Posts tagged Matt Damon
MOVIE REVIEW: Suburbicon

Suburbicon lazily delivers a caper that lacks cleverness, smarts, and anything edgy other than the spurts of hemoglobin that stain a few starched shirts.  Even if it is pitch black by design, the final ingredient of fake sentimentality glazed over the proceedings is ineffective to add any varnish to the acidic angle of white-collar crime.  Nonsensical twist follows nonsensical twist for an aimless purpose.

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EDITORIAL: The 10 best Irish-themed films

I felt obligated to update an editorial list I made five years ago in 2012 of the best Irish-themed movies in time for celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  It was due for a dusting with two new additions.  For this list, I opened the field to either movies set in Ireland or those that feature notable Irish characters or stories outside of the Emerald Isle.  That possibilities spanned movies both foreign and domestic.  Pour the Guinness, heat the corned beef, and enjoy my list of the 10 best Irish-themed movies!

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Great Wall

"The Great Wall" is an imposing creature feature that stands as a three-headed glamour project.  You have an A-list star venturing overseas for international credibility and a splashy director landing his official English-language debut.  Aiming higher in aspiration is a production company hoping to open a new and profitable pipeline of investment between Hollywood and China.  Visually splendid from top to bottom, this epic adventure squeaks by on its looks and spares no expense to make sure of that.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea

There is an unmistakable layer of “people-watching” cinema brings to its artistic atmosphere and aesthetic.  An omnipresent camera grants private points-of-view, shines light on secrets, and challenges the observational skills of the audience.  Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” introduces the wearisome life of one solitary man and proceeds to unearth the repressed sorrow and unspoken emotions that lie underneath his mundane exterior.  The most praiseworthy character-driven films have the patience to cultivate its truths with substance and the wisdom to never give you everything.  Lonergan’s near-perfect jewel is a new exemplar of such qualities and one of the finest films of 2016.

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VIDEO: Post-film reactions to "Jason Bourne"

Three critics of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle wake themselves up from the collective boredom and talk about "Jason Bourne" after an advance screening. Enjoy the popcorn throwing of Pamela Powell, myself, and Emmanuel Noisette.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jason Bourne

Here’s one word this writer never thought he would use to describe a Paul Greengrass-directed Jason Bourne film starring Matt Damon: FORMULAIC.  After a tremendously successful trilogy (and not-so-successful spin-off) that had the right ending nine years ago, Greengrass and Damon were coaxed back into another cat-and-mouse spy game.  Its rote construction and stakes that always feel like an arm-length away from stronger impact, “Jason Bourne” may be questionable enough to make us wonder if we’ve been seeing the same film four times now.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Fathers and Daughters

Cynical critics and audiences will likely pontificate a headline of “Russell Crowe Goes Soft!” after watching his lead work in his new film “Fathers and Daughters” from “Pursuit of Happyness” director Gabriele Muccino.  Watching the “Gladiator” Oscar winner play an ardent father of a heavy ensemble drama is a role that does not require the temperamental violence that normally fronts for the inner honor and heart we know resides inside many of the Australian tough guy’s most memorable roles.  For once, he lets love do the talking instead of his fists. 

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COLUMN: Predicting the major 88th Academy Award nominations

The 88th Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, January 14, 2016, hot off of the weekend's 73rd Golden Globe awards.  I've been following the full awards season over on my Awards Tracker page.  Using that data as the tea leaves and a truckload of hunches, I'm going to attempt to closely predict the Oscar nominations for the "Big 8" categories for the third year in a row.

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2015, 2016, Awards Prediction, Awards Tracker, Column, Editorial, Oscar Predictions, Oscars, SPECIALDonald ShanahanBest Picture, The race for Best Picture, Oscar Predictions, Oscar nominations, Oscar contenders, Oscar hopefuls, Oscar bait, 88th Academy Awards, 88th Oscars, Oscars, 2016, 2015, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Big 8, Oscar snubs, Oscar surprises, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, The Big Short, Carol, Room, Brooklyn, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Creed, Inside Out, Son of Saul, Straight Outta Compton, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, George Miller, Tom McCarthy, Todd Haynes, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Ridley Scott, Adam McKay, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Ryan Coogler, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, Trumbo, Johnny Depp, Black Mass, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years, Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back, Helen Mirren, Emily Blunt, Sicario, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Rylance, Michael Shannon, 99 Homes, Paul Dano, Love and Mercy, Jacob Tremblay, Benecio del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina, Alex Garland, Rooney Mara, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria, Rachel McAdams, Josh Singer, Pete Docter, Meg LaFauvre, Josh Cooley, Oren Movermann, Michael Alan Lerner, Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel and Ethan Coen, Joel CoenComment
COLUMN: Who should win/will win the 2016 Golden Globes?

More and more each year, the Golden Globes have become more an a popularity contest than a true precursor to the Academy Awards.  What you're watching on TV is a party thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and hosted by Ricky Gervais in an effort to be loved and share some love.  To its credit, the awards show still garners legitimate attention and ratings.  The winners do get a pretty positive rub and the marketers gain a few more "Winner of..." graphics to put in the newspapers next to their films.

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2015, 2016, Awards Prediction, Awards Tracker, Golden Globe Awards, Editorial, Column, SPECIALDonald ShanahanBest Original Score, Carter Burwell, Carol, Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs, Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl, Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, The Revenant, John Williams, Johann Johannsson, Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Elle Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy, Writing's on the Wall, Sam Smith, Spectre, Simple Song #3, Sumi Jo, Youth, Mustang, Son of Saul, The Brand New Testament, The Club, The Fencer, Timbuktu, The Assassin, Best Foreign Language Film, Amour, The Artist, Best Animated Feature, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep, Shaun the Sheep Movie, The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie, Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman, Disney/Pixar, Emma Donoghue, Room, Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight, Aaron Sorkin, Adam McKay, Charlie Randolph, The Big Short, Quentin Tarantino, Brooklyn, Michael Shannon, 99 Homes, Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies, Sylvester Stallone, Paul Dano, Mark Ruffalo, Benecio del Toro, Sicario, Jacob Tremblay, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Helen Mirren, Trumbo, Jane Fonda, Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina, Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria, Lily Tomlin, Grandma, Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, Melissa McCarthy, Spy, Maggie Smith, The Lady in the VAn, The Lady in the Van, Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, Teyonah Parris, Chi-Raq, Al Pacino, Danny Collins, Infinitely Polar Bear, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Matt Damon, The Martian, Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Carey Mulligan, Suffragette, Far from the Madding Crowd, Will Smith, Concussion, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Cranston, Michael Keaton, Michael B. Jordan, Tom Hanks, The Wolf of Wall Street, Todd Hayne, George Miller, Ridley Scott, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes, 73rd Golden Globes, Golden Globe nominees, Golden Globe winners, who will win/should win, Awards Predictions, Awards Tracker, Awards Talk, 88th Academy Awards, Donald Shanahan, Don Shanahan, Every Movie Has a LessonComment
MOVIE REVIEW: The Martian

Simply put, "The Martian" from director Ridley Scott and headlining star Matt Damon, is a great survival film.  It strikes all of those aforementioned chords of survival essence and entertainment.  Giving it the easy labels of "Castaway in Space," "Robinson Crusoe: Astronaut," "Interstellar without Nolanism," "Apollo 13 on Mars," or "The Next Gravity" sells it too short.  "The Martian" doesn't need to borrow anything from those five notable survival film stories and can stand confidently aside, or even above them, as an exemplar all its own in the genre.  Meet what is sure to go down as one of 2015's best films.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Zero Theorem

All of this plot in "The Zero Theorem" operates in the wholly imaginative and tremendously trippy world that we expect from Terry Gilliam, which is just as it should be, in a way.  I wasn't expecting anything less than his previous surreal creations.  It's got that quirk going for it, but it's not used efficiently, outside of the fact that the film kept its dreary magic carpet ride at under two hours.    

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Monuments Men

"The Monuments Men" may be the rare enigma and case of identity crisis where a movie doesn't know what it's trying to be.  If "The Monuments Men" had went straight serious to really honor this war effort story, those involved all have the chops to deliver an affecting epic.  If it had went the lighthearted route, this same cast and crew could nail that crowd-pleaser too with equal room for success.  Either route needed more dedication and more time to succeed.

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