ENJOY THE SHOW
With everyone complaining about films being so long these days (anything over two hours instantly becomes a discussion), why not go the opposite direction and just make a short film? Traveling to film festivals all over the world is a wonderful and exciting experience - not just because I hope to discover some gems (like Lara and The August Virgin) but because I get to watch all kinds of films. Big and small, good and bad. And inbetween all these screenings, there's plenty of time to think. To think about what you just saw, and how it could be better, or how perfect it is, how much you want others to see these films. Wrapping up my visit to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year, one thought that came to mind often (specifically about a few of the films) is: this would be better as a short film. So why not just make a short? It could be even better.
"Where you there at the beginning?" That's the question we'll all be talking about over the next few years, thinking back to everything that Marvel Studios has accomplished. With the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame opening in theaters worldwide today, it feels as if we have truly reached a milestone in superhero cinema. This is a big moment… An epic moment, to be more accurate. Yes, we all know that the MCU will continue and Marvel Studios will keep making more and more movies (and TV shows), but Endgame is truly the end of an era. A deeply satisfying conclusion to 11 years of Marvel Studios movies, 21 of them before this, which have all lead to this moment - to this 3 hour superhero extravaganza. That's an unprecedented feat in cinematic storytelling. And even if you hate these Marvel movies, it's impossible to deny just how impressive it is for them to pull off this culmination and collection of characters coming together for one big showdown.
The 91st Academy Awards are upon us and it's time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony is being broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with no host this year, as they couldn't work it out. There are eight Best Picture nominees, and I'm anxious to finally find out who wins - we expect some surprises and upsets, and hopefully some sweet victories. It has been a very tumultuous awards season, with all kinds problems and controversies. But now it's time to find out who is taking home all the Oscars, and who isn't, at the Academy Awards. The full list of nominees below will be updated with winners marked once announced live tonight - refresh for updates.
Read on for a complete list of #Oscars2019 nominees & winners. Let us know what you think of the results!
This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of editorial commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.
Well, it is official. After over two years of speculation and rumors Ben Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live this past week to make it official: he's out as Batman. No more Caped Crusader for him. This should come as no surprise to anyone that is familiar with Affleck's tenure as The Dark Knight. Regardless, it can't help but feel like a colossal disappointment. Despite three appearances over three movies: two leading roles in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and a small cameo in Suicide Squad (2016), Affleck never got a chance as Batman. With this official and with the DC cinematic universe heading in a new direction, there's no better time than now to explore why Ben Affleck was so underutilized.
The complete list of nominees for the 91st Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (from Oscars.org). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning via live broadcast. This has been one of the most controversial and frustrating awards seasons in a long time, with so many great films going unrecognized - but these Oscar nominations are surprisingly solid. There's no need to spend any more time introducing, let's get right into it! This year, The Academy selected a total of eight Best Picture nominees, including: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Roma, and A Star is Born. Rami Malek also got a nod. Without further ado, here's the full list of nominees.
Great films need an equally great score to back them up. And 2018 has been an incredible year for both! The marriage between sound and image is a special craft that too frequently goes unrecognized or under-appreciated. Depending on your school of thought (what you were taught), original scores should either fold in seamlessly into the fabric of a film or they should stand out as a way to enhance the storytelling. A perfect film, however, knows how to balance both where we can marvel when necessary. The few I've chosen to highlight as my favorites have a shared through-line. Not only are there superficial commonalities (like former members of rock groups making the list), collectively they form a musical time capsule for the year's universally-shared emotions. I've excluded musical creations that are primarily soundtracks (sorry, A Star in Born), but it was still a challenge to narrow down the 10 that deserve to be highlighted (and purchased).
"All that matters is that you have an angle." Playing in theaters now is an indie film titled Vox Lux, the second feature made by actor-filmmaker Brady Corbet (his first was The Childhood of a Leader). Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy both play a pop star named Celeste, and the film tells her story and follows her into fame. Mike and I have really wanted to talk about Vox Lux, and we finally recorded this episode - it's an intense back & forth discussion about the good, the bad, what it all means, what it doesn't mean, and everything else about the film. We also chat about a few new trailers including Avengers: Endgame and the new Men in Black. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. This time we dig into Brady Corbet's provocative film Vox Lux with a full breakdown.
The list of nominations for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards (of 2019), the yearly precursor to the Academy Awards, have just been announced today - you can find all the film nominees below. The infamous Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees this morning from The Beverly Hilton. The selection this year is crazier than usual, with musicals in the drama category, despite there being a musical category. Damien Chazelle's First Man only got a few nominations, but none of the big ones - a big upset. Obviously the HFPA loves A Star is Born, The Favourite, and Vice more than almost anything else, but they always have their favorites that they feature. Another odd year of picks but not that surprising for the HFPA.
It is time for the most important debate of our lives. Is Netflix really, truly good for cinema? In all honesty, there is no answer to this question (at least not yet), but it's a discussion worth having anyway. Our latest episode of The First Word podcast is a debate about Netflix's prominence in 2018 and how it's affecting the entertainment industry. Is it making things better? Is it making things worse? How can they improve? Have they released good films? Have they released bad films? We cover a variety of interesting topics in our discussion. Our special guest on this episode is Peter Sciretta, founder and owner and editor of movie site SlashFilm.com, whose extensive knowledge on both TV & film makes him the perfect guest for this episode.
"It's the best movie of the year. You'll hate it." Nothing like defending your pick for the best film of the year by saying "you'll hate it", but that's why we always have to feature this Top 10 every year. One of our favorite lists that kicks off this time of the year is from filmmaker John Waters - his Top 10 favorite films from this year. For 2018, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, lead by Bruno Dumont's historical musical Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc. I haven't heard a single person say they've seen this film much less mentioning it at all, but it's his #1. He also picks a few other underrated films from this year: Carlos López Estrada's Blindspotting, Guy Maddin's cinema mash-up The Green Fog, and yet another French film - Xavier Legrand's Custody, which first premiered last year but just got a release in the spring.
Thank goodness for Letterboxd. I was originally going to title this article "Hitting My Mark", but I'd rather go with the catchphrase "Always Be Watching" - meaning, simply, always be watching films. New films, old films, big films, small films, just keep watching. It's my mantra and has been for years, since the early days of running this website. If I don't want to watch a film that was just released, there's always (always!) more old films to watch. And there's always something that I haven't yet seen to watch. As someone whose job it is to watch movies, my goal is to fit in a movie every day. It's not always possible, but I try. This year I decided to keep track of all the films I've seen using the wonderful Letterboxd, so I can actually keep count and look back at it all. It's the end of July and I'm already over 200 films. Do I get a medal? Nah, I just need sleep.
"You've changed things… forever. There's no going back." On July 18th, 2008, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight opened in theaters worldwide and changed everything. The seminal sequel to 2005's Batman Begins would have an indelible impact on pop culture, the superhero genre, and movies in general. Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance and tragic passing would send shockwaves throughout the industry. With a groundbreaking marketing campaign leading up to its highly anticipated release, The Dark Knight became an unforgettable big screen experience. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, let's take a look back at how Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight changed things forever and remains a masterpiece to this day.