Film & TV

‘The Other Fellow’ Shows the Ordinary Lives of People Named James Bond

Ulises Duenas

As a boy, this man discovered Ian Fleming’s books about Bond’s fictitious escapades, and he created a fantasy in his head that the books were about his father who abandoned his family when he was a young boy. He convinced himself that if his father was still around, he would have taught him how to be exactly like James Bond, and so he molded his entire personality and lifestyle after the superspy.

Action Movies: Over-the-Top Spectacles or Misunderstood Meaningful Narratives?

Garrett Hartman

Critics and general audiences alike often view these films as over-the-top spectacles lacking meaningful storytelling. The action-packed focus of these films obviously detracts from narrative content; however, there seems to be a false perception that spectacle means the complete absence of worthwhile content. After all, we still learn about characters and how they develop during action sequences. For example, in “The Matrix’s” iconic scene where Neo dodges bullets in slow motion, we see Neo’s transformation from someone held to the mercy of the system to someone who has the will to defy it. 

Sundance 2023 Delivers an Aura of Studio Excitement and Powerful Films

Ben Friedman

Now following the success of CODA, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival became the topic of far greater anticipation. Given that Apple paid 25 million dollars for the rights to release CODA on its streaming service, film studios responded by bringing deep pockets to this year’s festival. Many of the festival’s popular entries such as Flora and Son and Fair Play sold as high as $20 million to Apple and Netflix, respectively.

Tom Hanks Shines in Formulaic but Delightful ‘A Man Called Otto’

Ben Friedman

A Man Called Otto achieves something so rare in Hollywood these days. It is a feel-good movie featuring a beloved Hollywood icon playing against type that plays to all ages and demographics. A Man Called Otto exists merely as an inconsequential, but delightful story about the power of friendship and family featuring a surprisingly touching message about kindness to all.

A Remote Religious Colony Sets the Scene for the Harrowing Drama ‘Women Talking’

Forrest Hartman

After a slow start, “Women Talking” falls into a rhythm that drags viewers through the dilemma, asking them to imagine themselves facing the choice. Do they stay, forgiving the men who violated them emotionally and physically, giving implicit approval to their actions by doing so? Or do they leave, uprooting themselves and (in some cases) their young children from the only existence they understand?

‘Blanquita’ Shows a Compelling Depiction of Victimhood

Ulises Duenas

Laura Lopez as Blanquita does a great job of portraying a character that has been through a life of trauma but does her best to fight through the difficulty of pursuing the case. She has strong resolve but does show weakness and doubt when things escalate and the danger rises. Alejandro Goic as Father Manuel also puts in a stellar performance as a priest who is tired of children’s suffering being swept under the rug. The film’s writing and direction go a long way in establishing a quiet, serious tone.

‘Living’ Depicts Bill Nighy in His Greatest Role – Oscars, Take Note

Ulises Duenas

There have been other movies in the past that explore a younger character’s reaction to their impending death, but this take is refreshing. Williams has had plenty of time to live a full life and has chosen to stay in the rut that’s been dug for him. The diagnosis is certainly sad news, but it doesn’t have the same tragic feeling as when a younger life in its prime is cut short. Williams’ quiet nature and dignity are the result of his long, uneventful life and seeing him become more of a free spirit is almost magical.

When It Comes to Gen-Z Appeal, Film Studio A24 Understands the Assignment

Ben Friedman

No film exemplifies these values better than this year’s Everything Everywhere All At Once. Starring Michelle Yeoh, the film follows a middle-aged woman running a laundromat who discovers the existence of a multiverse filled with thousands of versions of herself. It explores Asian-American identity and serves as a parable of the immigrant experience. Critically and commercially acclaimed, the film has proven an enormous success for A24 -- becoming the studio’s first film to gross over 100 million at the box office – and landing Golden Globe Awards for Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.

The Golden Globes Are Back….What Now?

Forrest Hartman

It's hard to pinpoint why we’re here, but it does seem the cachet surrounding awards shows has decreased. This is true despite the fact that shifting distribution models have, arguably, made film awards more relevant than ever to the average viewer. Historically, one of the complaints surrounding movie awards contenders was that some of the most noteworthy pictures got outsized attention before most Americans could even see them. This remains true with select pictures, but things have improved.

‘Babylon’ Shows the Ultimate Depravity of 1920s Hollywood

Ulises Duenas

The absurdity of the scenes is often complemented by the portrayal of the characters who are deeply flawed human beings, and only have showbusiness as an outlet. Each character’s arc shows how someone’s humanity will clash with the hungry beast that is Hollywood, and Manny’s transformation in particular illustrates this. He becomes Americanized and swallowed by the system as he falls in love with Hollywood and adopts its shallow norms, while his cultural identity is slowly eroded away. 

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