You know there’s been a massive shift in the way Hollywood views musicals when a blockbuster Christmas release is marketed on the back of lyricists. The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman’s first film post-Wolverine, is a musical “biopic” of circus pioneer and American showman P.T. Barnum. It’s songs are brought to you by the team of lyricists that worked with composer Justin Hurwitz to make La La Land’s magic last year. The Greatest Showman is, by no means, another La La Land. That film was one of strongest films in every aspect of the last few years. The Greatest Showman can be heavy-handed and overly earnest, but it’s well-meaning and charming and-in the end-your opinion of the film probably will rise or fall with how much you like those songs touted on the movie’s poster. Continue reading Movie Review: The Greatest Showman (2017) *Not the Greatest But Pretty Darn Good*
The REAL best picture from last year still has me kind of puzzled as to how a classical Hollywood musical managed to completely blow me away to the point where I ended up seeing it more in the the theater than I did Rogue One. Damien Chazelle is come kind of mad wunderkind. Whiplash was a work of genius, and La La Land is also about music and extols the virtue of jazz, but this couldn’t be more different. An unabashed musical of this sort hadn’t been made since the late 1950s. It’s charming, visually stunning, has amazing music and songs, and finishes in a surprisingly bittersweet, though charming look at what might have been for the film’s stars: Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling).
La La Land is about chasing your dreams, and-ultimately-if you take away a message from the film it’s that you can have your dreams and the person you love the most, but be wary, because the smallest decision, one alteration from what you know in your heart to be the right course, and you’ll end up losing one or the other (or likely both outside of the world of movies). The film’s end flashes forward five years. Mia’s achieved her dream of acting success and Sebastian has his jazz club, which Mia and her husband stumble into one night one the way home. Sebastian, playing the piano, sees Mia, and begins to play their theme, and then Chazelle takes the audience on a trip through an alternate timeline, where things didn’t go wrong between them, and they still got what they wanted. We revisit the music and locales of the film and the entire thing shouldn’t work because we’re too jaded in 2017 for something as hokey as this amazingly shot dance number…but apparently we’re not if it’s done right. This is a perfect film, period.
After a month of frenzied voting, the leader never changed, and the Killing TIme Community has officially selected Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as their Best Film of 2016. Of the 15 possible nominees, 12 received votes, showing the depth of quality movies from last year. This marks the second consecutive year that a Star Wars film has won the top community prize, giving Disney a perfect record since they took over the franchise (I wouldn’t count out The Last Jedi taking 2017). Continue reading POLL Results: The KT Community’s Best Film of 2016 is…….
2016 was an absolutely brilliant year for movies, and now it is time for the Killing Time Community to do their yearly duty and anoint one movie as the BEST FILM OF 2016. I do my own yearly awards (The Renaissance Film Awards) just before the Oscars, so this is the readers’ pick; YOUR pick. Will you follow the critics toward La La Land, Arrival or Hacksaw Ridge? Will you pick a summer favorite like Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War or The Jungle Book? Will a Star Wars film win for the second year running with a vote for Rogue One? Or will you just put forth MAXIMUM EFFORT and give Deadpool the recognition the Academy denied it?
Here are how the 15 finalists for the award were chosen: I took the nine films the Academy nominated for Best Picture, added the next three highest ranked by my personal list, and then added the top two box office earners not covered by either previous category (and then I threw in Deadpool for kicks and giggles because anarchy amuses me). All year you endure my yakking about my opinions, but this is your award. This is our most important poll of the year, so VOTE! The winner will be announced on February 24, 2017, (Oscar Eve), and will join the hallowed ranks of these past winners:
2012: The Dark Knight Rises
2014: Guardians of the Galaxy
2015: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
PS – Forward this around or direct your fellow movie lovers to the Killing Time homepage (https://justkillingti.me) to cast their votes. We want to get as many as possible for the biggest KT Community event of the year!
Since La La Land‘s Oscar coronation is on its way, musicals and movie songs are in popular discussion, so I thought this week I’d feature one of my five favorite movie songs of all-time: 1979’s The Muppet Movie‘s “The Rainbow Connection”. As a song, take away the fact that its sung by a puppet frog in a swamp, it’s one of the most touching songs that I’ve ever heard, and it’s been covered by many artists over the years (my favorite was Sarah McLachlan’s a few years ago). It’s an odd way to start the Muppets first feature film, but then the Muppets have always been this mad magic that should in no way work, but does. Jim Henson was one of the most brilliant creative minds of his time, and merging his love of puppetry with a subversive sense of humor he created essentially vaudeville in felt. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: The Muppet Movie (1979) “The Rainbow Connection”