Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2018!

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Well, it’s the fifteenth anniversary of Sugar Ray/Visor Day, and you know what that means: Time to break out the crystal. Thankfully, I got my blog back after last year’s shenanigans. I can’t believe SRVD is 15 – that means it would be a freshman in high school! So, to honor the holiday, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite high school-related movies. And for those who are gluttons for punishment or just need a refresher on the origins of the holiday, you’ll find that after the list.

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If I Nominated Movies for Oscars, 2017

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If I, drunk with hypothetical power, could nominate all of the 2017 movies (and their directing and acting performances) for the Oscars, these would be the results. Note: I haven’t seen every movie (Molly’s Game, The Greatest Showman, and The Florida Project, and I’m really never going to see The Shape of Water), but I’ve seen a lot, and feel confident that a lot of these nominations will be similar to what will be nominated in January. Second note: I’ve put an asterisk if it’s a movie or performance I haven’t seen yet. Without further ado, the picks… Continue reading

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

Best of the Rest

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Especially in the summer blockbuster season, it seems that the only movies released are giant, action franchise tentpoles. Just this summer, we’ve had a new X-Men movie, Trans4mers, Godzilla, and Spider-Man, and we’re only two days into July. And I’m not alone in thinking that the good, mid-range movie has gone the way of the dodo (or, flocked to AMC and FX and HBO to become the next great miniseries. See: Fargo. See also: True Detective. See further: Mad Men.)

Vulture interviewed Billy Bob Thornton in advance of the premiere of Fargo, and this is what he had to say about television versus cinema:

It’s been a long time since you’ve done series TV. Why come back now?
It’s where we are headed. If you’re going to make something for adults, the mid-level movies the studios used to make, they’re gone. TV is where you do it. This is where actors get to actually do the kind of acting we used to do. If you’re going to do an independent film like I’m known for, now they give you $2 million to make it, and they want you to have 12 movie stars so you can get the foreign value, so we’re really restricted in a lot of ways in movies. Meanwhile, the studios are making big event films or real broad comedies or action movies, and that’s really not my bag.

While I would never disagree with Sling Blade (mmhmm), I happen to think that there are some solid, mid-level movies that have come out in the last few years. So, with that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites. Outside of Star Wars, the Avengers, and countless Lego movie sequels (I hope), we’ll just call these the best of the rest. Continue reading