Just a couple of days ago, one of those horrid riots in response to the murder of George Floyd happened right in my own city, in Bellevue, Washington. Protests called for police cars to control massive crowds, and looters took advantage of the protest to break the windows of stores and spray paint graffiti all over public property; such graffiti included, "AmeriKKKa," and "I Can't Breathe." I am in genuine fury that people would stoop this low. Though I can't comprehend the exact feeling of injustice that those who were there felt, as I'm not Black, nor have I ever had a bad experience with a police officer. But the state of our country right now has just gone from worse to much worse only a week. It's completely shameful that so many people across the world allow their skin color to define differences, and even decide who's a good person and who's not. It's an absolute tragedy that a frightening number of innocent Black folks got killed by the same people who are expected to protect them, and my heart goes out to the friends and families of those murdered. So I believe this is the perfect time to share with you ten movies about Blackness that I feel are genuinely worth your time, they can allow Black people to feel proud of themselves, and can help educate other ethnicities about Black culture.
Right now, it may feel like the entire world is falling apart; businesses are shutting down, we're being forced into our houses, the curve is going up, there's no more toilet paper, wearing face masks has become the new normal, our water supply is poisoned, our crops are burned, a plague has been delivered unto our houses.
In all my twenty-seven years of living, I've never seen anything as universally affecting as Covid-19, it's impacted every single little detail about the way people worldwide live, I can't even brush my teeth without being reminded of the pandemic!
I don't know about you, but this time has left me in periods of being sorely depressed, I've very often forgotten where my hope is, because in truth, that never went anywhere. That's why I want to share with you some strong inspiring films relevant to what's going on right now- ones you can put on your "quarantine watch list" and remember the hope we still have in this rotten, dying world.
But first, a few notes on some of these categories:
I considered the animated films for all the categories except for makeup and costume design, since there are technicians behind the editing, cinematography, and set design that deserve every bit as much recognition as those who work on live action films. So it's virtually free for all in everything.
I also consider all films that feature visual effects shots a chance in Best Visual Effects. I say that it should be the goal of any VFX artists to make the effects invisible, so that's what I've been judging this year.
I'm not following the same judgment as the Oscars, who like to judge based on technical achievement. While that's important to acknowledge to make sure the artistry of filmmaking continues to grow with its discoveries, my focus is on how the practical elements contribute to the film's unique needs, so you may find nominees in some of these categories you'd never expect to find in any other awards show lineup. I'm not saying I'm better than any of them, but rather this is my two cents on what's important in filmmaking.
Wow! Another year... and decade... over! These last two years have been very unpredictable for film, even if my personal life has been rather uneventful in contrast. There's been some surprises and expected flops from this year in film, and this decade as a whole has provided some major turning points in the way movies are approached and analyzed. It's also be a huge decade for me, as 2013 was when I wrote my first movie review on Gravity, and first started this blog in 2014. My, how it's grown! So looking at this year in film in particular, what stood out to me? Well, to get the negatives out of the way first, here's my 10 most miserable movie-going experiences of 2019:
Another year for movies has gone. If there's anything I can say about this year for movies is that this has probably been the most polarizing year we've had. With films such as Bright, mother! and Star Wars: The Last Jedi dividing audiences and critics, as well as audiences themselves, the artform of filmmaking is growing more and more subjective, nearly as hotheaded as the political arena. I myself have some opinions that polarize from other popular opinions, which I'll go through in this list of my favorites and least favorites of the year. Bear in mind, I haven't seen all the films this year, so you won't see The Emoji Movie in my worst list, and this is purely subjective. That is, I'm using this time to take off my critic's cap and judge each movie purely by how much I personally enjoyed it.
If you want to see what I pick for the objectively best of the year, you'll have to wait until it gets closer to Oscar Sunday, I'll post my own little awards show when it gets close. So for now, here's what stood out for me in the cinema this year! To make sure we end on a high note...
I’ve heard the reactions: “Your opinion on movies is very mean,” “Dang, Trevor! Vicious like always!” “Have you ever given a movie above a B?” “I loved this movie. You have bad taste in movies.” Especially over Twitter and Amazon, people despised my critiquing style:
So now, I want to take some time to defend myself if you think I’m too harsh in my assessments.
“That’s LA. They worship everything and they value nothing.“ Ironic how La La Land embraces exactly what it criticizes.
Damien Chazelle’s passion project has become perhaps the most definitive Hollywood movie in ages, expressing the very best of what moviegoing could possibly offer, as made for a new generation of artists and dreamers. Everybody has fallen in love with its atmosphere and music, from the critics to the Academy of Motion Pictures to the general public. I admittedly am one of those fans who adore La La Land‘s charm and musical score, although I still have to admit, underneath the dream-colored frosting, there lies a dangerous agenda by the cast and crew.
Just a disclaimer before I go through the list, there will be spoilers. So if you have not yet seen La La Land, please stop reading now.
Click here to read my original review.
Everybody has their own criteria that leads them to a conclusion as to what they thought of a certain movie, and for the most part, it would be as simple as, "I enjoyed it," or, "It was a pretty fun time," or, "I was so bored watching it!" In fact, this is how a lot of critics think when they give their consent about the movie they’re assigned to review. Instinct becomes their most reliable factor, usually playing it as, "I can’t find anything I disliked about it, so I give it four stars," or, "I disliked it, but there were a couple of things I liked, so I give it one star." It basically becomes a purely subjective sport where everybody plays their own set of cards as to what makes a good movie or a bad movie. Armond White has the reputation of being the worst movie critic, bashing on widely praised films like The Social Network but praising widely panned films like the Transformers series. Whereas Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were considered throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to be the top authorities on a film’s quality. Then there’s the internet, where no one can express their opinion on a movie without receiving 50 death threats.
What I want to change is the way people look at movie as not just entertainment, but art that expresses the historical values and issues in society. To do that, we need to take off our nostalgia goggles and look at a movie for what it is. Therefore, I took the liberty of putting this chart together that helps me to assess a film while I’m watching it, critiquing it from an objective standpoint that concerns its moral values.
We all know that the Man of Steel has remained perhaps the most famous superhero the world has ever known. But why is it that people across all generations feel such a drawing to a man in red tights? Why do people still want to flock right back to him even after his numerous cinematic failures? Why is his cape red?
If you have 15 minutes to spare, I would love for you to check out an essay I have written around a year ago while I was at Arizona State University. The class was called, "Signs of Aliens," and it was about surveying the way aliens are depicted in film. Superman was the focus of my final essay for the course, and it discussed the parallels between Kal-El and the popular cinematic label, "the alien messiah." I find myself to be awfully proud of how the essay turned out, as it got me an A+ in the course. I hope that you find this a valuable read, and I'll be seeing you at the premiere of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice!
False God- ScreenRant
Batman in Armor- ScreenRant
Clark Kent Drowning- BreitBart
Baby Superman- ListLand
Superman Returns- Meridian Magazine
The Man of Steel- The Shiznit