Welcome to Land of The Nerds, where I, Douglas Laman, use my love of cinema to explore, review and talk about every genre of film imaginable!
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Peter Jackson and Company Do A Remarkable Job Restoring World War I Footage In They Shall Not Grow Old
We Didn't Start The Fyre, That's All Billy McFarland's Doing
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Eight Box Office Duds That Got Super Bowl Commercials
|ONE. PERFECT. SHOT.|
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Revenge Refutes Cinematic Conventions In Impressive Style
Monday, January 28, 2019
The Best Parts of Mary Queen of Scots Make It Stand Out From Typical Period Piece Costume Dramas
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Some Thoughts On The Bonkers Spoilers of Serenity (What A Twist!)
Serenity Provides Tons of Entertainment, But None of It Is Intentional
Philadelphia's Lead Performances Stand Above Its Weakest Tendencies
The January 2019 Domestic Box Office Closes Out With Glass Ruling Again And Two Wide Release Newcomers Flopping
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Skate Kitchen Goes In Some Well-Realized Unexpected Directions
On the surface, Skate Kitchen's premise about a teenager struggling with their own personal family woes finding some kind of solace in a group of skateboarder friends sounds like a good number of other American indie movies, particularly Jonah Hill's 2018 directorial debut Mid90's. But on closer inspection even just on a surface level, there's a number of details here, namely the focus on a group of female skateboarders, that make Skate Kitchen a horse of a different color. While actually watching the movie, any potentially similar movies vanish from one's mind as Skate Kitchen manages to carve out its own identity and secure a level of quality (one that is higher than Mid90's in my book, for the record) that allow it to stand out on its own.
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 3:16 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Ardelia Lovelace, Aslihan Unaldi, August 2018, Crystal Moselle, Jaden Smith, Jen Silverman, Mid90s, Movie Review, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, Skate Kitchen, Skateboarding
Friday, January 25, 2019
An Inspirational Historical Figure Gets A Cookie-Cutter But Agreeable Documentary With RBG
I Laughed, I Cried, Terms of Endearment Moved Me Bob
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 10:45 AM No comments:
Labels: 1983, Best Picture Winner, Classic Write-Up, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, James L. Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Movie Review, November 1983, Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Sometimes, There Aren't Two Sides To An Issue
EDITED TO ADD: Just before this article was published, I learned that a Louisville, Kentucky PR firm called RunSwitch PR has been instrumental in mounting a comeback narrative for these Covington Catholic school students.
On January 19, 2019, a group of Covington Catholic School students, adorned in Make America Great Again hats and attending an anti-abortion March For Life ceremony, harassed 88-year-old Vietnam Veteran Nathan Phillips with racist chants and behavior while teenager Nick Sandmann stared down Phillips. Yes, there was a rival group (also filled with cruel people) also at the event causing trouble between themselves and the Covington Catholic School students and yes, Phillips approached the students first in an attempt to de-escalate what was already a tumultuous situation. None of that changes the fact that these students bellowed "BUILD A WALL!!" at a peaceful individual simply because of the color of his skin, a racist practice consistent with actions like blackface that are considered alright at their school.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Shirkers Is A Fascinating Exploration of A Cinematic Passion Project That Never Was
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 10:27 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Back To The Future, Documentary, Georges Cardona, Ghost World, Jasmine Ng, Minding the Gap, Movie Review, Netflix, October 2018, Rushmore, Sandi Tan, Shirkers, Sophie Siddique, Three Identical Strangers
Monday, January 21, 2019
Glass Is An Ambitious Follow-Up To Unbreakable And Split, For Better And For Worse
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 9:55 AM No comments:
Labels: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis, Friday The 13th, Glass, James McAvoy, January 2019, M. Night Shyamalan, Movie Review, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Sidney Poiter Excels in the Impressively-Realized Mystery Thriller In the Heat of the Night
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:39 AM No comments:
Labels: 1967, August 1967, Beah Richards, Best Picture Winner, Hal Ashby, In the Heat of the Night, Movie Review, Norman Jewison, Rod Steiger, Sidney Poiter, Stirling Silliphant, True Detective
Glass Has OK But Not Superheroic Opening Weekend As Dragon Ball Super: Broly Scores A Staggeringly Impressive Opening Weekend
After nineteen years of waiting, the world finally got an Unbreakable sequel in the form of Glass. Combining the worlds of Unbreakable and Split into one film, the newest M. Night Shyamalan feature was generating massive amounts of pre-release hype that had many (myself included) thinking this one had the potential to overperform mightily. However, it turned out Glass fell slightly below pre-release expectations, grossing $40.58 million, up only $500,000 from the $40 million opening of Split two years ago despite the added presence of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson from Unbreakable.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Lucrecia Martel's Newest Film Zama Has Craftsmanship To Spare
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Could Goku, World War I Soldiers And Chainsaw-Wielding Nicolas Cage Be Crucial To The Future of Cinema?
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Ten Years of Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Nobody farts in Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
A peculiar observation? Perhaps. But it's also a trait that makes it immediately stand out from other Happy Madison comedies (most of them starring Adam Sandler) like Jack & Jill, Grown Ups and the like. Farts are the bread & butter of these yukfests, so you'd think the first Happy Madison vehicle solely headlined by Kevin James would be packed to the gills with flatulence. Why, the main character's last name even rhymes with farts for God's sake! But in a twist so shocking it might as well have come out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, not a single soul passes gas in the 2009 Steve Carr directorial effort Paul Blart: Mall Cop, nor are there any other traces of bathroom humor, making one wonder if this really is a Happy Madison production from the 2000s.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Ben Is Back Has Good Performances But Derivative Screenwriting
MILD SPOILERS FOR BEN IS BACK BELOW
The Upside Is On The Upswing At The Domestic Box Office As It Beats Out Aquaman And Two Other Newcomers
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Minding the Gap Is Must-See Top-Notch Documentary Filmmaking
Friday, January 11, 2019
The Disastrous Life Itself Is Complex In Structure But Deadly Dull In The Details
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 1:55 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Dan Fogelman, Life Itself, Movie Review, Olivia Cooke, Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson, September 2018
Ralph Breaks The Internet Is An Episodic But Frequently Fun Voyage Into The World Wide Web
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:56 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Alan Tudyk, Bill Hader, Gal Gadot, John C. Reilly, Movie Review, November 2018, Phil Johnston, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Rich Moore, Sarah Silverman, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Escape Room Delivers Some Competent Thrills
Six strangers have all been given an invite to try out a new escape room. If they can manage to get out, they'll get $10,000. The eclectic group of individuals includes timid college student Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell), arrogant rich guy Jason Walker (Jay Ellis), stockroom worker Ben Miller (Logan Miller), veteran Amanda Harper (Deborah Ann Woll), chipper Mike Nolan (Tylor Labine) and escape room expert Danny Khan (Nik Dodani). Though Danny's gone through numerous escape rooms in the past, he's never seen anything like the one he and the other five characters must endure. The challenges here are frighteningly real and the consequences of not following all the clues properly are deadly.
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 2:53 PM No comments:
Labels: 2019, Adam Robitel, Deborah Ann Woll, Escape Room, Janaury 2019, Jay Ellis, Logan Miller, Movie Review, Nik Dodani, Taylor Labine, Taylor Russell, The Devil Inside
Early Man Falls Short of Past Aardman Feature Films
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
It Looks Like The Next Star Trek Movie Has Been Put Into Port
broke the news that Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson would be directing the debut episode of a still-untitled Game of Thrones spin-off, a project she could undertake because a schedule had opened up in her schedule due to a prior directing commitment being shelved. That prior directing commitment? The next installment of the Star Trek film series. Clarkson had been set last Spring to make her feature film directorial debut by helming a sequel to 2016's Star Trek Beyond, but the project ran into a roadblock last August when pay disputes between Paramount Pictures and stars Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth led to the two actors walking away from the project, putting its very existence in jeopardy.
In Laman's Terms: How Did The Seven Major Movies Studios Fare At The 2018 Domestic Box Office?
There are seven big American movie studios (soon, we shall be back to six once 20th Century Fox gets absorbed by Disney in the coming weeks) and they all released a whole slew of movies in 2018. Today, I shall use my box office savvy mind to look at their yearly grosses from 2018 and see which ones were on a financial roll and which ones are looking to the future to improve their fortune!
Let us begin with a studio I'm sure you're all shocked is once again on top of this (small) world....
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Regina Hall Shines In Support the Girls, A Charming & Heartfelt Ode To The Underappreciated
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:07 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Andrew Bujalski, August 2018, Barack Obama, Girls Trip, Haley Lu Richardson, Lea DeLaria, Movie Review, Regina Hall, Shayna McHayle, Support the Girls, The Hate U Give
Monday, January 7, 2019
The Favourite Is A Wickedly Fun Take On Traditional Period Pieces Dramas
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:26 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Colette, Deborah Davis, Dogtooth, Emma Stone, Movie Review, Nicholas Hoult, November 2018, Olivia Coleman, Phantom Thread, Robbie Ryan, The Lobster, Tony McNamara, Yorgos Lanthimos
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Disobedience Upends Expectations In Welcome Ways
Aquaman Tops The Box Office For Third Weekend In A Row As Escape Room Scores Solid Bow And Assortment of Holdovers Hold Strong
Saturday, January 5, 2019
If Beale Street Could Talk Is Masterful Emotionally Resonant Filmmaking That Should Not Be Missed
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 1:01 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Barry Jenkins, Brian Tyree Henry, December 2018, Emily rios, If Beale Street Could Talk, James Baldwin, James Laxton, KiKi Layne, Movie Review, Nicholas Britell, Regina King, Stephen James
Getting To The Hart Of Why Kevin Hart Still Shouldn't Host The Oscars
Friday, January 4, 2019
Madeline's Madeline Is An Impressively Realized Surrealist Exercise That Hews Closely To Immersive Theater
In a Performances In Historical Context class I took last Fall, we learned about a form of theater storytelling known as Immersive Theater. Emerging in the 21st century, this format of theater broke away from traditional norms of stage performance to rely heavily on audience participation, allowing for the creation of a one-on-one experience between audience members and performers, while such shows also tend to incorporate social elements into the proceedings and take advantage of whatever environment the performance takes place in. Theater groups like Punchdrunk and Third Rail are probably the most famous examples of this format of theater storytelling that ensures that no two performances of any given show will be quite the same.
Year of the Month: Was The Original X-Men Really A Game-Changer For Superhero Movies?
This essay was written for The-Solute's monthly Year of the Month column, with January 2019 being dedicated to pop culture from 2000.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Merging Leatherface With Garth Brooks Music Works Way Better Than You Expected
A Realistic Portrait of Two Brothers Is the Best Part of The Creative Thriller The Endless
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Vox Lux Hits Equally Ambitious High And Sour Notes
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Dogtooth Is Weird, Warped And Well-Made. In Other Words, It's A Yorgos Lanthimos Movie.
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 10:46 AM No comments:
Labels: 2010, Angeliki Papoulia, Christos Passalis, Christos Stergioglou, Classic Write-Up, Dogtooth, June 2010, Mary Tsoni, Michelle Valley, Movie Review, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos
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