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Watch: ALL OF VENOM: Mashup of “All of Me” and “Venom”

Venom, the latest Marvel (anti) superhero film, limps into theatres this weekend with an unimpressive 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, I'm sure that won't prevent it from making boo koo bucks at the box office. What I'm more interested in is how Venom will fit into the annals of film history -- because it does!

While this isn't my first Venom mashup video (see my The Venom Drop teaser trailer), I do think that my new mashup, All Of Venom, really speaks to what Venom ultimately will be remembered for: Tom Hardy's committed physical performance and how it plays as a companion piece to the 1984 romantic fantasy comedy All of Me starring (Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin). In Venom, Hardy's character Eddie Brock gets possessed by an alien symbiote and must learn to share his host body with said being. In All of Me, Martin's character gets possessed by the soul of the recently deceased Edwina Cutwater (Tomlin) and -- yup, you guessed it -- must learn to share his ho…
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#InformedImages: “Heat,” “The Dark Knight,” “Cliffhanger” and “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”

#InformedImages is a Free Cinema Now series that studies and brings to light influential films and other examples of moving images that informed and inspired specific visuals in later works.

Christopher McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a triumph for the M:I franchise. Not only is it a superior sequel in the series, it's the best of the films since the original M:I entry (directed by Brian De Palma). Watching Fallout in theatres this past summer was one of the most exciting screening experiences I've had in a very long time. Each action sequence delivers the thrills and each is exceptional in their own right (from an electric HALO jump sequence to a bloody bathroom brawl in a nightclub).

Since Fallout is an important achievement in the action film canon, it is just as important to understand why this film rises above most other action films. A big part of that achievement, of course, comes from the writing, directing, editing, music and the amazing conviction tha…

Watch: "Surveillance & Police States in Night of the Living Dead"

One of the enduring traits of the video essay genre is its invitation to revisit films that -- in all other instances -- have been exhaustively talked about, studied or celebrated and still be able to find new enlightenment in them. Caleb Hutchinson's video essay Surveillance & Police States in Night of the Living Dead covers some big ideas (political upheaval, societal unrest and ecosystems, etc.) within its modest three-minute running time. Hutchinson is working on a parallel of plane of thought to George Romero's iconic Night of the Living Dead and it's fitting that both Romero and Hutchinson subtly instigate so much (inside the viewer) with so little (as far as production resources go).

Enough from me. Go ahead and watch for yourself.

#FreeCinemaNow Moves From Chicago To Los Angeles

Some personal news here. For those who don't follow me on social media: I recently made the move from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California in early April. The move was spurred by a new daytime television job with CBS, following my previous three seasons with NBCUniversal and Endemol Shine North America. That is why this site hasn't had any new content since late March. As you can imagine, it's been a very busy -- and sometimes stressful -- transition but it's all for a bigger purpose. 
Now that I'm a little more settled into Hollywood, my plan is to continue creating both written and moving image content for this site (especially for my #InformedImages video essay series). I also plan to take my DIY Chicago video art aestheticism and embed it into the scene here in Los Angeles. I think it's time to bring that street flavor to west coast...
Anyways, that's it for now. More soon!
NC
Note: that image at the top is from one of the great Los Angeles-set …

Mashup Trailer: Sweet Baadassss Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Last year's Roman J. Israel, Esq., starring legendary screen actor Denzel Washington, was one of 2017's significant cinematic disappointments. Considering director Dan Gilroy's impressive directorial debut Nightcrawler (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed), Roman was more than just textbook "sophomore slump" material, it was a perplexing exercise that kept viewers asking themselves, "What am I watching?" and "What were the filmmakers thinking?"

Roman told the story (I guess) of an idealistic lawyer (Washington) who gets in over his head once he takes over a hostile criminal case from his late mentor and boss...but already I'm making the film sound much more interesting and exciting than it really is. Colin Farrell co-stars as a hot shot attorney and marginal friend to our protagonist but he's underused in the role. As I reflected on the dud that this movie is, not the mention how it unbelievably scored Washington a Best Actor Oscar …

Watch: "All That Jedi" injects "Star Wars" with some Bob Fosse dazzle

Luke Skywalker needs his alien milk just like Joe Gideon needs his Dexedrine. At least that's how I like to imagine things in the movie universe playing out in my head. It's no secret that I thought Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi had a lot of problems, and in the months since first watching it my disappointment in writer/director Rian Johnson's film has only grown. As a result, I began creating a mashup in my head, inspired by some of the ludicrous imagery in The Last Jedi (e.g. Rey snapping her fingers to some interpretative dance choreography in front of a mirror...in a cave) to think of how this latest installment would play out in the late Bob Fosse's universe of divine decadence.

Fosse, the celebrated theatre director and Oscar-winning filmmaker, was a consummate creator, always searching for the internal intersection of passion and pain. The (anti)hero of his best film All That Jazz is Joe Gideon, the drug-addled, sleepless and charismatic director/chor…

Watch: Errol Morris' 1991 Documentary on Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time"

Yesterday we learned that the brilliant and world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. In the early 1960s,  Hawking developed an early form of motor neurone disease, debilitating and paralyzing him throughout the decades. However, he did not let such a devastating physical disability stop him from becoming a truly iconic figure, thinker and leader in the sciences, and in specific, cosmology.

Hawking's built a legacy of scientific works, breakthroughs and publications throughout his academic career but it was his best selling book "A Brief History of Time" that caught the eye of acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Oscar winner for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara). Morris' doc A Brief History of Time looks at the impressive life and work of Hawking, told in the signature way that only Morris can, all scored to a soundtrack composed by Philip Glass. While the film is available on Blu-r…