Birdman

Film critics Carrie and Chad on who will – and who should – win the 87th Academy Awards

The 87th Academy Awards air this Sunday, February 22nd on ABC at 5:00pm PST (red carpet coverage begins at 4:00, if you want to dish on fashion highs and lows). There are some tight races this year – Best Picture and Best Actor are especially hard to call. Here are Carrie and Chad’s predictions – and hopes – for the major categories:
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Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2014

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2014.  Here is Chad’s list, presented in reverse order of greatness; you can also see Carrie’s list here.

10.) Snowpiercer
Chris Evans rises to the occassion.

Chris Evans rises to the occassion.

Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho’s masterful post-apocalyptic thriller, was forced to fly beneath the radar since it was released on the same day as the horrific yet unfortunately box office dominating Transformers: Age of Extinction.  Set in a human-created ice age in which the last survivors on the planet ride around on a crazy-long bullet train, Snowpiercer uses its science-fiction fantasy premise to punctuate some terrifying reflections on the socio-political tensions of modern day society.  Chris Evans turns in another solid action hero performance (duh, Captain America) and Tilda Swinton is wicked good as the cruel and quirky “voice”/messenger of the upper class.

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Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2014

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2014. Here is Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order. And you can see Chad’s list here.

1.) Boyhood

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane are outstanding as a mother and son who grow and change together.

Filmed intermittently over 12 years, Richard Linklater’s film chronicling a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from ages six to 18 in real time is both a technical marvel and a cinematic masterpiece. There has been nothing like it before on screen, and there will no doubt be nothing like it again. Utterly unique in scope and vision, the film lets us watch a life develop in front of our very eyes, with all of its attendant hopes, dreams, achievements, and disappointments. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play Mason’s parents, changing and growing right alongside him and his older sister (Lorelei Linklater). An absolutely dazzling achievement that will leave you breathless and awed, Linklater’s picture is sure to be the one to beat for Best Picture come Oscar time. (You can also read Gordon’s full-length review here).

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Film Review: Birdman

by Carrie Kahn on October 24, 2014

What We Talk About When We Talk About Birdman

Riggan (Michael Keaton) is shadowed by his alter ego, BIRDMAN!

Riggan (Michael Keaton) is shadowed by his alter ego, BIRDMAN!

Much of the recent press coverage of writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film Birdman has focused on the film’s meta aspects concerning the casting of actor Michael Keaton in the lead role as a former big screen superhero trying to restart his career. Keaton himself famously played Batman in two films over 20 years ago, only to find his star fading as new actors assumed the role. In interviews, Keaton has been asked repeatedly about being cast in a role so close to his own reality, and he has steadfastly distanced himself from speculating on any deeper meaning of the coincidence. I think it’s important, then, to look at the film on its own terms, and not just as some sort of reflection of Keaton’s career arc. And, indeed, the movie is one of the fall season’s best so far – a highly entertaining, wickedly funny, brilliant black comedy.

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