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Can't Stop the Movies

The Best and Worst of 2014

Moving to the future togetherWe had a complicated relationship with our media in 2014.  The molestation from and hush money paid by Bill Cosby to women he's violated over the years finally blew up in his face thanks to a viral video from Hannibal Buress.  Other long-gestating problems with sexist gaming culture got a lot of media time thanks to #gamergate's harassment of Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn.  Then the intersection of race, class, and authority blew up in Ferguson, New York, and other areas of the United States.

Media has been demonized rightly for careless reporting of issues that deserve careful scrutiny and investigation to protect victims, and it has been lionized for being able to communicate information about these tragedies with an unblinking camera.  While all this has transpired the ongoing conversation about what role new media plays in our lives continues.  Is it still a healthy force, or has our culture of clickbaiting gotten to a point where there are no real issues that last more than 24 hours?


The Best and Worst of 2013

How he should be rememberedAndrewCommentaryBannerShortLast year proved to be a horrifying duality for me.  On the physical and mental end I was dealing with a total body meltdown that resulted in a couple of surgeries and long months of pain.  That part wasn't so much fun, and taken on its own didn't give me much to hope for.

But that's where cinema comes in, as it always has, to give us a guidepost on how we have felt since 9/11.  That tragic day continues to cast an immense shadow over all of our entertainment.  The millennium started with bleak dramas of people obsessed with righting a past wrong like in Mystic River, moving on to the self-flagellation and numbing qualities of Hostel and its ilk, and finally culminating in Melancholia and other depressed visions of our self-annihilation.  It's amazing we made it out of that first decade wanting to feel joy ever again.

Then we finally started to heal.  As the decade rolled on we have films that are seeking less vengeance and more reflection.  Action films like Olympus Has Fallen are critical of American jingoism by subtly suggesting the negative aspects of foreign meddling.  Dramas such as Before Midnight catch us in the middle of a crisis of faith in our ability to move forward together and still do so by communicating with each other.  Even our current views on the apocalypse have finally lightened up, with This Is The End providing a happy ending not by adhering to a specific religious creed, but by being a good person.  Even the much-maligned The Lone Ranger made critical self-examination fun and intelligent by taking an ethically terrible period driven by Manifest Destiny and making it relevant to our current model for domestic and foreign affairs.  The heroes are continually those who ally themselves with the working class and not allowing themselves to wallow in despair.

That's why my favorite film of 2013 is Man of Steel.


Blog-A-Thon: Danny’s Movie Confessions

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site

You know what? It's one of those days. I've been having a lot of one of those days lately, so today I'm going to participate in the 'Movie Confessions' blog-a-thon masterminded by the sun-flared blog MyFilmViews.

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?
Ever watch one of those movies that leaves you in a stupor? One that slowly begins to aggravate you as it goes along, and by the end you're just stuck staring at the screen in a hazy mix of disbelief and anger? That movie for me is Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, one of the most baffling and clumsy films I've ever seen. It's the definition of the word 'maudlin'.


29 Random Recommendations

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site

It's my birthday! I had an elaborate well thought out post written out, but I decided, fuck it, here are 29 things I like and want to share. Enjoy!


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Duo Types of the 90’s

I noticed an interesting trend in movies during the ‘90s: The duo was back in full force. In order to really talk about this subject, I have to explain my definition of a duo in this context. For me to consider a movie a duo movie, the central characters in the movie have the strongest/most prevalent bond. There were plenty of movies that had a duo in it that I wanted to include on the list, but did not fit the definition. For example, Home Alone has the Water Bandits duo, but they play off the singular protagonist, Kevin, which means the movie is a trio. One could argue that the duo trend was still in effect because the main character could have been fighting against a singular antagonist, but that is opening up a big superfluous can of worms.

In no particular order, here are ten types of duos in the ‘90s. Note: these duos did not necessarily originate in the ‘90s, but were very widespread during the decade.

1. Female Friends Duo: Thelma and Louise, Fried Green Tomatoes. The movie has two strong female leads that are usually best friends and embark on a life-changing experience (or several experiences over time) together. Happiness of ending may vary.