Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant mailbag 

OSCAR-BAIT

Thank God Leo got his Oscar! I’m pretty sure if he hadn’t, his next attempt would have killed him. That poor desperate man.

Welcome back to The Powerwolf’s Monday Mailbag, where we discuss all your most pressing thoughts about the film industry. This week we discuss why groundbreaking films constantly get robbed in the Oscars, whether or not Studio Ghibli has a future, and why they don’t make cartoons like they used to.

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Only Yesterday on the bus review 

ONLY YESTERDAY – Reflecting on What Makes us Who We Are

Originally released in Japan in 1991, ONLY YESTERDAY was the fifth film from the prolific Studio Ghibli film studio. Now in theaters, it is the last from their archive to be distributed in North America, and includes a serviceable English dub featuring up-and-comer Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire).

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The Witch - Anya Taylor-Joy review 

THE WITCH – This Film Weighs the Same as a Duck

In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death,* Writer/Director Robert Eggers described what was special about his runaway Sundance hit, THE In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death,* Writer/Director Robert Eggers described what was special about his runaway Sundance hit, THE VVITCH, “I was trying to do my best interpretation of what I thought a lay family from 1630 in New England might have experienced if their beliefs were real.” THE VVITCH is psychological horror for a patient and discerning audience. It doesn’t rely (exclusively, at least) on musical queues, jump scares, and boogeymen to ensure a feeling of persistent dread. It expects its audience to come hither, rather than appealing to what demographics say you’re already into.

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Star Wars A New Hope Award Ceremony editorial 

THE ALT-SELF THEORY: My 25 Favorite Films, and how to determine yours

What’s your favorite movie?

It’s a question I eventually ask everybody I meet. It’s often a better way to get to know them than “What was your major?” because it opens up broader discussions about their tastes and values. It informs me of things we might have in common that would have been difficult to otherwise unearth. If I’m lucky, I might even find out about an awesome movie that I haven’t seen yet.

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Blade Runner Billboard mailbag 

AVATAR 4: THE GREAT COMEUPPANCE

Welcome back for our third Powerwolf Mailbag! After a week break (due to illness), the Powerwolf returns to answer your most vital questions. What makes a cult classic after box office failure? What should we expect from future trips to Pandora? And Batman plays so aloof: is he even actually in the Justice League?

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George Clooney in Hail Caesar review 

HAIL, CAESAR! – “Divine Presence to Be Shot”

Why the hell would any sane person work in the film industry? This is the core question in HAIL, CAESAR!, a the day-in-the-life examination of the combination tenacity, talent, and madness it takes to be a successful Producer. It’s 1951. The Golden Era of film is coming to an end. The period showcases everything grand and absurd about the film business, and it’s in the balance of grandness and absurdity that the Coen brothers shine. Like much of their best work, the film is brilliantly precise and laugh-out-loud funny, with a nihilistic bite to the humor that makes you wish it didn’t feel so true. 

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Deadpool with drawing review 

DEADPOOL – Because Why the Hell Not?

DEADPOOL is not attempting to be a deconstruction of the superhero genre. It’s not a critique of the hero’s journey. It’s not trying to reinvent anything, and it’s certainly not trying to be a masterpiece of cinema. DEADPOOL’s just happy to be here, have a good time, slice up some folks on his Naughty List while rattling off juvenile insults, profanities, and general silliness. He’s Spider-Man without the responsibility, the snark turned up to 11, and the rating clocked firmly to “R.” He’s Marvel’s SOUTH PARK, and he has no higher aspirations than to amuse you for a couple hours in his very own super revenge comedy.

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Casey Affleck in The Finest Hours review 

THE FINEST HOURS – Damp Men Doing Brave Things

THE FINEST HOURS is as middling as films come, consistently engaging, but never quite hitting the thrilling heights that it could have with a tighter pace and a shorter running time. The film has the same struggle as many other dramas that have been “Based on a True Story.” Real life, even in phenomenal circumstances such as these, rarely plays out in a typical 3-act structure, with action rising into a climax, immediately followed by a satisfying conclusion. The upside, of course, is that a weight and legitimacy is added to the proceedings that you don’t get from pure fiction. THE FINEST HOURS benefits from this, but is hampered by a soggy third act, in which the tension deflates as slowly as the second act climax was built up. Action become repetitive, and then the film literally moves into slow motion as even the protagonists just seem tired and done with it all. This is meant to be played as a final beat of terror. What if our heroes are just too cold and tired to finish their journey to safety? But instead, it just leaves the audience feeling as cold and exhausted as the characters.

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