OnScreen Review: "The Favourite"

OnScreen Review: "The Favourite"

Yorgos Lanthimos is one of my favorite active directors. His films are always unique and guaranteed to be at least a little shocking and probably borderline disturbing. His 2015 film The Lobster remains one of my favorite films of this decade. After last year’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Lanthimos is back with The Favourite, a period psychodrama about the court of Queen Anne.

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OnScreen Review: "First Man"

OnScreen Review: "First Man"

Biopics are frequently hagiographies, making saints out of their subjects often despite their flaws. Damien Chazelle’s First Man is not in the hagiography business. It’s a straightforward narrative about how mankind got to the moon. That journey culminated on July 20, 1969, but it began nearly a decade earlier, when President John F. Kennedy announced his desire to see a US astronaut on the moon by the end of the decade. That journey is told through the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man who landed on the moon. The film tracks the highs and lows of both Armstrong and NASA on this journey to the moon.

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OnScreen Review: "Venom"

OnScreen Review: "Venom"

Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all time. Venom is a character that many consider to be the greatest villain in Spidey’s rogues gallery, but I think he is one of the most overrated (and Carnage is right up there with him; go ahead and @ me, I don’t care). He has occasionally been fun to have in Spider-Man video games (in Ultimate Spider-Man for the PS2 you could actually play as Venom). But most importantly, I blame the character for ruining Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, a character he swore he didn’t want to do and then the studio essentially strong-armed him. Everything about this Venom spinoff seemed ill-advised and, clearly, I carried a lot of baggage into it. In fact, I had my knives out and I was ready to carve this film up and throw it on the trash heap along with some of my least favorite films that I’ve reviewed, like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. And then I watched it and those plans had to go out the window.

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How is Feminism Impacting Theatre, Film and Television?

How is Feminism Impacting Theatre, Film and Television?

In recent years it has been great to see women as a focus for some of the entertainment industry's leading projects. Especially with #MeToo and #TimesUp voicing what needs to be changed for women, helping build strength for actresses, writers, plus directors working in theatre, film, and television.

Recently, this has caused a shift, meaning more woman are leading feature films, theatre, television seasons, and not just actress wise, creatively women are in more demand, which is brilliant to see. However, some of the stories we are seeing emerge feel very forced and the characterization is not natural, as much as we want empowering woman characters, there are realist productions which are being ruined by their over the top portrayal of a strong woman. The question is, should feminism really be a massive showcase at this time or a natural, comfortable transition?

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OnScreen Review: "A Star is Born"

OnScreen Review: "A Star is Born"

Toward the end of A Star Is Born, one character says to another, “Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave - 12 notes and the octave repeat. It's the same story told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer this world is how they see those 12 notes. That's it.” It’s a line of dialogue from the third remake of the film (fourth if you count 1932’s What Price Hollywood?). This particular remake has been in the works for a few years now, initially with Clint Eastwood attached to direct and with Beyoncé to star at various points. Every couple of decades, this film seems to get taken down off the shelf and repackaged for a new generation and an artist offers the world how they see that same story told over and over.

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OnScreen Review: "Mandy"

OnScreen Review: "Mandy"

Mandy exists in a world that doesn’t make any sense, and yet it totally works. It’s the kind of film that midnight showings were made for. It’s firmly grounded in the grindhouse exploitation tradition of movie-making. I’ve never done drugs, but I imagine movies like this give a pretty fair approximation of what a bad experience is like. Nicholas Cage, so often a target of criticism and ridicule as a celebrity, has found a movie that matches his craziness and puts it to good use and, frankly, he’s rarely been better. It’s not A Quiet Place or Hereditary in terms of the kind of horror film it is, it has its own unique blend of horror and entertainment going for it. This is an instant cult classic.

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The Best Fantasy League Ever for Movie Lovers

The Best Fantasy League Ever for Movie Lovers

Fantasy sports is a billion-dollar industry. It’s all the rage. Just myself, I am in three fantasy football leagues, a Pick ‘Em League, and a Survivor League. I’ve even dabbled in Draft Kings. But here’s the thing, fantasy doesn’t have to be limited to sports. In fact, it shouldn’t be limited to sports. What if you could build a fantasy roster of your favorite movies and win bragging rights about your movie prowess?

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OnScreen Review: "The Predator"

OnScreen Review: "The Predator"

I had hoped that Shane Black would bring an interesting reinvention or sharp new angle to the Predator series of movies. Instead, what we’re treated to is a muddled mess. It’s hard to tell if there was too much studio meddling or if Black is just trying to put too much into this one movie. Either way, The Predator is just the latest example of how not everything should be a franchise.

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Guess The Box Office - Week 1

Guess The Box Office - Week 1

OnScreen is pleased to bring you a new weekly feature called “Guess The Box Office”, where OnScreen critic Ken Jones and OnStage Contributor Greg Ehrhardt will preview the weekend in movies and predict which movie will win the weekend and may even try and guess actual box office while they are at it.  Check back every Friday for a new column.

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First Man and the Outrage Machine

First Man and the Outrage Machine

Last week, certain people on the internet lost their minds regarding First Man, a film that has yet to even be released. The film is a biopic about Neil Armstrong and the moon landing from director Damien Chazelle.

The “outrage” stems from an interview that Ryan Gosling, who portrays Armstrong in the film, gave during press for the film after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. In that interview, he said that the moment of the American flag being planted on the moon is not shown in the film and that the moon landing was a human achievement.

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Beyond the Infinite – 2001 on IMAX

Beyond the Infinite – 2001 on IMAX

Truly, you have not experienced 2001: A Space Odyssey until you see it on the big screen. It’s only a one-week engagement, and there are only three days left of it as I write about it on a Monday, but if you happen to have the time, go check it out. If you are a fan of the film, if you have never seen it before, or even if you are a film nerd that just didn’t connect with it before, see it on the biggest screen available and be prepared for a fresh new encounter with a 50-year-old film.

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OnScreen Review: "Crazy Rich Asians"

OnScreen Review: "Crazy Rich Asians"

Crazy Rich Asians doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel or tell us a new story. Romance, drama, comedy, horror, these stories have a universal language that transcend language and geographical barriers. What Crazy Rich Asians does is freshen up the formula with new faces at the center and expose us to a culture and way of life that is not typically seen in mainstream Hollywood films except in fish out of water stories.

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OnScreen Review: "Eighth Grade"

OnScreen Review: "Eighth Grade"

For most kids, being a teenager is rough. It’s full of uncomfortable and embarrassing moments, situations, and events. Puberty hits everyone at different stages and there’s the difficult task of starting to figure out how to start being more like an adult with your own distinct identity and everything that entails. Plus, other kids can be unsparingly cruel. The coming of age tale is a well-worn trope in movies, and it seems like every year there is at least one or two that stand out. Few, though, capture the painful awkwardness of this better than Eighth Grade, a terrific indie film from comedian Bo Burnham.

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OnScreen Review: "The Meg"

OnScreen Review: "The Meg"

It’s August, which means that summer is winding down at the box office, the major summer blockbusters have all been released. The summer market typically takes a downturn in August, but there is usually one last popcorn action flick that gets released in early August. This year, that film is The Meg. Oddly enough, The Meg is one of my earliest internet movie fascinations… back in the 90s! This adaptations of a 90s bestseller has languished in development hell for at least 20 years. Over that time it has seen multiple script rejections and directors attached to it. Now, in 2018, The Meg is finally pulled out of development hell and has reached theaters. And the result is rather unspectacular.

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