What We Learned This Week: April 16-22

LESSON #1: THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” FRANCHISE HAS BEEN FOR REAL FOR A LONG TIME— I was amazed this week how many casual movie fans (and uppity critics) were surprised by the record-breaking international success of “The Fate of the Furious.”  I wonder what rock they’ve been under because “Furious 7” was a $1.5 billion…

What We Learned This Week: April 9-15

LESSON #1: THE WORD “GENIUS” IS THROWN AROUND TOO MUCH— After hearing Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins label his much-maligned “Transformers: The Last Knight” director Michael Bay a “genius” and a “savant” recently, I’m prepared to add “genius” to a list of overused words of hyperbole that include “epic” and “great” when talking about all…

What We Learned This Week: April 2-8

LESSON #1: THE FIRST STEP TO FIXING A PROBLEM IS RECOGNIZING YOU HAVE ONE— True to the quoted mantra of this lesson, a major movie studio did something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in recent memory.  They cited and accepted blame on an actual fault that the rest of us in the general public have…

What We Learned This Week: March 26-April 1

LESSON #1: BRETT RATNER IS FULL OF SUGAR-HONEY-ICED-TEA— Formerly prolific film director Brett Ratner, who’s been cleaning it up as a producer of Ratpac Entertainment, stepped out late last week to pontificate to Entertainment Weekly that “the worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes” and added “I think it’s the destruction…

What We Learned This Week: March 19-25

LESSON #1: SEE A MOVIE BEFORE YOUR JUDGE IT— I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t hear as many “Beauty and the Beast” ranters this week as I heard and read the week before the film came out.  Too many people can work themselves into a lather over the smallest sample size of…

What We Learned This Week: March 12-18

This week, it’s time to collectively put a firehose of truth and pragmatism to the flaming mountains of fake outrage that has been brewing for weeks on several fronts.  The targets today are remakes, reboots, and reimaginings.  A whole lot of fuss was made this week by the arrival of Disney’s reimagining of “Beauty and…

What We Learned This Week: March 5-11

LESSON #1: THE SUCCESS RATE OF INDIE DIRECTORS STEPPING TO BLOCKBUSTERS IS IMPROVING— Other than Marc Webb stepping up from “(500) Days of Summer” to the ill-fated “Amazing Spider-Man” double bill and “Moon” director Duncan Jones bombing on “Warcraft,” the recent push of larger studios’ farming of indie directors to helm blockbusters have gone pretty successfully….

What We Learned This Week: February 26-March 4

LESSON #1: INDEPENDENT FILM IS ALIVE AND WELL: PART 1— In upset fashion at the 89th Academy Awards, “Moonlight” and its $1.5 million budget just became the most inexpensive Best Picture Academy Award winner in modern history (and likely all-time if you adjust for inflation).  Not only is the film a hopeful door opener for…

What We Learned This Week: February 19-25

LESSON #1: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GOING TO NETFLIX— I don’t know where the stigma came that Netflix is where losers go to get work.  It’s probably because of the current career chapter of Adam Sandler being housed there.  Many auteur feathers were ruffled by the news that Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited reunion film “The…

What We Learned This Week: February 11-18

LESSON #1: BATMAN IS THE BEST CHARACTER CREATION TO COME OUT OF THE WORLD OF COMIC BOOKS— When done with gusto, what makes Batman unique and special is that he works in any tone.  No one else can match his range of iconic interpretation.  Not Superman and not a soul over at Marvel Comics. He is, unequivocally,…