Top 15 “420” movies from this decade to watch with friends

15. Computer Chess (Trippy Drama)

At first glance it’s a black and white documentary about nerds in the 80s, meeting at a hotel for a convention where their custom-made computer compete with one another in a tournament of chess. From there shit gets more and more odd.

14. American Ultra (Comedy/Drama)

This is not a good film. On the surface, and as advertised, it’s a typical fish-out-of-water, stoner flick. It’s more serious and brutal than that, but still provides some memorable moments.

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“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” or how to kill a franchise and make sure it stays dead

Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic.

Jurassic World was a bad movie. One of the worst parts? Vincent D’Onofrio’s charcter and how he wanted to “weaponize” them.

First of all is it even financially feasible for a government to budget for this? Hiring trainers, handlers and whatnot.

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Lacking confidence in Damien Chazelle’s “First Man”

Are you excited? It’s going to be an action film!

Boston Globe had a write-up which quoted “First Man” screenwriter Josh Singer.

Here’s an excerpt:

Singer, who won, along with Tom McCarthy, the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Spotlight,” is emphatic that “First Man” is not a biopic. First and foremost, he says, it’s an action film. That’s what Chazelle, the Rhode Island native who won the best director Oscar for “La La Land,” wanted so that’s what Singer delivered.

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Is Dwayne Johnson a good actor?

I think so.

I never understood the judgment of actors when their quality of performance 95% of the time is dictated by the director and the written material they’re given.

Obviously it’s unlikey we’ll see Mr. Johnson wielding a gold statue anytime soon. “Fighting with my Family” directed by Stephen Merchant seems to have Globe prospects though.

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Rest in Peace Milos Forman

Milos Forman passed away today at age 86.

His most prominently regarded film is objectionally “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a film that moved me in so many ways.

CNN’s Nicole Chavez and Carma Hassan posted a solid write-up of the filmmakers biography. Born in Czechoslovakia to parents who would parish in concentration camps during World War II, he was fascinated by theater and immigrated to the United States in 1968.

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Spielberg’s laughably misguided views on award disposition

The great Steven Spielberg is terribly, terribly wrong and misguided here.

I’m a huge fan of Spielberg, but the statement he made to ITV News has to be one of the most elitist ones I’ve heard from a successful filmmaker:

“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” he continued. “And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”

The Academy seems to be struggling with a mundane conflict here. Let me break it down for them:

A movie – 1 to 4 hours to flesh out plot and characters sequentially and seamlessly.

A show – 4+ hours serialized episodically where plot and characters grow and change incrementally per episode.

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The worthlessness of Top 10 lists

The Media 10 name originated from me wanting to create a website of Top 10s.

It was early on in the decade just before Buzzfeed hammered “list” articles into the ground which subsequently perpetuated clickbait content across the web.

More clicks, more ad revenue. This isn’t rocket science. It’s also a plague transmitted by the consolidation of corporate media.

Anyway, I’ll lower my pitchfork and step down from my soapbox… for now.

So yeah, lists were everywhere. Not only were they a mine for ad revenue, but they were easy to write and easily digestible for the reader.

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RIP Johann Johansson

“Wow, this looks incredible!” I thought to myself after viewing the trailer for “Battle Los Angeles” starring Aaron Eckhart.

The movie would end up with a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, and ultimately… I never saw it.

Still, to this day, I tell people it was one of my favorite trailers. Without Johann Johannsson’s track “The Sun’s Gone Dim” the trailer would’ve been a more accurate representation of the film – bland and unimaginative.

I dug up the song, put it on my iPod, and would turn it on occasionally when I wanted to hear something emotional, yet powerful.

Johannsson was an atmospheric composer and he would compliment tension expertly. He was more of a Carter Burwell type as opposed to the bombastic nature of the likes of Hans Zimmer/John Williams or the moody, quirky nature of a Alexandre Desplat or Danny Elfman.

Sicario was his masterpiece for me. The opening scene, like a lot of the film, carried by his creeping, yet powerful score. Arrival and Theory of Everything were icing on the cake – this guy was good. No, perhaps he was the best of our generation with his best still to come.

Johann Johannsson passed away earlier today at age 48.

Film: The Florida Project – the reality we don’t want to see

I’ve lived in Central Florida for 7 years. When I travel home I’m often asked “How often do you go to the Beach?” or people say “Damn, must be nice living next to Disney World.” And it is… if you can experience those things.
Central Florida may perhaps be the tourist capital of the world. But whether it’s Paramore, Pine Hills, or around the edges of OBT – this place isn’t the fairytale that Floridian politicians and advertisers are selling.
Hearing about The Florida Project was borderline euphoric for me. Such an important, cultural topic being created by the same filmmaker who just came off of Tangerine – also one of the most important films of this decade.

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