Every time one season ends and a new season begins, there is a tendency to compile a list of which upcoming films will probably be the best. This is fun to do, but the biggest flaw in doing so is that, in the end, it is tough to write about films that you have not seen.
In response to this, I decided to devise a more fun way to talk about what is coming out in the months ahead. Everybody knows that nobody comes up with more creative, albeit wrong, titles for movies than your grandparents. I did it in the winter, and I did it in the fall, and now I am going to try it out again. If I decided to take a trip down to Florida and survey everybody who was playing a game of shuffleboard, this is what they would say are the biggest movies coming out this fall:
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the series finale of The Sopranos. That is, if it hasn’t already been spoiled for you in the past 48 hours.
Yesterday, Martha P. Nochimson wrote a fantastic piece for Vox about Sopranos showrunner David Chase. If there is an award for articles on the Internet, I believe this article should receive it. It has a few brilliant interactive moments (mainly with its own cut to black), but most importantly, it cuts to the core of this great artist. It digs deep into his thoughts on art, and grazes his own mortality.
Unfortunately, you might not have known that from the headline “Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos?” as well as the ensuing media coverage which focuses solely on Chase’s one sentence response. After countless think pieces, angry tweets, and a response from Chase’s publicist, it is safe to say that what should have been a harmless article caused a firestorm. It caused a dormant volcano to erupt. The Sopranos ended in 2006, and nobody has gotten over it since.
Nowadays, the pervasive narrative is that film is dead and television is better. This statement is only half true. While television is better than ever before, cinema isn’t doing too badly, either.
Most of my film experiences this summer were nothing but pleasant. Besides anything Michael Bay had his name on, there were very few complaints to be had about the intelligence of Hollywood blockbusters (in retrospect, I even enjoyed Winter Solider). In the art house world, some directors were doing things with the form that nobody has done before. Well, that happened in the blockbuster world as well.
Film is in a transitional period. This was the summer of On Demand, where a lot of films were available on your TV set the same day they were playing in select theaters. While I still prefer a trip to the theater any chance I get, it was nice to have access to the sort of films that usually don’t expand nationwide. It is too bad this wasn’t around when I was a high schooler yearning for my hometown to be a hip, indie place.
Here are my top six films of summer 2014. I choose six because math is irrelevant to me:
My thoughts are about as predictable as most of the winners. In a year of excellent new shows, the common theme was to tread the same ground. However, that is not saying that some of those winners were not deserved.
Overall, with a great host and some memorable moments, the Emmys reminded me why TV is so great right now, and why film needs to catch up. However, many of the winners last night did not reflect the greatness of television right now. Hold the phone, you’re telling me that an award show is out of touch with what is popular and innovative right now? I don’t believe it.
Without further adieu, here are the highlights and lowlights of last night’s ceremony:
Here is a joke I just thought of: what’s the difference between religion and astrology? Religion has the potential to actually have an impact on the world.
Okay, so it’s not a great joke, but I hope you get the point I am trying to make.
Calvary, a parable or an allegory, whatever you want to call it, is a dark exploration on the failings of the church, with an extra serving of melancholy. It stars Irish national treasure Brendan Gleeson as Father James, a good priest who receives a death threat in the film’s opening minutes. In confession, the voice on the other side tells him that he will die in a few days time for the sins of other priests. This means everything from greed to pedophilia. Already, Calvary is making you think about the things you didn’t want to think about.
Don’t let the title fool you, The One I Love begins with a marriage in crisis.
The film opens with Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) in the midst of an intense session of couples therapy. The two of them realize that there marriage is failing because at this point, they are just trying to force love. And, as Phil Collins probably once said, you can’t force love.
It took me well over a year, but I was finally able to finish The Sopranos, a show in which I am only seven years late to. The Sopranos is truly a marvel of a show which lives up to all of the hype. What I never expected was how funny and philosophical a show about the New Jersey mafia could be.
While I wish I watched The Sopranos when it was actually on the air, seeing it years later is fascinating. First, I binge watched a show that was made before binge watching was even invented. Second, The Sopranos perfectly encapsulates the 2000s, and it is interesting to see how much the show shifted after 9/11. Third, my Sopranos experience felt akin to Boyhood: we get to grow up with these characters, and watch them change and mature on screen.
Here is a scattered collection of thoughts on The Sopranos (Note: Do not read this unless you have seen every f***ing Sopranos episode ever):
Pictured: Attractive celebrities/Middle East Ambassadors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz
It has happened to all of us before. One day, you’re waiting for your favorite celebrity’s new movie to come out. Then, suddenly, you find out that they are some sort of racist, homophobic, perverted alcoholic. They need to recover. And so do you.
Recently, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz (along with a slew of other Spanish celebrities) signed an open letter condemning Israel’s recent actions inGaza. While some agreed with the content of the letter, others thought that they placed an unfair amount of blame on Israel. Bardem and Cruz later clarified their thoughts on the issue.*
Recently, I was reminded of Mel Gibson’s decade old anti-Semitic rant when my dad told me that Mel Gibson movies were banned from our household. That’s a bummer, given that I was only 20 minutes into Lethal Weapon 2.
These two occurrences are just a few of many that have reminded me that lately, the views of some of my favorite celebrities do not necessarily line up with my own. Once I hear that any celebrity thinks differently than me, watching their work can sometimes feel odd. But I don’t want to give up on them just because of their political views or their crazy personal lives. There has to be a separation of art from the artist. This is a topic that we could debate about for hours.
I have decided to put together a list of questions, thoughts, and possible answers to this topic. Here is what you should or should not do once you find out that your favorite celebrity is a jerk:
Robin Williams’ death is still hitting me hard. I imagine it is still hurting everybody else as well. Over the past few days, it has sparked a much needed national conversation about depression and suicide. It has also reminded everybody of precisely what made this man such a genius, and why his loss is truly so devastating. He was talented in his work, and kind to everybody that he met.
In order to celebrate the life of Robin Williams just a little bit more, here are five essential film performances from him:
Robin Williams, both the funniest and most serious man alive, was found dead in his home today of an apparent suicide. He was 63. This sucks.
Going through Williams’ entire career is pointless, because there is just so much to pick apart. It seems like everybody is reacting to his death in the same way, yet remembering a different part of him. That is because Robin Williams did so much, and was known for so many things.