Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

First Man (2018) Movie Review

Damien Chazelle’s follow up to the highly successful and almost Best Picture winner La La Land is a biopic about the first man who walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong (played here by Ryan Gosling). Sounds like a conventional route to go down after directing two films that broke the contemporary Hollywood mold. But leave it to Chazelle to take a unique approach to the conventional.

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Armstrong is a pensive man. On the surface, emotionally slight. Rarely speaking more than he needs to, he relies more on Continue reading First Man (2018) Movie Review

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Movie Review

“Why is anyone doing anything in this movie?”

I scrawled this note—thin and chicken scratched—in my notebook about an hour into J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the sequel to Colin Trevorrow’s smash-hit 2015 film Jurassic World (itself being a soft reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise envisioned by Steven Spielberg).

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Now, I only quote myself (at the risk of immediately coming off pedantic) in order to correct myself. It isn’t that the characters in Fallen Kingdom lack motivation. But I found myself Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Movie Review

Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel Ready Player One is not just laced in nostalgia; it is fully marinated in it. The story takes place in 2045, where most people in the world are deeply entrenched in an MMO-style VR video game dubbed The Oasis. With the death of the video game’s creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance, in the film adaptation), a massive game-wide hunt is afoot for an Easter Egg that will give its finder control over The Oasis.

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In essence, it is a story about Easter Eggs created by a person with a strong fondness for Easter Eggs that itself is littered with Easter Eggs. It is a nostalgia vehicle. This is not inherently a bad thing.

And yet, because of its affinity for nostalgia, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One feels like Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

The Post (2017) Movie Review

One could look at The Post, the latest from veteran director Steven Spielberg, and see a current and scathing indictment of executive authority to undermine freedom of speech vis a vis journalism, a critique of modern political decorum by way of an examination of the past.

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Ignoring the politicization of this message, the grand-standing done in the final 30 minutes of this film, in which Continue reading The Post (2017) Movie Review

2018 Academy Awards Predictions – Best Director Nominees

People were surprised when Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele were snubbed for the Golden Globes crop of directors. Will they get into the Academy nominations? Is there a scenario in which Spielberg doesn’t get in? Will Guillermo Del Toro win…well that’s an article for another day.

Let’s talk about it!

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The Nominees:

Continue reading 2018 Academy Awards Predictions – Best Director Nominees

2018 Golden Globes Predictions – Best Director

The narrative of the Golden Globes director category may end up being more about who was not included over who was. It was a deep well this year, with a lot of strong films coming from new and veteran directors. Yes, it is sad not to see newcomers Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele in the mix. Yes, it is surprising, yet wholly explainable, to see Ridley Scott here. Yes, Luca Guadagnino should have wound up in the top five.

 

But we live with the cards we’re dealt. If anything, the snubs make the prediction easier in the Best Director category.

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The Nominees – Best Director

Continue reading 2018 Golden Globes Predictions – Best Director

The BFG (2016) Movie Review

In The BFG, a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is whisked away from her prison-like orphanage in the middle of the night by a giant (Mark Rylance). A Big Friendly Giant (an admittedly redundant name). The BFG takes Sophie to Giant Country, where he must hide her away from the other giants who aim to eat her.

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The production design is the first noticeable facet of the film. The juxtaposition of set design between the luminous city streets and the wooded jungle abode of the BFG is clear, but one is not favored stylistically over the other. Both contain distinct Continue reading The BFG (2016) Movie Review