The 2019 Oscars: Best Picture Nominations – Watched, Reviewed and Ranked

So this without a doubt has to be one of the most embarrassing selection of best picture nominations I’ve seen in quite some time. When I look back at the piece I did last year on the 2018 nominations for the Oscars (click this link to check that out), I wish for a list as strong and full of such incredible films as that. I vividly remember struggling to rank those films, as almost all of them were full of something that was genuinely special; I struggled too not give them all the top spot for one reason or another.

However, this year, I find myself struggling to decide which one of these films is worse. Don’t get me wrong, a number of these films are good – and one in particular holds within it the same special magic that many of last year’s nominations had – but that’s the problem, most of them are only good films, while some actually outstanding films seems to have been ignored completely (‘First Man’ or ‘You Were Never Really Here’, for example). Minus a few of them, there’s nothing on this list that stands out to me as a film I remember having a significant impact on me. For most of these films, when I was writing the review for them, I remember how underwhelmed or how forgettably fine I was with them. To look at this list and see some of the films that are now being given a significant spotlight to shine makes me… sad.

Anyway, enough with my frustrated ramblings. Let’s get on with the ranking and find out where each film falls on the list. Read more

Review – BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman, co-written and directed by Spike Lee, is a film that rings loud with the filmmaker’s distinctive voice and approach. Th purpose is undeniable, the boldness unflinching, and the tone in which it approaches its subject is very effective. It’s a film you can’t ignore – it won’t let you – nor should you. But the film’s strict focus does result in other elements of the film not feeling as complete as they should be, and it does result in what feels like an incomplete package. So, the question is: do those issues effect the film in such a way that it fails overall? Could the love of so many critics be misplaced? Let’s find that out and more in my review.    Read more

Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars The Last Jedi

* This review does contain MINOR SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi *

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson, is a film that feels burdened by much that it tries to do. There are many moments to this film that I absolutely loved! Moments that reinforced and reshaped my love for Star Wars as a franchise, but to get to those moments, there were particular storylines, certain characters, and clear merchandising influences, that hampered the overall experience. However… some of the most impactful decisions this film creates, and the effect they will go onto have; I think evolves the franchise beyond the seemingly rehashed path it was going down. It will divide fans, but I hope it will move the trilogy into uncharted territory. Personally, I’m going to find this to be a challenging review to write, because I did have a genuine love-hate relationship with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This will almost be like a therapy session, as I try to come terms with all that this film is… so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – The Meyerowitz Stories

The Meyerowitz Stories, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, has a wonderfully addictive rhythm to it. That rhythm doesn’t come from an overstated score or a movement from the actors that dominates the scene; instead it comes from a highly dysfunctional family’s way of communicating with one another. They almost seem to verbally duel one another, with words that move fast and land in a way that seems to physically hurts. It is this damaged, defensive family’s history, that a touching, funny film comes from. I’ve wanted to review a Baumbach film for a while now and I’m excited to finally do so. Let’s get to it. Read more

Review – Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a film that is full of so much character. Not only do you have the eclectic selections of characters to enjoy, but you also have the all-American setting; filled with NASCAR, a lively culture that loves and respects its history and an overall charm and wholesomeness that just exists throughout the film. You take all of that and then inject it with the unique essence that makes up Virginia and the surrounding areas, and you get something that really stands-out and makes its presence known. And it is also a film that constructs and delivers a heist plot that keeps all the fun moving with purpose. This is a film that is brimming with wonderful amounts of charm and fun, and it never lets up. But can the film really be all enjoyment and no underlying problems? Well, let’s find out in my review. Read more

Review – Silence

silence

Silence, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a film that is unwavering in its effort to explore its primary topic: Religion. Each frame of this film is more beautiful than the last; each performance meets the exact level and presence that is fitting for the moment, and every ounce of the films runtime is dedicated to making sure it fully explores the downfall of its main character and his utter devotion to his faith. Scorsese is no slouch when it comes to the detail in his films, and Silence shows that, but with such detail, also comes the feeling of being given too much. This is a film that dives as deep as it can possibly go into its subject, but it sometimes forgets the need to come back up for air. But let’s get to the fuller review and see if that issue affects the overall experience, let’s see what Silence has to offer. Read more

Review – Midnight Special

Midnight Special

Midnight Special, directed by Jeff Nichols, is a film that has a constant ominous feeling running throughout it. With quieter more subtle scenes in which people converse in code or sudden bursts of unexpected action – Midnight Special is a film that keeps you guessing as to what the bigger picture is. This level of intrigue makes it a film that up until its very last moments, has you not only gripped by what may happen to the character, but also who or what is pulling the strings. So let’s jump into Midnight Special and see what it gets right and what it doesn’t. Read more