Famed cinematographer Edward Lachman has been injecting films with his audacious color palettes for decades. He’s one of the most skilled DPs of capturing mood through color. His use of color, along with his penchant for classical compositions, makes his films a marvel to behold. Lachman recently garnered his second Oscar nomination for his breathtaking work on Carol. Here’s a look back at a DP whose work I never tire of looking at.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
For the third year in a row, I’m taking a brief look at the careers of every actor nominated for an Oscar this year. Below I pick my favorite roles for each nominee, and highlight the one that I consider the actors’ best. Do feel free to share your favorite performances by this year’s nominees as well!
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
I’m happy to say that this list contains 20 performances, which is five more than my list of my favorite male performances from 2015. The reason is simple: I saw a lot more great roles by women than I did by men, of which I have no complaints. So instead of limiting this list to 15, I thought I’d open it up and let a few more in. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
For the past several weeks, I’ve silently observed heated debates about the past year in cinema. Those who attest that 2015 was an uncommonly poor year for film are typically countered with You didn’t see enough movies and/or You didn’t see the right movies. Fair points, but sadly, I saw damn near all of the movies many others loved in 2015, and very few of them fully worked for me. Sure, I liked aspects of some of the most popular films appearing on Year End lists, but by and large, 2015 was the year of the Just Okay movie. I enjoyed my time with these films, but I found them to be just okay, and doubt I’ll have the desire to revisit them.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
For the past several weeks, I’ve made my way through every film Quentin Tarantino has written and directed, highlighting my favorite aspects of each film in the process. In the days leading up to QT’s next film, The Hateful Eight, we land on the 2012 Oscar-winning western, Django Unchained. I hope you dig the post (my other Tarantino posts can be found in the list at the bottom of this page), and feel free to share your thoughts as well!
Friday, December 11, 2015
Inglourious Basterds marks Quentin Tarantino’s evolution into what he refers to as lyrical filmmaking. In QT’s words, Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight, make a trilogy of long, poetic, lyrical films. (He’s also said that, having completed the trilogy, he’s interested in getting back to more visceral filmmaking, like Kill Bill. Which good, potentially, mean the possibility of Kill Bill: Vol. 3. But since we’re talking about Basterds, I consider it one of QT’s most mature films, ranked right next to Jackie Brown in that regard. It’s classical and reserved, until, of course, it’s not. Enjoy!
Friday, December 4, 2015
Many dug it and many loathed it; such is the lasting fate of Quentin Tarantino’s most experimental film, Death Proof. The film, packaged with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, was a double-feature throwback to the exploitation films both filmmakers were raised on. Seeing both films (under the sole title, Grindhouse), in the theater remains one of the most memorable movie-going experiences I’ve ever had. That was just it, Grindhouse was an experience. And sure, while Death Proof may not carry as much weight as Tarantino’s other films, I still love it all the same.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Few actors are as equally menacing as they are hilarious. And ever fewer make you want to revisit their work again and again (and again, and again) in films from completely different genres. But that’s Joe Pesci. The man who starred in (and won an Oscar for) arguably the greatest, most rewatchable mob movie of all time, and starred in one of the greatest, most rewatchable holiday films of all time... in the same year. Another thing I love about Pesci is that acting has never consumed his life. He’s been a forklift driver, lounge singer, bartender, restaurant owner, hell, he’s even responsible for helping create The Four Seasons. But despite having other interests (he’s been semi-retired since 1998), Pesci routinely delivered stellar work. He’s one of the best we’ve had, no question, period.
Friday, November 27, 2015
To watch the second volume of a film is to compare it to the first. Rarely are The Godfather and The Godfather Part II mentioned in the same breath without mentioning which one the speaker likes better. Same for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga. Rather famously, Tarantino shot the film at one time, as a whole, and decided in editing to cut the films in two. The results continue to split audiences. When I saw Vol. 2 in the theater, I expected the balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza of Vol. 1 to still be in play. Instead, Vol. 2 revealed itself to be a patient, more restrained follow-up. Vol. 2 is a straight drama with a few thrilling action sequences, as opposed to Vol. 1, a straight action film with a few dramatic scenes. As it turns out, I like both volumes equally, but feel free to share your thoughts on the whole saga!
Friday, November 20, 2015
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is best known, at least by Quentin Tarantino himself, as Tarantino’s first Movie Movie Universe film. To explain. Tarantino has said he makes two types of films: ones belonging in The Realer than Real World Universe, and others in The Movie Movie Universe. The Realer than Real World Universe is for films that are based in a slightly heightened version of reality. This is where Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown belong. The Movie Movie Universe is an alternate, fantastical reality. To put it simpler: characters from The Realer than Real World Universe would likely go see a film from The Movie Movie Universe. Which makes sense. I mean, can’t you imagine Ordell Robbie loving the shit out of Kill Bill?
So, in short, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was a real departure from the QT films that came before. It literally opened the filmmaker up to a whole new world.
Friday, November 13, 2015
My countdown to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight continues with a dissection of Jackie Brown. Jackie Brown could very well be Tarantino’s most underrated film. Hell, its Top Critics score on Rotten Tomatoes is currently 61%, the lowest of any Tarantino film. Which means that many major critics didn’t really dig the film when it was released, but I think you’d have a hard time finding one who didn’t like the film today. Be sure to check out my previous posts on Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and come back next Friday for my take on Kill Bill: Vol. 1.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Gaspar Noé is the most polarizing film director currently in the game. He makes uncommonly challenging and profane works. For more than a decade, I have passionately defended Noé’s films not only as art, but great art at that. I understand Noé’s intention, and, while extreme, I find value in it. His first feature, I Stand Alone, climaxes with a massive title card warning the audience that they have 30 seconds to leave the theater. When the title disappears, Noé spends the remainder of his film justifying that warning. Bad things happen in I Stand Alone. Horrible, brutal things. But look closer. Did they happen the way the main character perceived them?
Friday, November 6, 2015
The Hateful Eight countdown continues as I dive into my second favorite film of all time, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. I absolutely adore this film, so I did have a lot to say about it, which I hope you dig. Come back next Friday as I dissect Jackie Brown!