Over the years, I have certainly not tried to hide the fact that I think 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was directed by David Ayer (though he has repeatedly made it clear that the film was essentially taken away from him as a result of studio interference), is, to put it mildly, one of my least favorite films ever made in the superhero genre. That 2016 film certainly reeked of studio interference, it was an almost incoherent mess, it was needlessly grimy and at times quite ugly, it used a decent soundtrack as a crutch and in a way that became incredibly tiring, all the while failing to get you to care about the characters or the relationships they were building. There were some decent things about it, but, on the whole, it felt like someone had tried to turn Ayer’s vision into a shameless imitation of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and that just didn’t work for the film that Ayer had envisioned.
It’s finally time to reveal what films, shows, songs, performances, and games were my absolute favorites of the year 2020. Look, I know what you’re thinking, we’re already in July of 2021. But, to be perfectly honest with you, the last twelve-to-sixteen months or so have for obvious reasons made everything a bit unclear to me. Let’s just say, it was a weird year, as was also evident by the fact that AMPAS decided to push the eligibility window for their recent awards ceremony (which both honored 2020 films and select films from early 2021). I’m not doing that, though. I still have my strict year-end deadline, but, unlike the last seven I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, I’m announcing both the nominees and winners of each and every category in this very post. So strap in, folks, and let’s talk about the best and most memorable culture of 2020.
The following is a review of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — Directed by Cathy Yan.
In 2016, David Ayer’s messy and displeasing Suicide Squad embiggened the then fairly new cinematic universe from DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures. Although it somehow won itself an Academy Award, the film was rightfully panned by critics, including me. I often think back on that film as being one of the absolute worst superhero films of the last decade. Therefore, at first glance, a spin-off from Suicide Squad, which is exactly what Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey is, shouldn’t appeal to me at all. However, this film promised to not just focus on the most entertaining character from Ayer’s film, it also promised a more colorful, more fun, and more feminine approach to a cinematic universe that could benefit from some levity and brightness. Thankfully, although I have some issues with her film, Cathy Yan has successfully brought the film’s characters to life in an entertaining way. Continue reading “REVIEW: Birds of Prey (2020)”→
It is finally that time of the year again, folks! The nominations for the Academy Awards will be released on Monday (January 13th, 2020). Just in time, I am ready with my final predictions for this awards season’s Oscars nominations. Below I have tried to predict every category except for the short film categories, as I simply haven’t seen enough short films from 2019. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58”→
The following is a spoiler review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Quentin Tarantino has claimed that he will only direct ten feature films, and, since he considers his latest film to be his ninth, that puts a lot of pressure on this penultimate effort as a director. Having just recently rewatched and reviewed his filmography as a director, I had prepared myself for this undeniable event film for cinephiles. When I walked out of the theater, I had a soft smile on my face, and I kept on repeating these words to my mother and sister, who had seen the film with me: “I think this is his most moving movie yet.” Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is tense but also laidback, sometimes violent but generally quite kind, and much to my own surprise, as Tarantino ended his film, I had a lump in my throat — I got a little bit choked up. Continue reading “REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)”→
Okay, I know. This is insane. But I enjoyed doing it last year, so it’s happening again! The 91st Academy Awards haven’t even been held, and I’ve only seen, like, twelve films from 2019 at this point. I love writing about the awards season, but, to be honest with you, I find the annual best picture frontrunner backlash to be draining. So, therefore, I think it’s much easier for me to write about next year’s awards season. And don’t you worry, I have a pretty good idea of what is coming out this year. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Continue reading “Crazy Early 92nd Academy Awards Predictions – Special Features #46”→
The following is a review of I, Tonya — Directed by Craig Gillespie.
Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya is a biographical picture about Tonya Harding (played by Margot Robbie), centered around her relationship with her mother — LaVona (played by Allison Janney) — and her husband — Jeff Gillooly (played by Sebastian Stan) — as well as the events surrounding the infamous 1994 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan (played by Caitlin Carver), which, in the film, is referred to as ‘the incident.’ Continue reading “REVIEW: I, Tonya (2017)”→
This time around I’m changing things up. Last time, my Best Picture predictions were listed in alphabetical order. However, now in October, I’m ready to start ranking them on their chances of getting the golden statue in early 2018. At the end of my listing of the ten predicted nominations, I’ll discuss a number of films that aren’t getting in — including a Weinstein production or two. Continue reading “Updated Best Picture Predictions – Special Features #8”→
Same procedure as last week, folks! This week, I am taking a look at the Best Actress category at the forthcoming Oscars. Are Emma Stone, Kate Winslet, or the legend that is Meryl Streep getting another golden statue, or will someone new get to finally give a speech with an Oscar in-hand? Continue reading “Early Best Actress Predictions – Special Features #5”→