Paul Verhoeven seemingly made a recruitment video for fascism and people couldn't handle it. Starship Troopers committed the sin of believing critics and audiences would be savvy enough to understand the deep levels of satire involved. They didn't and the movie bombed. But people are finally coming around and realizing how brilliant it is, and in my latest I explain why Starship Troopers was the end of an era in which Hollywood bankrolled big budget, unapologetically provocative movies.
For anyone who's ever been passionate about something, creative or not, I highly recommend checking out my interview with filmmaker Nick Murphy, not just because it's my channel, but because this is one of the most honest, heartfelt and emotional conversations I've had with another human. The only thing that surpasses Nick's determination as a filmmaker is his love and passion for the art of cinema... it bleeds all over this episode. And wait 'til you hear his crazy James Cameron and JJ Abrams stories!
Out of all the video essays I've done, this is the most special to me... with the possible exception of the original (non special edition) Star Wars trilogy, E.T. galvanized my passion for cinema like no other film. In the realm of influential filmmakers, Spielberg is at or near the top of the list for me.
I know it's weird posting a horror movie on Christmas, but 2020 has been full of weirdness! Filmmaker Anthony Cousins, one of the directors of the anthology horror film Scare Package, stopped by to talk with me about the genius of The Blair Witch Project, a film that has stayed with me ever since I saw it in a theater in Orlando, Florida back in 1999.
Before Boogie Nights, before Magnolia, before all the cinematic works of art Paul Thomas Anderson gifted film fans, he made a little movie called Hard Eight. And it would start a trend of complex male characters that would come to define his work.
Besides being one of my favorite thrillers, Wargames is a textbook example of how to perfectly combine character with theme, and provide enough thrills in the process to captivate audiences. Check out the latest in my Better Than You Remember series.
Been a while since I did a scene breakdown. This time it's the "oner" in Robocop, which is a great example of how to shoot a long continuous take while advancing story, character and foreshadowing future events. I think people would be surprised just how much visual information can be contained in a single scene.
Today I examine the granddaddy of the slasher film. Psycho laid the groundwork for modern horror, but not quite in the way people think. It's approach to the heroine and antagonist was unique and linked the two in a way that would come to define the genre going forward.
Digital cinema has come a long way since Attack of the Clones, the first major Hollywood movie to be shot with digital cameras. Since then the quality has steadily improved to the point where film is no longer seen as the superior format... but there are still issues with digital that I think need addressing...
Boogie Night was pretty important to my filmmaking life when I saw it a year or two after release. It was one of my first DVDs, and to this day has the best director's commentary track I've heard. It's also one of the best films of the 90s. I look at it and Pulp Fiction as an important double feature that shaped my sensibilities as a film lover and maker during my formative years. Today's video is dedicated to this awesome film.
Reservoir Dogs is more than just violence, quotable lines and Madonna references. It has a very strong theme of identity and what it means to be an outlier amongst an accepted social order. Check out my latest essay on this Tarantino classic.