Friday, November 29, 2019
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
I may have an obsession with box office figures so passionate that even Box Office Mojo's self-destructive revamp can't dilute, it must be said that box office has no correlation to the actual artistic merit of a motion picture. Box office figures are so much fun to pore off and geek out on, but they're a wholly separate conversation from determining whether a movie is good or not. Maybe that sounds obvious, but unfortunately, movie studios, the entities tasked with actually creating cinema, tend to conflate the two. To most movie studio heads, a box office bomb is immediately something terrible to be avoided while a box office hit is something to be replicated at all costs. It's why we have so many more Happy Madison comedies than Donna Deitch films, it's all a financial game rather than the more prevalent one being inherently better for the art of cinema.
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Monday, November 25, 2019
It’s amazing what a difference a hat can make. Like a pair of glasses, a person can look totally different whenever they’re wearing them. Take Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition for instance. When he’s wearing a low-tipped hat covering the upper part of his face in this movie, he totally looks older, weary and menacing. Those aren’t words one usually associates with Hanks, but they totally come to mind when his character, Michael Sullivan, dons a hat. Whenever he takes that hat off, though, a magical transformation occurs. Suddenly, Hanks is back to looking boyish and charming, like it hasn't been a day since Turner & Hooch. What a difference a hat can make.
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
You can't help but root for Motherless Brooklyn, that rare modern-day adult-drama movie released by a major American studio. A two-and-a-half-hour long homage to noirs featuring nary an explosion in sight? It's a welcome surprise to see a studio like Warner Bros. financing and releasing this type of title. Unfortunately, noble artistic ambitions can't actually make Motherless Brooklyn a good movie. On the contrary, this is a shockingly disposable feature film with only brief glimmers of actual entertainment or quality to be found. Despite having spent two decades in development, Motherless Brooklyn is still a movie that could have used a whole lot more work.
Apologies for this being the second week in a row where In Laman's Terms has focused on Disney content. Lord knows there's plenty of that out there both on the internet in general and in the news cycle, I promise to deliver something more original next time over the holiday week.
In 2019, the idea of Princesses being a crucial piece of the Disney
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
commented that he had left making comedic movies because the current political climate made it impossible to make comedies anymore, everybody was just too sensitive nowadays for good comedy to even exist. Which is true, after all. We haven't had any good provocative comedies in recent years. Except for Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You. Or Olivia Wilde's Booksmart. Or Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit. Or Riley Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense. Or the subject of this review, Sophie Lorain's Slut in a Good Way There simply isn't a single provocative comedy being made today, let alone one made up to the gold standard of wit found in the comedic masterworks of Todd Phillips.
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Barenaked Ladies' song for the Chicken Little soundtrack One Little Slip begins with the phrases "It was a recipe for disaster, a four-course meal of no-siree" and the same could be said for the central story of Birds of Passage concerning a Wayuu family entering the drug trade. It all started out innocently enough, Rapayet (Jose Acosta), looking to earn up money to ensure that he could marry Zalda (Natalie Reyes), begins selling some local weed to American missionaries. Seems simple enough, right? Just a little money, no biggie. But big things have small beginnings and from these transactions comes a criminal empire that ends up encompassing swathes of drugs and even moves Rapayet, Zalda and their kids into a big fancy house.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Martin Scorsese is known for his gangster movies and for good reason, he's made one of the all-time great gangster movies with Goodfellas. But that's not all he's delivered as a filmmaker, in fact, looking over his filmography, one is impressed with the variety of genres and aesthetics he's explored. The dude's dabbled in musicals, screwball comedies, family movies, Scorsese's love for cinema has been translated into him trying his hand at so many different avenues of creative cinematic expression. Such exploration has also led him to make religious-minded affair like Silence or The Last Temptation of Christ that stand out to me, as a Christian, as actually thoughtful Christan-based cinema, a perfect counter to all of that dreadful PureFlix drivel.
So Disney+, Disney's streaming service answer to Netflix, launched yesterday to much fanfare. As of this writing, I haven't watched anything on the service yet but I have logged into the service and taken a peek at the mammoth amount of content Disney is hosting on there. There's so much to watch that one can get lost trying to figure out what to watch. Never fear! Disney geek Douglas Laman is here to suggest five woefully underrated Disney titles you can watch right now on Disney+. As a sidenote, John Carter is, unfortunately, not on the service yet. If it was, though, rest assured that this list would just be John Carter five times.
|Woola, the adorable alien doggo from John Carter|
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Monday, November 11, 2019
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Friday, November 8, 2019
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
For the longest time, the notion has been that if a movie wants to have domestic box office success, it must be PG-13. After all, a PG-13 rating is in that sweet spot of offering up adult material but also being a movie people of all ages can view by themselves. Once you get into the R-rating demographic, anyone below 17 years of age needs an adult guardian to see the movie with them. That more restrictive rating has long been thought of as a financial death knell for a movie, which is odd because the R-rating has actually been attached to a myriad of successful movies over the years, even dating back to the earliest days of the ratings very existence.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Monday, November 4, 2019
have a Patreon. If you donate to this Patreon, the funds will be used for the costs of tickets to see (and then subsequently review) new movies as well as transportation to those features. In addition, the funds will also be used for research materials for the weekly editorial column on Lands of the Nerds, In Laman's Terms as well costs associated with other endeavors for this website like film festival coverage. Right now on this Patreon, I've got just a fun new goal set up! If the Douglas Laman Patreon hits $20 in monthly donations by November 15th, I will personally experience and then write-up an in-depth review of the new virtual-reality program Avengers: Damage Control.
Saturday, November 2, 2019
There's so much to love in the work of Bong Joon-ho but I especially love how unpredictable they are. Any old hack can populate a story with all kinds of easy twists and turns but in the works of this auteur filmmaker, you can see the ideal manner in which to pull off unexpected storytelling turns. The twists in Joon-ho's work actually have a major impact on the story itself, for one thing, they're not just around for the sake of having twists, they tend to reinforce themes in the story (like the twists in Parasite or Snowpiercer) and especially to emphasize the complex sense of morality that runs throughout his entire filmography. For example, though he may be a fighter for the little guy and played by Captain America himself, the lead character of Snowpiercer is no typical stalwart protagonist.