A Definitive Ranking of the Fast & Furious Movies

Well, since everyone else is doing it (Exhibits A, B, and C), here is my list of the best Fast & Furious movies, along with what they should have been called. Amazing that these movies used to be about people racing in the desert and now they’re essentially international superhero spies. And family.

Feel free to disagree in the comments below. As always, RIP Paul Walker – you were too beautiful for this world. Continue reading

The Best Movies of the 21st Century

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A few months ago, the BBC published a list of the “best” movies of the 21st century. While these lists are nothing if not subjective, let’s be clear: that list is wrong. Way wrong. Horribly, terribly wrong. So, why not come up with my own list? It may not have the seal of approval from the Queen’s official network, but it’s certainly better than the drivel they published. (Seriously – check out that list. It’s atrocious, or as I would say to my friend Kim, “atrosh.”) N.B. that the BBC’s list considers the 21st century as starting in 2000, so I will use that format. Read that ridiculous list and then check out mine, below, and you tell me (in the comments or on twitter or Facebook) which movies you’d actually rather (re-)watch. Without further ado, the real 100 best movies of the 21st century, presented in alphabetical order: Continue reading

Winners and Losers, 2016

Well, as John Oliver rightly noted, 2016 was not a good year. And while I’ll do my best to keep updating this space, regular readers (if there is such a thing) can vouch that I’ve been lacking in posts; mostly because it feels like the world is falling apart. (I say this not as a wholly political statement; for instance, Alan Thicke and Florence Henderson and George Michael have passed while I’ve been working on this draft. Update: Carrie Fisher, too.) But with that said, entertainment is often a good way to express discontent with the current political and social climate, and can often serve as a distraction from, well, our impending doom. So enough prologue: I humbly submit the winners and losers of the entertainment world that were on my radar in 2016.

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Comedy Sequels Prove Lightning Won’t Strike Twice

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For my movie-going entertainment, nothing is better than a good comedy. And so, when announcements of sequels to my favorite funny movies are made, I get excited. I hope the key members of the original will be back, and that random throw-away lines will be expounded upon. I hope that the movie recaptures the magic of the original, and provides its own laugh. And, generally speaking, that doesn’t happen.

Recently, Nicholas Stoller, director of funny movies such as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “The Five-Year Engagement,” and “Neighbors,” spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the art of directing a comedy sequel and crafted rules for directing a comedy sequel, rules which include “the story should be different, but the themes should be the same” and “cut out the fan service.” While I respect Mr. Stoller’s work, both “Get Him to the Greek” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” show that directing a comedy sequel inevitably leads to these fatal flaws. Let’s take a look. Continue reading

MCU Films, Ranked

After seeing the (very enjoyable) “Captain America: Civil War” last night, I wanted to give my quick thoughts as to what the best Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”) movies are. Please note that the list below is in worst-to-first order. Sorry, Thor. Feel free to disagree or tell me how wrong I am in the comments! Continue reading

Quick Oscar Reactions/Picks

Every year, when the Oscar nominations come out, I make my picks as soon as possible, so as not to be spoiled by mass punditry. That’s become harder and harder over the years, as articles now proclaim front-runner status when discussing the nominations, and also because so many awards shows are now part of the mainstream (think back not that long ago when the Golden Globes weren’t even televised). That said, these are as “pure” selections as I can make. Also, I don’t see this year as being one of those “Return of the King” type years where one movie truly dominates. I think the awards will be parceled out more like with the 2000 nominees, when “Gladiator,” “Traffic” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” all were awarded a few major prizes but no one film was at the podium more than a handful of times. Without further ado:

(Note: an asterisk denotes who I think will win. I may do a blog post closer to the show about who will win, who should win/who I would vote for, etc.)

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Best of 2015

In many ways, 2015 was pre-ordained to be a massive year. After a down year at the box office in 2014, pundits predicted 2015 would be huge, given the releases of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the final “Hunger Games” movie, and “Jurassic World.” And (for those that have been released), those movies delivered well at the box office (including “World” setting an opening weekend record, and then, you know, “Star Wars” demolishing it.). But there were a number of pleasant surprises that pundits didn’t see coming, and that’s what made 2015 quite an impressive year for entertainment. These are my favorite pieces of entertainment from 2015, presented in no particular order, but, for sake of readability, I’ve broken my list down by categories. Let me know what I missed, or what you enjoyed, in the comments. And, as always, thank you for reading this blog – and I hope you’ll stay with me in 2016. Continue reading