Final 90th Academy Awards Nomination Predictions – Special Features #14

In a couple of days, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will reveal the full list of nominees for the 90th Academy Awards. That means that it is finally time to unveil my list of predicted nominees. I’ve tried to predict the nominated films for every category excluding the short film awards. (more…)

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REVIEW: The Open House (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Open House – A Netflix Original Film.

A couple of months ago, I had my first genuinely effective nightmare in my adult life. In it, I was watching television when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone standing in the doorway. It wasn’t just anyone. It was a figure that seemed to have been constructed from different images from Stephen King adaptations. Imagine something of a mix between the leper from Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of IT and the moonlight man from Gerald’s Game.

In the nightmare, I was unable to move as this figure kept moving towards me ever so slowly. Needless to say, home invasion movies have a strong effect on me. A home invasion is one of my biggest fears. Therefore, as you might imagine, The Open House was a horror film I had on my radar. (more…)

REVIEW: All the Money in the World (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – TriStar Pictures

The following is a review of All the Money in the World – Directed by Ridley Scott.

All the Money in the World is, easily, one of the most talked about films these last couple of months. It isn’t because it is one of the big favorites for the Academy Awards (it isn’t), and it isn’t because it was one of the most anticipated films of 2017 (it wasn’t). No, actually, the reason why people couldn’t stop talking about this film is for the simple fact that controversy is all over this film like moths around a flame. (more…)

REVIEW: The Polka King (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Polka King – Directed by Maya Forbes.

The Polka King is a comedic biopic that tells the true story about Jan Lewan (played by Jack Black), a Polish polka band leader and con artist, who became a convicted criminal while exploring the depths of the American Dream. The film is far more interested in his successes and deceptions than in his time in prison, however, and that gives us plenty of time to see surprisingly strong supporting cast of actors like Jenny Slate — playing his wife, Marla Lewan; Jacki Weaver — his mother-in-law, Barb; and Jason Schwartzman — his good friend and one of the band members in his polka band.
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RETRO REVIEW: El Laberinto del Fauno (2006)

Spanish Language Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following is a retro review of Guillermo Del Toro’s modern classic El Laberinto del Fauno

Fairy tales and all things magic exist right at the very edges of what we consider to be real. The wonder and horrors of the world equally represent the emotional current with which magic — light and dark — resides. There is much to be said about the horrific nature of our collective understanding of fairy tales. There is a brutality that flows through many true fairy tales. (more…)

RETRO REVIEW: The Five Obstructions (2003 – Documentary)

Release Poster – Zentropa

The following is a review of The Five Obstructions.

The Five Obstructions is a Danish documentary about a very particular friendship between directors. Danish auteur Lars Von Trier is a big fan of Jørgen Leth — a Danish director — and his 1967 Danish short film The Perfect Human — a very literal examination of a couple. So, Lars Von Trier has this idea — what if we took this gem of a short film and absolutely ruined it? Made a mess of it.  (more…)

REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Fox Searchlight Pictures

The following is a review of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh

To say that you’ve seen Martin McDonagh’s entire filmography isn’t all that impressive. The Irish playwright’s filmography only includes his excellent Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter and now three feature films. But in these few films McDonagh has already established some trademark elements that are always in his films. Unstable and impulsive male characters that are often marked by their previous misdeeds, some kind of stable mentor or friend to the impulsive male, lots and lots of curse words, oh and he’s a big fan of joking about little people. (more…)