Posted by: ckckred | January 13, 2016

The Best TV Shows of 2015

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2015 was undeniably a rough year for pretty much everyone, but the past twelve months have been great for television.  We’ve had two veterans run off victoriously in the sunset, a new show enter into the realm of greatness, and several series that exploded in their sophomore years.  And to cap that off, the future looks even better, as we’ll be greeted by the revivals of The X-Files and Twin Peaks.  So now I’ll present to you my ten favorite TV shows of 2015.

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Posted by: ckckred | January 11, 2016

R. I. P. David Bowie

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Saying David Bowie is a pop-culture icon is like saying the sky is blue or fire is hot, it’s something so inherent and incredibly obvious that it’s impossible to debate about.  Bowie was an eccentric powerful figure who permeated the music world in the way few have. Like the recently departed Lemmy was to metal, Bowie was an embodiment of the experimental form.

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Posted by: ckckred | January 3, 2016

The Hateful Eight

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Editor’s Note: The version reviewed is the special 70 mm roadshow cut.

Sitting in the theater waiting for Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, The Hateful Eight, to start, I happened to see a short teaser for Guns N’ Roses upcoming reunion tour. After watching that, I came to the realization that Tarantino shares much in common with Guns frontman Axl Rose. Both came into immediate fame and large successes early in their career (Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Rose with Appetite for Destruction), met widespread acclaim and fandom across the globe, and had personalities that stretched way out their respective industries that often earned them a streak of notoriety in the press.

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Posted by: ckckred | December 31, 2015

What Was The Best New Non-2015 Film You Saw This Past Year?

Today is the final day of 2015.  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a hard year.  It began badly with the Charlie Hebdo shootings and ended even worse with the Paris terrorist attacks.  Film has always been a refuge for me to escape some of the horror the exists in the world and helped me (and I’m sure many others) cope with the events of the past twelve months.  So today I’m asking you to reflect upon what was your favorite non-2015 movie that you saw for the first time this year?

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For me, it was Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, which immediately became one of my favorite films.  It was a surprisingly heart-wrenching experience, even for a Bergman picture, and one I won’t forget any time soon.  Some of the other great new movies I saw included BlueCode Unknown, and Belle De Jour.

But what about you?

Posted by: ckckred | December 30, 2015

The 10 Best Albums of 2015

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Even though Cinematic is a movie and television blog, metal is one of my greatest interests, dominating my life and helping me through my rough patches. And given how good the last several years have been for the metal world, 2015 had a lot to live up to and fortunately it didn’t disappoint. While I’m still reeling over the loss of a personal hero of mine, this year gave some albums with such rigor and excitement. So here it is, my ten favorite albums of the past twelve months.
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Posted by: ckckred | December 28, 2015

R. I. P. Lemmy Kilmister

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Is there anybody that embodies the spirit of metal more than Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister?  Even though Lemmy has always argued that Motorhead was a rock and roll band, he was a man who lived, breathed, and simply was metal, through his astounding and revolutionary bass playing to his sex and drugs lifestyle.  Lemmy was much more than a rock star, he was was an idol and living legend for me and millions of other people across the world, bringing punk into the world of metal and giving birth to thrash and every other extreme genre.

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Posted by: ckckred | October 26, 2015

Bridge of Spies

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Since Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg has been particularly attracted to the historical drama genre, since then producing Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, War Horse, and Lincoln. Those movies range in quality, from displaying acts of valor and nobility in a profound way (Ryan and Lincoln) to overly embracing Spielberg’s weakness of being cloying and excessively manipulative (War Horse). Yet the veteran director, who has spent over forty years exploring the core concept of heroism whether it be through Indiana Jones or Oskar Schindler, has rarely felt at ease as he does directing Bridge of Spies, which like Lincoln before it is honest without being strikingly gooey and sincere without coming across as unabashedly sentimental.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 18, 2015

About Elly

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With both A Separation and The Past under his belt, Asghar Farhadi has proven himself to be one of the most formidable directors working today, rivaling Michael Haneke in presenting realism in contemporary film. Both filmmakers excel at presenting deeply unsettling events not uncommon in our day-to-day lives, like divorce or death. But where Haneke utilizes realism to draw out horror and dread from his viewers who know how real the situations on screen are, Farhadi paces his movies like a trial, where the central characters try to untangle a mystery presented before them, receiving every perspective from all parties. Through Farhadi’s meticulous construction and intricate plotting, he has not only created some of the best films of the new decade, but presented some of the most enthralling moral cases in modern cinema history.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 9, 2015

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Review

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“I used to play a narcissistic conservative pundit. Now I’m just a narcissist.”

Stephen Colbert uttered this line to Jeb Bush on the premiere of his new show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which is not only notable for the comedian taking David Letterman’s seat but the first time we meet Stephen Colbert as Stephen Colbert. For nine years we’ve known Stephen as the right-wing megalomaniac, not too different from someone like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, a performance he not only kept on Comedy Central four nights a week but on interviews, in person, and even in front of Jeb’s brother George W. Bush in perhaps the most definitive and greatest moment of the Stephen Colbert persona. What made The Colbert Report so great was how Colbert took a faux-conservative stance in order to help viewers to discover not only the obvious ironies behind the character’s argument but those of the surrounding world (the foundation of Colbert Super PAC shed more light on the medium than any of the cable channels did).

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It’s hard to believe, but on Sunday night, after eleven seasons, 137 episodes, and one feature-length film, Aqua Teen Hunger Force has finally ended. For much of its airtime, Aqua Teen was a cultural institution; if not as popular as The Simpsons or South Park it was arguably just as hefty in developing the structure of the millennial animated sitcom. Through the series’ four primary characters, egomaniac Master Shake, the naïve dimwit Meatwad, the genius and parental-like Frylock, and middle-aged slacker Carl, Aqua Teen Hunger Force paved a major road in augmenting the eccentricities of adult oriented animation. Debuting in 2001 (though a rough cut of its pilot premiered a year earlier), Aqua Teen Hunger Force became a cornerstone in the development of Adult Swim, setting up the channel’s residence for surreal non sequitur animation and paved the way for shows like The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, and more recently Rick and Morty. More importantly, Aqua Teen played a pivotal, if unnoted, role in setting up the basis of webisodes: the series’ 15-minute non-canon episodes laid out the guidelines for internet based television, establishing plot quickly and accelerating jokes at a rapid speed.

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