All posts by Ben Sears

Bruised – Movie Review

Bruised

  • Director: Halle Berry
  • Screenwriters: Michelle Rosenfarb
  • Starring: Halle Berry, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Adan Canto, Danny Boyd Jr., Sheila Atim, Adriane Lenox

Grade: C-

Bruised is a film that’s filled with so many sports clichés that it may as well be called “The Invincible Hoosiers Rocky Miracle.” Some familiarity is to be expected within such a well-worn genre, but the film barely brings enough to the table to justify its existence. That’s not to say that the film is a total slog; Halle Berry’s directorial debut is pretty to look at and includes some likeable performances. But you’ve seen this film before, in one form or another, and that is what ultimately holds back its potential.

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Encanto – Movie Review

Encanto

  • Directors: Byron Howard and Jared Bush
  • Screenwriters: Jared Bush, Charise Castro Smith
  • Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo

Grade: B+

The biggest issue that Disney has with Encanto is that the film is a Disney production. With the bar already set so high from the prolific animation studio, it’s becoming harder and harder for a new film to rise above what has come before. That’s not to say that Encanto is a bad film by any means; rather, it can’t help but be compared to Disney’s other recent entries. The film has all the makings of a great animated classic – and it may even be Disney’s best of this year – but when looking at the Mouse House’s total output, it’s hard not to be reminded of other, more unique visions.

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tick, tick… BOOM! – Movie Review

tick, tick… BOOM!

  • Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Screenwriters: Steven Levenson
  • Starring: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Judith Light, Vanessa Hudgens

Grade: B+

In 2021 there will be a total of 9 musicals adapted from Broadway for the big screen. The world will also be subjected to 4 projects involving Lin-Manuel Miranda in one way or another in the same year (not to mention the hangover of Hamilton‘s premiere on Disney+ late in 2020). Those two worlds collide with Miranda as director in tick, tick…BOOM!. Say what you will about Miranda’s hegemony with his musical stylings, but he manages to distinguish himself with visual and dramatic flair in his debut film.

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2022 Oscar Predictions

The 94th Academy Awards will be presented on March 27, 2022. Here are our ranked predictions for who will be nominated and which films will win. Check back in, as the list will be updated often.

Best PictureBest Director
1. The Power of the Dog
2. CODA
3. Drive My Car
4. Dune: Part One
5. Belfast
6. West Side Story
7. Don’t Look Up
8. Licorice Pizza
9. King Richard
10. Nightmare Alley
1. Jane Campion “The Power of the Dog”
2. Kenneth Branagh “Belfast”
3. Paul Thomas Anderson “Licorice Pizza”
4. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”
5. Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”
Best Original ScreenplayBest Adapted Screenplay
1. Belfast
2. Licorice Pizza
3. King Richard
4. Don’t Look Up
5. The Worst Person In The World
1. CODA
2. The Power of the Dog
3. Drive My Car
4. The Lost Daughter
5. Dune
Best ActressBest Actor
1. Jessica Chastain “The Eyes of Tammy Faye
2. Nicole Kidman “Being the Ricardos”
3. Kristen Stewart “Spencer”
4. Olivia Colman “The Lost Daughter”
5. Penelope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”
1. Will Smith “King Richard”
2. Benedict Cumberbatch “The Power of the Dog”
3. Denzel Washington “The Tragedy of Macbeth
4. Andrew Garfield “tick, tick…BOOM!”
5. Javier Bardem “Being The Ricardos”
Best Supporting ActressBest Supporting Actor
1. Ariana DeBose “West Side Story”
2. Kirsten Dunst “The Power of the Dog”
3. Aunjanue Ellis “King Richard”
4. Jesse Buckley “The Lost Daughter”
5. Judi Dench “Belfast”
1. Troy Kotsur “CODA”
2. Kodi Smit-McPhee “The Power of the Dog”
3. Ciaran Hinds “Belfast”
4. Jesse Plemons “The Power of the Dog”
5. JK Simmons “Being the Ricardos”
Best Animated FeatureBest Documentary Feature
1. Encanto
2. The Mitchells vs. The Machines
3. Flee
4. Luca
5. Raya and the Last Dragon
1. Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
2. Flee
3. Writing With Fire
4. Attica
5. Ascension
Best CinematographyBest Visual Effects
1. Dune: Part One
2. The Power of the Dog
3. The Tragedy of Macbeth
4. Nightmare Alley
5. West Side Story
1. Dune: Part One
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home
3. No Time to Die
4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
5. Free Guy
Best EditingBest Costume Design
1. King Richard
2. Dune: Part One
3. The Power of the Dog
4. tick, tick… BOOM!
5. Don’t Look Up
1. Cruella
2. Nightmare Alley
3. West Side Story
4. Cyrano
5. Dune: Part One
Best Original ScoreBest Sound
1. Dune: Part One
2. The Power of the Dog
3. Encanto
4. Parallel Mothers
5. Don’t Look Up
1. Dune: Part One
2. No Time to Die
3. The Power of the Dog
4. West Side Story
5. Belfast
Best International FeatureBest Production Design
1. Drive My Car
2. The Worst Person in the World
3. Flee
4. The Hand of God
5. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
1. Dune: Part One
2. Nightmare Alley
3. The Tragedy of Macbeth
4. West Side Story
5. The Power of the Dog
Best Original SongBest Makeup & Hairstyling
1. “Dos Oruguitas” Encanto
2. “No Time To Die” No Time To Die
3. “Be Alive” King Richard
4. “Somehow You Do” Four Good Days
5. “Down to Joy” Belfast
1. The Eyes of Tammy Faye
2. Nightmare Alley
3. House of Gucci
4. Coming 2 America
5. Cruella
Best Animated ShortBest Live-Action Short
1. Robin Robin
2. The Windshield Wiper
3. Bestia
4. Boxballet
5. Affairs of the Art
1. The Long Goodbye
2. Please Hold
3. Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
4. The Dress
5. On My Mind
Best Documentary Short
1. The Queen of Basketball
2. Lead Me Home
3. Audible
4. Three Songs for Benazir
5. When We Were Bullies

The Shrink Next Door – TV Review

The Shrink Next Door

  • Creator: Georgia Pritchett
  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Casey Wilson, Kathryn Hahn

Grade: B+

This post originally appeared on ObsessiveViewer.com

Almost any time somebody proclaims “I’m doing this for you,” it means they’re trying to swindle you in one way or another. The line isn’t uttered excessively throughout The Shrink Next Door, Apple TV+’s new limited series, but it may as well be the show’s tagline. The show – based on the podcast of the same name from Wondry and Bloomberg Media, itself based on true events – chronicles almost 30 years of manipulation and greed, all under the guise of self-help. Sounds like the set-up to a Scorsese drama, doesn’t it?

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Eternals – Movie Review

Eternals

  • Director: Chloe Zhao
  • Screenwriters: Chloe Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo
  • Starring: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee

Grade: B-

This post originally appeared on ObsessiveViewer.com

Who are the Eternals? And why did Marvel recruit Chloe Zhao, director of the film that won 3 Oscars earlier this year – including Best Picture – to direct a film about them? Fans of Zhao’s work know her penchant for methodically finding the humanity in stories that have often been told before. And those sensibilities stand at a stark contrast to the bulk of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s modus operandi. We love Tony Stark and Captain America because of their charisma and their duty to serve, but what would happen if they ever questioned that duty? This is the question that lies at the heart of Zhao’s Eternals, and while this may stir an interesting debate, the answers likely will turn off mainstream MCU fans.

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