As usual, I’m really appreciating Patrick Willems’ latest video essays. This past month he’s put together an ambitious two-part series on Michael Bay’s contributions to American cinema.
Some interesting observations from the videos:
- It is extremely difficult to reverse engineer or replicate Bay’s style, which in and of itself tells you that there’s something undeniably distinct about it.
- Taken as a whole, Bay’s films don’t really have a cohesive political point of view, and Bay practically never speaks about politics, despite how many of his films glorify the military and seem to be in the tank for “real (red state) Americans”.
- I guess The Island probably wasn’t that bad after all.
Check out the videos above and find more on Patrick’s Youtube channel.
When I first saw Ready Player One, I was deeply unsettled by how the film handled nerd culture. It seemed to encourage the aspects of fan gatekeeping that has made online discourse so toxic. It made fandom into nobility. It made nerds into undeserving heroes. It was also just a noisy mix of different homages, action scenes, lights, and colors. I wasn’t a fan.
Youtube channel Renegade Cut has put together a smart video essay explaining why the message of Ready Player One is so toxic. I hope when people watch a film like this, they understand that these kinds of subtle influences can have real and unfortunate consequences.
I chatted with Aaron White from the Feelin Film podcast about Solo: A Star Wars Story. Interestingly, I don’t think we actually disagreed about the content of the film! But we did diverge in how much we enjoyed it.
For a 2-hour long dissection of Solo, listen to the /Filmcast review.
I had a fun time chatting with Erik Samdahl from FilmJabber about Deadpool 2. In our spoiler-filled discussion, we chat about our famous cameos, and whether the sequel lives up to the insanity and zaniness of the first film.
You can check out Erik’s review of Deadpool 2 here and follow him on Twitter.
Avengers: Infinity War is a hugely ambitious, audacious superhero film that made for an amazing theater-going experience. In this spoiler discussion, we discuss what made the film work and what we thought could’ve been improved.
I’ve been experimenting with new video setups in our house, and trying to record more of these spoiler-discussions that I have with my wife. Here’s one we recently did for A Quiet Place, which we both found to be an effective horror thriller.
It was a delight to see the /Filmcast name-checked in this insightful video essay by Patrick Willems. Willems dives into the current state of online film criticism – what people expect from it, how people are consuming it, and what its true potential really is.