An aspiring film critic/journalist. I've been writing movie reviews as a hobby since July 2015 in hopes of one day finally being known as a professional film critic. You can find all of my movie reviews at the Showtime w/ Roman blog.
Addressing “Let People Enjoy Things”
Seven years ago I started actively watching movies. Shortly after, I started engaging in online discourse with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In some ways I view it as a very formative film for me. Purely in the sense that it opened my eyes to the option of being able to engage with people online through agreement, or disagreement, and that everyone is not going to see eye to eye. Having conversations about the inner workings and emotional outreach a movie can have, became a daily routine. With the rise of The Russo Bros. and the peak of the MCU’s success, online discourse began shifting. As the narrative went from the underdog being the kids who loved splashy comic-book pages, to being fans of the biggest monolith in pop culture this side of the 2000s. Now, the rise of the MCU isn’t to blame, it’s also competing properties and studios that tried to replicate their own respective universe of big, superhero movies in general.
Watching the 'Watchmen'—Part 1
“Who watches the Watchmen?” This four word question painted on a TV store’s window asks the simplest of questions; however, it opens up many doors that grant us access to those answers. Who keeps them in check? Do we? Do they? How can a group of super people be let loose without oversight, without restrictions? If they monitor us, who monitors them? This, among many other questions amidst those rooms that the doorways lead are at the very heart of Watchmen.
'Toy Story': Old Methods and New Beginnings
In 1995, Pixar would make their feature length debut with Toy Story. A film led by the talents of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as sentient toys that come alive when humans aren’t looking. It would be the first ever fully rendered 3-D animated film, a soon-to-be classic, a staple for the medium of animation, and a cultural touchstone of film-making.
We Should Take the Golden Globes Seriously
Sunday’s 76th Golden Globes had one of the most interesting slate of winners yet. Between Alfonso Cuaron’s win as Best Director for Roma, Olivia Colman’s big win as Best Actress in The Favourite, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s "Shallow" pulling away with Best Original Song, the Golden Globes really put into perspective how the rest of awards season could go. Unless the trends from past years hold true, and the Globes end up being “the constantly drunk Uncle” of awards shows and aren’t actually indicative of the big winners for the PGA Awards (Producers Guild of America) and the Oscars.
My 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2019
After a big year for movies in 2018, in terms of record-breaking box office, controversial figures, and divisive films, 2018 seems to have made a huge impact on the general movie-going public, and the future of the medium going forward.
'Ready Player One' Review: The Consumption of Media
Ready Player One is based off of Ernest Cline’s highly praised novel of the same name and is tackled by legendary Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg. In Cline’s novel, he takes off into a relatively distant future where technology and reality clash like we see today. The book is chalked full of pages that list off characters, IPs, and pieces of media from the past that not only defined our childhood, but entertainment itself. In Spielberg’s Ready Player One, there was a quiet disturbance amongst members of the film community that was concerned the film would be a two hour long slugfest of nostalgia that felt like taking a brick to the face. To be fair, audiences had every right to worry due to a mediocre marketing campaign that plugged in these characters into infamous pop culture content. The trailers dazzled in promising lots of, “look, point at this cool reference with your friends” footage while listening to your dad’s favorite track that he had on his “hip” Walkman back in the Spring of '82. None of this looked or sounded appealing, except maybe to the average film-goer, but what may come to everyone’s surprise is how Spielberg’s Ready Player One is more than the nostalgia pandering we all thought it would be.
The Netflix Paradox: Netflix's Lack of Quality Control
Netflix has been on an absolute tear in producing streamable content for a handful of years now, and it only seems like things are just getting started for the subscription service. Within the last two years alone, Netflix has been talked up as being a competitor to the movie theater industry due to finally evolving into being a competent production company. Their partnering with directors Duncan Jones and Noah Baumbach would make Netflix appear to be on the right track in making movie theaters a thing of the past. On a personal level, I never bought into the proposition that Netflix could even come close to replicating what is experienced at your nearest theater. On a general consensus level, the hype seemed to be settling in with Netflix becoming that opposing force against movie theaters across the globe. Discussion was circulating about Netflix acquiring Paramount’s 'Cloverfield' franchise and now it really seemed like Netflix was making big moves to be considered a serious contender for being the industry’s most bold production company. As you know, Netflix shocked the world in dropping the premier trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox during Super Bowl 52, along with announcing that the film would be readily available for it’s subscribers following the conclusion of the game. Leading up to my viewing of Cloverfield Paradox, I was ready to submit myself to the train that championed Netflix as the contender it could be, but after February’s two critical flops, Netflix clearly has no grip on their quality control.
Christopher Nolan Is the Spielberg of the 21st Century
In honor of the Oscar-nominated Dunkirk, which is written and directed by Christopher Nolan, I have decided to dive deep into shark infested waters to compare one of our generation’s most creative minds and compare him to one of cinema’s finest film-makers, Steven Spielberg. Christopher Nolan is not of the caliber or status of a Steven Spielberg quite yet but the potential is certainly there and has been there since his big screen debut in 1998’s Following. Now, even though you’ve probably already come into the article with steam coming out of your ears, your blood boiling, and the words, ”Nolan is overrated and will never be Spielberg” prepared, hear me out. Christopher Nolan has certainly taken the modern day cinematic landscape by storm and that cannot be ignored. Nolan continuously has new ideas swirling in his head that are ripe for the big screen, and will spend years studying the next film he is tackling or will tackle down the line. Nolan is dedicated, ambitious, creative, and crafts unique works time and time again, and it reminds me of the younger version of Steven Spielberg. Two directors who have become such big household names through their ability to insert their audience into the worlds they create, and directing us on these paths to go on a cinematic journey unlike anything we’ve seen before. There isn’t anyone quite like Spielberg, but Nolan has taken a very similar approach to his filmography and it is paying off in dividends and that is one of the many reasons why I believe Christopher Nolan is the 1970-2002 version of Steven Spielberg reincarnated.