Category Archives: Thought

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Thought – 2021 Oscar Update

Category : Thought

Almost three months ago I posted a list of 30 potential Best Picture Oscar contenders, plus a list of snubbed films that deserved consideration.  Since then, I’ve updated the list with reviews as I’ve seen the movies, including any personal favorites that hadn’t previously made the list.  As the Academy Awards draw closer, let’s take a look at an updated watchlist, a list that has taken into consideration those undervalued films that have risen up the ranks and those over-hyped movies that have taken a tumble.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Nomadland
  2. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  3. Minari
  4. Promising Young Woman
  5. One Night in Miami
  6. News of the World
  7. Sound of Metal
  8. Judas and the Black Messiah
  9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  10. The Father
  11. Mank
  12. Da 5 Bloods
  13. Soul
  14. First Cow
  15. The Mauritanian
  16. On the Rocks
  17. Malcolm & Marie
  18. Another Round
  19. Hillbilly Elegy
  20. Palm Springs

Snubbed: The Devil All the Time, Pieces of a Woman, Onward, The Platform, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Gentlemen, Underwater, The Way Back, Eurovision, Extraction, Yes God Yes, Ammonite, The Midnight Sky.

 


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Thought – Trump vs. Democracy

Category : Thought

An ill-advised gathering of clownish MAGA morons who temporarily forced a pause in the electoral process is the perfect metaphor for Trumpism, and how its flash in the pan may have seemed destructive, but it did not permanently destroy anything.  It feels like a lifetime ago, but Trump’s specific movement isn’t very old, it’s new and dumb and violent and unpredictable, an unstable organism that we don’t fully understand.  Perhaps that’s why it was able to take control so quickly and so fully; we simply didn’t see it coming.  We should have, though; Republicans have been marching toward this point since the Bush Era, using fear and ignorance as weapons once they realized how potent those element were, and how easy they were to control.  So we watched the death of Reagan Republicans, witnessed the rise of the Tea Party, and then were introduced to Trumpism, a new version of the same blind racism and voluntary insanity that has haunted this country since its foundation, but perhaps had never found quite the modern, mainstream foothold that Trump and his cronies offered.

The good news is, in a larger sense than one presidential term, it didn’t last long.  It was more passing gas than a mighty wind, a child’s fancy more than a serious strategy, and we can all sleep well at night knowing that Democracy won out.  That’s not to say that the racism that Trumpism was built upon is dead, or that our country hasn’t faced awful problems and won’t face them again, of course not.  Rather, it’s hopeful to look at how quickly “MAGA” came and went, and how weakly it was supported at its base; it’s already crumbling as we speak.  Republican lawmakers are jumping ship in droves, voters have already shown their lack of support by allowing losses in the House, the Senate, and the Presidency itself, and soon the evil that crept up into the light because it finally found support there will fall back into darkness, not dying out but at least laying low, which is something.

I’m confident that we withstood something terrible, I’m confident that this was a temporary step back, or a push back to our multiple steps forward, and I choose to be hopeful that Democracy will prevail in the end, because I think we saw it happen in real time on January 6th.  Trump supporters rallied, they grew angry, for a moment they broke through the barriers, their fervor was something unplanned for, they entered the sacred rooms of our Republic, they temporarily took control, paused the process, forced patriots to retreat, and seemed to have found a purchase to lay their ridiculous groundwork.

But then they were removed.  They were arrested.  They will be found and charged.  And they realized that they hadn’t stopped the wheels from turning at all, that the Capitol wasn’t a castle, but just a building, that Democracy simply pivoted, moved aside, regrouped, and came back with more resolve.  If that’s not a tight summary of Us against Trumpism I don’t know what is.  They attacked, they seemed strong for a moment, and then Republicans and Democrats as one denounced the movement and got the election back on track, not even waiting a day to reenter the rooms that were taken from them so easily, but without any real, lasting damage.  Trump didn’t really win anything, his mob didn’t really take anything, they were temporary, and they are already losing support across the country, as anyone with any sanity left distances themselves from a movement that was more goofy than groundbreaking.

I say none of this to lessen the evil that was done in Trump’s name, the policies that were enacted during his time that will have to be reversed, the voice he gave to those who were progressively being removed from our country’s narrative because they represented the worst in us: the KKK, the NRA, the Proud Boys, QAnon, all the “Karens”, your average racist grandpa.  That hurt us, having these people reemerge, having Trump and his people in charge, having the world take a step away from us because we had lost control of our rational government.  But what I’m saying is this; Donald’s accidental four years are up, his own supporters are slinking away, this latest outrage has shaken even his bat-shit base, and Democracy prevailed because we fought for it, and partially because they weren’t very good at being fascists.  After all, it was their first takeover, they couldn’t be expected to be perfect at it, and, both in practice at the Capitol building and in a greater sense in America, real patriotism simply side-stepped and came back with a left hook, knocking out an attempt at extreme populism that only seemed to work for a time because we were slightly unprepared.

We won’t be caught off guard next time.  We will see it coming.  The Democratic Party now has control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and there’s a reason for that; the American people don’t want Trumpism any more or ever again.  We simply said no, and although we will remember every Representative, Senator, staff member, and voter who allowed this to happen by supporting the madness of a man who never should have been in charge in the first place, we at least recognize that when our Democracy was in danger the vast majority of sane Americans realized that it was time to say goodbye to the MAGA mindset.  What do we do now?  Keep fighting.  Because while Trump may become a shell off his former self, while the Republican Party might splinter into factions, while the racists might start hiding their faces again, not every villain has fled the scene.  Trump’s useless children still have political aspirations, seven Coup Caucus Senators voted against counting electoral votes for a new President, and countless rural Republicans are still out there ready to vote for the next politician who points at someone with dark skin and swears that *they* are the reason for all your woes.  This cycle isn’t new, the U.S. didn’t invent it, but I think we licked it this time around, and soon our kids’ textbooks will associate the name ‘Trump’ with the term ‘sedition’, and that will be a good lesson learned.


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Thought – 2021 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Nomadland
  2. Minari
  3. Mank
  4. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  5. One Night in Miami
  6. The Father
  7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  8. News of the World
  9. Promising Young Woman
  10. The Prom
  11. The Mauritanian
  12. Judas and the Black Messiah
  13. Da 5 Bloods
  14. The Midnight Sky
  15. Soul
  16. The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  17. On the Rocks
  18. Tenet
  19. Sound of Metal
  20. Palm Springs
  21. Ammonite
  22. Pieces of a Woman
  23. First Cow
  24. Supernova
  25. Wonder Woman 1984
  26. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  27. Cherry
  28. The Nest
  29. The Life Ahead
  30. The Invisible Man

Snubbed: The Devil All the Time, Onward, The Platform, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Gentlemen, Underwater, The Way Back, Eurovision, Extraction, Yes God Yes.

 


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Thought – The Best Films Streaming

Category : Thought

I’m not taking this lightly, but during this difficult time we can all use a little distraction.  So, during semi-quarantine, what better job for a film critic than to recommend films that are available in your own home, so here we go.  Sticking to Netflix and Amazon Prime, here are some of the best options for movies to stream right now, for families and also for grownups, with links to its IMDb page and to my review, if written.  Have fun, and stay safe!

 


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Thought – 2020 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

Sunday February 9th, 2020, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show (although with no host this year and a few misjudgments by the Academy along the way) and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2019:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

  • Winner – Renee Zellweger – Judy
  • Runner-up – Charlize Theron – Bombshell
  • My choiceSaoirse RonanLittle Women

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

  • WinnerBong Joon HoParasite
  • Runner-upTodd PhillipsJoker
  • My choiceSam Mendes1917

Best Picture

 


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Thought – 2020 Oscar Update

Category : Thought

Three months ago I posted a list of 30 potential Best Picture Oscar contenders, plus a list of snubbed films that deserved consideration.  Since then, I’ve updated the list with reviews as I’ve seen the movies, including any personal favorites that hadn’t previously made the list.  As the Academy Awards draw closer, let’s take a look at an updated watchlist, a list that has taken into consideration those undervalued films that have risen up the ranks and those over-hyped movies that have taken a tumble.

This is the AwardsCircuit.com

ranking of top possible Academy Award contenders:

  1. 1917
  2. The Irishman
  3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. Parasite
  5. The Two Popes
  6. Marriage Story
  7. Ford v Ferrari
  8. Joker
  9. The Farewell
  10. Bombshell
  11. Jojo Rabbit
  12. Rocketman
  13. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  14. Richard Jewell
  15. Little Women
  16. Just Mercy
  17. Judy
  18. A Hidden Life
  19. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  20. Harriet
  21. Waves
  22. Honey Boy
  23. Avengers: Endgame
  24. Us
  25. Knives Out
  26. Dolemite Is My Name
  27. The Report
  28. Booksmart
  29. Hustlers
  30. Motherless Brooklyn

Snubbed: Midsommar, Light of My Life, Downton Abbey, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Uncut Gems, Ready or Not, The Lighthouse, The Invisibles, The Art of Self-Defense, Lady J, Arctic, American Factory, The King, High Life, I Am Mother, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Shazam!, The Nightingale, Long Shot, Toy Story 4, Good Boys, Frozen II, Abominable.

Bumped Off: Cats, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Queen & Slim, Ad Astra, The Goldfinch, Ordinary Love, Pain & Glory, Clemency.


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Thought – 2020 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the AwardsCircuit.com

ranking of top possible Academy Award contenders:

  1. 1917
  2. The Irishman
  3. Marriage Story
  4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  5. Harriet
  6. Parasite
  7. The Report
  8. The Farewell
  9. Jojo Rabbit
  10. Ford v Ferrari
  11. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  12. A Hidden Life
  13. Motherless Brooklyn
  14. Little Women
  15. Ad Astra
  16. The Two Popes
  17. The Goldfinch
  18. Queen & Slim
  19. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  20. Honey Boy
  21. Knives Out
  22. Booksmart
  23. Pain & Glory
  24. Just Mercy
  25. Ordinary Love
  26. Avengers: Endgame
  27. Us
  28. Cats
  29. Clemency
  30. The Peanut Butter Falcon

Snubbed: Midsommar, Light of My Life, Downton Abbey, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Uncut Gems, Ready or Not, Joker, The LighthouseThe Invisibles, The Art of Self-Defense, Lady J, Arctic, American Factory, The King, High Life, I Am Mother, Rocketman, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Shazam!, The Nightingale, Long Shot, Toy Story 4, Good Boys, Frozen II, Abominable.

 


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Thought – 2019 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

Sunday February 24th, 2019, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show (although with no host this year and a few misjudgments by the Academy along the way) and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2018:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

  • WinnerAlfonso CuaronRoma
  • Runner-upSpike LeeBlacKkKlansman
  • My choiceAlfonso CuaronRoma

Best Picture

 


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Thought – 2019 Oscar Update

Category : Thought

Three months ago I posted a list of 30 potential Best Picture Oscar contenders, plus a list of snubbed films that deserved consideration.  Since then, I’ve updated the list with reviews as I’ve seen the movies, including any personal favorites that hadn’t previously made the list.  As the Academy Awards draw closer, let’s take a look at an updated watchlist, a list that has taken into consideration those undervalued films that have risen up the ranks and those over-hyped movies that have taken a tumble.

This is the AwardsCircuit.com

ranking of top possible Academy Award contenders:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. Green Book
  3. If Beale Street Could Talk
  4. Roma
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. The Favourite
  7. Mary Poppins Returns
  8. Black Panther
  9. First Man
  10. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  11. Vice
  12. Eighth Grade
  13. First Reformed
  14. Boy Erased
  15. On the Basis of Sex
  16. Crazy Rich Asians
  17. All is True
  18. Cold War
  19. A Quiet Place
  20. Widows
  21. Mary Queen of Scots
  22. The Wife
  23. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  24. Ben is Back
  25. Leave No Trace
  26. The Hate U Give
  27. The Mule
  28. Capernaum
  29. Bohemian Rhapsody
  30. Stan & Ollie

Snubbed: Outlaw King, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Sisters Brothers, Sorry to Bother You, Private Life, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Mid90s, Goldstone, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Journey’s End, Free Solo, Avengers: Infinity War, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Game Night, The Kindergarten Teacher, The 12th Man, Three Identical Strangers, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Solo, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, The Polka King, Annihilation, What Will People Say, The Rider, Lean on Pete, 7 Days in Entebbe, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Incredibles 2Science Fair.

Bumped Off: Beautiful Boy, The Front Runner, Destroyer, Peterloo, Ad Astra, The Happy Prince, At Eternity’s Gate, The Old Man & the Gun, Wildlife.


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Thought – 2019 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the AwardsCircuit.com

ranking of top possible Academy Award contenders:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. Roma
  4. The Favourite
  5. Beautiful Boy
  6. Green Book
  7. First Man
  8. BlacKkKlansman
  9. The Front Runner
  10. Capernaum
  11. Black Panther
  12. Boy Erased
  13. Vice
  14. Destroyer
  15. Mary Queen of Scots
  16. Widows
  17. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  18. Peterloo
  19. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  20. Ad Astra
  21. Eighth Grade
  22. The Happy Prince
  23. At Eternity’s Gate
  24. Mary Poppins Returns
  25. Bohemian Rhapsody
  26. The Old Man & the Gun
  27. On the Basis of Sex
  28. Crazy Rich Asians
  29. Wildlife
  30. A Quiet Place

Snubbed: Outlaw King, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Sisters Brothers, Sorry to Bother You, Private Life, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Mid90s, Goldstone, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Journey’s End, Free Solo, Avengers: Infinity War, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Leave No Trace, Game Night, The Kindergarten Teacher, The 12th Man, Three Identical Strangers, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Solo, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, The Polka King, Annihilation, What Will People Say, The Rider, Lean on Pete, 7 Days in Entebbe, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Incredibles 2Science Fair.