There’s something special about when a filmmaker releases his first film. I mean, ideally, that should be said for every film of every filmmaker, but “you always remember your first.” Whether it turns out good or bad, there’s a certain level of pride that can never be replaced or overshadowed by anything else a filmmaker does in the future. Hallmark greeting card sentiments aside, “Get Out” is the surprising first film of Jordan Peele.
I say surprising for a number of reasons. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Jordan Peele is half of the comedic duo known as “Key and Peele.” Over the last few decade or so, they have made a respectable climb in sketch comedy with appearances on Mad TV and their show of the same name. So Jordan Peele decides to write and direct his own film, which isn’t uncommon for comedians of his caliber of success. Here’s the kicker… it’s a horror film, and an extremely clever horror film at that!
I’m going to break it down piece by piece (no spoilers) because it absolutely deserves to be.
“Split” is the movie we all expected and hoped M. Night Shyamalan would have made 15 years ago. After “The Sixth Sense” in 1999, Shyamalan’s forever cemented his genius of horror filmmaking by immortalizing and terrifying us all with those four simple little words, “I see dead people.” Nearly every film after that was a precipitous drop compared to his inaugural masterpiece. To some, “Split” may have come 15 years too late. But not for me. (more…)
Back in the year 2000, Darren Aronofsky was hired by Warner Bros. to collaborate with Frank Miller and write a live-action adaptation of Miller’s masterpiece graphic novel, “Batman: Year One.” Aronofsky was signed on to direct. Warner Bros. ended up rejecting the script because-for starters-they believed it veered too far from the original source material despite it being co-written by the original author. Warner Bros. and Aronofsky parted ways-no hard feelings-and the world ended up with Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m exceedingly happy with 2/3 of the Christopher Nolan adaptation. We got from it the performance of a lifetime-literally-that will go down as the greatest comic book character interpretation ever. But what if things had gone differently? Or better yet, what if we were given the best of both worlds and Batman and movie nerds like myself could’ve spent our lives debating it?
A while back, I had heard rumor that the elusive Batman: Year One script intended for Aronofsky to flesh out was still floating around.
Well I found it!!
Here’s the most compact way I can describe 2016.
2016 truly has been a year of things changing forever. In pop-culture, in world government, world economics, and in our hearts. So much loss. Loss of life and loss of identity. So many changes happening so quickly one after the other that we’re not even given a moment to process one before the other one hits. Suddenly we’re all face-to-face with an avalanche of self-awareness.
I was reminded over and over that our childhood heroes are not immortal. That our world is changing faster than anybody can comprehend or realize. And that in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Death doesn’t discriminate between the sinner and the saints. He just takes and he takes and he takes.”
Sadly, I don’t have the time to give proper homage to everything deserving of 2016, but I will mention a handful of them and share what these changes personally mean to me. (more…)
After five years with my blog, I am going to be writing my first music album review. Well, two, technically. To tell you the truth, I was never very much into music when I was younger. Movies, TV, and video games were my thing.
On top of that, if I was going to write about music, never in a million years did I ever think I would write about a Broadway musical. But this has been a long time coming. As usual, I don’t really know where to start. I don’t really “plan” these out as well as I should. I just always seem to “write like I’m running out of time.” But I do know that I have been listening to the broadway musical soundtrack of “Hamilton” since probably the very beginning, which was early 2015.
Now nearly two years later, a record-setting 11 wins of its 16 Tony nominations and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in drama for its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, just scratches the surface of the unforeseen accolade and pop-culture immortality “Hamilton” has achieved. On Friday, the much-anticipated “Hamilton Mixtape” album dropped featuring artists from nearly every spectrum of the pop and hip-hop genre going back twenty years. But before I get to that, and in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last two years, let me take you back to “the room where it happened.” (more…)
“Arrival” is a science-fiction movie about an alien encounter where the heroes are a soft-spoken linguist and an awkward theoretical physicist. Amy Adams plays Dr. Louise Banks, a linguistics professor who is recruited by the military to learn the alien language and be able to communicate with them to find out why they are here. This is not your typical science-fiction movie and I was pleasantly surprised by that. It also rings ever so true in the world we’re living in today where the consequences of misunderstood language can lead to very dire consequences.
This is something I have somewhat of a personal connection to. Languages are something that I’ve always had a hungry curiosity for. I grew up in a household where two languages were spoken simultaneously and where I was always told (and assured) that being able to speak more than one language would give me an advantage regardless of whatever job or career path I would take. That has since proven true, but I’m always pushing myself to learn more phrases and ways to communicate in additional languages. I’m also fascinated by the idea that being multilingual can actually result in having different personalities based on which language you speak at that time. I wonder how that would work with my family, friends, and I who jump from one language to another mid-sentence.
But I digress… again. (more…)