Friday, January 31, 2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
|God, Bebop and Rocksteady just do not translate into realistic CGI designs|
Last year, I did something pretty fun for In Laman's Terms involving me looking at eight box office flops that aired commercials during the Super Bowl. We always think of ads that come on during the Big Game as lucrative pieces of marketing, they always get people talking about Snickers or Dorito's or any given car company. But these box office misfires proved that not all Super Bowl commercials result in success. That piece was such fun to write that I decided why not bring it back this year? For 2020, we'll look at eight other box office duds whose marketing campaigns included pricey Super Bowl commercials.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Are you wondering who exactly Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan A. Johnson), the protagonist of Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., is? Don't worry, she'll let you know via fourth-wall-breaking dialogue delivered straight to the audience. Taking a cue from Ferris Bueller and Daffy Duck, Chantel Mitchell lays bare her interior motivations and personality through frank conversations with the viewer. Decimating the barrier between a fictional lead character and the audience isn't something wholly new in filmmaking but it being used to lend a voice to a member of a population that typically doesn't get to headline American cinema (especially circa. 1992), that certainly is a bold move.
Monday, January 27, 2020
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
SPOILERS FOR ALL OF TAIKA WAITITI MOVIES, INCLUDING JOJO RABBIT AND HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, AHEAD
Taika Waititi's directorial works are known for being silly. They star kids who think the height of gangster activity is knocking over mailboxes, vampires who do dark bidding over tables on the internet and Korg the rock monster. Humor is a constant presence, the production & costume design frequently employs bright colors, heck, his first movie being titled Eagle vs. Shark seems to set the stage for a filmography built exclusively on wackiness. But as anyone who's actually seen Waititi's movies knows, his works aren't just a bunch of eccentric quirks. Much like The Princess Bride or the best Muppet productions, Waititi's films typically start out as uber-zany while sneaking up on you with just how emotionally invested you've become in the characters on-screen.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Seventy years later, America is still putting members of racial minority groups into concentration camps, women, especially women of color, struggle to be seen as equal in the eyes of their fellow citizens and major corporations are still trampling over the rights of individual workers to save a few pennies.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Friday, January 17, 2020
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
If it was possible for a movie to sweat, Dolittle would be practically soaked in perspiration. Like a stand-up comic scrambling to find a punchline that will resonate with a crowd, Dolittle tries every well-worn trick in the book to please viewers. Do you like CGI animals with celebrity voices? Do you like out-of-nowhere references to The Godfather? What about prolonged fart gags? Characters screaming endlessly at each other? It's all the worst kind of comedy that populates the lowest-common-denominator family movies and it's all Dolittle can come up with to try and entertain audiences. In its endlessly manic efforts to please viewers, Dolittle ends up creating the love-child of the worst Pirates of the Caribbean movie and Open Season. This is a combination that simply should not be.
Monday, January 13, 2020
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!
It's been a long day. The discourse over the crops of nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards has already been draining after just 14-ish hours, especially in regards to how the Academy Awards constantly refuses to recognize diverse voices in its nominations. No women directors, only on person color recognized in the four acting categories, it's just ridiculous. For the sake of brevity on this taxing day, I'll cut to the chase: I've ranked this year's nine Best Picture nominees from worst to best. Sound off in the comments if you have any differing opinions on this matter and make sure to support cinema year-round from the kind of voices the Academy Awards and other awards bodies refuse to acknowledge even exist.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Friday, January 10, 2020
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Movie trends consist of a single movie coming along, becoming extremely popular and a whole slew of other movies try to copy its most surface-level qualities in a bid to replicate that success. The examples of this phenomenon are numerous. The avalanche of sex comedies that followed in the wake of Porky's box office success, which happened again after American Pie made bank. Don't forget about all those 3D movies that came out after Avatar became the biggest movie of all-time or all those postmodern fairy tale comedies after Shrek became a hit. In the moment, movie executives get swept up in all the hype over something new making money and decide to greenlight half-baked ideas or incorporate equally half-baked in-theater technologies in the hopes of getting some of that money for themselves.
Monday, January 6, 2020
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Ivan Angelo's The Celebration written about experiences living under South American dictatorships, these texts frequently featured extended gazes into the psyche of the author (Angelo goes on long diatribes about the perceived pointlessness of his own writing, for example) as well as telling numerous individual smaller stories rather than just focusing exclusively on a singular protagonist. This way, the reader can get an accurate view of how a dictatorship impacts people on a widespread level.
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Thursday, January 2, 2020
The trailer for Aloha looked like it belonged to a parody film, the actual movie was borderline incoherent and its racially insensitive casting is maybe the film's only legacy. Then there was the Showtime drama Roadies, which lasted a season and hasn't been mentioned since its final episode ended until this very moment.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Sense8 Dog or Kevin Costner Racecar Dog, it's a real-life doggie, Togo, who was instrumental in pulling off that famous 1921 serum run during an Alaskan snowstorm that Balto got all the credit for. The aptly titled Togo can't help but remind one of how many live-action family movies about dogs we've gotten recently but it isn't long before it manages to establish its own identity and notably exceed the level of quality you normally see from these type of movies. In fact, it's probably one of the better features released by Walt Disney Pictures in recent years, though that's not saying something when the studios been focused on titles like The Lion King (2019).