Last week, I attended the annual Columbia University Film Festival where Masters students showcase their work. With an audience of mostly friends, family and teachers, I felt a bit left out, which would have been okay if I also didn't at times feel left out of the film's subject matter, as well. There was, however, some promising work to be found.
In light of the impending release of the much anticipated Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby, I return to my childhood to give a recommendation of 1996's Romeo+Juliet, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead male role. For my generation, it feels like a classic. Perhaps The Great Gatsby will have the same influence over the nine year-olds of today.
I give a list of the shows I will be watching starting now through the summer. Mad Men and Game of Thrones have already premiered, so I've been watching those. But there's still more to anticipate, especially Breaking Bad's final eight episodes.
I share some of my reactions to the two-hour premiere of Mad Men's sixth season. In a script by Matthew Weiner, "The Doorway" gave us Don on vacation, Don back to real life, Betty and the Francis household, Peggy being stern but successful at her new job, and Roger facing his mother's death.
What do Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix, and Idris Elba all have in common? Along with seven other beautiful, talented men? They've never won an Academy Award for Best Actor. I would not be surprised if any of these ten actors were either nominated or awarded an Oscar within the next several years. Hopefully, I won't have given up on the silly award show by the time they make it.
I'm excited for many, many films in 2013. It promises to be a great year. Here I just name five of the ones I'm especially looking forward to, and I add several "honorable mentions" that, to be honest, on any other day, might have made the top five list. These include new work from directors Steve McQueen, Lars von Trier, Jeff Nichols, Sarah Polley, and Richard Linklater, with actors Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
In this feature, I list ten actors and actresses, under the age of 30, who have become magnets for me to go see a film. Some have already become stars, while others are still relatively under the radar. My favorite youngsters include Jennifer Lawrence, Elle Fanning, Michael B. Jordan, and, yes, Robert Pattinson.
I give my brief takes on all nine films nominated for the 2013 Best Film Oscar. I also order them, with a few ties. Feel free to add your opinions on Amour, Beasts of a Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables.
I here review HBO's latest episode of "Girls," entitled "Boys." Confused? Dunham has proven herself apt at creating a wonderfully amusing and captivating fictional world about not just her and her girlfriends but also the boys that creep in and out of their lives. Adam and Ray had a little adventure while the girls went home in frustration.
The news was just released that Mad Men will return to fall television on April 7. AMC will air a two-hour premiere, which I expect to cover some of the big plot points left open in season five's finale. In this post, I go over what I expect to see from the major characters we love, including Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger, and Pete (OK we don't love Pete but we love to hate him, right?)
I here review the much talked about film Zero Dark Thirty. Released in 2012 from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty casts Jessica Chastain in the lead role of a woman relentlessly pursuing Osama bin Laden, primarily by way of torture tactics. I give my entertained but utterly appalled reaction.
I briefly review five celebrated films of 2012. All were pretty enjoyable, but Frankenweenie and Holy Motors were my favorites. Argo, Skyfall, and Ruby Sparks were less successful but overall good films.
I here list the television comedies and dramas I will be watching - and hopefully enjoying - over the next couple months. The best of 2013's winter television includes HBO's Girls, FX's Justified, and the return of AMC's The Walking Dead.
Of all the films I saw in 2012, P.T. Anderson'sThe Master most impressed me, leaving me with the sense that I had just seen something refreshingly new, intensely acted, and visually breathtaking. Joaquin Phoenix delivers the best performance of the year and of his career, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is as perfect as ever. This is my favorite film of the year, and I'm sure I'll be seeing it many more times in the years and decades to come.
It's already December, so I've made a (preliminary) list of my top 10 (actually 12) shows of the 2012 TV season. The series I loved include five comedies and five dramas, with the great Homeland, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad topping the list in a tie. But the funny stuff isn't far behind, with Louie, Girls and more.
In light of some recent heavy between-meal snack eating, I've decided to share my U.S. packaged food fun with my fellow TV and Film watchers. We have to stay alert during these great experiences, don't we? I here start with yogurt, a personal favorite snack. I also include a film recommendation: Costa-Gavras's 1969 classic Z. Guessed the connection?
In light of Halloween, I have made a list of some of the best horror directors and the films that set them apart. In order to qualify, they have to have made at least two great horror movies. Any of these will do to make your Halloween weekend a truly terrifying one.
After a long absence, I just want to let you know that I'm alive, and that I recommend you watch a few great movies like The Master, currently in theaters, and the classic Fury, from 1936. Also, you might want to take a break and have your dinner while enjoying the very funny Parks and Recreation or the thrilling Homeland. I also include a few other suggestions....
These are fragmented, scattered thoughts on what I consider to be the best show on television right now. That is, Showtime's Homeland. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are incredible to watch. The storytelling is a wonder. This is one example of TV tirumphing over film in the United States.
I wanted to here reflect on the amaizng job Louis C.K. has been doing this season casting his guest stars. From ladies such as Parker Posey and Melissa Leo to acclaimed directors like David Lynch, his guests have been some of the strongest in television history. He gets them there and does incredible things with them.... Just another reason to love Louie.
With the fall television season starting just next week, I'm here hurriedly giving my personal recommendations. My most anticipated dramas are Homeland and Boardwalk Empire, and I'm most happy to see the return of the comedies Parks and Recreation and Community. But it's going to be a fun three months, and it'll help us transition out of this (unbearably) hot weather to the quiet cold of November.
My favorite movie thus far of the year, Melancholia is Lars von Trier's latest effort, and it's a hugely successful one. It stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, with supporting roles played by Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Sarsgard, and John Hurt, among others. All performances are top-notch, giving Trier the perfect raw materials to realize his startling, powerful narrative. This is two-hours of beauty, wonder, and emotional rawness. Enjoy.