Yes, it’s March, and yes, this “best of 2016” list is way past due. But honestly, how could I in good conscience declare my 10 favorite films from last year without having seen future Oscar winners like La La Land and Moonlight (glad I waited for those!)? Becoming a first-time father in December certainly played a role in that delay as well, though that consequence is the least of the life-altering effects of parenthood.
That’s not to say that this list is now exhaustive by any means because I still haven’t seen anything. However, I do feel like I have a solid handle on most of the high-profile and highly acclaimed films of 2016. So at long last I’m getting around to sharing the 10 films that had the biggest impacts on me. I won’t necessarily say these were the “best” films released theatrically in 2016, but they were certainly the ones that I appreciated the most and which I look forward to revisiting in the future. Let’s do this! Continue reading →
In lieu of a new episode of the Crooked Table Podcast (don’t worry, it’s still coming and will still address Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), I’m electing to kick off a new regular post that will recap some of what I’ve been up to each week. Too often, my barrage of freelance work prevents me from generating enough original content for CrookedTable.com to keep the site fully stocked. These posts — which will bear the title “Crooked Sightings” — will give you all the 4-1-1 about all the entertainment features, reviews and assorted other goodness I’ve been busy contributing to other sites. Since most of the titles are pretty self-explanatory, I’m going with a simple clickable list format, for your convenience. Enjoy, and of course, keep it Crooked!
Most action films these days rely far too heavily on computer-generated effects to thrill audiences, but director Tran Quoc Bao’s new short film The Challenger (see below) harkens back to a purer time, one in which memorable fight sequences were the product of precise camera work, detailed choreography and stars charismatic enough to draw viewers into the story at hand. Case in point, the film – which runs nearly eight minutes long – is a dialogue-free exercise fuelled purely by invention and its distinctive visual flair.
The entertainment world may be busy heralding Johnny Depp’s “comeback” role as James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass (read our review). However, it remains to be seen if the film will mark a creative resurgence for Depp (or even lead him to Oscar gold this coming awards season). After all, the actor was among the most underrated stars in Hollywood long before he complained about his missing rum as Captain Jack Sparrow. Everyone knows about Depp’s memorable, Oscar-nominated turns in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street., but here are five of his best — and most underappreciated — big-screen turns. Continue reading →