REVIEW: Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020 – Documentary)

Dick Johnson Documentary Poster
Release Poster – Netflix

Directed by Kirsten Johnson — Distributed by Netflix.

A couple of years ago, I saw Martin Scorsese’s documentary short film Italianamerican, which is basically a very personal documentary wherein the filmmaker films his parents, has them tell their life stories, and even reveal their best recipes. Since I first saw Italianamerican, I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the best way to celebrate your parents in the documentary format. This made me very interested in Kirsten Johnson’s documentary about her father, Dick Johnson is Dead, but when I sat down to watch her documentary, I was slightly trepidatious about what film I was about to watch. The title is obviously ominous, but the poster looks more like a comedy than anything else. I eventually came to realize that Kirsten Johnson’s documentary was the total package. Dick Johnson Is Dead is one of the best documentaries of the year. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020 – Documentary)”

REVIEW: After Hours (1985)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of Martin Scorsese’s 1985 classic After Hours — Written by Joseph Minion.

Although his 1980 feature film Raging Bull earned Martin Scorsese rave reviews and industry awards recognition, its success did not ensure that Martin Scorsese’s 1980s would be a nice and smooth ride with nothing but successes. Even though he had already made films that we still talk about today, Scorsese was not the box office draw that modern cineastes might have imagined. His follow-up to Raging Bull, his 1982 near-masterpiece The King of Comedy struggled at the box office. Then Paramount Pictures got cold feet due to a sizable budget as well as religious protests, and, as a result, they, eventually, canceled the production of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, which was finally made and released with the help of Universal Studios in 1988. So one might understand if, in the mid-to-early 1980s, Martin Scorsese needed to make something wildly different. It was at this point when, before he finally got to make his aforementioned controversial religious passion project, Martin Scorsese made his frantic black comedy After Hours. Continue reading “REVIEW: After Hours (1985)”

Top Ten Films of 2019

The 2010s have come to an end. Soon I will be posting several additional top ten lists on the best films of the previous decade. But, first, I have to close out last year in the right way with this top ten films of 2019-list. So, sit back, relax, and take a look at what films I think were the very best in a quite strong year for movies. Continue reading “Top Ten Films of 2019”

7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part Two – 2019

This is it. We are finally here where it all matters. This is where I highlight the best technical achievements and performances of the year. This is where I get a chance to recognize all of my favorite films that I saw this past year. As always, I also have a lifetime achievement film award at the end of the post, so don’t forget about that one. For the full list of nominees, go here. Continue reading “7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part Two – 2019”

Final 92nd Academy Awards Predictions: Winners – Special Features #61

It’s time. This awards season has been rather short. This has been both been a good and a bad thing, though Film Twitter seems convinced that it’s only been a bad thing. Sure, AMPAS’ predictions were somewhat disappointing, and, frustratingly, many of the upcoming winners seem obvious at this point. It almost feels like only a little bit more than a handful of categories are competitive going into the big night. Today, I’m giving my final predictions for the big Oscar night — the Super Bowl for the film community.
Continue reading “Final 92nd Academy Awards Predictions: Winners – Special Features #61”

IJR Awards 2019: Film Nominations Announced

It is finally time for me to announce my own personal film nominations for the 7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards. Sure, we’re in 2020 now, but I needed some time to watch some of the films that weren’t released until January 2020 in Denmark to properly celebrate 2019 films.

There will be a couple of surprises here, and I’m not just talking about the nominees. There are a couple of completely new categories listed below. Each new category will have an asterisk next to it. Well, let’s get to it. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2019: Film Nominations Announced”

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.

Continue reading “92nd Academy Awards Nominations: Reaction – Special Features #59”

Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58

Edited image originally from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019),’ Sony Pictures

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”

REVIEW: The Irishman (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Irishman — Directed by Martin Scorsese.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Martin Scorsese would arguably be on the Mt. Rushmore of American filmmakers if such a thing existed. When Scorsese laments the supposed death of cinema or questions the artistic merit of modern blockbusters, you listen to him for the simple reason that few people know the medium, the power of cinema, or the industry as well as he does. His understanding of the power of what is within or out of the frame of cinema is indescribable. Though his detractors may suggest that he is a glorified gangster film director, nothing could be further from the truth. With The Irishman, Martin Scorsese has given us a haunting and elegiac historical epic disguised as a greatest hits gangster film that stresses that, even in the autumn of his life, the master hasn’t missed a beat. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Irishman (2019)”

REVIEW: Hustlers (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – STXfilms

The following is a review of Hustlers — Directed by Lorene Scafaria.

Based on Jessica Pressler’s New York magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores,” writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers tells the story of how a group of fed-up female strippers drugged and robbed Wall Street money-men when they visited their club. The film stars Constance Wu as Destiny, a woman who strips to support her grandmother and pay off her debts. When she initially struggles to find success at the club she works at, Destiny teams up with the wildly successful, knowledgeable, and experienced stripper, Ramona (played by Jennifer Lopez), a single mother who takes Destiny under her wing — or, under her fur coat, so to speak (which is a reference to one of the most memorable scenes in the film) — and shows her the ropes. When the financial crisis of the late 2000s strikes, they come up with a new risky scheme to fleece potential customers. Continue reading “REVIEW: Hustlers (2019)”