Home Hometown News & Voices THE ART OF BINGE WATCHING: Movie edition


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We’re changing it up this week. With a little time to digest the calamity that was the 94th Academy Awards, we’re going to look at the movies that really deserve your attention (and sure, we’ll touch on the Will Smith/Chris Rock controversy as well, since an opinion on the subject is apparently mandatory for anyone who writes on the internet). If you’re looking to kill a couple hours this weekend, I’m here to help. Let’s get into it.

Last month, the Art of Binge Watching told you to watch Dune. I think this film is more epic than any other recent movie of note and something that we will see around streaming devices and movie channels for a long time. It produced six wins at the Oscars by racking up in the categories of Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Film Editing. This is another outstanding work from director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival), who always brings the heat and is responsible for some of my favorite movies of the last decade. It would be a better idea to watch any of Villeneuve’s hit films as opposed to working through any of this year’s Oscar winners. 

Let’s be real about this, what really makes a film great? It’s hard to not recognize that, at least generally, most award-winning movies look boring. If you’re thinking that the staff here at The Art of Binge Watching has watched everything from the Oscars, you’d be brutally wrong, and our binge-watching interns would hardly make it through the first scene without asking me when the next Fast & Furious movie comes out. Most of the movies that I got a peek at looked like they could lend you a hand or even a pillow if you’ve been struggling with your sleep. We will get to Will Smith and Chris Rock, I promise. 

Don’t Look Up: This is the one movie that—when I look at all the nominees from this year—I genuinely had a good time watching. Don’t Look Up has a loaded cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Meryl Streep, and Jonah Hill) and is filled with laughs. This disaster comedy tells the story of what happens when a meteor is about to hit the Earth, but we don’t really have the time to listen. “Don’t Look Up” relies on comedy, but it’s an eye-opening experience, and makes you want to put your phone on the charger (for like seven minutes until you need to check your Instagram account).

The most recent edition of the Oscars produced the “slap heard ‘round the world” and that’s about it. I think the most telling thing I learned from the Academy on that infamous Sunday night was that television shows are better. Until the last decade, no one would have ever imagined that more quality entertainment would be found through TV series instead of movies, but I’m afraid the time is upon us. There were several fun films throughout 2021, but overall a down year for movies. On the other hand, 2022 should continue being a big year at the theater and on streaming devices (The Batman, Fresh, etc.). Fingers crossed.  

What was really the best movie of 2021? Denzel Washington and Remy Malek struck gold for me early last year with their work in The Little Things,but the film never really hit home with critics. I found it to provide one of the more intense scenes of 2021, one where the stretch run of the movie has a looming feeling and the actors play it out perfectly. HBO Max is the home of this hit that’s sure to have you on the edge of your seat. 

I wanted to go ahead and get this out of the way in the beginning, but that’s not good business. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock is going to go down as one of the more controversial moments in television history. Behavior like this is the very reason that the Fresh Prince had to pack up his bags and move with his Auntie and Uncle in Bel Air, California. I’m not condoning violent attacks, but he smacked the man, Chris Rock will be okay, and kudos to him for taking the smack so well. On the other hand, I hope Will Smith is taking care of himself and getting the help it looks like he needs. I wish healing upon all parties involved and more healing upon anyone who watched that entire show. Although the Oscars desperately need a reason to make us watch, this is more of a reason to never watch again.   

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