Posted by: ckckred | November 13, 2016

Obama and Me

57th Inauguration President Barack Obama

Amidst the surprising results from last Tuesday’s election, I’ve been in a state of shock, grief, and anger. I’ve talked to my friends and family about what may happen in the next four years to our country and how it will affect the people we know and love. I’ve thought long and hard about writing about my personal reaction to the electoral results until I decided to divert my energy into scribing something different. So this post isn’t about Hillary Clinton or the President-Elect (who shall go unnamed throughout this editorial). Rather, it is about Barack Obama.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 23, 2016

Is There A Movie You Don’t Understand the Acclaim Of?

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There are several of which I can admit to finding difficulty in enjoying.  Though I found its cinematography and sets astounding, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game generally bored me and I fell asleep midway through the picture (although I saw and liked A Day in the Country, so perhaps a rewatch is in order).  While Cléo from 5 to 7 is considered an essential part of the French New Wave, other than a couple of scenes the picture struck me as uninteresting and I’m surprised how hefty its reputation is.  And while I understand the popularity of movies like The Shawshank Redemption* and Rocky, I regard them as pure populist fluff and neither strike me as being artistically ambitious or creative.  As for recent pictures like Birdman and Dheepan, I just outright disliked them.

But what about you?

*I am amongst Stephen King’s biggest fans, but movie adaptations of his novels tend to be hit-or-miss.  Still, I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming Dark Tower film.

Posted by: ckckred | August 8, 2016

The 10 Best Movies of the Past 5 Years

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To celebrate Cinematic’s 5th Anniversary, I’ve put together my 10 favorite films of the past five years, between August 4th, 2011 and August 4th, 2016. During this time we’ve seen some veterans like Michael Haneke and the Coen brothers continue to hit home runs as well as newcomers like Jeremy Saulnier and Damien Chazelle make some of the most startling original work in recent years.  There are certainly many great films that just barely missed the list (Zero Dark ThirtySon of Saul, and Boyhood are some of the few I regretted cutting out), and hopefully the next five years will be just as good.
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Posted by: ckckred | August 4, 2016

Cinematic’s 5th Anniversary

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5 years ago, I founded Cinematic briefly after discovering WordPress from someone at a computer-programming course I was attending then. I had always been interested in film and was compelled to start writing about the latest in the movie world. Though in its initial few months it was more or less a project that only a couple of my friends visited now and again, eventually Cinematic started garnering a greater following amongst the blogger community, allowing the site to blossom what it is today.

Admittedly the site has changed drastically since its beginning. The reviews within the first year or so tended to be quickly written and I wrote more short blurbs about news updates. But I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished here on Cinematic, and I would like to thank all my readers who have continuously shown their support here throughout all these years, whether you’ve been around since the beginning or are just visiting the blog for the first time. Here’s to five more years.

Posted by: ckckred | July 23, 2016

The Piano Teacher

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No director has been so oriented on sadism quite like Michael Haneke. The filmmaker has explored brutality through analyzing racial and social inequality (Caché and Code Unknown), exploring the origins of fascism (The White Ribbon), and testing the bonds of marriage (Amour). Haneke’s 2002 psychosexual drama The Piano Teacher, which won the Grand Prix the year before at Cannes, is exceeded only by Funny Games as the director’s most disturbing piece, taking upon the limits human ruthlessness to a whole new level. Like Funny Games, The Piano Teacher is deliberately difficult to watch yet is so hypnotically fascinating it’s difficult to look away.

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Posted by: ckckred | July 2, 2016

The Best of 2016 (Thus Far)

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We’re already halfway through 2016 and it’s already been a surprisingly remarkably solid year for cinema, television, and music to the extent that I can imagine a few of these being top contenders for my “best of” lists.  Here are some of my favorite films, TV seasons, and albums of the past six months:

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Posted by: ckckred | June 25, 2016

Anomalisa

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Since Being John Malkovich debuted back in 1999, Charlie Kaufman has established himself as one of contemporary cinema’s most formidable figures. The screenwriter has cultivated a brand defined by slapstick and tragedy, bonded together through a surrealistic tone that emphasizes moodiness. Films like Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind took this concept to convey the fleeting moments of our lives, and Synecdoche, New York, the screenwriter’s directorial debut, went even further through its depiction of the emotional roller coaster of life itself. For many, Synecdoche was too hefty to digest, but I feel that like Jacque Tati’s Playtime will earn critical reappraisal in the future for its advanced craftsmanship and societal readings.

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Posted by: ckckred | May 22, 2016

R.I.P. Nick Menza

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I don’t usually recall the first time listening to albums, but I remember perfectly the first time I picked up Megadeth’s Rust in Peace.  I had only a casual knowledge of Megadeth then, having heard only several songs beforehand.  Within the opening minute of “Holy Wars,” I was already blown away at its technical marvel and speed.  That excitement continued to the melodically furious “Hangar 18,” the powerful “Tornado of Souls,” and the pounding title track.  Rust in Peace turned me into an ardent fan of Megadeth almost instantly, and soon after I began to explore the remainder of Megadeth’s discography.  It may be easy to dismiss Dave Mustaine for his inane political stances and antics offstage but he is undeniably one of the finest musicians in the metal world and it’s impossible to understate his impact of the thrash genre.

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Posted by: ckckred | May 16, 2016

The Music of Green Room

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As a metalhead, I’ve always been disappointed with how extreme music in general has been portrayed by the mass media.  For the most part, both punk and metal have been wildly misunderstood by Hollywood, who often fail to relegate the aura of such music. While there are certainly a number of works that capture the atmosphere of heavy music (This is Spinal TapBeavis and Butt-Head, and Metalocalypse), the world in general is dismissive of the genre’s fans and culture together.

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Posted by: ckckred | March 28, 2016

Knight of Cups

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In the world of cinema, despite its magnitude, it’s often difficult for a filmmaker to establish a voice that is unique, individual, and inimitable. Amongst this elite coalition are Stanley Kubrick, Luis Buñuel, and Terrence Malick. Since Badlands, Malick has created some of the most wondrous and dreamy pictures of the last several decades, renown for placing an emphasis on the natural background to act as a metaphor for his characters’ emotional states. Because of the surreal temperament of his work, Malick’s films are an acquired taste, with detractors arguing that the filmmaker focuses too heavily on visuals sacrificing the narrative component of his features. Knight of Cups will certainly not sway any Malick doubters and will likely even turn off many Malick fans in general. Yet for the filmmaker’s biggest devotees (a group this writer happily subscribes too), Knight of Cups is an ocular paradise that features some of Malick’s most grandiose thematic material of tragedy and romance.

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