~film criticism~

Movie Discussion

I started this Tumblr page as a guide to a movie project that I was doing back in 2014 for people who wanted to follow along. I was having anxiety issues and couldn’t sleep at night. I needed something to look forward to each night to pull me through. The love of films has kept me from harming myself on some occasions, but they have also sent me into a depression on other occasions.

To continue enjoying movies and not harm myself, I have learned to experience movies on many levels to fit my moods and my interest. I have an INTJ personality type so I can become very analytical and remove myself from the emotion of outside stimulus relatively easily. I am also a psychologist that works in the education field so removing myself has become very handy when dealing with a panicky or frustrated child. One of my parents, who also types as INTJ, was a judge and needed to remove herself from situations emotionally so that she could look at things objectively.

Both my mom and I have used this forced objectivity when watching films so that we can make our movie experience fit our mood but still recognize aspects that would be good or bad for others. We would like to share our vast experience with others by watching films and discussing them on a range of levels (did I enjoy, would I enjoy in a different mood, was the movie technically good, would others enjoy, what is interesting, what is bad, what is boring). She is a fan of dramas and dislikes comedies while am a fan of comedy and am not that impressed with drama. Together, we bring a spectrum of likes and dislikes that would be good for many others.

We learned of our generalizable analytical skill from the reoccurring experience of a room shutting up and asking questions when my mom and I were in a group environment and began talking about movies. Neither she nor I are loud people and we find that the environment will quiet down for us when we talk about movies because it is a flow of good information. 

My mom watches all of the Academy award nominees each year (besides dozens of others) while I watch 100s of movies each year while trying to find something good to cover my insomnia. Between the two of us, we have seen tens of thousands of movies over the years. We have also both taken film courses in college and watched movie reviews over the years. We also have a ridiculous memory for details that seems to be genetic.

Together we will be the INTJ Movie Critics and we will start posting here until we have our own website. If you have interest in what movies we analyze, let us know :) We are taking suggestions right now but we have generally done this with highly acclaimed movies (AFI Top 100 for me and Academy Nominees for her). It doesn’t mean we can’t branch out, though, because I am a big fan of B movies that are so bad they are good. So we are open to any suggestions in the beginning stages of this. So what movies should we review?

anonymous asked:

Is it wrong that I hate Logan for being praised for aspects that should have been praised in Batman vs Superman and Man of Steel?

I’m pissed about it too. People would not shut the fuck about the films being too ‘’dark’’ and now that’s being actively praised when someone else does it. But don’t hate the film itself. It looks amazing and it’s obvious that the people in charge put a lot of effort into it and it would be wrong to end Hugh Jackman’s amazing run as Wolverine being annoyed at the film for critics being hypocrites.


People on Twitter are going in on Matt Damon with the #ThankYouMattDamon hashtag for his self conception as a white savior

“We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world. It’s not an actual fact,” Constance Wu wrote in a tweet criticizing the film back in July. “It’s not about blaming individuals. Rather, it’s about pointing out the repeatedly implied racist notion that white people are superior to POC and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength. When you consistently make movies like this, you ARE saying that. YOU ARE.”

In the fifth episode of Insecure there is a surprisingly explicit sex scene that spins the season into a startling new direction. Like the rest of the series it’s gorgeously shot, intimate and told through a female perspective but it sets up a difficult, and often unexplored, situation for the show’s lead character.

The entire season was building up to this erotic and heartbreaking moment: Issa, played by writer/creator Issa Rae, cheats on her boyfriend of five years just when he’s finally getting his act together. Afterwards the show doesn’t provide easy answers or judgment. Instead it uses vulgar humor and pathos to interrogate the desires of black women with honesty. But Insecure isn’t alone. 2016 has been full of pop culture breakthroughs that hinge upon exploring women’s sexuality from multiple angles. Looking at the modern television and film landscape there are deeply flawed, complex women wrestling with this subject everywhere. What makes this year different is that these stories aren’t cautionary tales or defined by sexual violence that acts only as an inciting incident.


Angelica Jade Bastién, “Why 2016 was a Game Changing Year for the Cultural Portrayal of Female Sexuality in Film and TV” for The Guardian

Originally posted by thepowerofblackwomen

In my first piece ever for The Guardian (!) I discuss female sexuality in film and TV this year. I touch on Fleabag, The Girlfriend Experience, The Handmaiden, and much more!

“Look how sad you’ve made everyone. And for what? For a little bit of money.  There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here you are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well. I just don’t understand it.” 

The look of absolute sadness and horror on her face is why Frances McDormand won that Oscar.  

Marge really didn’t understand.  Or maybe she did but just didn’t want to.


2017 Critics Choice Awards WinnersPart ½

Best Film — La La Land, dir. Damien Chazelle

Best Actor — Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress — Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best Supporting Actor — Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress — Viola Davis, Fences

Best Young Actor/Actress — Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Best Cinematography — Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Best Animated Movie — Zootopia, dir. Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Peter Bradshaw x Adam Driver: A Love Story

It has come to my attention that the Guardian journalist Peter Bradshaw has fallen steadily more in love with Adam Driver over the course of the last year. Here, I chronicle the highlights of his Adam Driver adoration:

Peter Bradshaw on Adam in The Force Awakens:

This brings me to the terrific performance from Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, the new Dark Lord with a terrible secret. He is gorgeously cruel, spiteful and capricious – and unlike the Vader of old, he is given to petulant temper tantrums, with his lightsaber drawn, when uniformed subordinates have the unwelcome task of telling him of some new, temporary victory for the Resistance. Driver’s almost unreadably droll facial expression is very suited to Kylo Ren’s fastidious and amused contempt for his enemies’ weakness and compassion.

Bradshaw highlight: “gorgeously cruel”

Peter Bradshaw on Adam in Paterson:

Adam Driver’s Paterson is robust, candid, ingenuous – “without side”, as the English say. Or, as American soldiers say: he is squared away. That equine, distinguished face is far from the villainy of the new Star Wars movies. He sometimes looks as if he could be any age from 27 down to 17; it is an open and generous face, clouding heartbreakingly at the moment of loss, clearing wonderfully at a final, mysterious, serendipitous encounter. He has never been more beguiling as an actor.

Bradshaw highlight: Driver has an “open and generous face” and “has never been more beguiling as an actor”

Peter Bradshaw on Adam in Silence:

Silence is not without flaws. Perhaps the casting of its stars, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, could have been reversed, to place more emphasis on Driver as the stronger performer […] Driver’s gaunt and blazingly passionate face even makes him look a little like the traditional rendering of Jesus.

Bradshaw highlight (paraphrased): The main problem with the film is that Driver should replace Garfield because he’s totes better/he has a “blazingly passionate face” and looks a lot like Jesus

Suffice to say that I have never found a 54-year-old male film critic with views so closely attuned to my own.

“It’s hard to accept being a role model for women when you’re trying to lose weight. I’ve always discovered the heart of my characters by asking, ‘Why?’ You know, when I was handed Annalise Keating, I said, ‘She’s sexy, she’s mysterious.’ I’m used to playing women who gotta gain 40 pounds and wear an apron. So, I said, ‘Oh god, I gotta lose weight. I gotta learn to walk like Kerry Washington in heels. I gotta lose my belly.’ And then I asked myself, ‘Well, why do I have to do all that?’ I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. I just recently embraced that at 51. At 10:00 every Thursday night … you come into my world and you sit with me, my size, my hue, my age, and you sit and you experience, and I think that’s the only power I have as an artist, so I thank you for this award and I do see her — just like I see me. ”

Much of a critic’s job comes down to contextualization, in placing the film in a specific cultural and historical context. For the TMNT reboot, this might involve analyzing the film within the context of the incongruously gritty comic books that spawned both the film and the previous film and TV series. And above all else, a good critic asks, “What does this film set out to do, and how successful is it in realizing its goals?” They do not ask “Is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot as good as The Godfather?” We’re not morons, and we’re not insane. Mostly. I hope.

There’s no objective truth about a film’s quality. Everything is subjective, and when movies are rated on a scale, it reflects that subjectivity. Then people get confused and, in the inevitable tradition of the internet, pissed. When I reviewed movies for The AV Club, for example, Crank 2: High Voltage got a very controversial A-, which led commenters to complain that whenever a film that was supposed to be conventionally “great” got a grade under an A-, that meant we were saying that Crank 2 was better than it. That’s not true at all. Crank 2 got an A- because the critic felt it was wholly successful at realizing its ambition to be a crazy, go-for-broke B-movie, not because it deserves to be catapulted into the pantheon of great cinema. Not everything has to be high art, or even remotely artful, even for critics.

In other words, we’re not ranking all movies from best to worst with these scores. That would take a serial killer’s level of obsession and compulsion to pull off. And very few of us are serial killers.

5 Truths About Film Criticism, Straight From Nathan Rabin

Manchester By the Sea is incredible in the most understated way possible. It seems like it should be this extremely dramatic over-acted film, and instead it just felt like invading someone’s actual life. I didn’t actually spend any of it laughing or crying, just feeling. I was brought back to my own memories of that kind of overwhelming grief that’s awkward and you have no idea how to even deal with it. Casey Affleck says a million words without speaking. There is such an understanding of real grief and it made the whole film so cathartic. It cut like a knife and was a relief at the same time.