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  1. Yesterday
  2. Peter T Chattaway

    Oscars 2019: Best Documentary Feature

    The Producers Guild Award nominees (with the ones I've seen, or have a screener for, in bold): The Dawn Wall Free Solo Hal Into the Okavango RBG Three Identical Strangers Won't You Be My Neighbor? The list includes all three of the documentaries that grossed over $10 million this year (i.e. RBG, Three Identical Strangers and Won't You Be My Neighbor?), and Free Solo might be the fourth such film soon, which would make this the first year ever that *four* documentaries grossed over $10 million; and what's even more remarkable is that -- unlike the two previous years when three documentaries grossed over $10 million -- not one of this year's $10-million-club members is a nature documentary, a music/concert movie, or a Moore/D'Souza political screed. (And we had *all* of those this year!) The winner will be announced January 19.
  3. Mike_tn

    Gran Torino (2008)

    Warner Bros. will release “The Mule” nationwide December 14 (2018). Clint Eastwood stars and directs. "The movie was inspired by the real story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became the world's oldest and most prolific drug mule for the Sinaloa Cartel." imdb.com "Eastwood hasn’t been the lead actor in a film since 2008’s 'Gran Torino,' ... The supporting cast includes Eastwood’s 'American Sniper' star Bradley Cooper, plus Dianne Wiest and Michael Peña." indiewire.com Eastwood is 88 years old, born 1930. Trailer
  4. Evan C

    Movie Calendar

    The Hate U Give - a close-up of a phone screen shows a date to be Friday, May 19th.
  5. Last week
  6. J.A.A. Purves

    Creed II (2018)

    (A&F links to Rocky Balboa (2006) and Creed (2015).) I've always loved these films because of their continually going back to the themes of family, history, and heritage. I don't think Stallone could have done better than by picking Michael B. Jordan as the hero to pass the torch to in order to keep carrying the story, and it looks like this next film is as much about torch bearing as ever. Todd Gilchrist, Moviefone: “After six “Rocky” films, “Creed” was a remarkable triumph -- what seemed superfluous at best became essential. The first "Creed" movie is not just a great entertainment, but it is also a catharsis for one character and a vivid introduction for another. Consequently, “Creed II” only needed to be a well-deserved victory lap for Michael B. Jordan, who rocketed to stardom as Adonis “Donnie” Creed, not to mention Sylvester Stallone, whose signature series passed to more than capable shepherds. But like its predecessor, this kinda-sorta double sequel (both to its immediate predecessor and to “Rocky IV”) wrestles with powerful issues, deepens the first film’s characterizations, and resolves lingering details in the franchise’s timelines with humanity and grace. "Creed II" elevates the literal and metaphorical challenges of following up improbable success to something meaningful and eventually transcendent of the formulas that it relies upon ... Even as the film falls into the sometimes predictable rhythms of the series -- triumphant victories giving way to devastating defeats, and vice versa -- writers Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor showcase what seems like a very real feeling for competitors at the top of their game, and Donnie feels unfocused and perhaps appropriately decentralized in his own story. He is less a person than a character in a narrative that the world is determined to control -- a narrative that loves nothing more than perfect parallel lines between generations as one yields for the next to secure its own legacy. In the first half of Donnie’s journey, he seems to be doing what he thinks he’s supposed to, or is afraid not to -- a realistic and understandable course of action for a kid who, by the end of the first film, had only begun to discover himself, much less his febrile talents. But abject losses have a way of forcing reflection upon people who pursue excellence, and director Steven Caple Jr. harnesses these necessary, almost predetermined story beats and turns them into moments of searing introspection -- and, eventually, powerful self-actualization. Jordan, proving again he has more than enough charisma and talent to be both a movie star and bona fide actor, returns to a character facing questions that undoubtedly hit close to home as he plots his next career move: Once you’ve earned success, how much is enough? And more vitally, what drives that pursuit? The young actor’s physical commitment to the role is readily visible, but it’s the overall sharpness of his performance, including moments of heartbreaking vulnerability, that elevate his journey from the son of Apollo Creed to his own man ... Because “Creed II” works wonderfully as a follow-up to the first “Creed” and the fourth “Rocky,” but the similarities to those earlier films are quite frankly the least of its charms. And like Adonis, what proves most remarkable is how successfully what could easily be dismissed as a lesser copy or pale imitation combats a suffocating legacy to prove it can, and should, stand on its own.” Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist: "There’s a Confucius-style tenant written somewhere in the annals of screenplay writing 101—presumably written by a giant like William Goldman (R.I.P.)—that goes a little something like this: if you truly and deeply care about the characters everything else is gravy. To augment that somewhat, if you deeply empathize with a superhero, his fate and everyone they care about, all their epic battles and obstacles are that much more gripping—you are invested emotionally in what happens because the movie has successfully captured your heart. This very basic, but often forgotten, story fundamental is thankfully not forgotten in the ongoing superhero genre of boxing movies. And in “Creed II,” director Steven Caple Jr.,as well as writers Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone, understand emotional investment and stakes which make every blow in the film land that much harder.” Sam C. Mac, Slant Magazine: “There’s one substantial deviation from this predetermined path: a section in the middle of Creed II in which Adonis, recuperating from broken ribs and a ruptured spleen, settles down with his girlfriend, R&B singer-songwriter Bianca (Tessa Thompson). Jordan and Thompson are excellent in a lovely and anxious scene in which Adonis proposes to Bianca; the actors make their characters’ progression into married life, and eventually their role as parents, believable and moving. And while this emphasis on familial bonds may not be new to the series—in Rocky IV, Apollo and Rocky behave like brothers, and Rocky’s relationship to Adrian was given its own space to develop—there’s something uniquely special about the portrayal of family in Creed II, namely the way Adonis, Bianca, and their baby girl, Amara, come to represent perhaps the first dynastic black family in a major studio franchise. (That’s a development that may well have come from Coogler, a credited producer here, given that his Black Panther is similarly invested in a sense of lineage.)”
  7. Anders

    The Criterion Channel

    I'm just really happy to hear it will be available in Canada. Filmstruck was not.
  8. Rushmore

    The Criterion Channel

    For me, MUBI and Filmstruck are both indispensable, and for very different reasons. Filmstruck is an extensive library that I can browse in at will, choosing my own paths and following my own projects. (Not that it has everything, of course, but it has, to name ones that caught my eye recently, almost all of Ozu, a lot of Kaurismäki, a lot of Rossellini...) However, to really broaden your horizons you should occasionally have someone else choose a movie, and that's the valuable service that MUBI provides. It's given me some memorable experiences that I would undoubtedly never have had otherwise. (Left to my own devices, I would be unlikely to seek out a documentary on Chinese lumberjacks.)
  9. Rushmore

    Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

    He's right, of course, but yikes. It's not surprising that the email tearing apart the script ("If I were intentionally trying to sabotage this project") failed of its intended purpose.
  10. NBooth

    Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

    Rick Riordan has memories of this movie.
  11. Andrew

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

    Which chapter was that, Ken? Jessica and I watched this on Netflix two nights ago and loved it. I think it's their best film since A Serious Man; as someone who considers them contemporary masters but had been underwhelmed by their work of the past 9 years, Buster Scruggs comes as a huge relief to me. I think my favorite chapters were "The Gal Who Got Rattled" and "The Mortal Remains." The former showed an empathy and humanity that are often submerged in the Coens' films under layers of irony and foible-skewering, so it was a refreshing change, with a touching relationship at its core. The latter seemed like a perfect finish, with a perfectly eerie milieu and a satisfying meditation on human nature and our uses of stories, both conscious and unconscious. Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2018/11/the-ballad-of-buster-scruggs-has-the-coen-brothers-back-in-top-form/
  12. Thanks Joel - yes I'm nominating those first fourteen films, not nominating the honorable mentions, and if we decide to offer an award for best imaginative thing involving stop motion flying creatures, the Message Bird it is Having seen Roma yesterday, I want to nominate it too.
  13. kenmorefield

    Board Rules and Guidelines (Under Construction)

    So I've been meditating on this a bit. I'm wondering now if it might be better to leave this close to as is and have a separate page or thread, maybe even this one, to answer questions or tease out ambiguities. But I'm not there yet. Anyhow, I have some questions about: It seems to me like other terms (like defamation) have precise terms but these are a bit ambiguous. I've seen a fair bit of disagreement over the years here about what is harassing, for instance. I'm also concerned that "profane" and "sexually inappropriate" may have one intended meaning (no explicit photos) and be broadly interpreted as not expressing views that are orthodox. (If I were to review or discuss a transgender film like Gigi Gorgeous: This is Everything...?) Finally, we've had instances in the past where people have posted publicly available information (such as a member's full name instead of alias or a photo of a member from a work website) and had this called an invasion of privacy. On the one hand, the rules say members have no expectation of privacy (at the end), on the other hand, we call on members to not invade another's privacy.
  14. kenmorefield

    The Criterion Channel

    Like Darren mentioned in another thread, I have tried to get away from physical media, but it isn't that easy. This semester I had to rebuy two DVDs that I had once owned and given up because I had access to same titles on streaming. I wanted to show them (or clips) to a class and found myself in a location where WiFi was limited. I had a mechanism to show DVD but not to stream the film. There are instances of the reverse, I am sure. (Where a DVD would be unplayable but a streaming option is accessible.) But I've found the former more common. DVDs are also easier to lend or give away. I have noted a few more studios willing to go to digital screeners. (Magnolia doing so made several critics sad. Getting an e-mail with 15-20 links isn't quite the same as a package of 15-20 DVDs. But those 15-20 DVDs add up.) All that is to say, I will probably not subscribe to the Criterion channel for the time being. Buying 2-3 titles a year (during 1/2 price sale) lets me build access to core titles, and leaves money left over to subscribe to MUBI.
  15. kenmorefield

    Is Artsandfaith.com dying?

    Done. When I merged the two accounts, I received this message: It said the "Ralfy" account had zero posts. It may be that some old content got relabeled as "Guest" or "Guest (ralfy)" If there are any posts that are labeled that way that you would like reassigned to your active account you can flag them and I believe I may be able to do that manually. If you have any problems logging into the Ralfy acount, let me know and I can reset password.
  16. ralfy

    The Criterion Channel

    In relation to that news, here's one thoughtful article to consider: The Shutting Down of FilmStruck and the False Promise of Streaming Classics
  17. ralfy

    Is Artsandfaith.com dying?

    Yes, please merge the two if it's not too much of a bother, and I can use the "ralfy" account. Thank you.
  18. NBooth

    Boy Erased

    I've not seen this movie (and won't until it hits streaming), but I found this conversation between Kevin Garcia and Garrard Conley to be interesting.
  19. NBooth

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald

    The real crime here is this movie. It’s bad, y’all. Really bad. The plot is so over-complicated and under-explained that it makes the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks look minimalist and clear. Character motivations appear and disappear out of thin air. There’s about as much dramatic tension as an episode of Saved by the Bell. Outside of a few reliably-solid actors (Jude Law, for instance, or the again-underutilized Ezra Miller), pretty much nothing in this movie works.
  20. Evan C

    Dumbo

    From the trailer, it looks like Michael Keaton will be the villain. Also looks like there will be human protagonists.
  21. Joel Mayward

    The Criterion Channel

    Ha! I honestly don't know--it came into being right when I was moving to the UK, so I never was able to use it. Sounds like it started off amazing, but wasn't sustainable.
  22. Joel Mayward

    Church matters

    That's a tough situation, but I hope something can work out for both the man and your church community. Does he have someone he would consider a friend or point of contact within the church? I would be curious about their perspective if they know him and his situation better, and perhaps can speak to him about it with a greatest level of trust and care. And I think Ken's suggestion is worth pursing. Would your church community have the financial means to help in some way?
  23. Tyler

    The Criterion Channel

    Are we still calling MoviePass a nice service?
  24. Joel Mayward

    The Criterion Channel

    It won't be available outside of the US or Canada, so it's essentially FilmStruck and MoviePass for me--a nice film-related service which doesn't exist where I live.
  25. Joel Mayward

    Outlaw/King

    I'm not adding much different to what's been said above--this film was fine, Pine is okay, Pugh is great, Scottish scenery is lovely. But here's my full review, fwiw: Living in Scotland, it actually made watching the film a bit more difficult, especially when I recognize that the scenes aren't filmed on location. I found myself muttering "that's not really Scone palace" and such. The most notable set piece is Doune Castle, near Stirling, which was used multiple times throughout Outlaw King (it's in the trailer). It also happens to be the Castle Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, most of the castle scenes in Monty Python were shot at Doune. So every time it appears now in a "serious" film like Outlaw King, I can't help but think of John Cleese's French knight taunting King Arthur.
  26. kenmorefield

    Chess

    It's been awhile since I've been abreast of chess happenings, but apparently the rules have changed for World Championship so that if no winner is determined by a preset number of games they go to...blitz games? Apparently the development of deep-thinking AI has changed the nature so that players can play to time control and then use computer helps to find lines through equal positions. Essentially, if I understand correctly, this makes people play not to lose by sticking with variations or lines that they are thoroughly familiar with--or familiar enough to recognize losing moves far enough in that they can play for draws every time. I confess this both makes perfect sense and is somewhat sad.
  27. BethR

    Outlaw/King

    A medievalist perspective by Kevin J. Harty, who has written or co-written several books on medievalism in movies: "Beam Me Up Robbie!: Outlaw King"
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