Category Archives: Film

A Progressive American West? Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’ Paints A Portrait Of The Old West For Modern Times

The trailers for Oscar-winning director Scott Cooper’s new western-drama, Hostiles, makes a point of showcasing Masanobu Takayanagi’s stunning cinematography. Reactions to the film in general, however, have left some scratching their heads. Written and directed by Cooper from a manuscript by the late Donald E. Stewart, whose wife happened upon it in 2012, Hostiles follows US Army Captain Joseph Blockler as he escorts a Cheyenne war chief and his family home to their tribal lands in Montana from Fort Berringer, New Mexico in 1892. Blocker is portrayed by Oscar-winner Christian Bale in his third outing with Cooper, and is supported onscreen by Rosamund Pike, Rory Cochrane, Jonathan Majors, Adam Beach, David Midthunder, and Wes Studi as Chief Yellow Hawk. While Pike’s performance is certainly impressing critics, others claim the film inappropriately boasts its own brilliance. Continue reading

The 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards Had Some Surprises But Did Little For #MeToo

this is us sag 2018

It’s awards season; that time of year when the Super Bowl is the one thing strong enough to interrupt Hollywood’s narcissistic red-carpet events and fancy afterparties. The Golden Globes aired just a few weeks ago, with much of the attention focused on the #MeToo Movement that swept the film industry after Harvey Weinstein and dozens of others were accused of sexual harassment, and even rape by an astonishing number of women working in Hollywood. Last nights Screen Actors Guild Awards, however, saw a more typical type of awards show than what we saw at the Golden Globes. Continue reading

Sundance Film Festival 2018 Kicks Off In Wake Of #MeToo Movement and Hollywood Purge

sundance film festival 18

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival kicked off yesterday in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Every year the festival plays host to an impressive array of independent films, both foreign and domestic, and has featured such successful films as Blood Simple, Hoosiers, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Memento, 28 Days Later, SuperSize Me, Boyhood, and more recent notables like Dope, Mudbound, and Wind River (just to name a few!). Sundance not only presents feature-length films but also shorts and documentaries, and presents awards in such categories as acting, cinematography, screenwriting, directing, and short-filmmaking. The 2018 celebration will showcase 110 feature-length films from 29 countries; 47 of those films come from first-time filmmakers, out of a pool of 13,468 total submissions, including features, shorts, and documentaries. Some of this years more anticipated entries include Juliet Naked, Wildlife, Heart Beats Loud, The Catcher Was a Spy, and documentaries like Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, and Our New President. The 2018 celebration, however, comes at the helm of the whirlwind that was 2017. Continue reading

Does ‘The Post’ Seek To Glorify The Press In The Era of Fake News?

Steven Spielberg’s latest drama, The Post, may be a celebration of the free press, but in the age of “fake news” it feels more like an attempt to glorify the press rather than focus on its habit of misrepresentation. The Post tells the story of the The Washington Post and its publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The Pentagon Papers (as they came to be called) was a series of documents detailing the extent of the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Upon learning of the atrocities of the war, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg secretly copied and leaked the documents to the press in the hopes that the public would be made aware of the truth.

Kay Graham (portrayed by Meryl Streep in Spielberg’s film) was the acting publisher of The Washington Post at the time. She inherited the role of sole proprietor following her husband’s untimely death by suicide. Graham not only faced a board of all-male stock holders who were ready to oust her at any moment, but also a more hostile-than-friendly editor named Ben Bradlee (portrayed by Tom Hanks), who reportedly informed her that he’d give his left nut to run the Post, himself. Shortly after Graham came into her new position, Martin Weil (Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk) was sent to meet with Ellsberg to collect the top secret documents in Boston and transport them safely back to Washington. Continue reading

Golden Globes Celebrate #MeToo Movement and 2017’s Achievements in Film

golden globes 2018

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards didn’t see any misread Best Picture announcements. Instead, host Seth Meyers was booed for his Harvey Weinstein jokes and Oprah Winfrey gave a stirring speech while wearing black in order to support the #MeToo Movement that has shaken Hollywood, hopefully for the better. Celebrities male and female alike took to the red carpet in (mostly) all black attire to show support and solidarity in the cleansing of the industry after moguls like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Jeffrey Tambor were accused of sexual misconduct by a multitude of women. The purging of Hollywood, however, did not take the spotlight away from the achievements we saw in film in 2017. Continue reading

New World War II Drama ‘Darkest Hour’ Brings Churchill’s Perseverance and Leadership To Modern Audiences

Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).

With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. Continue reading

New Season Of ‘The X-Files’ Premiers Tonight On Fox

the x-files season 11

Of all of the old television series that are being rebooted these days (Fuller House, Will & Grace, 24, Roxanne), The X-Files is arguably the only one worth reviving. That’s mostly because even after nine seasons and two feature-length films, the fates of FBI agents Mulder and Scully has never been fully resolved. The poorly received feature film that followed the television series finale, I Want To Believe (2008), did little to appease fans of the series, and even less in terms of providing a definitive conclusion. Then in 2016, creator Chris Carter and the original cast and crew reunited for a 6-episode mini-series that found the agents probing new leads into the fate of their son, William, and former members of the Syndicate. The new series, however, ended with an even bigger cliff-hanger than the original, leaving fans still guessing as to what could possibly happen next. Now we may finally get the answers we’ve been waiting for. The newest season of the series, Season 11, aires tonight on Fox, and picks up exactly where the last episode of Season 10 left off. Obviously there’s a lot to get caught up on if you’ve never watched the series, but if you’re into UFOs or government conspiracies, you should definitely check it out!

Christopher Plummer Receives Golden Globe Nomination For Last Minute Role In ‘All The Money In The World’

The Last Jedi may be doing well at the box office, but it’s not doing much to impress fans and critics. One holiday release that’s been impressing everyone, however, is director Ridley Scott’s adaptation of author John Pearson’s All the Money in the World. The film follows the 1973 kidnapping of Jean Paul Getty III, aka Paul Getty, the grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty. The latter famously refused to pay his grandson’s ransom, despite his vast fortune in the oil industry, leaving the former’s mother, Gail Harris, in the position of having to convince her billionaire in-law to put family ahead of wealth. All the Money in the World has already received three Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer. Although his nomination is certainly deserving, it almost didn’t happen. Continue reading

North American Box Office Earnings Down Despite ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Opening

the last jedi

The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading

Watch The Star Wars Saga In “Machete Order” Before ‘The Last Jedi’ Opens This Friday

As you are no doubt aware, the next installment in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), is opening in theaters nationwide this Thursday, December 14th at midnight. Whether or not it will be a frame-by-frame remake of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), like The Force Awakens and A New Hope (1977), has yet to be seen, but fans will undoubtedly be packing theaters to capacity from Friday until well into the New Year. If you already have a ticket for opening weekend, then let us know what you think. If not, however, you can still get your Star Wars fix by taking a brief (and by brief, I mean roughly 12-14 hours) refresher course with watching the series in “Machete Order.” Let me explain.

The Machete Order was first suggested by a fan of the series named Rob Hilton in preparation for the release of 2015’s The Force Awakens. According to Hilton, the machete order is a more effective way of watching the previous films, particularly for young viewers who are not familiar with the series. Obviously, with seven feature-length films and an eighth coming out this week, knowing where to start to get the full experience can be an overwhelming ordeal. Should you begin with the original trilogy and work your way up, or should you start with 1999’s The Phantom Menace and proceed chronologically? Continue reading