The Academy Award nominations are always an exciting morning, but the 2019 Oscars seem to have a bit less juice than in previous years. Maybe because there’s not one clear front-runner that many fans are rallying around? No clear critical darling?
Also, I think there are a lot of movies that people either simply haven’t seen. That’s always the case (and Oscar nominations can change that), but feels like it’s even more so this year. Also, one of the favorites was made for Netflix, an idea people will have to get used to.
Since I typically write something about the Oscars, I figured I’d do a quick overview of the big categories, picking the favorites and noting the snubs. And there were a lot of notable snubs this year.
I’ve seen five of the eight Best Picture nominees, but there are several contenders I need to watch. (That’s one reason why I dragged my ass on putting together a Best of 2018 list.) Those include Green Book, The Favourite, Roma, Shoplifters, Can You Ever Forgive Me and The Wife. (I know!) So my opinions on any of these could change before Feb. 24. If so, maybe we’ll have some predictions.
Plenty of important (and concerning) things happened in the world this week, as has become typical in the current political and social climate we live in. But for many comic book and pop culture fans, the big news of the week was the passing of legendary Marvel Comics storyteller Stan Lee.
At 95 years old, we all knew the end was coming sooner rather than later. But it’s still hard to believe that we won’t have Stan Lee alongside us to celebrate the elevation of his creations to supreme pop culture. Yet Lee’s death also prompted more celebration than mourning as we remembered what characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and so many, many others meant to us through childhood and into adulthood.
Though it didn’t seem like nearly enough, I wrote my own tribute to Stan Lee , praised my favorite creations and movie cameos of his, and we talked about his legacy on the Amusement Park Podcast.
It’s too bad that Lee’s death brought us the nostalgic escape and joy that we needed, but celebrating his legacy certainly provided a welcome diversion — even if it was borne from unfortunate news.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you reading this. Based on my conversations, the holiday jumped on us sooner than expected. But it’ll be nice to have a break, regardless of whether or not you spend that time with family and friends. I have ambitious plans to… watch a lot of TV and movies when I’m not eating. I might have another Not a Newsletter before we dig into our respective meals. Not sure about that yet.
Regardless, I’m certainly thankful that you care enough to stop by. And I’m grateful for both the opportunity to write and express myself. Here’s a Stan Lee quote to take you into this week’s reading:
Number nine, number nine? On this week’s Amusement Park Podcast, is James Gunn committing career “suicide”? Chris and Ian also discuss A Star is Born and react to the season premieres of The Flash and Black Lightning. October horror picks and what we enjoyed this week close us out.
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Could A Star is Born possibly be better than its trailer? That’s a joke (or cynical opinion) often reserved for superhero blockbusters like Iron Man, Man of Steel and Suicide Squad.
The preview released in June got seemingly everyone excited for this movie and probably brought some relief to those who thought a remake of the 1976 Barbra Streisand-Kris Kristofferson film was a terrible idea that could possibly destroy Bradley Cooper’s career (at least as a director).
No one’s laughing or wincing now.
Not only does Cooper give the best acting performance of his career, but he also impresses as a director. He lets scenes play out and trusts his actors, rather than resorting to quick cuts and editing to create a false sense of story movement. It’s not difficult to imagine that he’s providing the direction himself that he would’ve preferred other filmmakers gave him and his co-stars.
There might be a few scenes that go a bit long, especially in the movie’s less compelling second half. But when so many films now feel like they were sliced up and patched together in the editing bay, a movie that takes time with its characters and lets the actors shine feels refreshing.