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Our favorite movies of 2017! (PODCAST)

 

best-movies-of-2017

I’m back on the What Does It Matter? podcast to talk about our favorite movies of 2017 as well as everything I saw last year!  You can listen below or download by searching WDIM in your podcast app of choice! You can find WDIM on Facebook and Twitter, too!  Drop some review love on Facebook and iTunes!

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The Post and All The Money in the World: A clinic on how NOT to pace your first act

old car cold day

I’m starting this double movie review about The Post and All the Money in the World with a picture of an old car on a cold day. Why? Because that’s how these movies start – and not because they’re period pieces that take place in the winter. Before the 1980s, car engines weren’t fuel injected (fuel injection is the introduction of fuel in an internal combustion engine by the means of an injector), so you needed to let them warm up for a few minutes before you could drive away. Compare that to today, when you only need to wait about 15 to 30 seconds, which is, of course, much faster.

And by that, I mean I want to talk about the act one pacing of The Post and All the Money in the World.

SPOILER ALERT: it’s too slow.

The closest theater to my house has changed hands a number of times throughout my life. It was a Lowes, then a Sony, then a Lowes again and so on. Now, it’s an AMC (because nearly every theater that has more than five screens in Bergen County, New Jersey is an AMC), but just before THAT, it was a Starplex Cinemas, and when they bought the theater, they tore out all the old seats and put in plush recliners which remain to this day.

And it is awesome.

On the other hand, if the movie you’re watching has pacing problems of the slow variety, one can find it difficult to keep their eyes open in such comfy confines. (COUGH Murder on the Orient Express COUGH) Such is the case with The Post and All the Money in the World. A big part of why these openings don’t work is the initial introductions to these characters just aren’t very interesting. On the other hand, as they are slowly (VERY. SLOWLY.) revealed to us through their choices, they become fascinating players in a story I care about, but man does it take a while.

Hence the old car on a cold day metaphor.

So how did this happen? Stephen Spielberg and Ridley Scott are both competent directors (one more competent than the other, but whatever) and the simple answer is making a movie is really hard. Another problem is both of these movies were rushed jobs. This doesn’t mean they don’t have quality performances, camera work, editing and so on, but movies are very complicated machines with a gazillion parts and it’s never a good idea to rush anything, let alone something complicated.

When it comes to All the Money in the World, I don’t have much to say – the movie starts out slow, it picks up later, Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams ares excellent in it, it’s redundant and a bit uneven in its story telling and then the movie ends. It’s what I refer to as “extremely watchable.” The average rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 7 out of 10 and I would go as high as 7.5, maybe even 8 if you caught me in a good mood. (You’re not, I’m tired and hungry.) So even if I’m at an 8, if we remember back to our schooling days, that’s a low B, and I think that sounds about right. It’s worth seeing, but there’s nothing special or even new here – it’s just solid entertainment.

On the other hand, The Post seems to me to be a dereliction in the duty of choices by Spielberg and writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. This is the difficult thing with these sorts of ensemble movies – who’s the main character? Is it Meryl Streep, making a difficult choice, or is it Tom Hanks, navigating uncharted waters in an uncertain time, or maybe it’s Bob Odenkirk in the pursuit of the biggest story of his career? These are all important threads, but one doesn’t dominate and I think the movie suffers for it. While the threads Streep and Hanks are rollicking through are (relatively) compelling, they’re not especially cinematic. I would have chosen Odenkirk’s story and made him the lead of the movie, but let’s face it, that’s just not going to happen. Streep and Hanks are two of the biggest stars in the world right now (and have been for some time) and sure, Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul raised Odenkirk’s profile, but he’s not going to be the lead in a movie with Streep and Hanks. He’s just not. And these big ensemble movies are tough to pull off – most movies aren’t Spotlight or JFK. The average rating on Rotten Tomatoes for The Post is an 8 and I’d say that’s about right. I might go up to 8.5… but as previously mentioned, I’m hungry, so let’s just move on with our lives.

The Post and All the Money in the World are getting best picture and/or director nominations from the Golden Globes and the Oscars, which is kinda nuts. I know award shows are arbitrary by nature and they have to nominate something, but to mention these movies in the same sentence as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a waste of everyone’s time.

My 5 Favorite Christmas Movies (Quick Reviews)

 

The Christmas season is a ton of fun and it’s a time when people get together, so of course, it has its own movie genre.  I’m no stranger to Christmas movies, so I decided I’d make a list of my five favorites.  Not the BEST, not even the ones I THINK are the best, just the ones I currently enjoy the most.

What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?  There’s so many to choose from!  Let me know in the comments – I’d love to get some suggestions to add to my watch list.

Check out more Christmas episodes of Quick Reviews here!

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. JUST CLICK THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! Thanks again!

Why I’m NOT Seeing #JusticeLeague

Here’s the new episode of Quick Reviews, a quick essay on why I decided not to see Justice League in the theater. Warner Bros doesn’t want you to see it – they blocked it from YouTube – it’s the only episode that’s ever been blocked! First, they dropped a copyright claim, which, while ridiculous (reviews and essays are clearly covered by Fair Use and the video is less than six minutes long and doesn’t center around any one of their films, so it can’t be a footage issue) at least makes sense because YouTube policy allows them to collect ad revenue from said video (which is also dumb because I just don’t have much of an audience), but then they blocked the video entirely – probably because of my negative review of the DCEU.

You can see all the Quick Reviews episodes here!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5aJHN6zl_JVIjo1YWu91Zg
Don’t forget to subscribe!

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. JUST CLICK THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! Thanks again!

How Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri uses character arcs to tell an effective story (Quick Reviews)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri uses character arcs to tell an effective story in a way I haven’t seen in a while.  I enthusiastically recommend you check this movie out!

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. JUST CLICK THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! Thanks again!

Murder on the Orient Express kinda sucks (Quick Reviews)

I saw Murder on the Orient Express with five people.  Three of us would admit to at least fighting to keep our eyes open if not completely falling asleep.  Not exactly a wringing endorsement!

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

Does the first Iron Man movie make sense?

The more times I watch Iron Man, the more confused I get about the plot. Specifically, what EXACTLY is Obadiah Stane’s plan?

You can see my other Quick Reviews MCU episodes here.

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

Thor movie review (Quick Reviews)

Here’s my review of Thor (2011) – it’s a tale of two movies, so to speak.  One is better than the other, but neither are terrible.  You can see my other Quick Reviews MCU episodes here.

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

Talking Star Wars movies on WDIM podcast

wdim podcast

I hijacked the What Does It Matter? podcast and talked about the Star Wars movies all the lil’ long day – and Blade Runner 2049, too!  You can listen below or download by searching WDIM in your podcast app of choice! You can find WDIM on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Jason X movie review (Quick Reviews)

I won’t beat around the proverbial bush – Jason X is a cheap looking, stupid movie with virtually no redeemable qualities. Enjoy!

You can use this Halloween link to see all of the scary movie reviews, including complete coverage of the Nightmare on Elm Street series!  Or, check out all of the Halloween episodes of Quick Reviews here!

PLEASE subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday movie review (Quick Reviews)

Jason Voorhees is back in Jason goes to Hell: The Final Friday in a movie that contains no scenes that take place in hell… and yet, the movie works.  It’s not really worthy of mention in the annals of horror movies nor is it even the best Friday the 13th movie, but it’s serviceable.  Check out the video and you’ll see what I mean.

You can use this Halloween link to see all of the scary movie reviews, including complete coverage of the Nightmare on Elm Street series!  Or, check out all of the Halloween episodes of Quick Reviews here!

Thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (Quick Reviews)

Last year, I reviewed The Blair Witch Project.  It did not go well.  So I’m trying again with Book of Shadows:  Blair Witch 2.

It went about as well as I could have expected.

You can use this Halloween link to see all of the scary movie reviews, including complete coverage of the Nightmare on Elm Street series!

Thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe to the NEW YouTube channel! Subscribing to the show on YouTube helps get the episodes placed higher in YouTube search results and therefore helps more people find out the show exists. It’s a great way to support the show and it’s FREE! If you’re logged into any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, whatnot) you’re good to go. Thanks again!

 

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