“A Star is Born” and “First Man”: Academy Award predictions for June

We’re approaching the second half of the year folks. Believe it or not, there’s only a little of a week left in the first half. In a matter of days, I’ll be posting my best of the first half, which is nuts. As such, with June almost in the rearview mirror, an update to my Oscar predictions is in order. Monthly predictions still fit things right now, but before you know it, twice a month will be necessary. It’s still a … [Read more...]

“Gotti” targets critics but has a disingenuous agenda

Normally, I don’t bother to cover poorly received films here. It’s easier to focus on the positive, at least outside of the awards race. However, this is a unique situation. The mob film Gotti opened last weekend, to some of 2018’s worst reviews. Well, some of in the sense that only a very small amount of press, notably those who were granted interview opportunities, were screened the movie in advance of its release. That led, … [Read more...]

Trailer for “Creed II” continues the family legacy

This morning, the world saw the release of the First Trailer for the boxing sequel Creed II, the latest unlikely sequel in the long running Rocky franchise. A few years ago, the thought of more Rocky entries was greeted with a big eye roll. Now, in the shadow of Creed, there’s genuine excitement again. That prior outing was a modern sports movie classic. There’s big shoes to fill this time around, but the initial look at things … [Read more...]

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” brings the franchise to a whole new place

Long running franchises usually have two paths that they can take. They can either stubbornly stick to the formula that worked and hope that familiarity is what audiences want out of them. The other path is to adapt in order to become something new and exciting. Up until recently, the Jurassic Park franchise had stuck to the former road. Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and Jurassic World all have very similar … [Read more...]

Chris Pratt: Spotlight on the Stars

HOLLYWOOD HEROES™: There’s always something nice about seeing an actor transform into an A-lister over time. That’s especially the case when they’ve already made a name for themselves in another form of Hollywood. In the case of Chris Pratt, he went from being an ace comedic actor, especially in supporting roles, to now being one of the industry’s top leading men. He currently leads two gigantic franchises (more on that … [Read more...]

An updated ranking of every Pixar film

The pinnacle of modern animation can be found within the 20 releases put out by Pixar. Ever since they started up with A Bug’s Life, their films have been hotly anticipated, both by critics and audiences alike. Now, with Incredibles 2 hitting theaters, they’ve continued an all but unparalleled run of excellence. Their lows haven’t been especially low, in particular when compared to the competition, while their highs have been a … [Read more...]

“The Year of Spectacular Men” is a family affair in front of and behind the camera

Family affairs are often depicted on screen as plot subjects. That’s nothing new. It is, however, rare and unique to see the family dynamic front and center in terms of the creative team. In the case of The Year of Spectacular Men, that’s actually part of its specific charm. Directed by veteran actress Lea Thompson (in her feature debut), it stars and is directed by her daughter Madelyn Deutch. In addition, co-starring with a scene … [Read more...]

Is Toni Collette’s performance in “Hereditary” a Best Actress possibility?

Last week saw the release of Hereditary, the latest classy horror outing from distributor A24. Critically acclaimed, it rode into theaters on a wave of strong buzz. Not only was it feted as one of the best of the genre this year, but as a potential Oscar player for star Toni Collette. Well, I saw the film but didn’t have a chance to write about it then, so I’m doubling back now. Mainly, I want to make sure I address whether the flick … [Read more...]

“Incredibles 2” more than lives up to its namesake

HOLLYWOOD HEROES™: For years, the one product that fans have been begging Pixar to put into production is a sequel to The Incredibles. As other properties have been given one or even two sequels, this film of theirs has remained untouched. This week, however, that all changes. Incredibles 2 is hitting screens, and having seen it last week, I can gladly report that this is closer to a Toy Story outing than a Cars outing. Pixar has never fully … [Read more...]

“First Man” Trailer showcases an early Academy Award frontrunner

On Friday night, the world got their first look at a potential Best Picture possibility when First Man debuted its Trailer. This film, given its pedigree, more or less has to be at the very top of any early set of Oscar predictions. The follow up to La La Land from filmmaker Damien Chazelle pairs him again with Ryan Gosling, this time for a prestige biopic. If anything though, it seems like he’s going back to his Whiplash roots. That … [Read more...]

“Ocean’s 8” makes heists look fashionable and fun

Maybe it’s just me, but Ocean’s 8 mostly flew under the radar in the lead up to release. The film is a huge summer movie, but it never felt like that. Well, that actually worked in its favor, as the movie is a really pleasant surprise. Opening today, it’s far more than just an example of studio released girl power. It somewhat reboots, as well as sequelizes, the Ocean’s franchise. There’s definitely an avenue in … [Read more...]

“A Star is Born” Trailer suggests an awards hopeful

Yesterday, a Trailer dropped for the rare remake that also has Academy Award aspirations. Most of the time, remakes are passable at best, and atrocious at worst. This one, however, could be different. The film in question is, in case you couldn’t guess, A Star is Born, which also marks the directorial debut of A-list actor Bradley Cooper. Teamed up with Lady Gaga, the pair seek to make this latest version of the story the most successful … [Read more...]

Brett Haley has crafted another phenomenal crowd pleaser with “Hearts Beat Loud”

Never underestimate a film that can leave you with a warm feeling on the inside. Crowd pleasing cinema is like chicken soup…it’s just good for you. Brett Haley is a master at this. The writer/director has been forging an incredibly underrated career, one that a few decades ago would have made him an A-list auteur. Regardless, he’s sure to get his due this week, as his latest movie Hearts Beat Loud is about to open. A hit at the … [Read more...]