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Yearly Archives: 2016

Elle is one of the most daring, confronting and thoughtful films of 2016. Some might find it hard to believe that director Paul Verhoeven, known for Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995), was behind such a film as Elle. It is antithetical in style and substance from these predominantly exploitative, blunting films. That is, Verhoeven takes a much more nuanced,… Read more »

31 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

It’s hard to pick 10 people who had their breakout year in 2016. First of all, it was a great year for cinema, especially for diverse and quality films with interesting talent connected to them. Secondly, it’s hard to pinpoint an actor’s breakout sometimes because it feels like a lot of moving parts coming together after a few years of… Read more »

30 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

We’re all hoping popular films like Star Wars Episode VIII, Justice League, and Alien: Covenant knock our collective socks off in 2017. They’re at the top of everyone’s wish lists and marks on everyone’s calendars. But with those three films, and many other blockbusters, it’s going to be a fingers-crossed situation. Episode VIII should be fine, Covenant we’re not so… Read more »

29 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

In 1949, George Orwell wrote a futuristic novel about the year of 1984 set in a totalitarian, dystopian state where “Big Brother is always watching you”. People’s freedom is not only restricted, but taken away altogether as they are watched through surveillance cameras every minute. Emotions, literature and art are prohibited and history books and dictionaries are carefully rewritten in… Read more »

29 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists

A ridiculously prominent current trend is networks snatching up movie properties and turning them into TV shows. It’s hardly a new phenomena nor a formula for success, but it’s never been more prevalent, since it feels like nary a week passes without some form of announcement or premiere in this category. 
Just this year, several came and went without much… Read more »

28 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

“On a daily basis I consume enough drugs to sedate Manhattan, Long Island, and Queens for a month. I take Quaaludes 10-15 times a day for my ‘back pain’, Adderall to stay focused, Xanax to take the edge off, pot to mellow me out, cocaine to wake me back up again, and morphine… Well, because it’s awesome.” – Jordan Belfort… Read more »

28 December 2016 | Features, Reviews

“Your Name” proved that Makoto Shinkai is the next “master” of anime, with the film becoming the fifth highest grossing film of all time in the country – domestic or imported – and the second biggest domestic film ever, behind the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away”. It is also the first anime not directed by Hayao Miyazaki to earn more than $100… Read more »

28 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

The term “Oscar bait” essentially refers to any movie that seems aimed at the Oscar voting audience. Oscar voters love feel-good dramas with talented casts and critically acclaimed directors. Movies like The Danish Girl and The Help are wonderful examples of Oscar bait. In many cases, Oscar bait movies get the critical acclaim they desperately desire. In other cases, they… Read more »

27 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists

The idea for this list originated from an interview Stanley Kubrick gave in the late 1960s. He was in pre-production for his ambitious screen biography of Napoleon. During the interview Kubrick explained that a truly great historical film had never been made. He provided two reasons to support his claim: 1) a failure to convey historical information in an interesting… Read more »

27 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Terrence Malick’s late period, which runs from “The Tree of Life” to “Knight of Cups”, has had a strange life. It was universally hailed in the beginning and then rejected with “To The Wonder” and “Knight of Cups”; people have started to sneer, and some people have taken a revisionary angle where they only value Malick’s work in his first… Read more »

27 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

A song choice can make or break a scene and can add another layer to an already great piece of art. While certain songs seem to be the most appropriate fit possible for that film such as “My Heart Will Go On” in The Titanic or “Born to be Wild” in Easy Rider, others can shock the viewer because of… Read more »

26 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Anyone can be forgiven for thinking MGM’s 1939 musical ‘masterpiece’ The Wizard of Oz (based on L.Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’) was an instant mainstream classic. However, MGM invested what was at the time their largest budget ever ($3 million) only to fail to see any healthy financial return or regard the film as successful… Read more »

26 December 2016 | Features, Other Lists

It is 2016 and yet not too much has changed on the big scale in regards to women working in film. The movie industry is still largely dominated by the male force in behind the screen roles with women taking up only a small approximate percentage of 25. Not to say that the problem is entirely ignored as steps are… Read more »

26 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Film is, by and large, escapism. A couple hours out of your day that you can spend in another place and time. Often times we choose to spend our time in worlds more preferable to our own, depending entirely on the taste, aesthetic and mood of the individual. We want to be somewhere else, where we don’t have to worry… Read more »

24 December 2016 | Features, Film Lists

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” – Lawrence Walsh (played by Joe Manetell)   Darkness on the edge of town A neo-noir masterpiece, Chinatown proves that director Roman Polanski, screenwriter Robert Towne, and producer Robert Evans can make a monumental film wherein they beat a genre until it’s a bloody, swollen, purple-bruised, and marred mess, then dump it in a reservoir… Read more »

24 December 2016 | Features, Reviews

There’s a strong history of talented directors that started off with big milestone debuts that kicked in the doors and signified that a new voice of cinema had arrived. It’s a romantic notion, but one that sadly seems to create a huge amount of pressure regarding how they follow it up. Several incredibly talented directors have suffered the slump with… Read more »

23 December 2016 | Features, People Lists