THE 50 GREATEST MOVIE TRAILERS (Part 4)

Photo: Artisan Entertainment

Photo: Artisan Entertainment

Chris Luckett

Movie trailers have evolved a great deal over the years, from the 6-minute packages shown after moving pictures in the 1910s (hence the term “trailer”) to boundary-pushing previews preceding movies in the 1970s to the heavily promoted online launches of trailers today. Recently, the worldwide launches for the debut trailers of movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation have actually been preceded in the days prior by trailers for their trailers. Continue reading

SPECIAL: The Best Movies of 2015

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Last year, in my Best Movies of 2014 article, I commented on how weak a year we’d had. If only I’d known what 2015 would be like!

For the first time since I launched The Apple Box in 2011, I don’t have 25 movies to strongly recommend. I’ve always said the only movies that deserve to be on a “Best of the Year” list are 4½- and 5-star films, and standing by that, that leaves me with 17. Just 17 movies last year, out of the nearly 150 that I saw, were good enough to write home about.

There were far more average or mediocre movies compared to great ones last year, but that doesn’t mean 2015 was a wash, by any means. These 17 movies, in fact, feel all the more special by being surrounded by weaker fare than usual. These films reminded us all that no matter how bad a year’s cinematic crop, there will always be brilliant movies. Continue reading

BAFTA AWARDS 2016: The Winners

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

There are dozens of movie awards shows, and dozens more that don’t even have broadcasted ceremonies. While the Academy Awards may be considered the pinnacle here, every country has their equivalent, and arguably no country’s comes as close to Oscar’s prestige as the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards.

In the wake of Valentine’s Day yesterday, many missed the late-night headlines of the winners at last night’s awards ceremony, generally considered to be the best prognosticator of the eventual winners of the Oscars (if you take the Guilds out of the equation). Curious about what to put down for your Oscar pool next week? Until my final predictions are posted, these results may be your best bets. Continue reading

OSCARS 2016: The Nominations

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

While the nominations this year were more predictable than in some years past, the movies that did rise to the top have produced a more interesting race from the outset than we’ve had in quite a while. When the field of Best Picture nominees includes eight incredibly varied films, each quite strong as their respective cinematic goals, it’s a good sign that anything can happen over the next six weeks.

The 88th Academy Award nominees are… Continue reading

OSCARS 2016: Nomination Predictions

Photo: EPA

Photo: EPA

Chris Luckett

With the Golden Globe Awards taking place this past Sunday, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that nobody actually cares about them. Regardless of how they’re very on by fewer than 90 people and the fact they consider things like The Martian a comedy, The Golden Globes are just the most public awards show for movies in the lead-up to the movie awards that really matter – the Oscars!

Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, the world will find out the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards. But what movies can you expect to be up for the treasured trophies? Continue reading

GOLDEN GLOBES 2016: Predictions

Photo: Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Photo: Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Chris Luckett

The Golden Globe Awards are always unpredictable, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association exists outside of the world of critics and other awards shows. As comparison: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (who give out the Oscars) is comprised of over 7000 film industry leaders and contributors. The HFPA is comprised of 90 entertainment journalists.

Because of that, it’s much more of a crapshoot in predicting the winners, as a single person’s vote weighs far more heavily and the group as a whole often votes emotionally rather than objectively or even politically. (Recall, if you will, the lambasting they received after the bevy of Golden Globe nominations they gave The Tourist.)

Still, that’s half the fun. People who follow film can pretty accurately predict the Oscars, but the Golden Globes are anyone’s game. Here are my dart-in-the-wall predictions. What are yours? Continue reading

REVIEW: Mad Max: Fury Road

Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

In NASCAR races, there are times when a driver in first place has to make a judgment call: do they keep going without making a pit stop but retaining their lead, or make a pit stop, get cleaned up, and then race to gain back lost momentum? Mad Max: Fury Road is a twisted, brilliant action vehicle that attains the kind of gonzo genius and mind-blowing spectacle other movies only dream to aspire to, but takes a poorly chosen pit stop halfway through that kills the inimitable brilliance of its first hour, which the movie can’t wholly get back afterward.

It comes damned close, though.

Continue reading