REVIEW: Eternals (2021)

Marvel’s team of Eternals unveiling themselves to the people of Mesopotamia in the film’s opening sequences — PHOTO: Marvel Studios.

Directed by Chloé Zhao — Screenplay by Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo.

Although their films are immensely popular, it isn’t every day that Marvel Studios work with Academy Award-winning film directors, which makes Eternals special even on paper. Chloé Zhao, the Chinese-born acclaimed filmmaker behind Best Picture winner Nomadland, did, however, choose to have a major superhero blockbuster film be her follow-up to her poetic Oscars-favorite. In my experience, Zhao’s films (of which I think The Rider is probably her best work), which often feature non-actors, are defined by their open landscapes, contemplative themes, and an unshakable feeling that her narrative films are documentary-like. Therefore, this superhero epic is almost certainly her most accessible film, but it is also true that it feels different than most Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. Frankly, while there is a lot that I like here, I think Eternals ended up being a little bit too ambitious for its own good.

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Dec. 2021: ‘In the Heights,’ ‘Fast and Furious 9,’ and More

Anthony Ramos as ‘Usnavi’ and Melissa Barrera as ‘Vanessa’ in Jon M. Chu’s IN THE HEIGHTS. — PHOTO: Warner Bros. Pictures.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I mostly run you through my thoughts on several different films that I’ve missed throughout the year. That means that I have finally seen films like Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights, Rebecca Hall’s Passing, the latest entry in the Fast and Furious franchise (F9), and much, much more including a Best Picture winner that I missed during the previous Oscar season.

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A Celebration or a Clusterfuck? My Thoughts on the 93rd Academy Awards

In honor of Thomas Vinterberg’s extremely moving acceptance speech last night, allow me to open with a reference to arguably his most famous film. There is a moment in Thomas Vinterberg’s Cannes Awards-winning Dogme-film Festen (international title: The Celebration), where the main character Christian (played by Ulrich Thomsen) asks his father, whose birthday is being celebrated, what speech he would like Christian to read for him — the green speech or the yellow speech? His father chooses the ‘green’ speech, and, as a result, the events of the unforgettable film take place. Sometimes a single decision can change everything. And, in the case of the 93rd Academy Awards’ ceremony, a decision was made that ultimately destroyed an otherwise decent ceremony.

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Who Will Win the 93rd Academy Awards? Final Predictions

In the memorable words of Billy Crystal: “It’s a wonderful night for Oscar. Oscar, Oscar. Who will win?” After a prolonged awards season, it’s finally time for the main course, the 93rd Academy Awards. This year, due to the limited studio output in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, AMPAS extended the eligibility window to include films from the first months of 2021, which is why a film such as Judas and the Black Messiah is nominated already this year.

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Feige Announces MCU Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con – Special Features #54

Some people in the industry may have been questioning the future viability of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe after the incredible infinity saga came to an end recently. If Spider-Man: Far From Home didn’t convince the naysayers, then what Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios announced last night certainly did. Today, let’s talk about the Marvel Studios announcements at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Continue reading “Feige Announces MCU Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con – Special Features #54”

IJR Awards 2018: Film Nominations Announced

It is finally time for me to announce my own personal film nominations for the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards of 2018. Sure, we’re in 2019 now, but I needed some time to watch some of the films that were released in January in Denmark.

There will be a couple of surprises here, and I’m not just talking about the nominees. Four awards that have not previously been announced will make their debut here with their own sets of nominations. Also, one award has had its titled changed to allow for more than a small handful of nominees. Well, let’s get to it. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2018: Film Nominations Announced”

REVIEW: The Rider (2018)

Release Poster – Sony Pictures Classics

The following is a review of Sony Pictures Classics’ The Rider — Directed by Chloe Zhao.

You may not be surprised to learn that, to my knowledge, the competitive sport of rodeo is not really a popular activity in coldish Scandinavia. Although it may have had its roots elsewhere (I, honestly, have no idea), I have always associated rodeo with America and the cultural fascination with thrill-seeking cowboys. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Rider (2018)”