“Reel Talk” – with Chris Reed and Mae Abdulbaki – on the 2019 Oscars, “The Wedding Guest” and “Captain Marvel”

Christopher Llewellyn Reed, “Reel Talk” host, w/ Mae Abdulbaki of movieswithmae.com

Welcome to the fourth episode of the 2018-2019 season of Dragon Digital Media‘s Reel Talk with Christopher Llewellyn Reed. My guest this time was Mae Abdulbaki, film critic at Movies with Mae, TV editor at The Young Folks, member of the Alliance of Women in Film Journalism, and, like me, a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association (or WAFCA). We discussed the 2019 Oscars and also reviewed two new films, The Wedding Guest and Captain MarvelEnjoy! Be sure to check out our firstsecond and third episodes of the season, or even last year’s season (Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4 and Episode 5). We’ll be back in May. Until then!

In Howard County, Maryland, you can watch the show on Channel 41 (if you’re a Verizon customer) or Channel 96 (if you’re a Comcast customer), and you can watch it online from anywhere. The fantastic Dragon Digital Media team did their usual superlative job putting this together, especially producer Karen Vadnais and director Danielle Maloney, as well as floor manager Anthony Hoos. Have fun this summer at the movies! Here’s hoping there are at least a few great films!

“Captain Marvel” Is Everything a Superhero Film Should Be

Captain Marvel (Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck, 2019)

As I always feel compelled to write at the start of a review about a Marvel film, I am no fan boy of the superhero genre, having long-ago abandoned any real interest in comics. I do, however, love good action/adventure sagas, and so I approach each and every movie like this with the hope that it will deliver thrills and more. The good ones (or at least the entertaining ones) among them – Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man and Thor: Ragnarok – tell their stories through as much wit and charm as muscle and CGI, with the best among them (Black Panther and Winter Soldier, and to a lesser degree Iron Man) folding in socially relevant commentary, as well (and though Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a work of rare genius, it is sui generis, not really part of the general Marvel series). I also happen to like compelling origin tales. Guess what, O fans and casual viewers? Captain Marvel offers not only a great introduction to a new character, but also a super-compelling fable with something to say about the real world. What more could one ask for? Continue reading

@fogoftruth Episode 503: 2019 Oscar-Nominated Documentaries and THE SILENCE OF OTHERS

This week we talk Oscars with a brief discussion of the documentary-feature nominees and a more intensive review of each nominated short, as well as kvetch generally about the complicated relationship between documentary films and Oscar, and also interview Robert Bahar, co-director of The Silence of Others.

Oscar Shorts Reviewed:

To see the video that accompanies our interview with Bing Liu – from the 2018 AFI DOCS festival – go to our “video extras” page. As always, you can find the audio of the episode on our “episodes” page, on iTunesSoundCloud and Stitcher, and anywhere podcasts are generally available. Enjoy!

Coverage of 2019 Sundance Film Festivals at @hammertonail – Part 2

Chris Reed with co-directors Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier of ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH

My Hammer to Nail coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival continues with more reviews and one interview:

Enjoy!

@fogoftruth Episode 502: UNITED SKATES and MINDING THE GAP

Youth culture (and specifically docs dealing with subjects “on wheels”) is the topic this week as we look at United Skates, about roller skating in African-American communities across the U.S., and Minding the Gap, about three skateboarding friends growing up in the rust belt.

Note: This interview with Bing Liu – and the accompanying podcast – was recorded before the Oscar nominations were announced, hence we did not mention MINDING THE GAP being nominated in the 2019 Best Documentary category. But, we are very excited about that development since recording.

To see the video that accompanies our interview with Bing Liu – from the 2018 AFI DOCS festival – go to our “video extras” page. As always, you can find the audio of the episode on our “episodes” page, on iTunesSoundCloud and Stitcher, and anywhere podcasts are generally available. Enjoy!

Mr. Reed’s Metaphysical Neighborhood Presents the Best Technical and Artistic Film Work of 2018

On December 26, 2018, I published my list of best (and worst) films of the year, and then on January 14, 2019, I published my list of best actors. Now, here is my list of the (often) unsung artists and craftspeople who are essential to the filmmaking process: the writers, cinematographers, editors, production designers, visual-effects artists, and music composers. As with my other lists, the hyperlinked movie title will take you to my review, if one exists (or the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page, if one does not). In addition, I hyperlink the artists’ names to IMDb (if they have previous credits) or,  for the composers, to their own personal websites (or some  such thing), so you can see what other work they have produced over their careers. If they have no previous work credited, then I leave their names unlinked. For the composers list, I link to the movie’s actual soundtrack, as well, on a site where you can hear it.

In each category, I have chosen only five (however hard that may be – and it is hard), in alphabetical order. These are the films where I thought that the work in that particular area truly enhanced the quality of the movie. If a film is not on this list, I may still really like the work within it, but not as much as my top five. Enjoy!

Best Screenplay (adapted and original, combined):


Best Cinematography:


Best Editing:


Best Production Design:


Best Visual Effects:

[Too many people to mention all, so I have simply hyperlinked, next to the title, to the movie’s crew page on IMDb page, where you can look at the multitude of people involved in the many visual-effects teams]


Best Original Score:

[Again, here the movie titles are linked directly to the soundtrack, and here the artists’ names take you to their personal websites or the closest thing]

@fogoftruth Episode 501: Slamdance/Sundance 2019 Interviews

Chris and Summre interview four filmmakers from snowy Park City in this special Sundance & Slamdance on-location episode, out today. To see the video that accompanies each of these interviews, please visit our “video extras” page. To hear our reviews of these four films, please check out our previous bonus episode, released on January 23. As always, you can find the audio of the episode on our “episodes” page, on iTunesSoundCloud and Stitcher, and anywhere podcasts are generally available. Enjoy!

Filmmakers Interviewed: