Tuesday, August 15, 2017

R.I.P. Joseph Bologna (1934-2017)

Joseph Bologna
On August 13, 2017, actor and writer Joseph Bologna died in Duarte, California at the age of 82 from pancreatic cancer. He has had a lengthy career starring in movies and TV for over 40 years. Among his most recognized work is My Favorite Year: a comedy that parodied the real life shenanigans of Errol Flynn. He also wrote the script, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Beyond that, he remained active wherever he could, finding interesting projects to keep him busy. No matter what he did, he brought his own personal spin to things, and cinema was always better for it. He will be missed but never forgotten.

"Molly's Game" Welcomes Aaron Sorkin to the World of Directing

Jessica Chastain
Over the past few years, Jessica Chastain has had an interesting career in the wake of Zero Dark Thirty. In some ways, it still feels like she's chasing the success of that performance by playing tough-as-nails women. While it can be argued that she's very good at them, roles like A Most Violent Year and Miss Sloane haven't exactly gotten her Oscar nominations. Still, every new film promises something new and exciting, especially in the wake of her recent comments at Cannes where she decried the poor choices of female roles out there. With Molly's Game, she returns to the tough-as-nails formula with the directorial debut of acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin. While the writer is known for busy scripts, let's just hope that whatever this movie is is a little bit more focused than what the trailer provides, even Chastain having a promising and seductive role.

"The Meyerowitz Stories" Trailer Promises a Serious Adam Sandler Performance... *sigh* Again

Scene from The Meyerowitz Stories

If there's one general agreement, it's that Adam Sandler's glory days as a bankable actor are behind him, at least on the big screen. His work with Netflix has produced an odd range of comedies that have varying degrees of reviews. Still, nobody would mistake what he does for Oscar caliber material. Considering that Netflix is a company that wants to get in on the awards racket, it makes sense then that their latest film, director Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Story at least has an appetizing supporting cast, featuring Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson. The first trailer has dropped, and... it's time to talk about his bizarre relationship with prestige movie season yet again. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Composing Greatness: #15. John Williams - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)

Scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Welcome to Composing Greatness: a column dedicated to exploring the work of film composers. This will specifically focus on the films that earned them Oscar nominations while exploring what makes it so special. This will be broken down into a look at the overall style, interesting moments within the composition, and what made the score worth nominating in the first place. This will also include various subcategories where I will rank the themes of each film along with any time that the composer actually wins. This is a column meant to explore a side of film that doesn't get enough credit while hopefully introducing audiences to an enriched view of more prolific composers' work. This will only cover scores/songs that are compiled in an easily accessible format (so no extended scores will be considered). Join me every Sunday as I cover these talents that if you don't know by name, you recognize by sound.