No plans? No problem. In this ongoing series of articles, I’m going to highlight movies on a weekly basis that I recommend for weekend viewing. Cinematic comfort food comes in many forms, so this particular form is an extension of “My Favorite Movies” but on a more consistent basis. Enjoy the show!
Following an Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay, what better time to recommend Get Out to any and all people? The tragic truth is, it continues be a relevant time to recommend Jordan Peele’s directorial debut. Not only for its technical precision and horrifying cinematic compositions, but for how it uses these tools to tell a story about being a black person in a predominantly white environment.
Black bodies framed as objects of commodities, vessels of fetishization.
“We’re not racist! We just love black people so much we literally hijack their autonomy for our own purposes.”
Not the take-down of blatant in your face racism people were probably expecting prior to this. Rather, Jordan Peele utilizes his confidence behind the camera to analyze horrifying implications and far-spreading reach of liberal racism.
“I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term… Black is in style.”
Chris isn’t viewed as a person. He’s just another statistic to a system that has no interest in who he is, but what he could offer a crowd of white faces.
Thank god for T. S. Motherfuckin’ A. Let Jordan Peele make whatever the fuck he wants. This has the confidence of a seasoned veteran and the energy of a slumbering giant awoken by a need to express brilliance. An instant horror classic.
I did a commentary with my podcast for more fleshed out, extended thoughts on the Get Out, its influences and how race can and should matter behind the camera. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Identity is arguably more so.
Better late than never? 2017 was a seriously great year for movies (like I mentioned here) so in a lesser year, any of these could have made my top 10 list. So I’m going to be greedy and write about 25 of my favorites movies from last year. I am human so I didn’t see everything (I will witness you soon, Florida Project) and let’s just call it a subjectively objective list. Feel free to check out my 2017 in Film roundup which is still mostly accurate to the list I’ve culminated below.
Here are some quick honorable mentions: Wonder Woman, Okja, Gerald’s Game, The Big Sick, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
War for the Planet of the Apes
A farewell to the Cesar trilogy of Apes legacy. Continuing the thematic and narrative threads of Monkey Moses might be far less subtle than its predecessor’s, though Reeves camera has never felt more appropriate. A throwback to classical blockbuster filmmaking with new gen technology, War takes elements of Apocalypse Now and The Great Escape to close out the Cesar trilogy with the most optimistic ending for the Apes at the expense of acknowledging the darkest exploration of humanities remnants.
The Lego Batman
Effectively satirizes the cinematic legacy of Batman while never failing to acknowledge why the character has endured for several generations and will continue for countless more. Batman’s dark, broody nature has reached peak ridiculousness and way the story maneuvers through the tragic heart of the character wisely brings forth his ultimate secret weapon: Batman is incomplete without a family.
Continue reading “Top 25 Movies of 2017”
Ah, television. The ever evolving medium where storytelling can thrive for hours on end. Mostly, anyways. Like any medium, some hit more than they missed for me and vice versa. But what I loved this year, I really loved and I couldn’t be happier to tune in week after week. Here are my favorites:
Yes, the show where Archie from Archie Comics… fucks. Part Twin Peaks, part gothic romance, all CW gloss and glam. Not only does it embrace the tropes of what the CW has been criticized for, it actively plays with them in ways that feel like an inside joke. It never winks at the audience directly, we all just know a dark and gritty reboot of Archie Comics for television is always going to be hilarious. In that sense, it’s sort of freed up the series to be about anything and everything. Often driven by murder mystery plots and the best looking cinematography on television, it’s a bold faced melodrama that isn’t slightly embarrassed by bracing a brand that defined a network. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had watching television. Continue reading “Best TV Shows of 2017”
2017 was a surprisingly refreshing year for movies, genre related stuff specifically. It broke box office records. Captain Underpants wasn’t just good, it was great. Big budget blockbusters actually looked like money was put to good use. It was a real treat to go to the theater rather than dreading it. Not everything was as great as Captain Underpants (no, really) but it was also a year where some hidden gems got lost among the big box office hits of the year. There’s another discussion we’ll have to have sometime about just how many blockbusters clog up the multiplex nowadays. For now, I thought I’d highlight some of the best genre fare theaters had to offer in 2017. Not all of these are specifically “Best of the Year” but I enjoyed these movies of varying sizes too much to let them be forgotten. If you’re curious about my favorites of 2017, here’s a video celebrating the best of 2017 and I’ll have another post up later this week. Without further adieu, here are a handful of my favorite hidden gems (in no particular order): Continue reading “My Not-Quite-Favorite Movies of 2017 (But Still Worth Mentioning)”
Look, Black Panther looks fucking incredible. There’s really nothing else to be said. It’s a Ryan Coogler film, he re-teams with his DP from Fruitvale Station, Rachel Morrison. Here are some of my favorite images from both trailers:
Ryan Coogler’s other films have arguably been the best of their respective years. Black Panther could very likely join those ranks.
We lost Tobe Hooper this year. A legendary filmmaker who created among the most powerful and exuberant genre films the world has ever seen. How appropriate then that a 35 mm screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would be projected at BeyondFest, a film festival showcasing film culture’s fun house genre appeal. Don Coscarelli, Mick Garris, Tom Holland and Adam Rifkin introduced the film with each one commemorating an experience with their comrade in genre. It became clear quickly that Tobe Hooper was being honored as a person first and foremost. By all accounts, he was a passionate artist, wanting to entertain and striving to create new methods of expression on film. To paraphrase Mick Garris, the best way to honor him is to watch one of his films. And so we did. Continue reading “THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in 35mm: So long, Tobe Hooper”
“Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance out between two worlds
Fire walk with me.”
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN “TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN” Continue reading “The Melancholy of Nostalgia in TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN”