It’s spooky season, ladies and gentlemen, you know what that means.
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If you had told me a few years ago that I would cry at a movie starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, I would have laughed, but with “A Star Is Born,” the two A-listers have done something that’s nothing short of iconic in Cooper’s directorial debut.
“Star Trek” legend William Shatner was beamed up to Madison this past Friday, as the prolific actor took his Midwest tour to the Orpheum Theater.
Following a stereotypical summer of big-budget blockbusters that satisfy the masses and empty our wallets, it’s time to shift our gaze toward a few of the more audacious stories that hope to impress during this upcoming fall semester. These five films have potential to be the perfect escape to the theater for all students struggling to readjust to college life.
The Academy Awards is something near and dear to my heart. I watch it every year, eagerly consuming articles, talk shows and general awards buzz to help make my predictions for who will take home Hollywood’s most prestigious prize. It’s my Super Bowl, and I love every second of it.
Earlier this month, John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” was released on home media. Its basic premise — a family living in taciturn paranoia among creatures who hunt via sound — was enough to pique my interest during its initial run in theaters. The film received immense critical and commercial success, reaping its budget tenfold and numerous voices calling it one of the best horror movies in years.
When we discuss the coming-of-age style of storytelling, a dominant preconception of what that entails enters our minds: typically, a vision of young adults — perhaps 18 to 21 years old — as they cross the threshold of adolescence into the larger world beyond the formulaic suburbia. Dwindling friendships, sporadic emotions and an intense pressure from the unknown are common components these stories use to empathize with us viewers, who have experienced some or all of these emotions at one point. In the American education system, the 18-21 range is prime real estate for the subgenre, as the shift from secondary to higher education is inducive to these anxieties.
The topic of familial estrangement is hardly new to the impetus of the narrative arc. In particular recency, plenty of wonderfully made films have explored this idea with a fluid blend of dramatic tension and character development: “Lady Bird,” “I, Tonya,” “Birdman” and perhaps even “Swiss Army Man,” to a degree. The respective character internalizes that emotional severance as a means of either reconciliation or maturation, offering a relatable and believable drive.
Wondering what new movies to watch? Looking for a good date night? Bored out of your mind? Don’t waste your ticket money on less-than-stellar films — here’s a list of this summer’s must-see movies.
When audiences were first introduced to the character of Han Solo back in 1977, his past was a mystery. All Han had was his ship, the Millennium Falcon, his co-pilot, Chewbacca, and a series of claims about himself and his ship that may or may not be true. This all changed when the Star Wars franchise released its 10th film: “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which tells the history of everyone’s favorite smuggler. The movie answers every question about the character that fans could possibly think of, and even a few that they couldn’t, but that raises another point: Do these details add anything to what Star Wars fans already know and love about Han Solo?
It’s been roughly three months since I arrived in Italy, a part of the world often broken down into a few romanticized generalizations invoking adorations of pastas, wines, cheeses and pizzas. The pattern of food association with the culture is, while somewhat accurate, casting a shadow on other elements of Italian society that may be overlooked outside of their niche communities. This, too, was my experience approaching the neorealism film movement of the 20th century.
“Isle of Dogs” has all of the classic Wes Anderson signature traits: an all-star voice cast at the top of their game, an eclectic mix of pre-existing songs with an idiosyncratic score, intensely detailed shots and a story that is equal parts enduring and off-kilter. Some of these features pay off more than others, but for the most part, the film is sweet, funny and immersive beyond compare. Wes Anderson delivers another distinctly packaged bundle of joy as “Isle of Dogs” balances fresh execution of his familiar themes with wondrous animation and enchanting world-building.
2017 was an incredibly influential year for horror with “Get Out” and “It” bringing serious and impressive entries to the genre. Audiences have spoken and given their support in full to the new generation of auteur directors and writers making their mark on the criminally underrated category of film. This year's “A Quiet Place” is the next best entry to the family but unfortunately makes one critical mistake that might provide unsatisfactory responses from audiences.
Spoiler Alert: This article contains major plot details and spoilers for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
With expensive blockbusters and art-house independent films dominating the entertainment industry, documentary filmmaking has wrongfully taken a back seat in the eyes of American audiences. Instead, documentary features are charming smaller audiences at various film festivals across the country. Premiering at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, “The Blood is at the Doorstep” follows the pain, fight and activism of a grieving family after an unjustified death among their clan.
“Annihilation” is a melting pot. It’s quite difficult to compare it to a singular film that might capture its mood and personality. It carries the same cerebral, ominous tones that were signature traits in director Alex Garland’s previous hit, “Ex Machina,” and now bleeds into the increasingly horrific expedition via our protagonist crew.
Ivet Castelo Torres, Catalan indie film co-director and co-producer of the upcoming film, “Ojos Negros,” sat down with me last month for an interview. Over some classic paella and a glass of wine, she discussed the movie’s plot and intricacies of shooting in Spain, as well as some of the unique properties of pursuing an education in filmography.
Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson have been through a lot together, from initially meeting in California to creating the hit Comedy Central show, “Workaholics.” The three of them stopped by Vilas Hall’s Parliamentary room last Friday to promote their newest project: the Netflix movie “Game Over, Man!”
“Get Out” proves it is possible to combine sharp humor with genuine terror. Jordan Peele created a horror movie that attracts a variety of audiences, but he was looking to do more than just provide entertainment. His Oscar-winning screenplay also offers a deep-seeded social critique on modern-day racism, and it is already a classic.
This year's Academy Awards, which are hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel, hope to shine a spotlight on the best films of 2017 during a time of intense controversy within the industry. The #MeToo movement has dominated all discussions regarding entertainment in the past few months thanks to the silence breakers who came forward with assault allegations against Hollywood’s biggest names, including James Franco, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. With the political and social nature of awards season in mind, it’s time to figure out who will win the top prizes and the nominees who truly deserve them.