Round 2: Inception

July 18, 2010 Beau DeMayo

Having seen Inception twice now, I feel the need to clarify a few points in my earlier review, as I said that my review — in all fairness — was half incomplete as Inception demands a second viewing. After having now seen it twice, I would definitely say this is a movie that must be seen twice. […]

Inception (2010) -vs- The Dark Knight (2008)

July 16, 2010 Beau DeMayo

Christopher Nolan. The Dark Knight. That’s all about you need to know when it comes to how Inception has been marketed, a film whose title could easily be mistaken as “From The Director of The Dark Knight” as its actual title.

Inception and The Dark Knight are two movies that are so radically different, yet so fundamentally the same. Both films strive to do something radically different with their genres, turning the typical tropes on their heads and challenging audiences to keep up.

Now we put what many consider to already be Nolan’s masterpiece up against his newest film. Another masterpiece or just another movie? […]

Green Zone (2010) -vs- The Hurt Locker (2009)

March 16, 2010 Beau DeMayo

It’s not a good time for the American occupation of Iraq. The news from “over there” is that the followers of Moktada al-Sadr, the radical cleric who led the Shia insurgency against the American occupation, have emerged as Iraq’s equivalent of the 1994 Republican Party. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Americans voted about Iraq, too, refusing to give “Green Zone” any mandate whatsoever. And, keep in mind that the other Iraq film that just won the Best Picture Oscar, “The Hurt Locker,” basically was one of the worst-peforming winners in that category ever. Maybe it’s just the hot button political sensitivities, war-weariness, or that it is simply “too soon.” Other critics can decide that, however, because here at the Smack, we simply want to know which film about the Iraq War gets it most right, box-office be damned!
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Ten Years of Super Moments

January 7, 2010 Beau DeMayo

There’s a theory that a movie, in order to succeed, only needs a handful of scenes or moments that really, really work. In other words, the macro is made from the micro. With the decade wrapped and a new one underway, I succumb to list-itis, and offer up ten major moments in films from the last ten years.
These are moments in film that just blew me away, that left me out of my body, totally immersed in the film’s emotion. This happens so little in film for me, that when it actually occurs, I’m left speechless (which is why, I guess, I’m compelled to write about them).
These are the moments I leave the theater thinking about, against which I compare my own life’s events. These moments in time are what movies are all about, and #10 on the list comes from one of my favorite films, “Superman Returns.”
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Beau’s Ten Best Films of the Past Ten Years

December 22, 2009 Beau DeMayo

The criteria I used is pretty simple: which films are not just good but really impacted the world of film? It’s relatively easy to make a film that entertains. And, in some ways, it’s even easier to make a film that does something “different” and “new.” But to make a film that both entertains and moves you, while advancing the art of filmmaking…that’s pretty hard. So let’s get this ball rolling as we reflect on a most eclectic period of film…
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Avatar (2009) -vs- Dances with Wolves (1990)

December 21, 2009 Beau DeMayo

Allegorical movies are tough. On one hand, the social messages are essential to keeping cinema relevant and meaningful. Yet I always grow wary of a movie made for the sake of a message and not for the sake of entertaining audiences. The best way to judge that may be to measure Avatar against another film that it shares some themes with: Dances with Wolves.

Both films, for example, discuss imperialism against the epic backdrop of human emotion and struggle — only one does it here on Earth, the other on a faraway planet. But what about the entertainment value? The story? The characters? Which film goes the farthest beyond preaching and instead involves its audiences in the big question: What would it take for me to go up against my own kind? […]

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