Posted by: ckckred | December 31, 2016

What Was the Best Non-2016 Movie You Saw This Past Year?


2016 may be a very climatic year, but I saw a multitude of new great movies.  I watched more silent films in the past twelve months than I did beforehand, and I can tell you F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans was the best movie I saw in 2016 and epitomizes contemporary cinema perfectly.  Other great new pictures I watched this year included D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance*, Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle and Playtime, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Fritz Lang’s Destiny.  But what about you?

*Since my adolescence, I’ve always held strong prejudice for Griffith mainly due to the explicit racist nature of The Birth of a Nation, but after watching Intolerance and a multitude of his short films I’ve greatly misunderstood the director’s talents.  While I still hold contempt for Nation, I would argue that Intolerance proves that Griffith was one of cinema’s greatest and most innovative dreamers.

Posted by: ckckred | December 30, 2016

The 10 Best Albums of 2016


2016 saw the tragic passing of many legendary artists… David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael being several notable ones. But the year was also greeted with an influx of good music, particularly in the metal genre. So without further ado, here are my picks for the best albums of 2016.
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Posted by: ckckred | December 27, 2016

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016


Now that we’re approaching the end, I think most of us can agree 2016 was a horrible, horrible year. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, 2016 saw the world become more fractured, many great faces departing this world, and just a whole lot of misery. It’s at times like these where we need entertainment the most as a shelter from reality, and in that aspect 2016 succeeded. So here are 10 great TV shows I took refuge in within the past 12 months.
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Posted by: ckckred | December 21, 2016



Throughout his career, Paul Verhoeven has sought to push the limits between comedy and violence. The filmmaker legendarily blended the two themes together for Total Recall and RoboCop, both of which subverted ultra gore in the sci-fi genre to shock audiences into laughs. Although Elle, Verhoeven’s latest feature, is set within modern times instead of the dystopian future worlds the filmmaker is renown for, it is no less provocative, opening with its protagonist brutally raped in her apartment as a household cat idly watches by. It’s a scene of absolute terror punctuated by the casualness of the assault, a recurring trait within Elle.

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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?


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


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

lobby party

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


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)


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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