Reminiscence

Written by Alexander Reams

45/100

Most films about the future wish to remember the past as if it was better. Oftentimes the past is the teaching moment for the times ahead, something the future always forgets. Much like Lisa Joy’s directorial debut Reminiscence. In a now flooded Miami, a man (Hugh Jackman) searches for his lost love through an inception-like machine. With these floods came heat, and with that the population became nocturnal to escape the sun. All the while, the rich, colloquially titled “Barons”, live on their own secluded island and leave everyone else to rot. With a film as heavy loaded with CGI, one would assume that they would be great effects, considering who is behind the camera, Joy is one of the co-creators of Westworld, that has some of the best effects on television, and rivals a lot of major studio films. Unfortunately they are mildewed with sets that seep with rushed work. While they elevate some scenes, one standout being a fight in an underwater performance house, they often reminded me I was watching a CG laden film. Especially in action/sci-fi films, I don’t want to remember I am watching something. I love to be swept away in a world of illogical decisions, unrealistic premises that become all too real, and all too personal by the end. 

There are countless films that have taken a piece of this premise and done worlds better in almost every aspect of filmmaking. Lisa Joy clearly has a flair for the science fiction genre, but it felt as if Warner Bros did not want her to take what she learned from creating the massive world in Westworld, instead making a paint-by-numbers picture that clearly was inspired by Inception, but worlds apart in terms of the marrow of filmmaking ie. acting, writing, execution. Hugh Jackman has been slowing down his output, and he was one of the leading reasons I was excited to see this film. He rarely turns in mediocre performances, but unfortunately it does happen here. Always feeling like he is sleepwalking, and never commanding the screen like he has done in the past with such films as Les Miserables, Bad Education, or any of his turns as “Logan/ Wolverine”. The same can be said for most of the cast, except one, who is reduced to a glorified cameo, Daniel Wu. As an Asian-American, cajun, gangster, who could be a typecast and stereotypical role, Wu takes it and has the most fun out of the entire cast.  

Lisa Joy has a way with telling grand stories on an even grander scale, evident by her creativity throughout Westworld. Even with this, Reminiscence fails where films like Inception and Tenet succeed. Playing with time is a difficult task to even play with, let alone succeed and make it work for the audience. Joy wants to, but she is compressed from a 10 hour season to a 2 hour film, and she continually introduces new concepts up until the credits roll. I don’t blame her, I blame Warner Bros. They have a very public reputation of going in and recutting films, screwing over some of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time (i.e. Zack Snyder, I will never forgive what they did to him). Let us remember when the runtime was posted online for the first time, 148 minutes. That sounds about right from what the trailer showed us. Then as the release date became closer, it dropped to 116 minutes. That began to scare me, and when my fears came to pass, those fears turned to frustration. I wish I had more positive things to say about this debut, but I don’t. I still have great things to say about Lisa Joy, this does not undo everything she has created with Westworld. This had the potential to be a great film that would influence other filmmakers for years to come, instead we were given a disappointing, boring film that left me feeling empty, like the story was incomplete. 

#ReleasetheJoycut.

Reminiscence Trailer

Reminiscence is currently in wide theatrical release and streaming on HBO Max.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

BAFTA 2021 Awards Preview

Written by Alexander Reams

UPDATE 4/10/21

Finally, the endgame of award season approaches, and despite the elongation eligibility, the awards season rush has never left. If anything it has built up to even more excitement than usual, and without further ado, lets jump into the nominees and who I think will be taking home the BAFTA. 

I think it’s obvious by now that the Best Picture and Best Director races are entirely locked up at the BAFTAs. Nomadland has these awards almost entirely on lock. Be advised however, do not be surprised if Lee Isaac Chung or Thomas Vinterberg sneak in and take Best Director. 

The acting races however are a bit more complicated, especially best actress. After the SAG awards last weekend the race got even more complicated, the BAFTAs have seemingly taken out some of that complication however. Only Frances McDormand and Vanessa Kirby are nominees here and at the Oscars. Do not be surprised if McDormand takes home the award, but with Kirby being from England, she does have home court advantage so she is definitely a dark horse to win. 

Best Actor is almost entirely locked up, Chadwick Boseman has won almost every award possible for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and he will undoubtedly continue his streak here. Best Supporting Actress will probably go to the recent frontrunner Yuh-Jung Youn for her performance in Minari. Best Supporting Actor is almost entirely locked up by Daniel Kaluuya ever since Judas and the Black Messiah came out, and he will undoubtedly continue his streak. 

    Quick run through of the other categories, best original screenplay is definitely between Promising Young Woman and The Trial of the Chicago 7, and I would give the edge to Chicago 7. Best Adapted Screenplay will probably be going to The Father, however don’t count out the huge amount of love that Nomadland has. The best cinematography race has been between Mank and Nomadland the entire awards season, and I believe it will end up going to Mank. Film Editing will most likely be going to The Trial of the Chicago 7. 

As always take my predictions with a grain of salt and good luck with your ballots.


Original Article Below

Well, the BAFTA nominations have come out and saying there are some surprises, is quite an understatement. Just a quick show of what got snubbed mostly, or not even nominated; Da 5 Bloods, only nomination was supporting actor for Clarke Peters, Tenet, whose only nomination was for visual effects. While films like The Mauritanian, Rocks, and The Dig all lead with impressive nominations. Without further ado, let’s jump right in. 

Best film

  • The Father
  • The Mauritanian
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    Well this is certainly an interesting batch of nominees, however, after the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and its PGA nomination, I think that Nomadland will take home Best Picture at the BAFTA’s.

Outstanding British film

  • Calm With Horses
  • The Dig
  • The Father
  • His House
  • Limbo
  • The Mauritanian
  • Mogul Mowgli
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Rocks
  • Saint Maud

Unfortunately I have not seen as many of these I wish I had, such as Mogul Mowgli, The Mauritanian, The Father, and The Dig. This award seems to be between The Father, Promising Young Woman, and The Mauritanian. Most likely, Promising Young Woman will take home the win. 

Leading actress

  • Bukky Bakray: Rocks
  • Radha Blank: The Forty-Year-Old Version
  • Vanessa Kirby: Pieces of a Woman
  • Frances McDormand: Nomadland
  • Wunmi Mosaku: His House
  • Alfre Woodard: Clemency

    I will admit, I was a tad surprised when this batch of nominees was announced and the name “Carey Mulligan” was left off, as she seemingly had become the frontrunner. That being said, I think Vanessa Kirby of Frances McDormand will be the winner at the BAFTA’s. 

Leading actor

  • Riz Ahmed: Sound of Metal
  • Chadwick Boseman: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Adarsh Gourav: The White Tiger
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins: The Father
  • Mads Mikkelsen: Another Round
  • Tahar Rahim: The Mauritanian

    1 Question: Has everyone forgot about Delroy Lindo? One of the best performances of 2020. Now, that has been addressed and I can gush about Mads Mikklesen, my favorite leading actor performance of 2020, being nominated for Best Actor, I am beyond thrilled to see him finally get some recognition for this beautiful performance. The winner will most likely be Chadwick Boseman, unless the BAFTA’s decide to go with Riz Ahmed. 

Supporting actress

  • Niamh Algar: Calm With Horses
  • Kosar Ali: Rocks
  • Maria Bakalova: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Dominique Fishback: Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Ashley Madekwe: County Lines
  • Yuh-Jung Youn: Minari

    Yuh-Jung Youn will most likely be winning this award, as the Best Supporting Actress race has been tied up all awards season, and she has been the one to make her way to the front of the race. 

Supporting actor

  • Daniel Kaluuya: Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Barry Keoghan: Calm With Horses
  • Alan Kim: Minari
  • Leslie Odom Jr: One Night In Miami…
  • Clarke Peters: Da 5 Bloods
  • Paul Raci: Sound of Metal

    While I think Daniel Kaluuya has this award on lock, there were definitely a few surprises here, Clarke Peters for Da 5 Bloods, Alan Kim for Minari, and someone who had fallen behind in the awards race, but my favorite supporting actor performance of 2020, Paul Raci. Really glad to see him in here, and hopefully that boosts his Oscar chances. 

Director

  • Another Round: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Babyteeth: Shannon Murphy
  • Minari: Lee Isaac Chung
  • Nomadland: Chloé Zhao
  • Quo Vadis, Aida?: Jasmila Žbanić
  • Rocks: Sarah Gavron

    The only big Oscar frontrunners in this category are Lee Isaac Chung and Chloé Zhao, that being said, Zhao has this award on lock. Thomas Vinterberg getting this nomination made me so happy, Another Round has not been getting the acclaim it deserves, besides Best Foreign Language film, but its direction, performances, and screenplay are all incredible. 

Film not in the English language 

  • Another Round
  • Dear Comrades!
  • Les Misérables
  • Minari
  • Quo Vadis, Aida?

I’ll keep this short and sweet, Another Round has this award on lock, plain and simple

Animated film

  • Onward
  • Soul
  • Wolfwalkers

    Soul has been sweeping the animated categories wherever it goes, and I have no doubt it’ll be any different here. 

Original screenplay

  • Another Round 
  • Mank 
  • Promising Young Woman 
  • Rocks 
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 

    Since Emerald Fennell was omitted from the directing category, I think she might win in this, however Aaron Sorkin is in this category, and you can never count him out. Be on the look for one of those 2 to win the award. 

Adapted screenplay

  • The Dig 
  • The Father 
  • The Mauritanian 
  • Nomadland 
  • The White Tiger 

    At this point I don’t know any film that can challenge Nomadland winning adapted screenplay.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter.

Episode 70: Never Rarely Sometimes Always / Les Miserables (2019) / Sorry We Missed You

“The duty of a film director is to focus more on the soul of the spectator.”

Ken Loach

Links: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Google Podcasts | LibSyn | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

On Episode 70 of the Podcast Michael & Taylor discuss their First Impressions of: True History of the Kelly Gang & Capone. Followed by the the Titles: Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Les Miserables (2019), and Sorry We Missed You.

Streaming links for titles this episode

Les Miserables (2019) on Prime Video

Sorry We Missed You on Kanopy

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is currently available to rent from multiple sources.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always Poster Art was generously provided by Illustrator and Designer Tom Ralston.

Tom Ralston’s Instagram, Twitter, Website, and Contact Page.