Category: Emotional Rantings

Good Boys: Super bad on a sixth grade reading level

Why is “South Park” an animated series? Couldn’t creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have made their crude and frequently violent show about prepubescent boys a live action series just as easily, if not cheaper? The reason they don’t is simple: an animated overweight boy using expletives every other sentence while making sex jokes is funny because the animation separates the joke from reality. … Read More Good Boys: Super bad on a sixth grade reading level

Hobbs And Shaw: 2 Fast 2 Furious 2 Care

Remember that small dramatic action flick from 2001 about boosting cars? Seven movies later, it’s harder and harder to remember that “The Fast and the Furious” was about a Los Angeles cop going undercover to infiltrate a gang of automobile thieves. A prime victim of the money-hungry quest of studios to franchise everything, a small crime drama has become an international box office sensation … Read More Hobbs And Shaw: 2 Fast 2 Furious 2 Care

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tinseltown fantasy

“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” is everything one might come to expect from a Quentin Tarantino film and yet somehow, it’s also nothing like what one might expect from Quentin Tarantino. Reflective of a man who grew up in the movies engrossed in every aspect of filmmaking, Tarantino’s ninth feature ramps up the dialogue and nonlinear storytelling while tempering down his trademark rampages … Read More Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tinseltown fantasy

Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Perhaps the biggest saving grace about “Murder Mystery,” the latest movie partnership between Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Netflix, is that no one will have to pay money to sit in a movie theater to endure 100-plus minutes of subpar cinema. It isn’t just that the production design is simplified to a level that almost none of the crime comedy’s supposedly luxurious foreign … Read More Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Booksmart: Fresh perspective

Once or twice a year, a comedy will come out that has something more on its mind beyond just a quest for cheap laughs. In 2019, that film is “Booksmart,” a nuanced and insightful feature that elevates high school movie tropes to new heights. Written by four women and helmed by veteran actress turned first time director Olivia Wilde, “Booksmart” doesn’t seek to revolutionize … Read More Booksmart: Fresh perspective

The Hustle: Remake robs audience of classic comedy

Reboot: the act of taking an original property and reimagining it in a different context. Remake: taking an original property and making the same film over again with minor alterations. It’s important to clarify the difference between reboot and remake at the outset because these two words seem like synonyms, but the distance between them could not be vaster. Take for example movies like … Read More The Hustle: Remake robs audience of classic comedy

Dumbo: Just an ordinary elephant

A film about a flying elephant should not work, but it did once. Remaking an iconic Disney animated film about a flying elephant definitely shouldn’t work and certainly doesn’t here as director Tim Burton stumbles about the circus world for two hours in a clumsy, largely lackluster iteration of the 1941 film “Dumbo.” To be clear, this retelling of a Disney classic compartmentalizes the … Read More Dumbo: Just an ordinary elephant

Triple Frontier: The price of being a soldier

Filmmaker J.C. Chandor is at his best making intimate, dialogue-heavy films about man’s unrelenting quest for the almighty dollar at any price. His 2011 debut “Margin Call” was an intense, diabolical examination of the New York financial services industry that earned him an Oscar nomination for the film’s screenplay. Three years later, Chandor returned with “A Most Violent Year,” a subtle and nuanced crime … Read More Triple Frontier: The price of being a soldier

Thunder Road: Fortune favors the bold

A static camera slowly presses in. It never moves – only zooms deliberately – for what feels like an eternity but is only six or seven minutes as the protagonist mourns the loss of his mother during a chaotic, frantic eulogy at her funeral. Over the course of a brisk hour-and-a-half, writer/director/star Jim Cummings delivers a film equally as manic as the character he … Read More Thunder Road: Fortune favors the bold

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Easy rider: Academy rewards safe biopic ‘Green Book’ with Best Picture

Newly crowned Academy Award winner for Best Picture “Green Book” is like clanging a cowbell at the end of Shoshtakovich’s seventh. Everyone who doesn’t understand what that means believes it’s perfect. There’s nothing particularly wrong with “Green Book,” a well-acted and competently made film, yet completely ordinary by comparison to other features in the Academy’s Best Picture category. It’s just that a film like … Read More Easy rider: Academy rewards safe biopic ‘Green Book’ with Best Picture

Green Book: A beginner’s guide to overcoming racism

It’s sometimes easy to forget that #OscarsSoWhite was nearly three years ago, a time when no minority actors or actresses were nominated in back-to-back Academy Award ceremonies. Movies like the Best Picture winning  “Moonlight,” “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” are proof that studios have begun empowering a wider array of filmmakers to examine new and old stories from fresh perspectives. The rise of Netflix as … Read More Green Book: A beginner’s guide to overcoming racism

Widows: A most complex crime

Don’t put “Widows” in a box. The latest film from Academy Award winner Steve McQueen isn’t just one type of movie, no matter how much it may seem to be a simple heist thriller at first glance. Chicago serves as the backdrop for the entire cinematic experience, and more than just a place for action to happen, “Widows” is a Chicago movie embedded with … Read More Widows: A most complex crime