Ranking the 2017 Oscar Nominees

So for the 3rd year in a row I actually managed to squeeze in a viewing of every single film nominated for an Oscar (yes, Mom, even THE BOSS BABY). That would be 59 films in total and if you average that out over the 12 months since the earliest Oscar nominee hit theaters (Happy Birthday, GET OUT, you just turned 1 this weekend!) it's only about 5 movies a month. Of course, a year ago I didn't know to make sure that I caught FERDINAND, WONDER, and ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. in theaters. So I've been doing my usual cram-session and managed to hit my 59th movie with only hours to spare.

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WLM Podcast #211: ANNIHILATION reactions and Our Official Oscar Predictions!


Our conversation is lengthy this week as we have a great many thoughts about Alex Garland's sophomore feature ANNIHILATION.
But the real meat of the episode is an overthink-a-thon about all 24 Oscar categories culminating with us putting our predictions on the record!

Oh, and just for fun, in honor of the controversial "preferential" ballot that determines the best picture winner, we each organized our own this week to get a sense of how we'd rank the 9 nominees if we were voting members of the Academy. It's a strictly academic exercise but here's what we came up with:




WLM Podcast #210: BLACK PANTHER's got legs (and claws!)


You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

...the revolution will be live

The multiplexes were pulsating over the weekend with an electricity rarely experienced during the flyover months. Not only did BLACK PANTHER arrive bearing the good will and sustenance to feed an underserved audience but it coasted in on unanimous critical acclaim and made box office history in less than 4 days. We're here to talk about it cuz it's what everybody's talkin' about!
Our review kicks in at 00:20:10 and the spoilers come fast and furiously!   

One Tuxedo Fits All: The Many Faces of 007

“The image of Bond as mythological hero may be a likely one when one considers that the decade of the Sixties was seriously lacking in real-life heroes. An increasingly unpopular war in Southeast Asia could not yield the Eisenhowers and MacArthurs who stepped forth from the glory of World War II. Domestically, assassin's bullets robbed the public of the men who seemed destined for even greater prominence as politicians and humanitarians. In an age of such turmoil and uncertainty when flesh-and-blood heroes could be cut down in less than a heartbeat, perhaps there was a psychological need for a hero-even a fictional hero-who was invincible.” -Drew Moniot

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WLM Podcast #209: Top 10s of 2017 Plus Oscar Nomination Predictions!


It took us until practically the end of January but we made it just under the wire in time to get our Top 10 of 2017 lists on the record before the Oscar nominations were announced (barely). Join us for a lively discussion with less overlap that usual as we count down the 2017 movies that reminded us why we bother making lists like these in the first place. Then stay tuned as we quickly log our official Oscar predictions in advance of tomorrow's nomination ceremony.
Remember 2017? We'll never let it die!

For Matt's long-winded blurbs on his picks click here!

Matt's Top 10 Films of 2017

I’ve gotta be completely honest. I take this list very seriously. I obsess over it for months- curating, second-guessing, shuffling, re-shuffling, and shuffling again like an insecure blackjack dealer. And when I finally am satisfied enough to walk away from it and make it public I am immediately filled with that looming dread of the inevitable dissent coming my way for not including a film someone was passionate about (I’d hate to tell you how much flack I got last year when MOONLIGHT only ended up on my honorable mentions). But you know what? That’s okay. Lists representing individual opinions are merely a caveat for inciting discussion and a helpful tool for organizing one’s thoughts. I use my top 10 list as a way of taking my own temperature as a critic and examining patterns for the ways in which the industry winds are blowing in any given year. I saw 290 films in 2017 and 110 of those were in a movie theater. These were the ones that really rattled my molars. I hope you find it to be an interesting read as opposed to a reason to start a fight. There were plenty of things to get angry about in 2017 but, trust, me, movies weren’t one of them. Movies are the antidote… in my humble opinion…

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Matt's 2017 Theatrical Watchlist

My recent ritual of charting my viewing techniques (inspired by Steven Soderbergh's yearly listicle) has developed into something of professional obsession that I pore over and update with the satisfaction of someone admiring their Hummel figurines. And while I've recently begun keeping track of my "extra-cinematic" viewing habits as well (episodic or mini-series endeavors, Netflix-only documentaries, etc.), I feel that particular expansion is a project for 2018. For the purposes of my 2017 list I've decided to keep it to only to viewings that took place in a movie theater or screening room. And this distinction seems only appropriate as 2017 is the first year that I managed to break triple digits! Let's hear it for film festivals and masters degree programs- the guilt-free justification for watching 5 movies in a day! 

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TITANIC 20th Anniversary Podcastacular!


Happy Holidays, WLM family!

20 years ago today a little movie about a big boat premiered in theaters around the world. Said theaters have been in pain ever since due to the insane foot and rear-end traffic that persisted for next 5 months as the film went on to gross over 2 billion dollars worldwide and basically bow-checked the modern blockbuster paradigm into the the 21st century. James Cameron's TITANIC was the recipient of 11 Oscars including best picture and currently holds the #83 position on the AFI's top 100 American films of all time list.

6 Months ago we invited TITANIC superfan Laura Crow to join us for our AFI / TITANIC dis-cush  and the conversation went so well that we decided to post an encore presentation of that podcast today in honor of Kate, Leo, and James's 20th anniversary celebration.

Here's hoping you're just as "Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave" as we are. <---That's a deep cut for the hardcore JacknRosers.



It's awards season! It's happening! There's no turning back! You can't escape it!
With that in mind we dedicated this week's episode to running down the 4 major critic's circle prizes that have been announced over the last 2 weeks as well as taking some quality time to address a couple of those award winners in earnest:
Vive la différence!

WLM Podcast #205: Judging JUSTICE LEAGUE and Loving LADY BIRD


It's our 2nd comic book behemoth review in as many weeks here at We Like Movies and the overwhelming fatigue has certainly crept into our collective unconscious. We struggle valiantly to remain constructive as opposed to outright dismissive about the inevitable JUSTICE LEAGUE fiasco on this week's episode. We fail just as often as we succeed- comic critical mass is a real thing, after all... But, on the upside, we also take the opportunity to gush about Greta Gerwig's delightful LADY BIRD which is almost an effective counteractant for DC doldrums.... almost...
Oh, and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS too... cuz that's also a movie. Seriously!  

WLM Podcast #204: The Unconventional Conventionality of THOR: RAGNAROK


After an early winter hiatus we're back at it and in familiar territory with our bi-yearly shlep into the weird, wacky, wonderful, yet confoundingly customary Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's time for our spoiler-free, shoulder-shrugging reaction to THOR: RAGNAROK, the 17th (!) installment in the venerable, nigh-unstoppable MCU.   

WLM Podcast #203: A 35 year old genre classic gets sequelized in BLADE RUNNER 2049


If you thought the original BLADE RUNNER was dark, somber, deliberately-paced, and philosophically-inlined, then boy-howdy you've yet to experience the sequel. BLADE RUNNER 2049, a film nearly 4 decades in the making, has finally arrived on a wave of critical swooning and breathless anticipation... only to be met with a wildly disappointing opening weekend at the box office. Join us as we break down the film's complicated relationship with its predecessor, its ambitious approach to "franchise" filmmaking, and the implications of its current financial predicament.
Casual spoilers kick in at 00:41:45
SERIOUS spoilers kick in at 00:49:01

Bonus! If you're interested in hearing a more in-depth discussion about the 1982 original, check out this episode of our AFI Top 100 Challenge from April of last year: BLADE RUNNER

WLM Podcast #202: The MOTHER! of all Podcasts and our awards season preview


This week on your podcast of podcasts we journey down the allegorical rabbit hole with a giddily bible-obsessed (not to be confused with bible-THUMPING) Darren Aronofsky and get conflicted about his latest, unhinged, Studio-produced, "arthouse" oddity MOTHER!

But first we run down the release schedule through the end of 2017 and psyche ourselves up about awards season hopefuls.


WLM Podcast #201: Reacting fondly to IT and bidding fare-thee-well to Colin Trevorrow


We've got a nice, tight IT-pod this week preceded by a blunt but empathetic reaction to the news that the under-qualified Colin Trevorrow has been summarily removed from the franchise many of us believed he was never a good fit for in the first place. We do our best to sidestep the schadenfreude and be open-minded but, more importantly... how bout that IT, huh? IT's all happening! Plus we keep it spoiler free!

Bonus Episode: An Interview with INGRID GOES WEST Director Matt Spicer


The highly-anticipated new film, INGRID GOES WEST rolls out wide this weekend on the heels of a red-hot bow in limited release. I was fortunate enough to interview director and co-writer Matt Spicer a couple months back and he impressed me with a candid eloquence about his journey from film student to writer-for-hire to Sundance Award Winner.

The interview took place over the phone and I never really intended to release it on the site (otherwise I certainly would have arranged for a more appropriate audio-capture method). But, in light of how much I enjoyed the film, how much respect I have for Matt, and how surprisingly decent the audio quality turned out to be (after some minor tweaking) I decided it all made sense as a bonus episode.

So listen in, listen up, and go see INGRID GOES WEST post haste! I promise you that I'm not just waxing Mr. Spicer's car when I say it's one of the best films I've seen in 2017 thus far. #IGW