R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman

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I don’t usually do this. This site has never really trafficked in news. But yesterday I was in such a stupor that I felt compelled to put up something, however small or meaningless, to honor a man I loved. You can be cynical if you want or say he was just an actor. I don’t care. Philip Seymour Hoffman mattered to me, and he mattered to my friends.

I don’t know what else to say. I feel sorry for his loved ones. This hurts. He will be missed.

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2014 Oscars – Live Action Shorts

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Here are reviews of all 5 nominees for Best Live Action Short. Continue reading

2014 Oscars – Animated Shorts

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I might have mentioned this already, but I had a baby last year, my 4th. Yes, I’m insane. I know. This was right in the middle of all the big Oscar-type films being released. Now, I actually managed to keep up with seeing most the nominees, but where I fell behind was getting around to reviewing them. You may have noticed that’s a thing I try to do. I don’t have nearly enough time to  catch up with reviews, but I’m going to do what I can starting with all the shorts. Then I’ll have my top ten, followed by my awards posted real soon.

Continue reading

Bryan’s 10 Most Anticipated Films – 2014

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-ApesChances are some amazing film will premiere at some film festival in the next few months that I had no idea existed. There may be studio films yet to be added to the prestige season calendar. Who knows? Release dates change all the time. But this is a list of what has me excited this moment with the knowledge I have now. The fact that 3 films on my list have been seen and widely praised certainly doesn’t hurt. There are of course plenty of other titles that sound promising that are worth mentioning. Continue reading

Knowing Best – “Like Father, Like Son” Review

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The latest from writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda is another triumph. On paper the Cannes Jury Prize winner sounds like a live-action Disney movie from the ’80s or maybe something starring Kirk Cameron or a show on ABC Family. Continue reading

Top 10 Trailers – 2013

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A lot of strong work this year. Sure sure, plenty of big films continue to paint by numbers with their marketing but sometimes that’s all you need.  Maybe being a little more diverse and toning done the copycat mentality would help but that’s asking a lot of Hollywood. Here are the 10 I think deserve special attention as the standouts of 2013. And I mean 2013. Just trailers for films this year (Wes Anderson can have his day in the sun next year).

I will once again note that creating trailers is my actual day job. Make of that what you will. Continue reading

Top 20 Posters – 2013

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December is upon us and that means it’s time to start rolling out the year-end lists. With new films on the way from Scorsese, Jonze, and the Coens, my top ten films of the year will have to wait. In the meantime, I present to you my favorite posters of 2013 (for films released in 2013, sorry Nymph()maniac). Continue reading

Favorable Odds – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Review

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The rabid fans have been satiated but that doesn’t mean The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is without its problems. However, it is without question better than the first installment of the blockbuster franchise. Continue reading

Now They Know – “Frozen” Review

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ELSA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

After seeing Disney Animation’s latest offering, Frozen, the movie seemed almost too perfect. Of course it’s not, but it speaks to the film’s confidence and clear vision that such thoughts would even occur. So while there are a few chinks in the armor, Frozen stands as a grand piece of entertainment. Continue reading

High Profile – “Fruitvale Station” Review

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Fruitvale Station tells an important story. It’s good that this story is out there. It’s good that more people now know about the true life events it depicts. It’s very good that there’s a major film written by, directed by, and starring black filmmakers. It’s impressive that it won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Too bad it’s not a better movie. Continue reading

Cost of Living – “Blue Jasmine” Review

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There should be no reason to tire of greatness, so there is no reason to tire of Woody Allen. When the legendary writer/director makes an excellent movie it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed either. Perhaps, releasing a new film more or less once a year spoils the audience. He makes high art with seemingly low effort. No matter the history or the work ethic, Blue Jasmine is worthy of your attention and then some. Continue reading

In The Tank – “Blackfish” Review

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Blackfish is a film SeaWorld doesn’t want you to see. Although they declined to actually be interviewed for the film, the aquatic theme park did manage to send out a PR blast refuting some of the information presented in the provocative new documentary. Continue reading

The Trouble with Quibbles: Pacific Rim

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After the false starts of At the Mountains of Madness and The Hobbit, director Guillermo del Toro finally returns to the big screen with Pacific Rim. It’s been a long summer with movies of epic epicness and very few rewards. So I found some time to talk with Adam Scott about whether Hollywood’s latest attraction is the blockbuster we’ve all been hoping for…or not. Continue reading

Gutshot – “The Hunt” Review

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Mads Mikkelsen won Best Actor at Cannes last year for his delicate performance in the riveting drama The Hunt. He plays Lucas, a recently divorced father working at the local kindergarten. Early on the film takes time to establish Lucas as a good and genial man. Things in his life aren’t perfect, but he’s kindhearted and well liked. Continue reading

New Testament – “Only God Forgives” Review

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Drive star Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn reteam for the punishing Only God Forgives. Their first collaboration benefited from having a genre structure to which Refn overlayed his various stylistics tics. This time around, Refn isn’t tethered to anything. Continue reading