Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 15 Films of the 2010s (so far)

We’re a few months past the halfway point of the 2010s, and I thought it’d be fun to take a look back over the past five years and highlight which films I’ve loved the most. It’s funny, while I typically remember 2010 as a weak year for films, after drafting this list, that’s clearly not the case. Most of these movies are about pain. Others are about love. Few, but some, are just plain damn fun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Character: Tom Noonan

We all know Tom Noonan. Whether he’s masked by monster make-up, shadowing Philip Seymour Hoffman, pulling a cameo in a Michael Mann flick, or terrorizing young women, Tom Noonan is a character actor whose face is impossible to forget. His career is full of such excellent choices. Large roles in tiny films, or tiny roles in large films, Noonan always delivers with his unique brand of restraint. I just love watching this guy work.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Top 10 R-Rated Films Every Kid Should See

Two things to make very clear about this post: I don’t have children and I have a very liberal attitude about kids watching mature movies. My parents let me watch whatever I wanted by the time I was 10 years old, but I was different. When other kids were talking about how big that actresses boobs were or how awesome it was to watch that guy’s head explode, I was trying to figure out why the director chose to move the camera that specific way, or why they held that shot for that long. Movies were my education in so many ways, and I’m glad I was exposed to them at such an early age.

And while all kids are different, with different standards and sensitivities, I truly believe most children would benefit from watching the movies below. All these films have something profound to offer, including potentially poignant conversations with parents. I hope you appreciate my picks, many of which inspired great conversations with my own parents when I was young. And do feel free to share your choices as well.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wild Tales

You’re on a plane. Minding your own business, flipping through a magazine. A man sitting next to you strikes up a conversation. You make idle talk – “Business or pleasure?” – those sorts of things. He tells you what he does for a living, and through this bit of information, you both soon realize that you have an acquaintance in common. You used to date someone who this man offended a long time ago. How odd. The conversation continues, and a woman sitting close by chimes in. She knows this acquaintance as well. So does the dweeb in the back of the plane. So does… seemingly everyone on the plane. What’s going on and where are we going? And how in the ever loving hell did we get here?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

In Character: John Doman

If you’ve immersed yourself in pop culture over the past 15 years (particularly in television), then you’re undoubtedly aware of John Doman and his effortless command. Seriously, few modern performers possess an overall demeanor more intimidating than John Doman. This guy has the tough-as-balls, perpetual hardass persona down pat. When John Doman shows up, you know trouble is close by, and I have yet to grow tired of it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 10 Janusz Kaminski Films

If you’ve seen a film directed by Steven Spielberg in the past 18 years, then you’re familiar with Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography. Kaminski has lensed every live-action Spielberg film since Schinder’s List, netting six Oscar nominations and two wins in the process. Best known for his use of stark shadows, harsh white light, and interior fog, Kaminski is a master of atmosphere. The man knows how to put us in the world of a film as well as the best of them.

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Character: Laura Linney

Laura Linney is one of the best, most dependable performers in the business. Her career has been repeatedly lauded on film, television and the stage, and, thankfully, has no signs of slowing down. Linney is the type of actress you see a movie for. No matter what it is. You may not fully like the final product, but you know that the simple fact of her being in the film will automatically make it worth it.