Thursday, February 21, 2019

Film Babble Blog's Top 10 Movies Of 2018 Part 2

And now Part 2 of Film Babble Blogs Top 10 Movies of 2018. Included are memorable lines, or exchanges from each film. For Part 1, featuring entries 10-6 click here.

5. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Dir. Tim Wardle)


Robert Shafran: “I guess I wouldn't believe the story if someone else were telling it, but , I'm telling it and it's true, every word of it.”

4. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (Dir. Boots Riley)


Langston (Danny Glover): “Let me give you a tip. You wanna make some money here? Use your white voice.”

3. COLD WAR (Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski)


Zula (Joanna Kulig): “Are you interested in me, because I have a talent or in general?”

2. BLACKKKLANSMAN (Dir. Spike Lee)


Ron Stallworth (John David Washington): “Then why you acting like you ain’t got skin in the game, brother?”

1. FIRST REFORMED (Dir. Paul Schrader)


Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke): “The man who says nothing always seems more intelligent. Why couldn't I just keep silent?”

So that's 5-1 of my Top 10 of 2018. Next up, my Oscar predictions. Stay tuned to this space.

More later...

Film Babble Blog's Top 10 Movies of 2018 Part 1

I’ve been a pretty bad Film Babble Blogger lately. Because of life shake-ups, and personal shit, I haven’t posted much over the last year. While I still saw a lot of movies, I felt less and less compelled to write about them, and some months went by with only one or two reviews.

But I’m trying to get back on track so here’s my Top 10 Movies of 2018 just a few days before the Oscars. Better late than never, huh?

No blurbs for each film (I’m not completely on track yet), but key quotes from each are included. Clicking on some of (not many) the titles link back to my reviews (otherwise they link to the films' IMDb page).

10. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (Dir. Barry Jenkins)


Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne): “I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass”

9. THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Dir. Jacques Audiard)


Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly): Charlie, when you kill a man, you end up with his father or his friends on your tail. It usually ends badly.

8. A STAR IS BORN (Dir. Bradley Cooper)


Ally (Lady Gaga): [singing] Tell me something, boy. Aren't you tired trying to fill that void? Or do you need more? Ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?

7. PUZZLE (Dir. Marc Turtletaub)


Agnes (Kelly Macdonald)I guess we'll just have to pack our sins into neat monthly portions.

6. FIRST MAN (Damien Chazelle)


Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling): “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” (How could I not use this quote?)

So that’s 10-6 of my favorite films. See 5-1 at Part 2, coming soon.

More later...

Friday, February 01, 2019

FREE SOLO Returns To Marbles IMAX For A Week Long Run


FREE SOLO, which was nominated for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars, is returning to Marbles IMAX for a week long run today.

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s film is one of those docs in which you think ‘That guy is crazy!’

In this case, that guy is rock climber Alex Honnold, who is way into free soloing without any ropes, protective gear, or anything. Honnold has climbed several major mountains in Yosemite National Park, he aspires to scale the tallest mountain in the park, El Capitan, which is taller than the tallest building in the world.

Honnold calls it “the most impressive wall on earth,” and his friend/climbing partner Tommy Caldwell says it’s “the center of the rock climbing universe.”

When the film begins, Honnold is living in a van, which he says he’s done for 9 years, but as the film progresses we learn that he has a new girlfriend named Sanni McCandless. McCandless is, of course, scared for her boyfriend every time he free solos up a mountain. “I’m not super stoked when he goes soloing because he’s already a big part of my life.”

Despite his passion and adventurous spirit, Hollond is shown to be an odd bird from an unemotional family. He tells us that when he was 23 he taught himself how to hug. Yep, an odd bird.

At various points, we get a sad montage of free solo climbers who fell to their deaths, and a history, with vintage photos, of the El Capitan mountaineers who’ve been tacking the granite monolith since the late ‘50s, but mostly we follow Holland’s dream to be the first one to scale the epic slab.

Most of the last half hour of FREE SOLO concerns Hollond’s climb, and it’s a breathtaking and heart pounding sequence full of amazing footage of the man and the vast mountain range around him that made me wonder repeatedly how they filmed him.

Turns out that the cinematographers, including co-director Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, and Mikey Schaefer, had climber cameramen, some of whom climbed (not free solo) ahead of Hollond to get primo shots of the action.

This documentary begs to be seen on the big screen, so the IMAX option is one that should really be taken advantage of – even though it wasn’t shot in IMAX.

Raleigh, N.C. residents who want to see FREE SOLO during its week long engagement at Marbles IMAX should visit imaxraleigh.org for tickets, and show-times.

More later...