A Scholarly (Yes!) Look at Ferris Bueller

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

I’m a fan of Steve Almond’s writing, and really enjoyed his take on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” especially his discussion of the relationship between Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and Cameron (Alan Ruck).

Hughes could have simply cast as a straight man for Ferris. But he does something far more compelling: he renders the pair as a psychological dyad. Ferris is fearless, larger-than-life. He has internalized the unconditional love of his parents and skips through his days in a self-assured reverie. He is what every teenage guy dreams of being: a raging, narcissistic id who gets away with it. Cameron is an actual teenager: alienated from his parents, painfully insecure, angry, depressed.

It is the tension between these two that drives the action.

He puts the story into context as more than a lighthearted wish fulfillment.

 Hughes performed an astounding ontological feat. He lured viewers into embracing his film as an escapist farce, then hit them with a pitch-perfect exploration of teen angst. He snuck genuine art past the multiplex censors.

He writes about the scene where Cameron argues with himself about whether he will do as his friend Ferris asks and leave home for a “day off.”

The sequence lasts barely a minute. It is an astonishing piece of physical humor, an emotional ballet worthy of Chaplin. Hell, it’s one of the best pieces of acting I’ve ever seen, period. Because it’s not just funny, it’s heartbreaking. We are watching a kid utterly crippled by his own conflicted impulses, torn between outrage and obedience.

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Exclusive Trailer Premiere — Robo-Dog: Airborne

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Meet Robo-Dog, the world’s coolest pet. He can run super-fast, grow a bionic arm, talk, and even fly! After creating the perfect pooch for his son Tyler, genius dad Tom (Patrick Muldoon, “Days of Our Lives”) gets called away. When Tyler and his wacky nerd friend Barry head off to a science fair, Robo-Dog runs away and has his memory chip erased. After starting a new life with a computer whiz and his adorable daughter, will this high-tech terrier ever find his way home to his rightful master?

We are delighted to premiere the trailer for Robo-Dog: Airborne! The movie will be available on DVD and streaming on March 14, 2017.

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Online Film Critics (OFCS) Awards for 2016

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 11:58 am

It is an honor to join with my fellow online film critics to announce our awards for the best films of 2016. The nominees are below with the winners in bold.

Copyright 2016 Plan B Entertainment
Copyright 2016 Plan B Entertainment

Best Picture
Arrival
The Handmaiden
Hell or High Water
Jackie
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
^ Moonlight ^
O.J.: Made in America
Paterson
The Witch

Copyright 2016 Focus
Copyright 2016 Focus

Best Animated Feature
Finding Dory
^ Kubo and the Two Strings ^
Moana
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
^ Barry Jenkins – Moonlight ^
Pablo Larraín – Jackie
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films
Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films

Best Actor
^ Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea ^
Adam Driver – Paterson
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress
Amy Adams – Arrival
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
^ Natalie Portman – Jackie ^
Emma Stone – La La Land

Best Supporting Actor
^ Mahershala Ali – Moonlight ^
Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By the Sea
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis – Fences
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
^ Naomie Harris – Moonlight ^
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

Copyright Film 44 2016
Copyright Film 44 2016

Best Original Screenplay
^ Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan ^
Jackie – Noah Oppenheim
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Best Adapted Screenplay
^ Arrival – Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang ^
Elle – David Birke, Philippe Djian
Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Best Editinglalaland
Arrival – Joe Walker
Cameraperson – Nels Bangerter
Jackie – Sebastian Sepulveda
^ La La Land – Tom Cross ^
Moonlight – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders

Best Cinematography
Arrival – Bradford Young
Jackie – Stéphane Fontaine
^ La La Land – Linus Sandgren ^
Moonlight – James Laxton
The Neon Demon – Natasha Braier

Best Film Not in the English Language
Elle – France
^ The Handmaiden – South Korea ^
Neruda – Chile
The Salesman – Iran
Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Documentary
13th
Cameraperson
I Am Not Your Negro
^ O.J.: Made in America ^
Weiner

Best Non-U.S. Release
After the Storm
The Death of Louis XIV
The Girl With All the Gifts
Graduation
Nocturma
Personal Shopper
A Quiet Passion
Staying Vertical
The Unknown Girl
Yourself and Yours

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Awards

Exclusive Clip: Middle School – The Worst Years of My Life

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 8:00 am

The delightful and surprisingly wise film Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is available today on DVD/Blu-Ray and we are honored to be able to present an exclusive behind the scenes clip about the main character’s pesky younger sister from the DVD extras.

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Behind the Scenes Trailers, Previews, and Clips
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