The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen Brothers’ Western Anthology Hits and Misses, but Mostly Hits: Review

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The Coen brothers’s anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a portrait of the many sides of the west, but like any other anthology film there’s always that challenge coming by as to how can all stories ever remain so compelling. You can only get so much charm out of the sort of wit that’s typical of the Coen brothers, but where the film already finds some of its very best footing it also comes right in between some of the weaker portions of the film. That’s not to say I was never entertained by The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, but I had only ever found myself susceptible to dozing off because certain stories didn’t capture my interest as much as another one did. But knowing that the Coen brothers had initially intended this as a miniseries, with every segment representing another facet of the American west, maybe it’s also reflective of what one could also expect from how each story mixes together here. You’ll already know which stories you would want to stick with, just as you would which ones you’ll also find yourself caring less about – but there’s always something entertaining to come out from each story.

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General Thoughts: The 90th Academy Awards

One knows already how predictable the Academy Awards can become after the route of the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards among many more, but in the 90 years that we have seen them moving onward, what they had managed to turn forth was not only one of the strongest lineups in a while but also one of the most pleasantly surprising, knowing where their own habits lie. If there was anything else to be said about what the Academy Awards have in store for us this year, then it only makes this year’s ceremony – unlike the past few at least, worth looking forward to.

Bold indicates my vote for said category.
Underline indicates who I think will win.

To read more about the picks this year in the major categories, click “read more.” Continue reading →

The Disaster Artist – Review

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James Franco goes behind and in front of the camera to tell the story of the making of the infamous 2003 cult film The Room, often regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. But Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has enjoyed another reputation of its own because it’s already an enigma, it’s difficult to truly put together how it was even made because even the most skilled filmmaker couldn’t have been able to replicate its wonder. It was easy enough to be skeptical that a film about something of the sort would only be none other than a vanity project showing how well can Franco perform an imitation of such a unique entity, but through The Disaster Artist he also created a more empathetic and even cynical picture that goes beyond my expectations.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Review

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I’ve never exactly been a huge Planet of the Apes fan (I do really enjoy the original film, even though the rest never did much for me) yet coming out of the theater from Rise of the Planet of the Apes back when it came out was a thrilling experience. Years of not having seen it only left me feeling that perhaps I was far more impressionable considering how perfectly the original Planet of the Apes film had managed to stand the test of time, and yet as I watched Rupert Wyatt’s reboot of the franchise in Rise of the Planet of the Apes for my first time since then – so much of the joy that I remember having felt seems to have faded away. That’s not to say I dislike Rise of the Planet of the Apes because I still enjoy it well enough as it is, but considering what has only come forth within the future, it doesn’t feel as exciting as it was back in 2011.

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Spring Breakers – Review

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On some count this is arguably Harmony Korine’s most accessible film but it has also been divisive especially in regards to many misreadings and varying interpretations upon meaning by the general public. On my first watch, I didn’t expect particularly much because all I knew of it was that it was a different turn for teen star Selena Gomez and not too long prior to watching Spring Breakers as my first Harmony Korine, I was only washing away the bitter taste left in my mouth by Project X. Initially I went in expecting another sort of party comedy along those lines, where debauchery takes over the film’s running time – and I was proven wrong, but I didn’t get it then. I was merely fascinated by all the neon, although I suppose it’s a part of the point that Korine intended to get across.

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Sausage Party – Review

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A lot is to be expected out of a film like Sausage Party and there’s one extent to which it is certainly providing of what it promises and another to where, maybe it’s just a “been there, done that” moment. That said, I had a blast with Sausage Party and while it’s certainly something I didn’t expect myself to enjoy for it is quite juvenile for my own tastes, I’m not lying when I talk about how much fun I had watching it. My relationship with Seth Rogen’s work is rather interesting, as he’s an actor I have great respect for although his schtick is not something that has always appealed to my tastes. However, when he successfully appeals there, it is easy for myself to have a fun time. Continue reading →