Best and Worst in film 2018

The Razzies and Oscars were this past weekend. On Saturday night Holmes and Watson picked up the most awards with four while Donald Trump picked up a pair himself as Worst Actor and On Screen Combo, Now to the real things the Oscars.

Bohemian Rhapsody was big winner of the night taking home four awards followed by Roma, Black Panther and Green Book with three each. It was nice that they spread the awards around this year it seems like most of the awards held from the Golden Globes once again proving that the Oscars need to be earlier or there need to some difference between the two. I mean the only half surprise was with Best Actress but at the Golden Globes they give out two awards and Olivia Colman and Glenn Close have split them in the previous award shows and the other half was Green Book winning over Roma after Roma seemed to have it in the bag.

It was great to see Spike Lee finally take home an Oscar he has done so much for movies that it is nice to see Spike get a real Oscar finally, he took home an Honorary Oscar back in 2015. Unfortunately, the Best Picture went to Green Book,  I think this has more to do with Roma being a Netflix movie and it not being in English then it being a great film. Disney/Pixar was shutout of Animated Feature Film for the first time since Rango won back in 2011. If the Oscars wants the show to end earlier perhaps start it earlier or limit who get to talk on stage like when a group of people win an award we don’t need the all of them to thank the same people at other awards they limit who gets to speak and that might help or go back to 5 nominees for best picture since it doesn’t seem that with the extra nomination for ‘popular films’ has really changed anything. Also if The Academy is still thinking about adding/re-adding a ‘popular film’ category in future years why not go back to 5 for both and add an award for stunts as well.

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2018 in film

Once again it’s that time of the year The Oscar and Golden Raspberry Award nominations are out. Highlighting the Best and worst of film in 2018.

We begin with the Razzies as they were announced on Monday and will be given out before the Oscars. The Worst films of the year are among the following Gotti, The Happytime Murders, Holmes & Watson, Robin Hood and Winchester. Now among these are some of the films that lost the most money of the year. A noteworthy nomination is Donald Trump who picks up two as well as  Kellyanne Conway and Melania Trump. Trump could be the second sitting President to take home the award for a Michael Moore film.

Enough of that for the 91th Academy Awards a show which won’t have a host for the first time in 30 years.  The Best films of the year are among the following Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born and Vice. This year I’ve seen 3 of the 8 films nominated so that’s a lot for me. It’s the first time that a “superhero” movie picked up a nomination with Black Panther, Spike Lee has finally picked up a Best Director nomination. With Animated Feature it’s between Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Spide-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, This could be the first time in a long while since Disney/Pixar might not win with Spider-Man picking up some big awards so far this season.  In Best Foreign Language Film it’s between Capernum (Lebanon), Cold War (Poland), Never Look Away (Germany), Roma (Mexico) and Shoplisters (Japan). If you noticed Roma is nominated for both Best film and Foreign Language Film and it has a good chance to win them both and this would be the first time that it would ever happen.

We will have to wait about a month for both of these events to happen so stay tuned.

 

 

Cowboy Bebop and other anime shows

Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime show from the late 90s which introduced so many in the West to the genre. There have been rumors of a live action feature film for about a decade with Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel but there is more exciting news as Netflix has announced that they will be airing a live action television series based on the show.

The announcement said that there will be ten episodes. Shinichiro Watanabe, director of the anime, will serve as a consultant. This seems like good news but I’m not sure we’ve got to see something from this production before casting opinions. However, this wasn’t the only news from Netflix about anime. This isn’t the biggest news as Netflix is adding a bunch of other anime including Evangelion in 2019. Netflix is slowly becoming a go to place for Anime and this is a great thing for just about everyone.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a documentary about Mr. Rogers. He was a pretty cool guy and had a television show that influenced many peoples lives. It is a decent film about Mr. Rogers who seems to be have a big upswing in pop culture right now, with this documentary and upcoming film with Tom Hanks as well as that documentary on PBS with Michael Keaton about the show. It is the 50th anniversary of the show and would have been his 90th birthday. If you watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as a kid and enjoyed it this is the film that it seems like you’d want to watch it at least once or pick up one of those other documentaries, like Mister Rogers & Me.

Everything seem to have the same thrust that Mr. Rogers is the balm that we currently need, with the simple ideas of human empathy, caring about one another and kindness. You know that thing called love that seems to have gone away over the past couple of year. It is a fairly straight forward covering his life on television and if you’ve seen or read about his life nothing is really that shocking.  This film will be on PBS some time in Early 2019 so you won’t have to wait long.

 

Ordet (1955)

Ordet is another one of those films that is on all those list of great film lists it is by Carl Theodor Dreyer who also directed The Passion of Joan of Arc. The film is based on the play of the same name by Lutheran minister, Kaj Munk , it won Bodil Award the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was honored at the Golden Globes as Best Foreign Language Film in 1955 and it is one of the film on the Vatican list of films. Spoilers to follow.

The film doesn’t really have a plot it is a look at the life of the Borgen’s family farm. Morten, a prominent member of the community has three sons. Mikkel, who has no faith; Johannes, who went insane studying Soren Kierkegaard and believes himself Jesus Christ;  and Anders, who is smitten with the daughter of the tailor who is the leader of another sect. Mikkel is married to Inger who is pious and they have two daughters Inger is also pregnant with another child. Johannes isn’t the best as he wanders off condemning the lack of faith in the town and the world in general. Anders goes off to Peter, the tailor’s house, to ask for his daughter, Anne’s hand in marriage but this request is refused as Anders isn’t the same faith as the Tailor and his family. While this is happening Inger is trying to convince Morten of this engagement, it doesn’t go over well.

Anders returns home with the sad news and Morten changes his mind and he and Anders go to visit Peter and find out why he refused. Peter tries to get Morten and Anders to join his sect. While this is taking place Inger goes into a difficult labor, Mikkel calls informing Anders and Morten about what’s happening and they come rushing home, but not before Peter wishes that Inger die so that Morten will see the error of his ways and join his sect. When Morten and Anders return home they do not get great news the child is dead and Inger isn’t in great shape. Now things turn south here as death returns  and takes Inger, this is the turning point of the film as everyone is affected. Johannes wanders off and on the day of the funeral Peter apologizes to Morten and agrees to the proposal. Johannes returns and says that if the family only had faith and asked God to raise Inger from the dead it would happen. One of Inger and Mikkel’s daughters has the faith to ask for this to happen and Johannes agrees to do so. Inger begins to stir and everyone rejoices at the resurrection and Mikkel claims that he has found his faith.

This film seems like it would be something great to watch during Lent as it deals with faith and features a death and resurrection. It isn’t the most quick paced film but it is a nice change of pace from any modern film. Ordet is the one film from Dreyer that was both a critical and financial success. I would agree with all those talking heads that place it as one of the greatest films ever and if you ever get the chance to watch this to take the two hours and sit with the film and digest it.

Eighth Grade (2018)

Eighth Grade is the debut film from Bo Burnham. This is a great new film which is a coming of age story set today, Spoilers to follow.

in the film we follow Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) in her final week of the eighth grade, she posts motivational videos on YouTube about confidence and self-image, which barely get any views. At school she gets the “Most Quiet” superlative from her classmates and they all get a time capsule they made in their first week of middle school. On her way home she gets invited to a classmate’s party, she the popular girl in class, and her mom invited Kayla. Mark (Josh Hamilton), Kayla’s single father struggles to connect with Kayla as she is constantly on social media and suggest she go to the party to put herself out there. However she just doesn’t fit in, what will happen to her

The film is a nice update on the coming of age stories as teens today live a large portion of their lives on social media of various forms from YouTube to Snapchat and Instagram, the problems are similar to the one we all had back in eighth grade. It is a unique look into the aspect of the world that seems to be overlooked by those in Hollywood, as they are currently rebooting the 90s for better of worse.

Eighth Grade is a film that everyone should give a chance especially if you know someone in that age range. It has some Oscar buzz as well so perhaps it’s worth a shot for that reason as well.

Netflix shows

The has been news recently of Netflix cancelling both Iron Fist and Luke Cage there has been some individuals that are worried that Marvel on Netflix is coming to an end others are hoping that we get some sort of Heroes for Hire and/or Daughters of the Dragon shows to replace them with. While this isn’t the most shocking of news Iron Fist wasn’t that great and the second season of Luke Cage dragged in the middle, as is common with many of these Marvel shows on Netflix. So it’s down to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher these show seems a bit more straight forward as they are more grounded. The other news is that Orange is the New Black is going to end after this upcoming season.  Now having all these show coming to an end really isn’t that big of a deal with Netflix is also ramping up their original content with about $13 Billion spent this year and that number only expected to increase over the years with Disney and like every other major player trying to have their own streaming service. Some of these show have reached a natural conclusion other have been left open-ended. Sure people are going to complain if a show they like comes to an end when they though it wasn’t ready to end, but who knows what is to come in the upcoming years.

Star Wars: The Mandalorian

This is some big news as  details about the Jon Favreau live action series have been revealed.  It will be on the Disney Streaming service since everyone is going to have to own several streaming services to exist in the world.  As you can guess from the title it’s about a Mandalorian, hopefully before the series everyone watches/re-watches the Mandalorian arcs in Clone Wars and Rebels. The Mandalorian are a very unique culture and it really hasn’t been explored that much so it is a good place to explore the next big thing is that it will take place three years after Return of the Jedi. It is just one image but it looks pretty cool.

The Jeweller’s Shop (1988)

The Jeweller’s Shop is a film based on the play written by Karol Wotyja before he became Pope John Paul II. This is sort of a rough draft or companion piece to Love and Responsibility which eventually  led to Theology of the Body. At least that’s what it seems like I haven’t read either of them. If you have the time I am sure that there are several productions and the film can be found on YouTube

The Jeweler’s Shop was written in 1960 and it is a Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Passing on Occasion into a Drama. The story follows pairs of couples, each couple in their own story: the first happily planning their wedding, the second long-married and unhappy, the third about to marry but full of doubts. We begin on a hiking trip where Andrew and Teresa along with Stefan and Anna are out with their friend Father Adam. Andrew and Teresa have been friend a long time and for Stefan and Anna it’s love at first sight. Andrew and Teresa stop by a Jeweler’s Shop where Andrew proposes they buy rings, at the shop they meet the Jeweler who is the best character in the film, as he pops us in all three couples stories.  The second part take us a couple of year later and meet up with Stefan and Anna who have moved to Canada to escape World War II they have kids but their life is filled with emptiness and disillusion. They both it seems to have given up on their relationship Anna visits a jeweler to sell her ring, but they say that it’s worthless since her husband is still alive. Anna runs into Father Adam one day in Canada and he reminds Anna about the Parable of the Ten Virgins (five came prepared with extra oil and five didn’t and had their light go out while waiting for the Bridegroom). Anna is reminded that they can still love one another. The last story is sort of intertwined with Anna and Stefan, and the focus is on the Son and Daughter of the couples  Christopher is the son of Andrew and Teresa and Monica is the daughter of Stefan and Anna as they contemplate marriage. Both of these children have ideas of what love is based on their parents, Christopher fears losing love as his father died when he was young and Monica is afraid that her marriage will end up like her parents. They too go to a jeweler’s shop and buy wedding rings.

It’s a decent film and offers some general ideas that we should all reflect upon like what is the worth of mankind. If you want a nice film to watch with the family or with a spouse to reflect on your marriage or a fiance as you prepare for your wedding day. While the film isn’t the best or worst film that I’ve ever seen it the story is the key and it is pretty decent. I wouldn’t recommend everyone picking  us this movie but theme seem to be universal but it does have a bit of Catholicism in there as well since the writer was the Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow.

Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), À bout de souffle (1960) and La Jette (1962)

It’s  been awhile since I’ve posted much of anything. Summer was a bit crazy. Over the summer I was a bit of a French Film kick these first two are often put on list of top film you should see so I got around to watching them and have some opinions. All of these films still hold up today and it is sort of a shame that most of what we get isn’t anything close to the creativity in these films. Spoilers to follow so watch out

Au Hasard Balthazar is a film by Robert Bresson, who many consider the Patron Saint of cinema. This film inspired from a passage from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. It follows a donkey and it’s one kind owner Marie (Anne Wiazemsky), a shy farm girl around. Both go from place to place continually taking abuse from all they encounter. Bresson has said that each encounter is like one of the seven deadly sins and that Balthazar is a symbol of Christian faith. Now, when the film came out in America the review were unfavorable however over in Europe they were glowing, Jean-Luc Godard said that “Everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished […] because this film is really the world in an hour and a half. These mixed reviews seem all to common with this film. It’s an important film that everyone should see at least one.

 

À bout de souffle or Breathless is a film from Jean-Luc Godard and is considered to be one of the groundbreaking films from the French New Wave. A small time crook, Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo ) he is fascinated with Bogie and steals a car and murders a cop.  He then shacks up in Paris with a former love interest Patricia (Jean Seberg), who work for the New York Herald Tribune Newspaper, she sells papers with aspirations to be a journalist. Patricia doesn’t know Michel killed a cop and willingly hides him and listens to his plan to escape from France. Patricia tells Michel she’s pregnant implying it’s his. After learning that Michel killed a police officer Patricia sort of changes her mind and eventually calls with were Michel can be found. When the police come Michel runs and is shot. It seems like a film that if made today would be a huge hit. This is another important film that should be seen especially if you like crime drama.

Finally is La Jetée or “The Jetty” this is a short film from the French Left Bank a part of the French New Wave, it tells the story of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel. The film 12 Monkeys was inspired by and borrows several concepts from this film the time travel and the protagonist seeing himself dying at an airport as a child. It is an interesting film if you are a huge fan of 12 Monkeys or just like Science fiction films in general. This is only about a half an hour so it won’t take up too much time.