Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Friendly Welcome to Films with Friends

Hello and welcome to Friends with Films. As you are well aware by Mike’s introduction, this is a blog dedicated to collaboration of people and discussion of movies. My name is Thomas and I have grown up for most of my life in California and ever since high school, I have been labeled as “the movie guy” among my friends. Don’t believe me? Just check out my yearbook and cancelled MySpace account for further evidence. 

While movies have always been a central part of my life, it wasn’t until around 2007 when I began understanding why that was. I started going to more movies, notably Judd Apatow shtick like Knocked Up. The following year, I started a pop culture blog called Optigrab and began taking college courses on movies and found a new appreciation for wider variety of genres. In 2012, I started The Oscar Buzz as a love letter to the only movie awards show that matters. Upon writing a negative review of Cloud Atlas, I met Mike and our collaboration has been building since.

We may not always see eye to eye, but it is just great to chat with someone about the current happenings. If I had to describe how I approach movies, it comes down to characters. They need to be interesting or else the story doesn’t work for me. Sometimes this means more independent movies with avant garde techniques. I tend to prefer comedies, but I am mostly obsessed with finding contemporary films that speak to the time period as well as create an entertaining product.

Some of my favorite directors are: the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, David Fincher, Derek Cianfrance, Jason Reitman, Danny Boyle, and James Whale. 

Some of my favorite films include: Blue Valentine, Frankenstein, West Side Story, Annie Hall, The King of Comedy, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Master, Adventureland, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, HarveyWaiting for Guffman, Holy Motors, March of the Penguins, Up in the Air, The Social Network, 127 Hours, and Duck Soup.

Other quick opinions: 
  • I consider Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here to be an underrated gem in the study of celebrity culture. 
  • My favorite performers are Ellen Page and Ryan Gosling, though I think Jack Nicholson is one of the best overall. 
  • I have a penchant for indulging every adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy from book to film to comic book. I guess that I have a thing for Lisbeth Salander.
  • The quickest way to my heart is through a well-shot single take. 
  • I consider 50/50 to be the Terms of Endearment of our generation, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was robbed an Oscar nomination. 
  • Ludovic Bource's score for The Artist is my favorite score from the past five years.
  • I prefer For a Few Dollars More to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, even if Eli Wallach has the best performance overall.

I guess what can be taken away from all of this is that I watch cinema for entertainment as well as hopefully something more. I like films that transcend time. I know that what I wrote may come off as a little snooty, but I try to be open-minded and most of all enjoy cinema as an art form. I haven’t quite broken some biases, but when I see a good movie, I want to talk about it. That is what I hope to do during my tenure here. Hope that you have enjoyed my ramblings and I look forward to writing more and hopefully hearing more from you.

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