What are Aspect Ratios and Why Should We Care?

The structural and emotional gambits upon which cinema of the past and present is founded have their roots in a number of factors, not least of which is one curiously under appreciated cinematic element: aspect ratio. Tucked away in the further reaches of a project’s production details on IMDb or found alongside a runtime on your favorite streamer’s ‘About’ page or average Blu-Ray case, this term quite simply relays the dimensions of a displayed image in terms of the relationship between its width and height. Aspect ratios common to contemporary consumer displays include a rectangular 16:9 for most televisions, laptops, smartphones and monitors, a largely square 4:3 for older TVs and some tablets, the 3:2 ratio often seen in 2-in-1 computing devices and 21:9, which is employed on ultrawide monitors and many projector screens. Continue reading What are Aspect Ratios and Why Should We Care?

Alternate Cuts We Want to See After Zack Snyder’s Justice League

The release of Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of Justice League on HBO Max has started discussions about alternate cuts of films that should be released next. Alternate cuts can be created for various reasons: trimming for pacing, test screening reactions, or satisfying requirements for the desired rating. There are many unreleased alternate cuts of films out there, these are some of the most notable. Continue reading Alternate Cuts We Want to See After Zack Snyder’s Justice League

See You Down the Road: Nomadland (Review)

On the heels of its Golden Lion win at the Venice Film Festival and Golden Globes nominations, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland has been released in theaters and Hulu.

Nomadland, directed by Zhao, is an eye-opening look at the lifestyle of nomads in the United States. The film stars Frances McDormand as Fern, a woman struggling with grief starting a life as a nomad figure across the United States, meeting fellow nomads on her journey. As with The Rider (2017), Zhao takes advantage of giving the film a realistic feel with various scenes feeling almost documentary-like in their execution. I have no doubt several lines were improvised between McDormand and the other actors because of how natural their delivery was. Continue reading See You Down the Road: Nomadland (Review)

News of the World: Tom Hanks – Frontier Arbiter of Sincerity (Review)

When divorced from the charged docudramas and caffeinated capers of a certain amnesiac assassin that have sculpted the career of director Paul Greengrass, his latest, News of the World, already passes muster: a lively, capably produced and oftentimes contemplative Western with two terrific performances and a message that cuts through the contemporary blues. Yet there is more to it than that. Add to News’s greater success a willingness to lift a page from Greengrass’s entries in the Bourne franchise (sans memory loss) and its lead in Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, in its examination of regrettably scarred but emotionally intelligent men who open the eyes of those around them as they skirt the very circumstances that divide opinions. Continue reading News of the World: Tom Hanks – Frontier Arbiter of Sincerity (Review)

Malcolm & Marie: A Tired Product of COVID Era Cinema (Review)


Malcolm & Marie
is a black and white romantic drama starring John David Washington and Zendaya is directed by Sam Levinson, known for Assassination Nation and Euphoria, the latter of which Zendaya also stars in. Entirely written and produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the single location movie follows the titular couple coming home from the premiere of a film Malcolm directed where he failed to thank Marie for being a key part of the process in the creation of said film. This offscreen inciting incident leads to a series of events that will push the limits of their relationship.

The first thing one notices in Malcolm & Marie is it’s gorgeous black and white cinematography. The shadows and lighting of the film are stunning, and there are a handful of long takes that capture the restlessness of the characters so well as the walk around the beautiful house the entire movie is set in. If the film was judged merely on these merits, there would be little to complain about. Unfortunately, it can’t be. Continue reading Malcolm & Marie: A Tired Product of COVID Era Cinema (Review)