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Evan C

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Everything posted by Evan C

  1. Evan C

    Oscars 2019: Best Picture

    I've said it at least three times, but I'll say it again: A Star is Born is winning best picture, and this list of nominees seems to confirm that. I suppose there's the possibility of a BlacKkKlansman upset, especially if the Academy wants to make a political statement and rectify Spike Lee never winning an Oscar. Otherwise, if a new Oscar front-runner emerges, I think it will be something other than one of these five, because I can't see any of the other three films here winning best picture.
  2. Ken and Joel, I will happily take the screener link or publicist contact for Chosen: Custody of the Eyes and Monrovia, Indiana. Email or message is fine.
  3. I didn't see Wildlife listed on the first page, so I thought I'd repost the above. I also nominate Can You Ever Forgive Me? - a searing mockery not just of criminal enterprises, but also of greed and celebrity obsession which creates a void for said enterprises to fill. I thought the film did a fantastic job of balancing sympathy for its unethical protagonists while never failing to remind us how corrupt they were. And there's a late scene in which the characters discuss writing as a vocation, which acknowledges the misuse of Lee Israel's talents but also her humanity. And a strong second for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
  4. Evan C

    A better film about...

    For the woman/women fall on hard times and look to illegal means of solving their financial troubles, I thought Can You Ever Forgive Me? was a better version of Widows.
  5. Well, the movie was better than that. I thought the dynamics between Starr and her family were very touchingly portrayed with some really good performances from Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby. It was Starr's interactions with most of the white cast (especially Starr's white best friend who's actually *gasp* racist and spouts "all lives matter" bs) when the preaching really started, but as I said, I feel some of that may be necessary in our current climate.
  6. Good points, both Ken and Joel, on "expand" versus "alternate." The latter was definitely a sloppy word choice on my part; I did not mean to imply any films are excluded, just wondering aloud on the merits of including message-movies in general for this list. Anyway, you've both convinced me. I nominate The Hate U Give. And while I was less enthusiastic than some people, I think Wildlife merits consideration not only as a coming of age story, but also as a story of how families depend on one another, and how the selfish actions of one family member affect the other members, so I nominate that too.
  7. I second Boy Erased and Bad Times at the El Royale. I imagine many people will not care for the latter, but it's a story of every sin having a consequence and one of the best made movies of the year. Does anyone want to weigh in on the merits or not of nominating The Hate U Give? It's first and foremost a heavy-handed sermon, although a very timely and very well made one. Starr (the protagonist) and her family are very well developed characters-both in terms of writing and acting-and their responses to a tragedy should be of interest to Christians, both in terms of depicting how people respond to traumatic events, and because said events are so prominent in 2018. At the same time, several of the supporting characters are one-dimensional archetypes who exist for Starr to punch down toxic ideologies that many people still harbour. There's nothing wrong with that, and in our current climate, I'd say it's necessary and a moral good. However, since we publish this list to provide a list of alternate titles to the usual message-movies of Christian cinema, I'm hesitant to nominate a film that has similar problems, just because it has better production quality and a message (I'd assume) most of us agree with. Thoughts?
  8. Evan C

    Movie Calendar

    The Hate U Give - a close-up of a phone screen shows a date to be Friday, May 19th.
  9. Evan C


    From the trailer, it looks like Michael Keaton will be the villain. Also looks like there will be human protagonists.
  10. Yes, I would still be willing to help organize a top 25 or top 100, by keeping a list of nominated and seconded titles, crunching numbers on votes, soliciting writes-ups, whatever would be needed. I just wouldn't want to do it all alone.
  11. Evan C

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    Picked these up last night.
  12. Evan C

    A Star is Born (2018)

    I definitely meant it to be the former. I feel there are so many reasons I should hate this movie, but there are enough good elements that I can't, so I wanted to capture that conflict.
  13. Evan C

    A Star is Born (2018)

    I fleshed out my thoughts into a full review. And once I thought of that first sentence, I could not resist beginning that way.
  14. Evan C

    Should A&F posts have a "Like" Button?

    If we had a "like" button, I would ironically like Jeremy's above post, instead of typing this to say I think he's right it would discourage conversation.
  15. Slightly later than I thought but here they are. Leave No Trace - a story about the need for family and community and the pain and tragedy that occurs when those needs come into conflict. It contains some of the best examples of compassion and mercy this year, and Thomasin McKenzie is incredible as a character who both wants to honor her father but also knows their way of life needs to change. Madeline's Madeline - An unnerving case of art imitating life imitating art. Madeline is a rebellious teenager, seeking her own identity with an experimental acting troupe in NYC, which makes her more vulnerable to being exploited and lashing out at others while trying to pursue her acting vocation. The film makes the importance of vocation clear, while also showing the dangers of putting anything (career, performance) ahead of people. BlacKkKlansman - Any story of seeking justice against racism should be of interest to Christians, because all people are made in the image of God. Spike Lee's mockery of the '70's KKK with its parallels to current events is equal parts funny and disturbing, but he makes a persuasive case for why everyone should care about any racial injustice. Paddington 2 - A delightful joy-filled about looking for and finding the good in everyone, and Paddington lives the Gospel more fully than almost any other cinematic protagonist of this year. Won't You Be My Neighbor? - A beautiful love letter to a man who saw everyone as his neighbor and the ways he lived his Christian faith through television. Annihilation - A modern day search for the perfect organism and the question of what it means to be human, as well as a story about accepting loss and not trying to play God.
  16. I second all four of Joel's above nominations. I nominate: (will try to write short summaries later, but I have to run right now) Leave No Trace Madeline's Madeline BlacKkKlansman Paddington 2 Won't You Be My Neighbor? Annihilation
  17. Evan C

    A Star is Born (2018)

    I cannot remember the last time I saw a film so meticulously crafted to win an Oscar, or several Oscars, as I expect this will. It's a passion/ego project of its star/director, it has just enough connection to current social movements such as #metoo and #timesup, without ever really challenging any status quo of the showbiz industry, there's a predictable and tragic ending which would have easily been avoidable with more believable screenwriting to give a sense of a profundity, it's edited to within an inch of its life to make sure every scene is a potential Oscar clip, and the cast are giving it their all in some pretty enjoyable performances that make me almost not care about any of the above. And Lady Gaga is a fantastic actress, and I will not begrudge her winning best actress, as she almost unquestionably will.
  18. Evan C

    2018 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury

    Thanks for being jury foreman again, Joel. I'm happy to participate for a fifth year.
  19. Evan C

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    Thanks for this update, Ken, and thank you for stepping up to help preserve the board. I very much want to continue the Ecumenical Jury awards, and I would still like to do a new top 100 as well.
  20. Evan C

    Little Women

    Emma Watson replaces Emma Stone. Watson seems like an obvious choice for Jo, so I'm guessing Ronan's probably going to play Beth.
  21. Mad Max: Fury Road Persona The Royal Tenenbaums
  22. Evan C

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    I recently rewatched all three extended editions, with friends and jokes about drinking every time: there was a panorama shot, Gimli was the butt of a joke, there was a reference to counting kills, every time someone's addressed as _ son of _. Obviously, since we're all still alive, we didn't play said drinking game. I think that indicates how silly, to use Rushmore's term, the films are. And not having watched them since I was a teenager, the B-film elements really stood out, even in Fellowship, not just the wizard force battle, but everything with the Ring Wraiths, and most of the Mines of Moria as well. At the same time, I think Fellowship has enough great moments that the good outweighs the bad, and it's the one that I still like; however, that ratio becomes less favorable with each subsequent film, and Return of the King is certainly not much better than The Hobbit: A Long, Exhausting, Overly Violent Journey.
  23. Evan C

    Spotlight (2015)

    I think three years ago I really believed (out of naiveté, willful blindness, or a combination thereof, I'm not sure) that it was "a few bad apples" and not a widespread institutional corruption. Reading the PA grand jury report made it clear not only how long the abuses and coverups had lasted, but also how severely the hierarchy had fostered that culture of secrecy and coverups, which in turn reminded me of our discussion from 2015.
  24. Evan C

    Examples of "Cinematic Parables"?

    Based on the description you gave, I would have said mother! sounds like an allegory, not a parable. Anyway: A Serious Man, Fargo. I think there's a case to be made for The Big Lebowski as well. Unforgiven. Love & Mercy (is that not popular enough?)