Scott Tobias on Muck Rack

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Chicago, IL
Freelance Journalist
As seen in:  NPR

Editor, The Dissolve | I'm an expert in all things that nature abhors.

Clue · The New Cult Canon · The A.V. Club — Mr. Green: "Now there's one thing I don't understand." Professor Plum: " One thing?" - Clue How do you come back from the phrase "Based on the Parker Brothers game"? For the 1985 farce Clue, it's been a long road to cult appreciation.

Mortdecai / The Dissolve — Johnny Depp sports a silly mustache as art-swindler Charlie Mortdecai in Mortdecai. It parts like a curtain around the center of his upper lip, and narrows to a Rollie Fingers smile on the sides. Other people agree it's silly, and tell him as much. Repeatedly.

Mommy / The Dissolve — The release of Mommy, Xavier Dolan's fifth feature, is a natural opportunity to look back on the writer, director, and sometime-star's half-decade rise from a precocious 20-year-old Québécois upstart to the toast of the Cannes Film Festival.

Exclusive poster(s) première: Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room — As much as his 2007 "docu-fantasia" My Winnipeg mingled fact and myth about the man and his wintry home, we know this much about iconoclastic filmmaker Guy Maddin: He's one of Canada's most celebrated directors, known for his delirious, funny, and atmospheric work, all rooted in an affinity for old movies and dream-like psychology.

When once isn’t enough — Let's begin by stating the obvious: We're human beings, and it's only natural that our relationship with works of art will change over time. Sometimes those changes are marginal, sometimes dramatic, as we gain life experience and our taste grows more refined, or baser.

Manny / The Dissolve — Manny Pacquiao is a busy man. By the time the hagiographic documentary wraps up, with the boxer's fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Pacquiao's activities include his training and conditioning regimen, meeting the demands of being a husband and father of many, meeting the demands of being a lover to many women whom he hasn't married (though that purportedly changed), making promotional appearances and working with his business managers and promotor, gambling heavily (though that purportedly changed), and serving as an elected official in the House Of Representatives in his native Philippines.

The Duke Of Burgundy — ( Note: The opening sequence in The Duke Of Burgundy is best experienced cold, so the spoiler-averse are advised to rush out to see this excellent film as soon as possible and come back later to read the review. It'll be here for you.) Peter Strickland's The Duke Of Burgundy begins with a series of winks.

Involuntary / Play — One of the best films of 2014, Ruben Östlund's deals with marital dynamics and what a split-second, instinctual reaction reveals about a man's character and priorities. But it examines these issues through the family unit as a whole, which starts in perfect syncopation, slaloming through the powder at an Alpine ski resort, and falls out of rhythm in the wake of a "controlled avalanche" that veers out of control.

Blackhat / The Dissolve — Michael Mann's never expresses itself more beautifully than in the opening moments, when the camera descends from above to catch the glittering lights of Hong Kong, then descends further to the glittering networks and circuit boards that a hacker is attacking from some unknown location.

How not to talk about the Oscars — Let us pretend, for a moment, that the Oscars are what they ostensibly claim to be: a celebration of the best movies had to offer in any given year. There are useful conversations to be had around that, a chance to advocate for the movies, performances, and other achievements that deserve nominations-or perhaps alternate choices that are left on the outside looking in.
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Jan 25, 2015

@ErikFHelin One man's affecting personal story is another's incessant navel gazing, I suppose.

Jan 25, 2015

I wish Congress could be the jury for Best Foreign Language Film, just so they'd have to see TIMBUKTU. The world would be better for it.

Jan 25, 2015

@Joannalangfield So many great food references from that movie. The block of cheese, too.

Jan 25, 2015

@fisackerly "I can tell by the gross weight I'm not gonna like it."

Jan 25, 2015

@nictate (2/2) Just consider the endings of the two films alone: One reaches for transcendent, the other a more casual moment.

Jan 25, 2015

@nictate Someone else made that argument. But BOYHOOD doesn't tell anyone that. It's so low-key and specific. (1/2)

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