Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ranking the Best Documentary Short Oscar Nominees

Oscar Sunday is only a week away. While many are likely catching up on the last of the Best Picture nominees, Shorts HD has been key in giving audiences the chance to see the other categories. The following is a look at the Best Documentary Short category's five nominees as well as a ranking from best to worst. It's a rather strong group with three focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis - so you know it's a harrowing bunch. Even then, it's more evidence of how powerful cinema can be to tell true stories and cover events that wouldn't work in a fictional landscape. The following features a great line-up that tell powerful stories, and prove why it's important to seek out the harder to find nominees.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The First Trailer for "Song to Song" Sees Malick Playing a Familiar Tune

Rooney Mara
It didn't used to be this way. The promise of new Terence Malick seemed to be something that would happen once every decade, or twice if he was feeling inspired. However, the past few years has seen him form a late period creativity that has made for some interesting results. From 2011's The Tree of Life to last year's Knight of Cups, he has managed to make his meditative style grow into more contemporary settings. With is latest Song to Song, he looks to tackle the music scene. It may not look bad, but it looks like what the average later day Malick film looks like these days. Again, it's not a bad thing, but it doesn't provide much confidence either.

Failed Oscar Campaigns: "The Birth of a Nation" (2016)

Nate Parker
As awards seasons pick up, so do the campaigns to make your film have the best chances at the Best Picture race. However, like a drunken stupor, sometimes these efforts come off as trying too hard and leave behind a trailer of ridiculous flamboyance. Join me on every other Saturday for a highlight of the failed campaigns that make this season as much about prestige as it does about train wrecks. Come for the Harvey Weinstein comments and stay for the history. It's going to be a fun time as I explore cinema's rich history of attempting to matter.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ranking This Year's Best Picture Nominees

There is officially two weeks left to go before Oscar Sunday. With everyone clamoring to see all of the nominees beforehand, it only seems right to start calculating which ones are standing out above the rest. In this piece, I will be exploring the Best Picture field by ranking the really strong group of nominees. So, which ones stand out as favorites? They're all pretty good this year, and even the bottom half have strong moments. The following is my personal ranking from best to worst, and I look forward to any comments regarding your favorites and whether or not the class of 2016 Best Picture nominees has anything exceptional about it.