Blog Archives

Dana Carvey Makes a Small Impression These Days

Today is a perfect day to laugh.

Dana Carvey, an SNL and impressions icon, performs new comedy in an old way. What do I mean? Some of the best SNL sketches are when well-known figures are made fun of with great insight and precision. But there’s a catch:

The jokes are not activist-driven.

The video above showcases an increasingly rare comedic gift. We have to be able to joke around with and about each other without getting heated about every single little detail. Sometimes we just need to laugh. Mr. Carvey’s sense of humor is laser-focused on the punchline instead of the punch. Jerry Seinfeld is the same way. And Mr. Seinfeld has said that he will care about you if you’re funny. Otherwise, he’s not interested.

A sage perspective, actually.

So, this is Nicolas Cage trying to order a medium Tall at Starbucks…

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A Real Leap of Faith

There are movies that transcend entertainment and invite audiences into an experience. This could mean a fantasy world like Star Wars, or a park filled with prehistoric dinosaurs.

Or, in rare cases, real-life moments in the purest sense.

The 15:17 to Paris is as close as you can get to a shot-for-shot remake of the literal heroism of the three American friends who faced down a terrorist with his small arsenal of guns and weapons on a foreign train in order to protect themselves and complete strangers. In many ways, this film could’ve only come from Clint Eastwood; the idea to use the real people and the initiative to tackle this specific story. And don’t forget that casting the real people (Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler) was a risky calculation by Mr. Eastwood. Regardless, watching these heroes leap toward the terrorist to save lives will be something special.

Everybody should see The 15:17 to Paris starting tomorrow not because it’s projected as a blockbuster hit at the box office or as brilliant cinema, but instead to see on the big screen what Clint Eastwood saw in these three American men who reacted to the worst kind of adversity in the best way imaginable.

Short Film’s Latest (& Mostly) Silent Era

“…on this day in 2006, the company that brought the world the blockbuster hits Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004) was sold to the Walt Disney Company, their longtime distributor, for a staggering $7.4 billion.”
–Walt Disney announces $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar, History.com

Pixar is an ever-evolving, multi-generational animation game-changer for both in short & feature films. This animation studio, part of Walt Disney, has produced some of the greatest animated movies of all-time. Not all, of course. Let’s not be hyperbolic with no memory of the illustrious past in this industry. However, Pixar’s uniquely subtle style for five to six-minute shorts is something to marvel at with a great deal of satisfaction and happiness.

Bet you didn’t expect that director commentary in the middle of an analysis of Pixar’s animated storytelling techniques. It changes the way you view the whole video, right?

Just call it the eternal magic of movies, real and imagined.

Lara Croft’s New Craft

With movements nearly as precise as an intricately designed AI robot, Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander’s portrayal of video game favorite Lara Croft looks like quite a bit of adventurous summer fun will be coming soon to your local cinema (that will actually arrive this March). The film’s second trailer, released by Warner Bros. Pictures today, confirms that aforementioned fun.

Narratively, Tomb Raider seems comparable to Batman Begins; the first act in what will likely stretch out into a thrilling trilogy with a lead character who will add more grit and emotion to an already larger-than-life story. Similar to Christian Bale (also an Academy Award winner), Ms. Vikander should add more depth to Lara Croft’s motives and, consequently, her surroundings. By that, I mean the dangerous, life-threatening stakes in the film should be raised beyond a mere visual recreation or addition to the highly-acclaimed video game, which is saying something.

Tomb Raider just may succeed in rebranding a hero of sorts…who is kind of super in her ability to raid tombs, yet not a superhero by definition.

We’ll have to wait and see on March 16th if that analysis (along with the effects in the movie) were, in fact, a practical presumption.