By the time that The Master was released in the fall of 2012, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson was already a critical darling. His first five films, Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood, had built up his reputation as a masterful director of quirky but dark films, who had a stellar eye for visuals. Although The Master was plagued by delays, it was hotly anticipated by Anderson’s fans. The question wasn’t whether or not the film would be good, but rather just how good it would be. The Master, like many great films, ended up being very divisive in the critical community. Even the people who liked it disagreed sharply over what the film actually meant. What had been rumored to be a film about the founding of Scientology turned out to be an esoteric, lyrical study of the relationship between a broken veteran and a charming cult leader. Continue reading
If you were following us on Twitter (and you should be), you've already seen bits and pieces of thoughts from the Movie Fail staff on this year's Oscars ceremony this past Sunday. In this podcast, Josh and I cover everything from the Rhythm and Hues protests to Seth MacFarlane as we discuss the event. Take a listen, and be sure to let us know what you thought about the Academy Awards this year in the comments below.
Oscar Sunday is coming up. Time to put it all on the line. Here’s what I think will win, what should win, and what should’ve been nominated.
Remember when we thought that 2012 was going to be such an amazing year for cinema? That Prometheus was going to be the return of smart sci-fi, that The Dark Knight Rises was going to be the best trilogy capper of all time, that Brave was going to be Pixar’s triumphant return? Oh how little we knew.
My decision to see the new horror film Mama today was made with great trepidation, and even that’s understating it a bit. I hate seeing horror movies in theaters. The jump scares are too loud and the scary images are too big. I like watching them at home, where I have the option of muting the audio when I know that a loud orchestral sting and a distorted face are about to suddenly come on. Still, I had nothing better to do, so in I went.
We’re now 11 days into the new year, and the amount of “top 10 X of 2012″ lists has been endless. I’m sure you’ve gotten sick of them. Believe me, I have too. So why am I adding to the endless noise? Why am I contributing to the dilution of an art form by way of arbitrary ranking?
I dunno. Because it’s fun, I guess.
I’ve missed a lot of reviews in the past few weeks, and I apologize. If you know me, you know that perhaps my greatest flaw is my tendency to promise things and never follow through. There hasn’t been a weekly review in months, and that’s on me. While compiling my Best Films of 2012 list, I realized that half of them hadn’t even gotten a review on this site. Here, I’ll try to briefly summarize my feelings on some of my favorite films of the past year. This is unlike anything I’ve done before, so bear with me.
Cloud Atlas is the best movie of the year. Figure I might as well get that out of the way at the top. This is gonna be a long review, so feel free to check out now if you want. Cloud Atlas is head and shoulders above any other movie I’ve seen this year, and I can’t see anything knocking it off the top spot.
Growing up as a young cinephile, there was always a gaping hole in my film experience: the art house. See, there wasn’t an art house theater anywhere near where I lived. It was a long drive to the closest one, and since they were all movies for adults anyway I was never too interested. Still, not having art house or independent cinema as a presence in my life may have colored how I see movies now. I only ever went to an art house cinema once, because I couldn’t convince my parents to make the drive for a movie they didn’t even want to see. The point of this story is that, during this time, I’d see a lot of trailers for art house movies online. I’d get excited, but I realized that I wouldn’t ever get to see them. I still watched the trailers, though, because apparently I enjoyed having my spirit crushed.