Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

Marvel Makes a Big Directing Decision, But Was It the Right One?

BodenFleck ExcerptSince the inception of the Cinematic Universe, Marvel has been hiring character-driven directors to ensure that its films are lead by its characters and not its plot. This trend was continued as Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck signed on to co-direct Captain Marvel. Neil Turitz evaluates Marvel’s decision in contrast with previous ones along with comparing this hire to many of DC’s hires.

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“The Dark Tower” and More Among This Summer’s Riskiest Movies

The Dark Tower ExcerptThe summer is when fortunes are made and lost, careers are built and destroyed, and audiences escape from the heat in a movie theater for a couple hours. With that in mind, here are five movies this summer that have especially large question marks beside them.

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Inside Marvel Studios, from “Ragnarok” Casting News to Comic-Con and Everything Fit to Print In Between

Inside Marvel StudiosWant updates on Black Panther? Thor: Ragnarok? Captain Marvel? Ant-Man and the Wasp? Spider-Man: Homecoming? Avengers: Infinity War? We’ve got you covered…

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From “A New Hope” to “The Last Jedi”: All the First “Star Wars” Trailers Ranked

star-wars-trailers-excerptThings have certainly changed since George Lucas dropped the very first trailer for A New Hope. That being said, here is a definitive ranking of all the first trailers of every Star Wars movie from Episode I to Episode VIII — including Rogue One.

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If You’re Going To Remake Something, Why Not Remake Something That Didn’t Work the First Time?

Escape From New York ExcerptWhy do studios insist on remaking films that were successful the first time? They most likely will not be as good as the original, which just leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Neil Turitz proposes that studios should try remaking films that that were great ideas but suffered from poor executions and give them the artisitc realization they deserved.

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Why Taika Waititi Is Destined to Save Thor — And Deliver One of the MCU’s Best Movies

Thor Ragnarok ExcerptWith New Zealand director Taika Waititi at the helm and heart, Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to not only be the best Marvel movie of 2017, but one of the best Marvel movies ever, and finally giving the Norse god the due he’s deserved since Kenneth Branagh’s film.

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The Continuing (and Relevant) Legacy of “The Fast and the Furious”

Fate of the Furious ExcerptEven with only having seen one film of The Fast and the Furious franchise, Neil Turitz has observed the power and legacy of these films and examines, from an outsider’s perspective, how and why they’ve done so well and what’s in their future.

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The Rules, They Always Be Changin’ — Academy Shakes Up Two Major Categories

OJ Made in America excerptThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed the rules to two major categories. Neil Turitz explains how these rule changes could greatly impact who gets nominated in the categories in the coming years.

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Could the Hiring of Aaron Sorkin Combat the Stigma Around Marvel and DC Movies?

Sorkin ExcerptWith Aaron Sorkin entering talks with both Marvel and DC despite having admittedly never read a comic book, Neil Turitz gives his take on how he envisions a Sorkin-written superhero movie to look and whether he thinks the Oscar-winning writer could enhance the quality of these films.

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How About Building the Film Before We Build the Universe?

power-rangers-excerptIt seems like every film today is one piece in the web of a massive franchise with expectations to turn into a full cinematic universe. Many it times it even seems like the films franchises are being greenlit before the first film is released. Neil Turitz takes a look at this phenomenon and asks why film is going in this direction.

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Why “Beauty and the Beast” and “Legion” Star Dan Stevens Is the Leading Man to Watch

Legion Dan Stevens ExcerptBetween the one-two punch of FX’s Legion and Disney’s juggernaut live-action Beauty and the Beast remake that just opened, British actor Dan Stevens is having a tremendous time of it. Look back on his career, however, and this sudden boom in both his career and the attention heaped onto him, is not much of a surprise.

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Netflix’s New Old Rating System and the End of Movie Criticism

Siskel and Ebert ExcerptNetflix has changed its star rating system to simply a thumbs up or thumbs down. Neil Turitz explains why this unfortunate change is the newest development in the suppression of the movie reviewer.

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Bill Condon’s Baroque-en Vision of “Beauty and the Beast”

beauty and the beast excerptThe reviews are in and while Beauty and the Beast is a charming adaptation, the deliciously ornate presentation highlights just where Bill Condon may have fallen short.

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Yet Another Memo to the Studios About the Movies They’re (Not) Making

atomic-blonde-excerptWomen enjoy going to the movies as much as anyone male does. And yet, studios refuse to acknowledge this, as well as the fact that movies targeted towards women tend to do very well at the box office. It would be nice if the concept of making cheaper, more inclusive films for a wider audience hungry for them wasn’t so alien, Neil Turitz argues, but this seems to be the sad current reality.

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Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine: An Appreciation

Wolverine 3

Logan was released in theaters on Friday thus ending the Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine. Neil Turitz evaluates Jackman’s legacy in the pantheon of great super hero characters and why Logan was the perfect ending to a great run.

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Marian, Queen Arthur, Thor, and the Continuing Rise of the Badass Female Hero

Xena ExcerptIn recent years there have been an increasing number of women playing the leads in action roles. Neil Turitz examines this upswing and say why we should expect to see even more of this in the future.

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Josh Gad to Play Disney’s First Gay Character in “Beauty and the Beast,” But Everything Hinges on What Comes Next

Josh Gad Beauty and the Beast ExcerptJosh Gad will play the first gay Disney character in the upcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast but the real test will be what comes next. It’s one thing to have an established, supporting character be identified as LGBTQ; it’s a completely different thing to have an original lead character identify as gay, bisexual, queer, or otherwise.

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With Two Big Wins in Two Months, Blumhouse and Horror Are Back (Or Are They?)

Get Out

Horror has been a genre on the decline but with two very successful horror films already out in 2017, Neil Turitz takes a look at horror’s future prospects and whether or not the success streak can continue.

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Lady Justice Looms Large as EEOC Gears Up for Potential Lawsuit Against Major Studios

Ava DuVernay ExcerptAfter an investigation, the EEOC is preparing for either a settlement or a lawsuit against major studios discriminating against female directors. This is a good thing because if diversity is not achieved or strived for naturally, then it must be demanded without hesitation.

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The Case For “Moonlight” in the Wake of the “La La Land” Ba-Ba-Backlash

moonlight-excerptEveryone seems to be suffering from La La Land fatigue, but it hasn’t necessarily paved the way for Moonlight to take the lead in the Oscar race because everyone is focused on turning their backs on the musical spectacular, so now is the better time than any to give the case of why Moonlight should win…and why it won’t.

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Things Just Ain’t What They Used to Be: Movies Studios from the 90s to Now

Glengarry Glen Ross 2

What is up with the lack of original content being produced these days? Neil Turitz takes us back to a time when not every movie was a sequel and looks at how we got to where we are.

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What Becomes of the Ousted Studio Head?

Lynton 3What do former studio heads do after they have been pushed out of their leadership roles? Neil Turitz analyzes the current state of studio execs careers and some potential moves to be made in the near future.

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Why oh Why Do Any Movies Come Out Super Bowl Weekend?

Lego BatmanSuper Bowl weekend always delivers a blow to the box office, with movies taking extreme falls from previous weekends. What’s the formula surrounding this time of year with movie releases and are there any movies that are immune to the damage inflicted by the Super Bowl? There just might be.

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Batfleck Returns, Or Not

Batman Ben Affleck ExcerptNeil Turitz discusses how Ben Affleck stepping down as the director of the upcoming Batman film impacts its potential, the DCEU at large, and Affleck’s career.

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The Academy’s Animation Conundrum

Kubo ExcerptIt’s time for animated films to be allowed onto the Oscar playing field and for bodies like the Academy, which are meant to recognize and award excellence in filmmaking, to give them more consideration beyond simply their designated Best Animated Feature category.

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The Influence of Chinese Money in Hollywood (Final Part)

hollywood china 1The conclusion in our four part series on Chinese investment in Hollywood addresses whether or not it is wise for Hollywood filmmakers to continue taking overseas money to finance their projects.

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The Internet Voices Their Theories on “Star Wars VIII” Title

star wars the last jedi excerptWe’re not even a month into the new year but we’ve already had calls for the trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII, not due out until this December. Yesterday, Disney and LucasFilms gave the public their first taste of what to expect with the official title: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Naturally, the internet exploded with excitement and theories on what the title could possibly mean.

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2017 Oscar Nominations: Top 10 Takeaways, from Diversity and “Deadpool” to the Terrible Treatment of Tom Hanks

Deadpool ExcerptThe Oscar nominations were unveiled Tuesday morning and things went pretty much as expected, with Lionsgate’s lovely musical La La Land leading the field with a record-tying 14 nominations. There were still some snubs and surprises, so here are the top 10 takeaways from the Academy’s big announcement.

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A Guide to the 2017 Razzies, from the DC Movie Universe to Robert De Niro’s Career Low

Batman v Superman ExcerptAwards season means two things — Oscars nominations for most of the fall films, and Razzie nominations for most of the summer movies. Sure enough, the nominees for the 37th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards were announced Monday, and it’s a doozy of a lineup, folks!

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Don’t Bet Against Megan Ellison’s Big Move Into Distribution With Annapurna

Ellison excerpt Megan Ellison has made a name for herself in film with multiple Oscar nominations and several prestige pictures coming out of her production house, Annapurna Pictures. What does Annapurna Pictures move towards becoming a full on distributor mean for the company, Ellison, and the types of films they are making?

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