It’s All An Act – Star Wars (1977)

Not many filmmakers get it so right so early in their careers. Remember, this was only Lucas’s third film after THX-1138 and American Graffiti, two equally brilliant films in their own rights. Lucas went on to become a successful producer, but I wish he’d have done more directing. When he abandoned the chair we lost a unique film making eye, as he never really recovered it with the Prequel Trilogy. There are things I truly love about the films that followed, but none of them hold up as well as the original Star Wars. It’s inviting simplicity sparked the imaginations of legions of fans and that is something that should never be discounted, devalued or forgotten.

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Way Back (2020)

The film is very well made, giving you all the cues you need to get into the proper emotional space. But intellectually I had a lot of issues from the way Jack slides into coaching as if it’s a thing anyone who used to play ball can do, to the non storytelling behind the mysterious character of Doc (who’s obviously important in Jack’s life for reason that go completely uncovered), to the sudden injection of Jack’s issue with his father and past substance abuse which is mentioned once and has no further bearing on the film or character. I felt along with the movie the entire time, but those feelings quickly faded on the way home as I began to look back on the film. The worst part for me personally was the revelation that with so much going on in the story the film doesn’t actually say anything about finding that, “way back” because no one actually struggles with anything. Now I get that the director and star and everyone involved might have decided against loading the film with a lot of darkness, pain and torment but without that suffering, without that struggle, the movie ends up having no real weight, in my opinion. And without that weight, and even for it’s deliberately austere tone,  it just becomes a, “feel good” movie. And I am no fan of, “feel good” films.

What Was That All About – Mother! (2017)

Director Darren Aaronofsky’s 2017 sense and sensibility assaulting film Mother! is not a difficult movie to understand if you’re willing to do a little digging. The director has been very clear about what the movie is, and this information is not difficult to find. Even without the blatant explanation, the moment someone clues you in to even the slightest degree the pieces of the movie should all fall into line like Sandpeople on Bantha’s. At the risk of serving dessert before the meal, at this point it shouldn’t be a surprise that Mother! is an metaphorical retelling of the Christian bible conveyed in both an amazingly vague and yet painfully direct way. What may not be so easy to immediately grasp is the allegory the film weaves about mankind and it’s relationship with mother Earth, and what a nice house she had before we came along and fucked it all up.

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Rhythm Section (2020)

The movie got shit reviews because it didn’t do anything new or spectacular within it’s genre and, I can only guess, because its, “strong female lead” didn’t have a strong female agenda to push. The Stephanie Patrick character isn’t defined by it’s gender, and that’s why it’s so great. The character is defined by it’s experiences like any character should be. The film also does a lot of what people have been complaining for years that these films should do and that’s not to revel in it’s presentation of sex and violence for sport. But that tends to be the problem with people; we bitch and piss about how we’re aren’t getting something but, when we do get it, we chalk it up to a moral win and move on without actually participating in the victory. Much like 2018’s Red Sparrow his is the kind of movie within this genre people are always saying they want to see made. And yet even when they do manage to sneak their way out through the studio door it’s the films like Atomic Blonde (a film I really enjoy) with their still typical approach to violence, sex and all the trappings of fantasy this film lacks, that get all the good press.

I don’t know; you figure it out.

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Gentlemen (2020)

Let’s engage in a little thought problem. What do you do when a movie, by any and all subjective standards you set for yourself, is good. It’s shot extremely well, has a snappy script and a fairly well constructed screenplay. It’s got nice characters, a decent score and good performances from a talented cast. By any measure, minus a few nit-picks, it’s a pretty good movie. But for some reason it just never quite, “get’s there” with you? So what does that mean? And how do you best discuss the movie with others?

When the lion is hungry, he needs to be sure his claws are sharp enough to hold his prey. So as the self proclaimed king of this jungle does The Gentleman dig in, or does it just scratch the surface?

Random Acts of Opinion – Bad Boys For Life

As entertained as I was by the work of directors Adil and Bilal I can’t help but wonder how the film might have fared if they had managed to keep director Joe Carnahan, a seasoned action filmmaker, attached to the project from early on. And with the series planning on moving forward with a fourth entry you have to wonder if Bad Boys will suffer the same fate as the Lethal Weapon franchise, going back to the well one to many times as the leads age and ending an entertaining series on an almost farcical note. If Bad Boys For Life were indeed to be the last entry in this franchise, it would be a worthy exit for stars Smith and Lawrence. But it feels like the film is being used as a way to set up continuing work without their involvement, which seems like a terrible idea in my opinion. This franchise was built and buoyed on the dynamic between the two stars. Moving on without them seems like a sure way to kill the Bad Boys for good.

Don’t Look Back – Star Wars: Documenting Fantasy

Ya know, looking over all the Star Wars films for this article it solidified for me why, of modern Star Wars, Rogue One is my personal favorite. Of the newer crop of films it’s the one that seems to be most interested in being a real drama, at least most of the time. All of the films have what can be considered the right ingredients to make a Star Wars movie but the intent seems to be on making fun adventure films crafted for younger viewers more than anything approaching legitimate drama. To be fair, it was Lucas himself that opened the door to this, cracking it a tiny bit with the more whimsical elements of Return of the Jedi before kicking it down completely with The Phantom Menace. There is a reason The Empire Strikes Back and even The Last Jedi (apart from how it tries to make it’s characters look silly and other questionable attempts at being, “funny”) resonate with some fans they way they do; it’s an element of sincerity that treats the dramatic storytelling with as much weight as it does the, “fun” elements and allows you to feel that these people are not out there having a good time for our benefit.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Uncut Gems (2019)

I found this movie to be extremely effective. Everything about it works precisely as it should, and everyone involved should be proud and praised for creating a masterful piece of cinema. It’s also a movie I doubt I’ll ever feel the desire to watch again precisely because of how effective it is. It’s two hours and 15 minutes of watching a guy just dig his own grave, holding out basic human hope that he get somehow gets to crawl out from under the mountain of shit he’s created and knowing that there is just no way that’s ever going to happen. It’s a movie that I am thrilled we made the time to go see, but not one that I think I’m going to want to revisit. One trip though Howard Ratners world is fucking plenty, than you very much. I will never regret seeing the movie, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never see it again.

What Was That All About – Arrival (2016)

Am I right about this one? I’d like to think that I’m at least somewhere in the neighborhood. But whether I’m right or not is hardly what’s important. Understanding a film isn’t always as important as experiencing it. When a film is openly trying to manipulate you it can feel cheap and uncomfortable, like someone reaching inside your head and trying to tickle your brain. When a story is told sincerely, when the ebb and flow of emotions come from a genuine place, you an let go without worrying about that you’re being taken advantage of. These can be the best kinds of films, the ones that you can trust in to take you someplace special; someplace pure. Sometimes, the journey really is just as important as the arrival.

Random Acts Of Opinion – A Hidden Life (2019)

A Hidden Life is a slow meditation on conviction, love and faith. It’s a story of one person making a choice to put action behind what they believe is right, and for it’s period setting that’s a message that could not be more timely. It make the statement that if everyone made an individual choice to swear an oath to goodness, to love of the world and each other before all, each individuals choice would create massive change. By just having the conviction to say, “No” to something you believe is wrong, to make an oath to yourself to do no harm and to embrace peace- by itself it might not mean much. But enough people making enough pledges and having the strength to stand by them. That oath, that promise:

That could change the world.

Random Acts of Opinion – Honey Boy (2019)

Tragic stories of former child stars are, unfortunately, a dime a dozen. In our own way we are all culpable in a system that has virtually zero accountability as long as they aren’t caught violating the law. But this only covers what happens on the sets and in the studios. The very complicated and dangerous adult world that surrounds these kids isn’t interested in protecting them; that’s supposed to be the job of the parents. But how does that work when so often, more often than any of us want to admit, it’s the parents these kids need to be protected from?

Random Acts of Opinion – Marriage Story (2019)

he film isn’t narratively complex but it is emotionally complex; the twisted, conflicting and sometimes contradictory nature of Nicole’s and Charlies relationship so closely mirroring too many real life dramas. Even watching a relationship come apart with this level of fictional honesty can be uncomfortable. But watching Charlie and Nicole work through the all the pain to make something out of the version of their life together they now have to leave can grant a measure of hope for the rest of us that, as hard as it is, it can be done.

Random Acts Of Opinion – 21 Bridges (2019)

I don’t think I’m out of bounds by saying 21 Bridges isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it’s got enough grit for those that like a solid cop drama. I don’t know if the no frills approach will lead to a lot of re-watchability, and the movie certainly doesn’t seem to have much of anything to say, but it’s still a solidly entertaining 99 minutes of a movie. I don’t know if it’s worth crossing the Hudson for, but I’ve done a lot worse for a lot less.

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Good Liar (2019)

The Good Liar has all the elements in its text for a movie that could be a tense twisty, turny thriller. And there is entertainment in watching all the pieces fall into place. McKellen and Mirren are always fascinating to watch but there is no cat and mouse between these two fakers, so the movie isn’t really giving the two titanic thespians much of anything to do, in my opinion. I almost wish we were in on, if not on exactly who Mirren’s character is, but the fact that she’s playing McKellen just to give the film a little competitive, “who’s going to come out on top” angle. But that would be a different movie all together, and I don’t get to ask for that. There is an audience out there for this film that will continue to find value in it. It’s sad that I’m not in that audience, but that’s how things work out sometimes.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Sports movies are rarely ever about sports. The question of whether the good guy wins the big game/match/race is just the thing that gets people in the door so you can tell them the real story, the story that actually matters.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Doctor Sleep (2019)

Don’t get it twisted; this is a fine, fine movie. Incredibly well made on every level. But even despite all that it didn’t turn me on because it just wasn’t enough. It was frustratingly too tame and seemed to want to play more as a dark superhero movie than a horror film on almost any level. The movie was very dedicated to the adventure of it and sharing the thrills of its dark fantasy world, and it does so with aplomb. But it just didn’t hit the hard notes hard enough for me, and that’s just frustrating. It all comes down to the choices made by the filmmakers and they just aren’t choices that work for me. I get it;  I really do get it. Whether or not I can get behind the choices that were made is irrelevant. Whether or not I think the choices make the movie weaker is irrelevant; they weren’t my choices to make. Doctor Sleep is a movie that had all the right ingredients for a film that could have really lit my fire but we just didn’t spark. It is what it is. I didn’t hate my return to the Overlook Hotel, but I really think it’s time for me to check out.

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse is a dirty, grimy, dark, lout, disturbing, uncomfortable movie – and that is a very good thing. It’s cinema that pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you consider the value of entertainment. It’s going to be a movie that many people will be hard pressed to decide whether or not they even enjoyed it – and that’s perfectly okay. A movie like this is one that has artistic merit that extends far beyond the confines of a simple up or down/ like or dislike function. This movie can be challenging and that alone will be enough of a reason for some to ignore or dismiss it. But if you’re up for a little challenge and you want to experience something a little more akin to an old man’s version of cinema, then maybe The Lighthouse is just the beacon in the dark you need.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Gemini Man (2019)

No matter where you are in your life one of the hardest things anyone can do is come face-to-face with themselves. To have an honest look at what the years and all the choices, good and bad, have done to make you the person you are can be terrifying. All the missed opportunities, all the times you should have zagged when you zigged, the things left unsaid, the kisses left un-stolen, the lies told, the loves lost – self-reflection on that level can be heartbreaking and revealing. It’s a concept ripe for cinema and tackled what I’m sure must have been scores of times in movies I’ve never even seen or heard of, And it’s one that seemed right up director Ang Lee’s alley. Toss in perennial megastar Will Smith, a cool storytelling device and an approach to presentation meant to take film storytelling to a new level and all the ingredients are there for a movie event to be something special. Unfortunately whether or not an audience is able to fully engage with the film as conceived isn’t always in a filmmakers control and, as a result, the final work may not deliver entirely as intended. But does the idea that the film doesn’t completely work mean it should never have been made?

Random Acts Of Opinion – Ad Astra (2019)

Rocketing off with the movie By M.Schinke Always looking for the exit, OpinionNerds. I lament the day science fiction was reduced to, “Sci-Fi”. Though it’s long been misunderstood as nothing more than distracting flights of the fantastic with nothing substantial to say, the great authors of science fiction knew that what they were telling were…

Random Acts Of Opinion – IT: Chapter Two (2019)

Honest engines; I didn’t walk out of IT: Chapter Two hating what I saw. I was dismayed at the overall presentation and left feeling profoundly unsatisfied. And what it comes down to is the simple fact that the movie, while it can be creepy, is never scary. Its spends far more time being sentimental and funny than it does being horrifying. I’m really not interested in an R-rated, mature audience oriented monster movie giving me speeches on the power of friendship and believing in yourself. In terms of intent and execution I’m not sure whether or not to consider the film a success or a failure. I guess that all depends on what one believes the intent to have been.

Don’t Look Back – Marathon Man (1976)

Marathon Man is, from what I can tell, every bit the film it’s reputation makes it out to be. It’s not a narrative that’s going to turn your psychology upside down, but the craft in the presentation leads to a very satisfying viewing experience.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Night Hunter (2019)

With as much as I enjoyed about writer/ director David Raymond’s serial killer thriller, there is a gaping feeling of absence that keeps the movie from truly percolating despite some real acting power and a solid grasp on the mechanics of film making.

Random Acts Of Opinion – Blinded By The Light (2019)

Blinded By The Light can be an entertaining experience whether or not you’re a fan of Springsteen’s music. I ultimately feel the filmmakers choice to be so universal left it without it’s own voice (ironic given some of the films key themes) but I applaud the approach that says there are no, “others” in this world. we all have the same stories. Slightly different textures, slightly different flavors, but we’re all the same no matter what. While it didn’t exactly shine brightly for me, I have no doubt others may find the film…. illuminating.

Don’t Look Back – Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

Looking at all that glitters By M.Schinke As I recall I think we both kinda liked it, OpinionNerds! What do you do? When the world of blockbuster film making is constantly disappointing you, the indie landscape is as disparate and disconnected as your modern urban metropolis, making finding anything of personal value a chore, and…

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Art of Self Defense (2019)

Sparring with the film By M.Schinke I’ll take a diet Fight Club with light ice, OpinionNerds I was always a fan of Fight Club. Director David Fincher’s 1999 film about a guy who creates a strong alternate personality to deal with the world that eventually threatens to take over completely has a darkly comic vibe,…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Framing John DeLorean (2019)

Busting the documentary By M.Schinke Is it too late for a cocaine joke, OpinionNerds? For most people, the name DeLorean just means, “that car from Back to the Future, right?” Older people may remember some cocaine laced jokes they heard along with a vague tale about a guy who got really rich and kind of…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Midsommar (2019)

Standing in the sun of the film By M.schinke It’s always brightest just before the dark, OpinionNerds. A question that doesn’t get asked often enough in these days of micromanaged, genre specific output is what exactly makes a horror movie a, “horror movie”? It’s easy enough to peg a slasher film, or a zombie film,…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Toy Story 4 (2019)

Playing with the new film By M.Schinke To Infinity yadda yadda yadda, OpinionNerds! I remember seeing the first Toy Story in theaters and being completely blown away, not just by the technical brilliance of the art and animation, but by how genuine the story and performances were. This continued into Toy Story 2, and I…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Rocketman (2019)

Blasting off with the new film By M.Schinke The bitch is back, OpinionNerds! As the opening titles render across the screen and settle, a door in the background of the frame bursts open, sending the title scattering across the screen. In stomps an imposingly large looking figure decked out in a flaming orange and bedazzeled spandex…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Booksmart (2019)

Thoughts on the movie By M.Schinke Last chance to turn it up, OpinionNerds! High school movies are about as common as hot dogs at a picnic, and it takes quite a bit to make one stand out from the herd. Director Olivia Wilde may have just created a minor classic with Booksmart, putting her stamp…

Don’t Look Back – The French Connection: Preserving Color

Connecting with the movie By M.Schinke OpinionNerds fais le en Francais! So, time for a confession: I had never before seen director William Friedkin’s The French Connection – a state of being I have recently rectified. The Oscar winning 1971 film is one of those movies that is spoken about with great reverence among film fans, with…

Random Acts Of Opinion – John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

Taking a shot at the movie By M.Schinke There is a price if you break the rules, OpinionNerds There are many things I really, really like about the movies that make up the very small but extremely potent John Wick franchise, but the thing I think I enjoy the most is the no-bullshit attitude that…

Don’t Look Back – Brazil (1985)

Looking at the film By M.Schinke Don’t forget to file your paperwork, OpinionNerds Terry Gilliam is a movie legend. Or is it despot? He’s either an artistic hero or a film making villain, a genius or a lunatic, depending on either your mood or the company you’re in. And his films are either classics of…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Capturing the film By M.Schinke I choose you, OpinionNerds! I was on the outside of the whole Pokemon thing. I was too old when it hit, and the only people I knew who participated in it were cynical speculators who were buying boxes of cards trying to secure the most rare ones pieces to sell…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Amazing Grace (2018)

Listening to the movie By M.Schinke How sweet the sound, OpinionNerds! I need to make something very clear; I know exactly fuck all about gospel music. My religious upbringing was Presbyterian, and if there is one thing they know how to do it’s how to avoid grandiose showcases of emotion. When I was old enough…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Captive State (2019)

Striking a match with the movie By M.Schinke You Have To Choose A Side, OpinionNerds Outside of Netflix it seems like thrillers are a bit of a dying breed. They’re not action movies, they’re not horror movies, they typically don’t have big budgets to play with and they usually aren’t dumb enough to be flat…

Don’t Look Back – Push (2009)

Watching and moving By M.Schinke Don’t do it; I’m close to the edge, OpinionNerds In the early part of the 2000’s, before the franchise wars ground down all the reasonable nerds in the world and tossed the resulting meal into the cursing, screaming abattoir of the new fandom, someone had a thought; “People like superhero…

Random Acts of Opinion – Triple Frontier (2019)

Stealing a look at the movie By M.Schinke You can never go back to your normal lives, OpinionNerds The movie landscape is littered with big tent pole movies, action blockbusters and huge, decades long spanning franchises So, when is just being a, “pretty good” movie good enough? Triple Frontier started life in 2010 when it…

Don’t Look Back – Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Staying alive with the film By M.Schinke Get down with the sickness, OpinionNerds! In the early 2000’s producers Eric Newman and Marc Abraham hatched a plan to produce a revamped version of director George A. Romero’s 1978 zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. The duo set out on a mission not to just remake the…

Don’t Look Back – Snow Steam Iron (2017)

A long look at the short film By M.Schinke Hell hath no fury like, OpinionNerds 2017 was a troubling year for Director Zack Snyder. It started with the director losing control over what was arguably the biggest movie of his career to date, the damaged eventual release Justice League, and became compounded by a horrible…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Cold War (2019)

Looking at the movie By M.Schinke Button up tight, OpinionNerds Cold War, director Pawel Pawlikowski’s 2019 tragic romance, tells a story with so much going on though very little actually happens. Starring Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot, the black and white, subtitled film from the Polish director is filled with music but it does not…

The Grey Area – Stream of Consciousness

Streaming movie mayhem By M.Schinke Hear me read this for The Film Exiles Podcast HERE! So hey OpinionNerds, Zack is back. The news hit today that director Zack Snyder, joined by his wife an producing partner Deborah, oh he of the Superman and Batman of the pop culture mainstreams darkest nightmares, is joining the man…

Random Acts Of Opinion – On The Basis Of Sex (2018)

Filing suit with the film By M.Schinke Thank you, OpinionNerds, and may it please the court United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has led one hell of a life. She was in the second group of women allowed to study law at Harvard University. She cared for a gravely ill husband while they…

What Was That All About – Aliens (1986)

Waking up from the movie By M.Schinke We’re in the pipe, 5X5; OpinionNerds! As we journey along our path as film fans, movie nerds, cinema geeks, frame freaks and shutter sillies; it’s never a bad idea to take a step to the side and look back at where we’ve been. One of the great advantages…

Random Acts Of Opinion – If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Dreaming with the film By M.Schinke Trust love all the way, OpinionNerds I’m going to tell you everything I know about author James Baldwin: James Baldwin was a writer. So…. If Beale Street Could Talk, is based on the 1974 novel by american author, essayist and civil rights icon James Baldwin. Set in the early…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Vice (2018)

Mining the new film By. M.Schinke Stay silent, listen and then strike, OpinionNerds! A little more than 10 years after leaving public office, Dick Cheney remains one of the most polarizing figures in recent American history. There are some people content to think of him as Batman’s enemy The Penguin; selfish and terrible, but easy…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Looking at the film By M.Schinke Bow before your Queens, OpinionNerds! What a marvelous opportunity for a nascent film analyst! In the space of two weekends I have had the opportunity to experience two films that are very similar in appearance but so very different in result. Last week was director Yorgos Lanthimos darkly comedic The…

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Favourite (2018)

An overview of the film By M.Schinke Comedy is darker by candlelight, OpinionNerds! Backstabbing, skullduggery, lust, duck racing and sugary cakes – welcome to Queen Anne’s England as portrayed in director Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite, screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. The film very, very loosely follows the historical procession of court favorite during the later years…

In My Humble Opinion – Green Book (2018)

Taking the Oscar-bait By M.Schinke Trust me, OpinionNerds; I’m a doctor! Normally I’d use the Random Acts Of Opinion section to talk about new films but with Green Book, I’m not really interested in talking about the movie. I mean; obviously I am, because here I am gabbing away already. But when it comes to…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Robin Hood (2018)

Taking aim at the new film By M.Schinke It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me, OpinionNerds! I honestly don’t know what to say about this movie. I mean; I am honestly of some very differing minds about it. Directed by Otto Bathurst from a screenplay by Ben Chandler and…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Creed II (2018)

Taking a look at the new film By M.Schinke I must break this, OpinionNerds! It’s a rare, great day to walk out of a sequel feeling as if you’ve seen a film that stands shoulder to shoulder with its predecessor. We can all point to The Empire Strikes Back or The Wrath of Khan as…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Widows (2018)

Diving into the film By M.Schinke Don’t leave me alone, OpinionNerds! Widows is a movie that has a bit of an identity crisis. On the one hand there is the dramatic plot of the widows (hence the title) of a recently deceased group of elite thieves pulling off a major job to pay back the…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Looking at the new film By M.Schinke Are you gonna take me home tonight, OpinionNerds? This is not real life. This is just fantasy. As we’ve mentioned in this space before, biopics are weird type of storytelling. It’s not a documentary, but if you’re doing it right it isn’t entirely fictional; unless that’s the goal….

Random Acts Of Opinion – Halloween (2018)

Observations on the new film By M.Schinke Time to get  on the bus, OpinionNerds! I’m 42 years old; born in 1976. When I turned 40, I didn’t get Jamie Lee Curtis to come out and celebrate with me no matter how many letters I wrote. So right there, that’s one thing that director David Gordon Green’s…

Random Acts Of Opinion – First Man (2018)

Impressions of the film By M. Schinke Prepare to leave yourselves behind, OpinionNerds. I love movies. I love working my way through a plot, going back over events and seeing how intricately they were constructed. I love going back to a movie and digging out what I believe the story to be. I also love…

What Was That All About – Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Looking for story and conceit in the film By M.Schinke We all walk alone sometimes, OpinionNerds. A little while back I wrote an article for this series on the 2007, “Final Cut” version of Ridley Scott’s cult classic Blade Runner. Starring Harrison Ford, Sean Young and Rutger Hauer the movie is a neo noir, science fiction…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Bad Times At The El Royale (2018)

A quick look at the new film By M.Schinke Time to decide which side of the line you sleep on, OpinionNerds! Movies where a group of strangers end up at a certain location and find their stories intertwined are nothing new. Just earlier this year we had a vaguely similar premise play out in Drew…

Random Acts Of Opinion – A Star Is Born (2018)

Thoughts on the film By M.Schinke Is it better to burn out than fade away, OpinionNerds? Hollywood cannibalizing itself for material is nothing new. TV shows become movies, movies become TV shows, movies spawn sequel after sequel after sequel before finally getting what we now call a, “reboot” so the cycle can start all over…

What Was That All About – Blade Runner: Final Cut (2007)

Exploring the story and conceit By M.Schinke It’s Too Bad She Won’t Live, OpinionNerds. But Then Again Who Does? In 1968, writer Philip K. Dick released the strangely titled Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, a science fiction novel about a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard taking on a contract to retire (kill) a group of Nexus-6…

Random Acts Of Opinion – White Boy Rick (2018)

Is reality important in biopics By M.Schinke There is no reality in fiction, OpionionNerds Biopics are an interesting breed of films. These movies are based on real people’s lives, and they tell stories (presumably) using depictions of real events as part of their dramatic arcs. We might see names we recognize, places that do or…

What Was That All About – TRON: Legacy (2010)

Assessing the films meaning By M.Schinke Get ready to obtain enlightenment, OpinionNerds! The original TRON was what people in the industry would call an ambitious disappointment. Produced by Disney in 1982 on a budget of $17 million dollars, not cheap in those days, the movie made $33 million domestic and earned middling reviews that praised…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Juliet, Naked (2018)

Undressing the new film By M.Schinke Time for a naked conversation, OpinionNerds Romantic comedies are a strange sack of cats to wrangle. When you can get all the wee beasties under control they can be quite comforting and cute. But when you can’t, they are a howling mess of screeching, clawing animals you just want…

Don’t Look Back – Sucker Punch (2011)

The art of setting up the story By M.Schinke This world is as real as any other, Opinionnerds! After its release in 2011 people pretty much stopped talking about Sucker Punch, the fantasy/ action film co-written and directed by Zack Snyder, in all but the most unflattering terms. The movie, in it’s mandated PG-13 theatrical…

Random Acts of Opinion – BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Looking at the latest Spike Lee Joint By M.Schinke Can you dig it, Opinionnerds? Our reality is determined on a sliding scale; there is fact, and then there is truth. Movies are part of an additional layer to that reality; things that, “feel true”. One of the primary functions of  movies is to create a…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Blindspotting (2018)

Looking at the film By M.Schinke Check those angles, Opinionnerds! When you mix the right amount of comedy with the proper concentration of drama, you can create a potent cocktail of entertainment able to intoxicate even the most puritan of audiences. Blindspotting writers/ stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, along with director Carlos Lopez Estrada,…

Don’t Look Back – Naked Lunch (1991)

Thoughts on the film By M.Schinke Say, could you rub some of that powder on my lips, Opinionnerds? There have been a number of books over the years that some have considered impervious to film adaptation and, for a very long time, right up near the top of that list, lay The Naked Lunch. After…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Mission Impossible: Fallout

Taking a look at the film By M.Schinke You know your choices, Opinionnerds! Make no mistake my friends, no matter what I might say from here on out this is a movie I received tremendous enjoyment from. I have been on board with Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible film franchise since the first movie stylishly runned…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Sorry To Bother You (2018)

A Look At The Film By M.Schinke Stick To The Script, Opinionnerds! I had no idea what to expect from Sorry To Bother You. Writer/ director Boots Riley’s debut feature was not on my radar and, if not for his appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah one random evening, I likely never would…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Whitney (2018)

A look at the powerfully affecting documentary By M.Schinke Time to scratch away at the megastars image, Opinionnerds There was a time I wanted to be a famous. I wanted to be a rockstar. I played guitar, (sort of) I sang and wrote like any other guy in his early 20’s who was arrogant enough…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

The sincere heart of the film By M.Schinke If it’s too loud, you’re too old Opinionnerds I’ve never exactly been what you would call an, “indie movie” guy. I love a good documentary, but indie films typically cover subject matter that isn’t really in my wheelhouse, and they do it in a way that has…

In My Humble Opinion – Rey vs Luke: It Builds Character

Examining the character building By M. Schinke Search your feelings, Opinionnerds…. Right off the bat I want to make it clear I do not have an issue with Rey as a character or any ax to grind with the new movies. Daisy Ridley infuses this character with an immediately identifiable spirit and a complex, conflicted…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Talking about the film By M.Schinke There are no heroes here, Opinionnerds. I don’t have strong memories of 2015’s Sicario, the first film in a proposed trilogy of stories starring Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. The first film gave us a focus character in Emily Blunt’s FBI agent swept up into the terrifying world…

Random Acts Of Opinion – The Incredibles II

Admiring the films attributes by M.Schinke Get me my super suit, Opinionnerds! Just like the first film, released in 2004, writer/ director Brad Bird has crafted a well oiled piece of storytelling with The Incredibles II. For those living in a cave for the last 20 years, The Incredibles takes place sometime in a 1960’s…

Don’t Look Back – Diversity Engine: The Matrix Series

Looking back at the diversity in The Matrix By M.Schinke Let’s get plugged in, Opinionnerds… In 1999 Warner Bros released The Matrix onto a world that was taken completely by surprise. Blown away by mind bending, reality warping special effects, intense action and just enough philosophy that even the average C student felt themselves getting,…

What Was That All About – Hotel Artemis (2018)

Finding the metaphor in the menagerie By M.Schinke Hold onto your guts, Opinionnerds; this is probably gonna hurt…. Let’s face it; being a criminal is a dangerous way of life. From time to time you are going to take some damage; burns, bullets, knives – it’s a little more than an occupational hazard. When one…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Attack Of The Prequels: Solo (2018)

Thoughts on the film By M.Schinke I have a bad feeling about this, Opinionnerds… If you have in any way followed the behind the scenes shenanigans of Solo: A Star Wars Story, then you’ll know that the fact they were able to release a film as good as this one is a minor miracle. I’m…

Don’t Look Back – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Discussing the power and reversals in the film by M.Schinke Come to the land of the ice and snow, Opinionnerds! I’m not going to lie, Opinionnerds; this is a tough film to experience. Based on the novel Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women) by the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larson, David Fincher’s adaptation (bearing…

What Was That All About – A Quiet Place (2018)

A look at the story and conceit in the film by M.Schinke Hey, keep it down Opinionnerds! I’m not a really big fan of horror movies. It’s not that I’m timid or easily spooked, though to this day my wife Jessica won’t let me forget how much Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake got…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)

Thoughts on Mr. Rogers By M.Schinke Come on in and take your shoes off, Opinionnerds. As you guys well know I’m old. Ok I’m older than a number of you but; that’s cool. I grew up in the early 80’s so I wasn’t around for the hey day of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, the seminal children’s…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Taking a look at the film By M.Schinke Don’t drift away on me now, Opinionnerds! Pacific Rim is not a movie that was in need of a sequel. The entire point of Pacific Rim was that it was the end of a story; the last chapter in a fight that had been occurring off camera…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Ready Player One (2018)

Thoughts on the film By M. Schinke Who’s got next, Opinionnerds? Spoilers ahead! See the movie before reading. If not, don’t blame me for giving away the goose. Ready Player One, the newest big budget, high concept fantasy film from the director that made your childhood magical, Steven Spielberg, released this weekend and its everything…

What Was That All About – Prometheus (2012)

Finding the conceit in the film By M. Schinke It’s time to ask the big questions, Opinionnerds! Prometheuswas a big film. It had big production. It had big ideas and big ambitions. As a would be prequel to the Alien franchise it had big shoes to fill and a big load of expectation riding astride…

Random Acts Of Opinion – A Wrinkle In Time (2018)

Impressions of the film by M.Schinke I’m to old for this shit, Opinionnerds… Growing up I never read A Wrinke In Time. I didn’t know anyone who had read it. I had never even heard of it before this film went into production. Written by Madeliene L’Engle between 1959 and 1960, the book was ultimately…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Red Sparrow: Weapons of Honesty

A quick look at what is, and is not, in the film By M.Schinke It’s me again, Opinionnerds – or is it? My wife and I had date night last night and you, dear readers, get to reap the benefits of….. yeah, I’m not buying it either. Let me just clue you in on what…

Watching Actors Act – The Post

Watching Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks By M.Schinke Stop the presses, Opinionnerds! In 1971, the people of America started to really understand the depths that their government was capable of sinking to with the publication of what came to be known as The Pentagon Papers. Commissioned by then US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, they…

What Was That All About – What Happened To Monday (2017)

Finding the conceit in the film By M.Schinke Hello hello, Opionnerds! Finding the conceit in a film can be a rewarding experience on many levels and one of the biggest rewards is finding out that there is no single conceit, and no single way to apply it to the film. When applied effectively the conceit…

Watching Actors Act: Darkest Hour

Watching Gary Oldman By M.Schinke Salutations, Opinionnerds! I’ve never been one for history, least off all World War II history. Like most conflicts WWII was a stupid war, initiated and waged by stupid people for stupid reasons. This world, and esepcially my country of the United States of America, have spent far too much time…

Don’t Look Back – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Looking back at Rogue One By M.Schinke Time for a new mission, Opionnerds! Spurred on by a writer associate of mine on Twitter (@SMColbert – ScreenRant.Com) to take a second look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I decided to do just that. Only…. not that. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a movie I…

In My Humble Opinion – Zen Jedi

Why attachment, not emotion, is the true enemy of the Jedi By M.Schinke Namaste, Opionnerds! There’s been a video making the rounds about what the author, the Pop Culture Detective,  perceives as an inherent toxic masculinity at the heart of the Jedi in the Star Wars universe and how that toxicity ultimately led to their…

Watching Actors Act: Molly’s Game

Looking at the main performances in Molly’s Game By M.Schinke Ante up, Opinionnerds! Aaron Sorkin crosses from writer and show runner to taking the center seat with his feature directorial debut; Molly’s Game. Adapted by Sorkin from the book of the same name, the film tells the story of Molly Bloom; a former Olympic freestyle…

Don’t Look Back – Breakfast In Angel Grove, Power Rangers (2017)

Breakfast Club feels in Power Rangers (2017) By M.Schinke It’s Morphing Time, Opinionnerds! The Criterion Colection is releasing a new restoration of The Breakfast Club on blu-ray and I find the timing personally amusing as I just went through a re-watch of the 2017 Power Rangers. Now I will certainly not be the first one…

Random Acts Of Opinion – Lady Bird and the Cinema of Nothing

Thoughts on Lady Bird By M.Schinke Get your feels ready, Opinionnerds. Lady Bird is a 2017 film released by Scott Rudin Productions, Entertainment 360 and IAC Films. Directed by Greta Gerwig the film stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf and chronicles the title characters senior year of high school as she seeks a way out of Sacramento, CA and…

Don’t Look Back – Here Comes The New Jedi; Same As The Old Jedi

Initial thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi By M.Schinke The latest offering in the Disney/ Lucasfilm, LTD. committee approved Star Wars Franchise, writer/ director Rian Johnson’s Disney/ Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit with a critical and financial bang this weekend to the surprise of absolutely no one. What was surprising was the…

Watching Actors Act – Denzel Washington Shines in Roman J Israel, Esq

Thoughts on the film by M.Schinke Roman J. Israel, Esq., the 2017 film starring Denzel Washington from writer/ directer Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) is another top notch showcase of Washington’s ability to create a compelling and fully fleshed out character. Unfortunately, that’s about the best praise one can muster for the film. There isn’t anything particularly,…