All posts tagged: Film Critic

“Boyhood” – In Defense of My Dissenting Opinion

I’m very opinionated about what I like and dislike, but I’m also keenly aware that my opinion is simply that – an opinion. Just because I don’t like a film does not mean it’s objectively bad. Art is subjective. Filmmaking is art. There was a point after graduating from film school that I considered becoming a critic. Criticism of any medium creates a platform for individuals to examine and analyze media – a practice that I believe is an essential part of any thriving society. What we create, whether it is music, film, or literature, is a direct reflection of our culture. By examining creative forms of expression within our society, we are better suited to understand who we are as a people. Film criticism not only allows critics to respectfully discuss what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about a film or television show, but the practice provides the opportunity for all audience members to engage and critically evaluate media. After graduating from college I was (and still am) willing to give anything a shot, …

Roger Ebert: Movies, Life, and Empathy

Today I decided to read/re-read a few of Roger Ebert’s reviews and I was reminded just how brilliant a writer and thinker he was. As a critic he always stuck to his guns, a trait which I respect immensely. Ebert never seemed to be swayed by popular opinion, yet always welcomed a discussion. Above all his love for film is evident in every review he wrote, no matter how brash or complimentary. Here are a few quotes from Roger Ebert that I especially adore. Enjoy! “In my reviews, I feel it’s good to make it clear that I’m not proposing objective truth, but subjective reactions; a review should reflect the immediate experience.” “Movies that encourage empathy are more effective than those that objectify problems.” “By going to the movies, and because of other things too, going to college, making a wide variety of friends, moving around and traveling, I became a lot more open-minded than the heritage I was born into might have suggested.” “Every great film should seem new every time you see it.” “It …

All This Mayhem

Like many 10-year-old boys in the early years following Y2K, skateboarding got into my blood. Halcyon days spent outside sliding on curbs and flying off ramps were what awaited me and my friends after school. We all wanted to be the next Tony Hawk. The dream of two young Australian skateboarders, Tass and Ben Pappas, was to beat ‘Hawk’. All This Mayhem encapsulates the youthful ambitions of the infamous Pappas brothers, whose dreams of becoming the most iconic skateboarders in the world were torn asunder. When competing at the highest level, the brothers became disillusioned, alienated, and eventually exiled due to the corporate sponsored underworld of skateboarding, and a few youthful mistakes sprinkled in for good measure. Consequently, the audience is hurled with great alacrity into the cyclonic lives of the ill-fated brothers. Both invigorated by the possibilities of what the passion of their lives might bring about for them, their love of skateboarding is at first brimming with promise, but ultimately leads them to corners darker than comprehensible. The story descends into an adrenaline and drug-fueled …

Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’

Negative criticism is fun to write. It leaves us with an air of self-satisfaction, and from the safety our position accords, it allows us to poke fun at someone else’s vision; an opportunity we grasp at as critics. But to fall in love with a film is the greatest treasure offered by cinema. It’s the mesmerizing and enchanting feeling that leaves us spellbound and in awe, and is what drives us to continue to watch films. No such negative criticism should be embellished upon Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age drama, for it’s a peerless effort that stands alone. Boyhood follows the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age five to eighteen, where we live and breathe his experiences from boyhood through adolescence. We see him bicker often with his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), and join him right through his relatable teenage episodes that seem as real as the grooves in the palms of your hands. Filmed over twelve years, and lovingly sutured together, Richard Linklater’s vision transforms into reality. It’s almost as if we are offered snippets of Ellar Coltrane’s life …

Roger Ebert & ‘Life Itself’

I don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice. I particularly don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice and it’s about the most well known film critic in American history. So just heed my advice and go see Life Itself. Somehow, being the emotional individual that I am, I found myself teary eyed within the first 30 seconds. It’s truly a wonderful viewing experience. Go. If Life Itself isn’t playing at a theater near you, it’s now available on iTunes.

‘Jobs’ Disappoints, but Kutcher Doesn’t

This week I wrote a review of Jobs for Critics Associated. Read it here, or check out the original. Though unintentional, Jobs provided a number of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s ironic that a film about a well-known perfectionist can be so unbelievably far from perfect. Though against all odds, it seems Ashton Kutcher is not at fault for this week’s box office bomb. His performance as Steve Jobs is good, particularly in his physical recreation of the Apple tycoon, but it’s certainly not great. Problems with Jobs are abundant and obvious, specifically in regards to the writing. Basic conversations are cluttered with “Steve’s,” – each character throwing around the name as though it’s a form of product placement. The film’s dialogue would seem significantly less contrived if the actors only said the name in moments it was naturally necessary. Hearing “Hey Steve,” “Bye Steve,” and “Thanks Steve,” every few minutes or so forces the already poorly written dialogue to appear blatantly artificial. Jobs may leave you wondering: Is this a joke? Ultimately, the issues with Jobs lie in the writing …