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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Rising from the Shallow, A Star is Born is a Triumph: TIFF Review

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A Star is Born is a story that has already been remade twice prior to this, with the first remake starring Judy Garland being seen as the definitive version of the story – and it’s also one that has stayed with us in our memories for many years since. But because it’s also a story that became representative of what it feels like to go ahead and put your name out in the entertainment industry for oneself to take note of, we’ve already familiarized ourselves with it so much and for good reason at that. So with a newer take on the story being set once again around the world of music after the Barbra Streisand version, what would first-time director Bradley Cooper bring out with him and Lady Gaga playing the leads? To say the very least, the results also turned out to be so much more than what one could hope for – even myself at that. As far as the remakes of A Star is Born have gone, this truly is the best take since the Judy Garland version.

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The Big Lebowski: The Dude Abides Twenty Years Later

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It’s hard to pinpoint where the brilliance of the films of the Coen brothers can ever find itself limited because even their weaker films still carry enough of a bite to prevent the experience from being wholly unrewarding. But in these early films they seem to be developing their cynicism all the more and how exactly does it manage to add up to create an endlessly rewatchable ride? First off, you only need The Dude, a soiled rug, and bowling to create the perfect template for a drug-induced neo-noir that only provides more laughs the longer it goes on. It takes only as much as an attitude to make The Big Lebowski one of the Coen brothers’ most distinctive features but at the same time it also proves itself to be their most entertaining movie with such ease. It’s their most entertaining movie because of how well it manages to stick inside of your memory, because it keeps to the attitude and never lets go for as it did say in its own words, “The Dude abides.”

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