Film & TV

Sav Rodgers Pays Sweet Tribute to Director Kevin Smith With New Film

Ben Friedman

In a new video for Highbrow Magazine, contributing writer and film critic Ben Friedman discusses a poignant story of filmmaker Sav Rodgers and his new film, Chasing Chasing Amy, which pays fond tribute to acclaimed indie director Kevin Smith's film. Friedman discusses how Rodgers relates his own personal story, while documenting the important role Smith's film played in his own life -- in addition to featuring interviews with Smith and the film's stars.

‘Dumb Money’ Illustrates How Creatively Starved Movies Can Be

Ulises Duenas

If you were alive a few years ago, you might remember the time when GameStop was in the news and blowing up social media. If you don’t remember, don’t worry, because this movie will go over the whole thing in detail. You might be left wondering why anyone would bother making a film about something that is already well-documented, but if nothing else, this movie is a great indicator of how uncreative some writers have become.

‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3’ Fails to Capture Its Old Magic

Ulises Duenas

If the movie were to have one saving grace, it would be Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula. She’s the only one in the cast who is giving it her all, and her character stands out. She delivers most of the lines that are funny, and without her, the whole thing would be much more bland. What’s also strange is that the star, writer and director Vardalos’s performance is quite flat by comparison.

The 2023 Emmy Nominations Remind Us That Actors and Writers Are Essential

Ben Friedman

How serious are the ramifications of the strike? The effect of the 2007 WGA strikes (which lasted 100 days) led to the loss of 37,000 jobs and came at a $2.1 billion blow to the California economy. The strikes have caused serious disarray within the industry, and just in time for Emmy award season. Every year, Hollywood votes for what it deems as the gold standard of their television programming. Some may consider it a self-congratulatory affair, but at a time when streaming has become the norm, the amount of TV available for audiences is astronomical.

More of the Best Movies We Have Ever Seen

Forrest Hartman and Tara Taghizadeh

If you have never seen The Graduate, you can’t really call yourself a film buff. This astounding 1967 movie, directed by the late, great Mike Nichols, co-written by Buck Henry, and starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, took the world by storm when it was first released. The bizarre love triangle – boy has affair with married woman, then falls in love with her daughter – is riveting, and under Nichols’s direction, the blend of comedy and drama are interwoven perfectly.

Action Movie ‘King of Killers’ Reaches Farther Than It Can Grasp

Ulises Duenas

After Garan is sent to Tokyo to complete the job, he meets a group of killers who are there for the same reason. It’s revealed that they will be forced to compete to see who can kill the king of killers, the same man who hired them. While the concept is interesting, the lack of any interesting characters hurts the plot. By the time the movie hits the halfway point, it seems things have only started to get going.

The Best Movies We Have Ever Seen

Ulises Duenas, Ben Friedman, and Garrett Hartman

What is there left to say about Casablanca? It is a testament to performances mixed with a daring screenplay that resonates with audiences both during World War II and 80 years later. The love story between Rick and Ilsa is iconic in large part due to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s on-screen chemistry.  It is a story about love and loss, but to label it romantic would be a mischaracterization.

‘The Pod Generation’ Shows a Believable yet Boring Future for Pregnancies

Ulises Duenas

This movie’s vision of the near future is narrow yet realistic, with intrusive AI being intertwined with everyday life and the functions of the pregnancy pod being controlled through an app. A lot of movies that have near-future settings take place in New York, which is the easiest example of a modern city that is detached from nature and has a populace that is easily fooled into following trends. The drawback is that it’s hard to tell what life is like for those in the rest of the country.

Cinequest 2023 Features a Wide Array of Ambitious, Impressive Films

Ben Friedman

In failing to reach agreements with the striking guilds, Hollywood executives are essentially forced to promote movies without their A-list cast. The first signs of danger may present themselves this month – August -- with the Venice International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival beginning at the end of this month. In the meantime, film festivals such as the Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival offer a glimpse of what this upcoming season has in store for Hollywood, both professionally and creatively.

Some Kind of Abstraction: A Look at Unreliable Narrators in Movies

Garrett Hartman

Traditional storytelling relies on a coherent linear plot that ends with a satisfying conclusion -- ideally leaving no questions for the audience. However, the ambiguous storytelling offered by an unreliable narrator often leaves an audience with a lot more to think about, examine, and analyze.The execution of an unreliable narrator can vary; however, an unreliable narrator’s story is never trustworthy.

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