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'La La Land' sweeps the Golden Globes, Oscars next?

Posted January 9, 2017, 4:01 PM

If there's one thing that my dearly departed (from this site, not from the Earth thank goodness) colleague Tim always preached, it was to keep religion and politics separate from the site. We have tried our best to do so and will continue in that effort as much as we can, but last night's Golden Globes awards show is just the latest reminder of the deep fracture that exists in this country.

What should have been a wonderful celebration of an amazing year of diversity and great films was largely overshadowed by an acceptance speech by Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep. She received the Cecil B. Demille Award and her five-minute speech turned into an indictment of the incoming administration without naming names.

In case you missed it, the speech is embedded below.

At tonight's #GoldenGlobes we honor Hollywood legend Meryl Streep with the...

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A look back at the films I watched in 2016

Posted January 5, 2017, 4:01 PM

If you recall, I made a new year's resolution last year to watch at least 100 movies in 2016. Given that I have two toddlers at home, that was an ambitious goal to be sure. But, I was game to give it the old college try.

I am happy to report that not only did I meet that goal but I surpassed it by watching 104 films in 2016. I ranked each film that I watched according to Letterboxd's 5-star rating system and some interesting trends emerged.

Out of my top ten ranked films, I saw eight of them at the theater. So, either I was very selective on choosing which films to see in theaters (I did watch a total of 13 films at the theater in 2016) or the very act of seeing a film in a theater helps to...

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January the 4th: 'Rogue One' Redux

Posted January 4, 2017, 5:01 PM

No, that headline isn't a subtle reference to more adventures with the Rogue One crew, it's just a reminder that in the aftermath of Rogue One's release, this month's news coverage is going to be dominated by Rogue One news, naturally.

Speaking of the latest film in the Star Wars franchise, what did you think of it? If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? The film has surpassed $450 million at the U.S. box office and should become 2016's highest grossing release this weekend.

So, without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?

Naturally, I was a first-day audience member for Rogue One and I've seen it twice now. It not only holds up well over repeat viewings, but there are a ton of little things that you miss the first time through. I shared my thoughts in...

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Review: 'Blair Witch' will scare and delight fans of the original film

Posted January 3, 2017, 5:01 PM

On July 16, 1999, a phenomenon was born. On that date, The Blair Witch Project debuted in theaters and the term "found footage" found its way into our lexicon. While the merits of that accomplishment can be debated, one thing is indisputable, The Blair Witch Project was a cultural phenomenon that forever changed film.

While many found footage films that followed weren't worth the celluloid they were filmed on, the original Blair Witch Project remains a classic case study of capturing lightning in a bottle. The film was made for around $60,000 and went on to gross over $140 million at the box office, making it one of the biggest box office hits as a percentage of budget ever made.

So, a sequel was a given, right? Well, yes and no. The problem with doing a sequel to The Blair Witch Project...

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Review: 'Middle School' is pure wish fulfillment at its finest

Posted January 3, 2017, 3:01 PM

Everyone remembers Middle School, but few of us remember those years fondly. They are often those awkward years when boys and girls develop and lead to socially awkward encounters that many of us are thankful happened long before the invention of Facebook.

I have read many of James Patterson's novels, but even I was a bit surprised when he started to swerve from his traditional adult fare to the tame pastures of teen fiction. How could the writer of violent thrillers such as Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider possibly write for kids?

Well, I read Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to capture a certain nuance about adolescence that I often found in films and literature during my teen years in the 1980s. So, it was with a...

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Review: The 'Snowden' review that the NSA doesn't want you to see

Posted December 27, 2016, 3:12 PM

When I was asked to review Snowden for our sites, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I didn't have a chance to see the film in theaters and the combination of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Oliver Stone was too juicy to pass up.

Up until that point, I had what I would call "passing knowledge" of NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden. That is to say that I knew that he leaked classified information about the government's mass surveillance practices in the wake of 9/11. I also knew that he was a fugitive currently living in Russia.

Sadly, I think that's pretty much all that most people really knew about the situation. For many, Snowden was a traitor and deserved the ultimate punishment for treason, death. For others, he was a hero that brought to light egregious violations of civil liberties made by the U.S...

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Tuesday Mixer: First look at 'Alien: Covenant'

Posted December 27, 2016, 11:12 AM

I'm really beginning to think that Disney is completely changing the way that we watch films. Well, I mean, of course they are. They own the biggest film properties and as such, they pretty much dictate how and when we watch the films that we most want to see.

Take Star Wars, for example.

Until Disney took the reins of the Star Wars franchise, it was just like any other blockbuster franchise. They would pick out a nice summer date and ride the high during the high water days of the box office.

Whether by choice or chance, they discovered a new gold mine when they debuted The Force Awakens last December and rode it to the highest-grossing film ever released. This year's release of Rogue One would go a long way to determining whether they would stick with this new release schedule...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

  • Beyond Redemption
  • All We Had
  • Stake Land 2
  • Passage to Mars
  • Sophie & The Rising Sun