“Good Night, and Good Luck” feels almost like a documentary of real events from the 1950s. How stunning it must have been to watch TV journalist Edward Murrow and his confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. It is a political film, but it doesn’t feel preachy. It is a spectacular movie about television and the role of media in the communication of the news. It should stand side by side with other classics like “All the President’s Men”, and “Network”.
Murrow, played chillingly by David Strathairn, was there at the dawn of television journalism and he cast a mold that all serious news reporters have tried to fill ever since. This film was nominated for Best Picture in 2006, and received five other nominations but criminally went home with nothing. George Clooney was Oscar nominated for his co-writing and direction, his portrayal of the CBS studio is made even more realistic by the film being entirely in black and white.
I am a skeptic by nature and I agree with the film’s premise that we must learn to question things. Television can be a tool in this cultural skepticism when real journalism is taking place, but everything from advertising to our own shrinking attention spans has turned television into just another entertainment device. As Murrow says at the end of the film, “There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful. The instrument can teach, it can illuminate. Yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely lights and wires in a box.” The same could be said of the silver screen and the films that are produced by Hollywood. I’m glad that movies like “Good Night and Good Luck” still exist to do more than entertain but educate and enlighten.
Vía Letterboxd – mauldin8302
You will probably notice a pattern with my picks as we continue to go through this exercise. I’m looking for films that have staying power. I have as much fun as the next guy in the moment, munching popcorn to an action flick, but if you ask me for details a month or two down the road I will give you a blank stare. I love movies that impact you and leave you thinking and feeling something more than entertained.
With that criteria in mind, 2013 was a solid year for cinema with unique and captivating stories like Nebraska, Captain Phillips, Prisoners, Dallas Buyers Club, Snowpiercer, and Inside Llewyn Davis. All of those could be considered honorable mentions to my top 3 of the year.
Continue reading 2013 – Best Movie Bracket
Every week dozens of movies are released on Blu-Ray, DVD, and streaming services. I want to help you find the best Blu-Rays to add to your collection.
This week we have four films that will interest most people. To see all the movies that are being released you can visit Metacritic.
- Rated R
- On Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic militants attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Stationed less than one mile away are members of the Annex Security Team, former soldiers assigned to protect operatives and diplomats in the city. As the assault rages on, the six men engage the combatants in a fierce firefight to save the lives of the remaining Americans. Directed and co-produced by Michael Bay, based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2014 book.
- Starring: Alexia Barlier, David Costabile, David Denman, James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Pablo Schreiber, Toby Stephens
- Rated PG-13
- The latest from the Coen Brothers. In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and filmmakers at Capitol Pictures. His latest assignments involve a disgruntled director, a singing cowboy, a beautiful swimmer and a handsome dancer. As if all this wasn’t enough, Mannix faces his biggest challenge when Baird Whitlock gets kidnapped while in costume for the swords-and-sandals epic “Hail, Caesar!” If the studio doesn’t pay $100,000, it’s the end of the line for the movie star.
- Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Jonah Hill, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton
- Rated PG
- From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a wily fox who makes her job even harder.
- Rated R (Definitely not an animated film for your kids)
- You might have missed this one, but it is the latest from the visionary Charlie Kaufman. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, it is created completely in stop motion animation using marionettes.
- Michael Stone, an inspirational speaker becomes reinvigorated after meeting a lively woman, with a unique voice, who shakes up his mundane existence.
- Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
A Movie I Used To Love But Now Hate
Yikes! I only have an hour to give you this day’s challenge before my carriage turns into a pumpkin. There is that word “hate” again. As I said a few days ago, hate takes too much energy. These are movies that I used to like but have put out of my mind or forgotten about. When looking back at some movies that I enjoyed in my childhood and youth, I was amazed at how many I still enjoy. I didn’t watch most of the crap that passed for film in the late 80s and early 90s. But one of the films that I kept coming back to was Batman and Robin. I mean, George Clooney with bat-nipples and two inept sidekicks. I probably watched it originally because I loved Alicia Silverstone. But I could really just say any Batman film made in the 90s. That’s right, even Batman Returns. The first Tim Burton Batman was tolerable, but having seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, even it has lost a great deal of its original appeal.
What do you think? Did you enjoy Bio-dome, Jury Duty, In the Army Now, Son in Law, and Encino Man, but now think that Pauly Shore and his comedy is awful? You wouldn’t be alone there. If you have an opinion then share it in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.