First ‘Batgirl’ then ‘scripted content’: Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent decision-making is worrying

Photo: Chris Yarzab / Flickr

In recent days, it was revealed that the Warner Bros. Discovery merger had already had a huge impact on upcoming releases and the extremely popular streaming service HBO Max, arguably the service with the best content library. First, it was revealed that the upcoming Batgirl film, which had finished production, had been canceled. It was no longer to be released in theaters or on HBO Max. Then, we found out that the Scoob! sequel, an animated film due to be released later this year, had also been thrown away entirely.

Continue reading “First ‘Batgirl’ then ‘scripted content’: Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent decision-making is worrying”

The 94th Oscars Ceremony was already problematic before Will Smith struck Chris Rock

A visibly-emotional Will Smith sits down after having slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Dolby Theatre – PHOTO: AMPAS, 2022.

Others may disagree but the Academy Awards ceremony — arguably Hollywood’s biggest night — is never boring to me. Some cinephiles think of it like their Super Bowl, their WrestleMania, but I don’t think anyone expected the ceremony to devolve into a contact sport as it briefly did in the Dolby Theatre at the 94th Academy Awards, when one of Hollywood’s last name-brand movie stars, the almost-always cool Will Smith, lost his temper. It was certainly one of the uglier moments in Oscar history, and it also topped what was previously the craziest moment in Oscar history.

Continue reading “The 94th Oscars Ceremony was already problematic before Will Smith struck Chris Rock”

Top Ten Films of 2021

This is a list of the best films of 2021. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is a little late, but pay it no mind. The film industry in 2021, like 2020, was still impacted somewhat by the COVID-19 Pandemic, though obviously not as much as 2020 was. It was a year that, to me, showed a lot of problems for the theater industry, as it was starting to look like film fans had become comfortable waiting for films to hit streaming services rather than to see them in theaters. Because exactly what films became hits last year? Like others have noted, they were pretty much all franchise films. In a way, it feels like HBO Max may have made it easy for American audiences to let go of the moviegoing experience, but, hopefully, the movie theaters will thrive again soon.

Continue reading “Top Ten Films of 2021”

94th Academy Awards: Final Predictions

I get it. We’re almost in April. You’ve probably already started to think about this year’s films and whether or not films like The Batman can secure an Oscar nomination next year. But AMPAS nevertheless decided that the Oscars ceremony celebrating 2021 films was to be held this upcoming Sunday. It’s been a long awards season, and it feels like some of the original frontrunners — like The Power of the Dog — have fallen behind in the race for the biggest award of the night. Now it looks like the crowd-pleasing CODA has overtaken the spotlight from the truly cinematic Netflix flick directed by Jane Campion. In this article, I’ll give you my final predictions for the 94th Academy Awards, along with some longer explanations for the biggest categories. Hollywood’s biggest night is almost here, but who will win? Read below to find out what I think will happen.

Continue reading “94th Academy Awards: Final Predictions”

Top Ten TV-Shows of 2021

“For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+ — Photo: Apple TV+.

In 2021, both the film and television industries tried to play catch-up after films or seasons had been delayed and pushed out of 2020. This meant that Succession: Season Three finally came out this year, for example. But something new also happened in 2021. That year marked the debut of Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe Live-Action series, and we got a lot of those, most of which I really liked. So, today, let’s have a look at what shows I thought were the very best in 2021.

Continue reading “Top Ten TV-Shows of 2021”

Goodbye 2021: Vaccinations, Variants, and Streaming

Sometimes once a year comes to an end, I like to close it out with a few thoughts on the year that is about to be behind us. Just last year, I spent a lot of my Goodbye 2020 article on the state of the film and movie theater industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it certainly seems like this edition of these New Year’s Eve articles will have to have a similar focus.

Because while I do think it’s possible to see a light at the end of the tunnel since most people are accepting the vaccines, it is also true that the world isn’t completely out of the woods yet (in part due to the various different variants of the contagious disease that has dictated our lives for a very long time now). But what has all of this meant for the aforementioned industries and, more broadly, the ‘movie year’ that was 2021? Well, let’s talk about that.

Continue reading “Goodbye 2021: Vaccinations, Variants, and Streaming”

‘The Chestnut Man’ is the Best Danish Netflix Original Thus Far – Netflix in the State of Denmark

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard & Danica Curcic, the stars of Netflix’s THE CHESTNUT MAN — Photo: SAM PRODUCTIONS.

In recent years, Netflix has gained a foothold in basically all corners of the world. As it becomes a global streaming service, Netflix is also starting to churn out local foreign language content that can grow a global audience. In recent weeks, that has happened with a show like the South Korean survival drama Squid Game, which has been compared to everything from The Hunger Games to Saw. But, of course, the most famous non-English language Netflix original series are Money Heist from Spain and Dark from Germany.

Continue reading “‘The Chestnut Man’ is the Best Danish Netflix Original Thus Far – Netflix in the State of Denmark”

REVIEW: Midnight Mass (2021 – TV Series)

Hamish Linklater as Father Paul Hill in MIDNIGHT MASS — Photo: Netflix.

Series Created & Directed by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House; Doctor Sleep) — Available on Netflix.

At this point, I feel like Mike Flanagan is becoming a master of horror. I don’t think it happened over night, though. I think his output was fairly consistent in the beginning, but the latest works in his oeuvre are just outstanding. While I think Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Hush were all right, I think Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, and his Netflix shows (The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor) are all great must-watch horror films or shows. I think he has this ability to find beauty in even some of his more frightening works, and that is also true of his latest horror series, Midnight Mass, which I think is pretty much on par with the truly excellent Hill House.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Midnight Mass (2021 – TV Series)”

Top Ten TV-Shows of 2020

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul: Season 5, Episode 10 — Photo: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television.

It is kind of incredible just how much streaming services have overtaken the top tier of what we still refer to as ‘television shows.’ Perhaps we need to find another name for these series. Some of them are released all at once, some are released week-by-week, but almost all of the shows on my list were released on streaming services, and, in my case, I watched all ten of my top ten television shows on streaming services. In the 2020-edition, there are plenty of ‘familiar faces,’ as it were, but it’s also the first time that both Apple TV+ and Disney+ have made an appearance on any of my end of the year-lists. But where do the top shows on these relatively new streaming services land on my top ten, and what is the best show of the year? Let’s have a look!

Continue reading “Top Ten TV-Shows of 2020”

Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ is the First Masterpiece of 2021

Still Image from Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ — Available on Netflix now.

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t possibly tell you how many times I’ve watched the ending of Bo Burnham’s previous comedy special, Make Happy. With his closing song “Can’t Handle This,” he showed everyone watching the kind of uniquely gifted talent he is. I remember thinking so many times about the line from the song that intimated that Burnham struggled to make himself happy, and I also learned since then that he quit stand-up comedy shows due to him having suffered from severe panic attacks on stage. But his talents off the stage have nonetheless shone since then, which was evident from his incredible directorial feature film debut, Eighth Grade.

Continue reading “Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ is the First Masterpiece of 2021”