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Must Watch: Mumford & Sons’ 12 Years Strong

Posted by Greg on Apr 25, 2019 in Movies, Music

Our favorite video platform, Vevo, and one of our favorite bands, Mumford & Sons, have released the film “Mumford and Sons: 12 Years Strong,” a documentary that provides behind-the-scenes footage of the band’s US Delta tour. One of the highlight’s of the film is an exclusive live performance of current single “Forever” featuring Americana multi-instrumentalist Jerry Douglas. That is one of just many memorable tunes, as is a look back at the 2012 album Babel and the making of their current album Delta.

Whether or not you like or appreciate Mumford & Sons, 12 Years Strong is an absolute must-watch and easily the best thing we’ve viewed this week.

 
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Top Films of 2018

Posted by Greg on Dec 31, 2018 in Movies

Let this be known: We have yet to see A Star is Born and quite a few other big films of 2018, but without further ado, here’s our list. Read more…

 
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Goyo: The Boy General Opens in NYC Today

Posted by Greg on Sep 21, 2018 in Movies

Today in New York City, a big budget historical biopic from the Philippines opens in theaters. Goyo: The Boy General focuses on the latter months in the life of Gregorio del Pilar, one of the youngest generals of the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War. Read more…

 
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Our 50 Favorite Films This Year

Posted by Greg on Dec 26, 2017 in Movies

1. Dunkirk
2. The Lost City of Z
3. Lady Bird
4. The Florida Project
5. The Shape of Water
6. Get Out
7. Columbus
8. Dawson City: Frozen in Time
9. Call Me By Your Name
10. Faces Places
Read more…

 
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Top 10 Movies So Far This Year

Posted by Greg on Jul 25, 2017 in Movies

1. Dunkirk
2. The Lost City of Z
3. Get Out
4. Colossal
5. The Hero
6. T2: Trainspotting
7. Okja
8. Logan
9. John Wick: Chapter 2
10. Split

 
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Top 20 Films of 2016

Posted by Greg on Jan 25, 2017 in Movies

Now that the Oscar nominations are out, it’s time for me to put together my list. Now admittedly, I did not gat around to seeing as many films as I wanted to this year and unfortunately have yet to see many of the major movies garnering awards attention but hey there are only so many hours in the day. Foremost of those omitted and not yet seen are: Arrival, Moonlight, Silence, Hell or High Water and Lion. So perhaps this is a flawed list but below are the top 20 films I saw this year.

1. La La Land
2. Manchester By The Sea
3. Toni Erdmann
4. Fences
5. Patriots Day
6. Sully
7. OJ Made in America
8. Hacksaw Ridge
9. Jackie
10. 20th Century Women

11. Hidden Figures
12. Nocturnal Animals
13. A Man Called Ove
14. Hail Caesar
15. Hunt for the WIlderpeople
16. The Witness
17. Hooligan Sparrow
18. Captan Fantastic
19. Florence Foster Jenkins
20. Loving

 
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Side Effects Starts Promising, Ends Ridiculously

Posted by Greg on Feb 9, 2013 in Movies

Leave it to provocateur Steven Soderbergh to muck up a potentially tremendous film. Side Effects, the latest from the director of Traffic, Haywire and countless others, takes a potentially convincing story and railroads it to pieces. How exactly the film has gotten such rave reviews befuddles me. Read more…

 
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2013 Golden Globe Thoughts

Posted by Greg on Jan 14, 2013 in Movies

Golden Globe Thoughts

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz was easily the best part of Django Unchained and if you ask me, he’s one of the best actors around. So any time he gets hardware, I’m a happy dude.

Actress in TV Show: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. An amazing TV show and an awesome actress. Definitely happy she won. To be fair, of all the nominees, its the only show I was intimately familiar with.

Best Miniseries/TV Movie: Game Change winning is fine, but Hatfields and McCoys most definitely deserved it. Jay Roach is a great director when he wants to be serious, and when he wants to really bring it.

Read more…

 
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Running With Scissors: Not a Trainwreck Film

Posted by Greg on Mar 4, 2011 in Movies

Last week I watched the Ryan Murphy-directed film Running With Scissors, loosely based on the Augusten Burroughs memoir of the same name. Though it was critically panned and a box office bomb, there’s a certain charm and quirkiness at work in the film that’s quite charismatic. Veritable newcomer Joseph Cross as Augusten has a wide-eyed optimism and a teenage whimsy that’s easily relatable and even easier to root for.

Brian Cox as the oddball therapist that adopts Burroughs is certainly at his best, even if he is a bit over-the-top. Gwyneth Paltrow and Evan Rachel Wood as Cox’s daughters are decent, with the younger Wood overshadowing her elder. Paltrow, who goes opposite her usual role, certainly feels a bit forced. But whether that is the screenwriter’s fault or just Paltrow trying too hard is anyone’’s guess. Either way her placement in the film is a bit askance.

The true standout though is Annette Benning, who gives a near flawless performance as a delusional mother whose mental instability suffocates her marriage and limits her abilities as a mother. While Murphy often chases down the absurd, there are certainly enough scenes of value and merit to help Running With Scissors from collapsing on top of itself. Equal parts Hotel New Hampshire and The Royal Tennenbaums, it’s a winning film, if not an under-appreciated charmer.

Post-script: Murphy is now a media darling given the rampant success of Glee. But one has to wonder if Running With Scissors was released this month, would it still get ripped apart? Methinks it wouldn’t, but what do I know?

 
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Oscar Thoughts From a Curmudgeon

Posted by Greg on Feb 28, 2011 in Movies, Op-Ed

Every year I look forward to the Oscars and every year I’m let down. Maybe I’m just hard to please. Don’t get me wrong I’m thrilled with all the awards The King’s Speech won ––––it deserved them –––– and I was happy Christian Bale finally won, that’s not really the problem. The problem is….well, allow me to explain.

Kirk Douglas is an icon and a true legend, but does he really need that much time in the spotlight? Call me cold-hearted, cruel and insubordinate, but his rambling monologue was a few minutes too long. Sure it was funny and yes it was nice to see the old guy still doing his thing, but for the life of me, it was painful to watch. If you think I’m being unfair to a stroke victim and a geriatric, then I’ll take the time to pick on someone else. Namely Aaron Sorkin. Seriously dude that acceptance speech needed to be a lot shorter. We all know you’re smart, we all know you think the world of yourself, but just shut the hell up and get off the stage.

As for the winners. Everything went as planned. Well, except for Best Supporting Actress.

Someone please explain to me how Hailee Steinfield is billed as a supporting actress. True Grit is her story, and she is the fulcrum on which the entire script moves. I understand she’s a newcomer and a no-name, but the Coen brothers trusted her enough to pit her in the lead role, and the awards committee should honor their decision. As for the winner, Melissa Leo was great in The Fighter, and performed her role flawlessly, but that being written, the performance was not really the stuff of Oscar legend.

Jacki Weaver on the other hand was unrivaled in the underrated and overlooked Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom. My take is Leo is getting the award for kicking ass in Frozen River a few years ago and getting snubbed there. But who am I to know? I’m just a crochety 20-something picking on Kirk Douglas.

Toy Story 3 is a great Pixar film and a true delight through and through, but did it really need to win two awards? Randy Newman is a terrific songwriter and a bonafide talent but come on, enough with the love fest. Did he really need a second Oscar? I realize he’s been nominated 20 times, but seriously, just no.

My only other complaint is how in the hell did Biutiful not win for Best Foreign Film? Every critic agreed Bardem was sensational and that the script was Gonzalez-Irriatu’s best. So why the disrespect? Yeah his films are dark, dismal and downright chilling, but No Country For Old Men wasn’t a laughfest either and it was decked out with Oscar gold.

A few other things. I’m glad Inception got a few wins, even if they were in the smaller categories. Christopher Nolan’s directing prowess is limitless and the film was a true high watermark, so it’s good to see the Oscars continue to respect his talents.

As for the show itself. Franco proved to be a capable and charming host, while Hathaway was anything but. The laughs were good and the show moved quickly. But when it’s all said and done, not even a F-bomb from Leo could cement this year’s Oscars as anything truly special. Then again, what do I know? I picked Kate WInslet over Natalie Portman and Exit Through the Gift Shop over Inside Job.

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