Jaime’s Film Diary: February 28, 2020

In order to continue keeping this site as active as possible while I have not been able to write as many full-length film reviews as I had planned initially, I figured that another solution would have come by in placing my Letterboxd entries starting from the week before here as a placeholder for eventual full-length reviews that are set to come by, if I were able to find the time to write another one. But as is, these are quick thoughts that I figure would be nice to keep afloat so that the site will remain active on a regular basis.

First-time viewings are noted as such. You can follow me on Letterboxd right here.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

The 91st Academy Awards: Comments and Concerns

It has been an absolutely astonishing year for the cinema. But for as amazing a year as 2018 had been, we’re also left with facing one of the most insulting awards seasons to have come by in recent memory. You’d think that given last year’s set of nominees they actually would have been growing progressively better, especially having given a film like Moonlight the top honour for the 2016 ceremony (and a well-deserved one at that), but after the Golden Globes came by, I was already worried that we’d already be in store for one of the absolute worst in recent memory. To think that the Oscars would already have gone far beyond that “popular film” award in order to try and raise their viewership, as if the ceremonies themselves haven’t already been stale enough (i.e. overlong montages praising the industry and shallow activism that amounts to nothing), who knew that we’d be in store for one that was so out of touch – particularly in last year’s amazingly bad timing (with it being only barely ahead of the Olympics rather than in February like they usually were)? As a supposed celebration for the cinema comes by within the year, there are many things here to be concerned about.

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Adam McKay’s Vice, or How My Hatred For Dick Cheney Only Grows Stronger: A Review

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When I hear the name “Dick Cheney,” the very reaction elicited from myself is one of intense hatred. But for as long as I’ve been alive, there’s no other United States president that I despise to that same level that I do George W. Bush. So before watching Vice, I was unsure about what exactly to expect out of how Adam McKay brought the story of his vice to the big screen. If one person were to make a film about one of the most despised recent American political figures, the last person I would ever expect to take on this story is Adam McKay had he not made The Big Short prior. Although McKay started off with comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers, there’s a very level of anger present in these recent films that seems to come from a very perspective that almost feels so underestimated because of McKay’s own background. But maybe that background ever feels so vital to describing what political debate has already boiled itself down to at this point, and McKay clearly isn’t happy about where any of it has gone by now.

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Finding a Sense of Comfort and Acceptance in Spike Jonze’s Her – A Review

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I have so many emotions running through my head right now, because this was perhaps what I needed most after having finished an entire year of college. It just felt so perfect for the moment because as soon as I finished, I felt a rush right through my head that was not like anything else that I had felt. After having gotten the chance to connect with so many other like-minded individuals that aren’t so far away, this final day almost feels like a blow – all of that has been taken away from me right on the spot. It feels like I have moved back into becoming the sort of person that I was always fearing I would be through my high school years once again, just a lonely, reclusive, sheltered person who had found the greatest joys one could ever feel through watching the movies for they have been my gateway to the world. Watching Her as I was about to enter this very moment almost felt like a bad idea because of what I still feel that I am not prepared for within my future. But if there were anything else that I would have wanted to say, I don’t know if I can be thankful enough that whenever I watch this movie, I always find myself in a state of comfort – one that I don’t know if I ever want to end.

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Justice League – Review

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My friend Noah Miles wrote in his Spider-Man: Homecoming review, “I don’t know if Jon Watts is a good director. I really don’t. It’s impossible to tell from this, although the direction here is probably the worst I’ve seen so far this year, because Marvel reshoots everything and rarely allows directors creative freedom to take risks and do something visually interesting.” It was the first thing that came into my head after having left Justice League, because from the many reshoots that came along since Zack Snyder left the production after the death of his daughter, you can really tell this isn’t so much of a Zack Snyder film. As a matter of fact, it seems more like the traces of a butchered plan that were haphazardly stitched together as a means of trying to appeal to the masses. The sad thing is, there’s barely enough about Justice League as it stands that truly works.

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2016: The Standouts

It’s inevitable that after a passing year one must go about with talking upon what they’ve witnessed while time had gone on and with 2016 gone, a great year of cinema has indeed passed upon us and we’re only hoping for even more with a new one. In this blog entry, what I wish to cover are some of the best and worst films that I caught all throughout 2016 as of February 25, 2017. Continue reading →

Nocturnal Animals – Review

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It’s frustrating enough when one of the films you anticipate most turns out to be an underwhelming treat. Fashion designer Tom Ford’s sophomore feature takes a different route from his brilliant debut, A Single Man, and now in a means of broadening his stroke he takes Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan and adapts it to the screen as Nocturnal Animals. I really hate being that person again but even though I know this has captured nothing but great admiration from fans of Ford’s previous effort but I ended up finding this to be such a disappointing follow-up. With so much that could so easily catch admiration even on my own end, it’s shocking how so little feels delivered.

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Arrival – Review

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There was a single point in Arrival to which I just had one simple thought running, one that struck my own face in awe – because what Denis Villeneuve has left behind hits as a modern day Solaris could. In a way, it hits beats that could remind one of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, maybe not in a direct manner with the sentimentality of said work but in a more grim approach which he had been employing from Prisoners onward. I had a good feeling that his own experimentation with atmosphere can lead only to the very best when I came out of watching Sicario, but with Arrival, Villeneuve has outdone himself. It may be early to call it, but I feel it is set to grow to become a defining work in 21st century science fiction cinema – maybe the best we have gotten since Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Review

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Somehow, Zack Snyder turned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into what it was that I wanted out of the drearily ugly Man of Steel, and the results are rather satisfying. Seeing how he’s willing to explore the potential that he had and turn it all into this, I’m only interested in seeing what more can Snyder do when he’s behind comic book films and seeing as I’ve not been all too impressed with his earlier offerings (Watchmen being a notable exception), I’m finding myself haven been proven wrong if he is indeed to direct more films where he shows his potential in the way he did with this. Continue reading →