"He has made money off his 'Good News' program while people are dying, laid off, can't get food, etc. Smart, John." Someone tweeted. "This is a sellout move made on the backs of fans who contributed almost all of his content, and he’s not even going to keep doing it..." writes another twitter user, "never forget the rich live in a completely different world and do NOT care about us."
Netflix recently had to decrease the video quality of their service to accommodate the high volume of people streaming. In these difficult circumstances, we're all turning on our favourite streaming services to offer us a form of escapism. I sincerely believe that movies are a useful tool that can help us get through this. But that's all they are, a tool. A hammer can be used to build something useful or it can be misued to break things or injure people.
Cinema is an art form. We usually engage with movies as nothing more than mindless entertainment. Movies can be mindless, but it all depends on how we choose to engage with them. In his book 'The Great Movies' legendary film critic Roger Ebert writes:
We're heading into the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years movie season and before 2019 is over your local cinema is going to be packed. There will be sequels to Frozen and Jumanji bringing in the family demographic. Other movie-goers will flock to see another Tom Hooper directed adaption of a hit broadway musical, a Tom Hanks starring Mr. Rogers biopic and a Rian Johnston directed Murder Mystery. To add to the craziness, a little film called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is going to be bringing every person in the world to a movie theatre.
The other day I decided to open Twitter because for some reason I convinced myself that would be a valuable way to use my time. I was greeted by a large picture of Spielberg and the headline "Film fans debate Steven Spielberg's proposed changes for Oscars qualification." As a film fan and lover of many of Spielberg's films, I decided to see what this was all about.
Oscar winning director Damien Chazelle's First Man tells the raw story of how America, as a nation got the the moon. However, as the titleindicates, the film chooses to tell the story specifically from the perspective of Neil Armstrong: A troubled man who is grieving the tragic loss of his child. If there is one word that describes what it feels like to watch this movie it would be immersive. The term "man in a can" has been used to describe astronauts before and First Man viscerally immerses audiences into the feeling of being hurled through space while crammed into a tiny command module held together by nuts and bolts. While it is a visceral and cinematic space-exploration drama, the primary goal of the film is to immerse audience into the grief, isolation and humanity of the first man on the the moon. The film achieves this goal masterfully.