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, February 28, 2019
The Spectacular Feature Sense & Sensibility is a Great Example of Using Big-Name Talent Right
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Disney And Its Pursuit of a Best Picture Winner
In the 1950s and 1960s, musicals were a surefire bet for scoring Best Picture nominations and even outright wins in the case of features like An American In Paris or Oliver! It shouldn't be any surprise then that beloved live-action musical Mary Poppins managed to score a Best Picture nod, the first time ever Disney managed to have a presence in the Best Picture category. Losing to My Fair Lady that year, it was a fleeting moment of Oscar recognition for a studio that, to this day, is still the only one of the major American movie studios to not have won a Best Picture Oscar. Poor poor Disney, let me play a mournful song for you.
Monday, February 25, 2019
The Broadway Melody Made Cinematic History By Being The First Subpar Movie to Win Best Picture
A Man For All Seasons Makes For A Great Companion Piece To Fellow Fred Zinnemann Directorial Effort High Noon
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Before Sunset Is Top-of-The-Line Romantic Drama Cinema
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:23 PM No comments:
Labels: 2004, Before Midnight, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Classic Write-Up, Dazed And Confused, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, July 2004, Movie Review, Richard Linklater, Sandra Adair
All Hail Toothless As Dragons Not Voiced By Sean Connery End 2019 Domestic Box Office Cold Spell With Great $55.3 Million Opening Weekend
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Happy Death Day 2U Is An Admirably Ambitious And Fun Slasher Movie Sequel That Goes For Broke And Then Some
Slasher movie sequels are common. Slasher movie sequels like Happy Death Day 2U? Less so. Instead of just taking the killer in the Babyface mask to Manhattan or to Hell, Happy Death Day 2U decides to just lean into all the high-concept science-fiction possibilities you could think of coming out of the first movie's premise. Writer/director Christopher Landon is just letting his imagination run rampant in expanding on the world of Happy Death Day and though the resulting motion picture is one of those movies that may work better as individual sequences than as a whole feature, it's also really fun to watch and shows way more creativity than your average slasher movie sequel.
Friday, February 22, 2019
The Blue Dahlia Is Competent But Struggles To Stand Out From Other Classic Film Noirs
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:59 PM No comments:
Labels: 1946, Classic Write-Up, Film Noir, George Marshall, Hugh Beaumont, Movie Review, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Blue Dahlia, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Closes Out This Fantasy Trilogy In Style
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:39 AM No comments:
Labels: 2019, Dean DeBlois, DreamWorks Animation, F. Murray Abraham, February 2019, How To Train Your Dragon, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Jay Baruchel, Movie Review
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Shoplifters Is An Outstanding Empathetic Portrait of The Human Beings That Make Up One Chosen Family
The Lead Criminals-To-Be of The Postman Always Rings Twice Are Fascinatingly Flawed At Actually Being Criminals
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Why Are Dragons So Scarce In Movies?
Fantasy has been well-worn territory for movies going all the way back to the days of Alice Guy-Blanche. Cinematic fantasy became especially prominent once stop-motion visual effects and refined puppetry allowed beloved otherworldly creatures that were staples of fantasy literature to be brought to life. Fairies, ogres, dwarves, they've all been common staples of fantasy cinema all around the world for decades. But my personal favorite fantasy creature has been far more scarce in fantasy cinema throughout the ages, for a multitude of reasons, dragons just aren't as commonly seen in fantasy filmmaking as nearly every other type of fantasy creature you can imagine.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Keep The Change Creates An Engaging Romantic-Comedy By Treating People on the Autism Spectrum Like People
Monday, February 18, 2019
Douglas Laman's 18 Best Films of 2018
Like in years past, this list is done in alphabetical order save for one movie I've declared to be the best of the year. Without further ado, here are the eighteen best movies of 2018, as picked by yours truly.
Sunday, February 17, 2019
It's No Wonder The Excellent Romantic-Comedy Roman Holiday Launched Audrey Hepburn As A Movie Star
2019's Quiet Domestic Box Office Continues As Alita: Battle Angel Has An Underwhelming Opening Weekend Over Meek President's Day Frame
20th Century Fox, the studio behind Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Alien and The Sound of Music, got to release their last movie before they're absorbed into the Disney conglomerate. At least they got to top the domestic box office one last time with Alita: Battle Angel, which grossed $27.8 million this weekend. Having grossed $36.5 million since its Thursday launch, this one's actually managed to beat out box office tracking that suggested it wouldn't be able to top $25 million in its first five days of release and came in ahead 50% of the opening weekend of Ghost in the Shell despite burning off demand on Thursday, but it's still a far from ideal showing for a movie that cost $170 million to make.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
The Reader Is A Staggeringly Tone-Deaf And Poorly Executed Endeavor
CW: Discussions of sexual assault
Friday, February 15, 2019
The Lead Character of Alita: Battle Angel Packs A Wallop, The Movie Overall, Less So
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:10 AM No comments:
Labels: Alita: Battle Angel, Christoph Waltz, February 2019, Jackie Earl Haley, James Cameron, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Movie Review, Robert Rodriguez, Rosa Salazar
Thursday, February 14, 2019
The Best Years of Our Lives Mostly Works As An Ambitious Contemplation of Post-WWII American Society
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:21 AM No comments:
Labels: 1946, American Sniper, Cathy O'Donnell, Classic Write-Up, Dana Andrews, Frederic March, Harold Russell, Movie Review, November 1946, Teresa Wright, The Best Years of Our Lives, William Wyler
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Make Sure To Spend Some Time With The Creative Horror Comedy Happy Death Day
Merging The Direction of Steven Soderbergh With An Excellent Tarell Alvin McCraney Script Make High Flying Bird A Winner
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:48 PM No comments:
Labels: 2019, Andre Holland, Bill Duke, February 2019, High Flying Bird, Logan Lucky, Movie Review, Netflix, Sonja Sogn, Steven Soderbergh, Tangerine, Tarell Alvin McCraney, The Laundromat, Zazie Beetz
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Things Are Far From Awesome For LEGO Movie 2 As It Opens To Only $34.4 Million Over Weak February 2019 Box Office Frame
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Cold War Follows In The Footsteps of Au Hasard Balthazar and Silence In Being A Compelling Story of Human Anguish
Friday, February 8, 2019
The LEGO Movie 2 Works Well As An Allegory, Less So As A Comedy
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 11:02 AM No comments:
Labels: 2019, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, February 2019, Mike Mitchell, Movie Review, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego Movie, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Attack The Block Provides A Clever Twist On Alien Invasion Movies
We The Animals Chronicles The Process of Growing Up In A Troubled Childhood
Kat Hess, the first assistant director of We The Animals.
After spending a decade helming documentary features, short films and documentary short, director Jeremiah Zagar embarks into the territory of narrative movies with We The Animals, an adaptation of a 2011 novel of the same name by Justin Toores. The film chronicles the troubled childhood of Jonah (Evan Rosado) and his two brothers, Manny (Isaiah Kristian) and Joel (Josiah Gabriel), who grow up under the same roof as their troubled parents who we only know as Ma (Sheila Vand) and Paps (Raul Castillo). Paps especially is a troublesome presence in Jonah's life given how often he turns to violent and aggressive behavior that takes its toll on Jonah and his siblings over time.
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 10:44 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, August 2018, Evan Rosedo, Isaiah Kristian, Jeremiah Zagar, Joel Josiah Gabriel, Movie Review, Raul Castillo, Shelia Vand, The 400 Blows, The Florida Project, We the Animals
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
In Laman's Terms: Six Movies Based On Toys That Never Got Made
In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!
Yes, two weeks in a row where In Laman's Terms used the "Listicle" format of writing. Sorry about that, I'll try to get a traditional editorial essay going next week, but I did wanna try out the "Listicle" format again today to talk about movies based on toys. Hollywood has had an on-again/off-again infatuation with these types of films over the past 12 years, with Transformers (in 2007) and The LEGO Movie (in 2014) each starting a mini-wave of studios announcing new movies based on toys in hope of capturing the box office success of those titles. Some (like the two G.I. Joe movies or the upcoming Playmobil Movie) actually got made, while others languished.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Great Performances And A Thoughtful Script Come Together Nicely For Frost/Nixon
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 1:58 PM No comments:
Labels: 2008, Best Picture Nominee, Classic Write-Up, December 2008, Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon, Kevin Bacon, Michael Sheen, Movie Review, Peter Morgan, Rebecca Hall, Ron Howard
The Thoroughly Delightful Stan & Ollie Makes An Iconic Comedy Duo Proud
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 9:42 AM No comments:
Labels: 2018, December 2018, Green Book, Jeff Pope, John C. Reilly, Jon S. Baird, Laurel & Hardy, Movie Review, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Stan & Ollie, Steve Coogan, The Other Guys
Monday, February 4, 2019
An Animated Short About A Ball of Yarn May Just Point To The Future of PIXAR
the PIXAR SparkShorts program. Basically, this institution will now have people from all over the studio coming to helm animated short films that occupy various mediums of animation. The possibilities for SparkShorts are endless, especially since it's been made clear that the directors for these shorts will be made up of a more diverse group of artists than the predominately white male filmmakers behind past PIXAR feature films and shorts. The first of these shorts debuted today and is entitled Purl. You can watch the Kristen Lester directorial effort below!
The Past Looms Large Over The Chilling Goth Horror Feature Rebecca
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:17 PM No comments:
Labels: 1940, Alfred Hitchcock, April 1940, Classic Write-Up, Goerge Sanders, Gothic Horror, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, Laurence Olivier, Movie Review, Rebecca
Sunday, February 3, 2019
A Slow Super Bowl Weekend See's Glass And The Upside Topping The Box Office And Miss Bala Flopping
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Art Comes To Dangerous Life In Velvet Buzzsaw
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 1:26 PM No comments:
Labels: 2019, Dan Gilroy, Daveed Diggs, February 2019, Natalie Dyer, Netflix, Nightcrawler, Rene Russo, Roman J. Israel Esq., Toni Collette, Velvet Buzzsaw, Zawe Ashton
Friday, February 1, 2019
On the Basis of Sex Is A Standard But Agreeable Biopic About RBG
Posted by Douglas Laman (NerdInTheBasement) at 12:19 PM No comments:
Labels: 2018, Armie Hammer, Cailee Spaeny, December 2018, Felecity Jones, Kesha, Mimi Leder, Movie Review, On the Basis of Sex, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sorry to Both You
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