Let’s skip the usual blather about whether 2016 was a good year for movies or a bad year for movies and just get right to it, shall we? I saw a lot of films in 2016. Here were some of my very favorites.
Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
On occasion, there has been some argument among other film bloggers and journalists on Twitter as to whether this was an awful year for movies or not. When we look at the summer blockbuster season, it was mostly a bust this year. But if you were paying attention for good movies that were playing at the nearest indie theater, or ventured our to catch the lower key releases that only stick around the big multiplexes for a week or two at a time, that’s where the good stuff was.
The year 2016 was a bad one for sequels and reboots, but it was a good one for independent cinema, original science fiction, coming of age drama, family struggle, and incredible musical moments. All of this and more can be found in my personal list of the Top 10 Movies of 2016. But beware of some potential spoilers if you haven’t seen them!. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Playing in 100 locations around the country right now is the sophomore writing/directing effort of comedian turned filmmaker Mike Birbiglia. He made a splash at Sundance a few years ago with the charming, semi-autobiographical Sleepwalk with Me, and now he’s back with a movie called Don’t Think Twice, focusing on a group of tight-knit friends in an improv troupe. The film is in the same vein as Broadcast News and other films from James L. Brooks, just set in the world of improv comedy, and it’s truly a must-see.
Now in an efforts to help promote the movie, producers forced Mike Birbiglia to create a viral video to make more people aware of the movie. Sadly, this resulted in cast members Gillian Jacobs (Community), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates), Chris Gethard (Broad City), and Tami Sagher (Inside Amy Schumer) all getting the viral video virus. Watch the Don’t Think Twice viral video after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Let’s get real for a second here. Yes, there should be a movie rating system that informs audiences of the basic content of a movie, allowing parents and those with certain tastes to make the proper judgment call before they pull the trigger on buying movie tickets. It’s hard to imagine any decent person thinking that MPAA ratings are a bad idea on paper.
However, there’s a big difference between a sound concept and a strong execution and the MPAA has rightfully been under fire for as long as I can remember for decisions that are, well, boneheaded at best and sinister at worst. Yelling about the MPAA is nothing new! However, comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia has tossed his two cents into this ongoing cluster cuss, putting the PG-13 rating of Suicide Squad in his sights.
Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2016 by Angie Han
Mike Birbiglia started out as a stand-up comedian before transitioning into filmmaking with 2011’s loosely autobiographical Sleepwalk With Me, based on one of his stand-up acts. It was solid and sweet and lots of fun, but it’s his second film, Don’t Think Twice, that should really mark him as an indie director to watch.
The dramedy, which premiered at SXSW this spring and is now headed for a summer release, follows the members of a scrappy New York improv troupe played by Birbiglia, Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, and Tami Sagher. The close-knit circle finds itself in disarray when one of their number gets catches a huge break. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious and painfully honest and above all, deeply empathetic, and it’ll ring all too true to anyone who’s ever found themselves feeling stuck in life. Watch the Don’t Think Twice trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2016 by Jack Giroux
Earlier this week we covered some of the biggest major releases coming out this summer. But maybe you’re like me — with a few exceptions (The Nice Guys, The BFG, and Jason Bourne), few popcorn movies coming up have me thinking, “I gotta see that.” There are plenty of releases to look forward to, of course, it’s just that very few major titles truly pop when I look over what’s opening in theaters soon.
If you wish there were more options this summer, then luckily for you there are plenty of limited releases to seek out. If you frequent the site, then you’ve probably already read about a few of these upcoming films. But just don’t forget actually to see them when they hit theaters. If you need a breather from all of the hero’s journeys, explosions, and talking CG animals, then the arthouse cinemas have got you covered.
Below, check out our summer movie preview for some independent films you shouldn’t miss.
Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The 2016 SXSW Film Festival is over, so you know what that means: it’s time to sift through the wreckage and hand out imaginary awards created by a jury composed entirely of a single writer. Welcome /Film’s SXSW Awards, where the categories only exist as an excuse to talk about the best movies that I saw at this year’s fest.
This was a strong year for a typically strong festival – as usual, everyone involved outdid themselves. For a complete look at everything I saw, you can head over here. But now it’s time to take the stage and start handing out fake trophies to a bunch of movies that deserve actual accolades.
Few film festivals offer the breadth and variety of SXSW and this year was no exception. During my eight days there, I saw gentle comedies, brutal horror movies, fascinating dramas produced on shoestring budgets, inventive documentaries and even an R-rated animated film about talking food. It was one helluva week.
Here is everything that I watched, including the (often very good!) movies that didn’t get full reviews.
Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Is a Warm and Melancholy Tribute to Artistic Failure [SXSW Review]
Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Good comedy is the result of long-simmering pain. A comedian struggles on stage, bombing in front of impatient audiences, for years before learning how to be funny. A hilarious actor waits tables while desperately hoping to get cast in that first defining role. And even after so much suffering and so much hard work, the vast majority of talented people still slip through the cracks, watching as others, sometimes friends, stumble into big breaks.
This is the world of Mike Birbiglia‘s Don’t Think Twice, a thoughtful comedy tinged with both melancholy and hope. Set within the New York City improv comedy scene, Birbiglia’s sophomore effort as a director captures the joy of creation and the agony of creative stagnation – anyone who has ever struggled to make something will laugh and cry and find a great deal of the film hitting very close to home.
Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Ethan Anderton
If you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, I hope that you’ve discovered the work of Mike Birbiglia. If not, Netflix Instant currently has two of his comedy specials, What I Should Have Said Was Nothing: Tales from My Secret Public Journal and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and I recommend watching them immediately.
In addition, Birbiglia also made his directorial debut with his auto-biographical indie comedy Sleepwalk with Me, which played at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2012. Like Birbiglia’s comedy, it’s definitely worth watching. And now Birbiglia has just started production on his sophomore directing effort, a movie set in the world of improv called Don’t Think Twice. Read More »