Tag Archives: Movies

My 2017 Oscar Picks

Ladies and gentlemen, the post you’ve all been waiting for. My picks to win the 89th Academy Awards. This year’s nominees gives us hope that the Academy has at least made some effort to look across the wonderful diversity that makes up the filmmaking community. The Academy released a list of 683 new members last year, […]

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My Annual Oscar Picks – 2014

It’s that time again. The Academy hands out their picks for best of every category. They can select 10 films for best picture, but apparently could find only nine worthy of the crown. The pictures span history, deep drama, AIDS, hijacking, swindle and a celestial exploration of the human spirit, untethered in space. Observations. Although […]

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Your Favorite Film of 2013 – Poll

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has the ability to nominate ten films for best picture in any given year. In the 1930’s and 1940’s eight to twelve films were nominated, but in the 1950’s  there was a conscious decision to limit it to five. In 2009 that rule changed, allowing ten films […]

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Remembering Roger Ebert

Any lover of film my age was heavily influenced by what Roger Ebert wrote about the movies. He was not trained in film theory and started out his career as a journalist. You might say he was in the right place at the right time as the Chicago Sun-Times decided to anoint their first film […]

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Side Effects – Film Review

The release of the psychological thriller Side Effects brings with it good news and bad news. First the bad news. Director Steven Soderbergh has announced this is will be his last feature film. He’s retiring from moviemaking (I don’t believe it, or just refuse to believe it). Now the good news, we get the chance to see […]

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Silver Linings Playbook – Film Review

As with so many films that examine mental illness through the lens of their characters, Silver Linings Playbook ends up like most, with the crazies saner than the non-crazies. I was hoping David O. Russell would push the envelope a bit and give us a fresh look, but the film plays it safe. Bradley Cooper […]

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The Season of the Film

Autumn brings impossible colors and crisp nights. It also beckons the best films of the year to the screen. We have suffered through the winter drought, the spring chick flicks (no offense ladies) and the summer explosions to finally emerge on the other side. We are now in film art territory and I couldn’t be […]

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Political Celluloid: What to Watch when Decision 2012 is Unwatchable

It’s a presidential election year once again. Democracy is an amazing process, despite some of the gridlock we have experienced lately. I’ve never missed a chance to vote and look forward to being able to cast another one this coming November. I do get annoyed with all the mudslinging and attack ads, but that seems […]

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Hugo (3D) – Film Review

I had given up hope that Martin Scorsese would ever make a picture aimed at all ages. With his love of film and unsurpassed knowledge of the art form, I felt he was a natural. But with New York as your muse, there are more serious matters to attend to. Turns out, Scorsese was hit […]

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My Oscar Picks for 2011

This Sunday, February 27, 2011 will be the 83rd annual Oscar awards presentation. An art form with a storied past, and I believe a bright future. Although India churns out many more pictures than the U.S. each year, the art of the film and the studio are uniquely American. I’m still getting used to having […]

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2010 Academy Awards – Vote Your Favorites

For years I ran an office pool on the Oscars and did very well. I’ve since dropped the gambling which was a smart move because over the last few years my predictions have not matched well with the Academy members. As we approach the March 7th awards show it’s worth noting a pretty big change. […]

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Me and Orson Welles – Film Review

I have been fascinated with Orson Welles since I was a boy. I had heard the recording of his famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast at an early age, and one of the first films I remember thinking hard about was Citizen Kane. Genuine prodigies, which is how I would categorize Mr. Welles, are […]

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Up in the Air – Film Review

I wondered how a film where the main character’s job is to fire employees for firms that are looking to downsize is getting so much attention in this economic climate. My guess is the filmmakers frequently debated how they would position and portray those difficult “letting workers go” scenes and instead turn the focus on […]

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Avatar – Film Review

Avatar is in a word, ASTONISHING. Many aspects of the storytelling are familiar but the way in which James Cameron unfolds the story is, in every respect, entirely new. He has has kept his formidable storytelling skills but this time wrapped them in an imaginative presentation layer unlike anything you have ever seen. That theme […]

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Moon – Film Review

The classic science fiction drama has been all but dead for nearly a decade. Thoughtful, provocative storytelling of another place in time and space is a rarity in today’s U.S. cinema. The last one that comes to mind was Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, and it was based on the novel by prolific writer Stanislaw Lem. I, […]

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Movie Studios Try to Reinvent Themselves in 3D

U.S. film studios enjoyed a lock on the moving picture experience for many years before television invited itself to the party. Movie moguls were afraid that television was replicating the movie house experience so they completely changed the format from a standard 4:3 aspect ratio screen to a much wider screen. This helped them differentiate […]

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Settling the Screen Actors Guild Dispute: A Proposal

The Screen Actor’s Guild is on the verge a strike, much like the writers last year. At issue is the amount of compensation actors receive from digital/internet medium revenues collected by the studios. Standard contracts were written before the internet was a mass medium and the actors want the terms adjusted. They feel the studios […]

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Through a Glass and Darkly – Veterans Day

Today, Veterans Day, is a day to reflect and appreciate the countless citizens who served or are now serving our country in military uniform. My father and his brother were in the Navy in WWII, having enlisted right after Pearl Harbor. Dad served in the Pacific Theater and was involved in numerous battles from his […]

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Don LaFontaine, Voice of the Movies is Dead

We all know the voice. It’s the one you hear when you’re sitting in a darkened movie theater waiting for the feature presentation to begin. The trailers for coming attractions are projected and so is that voice. Deep, diction perfect, clear like a galloping horse in the night, cutting through the lighting fast visuals and […]

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Academy Splits Oscar into 13 Pieces

Photo Credit: The New York Times The 80th annual Academy Awards ceremony aired last night, hosted for the second time by Jon Stewart. It was more informal and well down on the energy scale than in years past. Mr. Stewart did a great job at bringing his signature lines and delivery to the telecast, while […]

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