In recent years, I’ve started to call the fall by a different name: Biopic season, because barely a week goes by without a new biographical film.
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After the November 17 New York City premiere of ‘Selma’—the new Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic that details his time during the Selma, Alabama civil rights marches—the film’s cinematographer, Bradford Young, speaking to the audience after, made a reference to this film being about today as much as it’s about 1964. While doing so, Bradford, who is an extremely passionate man, evoked images from what we all saw out of Ferguson, Missouri this past August. He then spoke emotionally about his job and his life and his family:
When I was a little kid, Bill Cosby was someone who I (and many others) looked at as a person to aspire to be. He was the epitome of “good.” Looking back, I should have just stuck with Spider-Man and Han Solo—fictional characters have a way of not turning out to be alleged serial rapists—but this was the reality for many children of the ‘80s. I realize how stupid this sounds now. Human being are flawed (or much, much worse), but eight year olds don’t really think like that.
‘Mockingjay’ is the latest example of perhaps the single most frustrating trend in modern Hollywood: The part-ification of franchise finales. It’s no longer enough to make a successful movie, or even a successful series of movies; Hollywood now extends—or dilutes, really—these cash cows even further, by breaking their concluding installments in half. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you absolutely can judge a movie by its title, at least when that title includes the phrase “Part 1.” If it does, get ready for a languid, uneventful film full of set-up and absolutely zero payoff.
The main character of this show, the one who goes by John Constantine, is an impostor. I know John Constantine, sir, and you are no John Constantine.
The last time Christopher Nolan released a movie, film critics got death threats. That was back in 2012, when Nolan released ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ and the first writers who dared to stray from the positive consensus about the film received waves of overwhelming backlash. After Marshall Fine published his pan, his site and his page on Rotten Tomatoes were both bombarded with angry comments politely requesting he “die in a fire” and hoping someone would beat him into a coma with a “thick rubber hose.”
Steve Carell’s ‘Foxcatcher’ role builds upon his solid dramatic work in 2007’s 'Dan in Real Life' and 2013’s 'The Way Way Back.' But more importantly, it’s a part that’s tailor-made for the comedian, given that it functions as something like the dark flip-side to his trademark funnyman persona.
In the last couple years “What [Movie X] Gets Wrong About [Thing Y]” pieces have become one of the most common types of articles in all of online film writingdom. Their popularity is not hard to explain. Dopes like me see a movie like ‘Interstellar,’ filled with incomprehensible conversations about astrophysics, and they’re curious just how fast and loose the filmmakers played with the truth. The problem comes when authors take their nitpicks one step further into the realm of criticism; when “What X Gets Wrong About Y” becomes “What X Gets Wrong About Y—And Why That Ruins The Movie.”
It’s not surprising to learn that ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ isn’t a very good movie. But as an artifact of the time, it’s inherently fascinating as one of only two Brat Pack movies.
'BoJack Horseman' isn't just a very funny, very clever and very smart comedy, it may be the best original program that Netflix has produced yet. Seriously. Go ahead and let the trashy soap opera antics of 'House of Cards' steal the glory at the Emmy nominations! 'BoJack Horseman' is the kind of show that's too good and too cool for awards.