Apollo 11 (2019)

Another big Documentary Film this year is Apollo 11, it takes the raw footage of the launch and mission from NASA itself and creates the documentary. In this film from CNN we watch as the mission goes up into space and it is pretty unique that I think that NASA and CNN could do this with all the other missions. If you are a fan of Outer Space pick up this film at least once and if you don’t want to go out and find it CNN will be airing it on June 23 and again on July 20. Will this be the film that wins Best Documentary in the upcoming Oscars, that seems possible yet we are only halfway through the year and there are bound to be other documentaries released before the end of eligibility for the year.

Go Space out and watch it. It’s a cool movie and since July 16 marks the 50th anniversary of liftoff what better time to watch it. I am sure that various places will be showing this film this summer from the local museums to maybe an outdoor movie showing under the stars.

This post has been updated fixing a previous error and adding another date on which CNN will be broadcasting it.

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

In the fascinating documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, from Peter Jackson dives deep into World War I.  This is a topic that as an American I am not that on top of since the United States wasn’t really as involved in this one so it’s typically glossed over in history classes so as to get to the second one. This was a wonderful film that colorized a film of soldiers and looks at the brutal nature of the war. It also has narration from WWI Vets recalling the events. This seems like the odds on favourite to win an Oscar for Best Documentary at the 92nd Oscars, if it’s eligible.

As today is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing it felt that mentioning these heroes fighting men from the World War who gave of themselves so that we all could live. If you haven’t had a chance to see this film I know it had a brief run, it is worth the time to go watch it.

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.

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.