Posted by: ckckred | June 25, 2016



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


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


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


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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Posted by: ckckred | March 19, 2016

The 10 Best Movies of 2015


2015 was a climatic year for cinema, beginning with the attack in Paris and concluding with the “Oscars So White” protest, bringing into perspective the usages of free speech and diversity in contemporary film. Below are ten movies that I feel best represent 2015, taking upon themes of violence and tragedy and yet also hope and optimism about the potential future. All of these pictures I highly recommend seeing, with some worthy of repeated viewings and others will linger on your mind for quite some time.
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Posted by: ckckred | February 17, 2016

Film Analysis: Benjamin Braddock’s Lost World


Welcome to a new segment of Cinematic, “Film Analysis,” where I briefly discuss certain elements of movies.  To inaugurate this bit, I’ll be looking at Dustin Hoffman’s lead character in Mike Nichols’ The Graduate.

After returning home from graduating college, Benjamin Braddock doesn’t know what to do, lying around his home and drifting in his pool as his parents and their friends pester him about his future plans. The Graduate is completely reflective of Benjamin’s unease: the world around him is confusing and hectic, with multiple talking faces whose voices pass through Ben’s and the audiences’ heads.

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Posted by: ckckred | January 13, 2016

The Best TV Shows of 2015


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


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


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 the clip, I came to the realization that Tarantino shares much in common with Guns frontman Axl Rose. Both enjoyed success early in their careers (Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Rose with Appetite for Destruction), were met with widespread acclaim and fandom across the globe, and have personalities that earned them a streak of notoriety.

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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?


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?

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