Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

The Oscar Recap 2020

February 17, 2020

Musea likes to link to the fine annual Oscar recap of Melanie Pruit. Love film? Take a look!

Oscar Eve Movie List

February 10, 2020

Here’s an Oscar Eve Movie List by Jackie Hendricks.

It’s that time of year again – Oscars Eve, when I post my annual movie list. First, I want to congratulate myself for actually seeing movies in 2019, particularly during Oscar season, and actually managing to see all of the Best Picture nominees. So, none of you have any excuses. Try harder next time.

Seriously, though, I didn’t watch that many movies last year, but focused on targeted viewing of ones that got a lot of buzz or were nominated. I still missed several that would probably have ended up on my list (Uncut Gems, Just Mercy, Honey Boy, etc.). Of the ones I actually saw, I was rather disappointed overall. Maybe my expectations were too high, or my patience has worn thin as a new mom and I can’t sit through 2 ½ hours of anything anymore (seriously – why were so many movies 2 ½ hours??? And The Irishman was, like, a week long!), but the magic wasn’t there for me despite being there for so many of you.

Anyway, here’s the list of my top 10 favorites of 2019, followed by honorable mention, overrated, and underrated lists:

1. Parasite – this is probably the one movie that soared beyond the buzz I heard about it. It’s a really spectacular take on the class divide and wealth gap. And, wow, it is gorgeous – Bong has an incredible eye. I need to look into more of his films – this blew me away.
2. 1917 – I feel like this movie was tailor made to my taste. I love war movies. I love long tracking shots. I love Roger Deakins’s cinematography. I love “surprise! It’s a hot British actor you didn’t realize was in this movie!” It is, however, the safe Oscar bet.
3. Hustlers – I was skeptical of this movie when I first saw the trailers, but it really caught me off guard. It’s got everything you love about the classic mob or heist movie, but presents it in a fresh way: with women! J.Lo is spectacular and absolutely should have been nominated for her performance.
4. Knives Out – Criminally overlooked, this movie was a fun, captivating adventure that subtly wove magnificent social critique. It reminded me so much of watching Clue over and over again as a kid. And, it’s got something for everyone: donut holes, Chris Evans’s cable-knit sweater, and creaky staircases.
5. Jojo Rabbit – I am firmly in the camp that Taika Waititi pulled off a dark comedy about the end of Nazi Germany. I thought it was hilarious, touching, and smart. It sends a strong message in favor of critical thinking in the face of fascist propaganda.
6. Marriage Story – This movie climbs higher on my list the longer I think about it. It’s a frighteningly accurate portrayal of divorce (the legal scenes, the arguments) with stellar performances from the cast. Laura Dern is – rightly – getting the buzz that she’ll win the Oscar, but Adam Driver absolutely owns this film. Easily the performance of his career. And, when he sings “Being Alive,” it is EVERYTHING.
7. Joker – Again, another controversial movie, but I tend to read it as a cautionary tale rather than a celebration of the Joker. Yes, it’s basically a rewrite of Taxi Driver, but I thought it was done well. Joaquin Phoenix was the real selling point – the way he contorted his body in his performance was mesmerizing. Although I think Adam Driver is more deserving, I won’t be mad when he wins the Oscar. Bonus: it’s the first movie I saw with Adam, so it’s always going to have that going for it.
8. The Farewell – It’s an incredibly touching movie about family that is beautifully shot and extremely well acted. Awkwafina should have been nominated for her performance, but I think the whole cast needs recognition. I mean, the subtle “I have no idea what anyone is saying” expression that always rested on the Japanese fiancee’s face absolutely killed me. But, I also have to put an asterisk on this movie since I have been told it’s a bit like Green Book if you’re Chinese.
9. Peanut Butter Falcon – This is such a heartwarming and sweet movie that deserves more recognition. Shia LeBeouf really shines, and Zack Gottsagen makes a wonderful debut. It’s a really neat way to rewrite Huckleberry Finn.
10. The Last Black Man in San Francisco – Although I have never been a resident of SF myself, I thought this was a touching love story/elegy to the city that seems to be rapidly losing its identity to the tech industry and gentrification.

Honorable mention: Ford v Ferrari – this is a good movie that tells a neat story. It won’t stay with you forever, and I think Rush is the better recent race car film, but it’s definitely worth the watch. Little Women – I’ll complain about this below, but it merits a mention here because Adam really seemed to like it. I mean, he watched almost the whole movie (it is beautifully shot with great performances, to be fair). Avengers: Endgame – it’s a little silly to put on this list, but I really liked the concept (take the sitcom clip episode and make it into a movie!) and it was the first time Adam really kicked with a fury while I was pregnant, leading to many more MCU viewings to bond with him.

Overrated: The Irishman – this movie is boring. Joe Pesci is great, there are some incredible scenes with smart lines, but it doesn’t make up for it being boring. But it probably would have been AMAZING if it had only been 2 hours. Little Women – I never read the book, although I kinda knew the plot because it’s one of those stories that seems to be in the American collective memory, and I had really high expectations and thought I would fall in love when I saw it. NOPE – I strongly disliked the non-linear structure because I felt that I couldn’t get invested in the characters, and Jo is so annoying that I could not root for her. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – this movie is trash. It’s horrible. It’s too long, it’s got that stupid revisionist history that Tarantino seems to be invested in (it was clever one time, dude), it’s horribly racist to Bruce Lee (but congrats, Quentin, on not saying the n-word for once), and it’s just Tarantino’s film ego all over the place (look at me! I like classic westerns!). Pitt is excellent, but he always is, so I’m glad he might earn an Oscar for it at least. Midsommar & Us – I am not a horror fan, but after Get Out and Hereditary, I was all excited about the follow-up films so I went out of my comfort zone and saw these movies. Us is well acted (and definitely overlooked for performance awards), but I thought it was a far cry from Get Out. To be fair, maybe it’s because it is literally set too close to home for my comfort. Midsommar is gorgeous, and probably should be up for cinematography, but it’s so predictable and TOO LONG. Again, if it’s 2 ½ hours GET THEE TO THE EDITING ROOM.

Underrated: Hustlers, Knives Out, and The Farewell were probably the most overlooked, but the Academy really seemed to mail it in this year. I mean, I have an excuse to miss a lot of movies since I had a baby, but I have no idea what the Academy was busy doing.

Golden Age in Film

September 30, 2019

While Hollywood is slipping, there are 3 places where film is going through a golden age:

1. Youtube videos and video makers.
2. Non network TV series and documentaries
3. K – Dramas, South Korean TV Shows.


March 9, 2019

Videos? Maybe it’s time to give them a rest and get back to the audio, the music!

When you have to spend thousands to make a video, that means 99% of musicians can’t have careers. It’s a way to keep the music corporate, generic, and bland. TeXas Video Showdown, the worst video ever made, on purpose; protests all this and the fact that only 3 men control the music industry (CEO’s from Warners, Sony, Universal) When was the last time you heard a musician protest anything in the music business?

What if you are a great musician, but you don’t want to spend 100 thousand on a video?
What if you are a great musician but don’t like teen pop that always sounds the same?
What if you are a great musician but you don’t support the 3 CEO’s that control the music business?

Oscar Recap!

March 4, 2019

Dear Readers,

Melanie Pruit has posted her roundup of this years Oscars.
This is one of the most in depth coverages out there.
Here’s the link to recap what happened on movies biggest night!


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