Why “The Dark Knight Rises” Doesn’t Hold Up

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In 2005, I was guardedly optimistic about the Batman reboot. I was a fan of Christopher Nolan and thought Momento was one of the most original films of the early 2000s. I didn’t know what to think or what to expect. I knew that nothing had ever matched Tim Burton’s original Batman of 1989 and that the two Schumacher movies of the 90’s were a disaster in every sense of the word. I was worried…

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Joel Poehlmann’s Top Ten Movies of All Time

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The internet is awash with lists, many of them headlined with useless hyperbole in their titles, as if the cover of a Cosmopolitan magazine discovered a way to go Agent Smith and started infecting the web with an endless supply of sentient copies. Top 10 Secrets Women Wish Men Knew—Number 4 Will Blow Your Mind! (I’ll decide what blows my mind, thank you very much), 5 Things Only 90’s Kids Will Remember (as if anyone…

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Diversity In Hollywood

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Diversity In Hollywood: It’s More Than Just Casting This awards season brought attention once again to the need for Hollywood to be more representative of the population with its casting. The world, our country, and Los Angeles especially, are diverse in their populations and our films should reflect that. It’s not just black actors and actresses who aren’t being given the opportunities they deserve. Asians, Latinos, and women are also underrepresented. The call for diversity…

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Guerrilla Tactics: Adventures in Independent Filmmaking

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Today’s Lesson—Be Tenacious. Guerrilla Tactics will be a series of entries about my experiences from when I first started in independent production. I’ll share some of the tricks we used to pull off what is always the most important thing when you’re finally on set or location: getting the shot. On our first feature, Silent Nights, a modern noir mystery, the finale was written as a shootout in a large, spacious warehouse. I had a…

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Hero Fatigue

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***Spoilers Follow*** There’s a moment in the climatic fight of Avengers: Age of Ultron where Thor bellows defiantly, “Is that the best you can do?” At that moment I was wondering the same of the filmmakers and executives behind Marvel’s latest mega movie. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a genre film fan. I live for big budget, popcorn movies, but I expect those big budget popcorn movies to have character development, a compelling…

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A True Hollywood Blockbuster

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In every sense of the phrase, Interstellar is Hollywood at it’s best. At once a throwback to the imaginative, exciting, technically groundbreaking popcorn movies that we seemed to get every summer in the 80’s, a master class in 21st century filmmaking—utilizing the latest technological marvels in visual effects, sound design, and IMAX photography, and a story that manages to successfully balance the awe and wonder of deep space exploration with a touching human drama about…

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I Really Hate What Star Wars Has Become

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If this ranks as the nerdiest post I ever write for this blog, so be it, but it’s a subject that I’m very passionate about. I really hate what Star Wars has become. It’s my favorite movie series, probably my favorite movie soundtrack, and a huge influence on my love of movies and storytelling, but damnit if I hate what the movies and universie stand for now. John Lasseter told an anecdote about Toy Story…

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Visual Effects Oscar Snub

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This blog isn’t meant to just harp on questionable awards from the MPAA (if it was, that could be the entire theme all by itself), but there was another oversight that recently came to my attention: Transformers did not win the special effects Oscar in 2008… Now, spare me the knee jerk Internet reaction, where everyone mindlessly dismisses Michael Bay as a terrible director who makes terrible movies. Michael Bay makes Michael Bay movies. It’s…

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Gravity wins 7 Oscars (totally called it)

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When I first saw Gravity in the fall, I was immediately struck by the amazing visuals. It reminded me of the story my dad told me about seeing 2001 for the first time, how the images were unparalleled to anything else he’d seen before. With the amazing technology available and the advances made in visual effects over the past 20 years, there really is no limit to what can be brought to the screen. As…

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