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Welcome Cinephiles! If you love movies and television, then this is the place for you. Notes will be posted multiple times per week. Content will include new movie and television reviews and analyses, opinion pieces, and much more. I appreciate your support and hope you enjoy reading my notes as much as I enjoy writing them.

Welcome Cinephiles! If you love movies and television, then this is the place for you. Notes will be posted multiple times per week. Content will include new movie and television reviews and analyses, opinion pieces, and much more. I appreciate your support and hope you enjoy reading my notes as much as I enjoy writing them.
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Matthew Fraga March 24, 2020

"Hunters:" Episodes 3 and 4 Recap
Recap and thoughts on the third and fourth episodes of "Hunters," available on Amazon Prime.
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Matthew Fraga March 22, 2020

"Dust to Dust:" The Final Script
The thumbnail is an image of Beth Cavener's magnificent, "The Question that Devours." The sculpture is in the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin and was the inspiration for this script. Unfortunately, due to the current environment, I am unable to shoot the film this spring. However, I rewrote almost the entirety of the script and would like to share what could have been. "Dust to Dust" is my passion project, and I hope to see it through in the future. Enjoy!
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Matthew Fraga March 10, 2020

"Hunters:" Episodes 1 and 2 Recap
"Hunters" is Amazon's newest series, which takes place in the '70s and follows a group of vigilante misfits seeking to destroy Nazi officials residing in America. The show has a stellar cast, starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman among others. I intend on reviewing the ten episode series in two-episode batches.
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Matthew Fraga March 9, 2020

Genre of the Week: Coming-of-Age Movies
One of my favorite genres is the coming-of-age teen comedy-drama. In a word, they are relatable. Rather than ignore teen's problems, films like these address the akward difficulty in growing up, along with the hilarious moments too. Above all, the biggest reason I love coming-of-age movies, is they are just plain fun.
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Matthew Fraga March 9, 2020

The Most Underappreciated Film of 2019
Honey Boy succeeds because Shia LeBeouf manages to tell an autobiographical story with gut wrenching honesty. And it just might change your perspective of the filmmaker.
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Matthew Fraga March 2, 2020

"Dust To Dust:" An Attempt at a Dramatic Narrative
Recently, I wrote a script for a dramatic short film that I will be shooting this Spring. "Dust to Dust" is my first serious attempt at writing a script, and I am thrilled to share it with you. It is still a work in progress, though as it stands, the story follows a young thief--Wayne Marcus--as he attempts to get out from under the thumb of Frank Garza--a middle-aged conman with dirt on Wayne.
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Matthew Fraga February 25, 2020

Poster Analysis of the Week: "Joker (2019)"
The only person in the poster is the titular character—Joker. In this film, Joaquin Phoenix portrays the infamous supervillain. The creators of the poster intend on presenting a heroic character, but introduce an egotistical madman emerging from a broken city.
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Matthew Fraga February 22, 2020

Movies I am Looking Forward to in 2020
Here is the scoop: 2019 was my favorite year in film of the decade. However, now we must look on to a new decade in film. Based on what I have seen there are some exciting releases this year. It was difficult to pick just three, but here are a few of the movies that I am looking forward to most.
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Matthew Fraga February 16, 2020

A Look Back on the Oscars One Week Later
The big news coming out of the 92nd Oscars Ceremony this weekend was “Parasite” being the first non-English film to win Best Picture. The film also took home three more awards including Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, Best International Feature and Best Original Screenplay for Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won.
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Matthew Fraga February 11, 2020

2020 Best Picture Nominations Ranked: What Film Should Win? (Part II)
These were my four favorite Best Picture nominees. Having just watched the Oscars, I could not be happier that "Parasite" won for best picture. It was one of the most intelligent, well-rounded movies of the year, and I am glad Bong Joon Ho finally got an Oscar as well for Best Director.
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Matthew Fraga February 6, 2020

2020 Best Picture Nominations Ranked: What Film Should Win? (Part I)
The 2020 Best Picture Nominations are all fantastic movies. If any of them were in the category last year, they would have beat out "Green Book." Of the nine nominations for best picture, I have seen all but "Little Women." The following are my Best Picture rankings part one, numbers eight through five.
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Matthew Fraga February 6, 2020

Genre of the Week: Journalism Movies
I will be the first to admit that I have not seen the most movies about journalism, especially ones made before the 21st century. However, it is without doubt one of my favorite genres to watch, especially when done well. Well-crafted dialogue, a sharp attention to detail and charming characters are hallmarks of the genre.
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Matthew Fraga January 28, 2020

The Best Film of 2019 that Will Not Take Home the Academy Award
In a thought-provoking montage, Joon-ho intertwines the two environments during a severe rainstorm. To the affluent Parks, the downpour is an aesthetic gift from mother nature—a soothing backdrop for sleep. At the same time, The Kim family must trek to their predominately underground home, only to find shoulder deep water has filled the space.
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Matthew Fraga January 16, 2020

"1917" Review: A Treacherous Journey Told Through a Masterful Lense
In this World War I epic, Dean-Charles Chapman plays Lance Corporal Blake, who is motivated to reach his brother, a member of the second battalion that Blake must warn of an ambush. Chapman is a young actor, most recognizable from his role as Tommen Baratheon in “Game of Thrones.” Alongside Blake is his comrade Lance Corporal Schofield played by George MacKay, who gained fame from his role as Bo in “Captain Fantastic.”
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Matthew Fraga January 14, 2020

Oscars Nominations, Predictions and Snubs
The 2020 Oscar nominations were announced yesterday. All in all, I do not have too many qualms with the academy’s choices. My issue comes more so with the fact that the Oscars were moved up nearly a month, and the lack of consideration for movies to release before the Fall. Of the nine films nominated for best picture, only Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” opened before September.
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Matthew Fraga January 13, 2020

Timothée Chalamet Set to Play Bob Dylan
The new year started with the exciting news that actor-phenom Timothée Chalamet will play folk icon Bob Dylan in a biopic directed by James Mangold. The film supposedly will focus on Dylan’s transition from folk to rock music.
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Matthew Fraga January 13, 2020

My Five Favorite Films of 2019
This past year was one of the best years of film that I can remember, and I don’t say that every year like Apple does upon the newest, best iPhone whatever number to release. It truly was a fantastic year for movies, due in large part to unique stories, greenlighted by independent studios such as A24. Some honorable mentions are “The King,” “Joker,” “Uncut Gems,” and “Marriage Story.” Moreover, here are five of my favorite films of the year:
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Matthew Fraga January 10, 2020

"Uncut Gems:" A Panic Attack Personified
Not since the Safdie Brothers 2017 film “Good Time” have I seen such an anxiety inducing film as “Uncut Gems.” The film follows Howard Ratner, an unfaithful, degenerate gambling addict in New York City.
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Matthew Fraga December 3, 2019

December Movie Releases That You Must See
The last month of the year is packed with some great films. All of the major studios are putting their foot in the race for the award season. Be sure to catch these five films before it is too late.
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Matthew Fraga December 1, 2019

"The Irishman:" A Mob Masterpiece Unlike Anything You Have Seen Before
There is a degree of maturity and patience in “The Irishman” that is unlike anything I have seen. This could only be accomplished by a director like Martin Scorsese. He somehow makes the most mundane and unassuming scenes so damn entertaining. With a three-and-a-half-hour runtime, one would expect frequent bombastic scenes to keep the audience engaged. However, Scorsese seldom implements violence, and when he does, it’s thoroughly gripping. Most of the time, Scorsese elongates scenes by holding the camera on a face longer than expected. Instead of looking away, you look closer and consider what thoughts are racing through the character’s head.
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Matthew Fraga November 30, 2019

Ford v Ferrari: Not as Advertised, but Better
I am a firm believer that the trailer is one of the most important pieces of a movie. It is incredibly difficult to strike the perfect balance between showing the audience enough to pique their interest, but not so much that you spoil the movie. Another difficulty is accurately conveying the movie’s tone. Most of the time, trailers mislead the audience and give away too much. As is the case with the “Ford v Ferrari” trailers. From the trailers, it would be fair to assume that the movie’s central focus is around the 1966 Le Mans race, and the production of Ford’s GT40 race car leading up to it.
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Matthew Fraga November 21, 2019

November Movie Releases You Cannot Miss
November may be nearly over, but there is still time for you to see some great films that released this month. All these films will surely be in contention for multiple Academy Awards. America’s dad—Tom Hanks—is looking to bolster his already exception resume. Scorsese once again establishes himself as the best director around, crafting another mob masterpiece. Christian Bale and Matt Damon prove to be one of the best duos of the year. Finally, A24 produces another work of art with an endlessly talented cast, proving why they are a force to be reckoned with. Here are four November releases that you must see.
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Matthew Fraga November 12, 2019

Once Again Robert Eggers Delivers With His Newest Film, "The Lighthouse"
The reason I love movies, is that for two hours I can enter another world. All my worries and doubts take a back seat, and I become a part of a new reality. This is especially the case in Robert Egger’s "The Lighthouse," starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.
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Matthew Fraga November 7, 2019

The Two Worst Movies Of The 21st Century
What makes a bad movie? When thinking about this question, I like to contemplate a variety of factors. I consider how bad the acting is, how underdeveloped story is, and how often the director disrespects the audience’s intelligence. I also like to think about how true the movie is to its intended genre. Is the horror movie scary? Is the comedy funny? Sure, these are subjective standards. What I find funny, you may not and vice versa. However, I think the true test of how bad a movie is depends on how you react during the film. Are you constantly checking the time on your phone? Does it take multiple viewings to get through the movie?
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Matthew Fraga November 5, 2019

Red Eye and Hush: Breaking the Damsel in Distress Stereotype
Horror movies are notorious for having incompetent character who make the most illogical decisions. Characters do things and go places that no reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. This, almost always, results in their demise. Their stupidity is always annoying for the audience, and it takes us out of the movie. The audience says things like, “that would never happen,” and “no don’t go in there!” But the characters almost always do, leaving us to say, “I told you so.” With that being said, there are some movies that have well-developed protagonists, who make intelligent, creative decisions, not even we would think to make.
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Matthew Fraga October 27, 2019

El Camino: The Satisfying Epilogue To A Beloved Series
It’s been six years since the hit show breaking bad concluded. Many regard the finale as one of best of all time, myself included. However, for as good as it was, there was always one questions lingering: What happened to Jesse? The final time we see him in the finale he is busting through the fence of the Nazi compound in Todd’s El Camino, as a battered, broken man.
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Matthew Fraga October 24, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Final Trailer Breakdown
This is it, the final chapter in a franchise that has spanned five decades. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the third epsiode in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and the ninth and final episode in the “Skywalker Saga.” J.J. Abrams will once again be directing the film. He directed Episode 7, the first in the sequel trilogy. Abrams took a hiatus leaving Rian Johnson to direct Episode 8. Many were disappointed by Johnson’s effort, saying that there was a disconnect between the first two films. Abrams will surely have his work cut out for him in wrapping up countless story lines in a satisfactory manner. Though, if anyone can do it, it’s him.
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Matthew Fraga October 17, 2019

There are only two and half months left in 2019, but still a lot of movies to see. Many Oscar contenders have yet to release, but there has been a lot of buzz around films coming out of the Toronto, New York, and Cannes Film Festivals. To no surprise, industry heavyweights like Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Willem Dafoe have films releasing this year. For this list, I have chosen to include October releases that you must see. I will be making separate lists for November and December. Only time will tell which films rise to the top, but here are some can’t miss movies for the month of October.
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