the last jedi

Movies for 2017: The Good, The Bad, and the Over-Hyped (Part 2)

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So, after putting together the preview for the first half of the year, I found the second half far more interesting, and it took a bit longer to pull together. Let’s jump right in:

Spiderman Marvel
Spiderman returns to Marvel Studios after years of being on loan to Sony. ®Disney 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming / July 7th – Finally, the Spider-Man everyone has always wanted. Sony has loaned the distribution rights to Marvel Studios for what was likely a hefty sum. But, no matter, Spider-Man has finally joined the Avengers, and fans eagerly anticipate this latest release as the beginning of something fantastic. Most considered Tom Holland to have held his own well against Robert Downey Jr. in Civil War last year, so knowing that more of that is in store will likely delight audiences. In a twist of irony, Michael Keaton has been cast as The Vulture, which feels like a giant inside joke after his role in Birdman. The last thing to note: Donald Glover has been added to the list of top billed cast members, which should elicit some excitement after his incredible success with his show, Atlanta, at the Golden Globes.

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Kong skull island 2017

Movies for 2017: The Good, The Bad, and the Over-Hyped (Part 1)

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Great movies for 2017 have already hit theaters, with more on the way. And of course, we’re already getting a lot of hype about some of the upcoming flicks. Hype doesn’t necessarily mean a movie is going to be good or bad. However, if a movie is over-hyped and turns out not to be great, we are left feeling pretty disappointed. Additionally, there are some pictures that we just do not hear about until after the fact, so I want to shine the spotlight on a few of those, hence the following list.

It’s not a comprehensive list of all the biggest or best movies coming out this year. Nor is it a list of movies I want to see personally. Instead, this is a type of hype list. A list of movies that are being marketed heavily as either a blockbuster event like Kong: Skull Island or maybe as extra relevant like Get Out.

Honestly, I think some of these movies will be really terrible. But, for others, I expect great things. The only movie that I would retroactively put in this list from January, would be Splice (I loved it, by the way).

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Oscars 2017

#OscarsSoLaLa: La La Land Gets 14 Oscar Nominations?

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The Academy Award nominations have finally been announced, and already discontent, to say the very least, has swept across the world at the 14 nominations La La Land received. Incredibly, the film is now tied for the most nominations ever with Titanic in 1997 and All About Eve in 1950. My first thought was, “Wow, are you kidding me?” Those very generous Oscar nods thrown La La Land‘s way notwithstanding, the nominations are indicative of numerous other things going on with the Academy Awards as well — things of positive note.

The most obvious and most welcomed item of note is Hashtag Oscar [isn’t] So White anymore. Hollywood has diversity! Well, at least this year, the Oscar nominations seem to recognize Hollywood’s diversity. Numerous films, actors, and a cinematographer (only the second ever) of African-American descent were recognized for their excellent work in the industry. Moonlight in particular has been well-recognized by festivals and other award ceremonies (though many argue it was snubbed at the Golden Globes).

Barry Jenkins nominated for Best Director

Here’s the complete list:

  • Denzel Washington, Best Actor, Fences
  • Ruth Negga, Best Actress, Loving
  • Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor, Moonlight
  • Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actress, Hidden Figure
  • Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress, Fences
  •  Naomie Harris, Best Supporting Actress, Moonlight
  • Barry Jenkins, Best Director, Moonlight
  • Bradford Young, Best Cinematography, Arrival
  • Raoul Peck, Best Documentary Feature, I Am Not Your Negro
  • Roger Ross Williams, Best Documentary Feature, Life, Animated
  • Ava DuVern, Best Documentary Feature, 13th
  • Ezra Edelman, Best Documentary Feature, O.J.: Made in America
  • Joi McMillon, Best Film Editing, Moonlight
  • Barry Jenkins and Tarbell Alvin McCraney, Best Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight
  • August Wilson (posthumous nomination), Best Adapted Screenplay, Fences

It is also the first time three films up for Best Picture each have black producers.

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La La Land and the Golden Globes

La La Land May Be the End of Meaningful Awards Ceremonies

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If you saw this year’s Golden Globes, you know La La Land made a huge splash, taking home seven awards. But, there has been some backlash regarding the film’s success. And, that backlash may be the beginning of the end of meaningful award ceremonies, and that is incredibly unfortunate. Let’s talk about why the backlash occurred.

First, a quick non spoiler-review of La La Land. In short, it’s beautiful. The music is catchy and heartfelt (though the vocals are a bit rough at times), the cinematography is incredible, the acting is superb (Emma Stone gives one of her best performances ever), and all the throwbacks to old-school hollywood are fun. Go see it.

Okay, so what happened at the Golden Globes last week? Well, La La Land, as you might have heard, took a record seven awards home. Clearly, the journalists that make up the Hollywood Foreign Press very much fell in love with this little musical. But, instead of a growing sense of excitement at a sweep for the picture honoring classic tinseltown and underdogs, resentment spread rather quickly.

Critics, journalists and filmmakers all voiced their opinions during and after the ceremony, essentially lamenting the fact that La La Land did so well, when so many other pictures deserved awards.

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Apple Ad Frankie's Holiday

Apple Ads Both Inspire: One is Good, the Other is Great

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I’ve talked a lot about commercials this fall, and for that I’m sorry, but only because there has not been a great deal to talk about regarding films, since there have not been a lot of really special things releasing wide (although I have a few posts coming up that will be a treat). Today, I have one last post about two TV spots before I launch into full blown Awards Season mode. Both of these ads were made for Apple, which is interesting. It is interesting because Apple has often sought to create iconic advertising campaigns (the Mac/PC ads are a prime example), but neither of these ads are part of a larger campaign, they are selling different products, and were released within a week of one another. Yet, one of these ads is good, while the other is brilliant!

First, “Bulbs” is an ad for the new Macbook Pro. The ad opens with the greatest invention of all, fire. The shot cuts to a bulb illuminating in the darkness. Then the shots follow a line of bulbs all illuminating and one by one, exploding as one by one some of the greatest innovations are placed before us to consider.

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