Posts Tagged 'morgan freeman'

The 2016 Biggie Awards (and My Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2015)

The 27th Annual Biggie Awards

for achievements in film for the year 2015

2015. Goddamn. “Weird” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

In my view, this was the weakest year overall for movies since 2009, where I only “loved” 14 movies. In 2015, as of this writing, I added 17 films to my Love List. For perspective, since I’ve started tracking these things in 1997, this is only the third year where I didn’t love at least 20 movies. I didn’t love anything in 2015 until early May when Avengers: Age of Ultron opened, and even that was a disappointment compared to its predecessor.

This was not a year like 2000 (Gladiator), 2003 (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) or 2012 (Lincoln) where a single film dominated the year while also facing stiff competition (Gladiator fended off The Patriot, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon AND Traffic, ROTK is the most awarded film in Biggies history, but still had to face Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World AND The Last Samurai– which would have been the Best Picture winner in most other years, while Lincoln had to battle Zero Dark Thirty). The closest comp I can come up with is 2011, when Drive snuck in out of nowhere to take Best Picture in a wide open field. Drive would’ve been crushed had it come out the same year as There Will Be Blood or Titanic, but it happened to arrive in a mediocre year and was able to edge out the victory. Fast forward to now, and I don’t even know if there was a 2015 film as good as Drive. As a result, this is probably the most winnable year in Biggies history for “great but not masterful” movies, which is simultaneously really fun and disappointing by default. As I post this, I honestly haven’t decided what I think the best movie of 2015 was.

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Dear Morgan Freeman: I Challenge You! (to start giving a shit again about your acting and the movies you choose to be in)

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Disclaimer: This is a post in which I’m going to heavily criticize one of my heroes. I hate to do it, but these things need to be said out loud. I’m tired of thinking it but not saying it.

Morgan Freeman has been my favorite actor for literally as long as I can remember, probably since I was about 10. He’s one of the first actors whose name I committed to memory. Lean On Me and Glory remain two of my all-time favorite movies, and he appeared in both of them in the same year (1989)! Then, as an 11-year old, I was awed watching him kick ass in theaters alongside Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. After that, 3 of his next 5 movies were Unforgiven, The Shawshank Redemption, and Se7en. I mean…holy crap, friends. In a 6-year span between 1989 and 1995, he appeared in 6 of my 100 favorite movies ever, and 2 of my top 10. Actually, now that I check, all of those films are inside my top 70. If there’s such a thing as shitting greatness, Morgan Freeman had some serious cinematic diarrhea there for a while. Not only was he a great actor, but he was consistently appearing in great movies.

Morgan Freeman OWNING Denzel Washington in Glory:

Continue reading ‘Dear Morgan Freeman: I Challenge You! (to start giving a shit again about your acting and the movies you choose to be in)’

Review: OBLIVION

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It took almost 5 months, but I’m finally here with my first full review of a 2013 movie. Yeah, I sorta reviewed Olympus Has Fallen [HERE], but that was mostly so I could make fun of it. Oblivion is worthy of an actual review. It is a semi-thought-provoking (high praise!), beautifully crafted and designed sci-fi film with some cool ideas and a few new twists on some old genre concepts. This is the second film from director Joseph Kosinksi, a former commercials director who made his features debut in 2010 with one of the most overhyped movies of all-time, Tron: Legacy, an interesting looking but ultimately disappointing film. No matter that film’s storytelling flaws, it was abundantly clear that Kosinski has talent and was worthy of getting another shot in the big-budget arena. He shows that again here. It also doesn’t hurt your prospects when Tom Cruise agrees to be your leading man.

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Mini-Review: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

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Olympus Has Fallen arrived in theaters as the first of two “White House takeover” movies scheduled for release this year. We’ll talk about the other one in a minute.

This is the second movie in 4 months (after Red Dawn, which I couldn’t be bothered to see, it looked so bad) where North Koreans manage to occupy United States soil in one way or another. If you know anything about the world, particularly about North Korea, this is among the most absurd concepts in the history of cinema. It’s fantasy is what it is; something only possible in an alternate universe. Or, I suppose, in a movie with a really mediocre script. The North Koreans can barely launch a missile, and we have every reason to believe they don’t actually know where the U.S. is on a map. Their primitive navy wouldn’t make it to Hawaii, let alone the U.S. mainland. And I’m pretty sure one F-22 Raptor could destroy the entire North Korean “air force”. Yeah, they have a million-man army, but it appears their sole purpose is to put on elaborate parades doing the high-step for Kim Jong Douche in Pyongyang, which, by the way, is the only city in North Korea that has electricity. Are you catching my drift?

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Review & Perspective: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises arrived in theaters as my most anticipated movie of 2012, and if I think about it, one of my most anticipated movies EVAR. As in, top 5 on my “keeps me up nights I’m so excited to see it” list, right up there with The Phantom Menace, The Matrix Reloaded, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & Return of the King, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and the first Transformers. That’s not an official list, but it gives you some historical comps. It’s been four long years since The Dark Knight rocked our socks with its awesomeness (it remains the best comic book movie ever made), and even though Christopher Nolan has continued to shit greatness in the interim (Inception), ever since 2008 I was always more excited about any and all news regarding his third Batflick. What’s the title gonna be? Who is the next villain to get the Nolan Treatment? The instant I walked out of that theater in July, 2008, I was wondering how soon Warner Bros. would announce a release date for the followup. And it didn’t happen. Forever. Even as The Dark Knight broke the almighty 3-day opening weekend box office record (which has since been topped twice by two 3D-enhanced juggernauts, Harry Potter 7-b and The Avengers), went on to gross more than $500 million domestically and just over a billion worldwide. Nowadays, when studios get results like that, they announce the release dates for the next 3 movies in a series. But it wasn’t until April 30, 2010 that they announced the release date (which I correctly predicted in 2008 would be in 2012), and the Dark Knight Rises title wasn’t announced until October 27, 2010. I remember being hugely underwhelmed by the title choice (Huh? You’re just gonna add one word to the title of the last movie? was my reaction at the time), but I trusted that it would all make sense once we saw the film. And even with all the trailers and ads prior to release, you don’t fully come to appreciate the title until literally the final shot of the movie, at which point it does in fact make perfect sense…as I thought it would. Continue reading ‘Review & Perspective: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’


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