Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

Can We Please Stop Overusing the Word “Masterpiece”? (Opinion)

MasterpieceCollageWhen every movie can only be the “best” or “worst” and there’s no in-between, it signifies a broken critical system that ignores the sad fact that there’s more mediocre than anything else.

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Career Therapist: Will Nicolas Cage Ever Be an A-List Star Again?

nicolasCageCareerTherapist1The Oscar-nominated superstar hasn’t made a studio film since 2013’s animated The Croods, so is there a way for Cage to climb his way back to the top of the ladder?

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As “Black Panther” Hits Theaters, We Revisit the Case of James Gunn Vs. Jodie Foster

James Gunn Jodie Foster Black Panther“If we’re using Jodie Foster’s metaphor, and Black Panther is part of the theme park that Hollywood has become, then it’s one of the best rides — the kind that leaves you wanting more,” writes Neil Turitz.

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“The Boy Downstairs” Filmmaker Sophie Brooks on the Relationship Dramedy (Interview)

BoyDownstairs1The indie rom-com stars Zosia Mamet (HBO’s Girls) as a young woman who moves back to New York and inadvertently rents an apartment in the same building as her ex-boyfriend.

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Sony’s New Deal With Wizard World Demonstrates How Studios Continue to Overvalue IP

Sony Wizard World“It’s not the most ridiculous idea that Sony would go looking for more comic book IP, but the way it’s going about it is what feels so misguided, and until someone explains to me the value of an IP that has no popular recognition, I will continue to be baffled,” writes Neil Turitz.

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14 Movies to Remind You Love is Dead This Valentine’s Day

ValentinesExcerpt Sorry, but you won’t find any uplifting romance films on this list. For those who prefer to sulk this Valentine’s Day, here are 14 films that will make you happy to be single.

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Celebrate the Romanticism of Friendship with These Films on Valentine’s Day

sisterhood of the traveling pants“There’s a kind of love you share with your best friend(s) that’s not quite romance but is a deeper connection than you have with anyone else. It’s a sort of romantic love where you’d rather be with this person than anyone else. Something that’s not nearly celebrated enough, but should be,” writes Sabrina Cognata.

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Reviewing the 2018 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

OscarAnimatedShortsOur first series of brief reviews of the Oscar-nominated shorts currently playing in 200 theaters across the country before Oscar night on March 4.

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Is Netflix Hollywood’s Great Savior or Is It Trying to Change Things Too Swiftly to Succeed?

brightHaving more immediate success with its Emmy-winning television series, many in their third, fourth and fifth seasons, will Netflix’s decision to release so much content on a weekly basis end up hurting the brand?

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With One Filmmaker Attacking Another, We Have to Ask: When Does Influence Become Theft?

shape of water“According to the [Jean-Pierre Jeunet], Guillermo Del Toro’s brilliant tour de force that is The Shape of Water — my favorite film this year and, it would appear, the prime Oscar frontrunner — contains a blatant rip-off of Jeunet’s work, and it’s all trés scandaleux,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Alex Ross Perry on “Golden Exits,” “Nostalgia,” “Christopher Robin” and Reuniting with Elisabeth Moss (Interview)

GoldenExitsNostalgiaThe filmmaker behind Listen Up, Phillip and Queen of Earth returns with his fifth feature as director and two upcoming films as a screenwriter.

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An Appreciation of John Mahoney, America’s Dad

John Mahoney TrilogyBetween his fatherly roles on Frasier and in Say Anything…, the beloved character actor was a true heavyweight even though he never played one himself, writes Neil Turitz.

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101 Women and People of Color Who Could Write, Direct “Star Wars”

ava duvernayHere are 101 female and POC directors that Lucasfilm should love to work with and start whittling through to bring the diversity to the directors’ chair and, with them, the stories they want to tell.

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“Spice World”: A Look Back at the Iconic Feminist Film

spice girls 2Sabrina Cognata takes a look back at the film, starring the mascots for feminism in the late 90’s, and finds a film that may actually have been more accepting of women’s flaws than films today.

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20 Movie Trailers We Want to See During the Super Bowl, From “Solo” to “The Predator”

SuperBowlExcerptRegardless of whether Paramount or Netflix releases the film, Super Bowl Sunday would be a great time to get our first look at the hush-hush new Cloverfield movie, wouldn’t you agree?

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Sundance: “The Sessions” Filmmaker Ben Lewin on “The Catcher Was a Spy,” “Please Stand By” (Interview)

CatcherPleaseStandByThe Australian filmmaker returns with two very different movies, one a period spy-thriller starring Paul Rudd as Moe Berg, the other a more contemporary dramedy starring Dakota Fanning. The latter is now in theaters and On Demand.

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A Latino Boycott and Protest for Academy Season Is Only the Beginning

guillermo del toro“An industry that is struggling to survive needs to start embracing multiculturalism the way it’s now attempting to embrace gender equality,” writes Neil Turitz.

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David Wain and Producers Peter Pricipato, Jonathan Stern on “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” (Interview)

DavidWainFutileStupidGesture2The Netflix movie tells the story of National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney (Will Forte), following the success of the magazine and how that transitioned into making movies like Animal House.

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Should Oscar Voters Have Separated Art from the Artist?

disaster artist“I am all for the #MeToo movement, and firmly believe that it’s long overdue, but when the awards that are supposed to be about the films and the artists who make them instead become about other things entirely, then we’re losing something in the process,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Lionsgate Is In Play, But Who Are the Potential Buyers?

lionsgate“The three big companies being bandied about are the reconstituted CBS-Viacom, Verizon, and Amazon. Each has its pros and cons, but to me, only one of them is truly the right fit. So let’s take a look at each and examine why they are or are not Cinderella’s slipper,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Sundance: Female Leads Struggle with Mid-Life Crises in Trio of Sundance Premieres

GyllenhaalByrneMulliganMaggie Gyllenhaal, Rose Byrne and Carey Mulligan drive The Kindergarten Teacher, Juliet, Naked and Paul Dano’s Wildlife to very different places.

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Since When is Consent in Film Unsexy?

love and basketball“When people say #MeToo movement threatens ‘Sexy Hollywood Movies’ it really threatens the broad spectrum of what sexy can be,” writes Sabrina Cognata.

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“Mom and Dad” Director Brian Taylor on His Unconventional Thriller Starring Nicolas Cage and That Fabled “Twisted Metal” Movie (Interview)

MomDadFeature2The co-creator of Crank and a director on the popular new Syfy show Happy! tells us what it takes to put together a movie with a premise that’s not the easiest to finance. Plus getting the most “crazy Nick” out of Nicolas Cage after working together on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

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“Jumanji” Is The Best Video Game Movie Not Actually Based on One…  So When Will Sony Announce Its Sequel Already?

ToomachJumanji4A few somewhat scattered thoughts on the box office blockbuster that somehow cracked the code for making a movie that appeals to gamers without having a real video game as its basis.

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“Saturday Night Fever”: A Problematic Classic in Film History

saturday night feverSaturday Night Fever celebrated its 40th anniversary last month and while the film is considered iconic, it’s storyline may be much more problematic than viewers may recall. Sabrina Cognata takes a look at the movie that made John Travolta a star and its darker, cultural impact.

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“The Polka King” Directors Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky on How Jack Black Created His Outlandish Real-Life Character (Interview)

PolkaKing1Black plays bandleader Jan Dewan, the “Polka King of Pennsylvania,” who conned his fans out of millions of dollars before being arrested for creating a Ponzi scheme. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

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“The Commuter” Director Jaume Collet-Serra on the Complexities of his Fourth Liam Neeson Thriller (Interview)

commutercolletserra1How their earlier thriller Non-Stop led to them making another transportation thriller, and why Disney’s Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson is actually very different from Jumanji.

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How Netflix’s Big, “Bright” Move Changes Everything, For Better or Worse

Bright Netflix“As many new subscribers might have signed up for Netflix to watch Bright, and who might now stick around and become paying customers, more money would be made by putting its sequel into theaters either as part of a day-and-date release, or three works before releasing it on the streaming service,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Have we Learned Our Lesson Yet About Making Sequels Past Their Prime?

SequelsPastPrimeIn the past couple years, making sequels years even decades after their popular predecessors has proven to be folly for anyone involved. And yet, 2018 offers more than a couple sequels being released an insanely long time after the original movies.

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The Curious Case of the Slender Man and Studios Profiting From Real-Life Tragedies

Slender Man Movie“There is a case to be made that movie studios should be decried for trying to profit off of real-life tragedies, but movies and television shows based on devastating true events have been a mainstay of pop culture for 100 years. You wouldn’t tell Steven Spielberg not to make Schindler’s List, or Paul Greengrass not to make United 93, would you?

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