So Long for Now


It doesn’t take a genius to see that I’ve not been blogging very much. Recently, it’s been hardly at all. My last post went up over a month ago, and in the time since I haven’t been able to make myself put together a new post. There are several reasons for this: The day job taking up a good chunk of my brain space, I’m using my time off for other things, etc. My love for movies hasn’t waned in the slightest, but when it comes to turning that into coherent writing, I’ve hit a wall.

So, for now, I’ve decided to go on something of a hiatus. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I don’t imagine I will be back here before the end of the year. I’m going to spend my time working on some personal writing projects, and perhaps one day I’ll be able to turn that into something the public might like to consume. Then again, maybe not. Either way, I’m just at a place where I feel more invested in doing things like that than I do in writing a blog post that not many people will read.

If you are still interested in my film-related opinions, you have two options. First, I will usually tweet reactions at @MattKraus813. Second, I’m thinking of resurrecting my long-dormant Letterboxd account. I will use that space as my film-related headquarters, so check it out. Not right now, though. I’m going to spend the rest of the night getting rid of the tumbleweeds.

So, that’s that. I don’t imagine I’m done here. I just think it’s time to spend some time elsewhere. Thanks again for reading, and as a wise man once said, I’ll see you at the movies.

Every Best Picture Winner Since 2000, Ranked

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.48.18 PMSo here is a dumb little exercise I decided to tackle for no reason. Following the end of the Oscars on Sunday, I started to look back on the Best Picture winners of recent years. And, honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. As much as we like to complain about the movies that win Academy Awards, the truth is that the winners are rarely genuinely bad. If anything, we get angry because they choose the wrong kind of good movie, consistently showing affection for solid, inoffensive, B-plus material while passing by more ambitious, bolder fare. Anyway, for kicks and giggles, I decided to rank every Best Picture winner since the turn of the century, explain my verdict, and then provide my choice for the nominee that should have won that year. I’ve also decided to divide the winners into three tiers: the years when the Academy chose well, the years when the Academy chose a good movie instead of a great one, and the years where they just plain blew it. Now, let’s get started. Continue reading

The Same Old Song: An Oscar Postmortem

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The Oscars are, of course, incredibly predictable. They have been for a long time, and it’s hard to see that changing in the foreseeable future. There are too many guild awards, too many prognosticators, and the months (months!) leading up to the ceremony have become a deafening buzz machine full of stupid, desperate campaigning and even stupider smear campaigns. As Oscar season rolls on, various movies are placed on a pedestal only to be violently torn down. Selma, Boyhood and even American Sniper had moments on that pedestal, and once all the mud-slinging is done, what are we left with? Birdman, another film that ostensibly pokes fun at show business, but does so politely for two hours before coming to the conclusion that it’s actually awesome and important. Continue reading

Check this out: “Transformers: The Premake” explores the making of a blockbuster from outside the barricades

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These days, blockbusters aren’t simply big movies, but unstoppable behemoths. Hundreds of films are released every year, but it’s the $100-200 million mega-projects that make up the sun around which the rest of the movie universe orbits. We may not like it, but that is the truth. The critical community has grown to, by and large, despise Michael Bay’s Transformers films, but they are so huge and so successful that many of the films’ harshest critics will still find themselves sitting through another 150 minutes of Bay’s incoherent toy commercial explosions when Age of Extinction graces us with its presence next week. Ignoring a new Transformers movie is like ignoring a giant zit on the face of our cinematic landscape. We may not like it, but it must be dealt with. Continue reading

Introducing: The Summer of Cruise

Those of you who followed my previous blog may recall that I spent two summers writing about the work of two of my favorite directors: Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. (Not to go out on a limb or anything.) The former project didn’t pan out as much as I had hoped, but with the so-called “Summer of Spielberg” I was able to successfully navigate the entirety of his considerable oeuvre. This summer, I have decided to bring it back, only I won’t be talking about a director. I will be discussing one of the biggest movie stars in history: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. This won’t be a comprehensive project that covers every film he’s done, but instead I will focus on many of the most important movies of his career: both the highs and lows. Continue reading

Star Wars Episode VII: Now Starring Human Beings!


I’ve long maintained that a new Star Wars film may not be the greatest idea, and I’ve grown increasingly bored by the nonstop reporting of non-news surrounding J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII. However, today we at last have real news, as the official cast was announced for the Internet to devour and go crazy over, despite the fact they’re probably just going to be angry at the final product when it comes out next year. Even so, when an image like the one above is released—showing the old favorites sitting in the same room as a group of talented young’uns—it’s hard to not get a little excited. For the first time in this entire process, I consider myself interested. Continue reading