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The Reel: Why “The Lion King” is the greatest animated film of all time

The Reel: Why “The Lion King” is the greatest animated film of all time

By Mark Lu
May 10, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

My all-time favorite movie (yes, my favorite movie ever) is the 1994 Disney animation and now-classic “The Lion King,” written by Irene Mecchi & Jonathan Roberts and directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff, with an iconic score by Hans Zimmer & Elton John. “The Lion King” featu...

The Reel: Poetic storytelling should not be celebrated for being poetic

The Reel: Poetic storytelling should not be celebrated for being poetic

By Mark Lu
April 20, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

A while ago, I saw “Moonlight,” a film that I commended for its screenplay craftsmanship in another column. Despite being ambitious and beautifully-shot, it lacks the essential quality of entertainment: substance. Of course, it conveys principles much needed for today’s changing times, but would it have hurt at all to add a visible storyline? I loved “Moonlight.” But as I watched it wi...

“Logan,” an overrated, misguided Western, fails to make up for a flimsy plotline

“Logan,” an overrated, misguided Western, fails to make up for a flimsy plotline

By Mark Lu
March 13, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

Yes, that’s right. I did not enjoy “Logan.” It’s actually not that terrible of a movie. The action sequences are well executed and Hugh Jackman did an excellent job portraying a mentally-wounded warrior with many scars, as did Patrick Stewart with Professor X. Newcomer Dafne Keen impresses a...

The Reel: Tension

The Reel: Tension

By Mark Lu
March 6, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

Any sort of on-screen entertainment must invoke emotion in the viewer. Sadness, happiness, anger, pity, laughter, the invocation of emotion is pretty much the definition of entertainment. In order to maximize the extent of this emotion, movies need to employ plot development or character developme...

The Reel: The five least-boring Best Picture winners of the 21st century

The Reel: The five least-boring Best Picture winners of the 21st century

By Mark Lu
February 25, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

The Academy Awards is made up of 6,687 members who vote every year on the best movie of the year, through a weird voting style called “instant-runoff voting” in which voters rank the nominations in the order in which they enjoyed each one. This is a much more complicated process that seeks to choose a ...

The Reel: A beaut. And fin.

The Reel: A beaut. And fin.

By Mark Lu, Columnist
February 10, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

You’ve probably seen a good film before. Did you enjoy it for its visuals or story? It probably depends, right? For example, “Fantasia” (2000) is purely based off of visual stimulation and how the narrative of the music correlates with the implications of what’s on the screen. Others like “T...

The Reel: 2017 Academy Awards Predictions

The Reel: 2017 Academy Awards Predictions

By Mark Lu, Columnist
January 30, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

On Monday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars. Oscars are more than just golden statues; they represent the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work, creativity, ingenuity and talent. The ...

The Reel: ‘Seven,’ the greatest suspense thriller there ever was

The Reel: ‘Seven,’ the greatest suspense thriller there ever was

By Mark Lu, Columnist
January 24, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, Movies, The Reel

It’s difficult to create a thriller. To properly “thrill” an audience, film creators must structure a story that purposefully manipulates the attention of the watcher and keeps them in the dark while sheltering an underlying titillation, hidden in the shadows. Meanwhile, the director must paint an intima...

The Reel: screenwriting – the biggest snub at the 2017 Golden Globes

The Reel: screenwriting – the biggest snub at the 2017 Golden Globes

By Mark Lu, Columnist
January 9, 2017
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

AN UNHINGED FENCE -- Little squeezing through, doesn’t look back as the other boys attempt to shimmy and wiggle their way though, too big to glide through like Little. LITTLE hauling ass, chest heaving as he rounds the corner on this condemned building. On instinct, the stairs taken two at a time...

The Reel: Disney’s bipolar mindset

The Reel: Disney’s bipolar mindset

By Mark Lu, Columnist
December 25, 2016
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

Two Disney animations came out in 2016: “Zootopia” and “Moana.” Both are excellent movies with engaging storylines and visuals - but are also jarringly different in their narratives. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece on the effect that “Shrek” had on animation films of the 21st Century,...

The Reel: Quentin Tarantino- eight eras, one style

The Reel: Quentin Tarantino- eight eras, one style

By Mark Lu, Columnist
December 18, 2016
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

So, you’ve clicked on this column. If you did, you probably know exactly who Quentin Tarantino is. Perhaps you don’t. Tarantino is a legendary writer and director, the creator of such masterpieces as “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Django Unchained” (2012), the “Kill Bill” movies (2003 and ...

The Reel: “Shrek” and the genius in satirical filmmaking

The Reel: “Shrek” and the genius in satirical filmmaking

By Mark Lu, Columnist
December 8, 2016
Filed under Entertainment, The Reel

Let me ask you a question: What is your favorite animated film? If it’s from the 21st century, then you have a certain movie to thank. The masterpiece of modern-day animation is the first “Shrek” film due to its audacious portrayal of the polar principles expressed by fairy tales and their pe...

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