Reactions to the 2016 Oscar Nominations

The Academy released their list of Oscar nominees this morning, and, as per usual, it is cause for many a reactionary blog post. This post is not unlike the rest.

Here are my reactions to some of the nominations (and notable absences from them).

 

Carol and The Hateful Eight Got Snubbed

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Continue reading Reactions to the 2016 Oscar Nominations

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The Revenant (2015) Movie Review

The Revenant has the viscera of a Braveheart or a Gangs of New York, with the now familiar touch of director Alejandro G. Inarritu. His style shows through with an even stronger flourish than that of his previous film Birdman, as it links itself more naturally with the thematic elements that are in play in the film.

The film centers on Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a hunter on a fur trading expedition who seeks vengeance after becoming severely wounded and left for dead in the 19th century wilderness.

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The only true way to describe this film is to call it  Continue reading The Revenant (2015) Movie Review

Your Sister’s Sister (2011) Movie Review

As far as mumblecore goes–a genre defined by its hyper-naturalism–Your Sister’s Sister comes off as one of the most natural.

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Unmotivated and perhaps alcohol dependent Jack (Mark Duplass) has just spent a year without his late brother Tom. He has no Continue reading Your Sister’s Sister (2011) Movie Review

The Loft (2015) Movie Review

The Loft begins with distracting shots: intentional blurring and tightly framed, hyper-wide angles. These grotesque wide angles return frequently throughout the length of the film.

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A groveling Karl Urban tepidly growls his lines as Vincent Stevens, a man being interrogated by police after a woman is found dead Continue reading The Loft (2015) Movie Review

Top Ten Movies of 2015

Lists are always difficult. I find it nearly impossible to whittle down a large body of films into a list of ten. An honorable mention addendum would be longer than the top ten itself.

Additionally, I haven’t seen all the films I want/need to see from 2015. For example, as it stands now, The Revenant is in limited release, and won’t be widely available until after the New Year. It very likely could wind up being one of my top ten favorites of the year, but it can’t show up on this list.

Here are my top ten movies of 2015.

10. Sicario

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The gritty crime drama Sicario was completely Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2015

Stutterer (2015) Short Film Review

The Oscar shortlisted short film Stutterer begins with a tight extreme close up of a man’s mouth as he attempts to speak on the phone about an issue with a bill. The man’s speech impediment is insufferable, but his thoughts are lush and elegant.

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The man, Greenwood (Matthew Needham), works–understandably–best with the written word. He has a flourishing Continue reading Stutterer (2015) Short Film Review

The Hateful Eight (2015) Movie Review

The “Roadshow” 70mm exhibition of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight, begins with a three minute overture. It is a haunting piano, string, and xylophone melody that plays over a red splash screen. This overture, and the films full score, are handled by master film composer Ennio Morricone.

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Morricone’s career spans decades, and his work has included iconic scores in Sergio Leone Westerns. It is thus apropos that he tackles this films soundtrack, which is at times the dominant attraction, crescendoing into Hellish tremolos from thunderous strings. It is a brilliant score that mixes Western and Gothic motifs.

Tarantino begins The Hateful Eight by Continue reading The Hateful Eight (2015) Movie Review

One man. Millions of movies.