Thursday, February 16, 2017

LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Actor

Below is my entry to LAMB’s Devours the Oscars column. Check out all of their Oscars 2017 posts here.

When the Oscar nominations were announced a few weeks ago, it seemed like Casey Affleck was a lock to win Best Actor for his searing work in Manchester by the Sea. But in a pleasant change of pace for the Oscars, most of the major awards are relatively open. The only real lock is Supporting Actress (Viola Davis, get it), with the other big categories are stuck in two, or even three, way races. Here I’ll take a look at Best Actor – what I think of each performance, and their chances at winning – before concluding with a few snubbed performances I would’ve love to have been nominated.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Top 10 “Rotten” Films of 2016

This is my favorite end-of-the-year movie list tradition. At the end of every year, I look at all of the “rotten” films on Rotten Tomatoes, and highlight ones I actually liked. Most of these aren’t close to being great films, but I enjoyed my time with them all the same. Be sure to list your favorite “rotten” films as well! (Note: I’m using the Rotten Tomatoes scores each film had on December 31, 2016.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Top 15 Male Performances of 2016

Much like my favorite female performances of 2016, I love that this list is comprised of heavy-hitting veterans and newcomers I had never seen in a film before. I hope you enjoy my picks. Do feel free to share yours as well!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top 15 Female Performances of 2016

I love that 2016 was a year filled with so much fresh talent, with plenty of excellent veteran work filtered in. Seven of the performances listed here were by actors I either couldn’t recall seeing in a movie before, or simply hadn’t. I hope you enjoy my picks. Feel free to share yours as well!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Top 10 Films of 2016

Looking over this list, it’s interesting that nearly half of my choices made my Top 10 Films of 2016 (so far) list back in July. I suppose to some degree, 2016 gave us something to like throughout. Here are the 10 I enjoyed the most.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Curse of the Twin Movie

The twin movie was a curse that dominated the ‘90s. It happened before and has certainly happened since, but during that decade, when one studio announced an idea for a film that sounded commercially viable, it was common for a rival studio to scramble to create something similar. Other times, similarly themed flicks were released a year or so apart by pure coincidence. Either way, one of the films usually got screwed over in the process.

In terms of declaring “winners,” my decision was based on culture significance and profitably. No matter if these films are good or not (many aren’t), they were discussed plenty when they were released, and the release of one typically meant critical and/or commercial harm to the other. It’s not about which film is better. It’s about which film did better.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

In Character: Regina King

Regina King has been stealing scenes since her film debut in Boyz n the Hood. Her energy, wit, and unwillingness to be outshadowed by her male co-stars has long-since made her an actor who demands (and keeps) your attention. I’ve been a fan of her work from the beginning, and am thrilled that she’s currently finding so much success on TV. Here are a handful of roles I’ve enjoyed her most in.

Friday, December 2, 2016

the Directors: Warren Beatty

What’s so interesting about Warren Beatty’s career is that his films act as generational entry points. Dick Tracy was my first exposure to Warren Beatty. In the film, he’s tough and sarcastic, a brooding presence, with a smile. I loved it. My dad, a longtime Beatty fan, grew up with Bonnie and Clyde, and later, Heaven Can Wait. His appreciation became my appreciation. Most everyone discovers Beatty at a different time, and because his work is so eclectic, there is never a shortage of discussion concerning his work.

Beatty’s career is a celebrated and complex one, so I’m doing something different in this Directors post. Beatty has directed five feature films, but he’s been responsible for the creation of many more. As a producer, Beatty was able to throw his clout around and help make some of the finest American films of all time. He starred in most of the films he produced, and co-wrote a few as well. He was responsible for securing the directors and casts of those projects, and earned final cut on many of them. In short, because Beatty’s influence on the film’s he produced is paramount, I’ve listed them here as well.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Nocturnal Animals

Unrequited love can be the worst thing to happen to someone. People lose themselves when they lose someone. They form unhealthy patterns, sabotage relationships, isolate themselves. It hurts so much to lose someone because we put so much of ourselves into the people we love. That’s the jump, that’s the trust. And when it’s gone, that part of us is lost as well.

But good can come from pain. Some of the best art ever created was the byproduct of fractured love. Pain can also bring perspective. It can make you appreciate what you have, when you have it. This is what Tom Ford’s new film, Nocturnal Animals, is about. It’s about seeking redemption for your pain in a healthy and constructive way, while also violently explaining what that pain did to you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Arrival is the film we need right now. It’s a movie about love. It’s a movie about life. It’s a movie about understanding each other; helping and guiding. Arrival is a film that dares you to appreciate what you have, even if you know you won’t have it forever.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Top 10 Looks of Parental Pride

I was recently having a conversation with someone about movies that make us cry. I mentioned my never-fail cry films (which I’ve written about here), but as we kept talking, we started wondering what exactly in movies makes us cry. I realized something that routinely makes me emotional is a parent looking at their child with the utmost sense of pride. And although I’ve written about some of these moments before, I thought it’d be an inspiring post all the same. Please advise that spoilers of the listed films lurk within.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Top 61 Things I Love About L.A. Confidential (that no one talks about)

Curtis Hanson made good movies before L.A. Confidential. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild are both effective, creepy thrillers, but his career took right the hell off when L.A. Confidential was released. The movie was, and will forever remain, one of the finest pulp L.A. throwbacks on film. It’s bursting with style and energy; a modern masterpiece, certainly. With the untimely passing of Hanson last month, I thought it’d be appropriate to explore the best film of his career. (As a reminder: I discuss the entire movie in these posts. The whole film will be spoiled, so please don’t read if you haven’t seen the film yet!)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

American Honey

Andrea Arnold’s films are unique and bold, singularly realized. Heavy on story, emotion, and feeling; void of plot and convention. Her latest, the captivating epic, American Honey, dutifully follows suit with Arnold’s style. And thank God. There’s no one currently making movies the way Andrea Arnold makes them. Every time she releases a film, she subsequently breathes life into the medium. Hyperbolic praise, perhaps, but truth be told, certainly.

Monday, September 19, 2016

In Character: Hank Azaria

One of the things I love most about Hank Azaria is his unpredictably. You never know what he’s going to do. If he’s playing an out-and-out comedic character, Azaria’s dramatic skills may sneak in a heartfelt moment. If you’re watching a more serious Azaria performance, there’s a good chance his comic timing will show itself. 

A maestro impressionist and voice artist, Azaria has proven his chops in so many different fields. He’s as fun to watch (and listen to) today as he was 25 years ago. Actually, given his recently Emmy win for guest starring on Ray Donovan, I think it’s fair to say that Azaria is only getting better. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

In Character: Liev Schreiber

I’m on a serious Liev Schreiber kick right now. Could be because his excellent Showtime drama, Ray Donovan, is nearing the end of its great fourth season. Could be because Schreiber is garnering excellent reviews out of the Venice Film Festival for his portrayal of famed boxer Chuck Wepner (i.e. the guy who inspired Stallone to write Rocky) in The Bleeder. Or it could simply be because Schreiber is one of my favorite contemporary actors. I’ve been a fan of Schreiber’s since he began popping up in indie films in the mid-‘90s. Since then, no matter if he’s in comedies or dramas, big films or small, I always make it a point to seek out his work.