Silence, the Problem of Pain, & the Challenge of Cinema as Religious Text Jan16

Silence, the Problem of Pain, & the Challenge...

Overview: Upon hearing that their mentor has apostatized, two 17th Century Jesuit priests venture into Japan, where Christianity is outlawed, to find him. Based on the novel by Shūsaku Endō. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 161 minutes. What’s In The Frame?: Martin Scorsese famously said, “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out,” a sentence that might be as useful as any working definition that has been offered for the art form as it hits its toddler stage. But the sentiment is also useful in its implied reductive comparison. What is and is not in the frame, that which does and does not happen, what we see...

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are the Flesh Jan11

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are th...

“There is no such thing as love,” the sister (María Evioli) explains to her brother (Diego Gamalie) as she stands over his face, dripping menstrual blood onto his lips, “Only demonstrations of love.” This disturbing sequence is one of a handful in Emiliano Rocha Minter’s shocking new film in which a depraved conceit is paired with dialogue that admits the conceit’s thematic purpose. There is no sly and layered symbolism or disorienting obfuscation here. In this sense, Rocha Minter’s film is less like those of Pier Paolo Passolini, Lars von Trier, or Gaspar Noé (shock cinema royalty against whose...

A Monster Calls Succeeds by Failing as a Fairy Tale Jan10

A Monster Calls Succeeds by Failing as a Fairy Tal...

Overview: A monster helps a young boy come to terms with losing his terminally ill mother. Focus Features; 2016; Rated PG-13; 108 minutes. Messily Ever After: A Monster Calls is a garbage fairy tale. The wicked grandmother is far from wicked. The handsome young prince is sort of petulant and makes every effort to not be a hero. The midnight-visiting monster is better at telling confusing stories than doing any of the standard things that a monster would do. And the ancient magic tree does not cure a damn thing. But J.A. Bayona-directed adaptation of the fantasy novel from Patrick Ness concedes its intention to fail at being a fairy tale...

The Best Twitter Reactions to the 74th Golden Globes Jan08

The Best Twitter Reactions to the 74th Golden Glob...

As always, Twitter does it best… Here are the best reactions to the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony.   Good luck at the #GoldenGlobes, everybody—and by “everybody,” I mean the cast and crew of MOONLIGHT and no one else. — Sasha (@ThatSashaJames) January 9, 2017 imagine if they had a manchester by the sea-style opening and everyone was just standing in the cold, crying. #GoldenGlobes — Laura Saladino (@lesaladino) January 9, 2017 Mahershala did T H E M O S T this year so let’s shout out to his hustle #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/jBAZjoSgmy — Alanna Bennett (@AlannaBennett) January 9, 2017 donald glover thanked migos...

Who Is You: Moonlight, Hell or High Water, and America’s Identity Crisis Jan03

Who Is You: Moonlight, Hell or High Water, and Ame...

The two best dick measuring contests in 2016 film, one figurative and one literal, occur in movies that are almost diametrically opposed in genre aesthetic. In the center of David Mackenzie’s neo-Western Hell or High Water, outlaw Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) takes a break from righteous bank robbing to indulge in casino poker, and, because he feels he must, he verbally provokes the meanest mug at the table. His opponent in the hand is a muscular Comanche. “Lords of the plain,” Tanner says. “Lords of nothing now,” the Native American corrects him. Neither gambler folds. They play out to the river card, as men do, and then stand to bump uneven...

2016’s Movie Report Card: Grading the Year in Film Dec31

2016’s Movie R...

Commencement Address The practical thing to do here, I guess, for the sake of building a brand, would be to start this post the same way I started last year’s. That is, I should start by saying, “We survived 2016.” But last year, that simple statement felt like an empty...

The 20 Best Movies of 2016 Chosen by Audiences Everywhere Dec29

The 20 Best Movies of 2016 Chosen by Audiences Eve...

It’s that time of year: those last few calendar days where our team risks complete dissolution to select and rank the best films from the past 365 days. We have fought, bartered, and bargained our way through a passionate cycle of disagreement and forgiveness, calculated quality with an equation so complex that it might be the subject of the Hidden Figures sequel, and, finally, we are ready to present to you our selections for the twenty best movies of 2016. … 20. Hail, Caesar! Hail Caesar! has a plot that makes you want to watch the movie even before you know its by the Coen brothers. A big time Old Hollywood star is kidnapped...

Children of Men Ten Years Later: We Couldn’t...

“And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.” – Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son It’s easy now, isn’t it? Almost too easy. Today, there is a clear and topical reason to discuss the film beyond just its upcoming ten year anniversary. Do a Google search of the title with the words “relevant” or “accurate” any time over the next few weeks, as we move toward an inauguration of a president whose anti-immigration platform might have been pulled directly...

74th Golden Globes Nominees Announced Dec12

74th Golden Globes Nominees Announced

This morning, Don Cheadle, Laura Dern, and Anna Kendrick announced the 2017 Golden Globes nominees live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the Today show. Jimmy Fallon is set to host the ceremony, which will air live on NBC on January 8, 2017. All of the presumptive favorites seem to be holding strong, with La La Land continuing its bid after a big night at the Critics Choice Awards, and Casey Affleck and Natalie Portman continuing their march to developing favorite status in the lead actor/actress columns. Meanwhile, Deadpool keeps earning unexpected love and it’s nice to see other suprirses likes Sing Street and Colin Farrell’s...

Complete List of the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards Winners Dec11

Complete List of the 2016 Critics’ Choice Aw...

The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards are getting underway at Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar in California. The ceremony will air live on A&E, hosted by  recently arrested, Uber-driver-slapping comedian T.J. Miller. As part of our Awards Season coverage, we’ll be providing live updates of the film winners. Best Picture Arrival Fences Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water La La Land *Winner* Lion Loving Manchester by the Sea Moonlight Sully Best Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) *Winner* Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) David Mackenzie (Hell or High...

I’ll Be Darned, The Baywatch Trailer Is Awesome Dec08

I’ll Be Darned, The Baywatch Trailer Is Awes...

I guess I shoudn’t be too shocked. At bare minimum, the upcoming Baywatch film from Horrible Bosses and The King of Kong Director Seth Gordon combines four of the most astoundingly beautiful and charismatic people alive in The Rock, Alexandra Daddario, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra and unleashes their charms on a goofy property toward which no one should even try to claim nostalgic attachment. So, it’s a winning formula, but let’s not kid ourselves. We did not expect this… Earlier today, Paramount gave us our first good look at the film when they released the theatrical trailer and it’s…. hilarious,...

The Monster Struggles to Carry Its Ugly Weight Nov30

The Monster Struggle...

Overview: A monster traps a mother and her child in their car after an accident. A24; 2016; Rated R; 91 minutes. Revisitation: We have seen this before. Of course, we have also said that very thing about this filmmaker’s work before. Specifically, Bryan Bertino’s directorial debut The...

Loving Delivers Much Needed Empathy and Intimacy Nov28

Loving Delivers Much...

Overview: After being arrested for their unlawful marriage, interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving become the center of a decades long legal battle. Focus Features; 2016; Rated PG-13; 123 minutes. As A Verb: Mildred (Ruth Negga) speaks the first two words of Jeff Nichols’ new...

Six Months to Salvation Captures Hope in Confused Idealism Nov22

Six Months to Salvat...

Overview: Seven Australian teenagers volunteer as English teachers in Thailand. u16.co; 2016; Not Rated; 96 minutes. Creating a Path: Normally, if I were to say that a filmmaker seems not to know what film he/she is making, one might safely assume that such a statement is meant to be critical...

October Was the Scariest Month: How Panic Disorder...

October was the scariest month of my life even though I wasn’t even really watching any horror movies. The reason October was such an unprecedentedly terrifying month and the reason why I avoided horror movies was the same: because in September, I was attacked by a monster. Now, this the second week of November, a new monster is making matters even worse. More about my personal monster momentarily, but first, I think we should measure that damage. For all of my life, I have loved horror. I’ve loved being afraid. October, traditionally, has always been my favorite month largely because I love horror. Anyone paying attention knows that last...

10 Years Ago, Borat Punched Everybody

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, or Borat, as it’s come to be known, is the funniest movie I have ever seen. Caution me against publishing hyperbole as much as you would like, but with Sacha Baron Cohen’s brilliant film today celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release, I have had a decade to think about it. And I am more confident in the assertion than ever. Borat is the funniest movie I have ever seen. That status is insulated and protected by a few facts. First, there had never been anything quite like Borat before. Sure, American pop culture has been heavily familiar with recorded...

Another 7 Chilling Real Life Stories That Should B...

We are currently in the midst of a glut in terms of wonderful horror and terrifying horror film releases. The unfortunate news (or fortunate, if you’re into this sort of thing), is that the real world keeps turning up terrifying stories as well. This year, we had no trouble finding seven more entries into our continuing Halloween series of seven real life stories that would make great movies. Let’s get started… 1. Japanese Ghost Boat Since October of last year, dozens of wooden boats washed onto the shores of Monzen, a quiet Japanese fishing village, carrying a total of 30 partially skeletized corpses. At least two of the...

A Horrortown Deconstruction: An Interview With Rod...

Beginning in the last week of October, Audiences Everywhere will be continuing its Horrortown series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films, and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror. When we decided to reboot our Horrortown interview series, I wanted to make sure we added a little flavor to the perspective within our ongoing conversation. So naturally, Rodney Ascher is a name I immediately circled in blood red. Somehow, my plans panned out as I recently had the honor of speaking with Mr. Ascher about his films Room 237 and The Nightmare, his inspirations, and his...

A Horrortown Humorist: An Interview with Jason Kra...

Beginning in the last week of October, Audiences Everywhere will be continuing its Horrortown series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror. If you’ve surfed through Netflix’s horror selection recently, you’ve likely come across the film He Never Died. If your taste is refined or your sense of good film quality is intuitive, you’ve also watched it. If that’s the case, then you know there’s something exceptional about the film’s director, Jason Krawczyk. The film is quickly surpassing...

10 More Nightmare YouTube Videos Scarier Than Horror Films Oct25

10 More Nightmare YouTube Videos Scarier Than Horr...

Not everyone has what it takes to sit through 90-120 minutes of a horror film. Maybe you like the available time, or the long-term courage. In either event, if you’re looking to be scared in small doses, we have just the thing for you: the second installment of our series that captures YouTube videos scarier than horror films. You can catch the first installment here, and a new set of ten nightmare videos below. “Don’t Talk, Just Listen” Paul Michael Stephani was a serial killer who took the lives of five women in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The video above collects the terrifying phone calls he made to emergency...

HAElloween III Giveaway: This Time, It’s Personal! Oct03

HAElloween III Giveaway: This Time, It’s Per...

This week sees us entering our third October, and horror fans will recognize that the third entry of any legendary series is often the most forgettable and least celebrated. Those with us from the beginning recognize that for many of our AE staff, October is our favorite movie month. To make sure that our third entry doesn’t dip in quality, we’ll be marking the occasion by sharing our love for horror by giving away THREE horror packages this year. Read below to find out how and what you can win. How to Win 1.) Follow us on Twitter (@WeTalkMovies).  Follow @WeTalkMovies 2.)  Use the hashtag #hAElloween anytime during the month of...

The Magnificent Seven Is Cheerable Fun Sep23

The Magnificent Seven Is Cheerable Fun

Overview: Seven outlaws stand in protection of a town under siege. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 133 minutes. A New Story Told with an Old Story: From the right angle, Peter Sasrsgard looks like the devil anyway. But as Bartholomew Bogue, the soulless land-developing industrialist who aims to steal Rose Creek out from under the townspeople’s feet by any means possible, he feels like an a more specifically recognizable devil.  For the better part of The Magnificent Seven, the script from True Detective writer Nick Pizzolotta and Richard Wenk holds Bogue on a narrative leash. He walks slowly and methodically...

Talking The Equalizer with Pop Culture Case Study Sep23

Talking The Equalizer with Pop Culture Case Study

This week, I was honored to appear on the stellar Pop Culture Case Study podcast where my friend Dave Hart and I discussed self-efficacy in context of one of my favorite recent films The Equalizer. You can have a listen here, here, or here: And when you’re done and you’ve discovered what we already know (that this podcast is awesome), you can subscribe on iTunes,  Stitcher, or Google Play. You can also support the show on Patreon and follow Dave and Pop Culture Case Study on Twitter.  Follow @pccasestudy Featured Image: Columbia...

Netflix Hidden Gem #80: The White Helmets

  The White Helmets Director: Orlando Von Einsiedel Genre: Documentary Netflix Original Synopsis: A volunteer team of civilian first responders risk their lives in regime controlled Syria by running into the ruins of bombed buildings to save survivors. Overview: It feels simultaneously as if there is so much that needs to be said about The White Helmets but also that Orlando Von Einsiedel’s slimly-directed film says all that it needs to. In the past decade, since at least 2008’s Waltz With Bashir, socially conscious documentaries have been as artful and constructively complex as ever, but The White Helmets, while dealing...

Tony Scott: The Patron Saint of Selfless Artists

In a 2009 interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Tony Scott discussed his plans for his intended remake of the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, which included reshaping the story as a modern tale of rival Los Angeles gangs. The vision was expectedly simple, with“10 guys stuck at point B and they need to get back to point A.” In preparation for filming, Scott had started meeting with actual L.A. gangs (always the second guy, never the leader, he explained). It was an interest and approach seemingly mismatched, but oddly appealing given his history of only being predictable by his unpredictability and his reliable affection for his surprisingly human...