Friday - April 3, 2020
Community Hubsite By ONDigitalCities.com

Articles Written By TimBrennan

 

Up The Down Elevator

March 31st, 2020

The Platform is streaming on Netflix now. It’s hard enough for a quality film to break through to audiences under normal circumstances. The Motion Picture Association of America tells us that, despite the usual fluctuations, an average of 600 movies are released yearly. Of that number, some of them have advantages. Major studio backing and a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign can get a film a hell of a lot closer to the finish line of profitability, regardless of its actual quality. But, as you’ve probably noticed, we’re a country mile past “normal” these days. Going to the movies... Read More

The Grind

March 19th, 2020

We’re all scared. Can you blame us? There’s a pandemic cutting through every corner of the world. The guy who’s supposed to be in charge doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing. People are hoarding toilet paper, for God’s sake. As a species, as a country, and as individuals, we’re living in a time of great uncertainty, and it might feel like we’re going to hit bottom any minute. What are we supposed to do? You know who knows a little something about that? Ben Affleck. It wasn’t easy for him, growing up with a father who was an alcoholic and the eventual split that took place between... Read More

A Little Magic

March 9th, 2020

The internet has given us a great deal. From my laptop or phone, I have access to several lifetimes’ worth of information and culture. I can order a pizza, have it personalized precisely to my specifications, and it will be delivered to my overpriced hovel—all without having to speak to a human being. It’s a kind of magic. The internet has also taken away a great deal. It can feel like decency is in short supply sometimes, and it can also feel like blizzards of information hide the fact that much of the information can’t be trusted. One of the worst casualties of the information age is... Read More

A Disappearing Act

March 2nd, 2020

The good news is, we’re in a golden age of horror movies. Back in the old days, horror wasn’t taken seriously as a genre. If you liked a good scare, you’d run into a few problems; you’d need to sift through a Mount Everest of crummy movies to unearth the very occasional gems. When you did find something good, who were you going to talk to about it? Certainly not the people who would snobbishly decry the degeneracy of horror. Things changed, and for once, they changed for the better. I have friends online that I can talk movies with. There’s a streaming service, Shudder, dedicated exclusively... Read More

The Feel Bad Movie of The Year

February 24th, 2020

Not long ago on my birthday, I decided to do something for myself. To celebrate my inevitable march toward old age and the grave, a drive in the mountains was just the thing. I fired up the trusty Prius, put my iPhone music on shuffle,* and off I went into the majesty of Colorado’s iconic Front Range. I stopped at Flagstaff Lookout Point. The road to the top was closed due to snow, and I figured a little stroll would do me good. After a few minutes of picking my way through the recently fallen snow, I became acutely aware of two things. First, as far as I could tell, I was the only one up there.... Read More

Objects in Motion

February 17th, 2020

Who can say how we’ll react during a crisis? We all want to believe that, when the moment comes, we’ll step up. We’ll perform admirably and be a credit to our friends, family, and ourselves. Some people dream of a situation* where they’re the only one who knows what to do and saves the day. More often, things just happen. For example, back in January of 2014, Lauren Prezioso and her family took a day to relax at their local beach in Coffs Harbour, Australia. She heard screams. A mother was panicking and yelling for help as her two boys were being swept out by the tide. Lauren was among... Read More

Feathering the Nest

February 10th, 2020

I like it when something cool comes from something damaged and terrible. For example, the DC Extended Universe. Initially, they were not off to a great start. They had a Superman who was mopey, grumpy, and seemed to save people not because he was compelled to help, but because he was afraid of being written up by his manager. They had a Batman who was not so much obsessed with punishing crime as he was having a psychotic break.* They also had a Harley Quinn trapped in a movie that didn’t deserve her. Perhaps you recall 2016’s Suicide Squad. It was a damn good concept for a movie, with the idea... Read More

Drop the Beat

February 5th, 2020

A common belief is that movie critics love to trash movies. It’s thought that we critical types, after emerging from coffins buried in consecrated ground, stalk film festivals and multiplexes looking for weaker prey. We fire up our laptops to crush innocent filmmakers, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their producers. I mean, that’s what we do, right? Not so much. See, every movie is an opportunity. The very best part of a film for me is the moment after the previews have finished and there’s a half-second or so where the screen is black. That moment is all about potential,... Read More

England’s Greenery

January 28th, 2020

When it comes to directors, there are usually two kinds. The first is the artist. When you watch a film by Spielberg, Scorsese, or Tarantino, you’ll know within minutes that they directed it. Shot choices, casting, and even their thematic obsessions will clue you in, allowing you to calibrate your enjoyment appropriately.* You’ll always know you’re watching a film by Brian De Palma, just like you’ll always know you’re watching a film by Kevin Smith. The second category is the artisans. These are filmmakers that usually don’t have a directorial signature. They get in there, do the job,... Read More

Almost, But Not Quite, The Abyss

January 23rd, 2020

If you’re a regular viewer of movies, you know you can track the seasons by the kinds of movies playing. Are the theaters jam-packed with big, loud blockbusters? You’re in summer. Do you have a wide variety of Oscar bait to choose from? Congratulations, you’ve arrived safely in the fall. The depths of winter are when studios give up. They already released the films built to either make an assload of money or attract awards. What’s left is the cinematic equivalent of the island of misfit toys, and production companies frequently throw these redheaded stepchildren into theaters with a hasty... Read More