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Danny Baldwin’s 2017 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Danny Baldwin’s 2017 Oscar Picks and Predictions

If I had two wishes for tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony–you don’t get three, contrary to popular belief, as the Ravioli Genie informs the protagonist of Le génie de la boîte de raviolis, a charming short currently playing before Best Animated Feature nominee My Life as a Zucchini–I know exactly what they’d be. One, I’d wish for host Jimmy […]

10 Years Ago Today: The San Diego Cinema That Defined Who I Am As a Moviegoer Closed Its Doors

10 Years Ago Today: The San Diego Cinema That Defined Who I Am As a Moviegoer Closed Its Doors

Ten years ago today, an ordinary movie theater that looked like any other built in the 1980s—with the customary shoebox auditoriums, pink-tiled concession stand, forever ketchup-stained carpeting, hallways barely wide enough to contain the exiting masses, and a distinct absence of any of the electronic signage that has become ubiquitous in today’s megaplexes—closed to the […]

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

The eighth annual Milwaukee Film Festival, which closed Oct. 6, proved to be bigger than ever. Over 15 days, nearly 77,000 attendees—an 8% increase over 2015—binged on 283 films from 51 countries presented on six screens. Among them were Critic Speak contributor Eric Beltmann and The Cinemaphile blogger Shelly Sampon. They talk here about the festival’s […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

Each screening at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival began with a chuckle, as Alice Cooper reminded filmgoers that it’s actually pronounced “Mill-e-wah-que,” which is Algonquin for “the good land.” That beloved sound bite from “Wayne’s World” was included in the festival’s sponsor trailer, which ran before every movie. It was a discordant choice, since this year’s […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

One of the hottest titles at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival is coming to West Bend, and the wait won’t be long. “Almost Sunrise,” the festival’s Centerpiece Film, concerns two Iraq veterans now battling depression, anxiety and guilt. Together they embark on a 2,700-mile mental health march from Milwaukee to Santa Monica. Along the way, […]

2016 Milwaukee Film Festival: Scheduled Guests

Who knew Bud Selig likes fabulist movies spoken in Farsi? There he was, sitting directly behind me during a 2010 Milwaukee Film Festival screening of Shirin Neshat’s “Women Without Men,” a work of magic realism about four Tehran women. I’ve often had the good fortune of bumping into public figures at festivals—Harold Ramis, Susan Sarandon […]

Introducing the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Introducing the 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival

Topping my Netflix queue today are “The Forbidden Room,” an absurdist ode to early cinema from Canada, and “Winter Sleep,” a prizewinning drama from Turkey. If we scroll past the blockbusters, the relentless, rotating inventories of streaming services remind us that unique movies are always being made all over the world—and that filmgoers seldom have […]

Preview: 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

In his compulsively readable new book “Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies,” film critic Owen Gleiberman recommends limiting one’s intake at film festivals to three movies per day. Four movies or more, Gleiberman contends, is just too many, and keeping one’s slate to three “guarantees you won’t fail to respond to the nuances in that […]

James Frazier’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Danny made the “suicidal” guess that “Mad Max: Fury Road” would win big. I hope he’s right, but I think he’s wrong!   BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight.” PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” PREDICTION: “The Revenant.”

Danny Baldwin’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Contrary to what some websites have decided in recent years, Oscar predicting should not be a year-round game. The winners are not to be obsessed over, as they fade from memory quicker than most things. But on the day of the ceremony, it makes for a fun game. This year, I managed to see every […]