Friday, September 25, 2015

My Top 11-20 Films of All Time

Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of And So it Begins. Eight years. Holy hell, where does the time go? Exactly three years ago, I posted my Top 10 Films of All Time, and it’s about time I follow that up with the next 10. Keep in mind, this list only serves as a reflection of my own personal tastes. For better or best, this is how I see them. A huge thank you to all the readers of this blog, and the friends I’ve made because of it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

the Directors: Wes Craven

It’s easy to say that Wes Craven’s name is synonymous with horror. The man created Freddy Krueger, The Hills Have Eyes, Ghostface. Hell, even the name “Craven” sounds scary. That name and the horror genre will be forever linked, but labeling Craven as just a master horror filmmaker isn’t entirely fair. The man was a master filmmaker, period.

When Craven died of brain cancer last month, generations of movie fans mourned his loss. My mother was 16 years old when she saw Craven’s first film, The Last House on the Left. She said she sat in the theater in a horrific daze, mesmerized and terrified by what she was watching. Nearly 25 years later, I was roughly the same age when I watched Scream with the same exact emotions running through me. That was the power of Wes Craven at his best. His best films cut through and became iconic, scaring millions along the way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Top 41 Things I Love About Drive (that no one talks about)

Has a cooler American movie been made since Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive? Every frame of the movie oozes style, every note of sound is polished, everything about the movie is just… cool. By pure coincidence, I’m posting this list on the exact same day as the film’s American release four years ago. That’s four years of watching Ryan Gosling’s The Driver cruise around L.A., getting a feel for the streets, kicking ass and taking names and falling in love. Here are some things I love about one of America’s coolest films, that rarely get discussed.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Top 10 Movies I’ve Seen the Most

I thought this would be fun, to make a list of films that have nothing in common, other than the fact that they are the movies I have watched the most. Interesting and random trends I noticed in drafting this list: Most films here are from the ‘90s (a by-product of my mid-‘80s birth), seven of the movies have one-word titles, all are in the English language, only two of my top 10 films of all time are here, and no movie on this list is from the ‘70s (my favorite decade of film). The truth is, I watch at least one of these films every few months. Do feel free to share the movies you’ve seen the most in the comments – I love knowing what flicks people watch a lot.

Friday, September 11, 2015

In Character: Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna is an actor born to sling Mamet-speak. He and David Mamet have known each other since their careers began. Mantegna even won a Tony for his portrayal of Richard Roma in the first American production of Glengarry Glen Ross. The studio wouldn’t let Mantegna reprise his role for that film (Al Pacino filled in), but Mamet promised Mantegna that, in return, he could star in his first two films, both of which are listed below.

And that’s just the Mamet side of Mantegna’s career. In full, Joe Mantegna has had a long, impressive career on stage and screen, playing everything from notable mobsters to caring fathers, ruthless killers to charming thugs of Springfield. Simply put, he’s one of the best, most notable character actors we have.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Digging for Fire

Watching Digging for Fire, it’s clear almost immediately that this is the film Joe Swanberg has been leading up to. The movie has a maturity to it that is undeniable. The camera is often dead still, absent of visual flourishes. The frame is captured with smooth control on gorgeous 35mm by Ben Richardson, who did photographical wonders as the DP of Beasts of the Southern Wild. The score, by Dan Romer, who also worked on Beasts of the Southern Wild, is a synth-infused marvel, giving depth to scenes that may otherwise have little. And then there’s the cast, of which there isn’t a false note to be found. The opening credits read like a call sheet of the finest talents currently in the game.