Verisimilitude, or the appearance of being real, is the key to a successful story. It’s what allows one to get completely lost in a narrative and forget it’s a work of fiction. Verisimilitude doesn’t necessarily mean the story must represent the real world as we know it. A story set in a science fiction or fantasy world must also have verisimilitude, or in other words, everything must seem real and believable within the world of the story. While movies may appear to be the more “realistic” medium, I think it may be easier to achieve verisimilitude in books. Continue reading →
I’ve always loved watching movies, especially in the theater. There’s nothing like seeing a film on the big screen with a full surround-sound system. It’s an experience you can’t quite reproduce at home. But I never went to see movies in the theater as much as I would’ve liked to because it was too expensive. In New York and Los Angeles, it’s $15+ for a ticket—and don’t even get me started on the food and drink prices. So last year, when MoviePass lowered their service to $9.99 a month, I immediately signed up. With it, you can see one movie every day, potentially thirty movies a month, all for $9.99—less than the price of one ticket. It was a no-brainer for someone like me. Continue reading →
Shadow puppets on cave walls were one of the earliest forms of visual storytelling, or in other words, the first movies. Visual stories are the simplest and most basic form of storytelling, which is why people love movies so much today. Continue reading →
As a big fan of Spike Jonze‘s previous films, I was anticipating Her before its release in 2013, and I really enjoyed it when I first saw it in the theater. But upon rewatching Her, I realize it’s even better than I initially thought. The premise may sound preposterous and overly comedic: in the near future, a man falls in love with the operating system on his phone. However, while the film is funny at times, both it and the science behind “Samantha” are quite serious. Her is not some broad comedy about falling in love with “Siri.” It’s actually quite scientifically accurate as far as artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential. Something similar to this could actually happen. The film explores the future of AI technology and how it will affect humanity, particularly in the areas of loneliness and social anxiety. Continue reading →
I did this list last year and may make it an annual tradition. It’s essentially a random and arbitrary list. These aren’t “the best” movies that are 10+ years old—just the ones I happened to watch this past year. My intent was to create a unique “best movies of year” list, though also, it can sometimes take ten years to accurately judge a film in a historical context. I’ve already seen most of the consensus top films from history, so this list consists of deeper cuts that I never saw or mainstream classics that I re-watched this past year. Continue reading →
Lars and the Real Girl is a quirky indie dramedy about a shy lonely psychologically-troubled young man who buys a sex doll over the internet and starts a (non-sexual) relationship with her, believing she is real. Continue reading →
With Blade Runner 2049 coming out, I rewatched the original in preparation. I got to see The Final Cut on the big screen for the first time, and it was an incredible experience. For the past dozen years or so, Blade Runner has been one of my favorite films and a major inspiration on my writing, particularly the way it fuses science fiction with noir (my two favorite genres). Blade Runner wasn’t always a favorite movie of mine, however. The first time I saw it, sometime around 2005, I just didn’t get it. But after hearing Christopher Nolan, praise Blade Runner as his favorite film, I figured I must have been missing something, so a couple years later I gave it another shot.
Bad movies get worse with repeated viewings, good movies hold up with repeated viewings, and great movies get better with repeated viewings. Blade Runner is a great movie. The second time around, I appreciated the film a lot more, and my appreciation has only grown with each subsequent viewing. Having seen Blade Runner about ten times now, I recognize it for what it truly is: a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made.Continue reading →
In honor of Star Wars Day 2017, let’s continue the saga of the Force versus the Dark Side. We found a new hope in Episode IV, the Empire struck back in Episode V, the Jedi returned in Episode VI, and a Phantom Menace rose in Episode I. Now we visit episode two of the prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones. It is admittedly not a great film, although it does contain one of my favorite action scenes in the entire Star Wars series: the flying car chase through the Coruscant cityscape at night. It also contains some wise insights into the Force (mindfulness) and the Dark Side (social anxiety).
Napoleon Dynamite is the type of movie you either love or hate. Except in my case, I both love and hate it. At first, I wasn’t sure why. I enjoy quirky independent comedies, and Napoleon Dynamite features socially awkward characters (like me), so it should have been right up my alley. But I didn’t love the film wholeheartedly like so many other fans. There were certainly parts of the movie I found funny, but other parts rubbed me the wrong way. After re-watching the movie recently and thinking about it further, I realized part of the reason I “hate” Napoleon Dynamite might be the way it portrays social anxiety. Continue reading →