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John Waters Reveals His Top 10 Films of 2022 - Chalamet & Donkey

John Waters - EO Top 10

"Can a movie be both stupid and effete yet unironic? Only the French can pull that off…" Ready to surprise us again!! It's always a joy to discover what John Waters has chosen for his Top 10 list every year. One of our favorite "best of the year" lists that kicks off this time of the year is from filmmaker John Waters - his Top 10 favorite films in a list that is unlike any other. For 2022, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) strange mix of films, featuring not only one but two films from French filmmaker François Ozon - Peter Von Kant and Everything Went Fine. These originally premiered in different years, but were released together in 2022. Other highlights include Bones and All, mostly because he's really attracted to Timothée Chalamet (who isn't??), Quentin Dupieux's goofball superhero comedy Smoking Causes Coughing, and the iconic donkey movie EO, which premiered in Cannes this summer. Check out all of his favorites below.

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 Posted on December 1 in Discuss, Indies, Movie News | Comments

Discuss: Who's Really the Villain in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

"You perform civility here, but we know what you whisper in your halls of leadership and in your military facilities." Playing in theaters worldwide is Marvel Studios' sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, director Ryan Coogler's follow-up to the massively successful Black Panther from 2018. Our writer MSB has already published a comprehensive review with his own thoughts on this MCU Phase 4 finale, so I want to bring up some different ideas about the movie. I think Wakanda Forever is actually better, much better, than the original Black Panther movie – which is a bit of a mess in terms of script and set pieces (aside from the Busan chase). It's better because it's much darker, much more confident, and much more complex - not only with the story and Wakanda trying to recover from the loss of T'Challa / Chadwick Boseman, but also with intricate emotions and characters that are not glossy & flawless. The two leaders in this one, Shuri of Wakanda and Namor of Talokan, are both brooding, angry people who just want to defend their own nation.

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 Posted on November 11 in Discuss, Marvel, Review | 2 Comments

What Do Both 'Don't Worry Darling' & 'Crimes of the Future' Have in Common?

Don't Worry Darling + Crimes of the Future

Even as a film critic, i. e., someone who encounters the big screen more often than the average moviegoer, it's rare to watch two distinguishable flicks consecutively and discover they have almost exactly the same pros and cons. Don't Worry Darling and Crimes of the Future may share similar horror elements, but hardly anyone would remember to directly compare the films of "newcomer" director Olivia Wilde and "legend" filmmaker David Cronenberg. However, seeing these two movies back-to-back within less than 24 hours and without any other content in between only emphasized the importance of all the filmmaking components being in sync, and how much they can influence the general opinion of those who watch them.

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 Posted on October 7 in Discuss, Editorial, Review | Comments

Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York - Four Terrific Fall Film Festivals

Venice Film Festival

Who's ready for the fall film festival season to kick off?! If you work in the movie industry, or if follow the movie industry, or if you just love new movies, September 1st is the big day when the fall season begins. It's an exciting time because four major film festivals take place back-to-back, and all of the excellent films that have been finishing up this year will be premiering across many of them. The Venice Film Festival (in its 79th year / aka "Venezia") kicks things off every fall, launching just days before the Telluride Film Festival (in its 49th year / aka "Telluride"). Days after Telluride is over, and before Venice has even ended, the Toronto Film Festival (in its 47th year / aka "TIFF") launches. At the end of the month, the iconic and glamorous New York Film Festival (in its 60th year / aka "NYFF") begins with a big celebration at the beloved Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. I have been to all four of these festivals many times over the years, and I'd say that each one is an outstanding film festival and any of these four are worth attending.

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 Posted on August 29 in Discuss, Editorial | Comments

What is 'The Batman' Really Getting At? Maybe We Need to Reflect

The Batman

"I wish I could say I'm making a difference, but I don't know." Is he making a positive difference or making everything worse? I've seen Matt Reeves' dark, gritty Gotham City noir thriller The Batman three times already. I've been thinking plenty about the movie over the last few weeks, but specifically about the plot, all three hours of it. What does it mean, what is the script trying to say? What is it really getting at? It's a story about the first years of DC's iconic superhero Batman, yes, but it's also deeper than that. By the third time I watched, there were a few key scenes that really stuck out to me that I didn't necessarily pick up on the first times around. On the surface, The Batman is about his "early years" in Gotham City as he's figuring himself out, trying to make sense of the crime in Gotham City, and whether or not he's helping stop all the crime as a masked vigilante. Similar to The Daily Bugle always hating Spider-Man, at the start most of the city seems to be against him, seeing him as a menace more than a hero. Which is an important lesson for him to learn.

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 Posted on April 5 in DC Movies, Discuss, Editorial | 2 Comments

2022 Academy Awards Winners - 'CODA', Jane Campion, Will Smith

2022 Academy Awards

The 94th Academy Awards are finally 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 once again taking place much later than usual this year, we're already into spring, and the awards season has been very long since last fall. There are ten Best Picture nominees from 2021, and I don't think anyone has been able to figure which one is going to win before tonight. The frontrunner seems to be CODA, gaining momentum recently, but The Power of the Dog and West Side Story also have plenty of support. While there are some obvious expected wins, most of tonight will be a complete surprise. I'm enjoying this anticipation and I'm all for any of these three excellent films winning big - along with Dune and Spencer and The Lost Daughter as other favorites. Now it's time to find out who is taking home Oscars this year, and who isn't, at the annual Academy Awards. The full list of nominees below will be updated with winners highlighted once revealed live on air - refresh for updates.

PICTURE:
CODA - Best Picture
CODA
dir. by Siân Heder
DIRECTOR:
Jane Campion - The Power of the Dog
Jane Campion for
The Power of the Dog
ACTOR:
Will Smith - King Richard
Will Smith for
King Richard
ACTRESS:
Jessica Chastain - The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Read on below for a complete list of #Oscars2022 nominees & winners. Tell us your thoughts on the results.

This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of personal commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.

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 Posted on March 27 in Awards, Discuss, Movie News | 7 Comments

Editorial: The Academy's Obsession with Popularity is Utterly Pathetic

Academy Awards

What the heck is going on with The Academy?! They've lost all sense of direction. With the live broadcast of the Academy Awards Ceremony losing viewers consistently year after year, The Academy has started to freak out and lose their minds. Instead of making smart choices to redevelop what the awards mean, who they're (really) for, and why they (still) matter, they've gone entirely the other way - chasing popularity and desperately trying to figure out how to remain hip and valuable to younger generations. In doing so, they've started to sacrifice everything they stand for, including bringing extra attention to the craftspeople who are also a key part of movie-making and are often forgotten or ignored by most audiences. I adore the Academy Awards, I always have and always will, because they're an iconic institute that has always been about quality and professionalism. But this obsession with popularity and ratings is utterly pathetic and I'm so tired of it.

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 Posted on March 25 in Awards, Discuss, Editorial | 2 Comments

Editorial: 'The Batman' is a Triumph of Matt Reeves' Dark Vision

The Batman

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." That final line of dialogue from 1974's Chinatown summarizes the film's theme incredibly succinctly. Jake Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson), a private detective, is investigating a series of crimes that unravel the level of high corruption prevalent in Los Angeles. The investigation leads Gittes down a deflating and tragic path, as he eventually realizes there's simply nothing he can do to curb the pervasion of corruption in his own city. Matt Reeves' new Gotham City noir, The Batman, has a similar thematic throughline, even if the ending is a bit more optimistic. What it shares with Chinatown, and other street-level, grounded crime films of the 1970's, is a singular and clear vision. The Batman is a triumph of an auteur's artistic vision, a film that feels deeply personal amidst the occasionally bland and dispassionate studio blockbusters that Warner Bros (and other Hollywood studios) has been known to churn out as of late.

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 Posted on March 4 in DC Movies, Discuss, Editorial | 5 Comments

94th Academy Awards Nominations Announced - Full List for 2021

Academy Award Nominations 2021

The complete list of nominees for the 94th 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 via live broadcast. The nominations from 2021 are, as usual, an exciting and intriguing set of nominees with plenty of surprises and expected picks - including Drive My Car from Japan, the animated documentary Flee, and Spielberg's West Side Story sneaking in. Jane Campion's excellent The Power of the Dog has a total of 12 nominations, and Denis Villeneuve's Dune has a total of 10 nominations - the two clear frontrunners out of all of the films from last year. Did you enjoy them, too? The Academy chose a total of ten Best Picture nominees from 2021, including: CODA (this makes me so happy!), Belfast, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story, Dune, and Drive My Car. Without further ado, check out the full list of nominations.

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 Posted on February 8 in Awards, Discuss, Movie News | 2 Comments

Editorial: How The Multiverse Helps Spider-Man Find His Way Home

Spider-Man

"Where there is great power, there is great responsibility…" The Multiverse is real. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, playing in theaters worldwide, the Multiverse finally reveals itself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland's Spider-Man faces his most nefarious threats yet in the third chapter of this trilogy for this popular webslinger. What's more is that while No Way Home pays homage to the last three cinematic incarnations of the superhero, it also finally allows Holland's Peter Parker to become the Spider-Man we know & love. Like any good Spider-Man story, that means with great power comes great responsibility to tell a gripping story full of sacrifice and hard choices. Writer's Note: This contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home. If you haven't seen it yet and prefer to hold on, read no further.

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 Posted on December 22 in Discuss, Editorial, Marvel | Comments

Hey Critics - STOP Running Best of the Year Lists in Early December

Best of the Year Lists

It happens year after year, always right at the end of November. Weeks before whatever year we're currently in is over, websites and magazines and newspapers and critics groups start publishing their Best of the Year lists. But, why? Why at the start of December? Is this really necessary? These lists can't rightfully be called "Best of the Year" when the year isn't even over. When there are still more films to be seen. It's more like The Best Films That Publicists Decided to Show Us in the Last 11 Months. What about the next 4 weeks? This year there's at least two BIG releases that haven't been shown yet: Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections. Sure, the typical argument is "oh, well these probably won't make the best of the year lists anyway." But why not give them a chance? Why not just wait, you know, until the END of the actual year? Then once you've seen everything, once you take time to catch up with other films you might've missed, go ahead & start publishing the lists. That makes way more sense than what everyone is doing now.

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 Posted on December 13 in Discuss, Editorial | 1 Comment

John Waters Reveals His Top 10 Films of 2021 - Baby Annette Rules

John Waters - Annette Top 10

"Often wrongheaded but sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, [this film] has been rejected by film distributors worldwide. All I can say is that the movie sure as hell delivers." Ohh John Waters! It's always a delight to discover his Top 10 list every year. One of our favorite "best of the year" lists that kicks off this time of the year is from filmmaker John Waters - his Top 10 favorite films released this year. For 2021, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, led by the extravagant Sparks Brothers + Leos Carax musical Annette (watch the trailer). He goes on to highlight other underseen gems and indie film favorites, including Quentin Dupieux's Mandibules and Sean Baker's Red Rocket. I'm honestly more excited to find out what's on his list than almost anyone else, just because he always chooses some of the most unexpected yet worthy films. No one else has a Top 10 like Waters'. And that's why I dig his Top 10 picks year after year.

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 Posted on December 1 in Discuss, Indies, Movie News | 1 Comment

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