Hello Film Fans! This week there’s been a flurry of activity in the movie world. First, there’s news of one of my favorite screens stars, the legendary Robert Redford, announcing he is retiring from acting at the age of 81. We look at some of his greatest performances next week in a top ten list.
Also, there’s the news that is long overdue. The Academy of Motion Pictures is going to add another category to their Oscar awards list, one entitled the “Popular Film” category. They also vowed to keep the broadcast down to three hours. We have advocated for the shake-up of this dusty old institution for a while, but not exactly by adding this dubiously titled category. And although I am skeptical that this is anything other than a band-aid, we will see what they offer. There are several articles in 6 Degrees magazine on this new Academy development.
At the movies: Christopher Robin has had a rather unremarkable opening, and Mission Impossible-Fallout has performed better than expected. The horror film, Slender Man, has opened to tepid and not so great reviews. But Spike Lee’s new film, BlackKkKlansman has garnered some great reviews. Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington is the star in this film based on a true story of a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate the KKK.
One development near and dear to my heart is the announcement that rogerebert.com is going to hire more female film critics. Being one myself, this announcement is a welcome reminder that we need more diverse voices reviewing films and looking at the movies from a different perspective than the predominantly male field of movie critics who have been reviewing films for decades.
Another film development near and dear to my heart is that the film Dog Days has opened and has been well reviewed. So those of us who are completely bias in our love for our canine companions will know this is a must-see and in so doing, can go with the sense of justification (It was well reviewed!)
The Meg has opened to mixed reviews, but they haven’t all been bad. This is one I was on the fence about, but the premise was intriguing. They have taken the concept of Jaws to the nth degree. The film is based (loosely) on a best-seller about a shark thought to be long extinct, a megalodon that is said to be 70 feet long. There are several different reviews for this in 6 Degrees also, ranging in commentary from silly but entertaining to simply silly stuff.
On the small screen, we recommend The Westerner on TCM this week with Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. If you’ve never seen it, it is one of the reasons Cooper became an iconic star. Gary Cooper is one of the men who can carry a Western using minimal dialogue while exuding maximum power and charismatic charm. This Western is about the early range wars occurring between cattlemen and farmers, and though there is a lot of tough talk, there are some classic funny moments between Brennan and Cooper, particularly over the identity of a lock of hair belonging to Judge Roy Bean/Brennan’s ideal love, Lillie Langtry. Recommended for all Armchair Film Festival goers.
Till next time, see you at the movies!-ML