Hello, fellow moviegoers!
So fun fact. I started KruzeReviews three years ago today. It feels weird typing that. These past three years have gone by so fast. It’s almost surreal to think about. Starting this blog put me on a path that has led to a lot of great things in my life (and hopefully much more).
I haven’t posted on here in a while, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been active in reviewing films. As I’m sure many of you know, I am now reviewing films for the Daily Nebraskan. I love that job, and I’m really grateful to my editors Ellis Clopton, Joe John, and Sam Crisler (yes, I’m leaving the Oxford comma) for really pushing me to become a better writer with every article that I write.
I thought it would be kind of fun to talk about how exactly all of this got started.
Basically, it was on a whim. I was sitting in a friend’s basement, and I decided to try something. I was going to start a Twitter account on which I would talk about and review movies, TV, comics, and whatever I wanted to. I thought it would be interesting to try and get everything into 140 characters, however, I quickly discovered that was an inefficient way to review things. I couldn’t say everything I wanted to say.
I came to that realization after I saw the David Ayer film Fury. There was a lot to that film, and there was no possible way that I was going to be able to fit all of my thoughts into a tweet. So, during the drive home, I decided that I was going to start a blog.
I got home, jumped online, and started writing. Now here I am three years later.
I’ve since had film reviews published by the Fremont Tribune. I helped start my high school’s newspaper. I’m a freshman Journalism major and Film Studies minor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I actively write for the Daily Nebraskan. The Columbus Telegram picked up one of my articles last week. And this weekend I will be judging films for the White Light City Film Festival.
That all has happened following a heat-of-the-moment decision to start a Twitter account.
I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve gotten from everybody. It really means a lot. I’m doing what I love, and I hope to continue doing this for a long time.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello, fellow moviegoers!
I’ve got a little something different for you today. It’s not my usual movie review or miscellaneous movie thought. Nope, today I’m giving you a bit of insight into my life. This is the first time that I think I’ve ever actually written a traditional blog post on here, instead of something movie releated. It feels weird, though that might be because I’m writing this at 1:30 in the morning which is also abnormal. Anyway, what I’m here to talk to you about today is how Kruzereviews is going to be changing in the near future.
I’ve been running this blog for almost three years now, and it has been nothing short of fantastic. I’ve had incredible amounts of fun doing this, and I’m glad that so many of you have found good use out of my reviews. My website has seen a significant amount of growth within the past year, so I just want to say thank you all so much. It really means a lot to me. Knowing that people are actually reading what I’m writing is such an odd feeling, and it’s one that I appreciate very much.
The reason I’m writing this article is because I’m heading off to college in a few short weeks. I’m happy to say that I will be attending the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. I’m planning on majoring in Journalism, as well as minoring in Film Studies. I’m extremely excited about it, and I’m sure that a lot of good will come out of it. Especially since I’m hoping at some point in the future to get a job doing what I love, writing. Or more specifically, writing about movies. I’ve been doing this for three years already, and I love to do it. Discussing and reviewing movies never fails to be something that I actively want to do. (It’s at this point that I had to stop myself from rambling off about cinema’s effect on society, and why I love movies so much. I’ve got to stay brief and on topic).
With college coming up fast, there will a minor change to how Kruzereviews is run. I’m going to need a lot of time to focus on my classes, homework, and such; but I do want to keep this going. So, starting next week, the plan is to cut my articles down from three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), to twice a week (Monday and Friday). I will still be reviewing all of the latest movies I can. I love doing it, and I’m glad to share my thoughts about movies with all of you.
For those of you who follow my work with the Fremont Tribune, I have no plans on changing that set-up. I will still have reviews published every other Thursday (including my review for The Dark Tower tomorrow), and I am very grateful to the Tribune for providing me with that opportunity. I’m more than happy to keep providing them with film reviews for as long as they’ll have me.
I’m certainly going to learn a lot going to college at UNL, and I’m hoping that many more opportunities may come my way in this field. In fact, there might be one or two in the early stages, which is very exciting. For any updates as to what I’m doing, you can always follow me on Twitter (@kruze_reviews).
Thanks for staying with me, and thanks for stopping by!
Hello, fellow moviegoers!
2016 has come and gone and with it, there have been plenty of movies to talk about. Whether it was the disappointment that was Batman v Superman or any of the numerous pleasant surprises, many films this year have caused a lot of conversation and debates. So, I guess I’ll just get to the point. Here are my 10 Favorite Films of 2016! Keep in mind these are my favorite films of the year. You might disagree with this list, but that’s what makes movies so great. So here we go!
*You can read any of these reviews by simply clicking the title of the film!
10. Don’t Breathe
I am not a big fan of scary movies. For whatever reason, they’re just not my thing. Don’t Breathe, however, is a completely different story. This wasn’t really a horror movie; it was more of a thriller, and it was great! The film builds a massive aura of tension that never leaves over the course of the film. Don’t Breathe keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
In my original review, I stated that the title of the film was unknowingly a command that the audience willingly followed, and I still stand by that statement. There was not a sound out of the audience while watching this film. Everyone was so nervous about what was going to happen next, and every minute inside that house was exhilarating! I would highly recommend Don’t Breathe, especially if you’re a fan of scary movies!
9. The Edge of Seventeen
The Edge of Seventeen was one of the biggest, pleasant surprises of the year. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film, and I was absolutely blown away by what I got. This film was a realistic look at a modern high school, and the attitudes that many kids have nowadays. This film is often described accurately as a modern Jon Hughes film, and it is definitely deserving of that description.
The best part in The Edge of Seventeen was, without a doubt, Woody Harrelson as the teacher. He was such a funny and sarcastic character, and Harrelson played him wonderfully. The Edge of Seventeen wasn’t afraid to go serious with some of its characters, and ultimately it paid off. The realism of this film was a big part of what made it so great, but it never got too serious. It knew how to get just the right balance between humor and drama. Edge of Seventeen was a fantastic coming of age film for a modern audience!
8. Captain America: Civil War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most successful franchises to date. Yes, part of that is because many people just have a natural admiration of superheroes. I would argue that another major factor is that they’re not afraid to try something new. Captain America: Civil War was the culmination of that idea.
This film delivered on all cylinders. It gave us a fantastic fight and moral dilemma between Captain America and Iron Man, and it also introduced us to great new MCU characters such as Black Panther and Spider-Man. This film split its audience in a positive way. Many people are still debating as to which side had the right idea. The whole "Team Cap and Team Iron Man" marketing strategy was brilliant, and it definitely got people talking about it.
7. The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book was a technical masterpiece. It gave us some of the best visual effects we have seen maybe ever. All of the animals in this film were hyper-realistic, and each voice actor fit their respective role magnificently! The casting in this film was perfect. I mean, Bill Murray as Baloo? How is that not amazing?
We’ve seen the story of The Jungle Book before, but this rendition just felt different, in a good way. I expected The Jungle Book to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be that good! It was exciting, it was emotional, and it was a fantastic take on the classic story. If this movie did anything, it gave me faith that all of these live-action renditions of classic Disney films might actually be really good! Let’s hope!
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an extra dose of the Star Wars universe that we didn’t know we needed. It was the first film in a slew of spinoffs being produced by Disney, so they needed this one to be great. Luckily for them, it was!
This film delivered so many different scenes that will undoubtedly become classic Star Wars moments. There is one specifically towards the end that I won’t spoil, but yeah. That happened, and it was wonderful. This film was the story told by the opening crawl in the first Star Wars film, and now having seen it, I watch the original film from an entirely new perspective!
I have seen a lot of alien invasion films in my life. We all have. However, I’ve never seen one quite like Arrival. This was not the typical aliens attacking Earth movie. This film approached the coming of these beings from an intellectual perspective. The best word I have to describe this movie is “cerebral”.
Arrival focused around Amy Adams’s character who was attempting to translate the aliens’ language while teaching them ours. It taught the audience a lot, not just about language and the way communication works, but it also taught us not to jump to conclusions. The truth isn’t always what we think it is.
4. The Nice Guys
Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling are two of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood right now. Now imagine what they would be like together in a detective comedy taking place in the 70s. That’s what The Nice Guys is, and it’s wonderful. This is the type of film that every time you watch it, it gets better. For example, when I started working on this list about three weeks ago this movie didn’t make the top five.
Witty dialogue, great performances, and an interesting plot make The Nice Guys one of the year’s best films. Gosling and Crowe had incredible chemistry on-screen together, and Angourie Rice who played Gosling’s daughter was arguably just as good as those two. This film is a lot of fun, it’s not for everybody, but those it appeals to will absolutely love it!
How can you make a list like this and not have Deadpool on it? This film worked wonders not just for the character of Deadpool, but also for the superhero genre in general. This was a character that almost nobody outside of comic-book fans had heard of, and now after the film, he is one of the most popular superheroes out there (He’s more of an anti-hero, but you know what I mean).
This film was such a clever take on this character and the genre as a whole. With every viewing of this film, you can pick up on more and more hidden jokes. Deadpool’s constant mocking of the typical action movie sets this film apart from many of the typical major blockbusters. Similar to The Nice Guys, this is definitely not a film for everybody, but there is a whole lot to enjoy about this movie!
2. Sing Street
Sing Street is a film that almost nobody has heard of, and that’s a shame. It tells the story of an Irish teen in the 1980s. When he transfers to a new school he meets a girl he really likes. He asks her to be in a music video for his band when she says yes, he gets extremely excited. He then proceeds to walk over to his friends and say “We need to form a band.”
Based on that description, you probably get an idea of how clever a film this is. The original music throughout the film sounds like genuine 80s music, and it’ll get stuck in your head for days on end. The performances in the film were wonderful, and it has a lot of really good messages for people of all ages. This is a truly underrated film that you need to see! It’s on Netflix, so go check it out!
1. La La Land
La La Land is, without a doubt, the best film of the year. The film follows two characters as they chase their dreams in Hollywood while simultaneously falling in love with each other. Oh, and it’s a musical. Musicals are really hard to get right, but La La Land pulls it off perfectly! Each of the songs felt completely natural to the plot, and it never felt abrupt when they started singing.
This isn’t just the best film of the year, it’s one of the best films of the past few years! It’s been nominated for seven Golden Globes, and it will definitely be nominated for a few Oscars as well, deservedly so. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in this film, and they both give absolutely amazing performances. From the music to the cinematography, to just about anything in this film, La La Land is absolutely magnificent!
So do you agree with my list? What were some of your favorite films of the year? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello, fellow moviegoers!
This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the White Light City Film Festival held in Fremont, Nebraska. The festival was held from 12:00 to 8:30 on Saturday, and 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday. Saturday featured documentaries, short films, and features from filmmakers all over the state of Nebraska. On Sunday, they screened another documentary, along with four films submitted by high school students.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the entirety of the festival, as I had to work. However, I was there for a majority of the day on Saturday, and since it was held at the theater I work at, I was in the general atmosphere all weekend. It was fantastic.
Saturday began with a screening of the documentary Once in a Lew Moon, directed by Lonnie Ray Senstock. It was a very well put together film that told that, on its surface, told the story of Lew Hunter. Hunter was a popular Hollywood screenwriter and professor at the University of California – Los Angeles. He was well known for his works on If Tomorrow Comes and Fallen Angel. That being said, the film was about much more than Lew Hunter. It was, in many ways, a love letter to the art of screenwriting. If you get a chance to see this film, I would highly recommend it.
The day continued with a variety of different short films. The ones that stood out to me as being particularly intriguing were Flying Kites (directed by Carter Knopik), The Retirement of Mr. Jones (directed by Matt Townley), and The Regulars (unfortunately I missed the director’s name). Each of these films highlighted a different aspect of humanity as a whole.
Flying Kites was a great look into how different people react in certain situations. It showed that being different isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s the opposite. The Retirement of Mr. Jones was a look into the career of someone who simply loves what they’re doing. It showed how somebody’s love for their job, and the people around them, can be one of the most powerful things we can experience. Finally, The Regulars. At first glance, this film is just fifteen minutes of people sitting in a café not doing anything, but once you actually look deeper, you see that there is much more going on. There are people from all sorts of situations that come into this café at different times throughout the day. Some people might have everything they’ve ever wanted, others may be struggling with alcoholism, or just wanting to get the girl. In this café, they have all reduced down to what we all really are, human beings. This café became a place of solitude, a place of relaxation, or a place of boredom, depending on who looked at it. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot, but that really worked well for this film. I feel bad that I didn’t catch the filmmaker’s name, but The Regulars was brilliant!
The final two films that I saw were very different from one another. The first was a music video written and directed by Ishma Valenti and Zach Watkins. It featured the song “Charge” from the band AZP. The video was a great complement to the song, and it really taught something of great importance to our nation right now. We don’t need to meet violence with more violence. It’s ok to defend yourself, but there isn’t a need to increase the violence.
The final film I saw was a feature-length documentary called Closure: Can It Really Be Possible?, directed by Stacy Heatherly. The film centered on the event of two peoples’ disappearances, and the effects it had on their families. This couple, that ended up missing for forty years, had mysteriously gone disappeared a long time ago. Closure focused on their families, and the different theories as to what happened. It was a very interesting film to watch, and I would definitely recommend watching it.
There were many more short films and features that were screened on Saturday at the White Light City Film Festival. From what I heard from audience members, they were all very good. The other films shown were: Reversal, The Night She Came Back, Be Good Be Careful, Classified, Shortly After Nightfall, and The Holy Man. The last of which I actually caught the last fifteen minutes of and really enjoyed.
Sunday, the Public Awareness Documentary entitled Taneycomo: PTSD – A Personal Story was shown. It was followed by four student films: Stellar, Run With The Best, One Youth Group’s Journey Through Stem, and Toaster Kaufen.
The White Light City Film Festival was a great experience, and I would definitely recommend attending next year! There were many great films that anybody would be able to enjoy. It also gives students the opportunity to get their films out there for people to see! Thank you so much to the people everyone involved with the festival, The Digg Site Productions, and Pathfinder Motion Picture Co. for making this what it was.
Did you attend the White Light City Film Festival? What did you enjoy about it? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
Thanks for stopping by!
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