Movies

Not Vanilla: Is the hype train harmful or helpful?

It’s hard to avoid hype. I’ve often been frustrated by movie hype, because I get scared that when I finally see the movie I’ll be let down.

‘Contagion’ sweeps all other pandemic movies

Right now, everybody’s watching “Contagion.”

‘Emma’ takes a novel viewpoint on a timeless story

What sets the 2020 adaptation of “Emma” (“Emma.” with a period at the end) apart from the others is the changes it allows itself. While “Emma.” is not an unfaithful adaptation, it does take calculated liberties.

‘Birds of Prey’ is Missing the Most Important Bird in their Flock

If you hadn’t guessed already, Harley Quinn has nothing to do with the birds. In fact, the most important bird — Barbara Gordon, also known as Oracle — is missing in this movie’s flock.

Horror and the Oscars: What are the Oscars scared of?

There are amazing developments and stories being incorporated into horror, and that should be recognized by the Oscars to protect its integrity.

Not Vanilla: Award Shows

Thinking more, I started to wonder why people like to watch award shows. Many of them are marketed as annual touchstones, but I increasingly question their validity.

‘The Lighthouse’ will make you question your sanity

Because of their strong performances, the personality clashes between Pattinson and Dafoe provide the film with some of its best scenes.

‘Cats’ convinced me of the power of friendship

But even if it’s not good in the traditional sense, the “Cats” movie  cannot be viewed in a traditional context. It must be viewed as an exercise in free-spirited, unabashed strangeness.

40 years later, ‘The Shining’ remains a paradigm of horror

The amalgamation of sound effects, long shots, masterclass framing, disturbing imagery, and the slow build of suspense creates a perfect horror movie.

The pan-religious appeal of Emmet Otter

May I suggest the Jim Henson-directed “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” for your not-quite-Christmassy-but-it’s-got-the-giving-spirit, made-for-television viewing pleasure?