It’s finally over, the Skywalker saga that began in 1977 with George Lucas’s Star Wars (or otherwise known as A New Hope), has finally ended with J. J. Abrams returning behind the camera to bring forth The Rise of Skywalker. One would already find themselves wondering where could the saga have gone following Rian Johnson’s radical approach to the series with The Last Jedi, which had divided many fans for betraying their image of the characters or the approach after having been reintroduced to them in The Force Awakens. In an attempt to hand the series back to those fans following the reception of The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker concludes this long saga on a sour note.
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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 →
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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The end of an era has come upon us with Logan, James Mangold’s second film for the X-Men series to star Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine together with the final intended performance from Jackman in the role. I’ve grown up watching the X-Men films but now a heartbreaking end must come for a character whom I’ve grown up watching all the years and with the Wolverine standalone films not particularly being above average (X-Men Origins: Wolverine being rather dire), it’s only pleasing to see that Logan was as wonderful as it was but at the same time, it packs the emotional gut punch not only supported by knowledge this is going to be Jackman’s final appearance, rather instead from the journey we’ve taken and how far we’ve gone.
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It’s nice to see a film that plays with the usual Hollywood tropes yet at the same time expose something rather truthful about the way the system works, and suddenly the in-joke being presented hits you. Robert Altman, a director who always was searching for a manner to go against the norms amidst the studio influence gives a clear picture of what harm it does to the most valuable thing behind what forms what we come to view; the visions. Amazingly, The Player chooses never to head into the territory where it would highly offend anyone working within the business, but there’s a uniqueness to the satire we’re finding here that just allows it to stand out from other films that poke fun at the system, especially with what it hides under. Continue reading →