92nd Academy Awards Nominations: Reaction – Special Features #59

Edited image originally from ‘Joker (2019),’ Warner Bros.

The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards have been released by AMPAS. We now know the names of the individuals who might become Oscar winners in a month. For the full list of nominations, click here. There is a lot to talk about this time around. One film clearly overperformed much to many pundits and critics’ chagrin, while the Academy made some of the classic problematic mistakes that awards seasons tend to result in at some point or another.

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REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Disney / Lucasfilm

The following is a review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — Directed by J. J. Abrams.

Although the subtitle of this film suggests otherwise, Disney has been pretty adamant in saying that the Skywalker saga (i.e. the episodes) is coming to an end with this ninth episode, which thus ends Disney’s sequel trilogy. It has been a trilogy that has been bumpier than I expected it to be, which is largely due to Lucasfilm hirings and firings, as well as the return of a rabid, entitled, and toxic part of the Star Wars fandom, which has been determined to have their say on what can and cannot be appreciated about these films. This part of fandom has been absolutely infuriating, and it has robbed Star Wars fans of the happiness that one should get when you discuss something that you love. J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was an undeniably satisfying and very rewatchable table-setter, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was an ambitious, bold, and critically acclaimed exploration of legacy, legends, and failure. Now we have The Rise of Skywalker, J. J. Abrams’ curtain-closer. Though I did ultimately enjoy the film, I have to admit and acknowledge that this is definitely the sequel trilogy’s low-point, in part due to Abrams’ obvious attempt to appease parts of the fandom that could only be pacified by reversing decisions that were made in Rian Johnson’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)”

Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Biographical Pictures

Sometimes biopics — or biographical pictures — get a bad rap. Some people think of them merely as Wikipedia entries on the big screen, others think they just exist for studios to promote during awards season — people like to say that biopics are Oscar-bait. But today I want to showcase my ten favorite biographical pictures of the 2010s. I’ll also preface this list by saying that I reserve the right to change this list for the remainder of 2019 in case something new is good enough to make it onto this list. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Biographical Pictures”

Halfway Through the Year: 2019 – Special Features #52

We are already halfway through the year. 2019 isn’t coming to an end just yet, but we’ve already seen plenty of shows, episodes, or movies that we’ll remember the year for. In today’s article, you’ll find bite-sized notes and comments on the best films, shows, or performances from the first half of the year. Sure, my official awards winners and top tens won’t be published until the end of the year, but this is a great milestone or halfway-mark to look back upon some day in the future. Please follow the links below to read individual reviews of each film or series. Continue reading “Halfway Through the Year: 2019 – Special Features #52”

REVIEW: Us (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Us — Directed by Jordan Peele.

No directorial debut this decade has made as much noise as Jordan Peele’s Get Out did. The social-horror film was made by a comedian from a popular two-man sketch comedy group who, as it turned out, had his finger on the pulse of America. Get Out is not just one of the most discussed films of the decade, it’s also one of the most interesting, one of the most rewatchable, and, arguably, one of the best. Though Us may not be as sharp, potent, or intelligent as Get Out, Peele here proves that he is no one-hit wonder. Get Out wasn’t a fluke, Jordan Peele knows exactly what he’s doing.
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REVIEW: Black Panther (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther — Directed by Ryan Coogler.

We’ve seen plenty of superhero films before. We’ve seen superhero films with social commentary before. We’ve had people of color as the leads of comic book films before — you need only look at the forgotten Blade-trilogy, which definitely deserves a rewatch, to figure that out. Continue reading “REVIEW: Black Panther (2018)”

REVIEW: The Jungle Book (2016)

The Jungle Book Poster
Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Disney’s The Jungle Book, a Jon Favreau Film. The reviewed film was seen in IMAX 3D.

Jon Favreau is a great director that has shown his talents both with blockbusters, like Iron Man, and with smaller, personal films, like Chef, so when he was announced for the ‘live-action’ Disney remake of the famous Rudyard Kipling stories the film community was very excited. I am so happy to write here that The Jungle Book might be the very best film Favreau has ever made, as well as Disney’s best attempt at improving and updating an animated classic. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Jungle Book (2016)”