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 – 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 – Black Panther

Black Panther, co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler, achieves something pretty special (especially when you consider that it’s another Marvel movie); Coogler has created a really personal feeling film; one with an identity and message that sees it standing separate from the usual MCU confines. It wasn’t a film I was immediately enamoured with and it is still plagued with some of the irritating issues that plague all Marvel films (issues that I do think hold it back from being something truly game-changing for the genre), but for the first time in a while, I’m actually looking forward to writing and talking about a new Marvel release. So let’s get into the meat of the review and see what it is that makes this film standout in a cluttered universe of films. Read more

Review – Captain America: Civil War

Captain America Civil War

Captain America: Civil War, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, is another large action fest, filled with characters upon characters, and a globe-trotting story. Though it isn’t billed as, this does feel like another large Avengers type movie. The difference with this one is that it actually doesn’t feel bloated and overly managed (there weren’t too many cooks in that kitchen). Coherent storytelling and an ensemble cast of varied and interesting characters are what make this film the spectacle it is – and all out action of course – but does Captain America: Civil War fall prey to the same problems that plague so many of these Marvel Superhero extravaganza’s? Let’s get this review going and find out. Read more