Just as the MCU continues to rolls on the big screen, the studio’s Netflix series are also marching on. Iron Fist, the latest show, will debut in March, to be followed by The Defenders, a sort of mini-Avengers project that will unite Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist as a crime-fighting team. We don’t know too much about which Marvel comics bad guys the Defenders will be taking on, but these are a few candidates.
John Struges’ Bad Day at Black Rock is a lean 81 minutes, largely set in one sparse locale, and driven by perhaps the most basic of narrative conceits: a stranger comes to town. While the film is not a golden age Hollywood “message” movie per se, it does indeed have something to say. After viewing it in 2017 and reflecting on its origins as a short story first published 70 years ago, what’s most remarkable is how malleable that message turns out to be.
No one wants to think about death, least of all when it involves your own family. We can make attempts to acknowledge death as inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable. While I am decidedly no expert on coming to grips with the experience, the only solace I can find is in clinging even more fiercely to death’s opposite: life. And for me, that means movies.
The 89th Academy Award nominations were announced yesterday morning, which means we’ve had over 24 hours to sit with the news. Feeling angry yet? If not, you soon will. Because it’s time for the latest edition of the Oscar Nomination Outrage Scale (or ONOS; pronounced, as always as O NOOOOOOOS). We take rage pretty seriously around here.
Here are my top ten films of 2016, the ones I responded to the most strongly, the ones I’d most want to watch again, and as is so often the case: the ones I really want to tell everyone about. I hope you’ll watch them too and feel something good.
As we approach the very end of 2016, all of the films in serious contention for the Best Picture Oscar have been released, limited or otherwise. While I haven’t seen a few entries in this month’s top ten — owing to disinterest or a lack of access — the narratives for all of their nominations is really starting to take shape. Here we go for the final top 10 of 2016.
In an extremely roundabout way, this is where I’ve come to with director Damien Chazelle and his new film La La Land. It too is filled to burst with passion, expressing as it does a love for things from a bygone era. It’s clear Chazelle cares a great deal about the subject matter and wants very much to tell you about it. Despite his earnest belief in the film, I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason to care.
There’s a brief scene somewhere in Cameraperson where a wild-eyed, bespectacled astrophysicist explains quantum entanglements. The basics of it are fairly simple: consider two linked particles; now move one far away. Experiments performed on the nearby particle can and will eventually be felt by the distant other — it’ll just take light years for the effects to reach it. We know the particles are entangled, in space and time, but the mystery — to astrophysicists and us — is understanding why and how this happens the way it does.
As directed by relative newcomer Gareth Edwards, we are left with a question: Is Rogue One a political film or not? As it turns out, it is and it’s a welcome thematic element to add to the Star Wars universe, something which — much like the film itself — we didn’t know we needed until we got it.
Owing to this solidification (calcification?) of this year’s Oscar story, we’ve become increasingly locked into our top ten. There are no drop outs this week (though the idea of Sully still puts me to sleep) but there was some jostling on the list. As we enter December, and the final 30 days of the Oscar contention season, this is not nothing. Here are this month’s Picture Perfect Power Rankings. Time to get serious with the status quo.