Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: "The Disaster Artist" is Real Hollywood Movie (And Real Good, Too)

Scene from The Disaster Artist
It's the moment that director James Franco's The Disaster Artist has been building to. As the cast and crew walk in slow motion towards the studio where The Room will be shot, Faith No More's "Epic" begins playing. It's a song that altered the course of metal music with soporific vocals that may seem as disjointed but infectious as what's to come. Even more than that, the title says it all: this is an epic moment in cinema. Once first time director Tommy Wiseau (Franco) takes to the stage, he will become an icon; a proprietor of the acclaimed worst movie ever. It is an epic moment, and one that feels oddly understated at the same time. This is a comedy, but not one meant to mock bad decisions. It is a drama, but not one that revels in pretentious artistry. It's a satire that, like Faith No More, exists in the transparent grey area of pop culture; where descriptors defy logic. The Disaster Artist is swamped with actors who clearly adore the real life Wiseau's work, and their commitment to bringing the odd idiosyncrasies to life makes this one of the best and most perplexing movies of the year. La La Land may have taught artists to dream, but The Disaster Artist opens the door to everyone else.

Check Out This Year's Golden Globe Nominees

It's officially that time of year. With many critics groups putting out their Best of 2017 lists, it was only a matter of time until the major awards began releasing their nominees. There are few that trumpet in the season quite like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), whose track record of predicting the Oscars is spotty, but paints an interesting look into what films will be discussed throughout the awards season. This year's nominees are officially here, and you can check them out below, including some commentary on the movie categories. What made the cut? What didn't? Read on to find out.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Failed Oscar Campaigns: "Mommie Dearest" (1981)

Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest
As awards seasons pick up, so do the campaigns to make your film have the best chances at the Best Picture race. However, like a drunken stupor, sometimes these efforts come off as trying too hard and leave behind a trailer of ridiculous flamboyance. Join me on every other Saturday for a highlight of the failed campaigns that make this season as much about prestige as it does about train wrecks. Come for the Harvey Weinstein comments and stay for the history. It's going to be a fun time as I explore cinema's rich history of attempting to matter.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A24 A-to-Z: #20. "Ex Machina" (2015)

Scene from Ex Machina
In case you didn't know, A24 is one of the great purveyors of modern cinema. Since 2013, the studio has found a way to innovate independent cinema by turning each release into an event. As a result, A24 A-to-Z will be an ongoing series that looks at every release from the studio by analyzing its production history, release, criticisms, and any awards attention that it might've received. Join me on a quest to explore the modern heroes of cinema by exploring every hit and miss that comes with that magnificent logo. They may not all be great, but they more than make A24 what it is and what it will hopefully continue to be for ears to come.