Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or not. I hadn’t even seen a good chunk of these until the calendar flipped to 2014, the sheer amount of winners was too vast. And after only awarding three films a 10/10 rating last year,…

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Picking Winners at the 86th Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars are generally quite boring, since we often know well in advance what is going to win Best Picture, Director, etc. But this year? Not so much. Sure, there are heavy favorites — see below. But it is entirely possible there will be some real surprises. Of course, I could be completely wrong. But if I am, hopefully Bill Altreuter and Jared Mobarak will be right. And away we go … —Chris Best ActorBruce Dern: NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years a SlaveMatthew McConaughey: Dallas Buyers ClubLeonardo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall StreetChristian Bale: American Hustle…

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REVIEW: Before Midnight [2013]

“To passing through” With another nine years gone, true loves Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) return to the big screen to update us on romance and relationship struggles for their current, more cynically pragmatic time. Gone is the ability to shirk responsibilities on a whim and roam European with a cute twenty-something guy or girl. Gone is the normalcy of a career-building trajectory as a thirty-something to create a life hopefully in possession of the vitality necessary to endure. The now includes second-guessing, introspective regret, and an all-too…

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REVIEW: Before Sunset [2004]

“Memory is a wonderful thing if you don’t have to deal with the past” The end of Before Sunrise contains a great sequence of moving snapshots epitomizing the film’s intrinsic romanticism. Every corner of Vienna that Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) visited is reshown in their absence—seemingly ordinary locales now unforgettably resonate pieces of personal history. We see how their unique spot in the park hasn’t only gained an empty wine bottle and glasses but also the priceless memory of a young couple’s love. Whether or not these…

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REVIEW: Before Sunrise [1995]

“How do you speak such good English?” While Slacker put Richard Linklater on the map and Dazed and Confused shot him into mainstream consciousness, Before Sunrise was the film that cemented him as an auteur of note. An intimate portrait of love depicting one assumedly solitary night for two complete strangers that becomes a romantic evening neither expected, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) take a chance on the other after candid conversation evolves into a mutual desire to not say goodbye. His flight from Vienna to America looms…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2012: A Summer Lull

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. August isn’t fooling around with a ton of releases spanning both big budget and independent productions. I couldn’t even begin to talk about them all here—sorry Sparkle—but there sadly aren’t…

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