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    1. 2022 PGA, DGA, and WGA nominees

      The various guilds released their nominations today (in what’s been called D-Day for Awards followers since it’s usually not lined up like this). These are reflective of what the industry likes...

      The various guilds released their nominations today (in what’s been called D-Day for Awards followers since it’s usually not lined up like this). These are reflective of what the industry likes (and gives us really big clues as to what will end up nominated at the Oscars).

      Producers Guild of America:

      BEING THE RICARDOS

      BELFAST

      CODA

      DON’T LOOK UP

      DUNE

      KING RICHARD

      LICORICE PIZZA

      THE POWER OF THE DOG

      TICK TICK BOOM

      WEST SIDE STORY

      Directors Guild of America:

      Feature Film:

      Paul Thomas Anderson - Licorice Pizza

      Kenneth Branagh - Belfast

      Jane Campion - The Power of the Dog

      Steven Spielberg - West Side Story

      Denis Villeneuve - Dune

      First Time Feature:

      Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Lost Daughter

      Rebecca Hall - Passing

      Tatiana Huezo - Prayers for the Stolen

      Lin-Manuel Miranda - tick, tick...BOOM!

      Michael Sarnoski - Pig

      Emma Seligman - Shiva Baby

      Writer’s Guild of America:

      Original Screenplay:

      Being the Ricardos

      Don’t Look Up

      The French Dispatch

      King Richard

      Licorice Pizza

      Adapted Screenplay:

      CODA

      Dune

      Nightmare Alley

      tick, tick... BOOM!

      West Side Story

      5 votes
    2. You should see Belle

      It's fairly rare to get the opportunity to get to watch a Japanese animated movie in theaters in the US, and earlier today I watched Belle in IMAX. It's honestly really hard to talk about the film...

      It's fairly rare to get the opportunity to get to watch a Japanese animated movie in theaters in the US, and earlier today I watched Belle in IMAX.

      It's honestly really hard to talk about the film in it's entirety. It's a really deeply layered film, and even with how extensive the previews for this film have been they don't really do a very good job of describing what the film is about. Even after saying that I don't really want to explain it because I think that it's best to just jump in and enjoy it - and frankly I'm not sure I could explain it very well without spoiling it. That being said, because it's so layered and there's so much content it talks about it can be hard to grasp the deeper meanings. I saw this movie with my husband and I can tell you that he definitely didn't get it. After reading a handful of reviews it looks like a number of critics didn't get it either. The good news is that you don't have to be a film major to enjoy it; it's still going to be plenty enjoyable even if you miss those meanings. It helps that the production on this film is utterly fantastic, and the sound design and music are particularly fantastic.

      From an academic perspective this film literally pulls off every trick in the animation and filmmaking books. It uses traditional style 2D animation, it's got 3D animation, some scenes use a mixture of the two. It has computer-generated tweening at times, and in other times the 2D drawings are morphed to animate them and create the illusion of life. The director Mamoru Hosoda has a pretty long track record at this point and this film has aspects that show off his signature aesthetics and unique techniques that he has developed over the years. And he does so to a great effect; I found myself being strongly emotionally affected by several of it's scenes. Of those highly affecting scenes, not all of them evoked tears; there were also plenty of times where I found myself almost laughing because the scenes were full of positivity.

      While it's tempting to consider this a retelling of Beauty and Beast from the previews, the film is so much more than that. Even the most basic understanding you could take from this film would not support that position. In fact the "beast" of this story is not even a romantic interest.

      The thing that endears me personally to this movie so much is that there are two dramatic scenes that are handled so realistically and naturally it felt like I was reliving portions of my own life. There is a scene early on where the main character tries to sing quietly to herself when she's all by her lonesome but is so overcome with emotions that she not only can't hold a single note, the act makes her throw up. And in the last act there is a scene where a boy is suffering from emotional abuse from his father and is completely unable to trust people who are trying to help him. He's been too hurt by people who promised to help but eventually left him in the same situation, allowing more abuse to happen.

      There are many reasons that I would recommend watching this movie, but I wanted to recommend this movie to this community in particular because I think that some of the messages this movie was made to tell will resonate with the people here. The film is a struggle to answer the question "why should we help other people?" The film also has a lot to say about how we treat each other over the internet, as you may have already surmised.

      10 votes
    3. The Matrix Resurrections: A review

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Just finished watching it, and while I’m sure I need to process and reflect a little more on it, I can at least give my initial impression: meh.

      I came in not expecting much because, to be honest, the trilogy didn’t end as good as it started. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t end up a kaleidoscope of colors either, since the promotional material seemed to insinuate it might take after some of the other Wachowski’s works.

      The first hour felt like a rehash of the first Matrix. While the callbacks were good fan service, it felt uninspired and something I would expect from a Disney franchise. The second half seemed to lose the thread and the plot got rambled through to the point that you forget what the whole point of the movie was supposed to be. It basically ends as a…love story? The deeper philosophical elements of the trilogy were eschewed for predictable tropes and artificial suspense.

      The characters lacked depth, and I was particularly disappointed in the new incarnations of Agent Smith and Morpheus. The younger actors lacked the gravitas that the original duo brought to the screen. The bated, deliberate delivery that provided weight to the characters was replaced by trite, pithy lines that don’t do the original characters any justice. Neil Patrick Harris is also better suited for a comedic role rather than a dramatic one, and his character failed at both in this movie.

      The movie had a decent environment and art direction, but it got ruined by overuse of CGI and green screen. The action scenes either had stilted fights with aging actors, or had so much action that they lacked any real sense of danger (there were scenes with throngs of people attacking the main characters with bullets never seeming to hit anyone important).

      I had hoped that after 20 years there would be some real contribution to the canon, but this movie answered enough questions to explain why Neo is alive, without contributing any further philosophy into the series. It ends with a clear open ending for future installments, which would only serve as cash grabs.

      The movie started off with many meta-references to itself, making a joke about sequels being unoriginal. I had hoped this self-awareness would have translated to either a new level of meta-discussion or at least an attempt to not fall into the folly of most half-assed sequels. Apparently that line was solely a joke, and it cheapens the movie because of it.

      Was it a good movie? Not really. Was it a bad movie? Not necessarily. It was entertaining in the same way a Michael Bay explosion is entertaining, but those looking for intellectual stimulation will be left empty-handed.

      20 votes
    4. What are your favorite movies that came out in 2021?

      We had a wonderful thread where people commented their favorite movies that they watched this year, but they didn’t have to be 2021 movies. I listed a bunch of classics that I watched. But now I...

      We had a wonderful thread where people commented their favorite movies that they watched this year, but they didn’t have to be 2021 movies. I listed a bunch of classics that I watched. But now I wanna know your end of the year top lists. It could be as many movies as you want, 5, 7, 10, etc.

      I’ll start:

      1. In The Heights

      2. Belfast

      3. West Side Story

      4. Licorice Pizza

      5. Don’t Look Up

      6. Last Night in Soho

      7. tick, tick... BOOM!

      8. The Last Duel

      9. Spider-Man: No Way Home

      10. Candyman

      9 votes