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 – The Mule

The Mule, directed by Clint Eastwood, is an awkward, confusing experience that somewhere beyond the uncomfortable scenes and odd directorial decisions in a somewhat charming little film that I think I enjoyed. Genuinely, I am going to struggle with this review, because even at this very moment, having had a decent amount of time to try to evaluate what exactly I sat through, I’m still conflicted and confused as to what The Mule was supposed to be and some of the decisions that made it into the film. So, join me on this journey, as I try to figure out what it was, I watched and if it was any good. Read more

Review – A Star is Born

A Star is Born, co-written and directed by Bradley Cooper, has at its core an uplifting, chemistry-imbued relationship that keeps the film forever feeling like a meaningful, endearing watch. Two strong lead performances and a story that is light in scale but heavy with themes and emotion also played an integral part in making my time with the film feeling worthwhile. I at all times felt engaged with the characters on-screen and was eager to see where their journey would lead. I think my only issue with the film would be the depth of exploration for the characters as individuals, but I’ll of course touch upon that in greater detail in my review. So, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to A Star is Born, so let’s dispense with this rambling introduction and get to the review itself. Read more

Review – Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War

Warning! This review contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War!

Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, is absolutely a success in what Marvel set out to do 10 years ago. Now, a film of this magnitude; with the number of characters it was juggling, and the scope of the threat it is dealing with; means it of course falters in a few places – there are elements to this film that absolutely didn’t work for me. But in the context of the larger film; what it had to juggle; what it needed to accomplish; and the massive audience that it has to serve – especially after 10 years’ worth of well-loved films leading up to it. I think Marvel and the Russo brothers have accomplished what could have easily been a massive bin fire full of disappointment and broken dreams. Having said that though, there is one glaring issue to this film that could easily bring all those positive comments / feelings crumbling down. So, now I have to try to review this film in a coherent way; touching upon all the necessary little moments that need to be talked about. Wish me luck.
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Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, written and directed by James Gunn, once again delivers some of the most fun and rewarding character interactions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, structurally the film is not your normal affair, and despite it really working for me, I do feel that some audiences will struggle with the slower, less direct pace of the film. But one of the biggest questions that everyone probably has, is does the film out-do its predecessor? Well let’s get into the fuller review itself and see if we can answer that question, while also exploring the many offerings of Vol. 2. Read more

Review – Joy

Joy

Joy, directed by David O. Russell is a manic film that feels incoherent and at times a little heavy handed with its attempts and genuine emotion. A lack of strong or memorable characters and a cast of actors who at some points seemed to forget they were in a film with cameras recording them, left me drained and disappointed. Read more

Review – American Sniper

American Sniper

American Sniper directed by Clint Eastwood is a film with a strong performance at its forefront, from Bradley Cooper but unfortunately is a film with not much else. American Sniper ultimately fails to deliver anything of real substance and leaves you disconnected, frustrated and a little bored. Read more