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Showing posts from 2020

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. 

The 35 Best Films of 2019

2019 was a trying year. The movies have always reflected that state of the world, the state of ourselves. It's no wonder that some of the year's finest films ( A Hidden Life , Waves , One Child Nation ) deal with trauma through acts of forgiveness. This isn't a rah-rah moment for the world. We are hurting. But through these gestures of introspection and attempting to understand what could manifest such negativity in our lives, we become a new kind of strength. The cinema, once again, invigorates us. 35.  Atlantics  Directed by  Mati Diop   34.  The Two Popes  Directed by  Fernando Meirelles 33.  The Souvenir  Directed by  Joanna Hogg 32.  The Report  Directed by  Scott Z. Burns 31.  Pain and Glory  Directed by  Pedro Almodóvar 30.  High Flying Bird  Directed by  Steven Soderbergh 29.  American Factory  Directed by  Steven Bognar  and  Julia Reichert 28.  Little Women  Directed by  Greta Gerwig 27.  Toy Story 4  Directed by  Josh Cooley 26.  Diane  D