Monday, September 28, 2020

Top 10 Films of the 2010s

Well it’s about damn time I post my top 10 of the 2010 decade. Pro tip: Recording and editing your own podcast takes up a shit load of personal time. But I told myself when I started that podcast that I wouldn’t neglect this blog and my followers’ blogs. So, apologies for the brief absence, but I’m so excited to see what everyone has been writing lately.

On to the list. I should have published this in January, but the good news is that these movies will never get old, to me anyway. I remember the first time I saw each of these movies so vividly; a few of them even changed how I approach my own filmmaking. This was a good decade for film, perhaps not as influential as the two decades prior, but a solid 10 years for films all the same. Here were my favorites, and if you posted your list and I missed it, please let me know so I can check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Podcast: What Are You Watching?

Well, it looks like I’m just another asshole who started a movie podcast. For two years, my best friend and filmmaking partner, Nick Dostal, has been on my ass about starting a film podcast. I rejected the idea for all the obvious reasons, market saturation and time commitment being two major ones. But my biggest drawback was that I didn’t want Nick and I to just talk about how cool movies are. If we were going to talk movies, then we were going to talk about the genuine emotion we feel toward them.

Why is Terminator 2 one of Nick’s Top 10 Films of All Time? Why will I weep every time I watch Phantom Thread? Sure, we love these movies as movies, but beyond that, these films and countless others have touched us deeply, for incredibly personal reasons. So, my number one rule for the podcast was that we always tell the truth. And if Nick and I ever have something personal to say about a movie we love, then we should seriously consider disclosing it.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Actor

The only issue with watching every movie that has won an Oscar for acting, Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay is that by the time I’m ready to actually write about the category, I’m burnt the hell out. I apologize for the delay with this post, and promise the remaining Oscar posts will come much sooner. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on Best Actor, and please share yours as well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Actress

I’ve been taking a little blogging break because, hell, I don’t know, it seems weird to write about movies when so many American streets look like fucking war zones. I’ve found a little comfort among the chaos by diving into old Oscar flicks. Please feel free to share your thoughts, and please be safe out there, wherever “there” is.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Director

My Oscar binge continues, this time with thoughts on every Best Director Oscar. Best Director and Best Picture have gone to different films 26 times in Oscar history, and I was interested to find that I far prefer the Best Director winners.

Please enjoy my thoughts and the trivia below, and be sure to share any opinions you have about these races as well!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Picture

I’m been making use of my COVID-19 quarantine the best way I know how, by watching a ton of movies and writing about them.

When I was a teenager, I watched every movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture, and when the pandemic hit, I figured I’d try to watch as many additional Oscar movies as possible, just for the hell. Below are thoughts on every Best Picture winner, along with tons of fun trivia. Other category breakdowns will follow soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Montgomery Clift: A Career Appreciation

Montgomery Clift is my favorite performer to ever appear in film. He had a magnetism to him, a pain and vulnerability that still pours out of the screen. In 1948, most all American leading men were stuck in the alpha-male, tough guy persona. They delivered their lines stoically, they slapped their women, they robbed, they killed, they were “men.” And then a quiet, assertive young man from Omaha, Nebraska graced the screen for the first time, and film acting was never the same.

That year, Montgomery Clift appeared in Fred Zinnemann’s The Search, and Clift was simply... human. He played his character as kind, supportive, mildly sarcastic, and vulnerable. With this performance and subsequent roles, Clift pioneered the “method” style of acting, which completely changed the art form. It was an acting style that let men be real people, in all their flaws and sadness. Clift’s acting style helped inform Marlon Brando’s craft, which helped inform James Dean, then Paul Newman, Pacino, De Niro, Keitel, Nicholson, and on and on. Because of this, I’ve always considered Montgomery Clift one of the most important figures in cinema history. His acting influence is damn near without equal.

Monday, February 24, 2020

In Character: 2019 Oscar Nominees

I know, I know. The 2019 Oscars have come and gone, and I didn’t make time to post my annual In Character Oscar piece. Still wanting to keep up the tradition, I present you with my favorite roles from each recent acting Oscar nominee. Be sure to share your favorites as well!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Top 5 “Rotten” Films of 2019

Every year, I like to call attention to a handful of movies that are deemed “rotten” by Rotten Tomatoes. I found value in each of the films below, and would love to know your picks as well. (Note: The RT scores below are from Dec. 31, 2019.)


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Top 10 Actor Performances of 2019

For old timers and newcomers alike, 2019 was a banner year for film acting. Some of the performances below were so strong because they subverted expectations, while others leaned directly into the actor’s respective strengths. Be sure to share your favorite roles as well!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Top 10 Actress Performances of 2019

Because 2019 was a great year for film, it was undoubtedly a great year for performances as well. I love that four of the performers below were unknown to me as 2019 began, while others have careers that I’ve followed for decades. Be sure to share your favorites as well!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Top 10 Films of 2019

For the past few years, it has been hard for me to come up with a handful of films worth listing as the year’s best. But that certainly wasn’t the case for 2019. Truly, in any other year, any of the top six movies ranked below could be hailed as my favorite of the year. I thought 2019 was a fantastic year for film, and of the 141 new theatrical releases I saw this year, here were a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 20 Films of 1999

So far in my lifetime, I can confidently say that there hasn’t been a movie year more impactful than 1999. Veteran filmmakers and young auteurs alike released bold, independent, experimental films that continue to hugely influence pop culture. And as we close out one decade, I thought it be fun to jump back two decades and list my favorite flicks from a truly great film year.

Friday, December 20, 2019

In Character: The Cast of The Irishman

As of this writing, I am currently on my fourth viewing of The Irishman. I love everything about this movie; it’s demanding, singularly paced, and expertly acted. To highlight many of the performers involved, I thought it’d be fun to dedicate an entire In Character post to them. Please note that because seemingly everyone is in The Irishman, not all of the actors are listed here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Waves

I watch movies as someone who desperately wants to make more movies. I try to find inspiration in everything I watch, whether that inspiration motivates me to create something similar, or cautions me to avoid themes and techniques completely. In real life, I’m constantly putting images into aspect ratios; I’m listening to songs on repeat and creating montages around them. There is a mechanism in my brain that does not allow me to experience situations idly. I am always trying to frame my experiences into a film.