Editor’s Note: “Casual Critics” is a new feature we’re introducing this semester on the Jet Fuel Review Blog. It’s a weekly feature about film, written by two critics, Reno Stramaglia and Donatas Ružys. The two critics will switch off week after week, with this week’s post being written by Ružys.
Ray Kroc revolutionized the American fast food service industry in the mid-1950s by turning McDonald’s into one of the most successful and recognizable businesses in the world. John Lee Hancock’s biographical drama, The Founder (2016), depicts the true-to-life events that propelled Kroc (played by Michael Keaton) from being an obsessively ambitious shake-mixer salesman into one of the wealthiest men in the world.
Surprisingly, the film does not overly rely on the subject matter to draw in audiences. Instead, it is easy to sense the fitting selection of actors for key roles, as they naturally immerse themselves into heart of the narrative and in turn cause the audience to feel a wide range of emotions. Michael Keaton’s performance is exceptional and well deserving of recognition.
Hello, blog readers! I haven’t posted an editor’s notes round-up since before the holidays. But we have some new posts on the blog now, so it’s time to take a look at what our editors have been up to in recent weeks.
But first, please be aware that the Jet Fuel Review’s submission period for its Spring 2017 issue is now open. We are accepting submissions until March 15th, so check out our submission form if you have poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or art that you think we need to see. You might just end up in our next issue.
Now, let’s dive right in! Back before the new year, Michael Lane posted a review of the Oscar-nominated film “La La Land.” Dan Fiorio posted his pre-order alerts for new music coming out in January of 2017. Although it’s February now, you can still check out his post to see music that’s available now.
Hi all! I’m back for another semester of blogging with an old favorite of mine. Today we’re dissecting “First” by Cold War Kids. This indie rock group got its start in California back in 2004, and they have worked their way into our hearts ever since.
“First” was a single released in 2015, stemming from their 2014 album Hold My Home. This piece quickly rose to number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Its overall emotional beat and relatable lyrics make this song incredibly relevant and timeless, earning it a rightful spot on my playlist this week.
“First” [Verse 1] “Cheated and lied, broken so bad You made a vow, never get mad You play the game, though it’s unfair They’re all the same, who can compare? First you lose trust, then you get worried”
Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. As some of you may know, The Outsiders celebrated its 50th anniversary this past November. And for the uninformed, The Outsiders is a much celebrated book, which was an incredibly important piece of fiction when it came out in 1967.
The Outsiders was revolutionary because it was written by a teenager, about teenagers, for teenagers. In fact, that was the original tagline when the book first came out. Some would say that The Outsiders was one of the first books in what would later become the young adult genre. The Outsiders is a book that has resonated with people of all ages over the last 50 years because of the relatable characters and strong themes.
It’s been a little more than 20 years since the release of the original Resident Evil changed the landscape of video games forever. It’s a game series I literally grew up with, as it saw its original American release mere months before I was born. My initial encounters with the game were through watching my older brother and cousins play it for countless hours, all before I even had any idea how to handle a controller in order to experience it myself, which I later would many times. It, along with some of its sequels, are among my favorite games of all time, and it’s safe to say that Resident Evil holds a special place in my heart. While I was eagerly anticipating Resident Evil 7, I did so with bated breath following several missteps among the series in recent years. But, I’m glad to say that Resident Evil 7 is the game that fans of the series have been waiting years for.
Resident Evil has been one of gaming’s most successful, important, and influential franchises, having introduced several groundbreaking ideas to the medium throughout its storied existence. With its latest iteration, developer Capcom hoped to revitalize their survival horror series after some not-so-stellar efforts that have come as of late. Resident Evil 7 incorporates a perfect mixture of ideas both old and new, effectively re-introducing mechanics that the earliest entries were originally built upon as well as instituting entirely new concepts that, for the most part, work, including the major shift from a third-person perspective to first-person.
Don’t even try to tell me that 2016 was a bad year for film. I found myself falling in love with new films week after week from the beginning of the year until its final days. Be it the year’s biggest blockbusters, the indie-est of horror flicks, or those found in between, the output from filmmakers in 2016 was absolutely remarkable.
I ended up condensing this down from a lengthy list of 35, and it wasn’t easy. Actually, ranking these films could’ve been an even harder task, but I sadly didn’t get to see every film I wanted to in 2016 — the most unfortunate among them being Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and Jackie, which I’m sure would have all been strong contenders. And before I get to the actual list, below you will find a number of standouts that just barely missed the cut for the top 10.
Captain America: Civil War – Dir. Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (streaming on Netflix)
The Witch – Dir. Robert Eggers (streaming on Amazon Prime)
Zootopia – Dir. Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush (streaming on Netflix)
Hacksaw Ridge – Dir. Mel Gibson
10 Cloverfield Lane – Dir. Dan Trachtenberg
Like I said before, there were plenty of films I loved this year. Here are the best of the best: