Tag Archives: movies

Critics and Criticism: A Very Special Episode…

Hey, everyone. This is another non-standard episode, one which touches directly on what we do here at the Visually Stunning Movie Podcast; how we view what we do as critics compared to what you all think about what we do here.

There’s a lot of talk about the role of critics and reviews, and review aggregation sites like Rotten Tomatoes, and some of that discussion got me thinking… well, it got me angry really, and I decided that we needed to hash out what our job here really is.

Have a listen, and please, let us know what you think. Are we right? Wrong? Is one or both of us full of crap?

In the end, we do this for you all, hopefully to give you some good information about your movie dollars. If we’re not providing that to you, then I, for one, would very much like to know about it.

And so, without any further ado–

Mark’s Mid-Year Top 5 Films

Well, we’re seven months into 2017, and we’ve covered a lot of movies for you all. If you’re a regular listener, you’ll know that we don’t always agree on those movies, so we thought it would be fun to do a quick listing of our individual “Top-5” lists for our favorite movies we’ve covered on the podcast so far this year.

These aren’t Oscar predictions or anything, just our favorites, although there may be some cross-over to those lists, eventually…

Now, we’re all going to bring some different criteria to these lists, so don’t be surprised if they’re wildly different [in fact, I’m typing this before I’ve even gotten Ryan and Jason’s lists, so they might be waaayyyy different from mine; we’ll see].

I’ll post Ryan and Jason’s lists as soon as they finalize them and get them to me **cough, cough**.

There’s still a lot of movies left to come before December 31st, but here’s where I stand so far [links to our reviews provided for your listening pleasure]:

Mark’s Top-5:

#5) Raw: Ryan and I saw this little gem back in January during Sundance, and I’m still struck by it. The way it turns the horror genre on its head, while simultaneously taking horror fans back to what made the “classic” horror films so great, lands it here at #5.

#4) Logan: This was an early contender for my favorite film of the year, so it easily belongs in my Top-5.

#3) Wonder Woman: Not only a DC movie worth watching [without caveat], not only a successful, female-centered superhero movie, the cultural impact of WW cannot be understated. The fact it’s just a good, fun movie to boot, well, it deserved its spot in this Top-5.

#2) John Wick, Chapter 2: Still one of the best examples of world-building and character development I’ve seen in a while, JW2 is the first movie in a long time that completely stands alone, while simultaneously forcing me to ask “what happens next?”

and #1) War for the Planet of the Apes: ┬áIf you had asked me at the beginning of the year where this movie would fall, I wouldn’t have said Top-5, much less #1. But here we are, driven by Andy Serkis’ riveting performance as Caesar: Apes. Together. Strong. So strong they are at the top of my list so far.

Honorable mentions:

Gifted: a more subdued, emotional performance by Chris Evans, with an outstanding young co-star in McKenna Grace, and of course the real star of the film: Fred, the one-eyed cat.

Split: A great performance by James McAvoy in a movie mostly brought down by the last three minutes of M. Night Shyalmalan’s forced tie-in to a previous film. I hope his performance isn’t forgotten about later this year…