Sunday, February 28, 2016

MFM Oscars 2016 Predictions

Copyright AMPAS
With the 88th Academy Award just hours away, here’s my take on the possible winners of the evening, mostly in the big non-technical categories. Overall, it was a less-than-impressive year, aside from many great performances, especially by the female actors in films that speak about social injustices of the past and the present day.

Also, the 2016 Oscars will most likely be remembered by the controversy about the lack of diversity in the nominee lists, but considering the super-white, super-male Academy membership, is hardly a surprise. Read the list of my 2016 Oscar Predictions.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Film Review: Steve Jobs (2015)

Copyright: Universal Pictures
In the modern, still somewhat death-centric culture thanks to 2000 years of Christendom, deceased are both revered and explored. No matter if those people are dead musicians like Michael Jackson or Kurt Cobain, or if they are leaders of industry, like Jobs, there is a strong magnetic pull that keeps people from allowing them to be forgotten. 

It does not only this but also somehow forces the public subconscious to dig through their lives and looks for clues, even though there are no real questions anymore, at least not any that are relevant to them.

This grave digger approach is the reason why a lot of films about real people end up either half-cooked, like The Imitation Game or weirdly (but clearly) disjointed from that actual woman or man as Lone Survivor.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Film Review: Bridge of Spies (2015)

Copyright: 20th Century Fox
30 years ago, when Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers were younger and a lot hungrier for recognition, I could imagine the Bridge of Spy becoming an interesting film. Back then, aside from the supposed mindset of these men, this film about Cold War spies would have had an additional advantage: the USSR would have still existed.

Today, however, spies are mostly people who sit behind a computer and fly a drone over some country where beards are very popular or who force their way into the enemy’s (and more than often allies) databases. The age of the agent 007 is so gone that even the last film from this series desires to put the notion of the gentleman spy to its eternal resting place.

But, Spielberg-Coen production decided that the world of the spy genre had too much technology, YouTube head chopping videos, and radical Islamism villains.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Film Review: Flying To Disney World (2016)

For a film that literally uses one piece of paper (a winning lottery ticket) and a hot dog (a magical-scientific means of travel) Flying to Disney World really makes the most use of its limited resources. Its director and writer Jonathan Vargas takes his barren production potential in terms of locations and props to create an elaborate joke which is both funny and laden with subtle references to the popular culture. While not perfect in execution, this short film clearly shows that the ability to restrain one’s aspirations and ambitions for any one project is the key to its success.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Film Review: Spectre (2015)

Copyright: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Everyone seems to be impressed by the fact that Dark Star is David Bowie’s eulogy, but Spectre offered people a lot less usual content on its farewell to the Daniel Craig’s James Bond. In it, Sam Mendes apparently decided to end his 007 run not with a bang, but with a very impressive whimper. This time, the plot does not include testicle-beating, M-stabbing villains, but an organization that encompasses them all.

The same organization is run by a mysterious figure that apparently, died many decades before and now wants to see the world burn not through a single grandiose deed, but through the human savagery and gradual exploitation of the range and anger that is already in all of us.

Mendes is a master of an elegant cinematic eye which could have worked equally well 50 years ago as it does today. Steering clear of any and (almost) all modern tricks, the director of Spectre uses his natural ability to set up a shot in a menacing way, where the protagonist is almost surrounded by other things in it, both human and inanimate.