Ruminations Episode V: Disappointment

Everything is Terrible in Episode V of Ruminations! When writing about our last episode, I quoted T.S. Eliot since cruel, cruel April brought us the ending of two of our favorite franchises. Little did I know how cruel it would actually be! Another Eliot quote is appropriate now (this one the conclusion to The Hollow Men):

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Whimper to its conclusion Game of Thrones did–and its lackluster finale takes up the full first half of our episode–but it wasn’t alone in its dullness. The live action Aladdin remake and the much-hyped John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, released in back-to-back weekends, were also quite lame, to put it mildly. To top off this whirlwind of recent mediocrity, a bit of (potentially) soul-crushing Star Wars news also leaked this week. When will the suffering end?

Avenger: Endgame was pop culture’s only saving grace and we gladly left it out of our lamentations (until, ya know, the end of our episode, when we decided to actually talk about it. Oops?)

Listen and complain along with us! (And, as always, SPOILERS!)

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Ruminations Episode IV: Endgame of Thrones

For the fourth episode of the Ruminations Podcast, we discuss the long-awaited endings of our beloved Game of Thrones and The Avengers. (“April is the cruelest month,” as Eliot said.) We recorded hours before the premiere of GoT’s 8th season, but we spend more time talking about the past 7 seasons anyway, so it’s not outdated yet! (One of Chris’s predictions has already come true! Psst. It involves dragons.) For both our GoT and MCU discussions, SPOILERS GALORE!

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The maestro speaks: Ennio Morricone on life and music (via OUPblog)

I recently wrote a blog post on the legendary Ennio Morricone for my day job, quoting tidbits from the new book Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words and accompanying each excerpt with clips of some of the composer’s best-known cinematic cues:

Over his esteemed six decade career, Italian composer Ennio Morricone has scored hundreds of movies across numerous genres, most famously the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone. Many of his most iconic musical cues—to name just three, the coyote-like “wah-wah” of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the haunting harmonica from Once Upon a Time in the West, and the distinct oboe of The Mission—have transcended their films to cement their place in popular culture, referenced in cartoons and commercials, played at sporting events, and even performed by metal bands in concert. Additionally, today’s English-speaking audiences may be familiar with some lesser known pieces from Morricone’s early career in Italy due to their inclusion in recent Quentin Tarantino movies.

Please read the whole piece (and listen to the Spotify playlist) on the OUPblog.

(The views expressed on this website are the blogger’s and do not represent the views of his employer.)

    • – FLIPP

Ruminations Episode III: Catholic Films Through the Ages

In honor of Lent, we are back to discuss three Catholic themed movies for our third episode. (Well, not all of them are movies, and not all of them are Catholic, but we explain what we mean by that in the podcast.) We tried to think outside the box on this one, focusing our discussion on three ages of Catholicism: antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times.

Below are show notes with a bunch of clips, and they’re all worth checking out. Seriously. We hope you enjoy!

Episode III Show Notes

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Ruminations Episode II: The Blah-scars

We were planning on letting the Disney episode sit for a while before recording a second episode. However, we decided at the last minute to rant a little bit about the 8 Best Picture nominees before the 2019 Oscars this Sunday renders them moot. Apart from one movie that the both of us really enjoyed, the nominees are overall quite blah. Hopefully, the ceremony will make up for their mediocrity. (HA! Couldn’t keep a straight face there!) Of course it won’t!

The 8 nominations are (in order of discussion):

A Star is Born
BlackkKlansman
Roma
The Favourite
Vice
Bohemian Rhapsody
Black Panther
Green Book

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Ruminations Episode I: The Best and Worst of Disney

Welcome to the debut episode of “Ruminations,” a podcast on movies, politics, and religion, discussed over a glass–or three–of some type of adult beverage. In this inaugural episode, co-hosts Chris and Steve (previously known on this site as Flipp) discuss the 57 animated films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This conversation has been 5 years in the making, as it was the summer of 2014 when Chris and Steve began a chronological journey through Disney’s official filmography, starting with 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This endeavor finally came to its conclusion last fall (December 2018, to be exact) with the release of Disney’s most recent movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet.

For ease of discussion, each co-host compiled an individual ranking from best to worst; a combined average was then taken to create a single master list. The master list’s Bottom 10 and Top 10 will be highlighted specifically in this episode. For the complete rankings, additional notes, and movie clips, check out the show notes below. For now, please listen and enjoy!

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90th Academy Awards: Ranking & Predictions

It’s Oscar Night! Before I get into my predictions, I want to triumphantly say that I’ve watched the most movies before this year’s ceremony than in any previous year. Overall, I’ve seen 22 of the nominated movies, 12 in this past week alone.

I’d rank them as such (with the 9 Best Picture nominees in bold):

  1. Darkest Hour
  2. The Post
  3. The Disaster Artist
  4. Mudbound
  5. The Greatest Showman
  6. Get Out
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  8. Blade Runner 2049
  9. Beauty and the Beast
  10. The Boss Baby
  11. Heroin(e)
  12. Icarus
  13. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  14. The Shape of Water
  15. The Big Sick
  16. Dunkirk
  17. Baby Driver
  18. Logan
  19. Lady Bird
  20. I, Tonya
  21. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  22. Phantom Thread
  23. Call Me by Your Name

Predictions:

Best Picture
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Director
Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

Actor
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Actress
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Adapted Screenplay
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049, Roger Deakins
Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Laustsen

Animated Feature
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Animated Short
Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Best Documentary Feature
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Best Documentary Short Subject
Edith+Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Best Live Action Short Film
DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Film Editing
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sound Editing
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Mixing
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Original Score
Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

Original Song
“Mighty River” from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair
Darkest Hour
Victoria and Abdul
Wonder

Costume Design
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

– FLIPP

Featured image CC0 via Pixabay