“Sideways” is a fantastic and influential comedy drama

“Sideways” is a fantastic 2004 comedy-drama film that tells the story of Miles, a depressed, unsuccessful writer and wine enthusiast, and his old college roommate, Jack, a soon-to-be-married actor. The two embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country near Santa Barbara. Along the way, their misadventures involve wine tasting, romance, self-discovery, and some pretty wild scenes. This leads to some hilarious and also poignant moments as they confront their personal and professional failures.

The enseble cast is brilliant, with Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh delivering memorable performances. Haden Church and Madsen recived Oscar nominations though all of them deserved recognition. The film won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture while Alexander Payne earned a Best Director nomination.

The film was so influencial that sales of pinot noir spiked in the years following the release of the film. We highly recommend this film.

Movie Flashback: “The Bourne Legacy” (2012)

Screenshot The Bourne Legacy 2012

What’s more important to a movie studio executive than creating a movie franchise? Keeping a successful franchise going.

That’s been the reality of Hollywood for decades, and we’ve seen the results with the utter lack of creativity with respect to new titles.

So, when Matt Damon didn’t want to continue the Bourne franchise after three monster hits, the producers had to improvise.

Enter Jeremy Renner and a new character, Aaron Cross. Renner was an ascending star at the time, so casting him in the lead role made sense. But while the film did fairly well at the box office, it suffered a significant drop off from the previous installment.

The movie isn’t bad, and it delivers the frenetic actions sequences we’ve come to expect from the Bourne films. The movie takes place concurrently with the events of “The Bourne Ultimatum” and follows Cross, a member of Operation Outcome, an offshoot of the CIA’s black ops program Treadstone which created Jason Bourne. The writers add a new wrinkle to the story, as Outcome agents are genetically enhanced through a series of pills known as “chems” that improve their physical and mental abilities.

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David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan cast as Clark Kent and Lois Lane

Rachel Brosnahan screen shot in Marvelous Mrs Maisel season two

DC Studios has bet the farm on James Gunn and rebooting the DC universe. Gunn will write and direct “Superman: Legacy” to kick things off, and a ton is riding on that film.

Naturally, the casting of this film is critical. Many DC fans aren’t happy that Gunn decided to move on from Henry Cavill as Superman.

We now have the highly anticipated announcement of the new Clark Kent and Lois Lane with David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan playing these iconic characters in James Gunn’s film.

Brosnahan is a brilliant choice. She’s beautiful and has the look that makes her an easy fit for the role. Just take a look at the photo above. She was brilliant in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” showing off her comedic skills and boundless charisma. She’ll be a perfect Lois Lane.

As for David Corenswet, we’ll see if he has the gravitas to pull of Superman, but he certainly has the look. Just go to his IMDb page and check out the photos. He’s a dead ringer for a stereotypical Superman, just like Henry Cavill and Christopher Reeve.

We’ll see what happens with “Superman: Legacy,” but DC and Gunn seem to be off to a good start.

Staff Pick: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007)

Screenshot The Bourne Ultimatum

“The Bourne Ultimatum” is the third installment in the Bourne film series with Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass returning as director. The film picks up from where “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) left off and further delves into Bourne’s quest to uncover the truth about his past and the secretive government program, Treadstone.

The film begins with Bourne evading capture in Moscow and subsequently recovering from his injuries. He is haunted by fragmented memories of his past and remains determined to uncover the truth about his identity. While Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) has decided to help Bourne, the CIA, led by Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), is still determined to neutralize him.

The role of Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) is expanded in this film, as she decides to help Bourne uncover the truth about his past. The duo uncovers more about Blackbriar, a more aggressive and lethal program than Treadstone. But by helping Bourne, Parsons also becomes a target, leading to the type of epic chase seen we’ve come to expect from this franchise.

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Staff Pick: “Crossing Delancey” (1988)

Screenshot Crossing Delancey Amy Irving

“Crossing Delancey” is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Released in 1988, the film stars Amy Irving as Isabelle “Izzy” Grossman, a single Jewish woman living in New York City, and Peter Riegert as Sam Posner, a Lower East Side pickle salesman.

Izzy works at an old bookstore and loves rubbing elbows with New York’s intellectual elite. She’s also infatuated with Anton Maes (Jeroen Krabbé), a sophisticated but self-absorbed European author.

Meanwhile, her traditional Jewish grandmother, Bubbie (Reizl Bozyk), isn’t happy about her granddaughter’s single status and believes that Izzy should settle down with a nice Jewish man. Bubbie engages the services of a hilarious matchmaker (Sylvia Miles), who then sets up a meeting with Sam. Naturally, Izzy isn’t thrilled with the idea of a pickle vendor from the Lower East Side.

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