Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of 2018 (50-31)

I start this article every year with the same statement: the movie poster is a lost art.

It gets truer each year, and actually becomes more disgusting as time goes on, because now, with the rise of the streaming service, they don’t even bother putting out posters for some movies anymore. And the big mainstream stuff, it’s devolved into character posters and giant collages of all the actors’ faces on them. They’re only interested in selling the IP and the people in the movie rather than selling the movie. They’re either trading off a known property or images from great posters from years back, or they’re putting famous faces into the same collage they use for everything else. If you love a good movie poster as I do, you should be disgusted with the stuff they’re putting out.

A good movie poster should give you everything you need to know about a film in a single image. It should be both eye-catching and thematically relevant. Bonus points if you look at it and immediately want to see the movie more than you did before you saw it.

Offhand, can you immediately name more than five posters you saw this year and went, “Oh wow”? And here I’m trying to come up with 50. So that’s my struggle each year. But in listing as many as I do, you start to learn certain things. One, you’ll realize just how little the big studio films need to bother doing anything creative in their marketing. Two, you’ll learn that certain filmmakers are always the same ones putting care and consideration into their marketing, which always makes them stand out. And three, you’ll see, with me including so many different posters, just how few there really are that are truly fantastic. And four — this one’s more of a pipe dream — hopefully you’ll learn just how easy it is to put any kind of creativity in a poster, and if you end up being someone that is a part of this process at any point, maybe you’ll help change this disturbing trend we’re on.

But anyway, here are my favorite movie posters of 2018. Read the rest of this page »


Pic of the Day: “You guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?”

Oscars 2018: Golden Globe Nominations

And it’s Golden Globes time. This is the official kick-off to Oscar season.

They announced these at 5am, and I’m sure a lot of people were awake and ready to hear them or were expecting me to have done the same, but I think we’ve long since established how little I care about the Golden Globes as anything more than a good start to the actual important stuff that’s gonna happen later. This is the bread they put down on the table at the restaurant. Occasionally I’ll take a piece to sop up some of the sauce on the plate later, but for the most part, it’s just a starter.

The good news is, because I didn’t wake up that early, I’m finding this all out as I go, so you’ll get my unvarnished opinions as I read the nominees. Though I’ll be honest, I had several long conversations with people last night (people who seem to care about these nominations significantly more than I do) where I said a bunch of stuff I expected to see, owing to them basically wanting to have certain people there and them being complete and utter starfuckers. So honestly, the big surprise to me is gonna be if they don’t nominate people.

Off the top of my head — Star Is Born will be across the board. Gaga won Best Actress yesterday. They’ll nominate Mary Poppins, Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians. Because then they get the entire casts. Bohemian Rhapsody should get love more than people expect. Nicole Kidman gets minimum one nomination. The Favourite gets two acting nominations (because, as I said, you nominate Rachel Weisz, you get Daniel Craig to show up too). Emily Blunt gets nominated easily, because then you get John Krasinski, which allows them to not really nominate his movie and still get him to show up. They might nominate Widows just to get that cast. Vice will get nominations for that cast. Mary Queen of Scots double nomination seems promising too, because then you get those two there. I’m curious to see if they care about BlacKkKlansman or not. Going back to Mary Poppins for a second, I’m sure Lin-Manuel wrote a song there, so I’d expect that. Also, as I say to everyone — you gotta watch out for Meryl. Any excuse to nominate her, they’ll take it. She has 31 Globe nominations. 31! And I think only two are for TV.

But yeah, that was all stuff I expected just riffing with people last night. They read all the prognostications, and I did not. So I honestly have no clue where this is going, and I will tell you know I’m putting less stock into this than everyone else is. It’s SAG that I start to look at things as serious contenders.

So without further ado, here are your Globe nominees for this year: Read the rest of this page »

Some Hidden Gems of 2018

It worked out by chance that this is the first official “year end” list to be published, but in a way, it feels fitting. Most years, I do my overrated, underrated and underseen films, as well as lists of what films surprised me both positively and negatively. I’ve hesitated to write up hidden gems, just because hidden gems feel like they need time to become gems. It’s in the definition of the word. A gem doesn’t just randomly occur in nature.

However, because I watch so many films each year and because there are so many out there that are awesome that people just don’t know about, I felt that I should write up a list to give as many of those their due as I can. This may bleed over a bit with my Underseen list, but in a way, that’s more about the films people know about but just need to actually go see. This is more supposed to be — “You don’t even know what this is, do you?” I want it to be about the films that are really good that most people just either have not heard of or would take a second to go, “What is that, again?”

The average moviegoer maybe recognizes a third of this list. People more into movies probably has seen a third and has heard of half or so. People who are deeper into movies than most, maybe half seen and heard of 75%? I still think there’s gonna be something here that is so under the radar that even the film people don’t know what it is. And you know how I know that? Talking to people.

The idea behind this list is — most people don’t know about these films, they’re really great, and you should seek them out, because they’re great. There are obviously gonna be a few that maybe have wider recognition than a true ‘hidden’ gem, but in those situations, I think we’d agree that people still need to see them. If I can have it be under 5 that you think are more widely known than I’m suggesting, I think I’ve done my job. I still think most people haven’t seen at least half this list at minimum. (And if you have, maybe start telling people about them.)

Anyway, here are a few (and trust me, there are more) hidden gems from this year that deserve to have a wider audience: Read the rest of this page »

Oscars 2018: AFI Top Ten Films of the Year

AFI announced their top ten films this morning.

They’re not as important as NBR to me, but I do like looking at what they choose. Typically it’s a populist kind of list, probably more indicative of what the eventual Best Picture nominees will be than anything else. And always with the one trendy choice or two thrown in. I didn’t even have to look to know that some combination of Black Panther, A Quiet Place and A Star Is Born were gonna be on there. They’re obvious in those ways.

But, last year they had 7 Best Picture nominees on their list. 2016, they had 7. 2015 they had 6. 2014 they had 7. 2013, 7. So yeah… chances are at least 60% of this list will be your Best Picture nominees. So let’s see what they chose. Read the rest of this page »