Category: Movies

Reel Life Oscar Challenge: 2001

Michael, Lars, and Kathleen watch the Best Picture nominees of 2001 and discuss Russell Crowe’s hallucinations, Baz Luhrmann’s glitter fetish, the beauty of Middle-Earth, and William Mapother’s sweet bleached hair. The films discussed are:

-A Beautiful Mind (2:06)
-Gosford Park (17:02)
-In the Bedroom (26:59)
-The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (41:07)
-Moulin Rouge! (51:37)

Reel Life Oscar Challenge: 2000

Despite the best efforts of a pesky cat, Michael, Lars and Kathleen ring in the second season of the Reel Life Oscar Challenge by talking the Best Picture nominees of 2000. The films discussed are:

-Chocolat (2:27)
-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (12:56)
-Erin Brockovich (22:57)
-Gladiator (30:43)
-Traffic (43:33)

The Postrider’s 2019 Oscars Preview

(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

They haven’t aired yet, but the 91st Academy Awards are already a huge mess. Last year’s ceremony pulled the smallest audience ever, prompting ABC to press the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make changes to the broadcast in order to attract more viewers, which, in turn, precipitated some of the worst ideas in the organization’s history. It all started with the Achievement in Popular Film award, which followed the logic that people would tune in if they knew a movie like Black Panther or Mission Impossible: Fallout was guaranteed a nomination for something. That proposal was skimpy on the details and, more importantly, hated by everyone from audience members to Academy voters, forcing AMPAS to “postpone” establishing the category until a later date. Then came the search for a host for the show, which started out bad enough when it became clear that nobody wanted the gig, and somehow got even worse when Kevin Hart, the man hired for the job, decided to step down from his duties rather than refuse to apologize for a string of homophobic tweets he wrote almost a decade ago. The tradition of having last year’s acting winners give out this years acting awards was eschewed to get bigger names on the stage, until it wasn’t. The plan to shorten the ceremony by adding a hard three hour time limit and relegate the presentation of the Cinematography, Editing, Hair and Makeup, and Live Action Short Awards to occur during commercial breaks was met with open revolt from the Academy ranks, and ultimately went the way of all of the other plans.

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Rockism and Poptimism in A Star Is Born

(Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

A Star is Born opens with Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine, a drunk and ragged rock star who sells out arenas, discovering Lady Gaga’s Ally as she sings “La Vie en Rose” in a drag bar. After being dragged backstage by Ally’s enthusiastic friend, he takes a particular interest in Ally’s eyebrows, asking if they’re real (they’re not) and then offers to peel them off, revealing the first bits of the “real” Ally.

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Venom is an Entertaining Misfire that Reminds Us of the Absurdity of Comic Books

(Photo Credit: Sony Pictures)

A few days ago, the first bits of “footage”(if you could call it that) from the Todd Phillips-directed, Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker movie were shared on Twitter. It was the first bit of proof that what feels like a terrible idea — a solo Joker movie that’ll be released into a world that will also be getting a Joker and Harley Quinn movie starring Jared Leto and Margot Robbie in the not too distant future — was actually coming to fruition. Before I saw that seconds long teaser, it was very easy for to me cover my ears and eyes and pretend like this thing that could only exist in 2018, in the midst of what feels like a near-permanent boom in comic book films, was something that was bound to languish in development hell like a million other bad ideas. But you know what? That little bit of footage of Phoenix looking weird as hell convinced me that a good solo Joker movie could be made. The Joker is a Batman villain, sure but his fungible origin — basically, a failed comedian tries to rob a chemical plant but gets pushed into a toxic vat by Batman, permanently changing his hair, skin, and lip color and making him go insane — could make for a compelling script. I know Martin Scorsese isn’t attached to the project anymore, but it’s not hard to see The Joker as the main character in a Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy-style movie where we follow his descent into madness and the unspeakable acts he commits along the way. For all of his over saturation, The Joker can still be a compelling character in the right hands, even when he isn’t acting as Batman’s foil.

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Mankind’s Greatest Moment, As Told Through First Man

It was the greatest moment in mankind’s history, better than any one person, better than what we thought we could be; a moment that froze the world in awe and inspiration. It was a moment marred neither by war nor by simply succeeding to do the right thing after fighting too hard or too long for what should have been obvious. It emphasized only the best of what humanity can do in terms of collaboration, integrity, and innovation; and nothing has ever surpassed it. This moment is when mankind set foot on the Moon.

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