Yep, I said it: "Top Gun: Maverick" has the chops to compete for the Best Picture of 2022.
And why wouldn't it be considered? Sure, it's not even June and most "award-worthy" films don't see release until the Fall season. Action-blockbusters are not often - if ever - remembered at year's end.
But I think this one has what it takes. This is as thrilling and fun as movies get, folks. "Top Gun: Maverick" pushes the envelope of filmmaking in ways that no other films have, truly. Tom Cruise is in a league of his own when it comes to Hollywood superstars, and he shows here - even as he approaches age 60 - that there is nobody who can command the screen quite like he can, with just a look or that iconic smile.
If not Best Picture, it will surely be recognized in a slew of technical categories, from the breath-taking cinematography, to the score, to the sound that puts you right there in the cockpit.
But it also deserves a look for Best Picture.
In an age of cinema where new ideas seem few and far between, and massive corporate conglomerates scour over their film library to find lost franchises to squeeze some final drops of blood out of, "Top Gun: Maverick" strikes the perfect balance between the old and the new. It dabbles in nostalgia without relying on it. It takes the spirit of the first beloved film and instead of giving us the same motions as before, it expands the story and its characters. It takes a few chances. It pushes the limits. Like Maverick, the film isn't reckless, it just is willing to do whatever is necessary to be the best.
He was the greatest power pitcher of his - or arguably any - era. Now, for one night-only, a documentary about the life and legacy of Hall-of-Famer, Nolan Ryan, can be seen on the big screen.
"Facing Nolan" is a compelling, loving film that tells the story of one of the best and most intimidating pitchers baseball has ever seen. It's a must-see for any baseball fan, and even for the casual fan, it's a deeply rewarding biography centered on ambition, family, faith and love...about a young man who made the American Dream his reality.
In theaters for one-night only, Tuesday, May 24th (check local theaters here), you can catch "Facing Nolan." Like his 108-mile-per-hour fastball (according to legend), don't let this one blow past you.
The true crime documentary, "Hold Your Fire," will be available in theaters and on VOD starting May 20th, 2022, and it's a compelling, worthwhile film.
It will take a bit of nuance to understand my take on the new "Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers" movie (coming to Disney+ on Friday, May 20th).
Is this new movie funny? Oh absolutely (my wife and I actually had to stop the screener at one point during a "terrible rap" that the characters were doing, because we were laughing so hard). So if you're looking for laughs and laughs alone, this one might be for you.
But whatever it is, this is not a "Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers" movie, even if it proclaims to be. Those are not the characters that many 90s kids fell in love with, and in fact, there is nothing at all recognizable from the TV show's spirit or overall vibe. And if you were a fan of Chip n Dale prior to the "Rescue Rangers," (the characters appeared in just 23 animated shorts, debuting in 1943 and continuing into the mid 1950s), well, that history is completely and utterly discarded.
No, this version is a satire aimed squarely at adults, albeit adults that grew up watching the TV show (debuting back in 1989, its three-season run from 1990-1993 as part of Disney's afternoon line-up was how most Gen-Xers came to know of it). At it's core, it's a generic buddy-comedy, with story beats so worn-out that its almost shocking that this was the direction the filmmakers decided to go in. It's dressed up WONDERFULLY with Easter Eggs galore, which make the time spent in this world a fun-filled trip down memory lane for those with eagle-eyes or access to a pause button...
...and yet, it's as hollow as some of the uncanny-valley characters that we're introduced to.
And call it what you will, but it's DEFINITELY not a movie about the Rescue Rangers, not the ones that we've come to know and love, nor is it about those two cuddly and fast-talking anamorphic chipmunk brothers that many of us grew up with.
That makes it a disappointment.
Do you ever wonder where some of your favorite TV shows get their "professional" talking-heads? Or why certain "experts" or "doctors" would put their reputations on the line for seemingly bizarre claims?
The new documentary "Science Friction" (now available on TUBI and Amazon Prime Video) pulls back the curtain on some of the common practices of TV shows from "Ancient Aliens" to "Oprah," and how willing participants are often times misrepresented, or used out-of-context against their intended purposes.
In today's world of politicized media and 24-hour news cycles, the Flint Water Crisis doesn't just seem like yesterday's news, but ancient history. But for the people of Flint, this humanitarian disaster, this government-created atrocity, is not just still ongoing, but has in fact affected the lives of a generation of Flint children and residents.
There have been a handful of documentaries about the Flint Water Crisis over the past several years, but none of them quite as cohesive or quite as VITAL as Anthony Baxter's "Flint: Who Can You Trust?" The filmmaker approaches the topic from a brilliantly effective angle, not only spelling out the timeline and explaining the situation in easy-to-understand ways, but also giving the viewers a taste of the confusion and and chaos that the Flint residents have and are still experiencing today.
Who can you trust? As it turns out, nobody, on either side of the political spectrum.
Those in search of some real answers following the recent string of Marvel's Disney+ series, will find "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ("DSITMOM") to be a maddening experience indeed.
But as a sheer piece of blockbuster entertainment, this film delivers, with a wild, rapid pace and some of the best visuals ever created thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There are clearly some geniuses that work for Marvel Studios...but their collective effort seems unable to keep the MCU continuity from tangling itself up in giant knots, resulting in a truly dizzying - and increasingly tiring - exercise for the loyal viewers to take part in.
(Plot Spoilers to follow...you've been warned!)
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