Posts in 2013
MEDIA APPEARANCE: Participant in "World of Reel" Critics Poll for Best Films of the 2010s

As I grow with press credentials and professional affiliation locally and nationally, I find myself more and more landing and conversing in circles with other film critics of various levels. Much like the David Ehrlich survey I participate in, I answered an open social media call from Jordan Ruimy of World of Reel. He is a fellow Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic who also has contributed to The Young Folks, The Playlist, We Got This Covered, and The Film Stage. His poll was to collect the Top 5 films of the 2010s from critics and other industry folk. I was honored to chime in with my quintet.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Inside Llewyn Davis

It was Oscar Wilde that famously said "life imitates art more than art imitates life." When that mantra gets applied to cinema, we commonly talk about how we, as audiences, live vicariously through the imagination and fantasies that films create for us. The first part of that quote gets talked about all the time in that way. It's not too often that the second half of that quote comes true, but I feel that Ethan and Joel Coen have achieved just that with their latest feature film, Inside Llewyn Davis.  As a fictional documentation and internal look at a crucial week-long journey in the life of an aspiring folk singer in 1961 Greenwich Village within New York City, Inside Llewyn Davis uniquely feels more like a film taking on real life than one pretending the other way around, as is so often the case with movies. While unique, I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. Let me explain.

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MOVIE REVIEW: American Hustle

During the seemingly long Oscar season each year, studios save some of their best and brightest films for the end of the year so that voters with short memories will remember them most when its time to fill out a ballot for awards nominations.  It's incredibly rare to see a Best Picture Academy Award winner from a month earlier than October.  The term that gets used a great deal is "Oscar bait."  This creates a very flooded market in December of memorable film after memorable film.  These studios pull out all of the marketing stops and want that "Nominated for..." and "Winner of..." sound byte or graphic on their print advertisements, posters, trailers and TV spots.  They long to be showered with praise and are cradled by the powers-that-be to grab that spotlight.  They want you to pay your money and join in that praise, hence the term "Oscar bait."

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MOVIE REVIEW: Ender's Game

Strong work equals strong results, which is the catalyst to examine Ender's Game, the latest 2013 science fiction blockbuster-to-be.  Ender's Game is based on one of the more illustrious pieces of science fiction written in the last half century.  Originating as a 1977 short story, author Orson Scott Card's 1985 Cold War-era and Hugo Award-winning military science fiction novel has long been a required reading staple of high school literature classes, college courses, and even our own U.S. Marine Corps.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Gravity

Gravity is the best science fiction film from this year’s generous slate of original work in the genre. It’s an entirely worthwhile big screen experience that every single man, woman, and PG-13 eligible child should see for themselves. It’s a special experience. That raises the bar entirely to a whole new level of hype. One that it confidently answers and clears.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Spectacular Now

Many who will see The Spectacular Now are going to look on paper and see a 2013 Say Anything...  That's great company for Ponsoldt's film to be mentioned in, but the comparisons are fair and unfair at the same time.  Both films offer excellent high school romances that resonate and matter.  There's no doubt about that, but the two movies couldn't be more different in time, purpose, and intention.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives is everything Drive was only slower, quieter, dumber, and more incoherent in every methodical way possible.  It's yet another case of something that is all style and no substance or point. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Iron Man 3

While some of the wackiness never lets up and carries into the course of our villainous conflict, the humor is always bubbling up to the surface.  Iron Man 3 is, without a doubt, the most comedic of the Marvel superhero films.  That affable effect helps mask many of the really preposterous events and flaws and keeps the whole Iron Man 3 effort extremely likeable and entertaining. 

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