Welcome to “Sweet Celluloid”: An Ongoing Podcast

Photo Courtesy of FOX / HULU

Grab the Beyonce Pad Thai and get comfortable, a new podcast is in town. “Sweet Celluloid” is my very first podcast (read: hobby) where I will chat about my favorite movies and television series.

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The Best Chris Messina Roles in Movies and Television

Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

A loving glance under beautifully thick eyelashes here, a dash of murderous tendencies there, and a whole lot of that undisguisable raspy Long Island accent everywhere, these are just some of the components that make up a classic Chris Messina performance. Looking through the credits of Messina’s nearly three-decade career, he has an actor’s filmography equivalent best described by the phrase: “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” And in another multiverse, Messina would already be the go-to Hollywood leading man (and Italian short king) we deserve. 

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Disney+’s ‘Ms. Marvel’ is a Beautiful Family Affair

Courtesy: Marvel Studios (and Disney+)

In the first few minutes of Ms. Marvel, as unique animated scribbles flood the screen, imaginatively conveying the inner thoughts and feelings of Kamala Khan (an immediately charming Iman Vellani), you’ll realize something: this has all the trappings of early 2000s-era teen TV. After some rather more grown-up entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of late (Moon Knight; Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness), the latest small-screen MCU offering arrives like a colorful sledgehammer, functioning more as a fun and dreamy teenage comedy, wrapped up in a superhero spectacular. Less Batman Begins, more Lizzie McGuire, then — if Lizzie suddenly got glowing mystical powers, a Marvel-sized budget, and appeal beyond the 12-18 age bracket.

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Will An NC-17 Rating For ‘Blonde’ Hurt Oscar Chances?

Courtesy: Netflix

Move over diamonds; it seems ratings are a girl’s best friend. No stranger to controversy since the film’s announcement in 2019, Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” starring Ana de Armas as the infamous actress-socialite Marylin Monroe, continues to make waves in the industry for a myriad of reasons, but none more so than its controversial NC-17 rating. As more trailers invoke hype and behind-the-scenes photos showcase an impressively high-quality production value for a Netflix joint, combined with the impeccable talents of “Knives Out” and “No Time To Die” star de Armas, it’s clear that “Blonde” has all the makings of an Oscar contender.

But will its nuanced NC-17 rating prevent it from even entering the ceremony?

Not necessarily…

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How to Build a Southern Gentleman: An Interview with ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Star Taylor John Smith

Sony Pictures Entertainment

How long can you protect your heart, especially when all you’ve known is isolation? This is a question both figuratively and literally posed upon Kya Clark (played as a young girl by Jojo Regina and as a young woman by Daisy Edgar-Jones), who finds herself abandoned by her family in a dilapidated shack hidden deep within the marshes of North Carolina. Considered an outcast by the neighboring well-to-do and working-class town of Barkley Cove because of her ‘wild’ upbringing, Kya doesn’t have any friends. Not until Tate Walker (played as a young boy by Luke David Blumm and a young man by Taylor John Smith) comes along and teaches Kya how to read and write and to properly identify the creatures and air fowl that reside on the banks of the marsh. Where the Crawdads Sing is both a beautiful and haunting southern coming-of-age tale told using two intermingling timelines that primarily focus on how Kya learns to navigate the harsh realities of life all while accepting the complications of love in the process. And with Tate by her side, Kya seemingly cannot fail.

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Tribeca 2022: ‘My Love Affair With Marriage’ Interview with Director Signe Baumane and Actor Dagmara Dominczyk

[originally published on Medium]

Signe Baumane’s My Love Affair with Marriage is not your standard children’s animation. Though it does feature adults spewing lessons about purity, “Be a virgin until you’re married,” or how a young girl’s sole responsibility is to find love “Marriage is your destiny. You should patiently wait, you’re not a complete person without your soulmate.” Baumane’s feature is not here to reinforce those archaic and sexist ideologies, but instead, she’s here to examine and dismantle them, almost like an anti-patriarchal Sherlock Holmes.

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‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a ‘Goddamn Haunted House’ [spoiler review]

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a witch?… and oh look! It’s also Doctor Daddy Salt-N-Pepa Strange, back at it again with the stolen sling rings and sorcery!

In what feels like the 3,000th entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially now that we’ve all got the Television Universe to worry about, the latest movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at least added some good ol’ fashioned B-movie horror to the franchise. (And so you’ll have to excuse me while I make a horror-tinged comparison.) Like a haunted house, the movie is full of fun-filled surprises, genuine scares, and long dark corridors that not only the character, but the audience too, have to travel to get to the menial plot on the other side. What I’m trying to say is; that though we’ve all paid the price of admission for some twenty-odd years now, not all haunted houses are worth the price of admission. And unfortunately, the titular Multiverse lacks not in frights, entertainment, or villainy but instead coherent theming. Something akin to asking: why was the haunted house built in the first place?

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‘The Underground Railroad’ star Mychal-Bella Bowman Knows What She Wants

Amazon Studios / The Underground Railroad

At the 26th Annual Satellite Awards, The Black Cape caught up with The Underground Railroad’s breakout child-star, Mychal-Bella Bowman. In the harrowing Barry Jenkins drama, Bowman masterfully plays a character named Fanny Briggs (also known as Grace) who is confined to the small attic belonging to a secret abolitionist. In Episodes 3 and 7, Fanny acts as a guide to the newly arrived escaped slave Cora (Thuso Mbedu) when the latter faces danger while crossing into a highly bigoted religious town. In this interview we talk to Bowman about her collaboration with Jenkins, growing up as a child actor, things that she both admires and uses as inspiration to guide her on her path.

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2022 Oscars Predictions: Me Running My Mouth

Art by Dillion Payne

 It’s certainly felt like  94 years in the past three months since the long winding road to awards season began in January. Due to the lingering COVID-19 era setbacks; actors, studios, critics and other award shows have been running the gamut much longer than usual, and well… I know everyone has to be tired. And luckily awards season is finally coming to a close with the Oscars this upcoming Sunday, which are back in full throttle and in-person, baby! A cool side effect of the extended submission and voting period resulted in surprising nominations and egregious snubs. However, if you’re anything like me, a relatively medium-tier Oscars junkie (meaning you love awards season but aren’t good at strategy and math —just vibes), then you’ve trotted through the nominated categories and picked your favorites (or least favorites) and are ready—ballot in hand—for one of the most spectacular nights in Hollywood. 

Let’s check out my predictions and probable winners for 13 of the 23 categories below.  

 (Don’t @ me!!!) 

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All About Destiny (sorry): Where The F**k Have You Been?

Well, if you haven’t read the post about my future goals for this blog here you go.

Now, let’s get into it, shall we? Not to brag or anything, but life has been a little wild lately and I still can’t believe that anything has actually happened. My trauma response is so succinct, my imposter syndrome is so elite that it almost feels as if I’m living in a simulation. And after surviving the years between 2020-2021, aren’t we all wondering the same thing? There’s no way we’re all living in the same reality pre-2020.

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