Another Vancouver International Film Festival has come and gone and we saw quite a few movies this time around. While there were tons to see, here are my five favourites of the twenty-plus I saw, presented in alphabetical order.
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on VIFF 2019: My Favourites From The Festival
It’s time for the 90th Annual Academy Awards tonight and that means that Simon and I will be live blogging the show! As always I’m publishing my guesses and thoughts now so that they are on the record ahead of time so that I can be held accountable for my guesses. Usually I have some pretty strong ideas of what’s going to happen but this year everything feels a bit up in the air.
Last years show was a bit bonkers what with the Best Picture mix up so the show is pretty certain to be a little less exciting at least. In any event let’s get right to my thoughts on the categories.
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on Matt’s Favourite Dozen Films of 2017
Another year, another list of favourites. 2017 has been a … turbulent year in the real world but a stellar one for film. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately, VIFF coverage aside, but I have been gong to the movies. As of this writing I watched 323 movies in 2017, 70 of which were 2017 releases. Not too shabby considering that I only go to one festival.
Before we get to my dozen favourites there are a few things worth sharing. First, a few that I haven’t seen yet:
- Call Me By Your Name (wr. James Ivory, dir. Luca Guadagnino)
- The Florida Project (wr. Chris Bergoch & Sean Baker, dir. Sean Baker)
- I, Tonya (wr. Steven Rogers, dir. Craig Gillespie)
- The Post (wr. Josh Singer & Liz Hannah, dir. Steven Spielberg)
- Phantom Thread (wr & dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
- Professor Marston and The Wonder Women (wr. & dir. Angela Robinson)
Some of these were due to scheduling on my part (I have a day job!) and some on the films part (Neither The Post nor I, Tonya are out here yet), but all of them seem like exactly the kind of movies that would end up near the top of my list.
Second, these choices are presented in alphabetical order except my favourite which will come last. There are a variety of reasons for this but mostly it comes down the fact that they are all good movies that I have a hard time grading relative to each other because they are all so different. Consider also that some of them I have seen multiple times and others just once and that second viewings are often where I end up solidifying an opinion and you end up with a list that looks like this.
Third, don’t have any honourable mentions but I will probably write some further thoughts on 2017 in a separate post.
So without any further ado, here are my favourite dozen
Editorial, Games, Movies, News, Reviews / Comments Off on Simon’s Games And Movies Of 2017
It’s been a hell of a year, to put it mildly. Thankfully, we’ve had a great twelve months of games and movies to take our minds off the world slowing falling into a Trump-shaped festering sinkhole.
Editorial, Television / Comments Off on The Orville Is My Favourite Star Trek
Bold, clever and heartfelt, The Orville is a gorgeous piece of sci-fi – and I’m as surprised as anyone.
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on Catching Up: A Few Great Performances From This Year So Far
Despite having the lowest summer box office in over a decade 2017 has been a great year for movies. It’s actually hard to believe that the box office has been so bad given just how many great movies have come out. It’s almost like the a glut of sequels and remakes combines with going to the movies being a kind of shitty experience is starting to take a toll. Or everyone spent the summer outside. You never know.
In any event, since I haven’t been writing reviews as diligently as I should (read: at all) I’d like to present you a few performances from this year in roughly chronological order that are worth of both your time and hefty amounts of praise. Mild spoilers for all films discussed.
Editorial, Movies, Television / Comments Off on My Favourite Harry Dean Stanton Performances
A few days ago the world got a little dimmer. Harry Dean Stanton passed away at the age of 91. Celebrity deaths don’t generally hit me that hard but this one did. Stanton is the kind of actor that elevated every project he was a part of, whether he was in a lead role or a quick cameo. Roger Ebert once said that any movie with Harry Dean Stanton in a supporting role couldn’t be all bad and for my money that is a true statement.
He has one film left to come out, this years Lucky (pictured above). I’m looking forward to seeing *Lucky at VIFF next week and it is one of the films I’ve been anticipating most. I imagine now, as the last performance of a legend, it may take on a bittersweet quality.
Stanton has left a staggering filmography and each entry has a notable performance. Here now I’d like to share with you my favourite three by way of tribute to his amazing career.
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on The Love, Pace, and Patience of Wonder Woman
Not what you expected and better than you could have ever hoped, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot save DC’s world.
The Star Wars trilogy has never held that special place in my heart that it holds in so many others. That’s not say that it isn’t a staggering work of creative genius, just that there are two types of nerds in the world and I happen to be the kind whose heart is ruled by Trek rather than Wars.
They are staggering works of creative genius though, and I can remember renting VHS copies of all three movies from the local video store in my hometown, and watching them whenever they were broadcast on one of the five television channels we received when I was growing up. I remember taking a trip to the big city to watch the Special Editions in theatres when they were re-released in 1997.
I also remember being over the moon when the trailer for The Phantom Menace dropped. I couldn’t tell you what movie we saw it with, but I remember going to a movie just to see that trailer. Of course I also remember being pretty profoundly let down by the entire prequel trilogy, as were most people I knew (at least the ones who weren’t in denial).
The prequels soured a lot of people on George Lucas, including me. Lacklustre direction, effects over story, and seemingly endless tinkering with all the films for every release was enough to leave a bad taste in any fan’s mouth, and for a long time it seemed like Star Wars might never, you know, be good again.
Then Disney bought Lucasfilm and once again there was hope. Fast forward to the present, we are in a new age where Star Wars is good again and there is much rejoicing. I haven’t rejoiced as much as most though, so while Rogue One was in theatres I watched all 8 movies in timeline order in an attempt to figure out why that is. So here are my thoughts.
Needless to say there will be spoilers.
We’re continuing to shake off the dust around here at Awesome Friday HQ, and one easy way to do that is to update the
Marvel Fanboy Marvel Cinematic Universe Rankings. Last year there were two additions to the canon of films, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. Each were good, but where do they fit? Let’s take a look.
Last time I did this I grouped the films into three categories, this time I’m doing a straight up ranking. Feel free to agree or disagree with me. In fact, I encourage it.
Now let’s get to it.
The Academy Awards are upon us once again. It’s easy to be cynical about the Oscars, whether it’s because your favourite films never win or because of the endless campaigning, or because it’s, or because of the whole “rich people giving each other statues” thing, but I still kinda like them.
This year the nominees are mostly good, so here they all are along with some thoughts, opinions, and a prediction or two.
The Oscars are being held on the 26th of February. Join us on the day for our 6th annual liveblog of the ceremony!
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on Matt’s Not-Quite Best 12 Movies of 2016
2016 was a good year for film, and anyone who tells you different didn’t see very many films. I’ve already posted my best films of 2016, but there were plenty more films that didn’t make my best of list that you should definitely make the time to see.
So then, let’s take a look at the not-quite best of 2016, presented here in alphabetical order.
2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It’s been a hell of a year, one with many ups and many many downs. It’d be easy to say that the downs of 2016 were to blame for the lack of writing here, that the year was just so shit that I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s definitely not the case though as for me personally it’s actually been a pretty great year. It’s the good stuff that has kept me from writing.
I don’t even know where to start with the cultural icons we’ve lost this year. I can’t eulogize them all and even if I did, what more could I say? I could tell you the stories of why Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are equally important in my headcannon (and I might yet) but in the end it just hasn’t felt like my place.
One thing I can tell you about this year though is that despite all the shit it has been a great year for cinema. So much so that when it came time to figure out my top ten films of the year I couldn’t get the list lower than 12 (and I narrowed it from nearly twice that number).
So, in an effort to get going again, let’s close out this year with the 12 best movies of the year according to yours truly. These are presented in no particular order, except for the two that truly stand out as the best of the year.
Editorial, Games, Movies / Comments Off on Simon’s Best Games and Movies of 2016
2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It almost seems strange that, in a year where everything went wrong, with so many adored artists and creators being whisked off to the afterlife, the events of the last twelve months have barely been registered on Awesome Friday.