Classic Write-Up Reviews! I managed to catch up on a lot of iconic movies in 2018 and keeping that in mind, I decided to close out 2018 with my Top Twelve Cinematic Discoveries of 2018, which serves as a look back at my twelve favorite classic movies that I watched for the first time in 2018! Like my lists looking at the best new movies in a given year, I sort these movies in alphabetical order, though I did reverse the order of the last two movies on this list just so I could close out this piece on an upbeat note!
OK folks, let's count down the remaining seconds of 2018 by looking at my Top Twelve Cinematic Discovers of 2018! But first...an honorable mention...
Welcome to Land of The Nerds, where I, Lisa Laman, use my love of cinema to explore, review and talk about every genre of film imaginable!
Monday, December 31, 2018
Sunday, December 30, 2018
The Final Box Office Weekend of 2018 See's Aquaman Reigning Supreme, Mary Poppins Rebounding And Holmes & Watson Without A Clue
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Bird Box's Better Aspects Get Let Down By An Overly Convoluted Script
coming from genuine real-life people despite early reports to the contrary) centered around the movie popping up everywhere and Netflix bragging about their record-breaking viewership numbers for the film. Well, I guess since the internet is now so abuzz with so much talk regarding Susanne Brier's new movie Bird Box, I suppose now is the time for me to pen down my thoughts on the motion picture, which I never could have imagined generating so much widespread conversation, for good and for ill.
Vice Is A Sprawling Saga of Corruption That Kind of Works (Surprisingly Well, In Fact) In Spite of Its Worst Elements
Friday, December 28, 2018
Children of Men Is A Riveting Post-Apocalyptic Tale As Only Alfonso Cuaron Could Tell It
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
The Hysterical Lead Duo of Never Goin' Back Make This A Solid 2018 Indie Comedy
Welcome to Marwen Is Too Enamored With Empty CGI Spectacle To Go Beyond The Valley, Er, Town Of The Dolls
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Bumblebee Has Got The Touch And Also Has The Power To Emotionally Move Viewers
Aquaman Comes To Shore With $67 Million Bow As Competing Family Movies Bumblebee & Mary Poppins Underperform On Opening Weekends
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns Is Far Too Familiar Given Its Unpredictable Lead Character
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Aquaman Is 2018's Answer To G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. That's A Compliment.
"Outrageous!" portrayal in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Much to my delight, James Wan's Aquaman movie decides to eschew constantly apologizing for the weirdness of the character and his world and just embraces all the high-concept underwater absurdity that Aquaman could possibly get into, a choice worthy of a mighty Jason Momoa delivered "YEAH!".
The Outstanding Cinematography Of Foxtrot Alone Makes This A Movie Worth Seeing
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
In Laman's Terms: How Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Captures Intimate Parts Of The LGBTQA+ Experience
SPOILERS FOR SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE FOLLOW!
"And whenever I feel alone, like no one else knows what I'm going through, I'll remember my friends that do." - Miles Morales reflecting on his new Spider-hero friends.
None of our identities are shaped in a vacuum. Frequently without even realizing it, external factors help shape who we are as a person Just ask Miles Morales, a Marvel comics superhero who's also the star of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, one of the best movies of 2018. The films central story involves all kinds of delightfully over-the-top elements ranging from alternate universes to gigantic goblins to a pig superhero but at the base of it all is the intimate story of a boy growing into and embracing his identity as a Spider-Man like no other. It's a touching tale that garners extra levels of poignancy because of how well it works as an allegory for the experience of growing up as a member of the LGBTQA+ community.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Roma Is A Showcase For Impressive Camerawork And A Similarly Superb Performance From Yalitza Aparicio
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Launches Holiday Season Box Office In Style While The Mule Has Solid Bow And Mortal Engines Falls Into A Ditch
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Character-Driven Thrills Make Cam Oh So Engrossing
Friday, December 14, 2018
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Is Pure Cinematic Joy
Posted by Lisa Laman at 10:43 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Bob Persichetti, December 2018, Jake Johnson, Movie Review, Nicolas Cage, Peter Ramsey, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Rodney Rothman, Shameik Moore, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Orson Welles And All His Complexities Make For A great Documentary In They'll Love Me When I'm Dead
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Mortal Engines Is Nonsense But More Often Than Not, It's Enjoyable Nonsense
Posted by Lisa Laman at 11:00 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Christian Rivers, December 2018, Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Mad Max: Fury Road, Mortal Engines, Movie Review, Peter Jackson, Robert Sheehan, Stephen Lang, You Were Never Really Here
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Ben Mendelsohn Excels In An Otherwise Average Take On The Robin Hood Mythos
Monday, December 10, 2018
Desert Hearts Is An Outstanding Poignant Character-Driven Motion Picture
The Rider Masterfully Channels Reality To Contemplate How We Define Ourselves Against Societal Expectations
Sunday, December 9, 2018
A Pair Of Animated Movies Top One Last Weekend Before The Christmas Rush Begins
|I've already done Ralph Breaks The Internet header images for two weekends in a row, how about a Creech header image to shake things up?|
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Akira Kurosawa Laid The Groundwork For Inspirational Sports Movies With His Directorial Debut Sanshiro Sugata
Friday, December 7, 2018
The Bolder Traits of Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle Can't Overcome Its More Tired Tendencies
Andy Serkis may have not planned to fixate his entire career around motion-capture performances but after portraying acclaimed characters like Gollum, Caesar and the 2005 version of King Kong, he's embraced it, to the point that not only has he founded a studio dedicated to this artform but his second directorial effort (following the dreadful biopic drama Breathe) is primarily centered around characters brought to life by the motion-capture process. What project would call for so many characters of this nature? Why, a new big-screen adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book of course, though this time around it's called Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle as an obvious homage to the classic fantasy adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Posted by Lisa Laman at 11:05 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Breathe, Callie Kloves, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, December 2018, Frieda Pinto, Movie Review, Mowgli: King of the Jungle, Naomie Harris, Rohan Chand, The Jungle Book
Thursday, December 6, 2018
The Miseducation of Cameron Post Impresses With Its Characters And Its Acting
Posted by Lisa Laman at 11:02 AM No comments:
Labels: Cecilia Frugiuele, Conversion Camp, Desiree Akhavan, Forrest Goodluck, Hearts Beat Loud, John Gallagher Jr., Movie Review, Sasha Lane, Short Term 12, The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Writer/Director Joel Edgerton Manages To Find Humanity To Accompany On-Screen Torment In Boy Erased
Posted by Lisa Laman at 12:48 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Boy Erased, Britton Sear, Conversion Camp, Joel Edgerton, Lady Bird, Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea, Movie Review, Nicole Kidman, November 2018, Russell Crowe, The Gift
Monday, December 3, 2018
The Front Runner Is Lackluster Fare Desperately In Need Of Some Personality
Holiday Season 2018 Box Office Predictions
fifth year in a row, I'll be predicting the opening weekend and final domestic grosses for the assorted movies opening in wide release throughout December. One quick note before we begin; there are currently no set release dates for wide release expansions for limited release titles like The Favourite or Mary, Queen of Scots that'll almost certainly go into wide release during December. Thus, no box office predictions will be offered for such titles.
OK, let's begin this tradition with the lone new wide release of this coming weekend....
OK, let's begin this tradition with the lone new wide release of this coming weekend....
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Psychokinesis Makes For A Great (Allegedly) First Foray Into Superhero Movies For South Korean Cinema
Russain blockbuster Guardians, which features a dude who transforms into a giant bear. One of this year's newest example of a foreign superhero movie was Psychokinesis, the newest film from Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho and a movie that has been called the first South Korean superhero movie (I have my doubts about that).
Audiences Log Back On To Ralph Breaks The Internet While The Possession of Hannah Grace Has Meek Debut
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Green Book Is Occasionally Agreeable And Occasionally Cringe-Inducing
Overlord Is Simple But Also Frequently Entertaining
Friday, November 30, 2018
Go On An Endlessly Charming Holiday With Katharine Hepburn And Cary Grant
Posted by Lisa Laman at 10:15 AM No comments:
Labels: 1938, Bringing Up Baby, Cary Grant, Donald Ogden Stewart, Doris Nolan, Goerge Cukor, Henry Kolker, Holiday, June 1938, Katharine Hepburn, Lew Ayres, Sidney Buchman, The Philadelphia Story
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
With A Story And Cast This Good, No Wonder Jackie Brown Is So Thoroughly Entertaining
Posted by Lisa Laman at 1:42 PM No comments:
Labels: 1997, Bridget Fonda, Classic Write-Up, December 1997, Jackie Brown, Michael Keaton, Movie Review, Pam Grier, Robert De Niro, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight
Monday, November 26, 2018
Creed II is Satisfying But Disappointingly Not Very Surprising
Beautiful Boy Is An Imperfect Drama With Two Great Lead Performances
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Ralph Breaks The Internet And, Along With Creed II, The Domestic Box Office Over A Busy Thanksgiving Box Office
Remember those TV spots for Saw sequels that proclaimed "If it's Halloween, it must be Saw"? Well, Disney should start doing something similar by having TV spots for their Thanksgiving animated fare that proclaim "If it's Thanksgiving, it must be time for an animated movie blockbuster from Disney." The studios tradition of releasing box office hits (and also The Good Dinosaur) over the holiday timeframe continued on with Ralph Breaks The Internet, which grossed $55.6 million over the weekend, the third-best three-day Thanksgiving opening weekend in history behind fellow Disney Animation titles Moana ($56.6 million) and Frozen ($67.3 million). That opening weekend is a 15% improvement over the opening weekend of its predecessor despite Ralph Breaks The Internet burning off demand with a Wednesday lunch unlike the original Wreck-It Ralph which bowed on a Friday.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Instant Family Stumbles In Trying To Make Heartfelt Family Fare
Layers of Ambiguity Fuel The Beautifully Filmed Thriller Burning (SPOILERS)
Friday, November 23, 2018
Thoughtful Heist Movie Widows Is The Very Best Kind of Expansive Cinema
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The Grinch Is Painless And Average Which Puts It Above Most Dr. Seuss Movie Adaptations
Posted by Lisa Laman at 11:28 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Dr. Seuss, Illumination Entertainment, Kenan Thompson, Movie Review, November 2018, Pharrell Williams, The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, The Lorax, Tyler the Creator
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Charlie Chaplin Bid Farewell To The Tramp By Embracing Real-World Turmoil In Modern Times
Bear in the Big Blue House or Johnny Carson, there comes a time when you must say goodbye. Whether it's because the general public has gotten tired of you, by your own choice or other external circumstances, there comes a moment when all pop culture figures must take their final bows and walk off gracefully into the sunset. This was true even for a cinematic icon like Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp character, who had been entertaining audiences for more than two decades since he first premiered in the 1914 short film Twenty Minutes of Love. Yes, even The Tramp couldn't last forever and so the character went out with a bang with the 1936 movie Modern Times.
Posted by Lisa Laman at 12:58 PM No comments:
Labels: 1936, Bear in the Big Blue House, Charlie Chaplin, Classic Write-Up, February 1936, Johnny Carson, Logan, Modern Times, Movie Review, Paulette Goddard, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Great Depression, The Tramp
Monday, November 19, 2018
John Turturro, The Coen Brothers And Especially John Goodman Are All In Top-Notch Form In Barton Fink
From The Ashes of FilmStruck Rises Criterion Collection!
a petition calling for FilmStruck to be saved and sent it directly to Toby Emmerich, head of Warner Bros. Pictures (which is part of the WarnerMedia family that FilmStruck belongs to).
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The Coen Brothers Return To Westerns In Successful Fashion With The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Posted by Lisa Laman at 11:50 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Anthology Film, Brendan Gleeson, Liam Neeson, Movie Review, November 2018, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Coen Brothers, Tim Blake Nelson, Tom Waits, Western, Zoe Kazan
A Trio of Newcomers, Including Fantastic Beasts 2 And Widows, Underperform At The Pre-Thanksgiving Box Office
Wizard Angst right now given that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald only debuted to $62.2 million domestically, or at least, they'd be experiencing that until they saw the massive $191 million it took in overseas, giving it a $253 million worldwide haul to date, the 38th biggest worldwide box office opening weekend in history. In the U.S. though, the newest Fantastic Beasts films didn't fare so well, scoring the lowest opening weekend for a movie topping the pre-Thanksgiving weekend frame since 2007 and having a 17% lower domestic opening weekend than its predecessor despite costing 11% more to produce. Good thing they hired Johnny Depp for this project or else it might have come in shy of expectations domestically!
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Miller's Crossing Is Another Early Coen Brothers Winner
Posted by Lisa Laman at 4:39 PM No comments:
Labels: 1990, Albert Finney, Burn After Reading, Classic Write-Up, Coen Brothers, Gabriel Byrne, Hereditary, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Marcia Gay Harden, Miller's Crossing, Movie Review, September 1991, The Big Sleep
Fantastic Beasts: The Crime of Grindelwald Leans Heavily On Poorly Developed Characters To Dismal Results
One of my favorite childhood memories is when I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the very first time as a nine-year-old boy. I'd heard so much praise regarding about The Boy Who Lived from my friends and family members but it was a whole other experience to actually read it and get enveloped into this world of wizardry and wonder populated by well-realized characters I could relate to so easily. There was so much vivid humanity that informed Harry Potter, his friends and his enemies, it just made that world so compelling. With the newest entry in this sprawling Harry Potter universe, clumsily entitled, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the world, specifically all kinds of extended mythology that takes place in it, has taken precedence over the characters and that results in a total mess of a movie that would be wretched even if it wasn’t connected to an infinitely superior series of books & films.
Posted by Lisa Laman at 2:34 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, David Yates, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, J.K. Rowling, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Watterston, Movie Review, November 2018
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Can You Ever Forgive Me? Is A Skillfully Subdued Triumph
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