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Video Essay: Mare of EATStown

  Not since Brad Pitt 's performance as Billy Beane in Moneyball have I been this emotionally invested in what a character was always eating or drinking onscreen.  In HBO's Mare of Easttown , Kate Winslet plays Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan. (Winslet is brilliant in the role.) Like Billy Beane, Mare's approach and understanding of her immediate environment or dilemma is translated through what she's consuming; it's as if the food or drinks become company players in her stage drama. And it's not just food either; Mare vapes and smokes too. Anything she consumes becomes important in the moment. My ears are listening to the dialogue and my brain is processing the plot, but my eyes and salivary glands are licking up the drops of condensate beading down her bottles of Rolling Rock.  The foods become so integral to the Mare experience, to the unfurling of her character, that at one point she's even attacked by a full gallon of milk (it's thrown through
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Watch: "The Many Saints of Newark: A Joker Story"

  The teaser trailer for The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark dropped today and #FilmTwitter has been pointing out how Saints is also being marketed as another Joker -esque origin story (C ruella did the same thing earlier this year).  So I started the editing the two teaser trailers together and there definitely is some tonal overlap. Must be the hairdo. 

Watch: TOM & CHERRY (Mashup trailer of CHERRY and TOM & JERRY)

Two big movie releases are available for streaming this weekend: Tom & Jerry on HBO Max and the Tom Holland -starrer Cherry over at Apple TV+. I couldn't decide which want to watch so I spent my evening editing their trailers together.  This is TOM & CHERRY:

Watch: "Cruella Intentions" (Mashup trailer of "Cruella" and "Cruel Intentions")

The trailer for the new Disney live-action film Cruella dropped last week. While similarities between Cruella and  Joke r have already been highlighted , I thought about another twisted cinematic possibility: what if poor Cruella's traumatic roots could be blamed on Ryan Phillippe ? Picture the plot of the 1999 teen drama Cruel Intentions  but instead of Phillippe's character seducing an unsuspecting Reese Witherspoon  it turned out to be a young  Cruella de Vil ( Emma Stone )...who would eventually turn the tables on everyone and light this bitch up! Check out my mashup trailer,  Cruella Intentions !

Top 20 Films of 2020

For my previous list, I wrote that 2019 had been a "trying year." If I'd only known what 2020 had in store for everyone. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in so many ways. Including how we watch cinema. Films we would normally seek out on the big screen were first experienced on our living room TV screens. Does that change the value of the content? I don't think so. More so than ever, I found myself devouring cinema at a higher rate. I needed movies to keep me from sinking spiritually. And I'm grateful that they were accessible, albeit on my phone, tablet or TV.  The "cinema" lives on. Honorable mentions :  Corpus Christi , The Trip To Greece ,  Capone, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Let Him Go, Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, His House, A White, White Day, Young Ahmed, The Way Back, The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Invisible Man, Greyhound, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make B

Watch: "If Pride Rock Could Talk" (Mashup trailer of "The Lion King" and "If Beale Street Could Talk")

  When the news broke that Barry Jenkins was going to direct the sequel to The Lion King (2019) for Disney, I have to admit I was a bit blindsided. Jenkins, whose Moonlight won the Best Picture Oscar, was far from the studio hires I would expect from Disney. But then I started to look on the bright side for Barry: our guy is going to GET. PAID. And now that some weeks have passed, I'm starting to wonder what a Barry Jenkins-Disney-photo-realistic film would actually *feel* like. Jenkins, a filmmaker of such tenderness, is sure to inject his DNA into this studio tentpole film...but how?  I created this mashup trailer as a sort of vision board for The Lion King 2 .  Here is If Pride Rock Could Talk .

Watch: GOOD TIME BATMAN (Mashup trailer of GOOD TIME and THE BATMAN)

Robert Pattinson  certainly has pivoted his acting career in the most prolific and profound way. Who would've thought the guy from Twilight  would work with the likes of Cronenberg, Denis and Gray in just a handful of years? I thought Pattinson deserved an Oscar nomination for his high-octane performance in the Safdie Brothers' masterpiece Good Time . In fact, Good Time  was the first film reference that popped into my head while watching the new trailer for Matt Reeves ' The Batman (which Pattinson also stars in). There's a shot of his Bruce Wayne looking pensively near the edges of the screen at one point. That shot reminded me of Pattinson's character Connie in Good Time . Then my imagination took over and I wondered about a cinematic universe where maybe Connie was the estranged twin brother of Batman. And maybe Batman needed help. And maybe Connie was the only person who could go the extra mile. So I made GOOD TIME BATMAN.