Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Are We Approaching the Death of Reality TV?

It was a bit of a shocking announcement from AMC last week when they declared they were abandoning almost all of their unscripted shows (including Kiss's latest attempt to get their name on everything, 4th and Loud). It wasn't that long ago they seemed to be amassing a small army of reality TV, but now the goal is to completely focus on finding scripted series. This is only one cable channel, but this fall also saw networks bring in far less unscripted new shows. It has been awhile since there has been a major reality show hit, with Duck Dynasty being the last and its ratings are now plummeting. What does this all say about the future of reality TV? In my latest Collective Publishing entertainment column, I analyze the future of reality TV and why things have changed so drastically in the last year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Breakdown of the State of Women in Movies Podcast: It Isn't Just a Man's World

Scott and I tackle an issue that has come up in many past podcasts, which is the depiction of women on the big screen and the opportunities given women in the film industry. It has been an interesting year with stars like Scarlett Johansson joining the ranks with women like Jennifer Lawrence as both independent darlings (Under the Skin) and big box office attractions (Johansson has two hits this year with Captain American: The Winter Soldier and Lucy). We take an in-depth look at the typical roles for woman along with what genres have best represented women while also discussing if the best talent is getting a chance to really shine. It is both a criticism and a praise. We look at some major flaws but also things that give us much hope.

In the future, I hope to have another podcast where we can spotlight some of the rising and incredibly talented female filmmakers that were mentioned on this show as well as those we neglected. Hopefully, this is an episode that makes you think, and we both really look forward to your feedback and thoughts.

As always if you enjoy this show then please spread to the word to other film fans.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Return of Twin Peaks and the Jettisoning of 'Say Anything'

It was a crazy week in the world of reboots and resurrections as several past works have been announced as returning. It seemed like everybody was celebrating about the hyped return of Twin Peaks, while the announcements of Say Anything and a giant Robin Hood relaunch had much less anticipation. Actually, looks like Lloyd Dobbler's return may have been blocked for now. If anyone wanted to argue the original idea was dead, then this may be the week. I think there is reason to be excited, while in some other cases an audible groan is justified too. In my latest Collective Publishing article, I look the major announcements of Twin Peaks returning along with things like Netflix joining in with Adam Sandler. I offer my analysis of why I think some of these things happened along with what is worth getting excited about.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Breakdown of 'Gone Girl' Podcast: Plus Proof Some of the Best Stories Come from Documentaries

Scott and I finally return to reviewing movies, and we've got a loaded show with five pictures. The big one is David Fincher's highly anticipated adaptation of the Gillian Flynn bestseller, Gone Girl. We also look at two documentaries from the master of the form, Steve James (including one of my most anticipated 2014 releases, Life Itself). On top of that, we've got your animated and Young Adult fix covered with two September releases. It was a lot of fun reviewing and debating movies again and we aimed to entertain with our battles against each other to prove one's film criticism superiority while also incorporating some history and reflections upon the bigger impact some of these pictures have in pop culture. As always, if you love the show then please spread the word.

Breakdown Outline:

00:49  Gone Girl review
22:54  Life Itself review
34:56  Hoop Dreams review
45:52  The Boxtrolls review
58:00  The Maze Runner review
01:10:27  Review Rundown

Note: Despite going really long on Gone Girl, I still failed to bring up a crucial aspect of the picture. Most thrillers, even ones that delve into the ludicrous plots and twists (which admittedly this flick does as well) tend to take themselves painfully serious and are devoid of humour. Fincher always tends to have a great deal of wit, snappy dialogue, and black humour sprinkled throughout his pictures,  but this one is jammed with it and is a sick and twisted yet very funny movie. It is aware it is absurd, but also remembers to tone down the macabre and morbid moments with truly gutbusting laughs. The presentation of how the media jumps on the missing person case and the interplay between many of the characters delivers some really clever and biting humour. Okay, I think I covered the movie enough.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Capsule Reviews of September Releases: Did a Bad-Ass Denzel Washington and Boxtrolls Rock the Month?

I've been awful on here. I don't know how many times I can say that. To really condense the struggle, almost a year ago a huge career breakthrough evaporated from my hands and it has left more lingering self-doubt than I had ordered so the leftovers keep haunting me. I really want to start rocking the words on a regular basis on here. One of the things I really want to do is provide more full-length reviews. Since I've once again become backlogged, I decided to provide capsule reviews of the September releases I've seen. So over at Collective Publishing, see how the state of cinema is looking as we head into what many consider the prestige months.

Oh, I actually first provide some thoughts on the current state of 2014. To be honest, it was supposed to be a short introduction paragraph, but I turned out to have more to say than I planned. After the really long lead-in piece, I provide reviews for pictures like The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer, This is Where I Leave You, and more (really check out that more).

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Breakdown of Emotional Connecting with Movies Podcast: We've Got Feelings!

Scott and I have once against been swerved by fates and won't be reviewing the pictures we promised for this week. Instead we're going to dig deep inside ourselves and look at our very souls that over the years have had many movies latch on to them. These are movies that not only have stuck with us for decades, but also have impacted how we live our days. We'll be looking at classics that we love (we mention Raiders of the Lost Ark several times), but also discuss some not very good movies that still found a way to bury deep into our memories and emotions. As always, if you love what you hear then please pass it along to another lover of movies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Ways Netflix is Reshaping the Creative Aspect of Television

 As the years go on and if I continue to cover pop culture, I'll likely find myself writing about Netflix more and more (eventually, I may even get around to reviewing House of Cards). It is not only becoming an entertainment powerhouse that is creating exclusive series that garner awards buzz and critical acclaim, but now their creative decisions are being emulated by the major networks. At one time, the networks would have completely dismissed Netflix as real competition, but now it is a major part of shaping the television industry. In my latest Collective Publishing pop culture column, I look at how Netflix is becoming a major influence on the big networks' creative decisions.

EDIT: Added a pretty picture, and then referenced the series it is depicting in my write-up.