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The Bob Awards!

6 Feb

Cinematography
1917 – Roger Deakins

Costume Design
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips

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The 2020 Bob Award Nominations!

19 Jan

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It’s that time again. For the fourth year in a row here at More Than One Lesson I’m holding my own movie awards ceremony which involves neither a ceremony nor trophies. But the good news is no celebrities in designer clothing will be made uncomfortable by Ricky Gervais saying something that’s true, so you can stop making that face, Tom Hanks. As always, whether you agree with these or not I hope you enjoy the list and instead of complaining about what you disagree with please just start your own movie awards instead like I did. Unless your name is Bob, too. Then you’re just going to have to live with these.

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Bob’s Top Ten of the 2010s

12 Jan

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Top ten lists are difficult. I both love and hate making them. I started this with the idea of making a list of what I felt were the 10 best movies of the 2010s or tenteens or whatever we call the decade that just ended. That was excruciatingly difficult but that wasn’t the problem really. The problem was that it felt impersonal somehow. I asked Tyler if I could do a list of favorites instead which he happily agreed to. It was still hard to make and there’s certainly some overlap here but it made it feel like a personal list that I am much happier with. I came to the realization too that, “Wow! I really love big ensemble casts.” It also means that no one can tell me that I’m wrong because I can say, “It’s not a best list, it’s favorites! Ha!” Of course you can tell me that I’m wrong but whether you agree or not, I hope you enjoy reading it. So here we go.

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Cinematic Panic, by Bob Connally

12 Jan

As a child, Sam Mendes was told the story of a messenger surviving through No Man’s Land during World War I. The story was told to him by his grandfather, Alfred Mendes who was in fact that messenger. In his autobiography, Alfred stated, “The snipers got wind of me and their individual bullets were soon seeking me out, until I came to the comforting conclusion that they were so nonplussed about seeing at seeing a lone man wandering circles in No Man’s Land, as must at times have been the case, that they decided, out of perhaps a secret admiration for my nonchalance, to dispatch their bullets safely out of my way.” Aside from being potentially the most dryly British sentence ever written, it serves as the inspiration for Sam Mendes’ new film, 1917, which presents a far more harrowing view of a trip into No Man’s Land.

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Saving the Universe, by Bob Connally

6 Jan

Three episodes into the new Disney+ series The Mandalorian, I wrote, “Given how divisive the films have become, Star Wars needs something that unites the fans in a positive way. Right now it looks like The Mandalorian could end up being just that.” Now that the first season of the series is complete and The Rise of Skywalker has been released, it appears that The Mandalorian is indeed the thing that has united the Star Wars fanbase more than anything else in this Disney era. There have been a few bumps here and there, but overall series creator Jon Favreau’s dive into the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe has focused on character while telling relatively small scale stories well. Compare that to the noisy, busy, and unfocused The Rise of Skywalker and it’s practically night and day. As much as J.J. Abrams’ film is an attempt to appeal to fans of the original trilogy, it’s Favreau who has made something that actually feels like those films in the ways that truly matter, which is in regards to character development, tone, and pacing.

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Good Choices, by Bob Connally

29 Dec

Twenty years ago, Adam Sandler was famous for playing a variation on the same character in virtually every movie he was in. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy all existed as vehicles for Sandler to play a man who never matured past the age of 8 and who could be given to sudden bouts of unbridled rage. Even in movies such as The Wedding Singer or Big Daddy, the characters he played never strayed far from his comfort zone and the writers and directors who tailored those films to his style never challenged him. Enter Paul Thomas Anderson in 2002, coming off of his 3 hour, 8 minute operatic ensemble drama Magnolia

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Some Fine Fellas, by Bob Connally

27 Dec

Family and the holiday season inherently go together. Whether it’s time we spend with our families or the desire to be with them if life and circumstances do not allow for it. There are also the memories of the times we spent with those who are no longer with us. But beyond memories there are things that can still make us feel connected to those who have left us behind.

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Killing It, by Bob Connally

5 Dec

Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is the beloved author of numerous murder mystery novels. He’s just celebrated his 85th birthday with his children and grandchildren. His housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) is making her morning rounds through his palace of a home… when she finds him dead, his throat slit. Her reaction to this discovery is a comical one. Thus the tone is set for Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

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Bountiful Hunter, by Bob Connally

25 Nov

The first time the Star Wars universe extended to the world of television was in November of 1978. The Star Wars Holiday Special remains one of the most baffling TV programs ever produced. Between several minutes of Wookiee growling, the bizarre and misguided scene with Diahann Carroll, and, “Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir,” it’s like watching a train crash into an orphanage that was already on fire. There is, however, one part of the show that those of us who have subjected ourselves to it must admit isn’t entirely a disaster. While the cartoon short that introduced Boba Fett a year and a half prior to The Empire Strikes Back has strange and unpleasant looking animation – what’s with the chins? – it’s not a bad story. It gave fans their first look at the Mandalorian armor of the bounty hunter who would go on to capture Han Solo before dying in the most embarrassing way possible. (Yes, I know that according to the extended universe he climbed out of the Sarlacc pit but, to anyone watching Return of the Jedi in 1983, Boba Fett was dead. In the most embarrassing way possible.)

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Fast Times, by Bob Connally

18 Nov

Ford v Ferrari, the new based-on-a-true-story/underdog vs. the world/sort of dual biopic is a movie that feels very familiar. The story beats and character dynamics are ones that audiences know well. Even if you don’t know the details of this particular story (as I did not), one more or less knows how things are going to turn out. There is nothing challenging about it and it is probably just what you are expecting it to be. Of course, there’s no reason a movie like that can’t be incredibly entertaining, and thankfully that’s what Ford v Ferrari is. Director James Mangold (Walk the Line, Logan) has delivered a movie that is involving, exhilarating, and makes you want to drive fast.

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