Skip to main content

Posts

The Ten Best TV Shows of 2018

Top Ten Television Shows of 2018
10. Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)I wasn't planning on watching Escape at Dannemora, but I'm glad I did. We already knew that Ben Stiller was talented at directing more than just comedy (yes, I'm standing up for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and he certainly delivers with this 7+ hour miniseries about a 2015 prison break. The pace is deliberate, slow, and it's exactly what this kind of material needs. It features great performances by Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano as the inmates who escape and an unrecognizable Patricia Arquette as the woman who helps them.  9. Love Island (ITV2 in the UK, Hulu in the US)Reality shows rarely make my top ten list, but when one becomes as much of an international sensation as Love Island, my interest is piqued. The fourth series of the British dating competition show managed to do just that by being an utterly insane exaggeration of every dating trope there is. Trash TV at its finest! 8. The Kids Are Alr…
Recent posts

The Ten Best films of 2018

Top Ten Films of 2018
10. Mission: Impossible - FalloutAction movies aren't really my thing. But I do like the Mission: Impossible franchise, and despite the fourth and fifth installment's veer toward the generic, the sixth one has emerged as a serious contender for the best M:I movie yet. The action sequences are genuinely, the script is smart, and the direction feels alive. Tom Cruise, of course, anchors the film, but it also has good moments for Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, Angela Basset, and soon-to-be-major-movie-star Vanessa Kirby.  9. TullyThe first of two Mary Poppins stories featured on this list, Tully has direction by Jason Reitman, a script by Diablo Cody, and a star in Charlize Theron (the three of whom proved to be excellent collaborators with 2011's Young Adult). A sober examination of motherhood, Tully is both charming and a little mean. But really it's a revealing fable about the passage of time.  8. The MuleClint Eastwood directed two mov…

Ranking Every Version of "A Star is Born"

Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star is Born just hit theatres, so I thought it would be a good time to share how I'd rank the many different versions of this story. The story is rooted in a somewhat cynical idea that for every star that is born, one has to die. But perhaps why Hollywood likes it enough to remake it three times is that the older star helps the newer star's career, and that in the end, the newer star pays tribute to the older star by taking his name. It's a story about Hollywood whose darkness is masked as romantic melodrama. With that in my mind, here's my ranking:

NOTE: I did not include What Price Hollywood?, a 1932 film starring Constance Bennett with a very similar premise because it is not credited as official source material on any version. It's pretty good though and definitely worth checking out - it's currently available to stream on FimStruck, as are the '37, '54, and '76 A Star is Borns.

4. A Star is Born (1976) The only ve…

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Shine in "A Star is Born": Review

Film Review: A Star is BornThis is what Hollywood does best. A timeless story told with big emotions and big drama. Bradley Cooper's new version of A Star is Born is everything I hoped it would be. It is, without question, one of the very best movies of the year.

The original 1937 version starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, and was previously remade in 1954 starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The 2018 version has Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directs. The story is that a star battling alcoholism meets a young ingenue and their romance develops as her star rises and his star fades. The version this one shares the most DNA with is '76 (though this one is much better), as it retains that movie's innovation of switching the setting to the music industry rather than the movie industry. It also directly lifts the scene from '76 where the female character puts makeup on the male character while in …