My Top Ten Featured Films for 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to a beautiful and fulfilling year to all of my readers out in the world. Now on to the film talk. I maybe a little biased here with a young heart and passion for Disney, Marvel, and anything that reminds me of my childhood, but I did manage to put together a list of my top ten featured films premiering in 2019. Stay tuned for my top ten independent and international films for 2019.

1. Glass – 18 January 2019

2.  Captain Marvel – 8 March 2019

3. The Aftermath – 15 March 2019

4. Us – 15 March 2019

5. Dumbo – 29 March 2019

6. Missing Link – 12 April 2019

7. Avengers:Endgame – 26 April 2019

8. Rocket Man- 17 May 2019

9. The Lion King – 19 July 2019

10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – 26 July 2019

My Top Ten Films of 2018

As we count down the final hours of the year, here is a list of my top ten films for 2018. Enjoy and feel free to share your own favorites in the comment section below.

1. Isle of Dogs

2. Beirut

3. Den of Thieves

4. Avengers: Infinity War

5. Black Panther

6. You Were Never Really Here

7. The Ivory Game

8. Christopher Robin

9. ROMA

10. The Angel

Q&A Feature: Random Tanner

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Random Tanner is a hip-hop artist who has held his own while representing Clinton, Iowa since the beginning of his career. He has been heard on various radio stations, including Eminem’s Sirius XM station, Shade 45. His resume speaks for itself.

Now, I had an amazing opportunity to sit down with this musician who’s re-emergence exploded in 2018. We talked about his presence in the hip-hop community, the changes with his current brand, who he would love to collaborate with, as well as, future plans and goals going into 2019 as Random Tanner.

Back in 2014, when we first met, you were going by the stage name of Skeez. Even though you built a successful platform through that name, you decided to change your branding to the name of Random Tanner in 2017. What influenced that change?

Random Tanner: Plenty of things influenced the change and transition from Skeez to Random Tanner. One, being that I was tired of the word “Skeez” being so unrelatable to who I was as an artist. Another huge reason was wanting to be more marketable and searchable. By that, I mean that when you google search “Skeez” I was a tiny fish in a huge sea.

When you search “Random Tanner” I am the only thing that pops up so it just made so much more sense. I think people have really taken to the name change well, especially the entire new fan base I’ve gained over the past year & a half. I’m honestly not sure the majority of my supporters even know I was anyone besides Random Tanner.

What’s the story of how did the new name come about?

RT: I linked up with a long-time music friend, DJ K Yung, and we decided to ink a management deal. She helped me make the decision as did my family and a few other close music friends. It actually took a while for me to pull the trigger but when I did, I had an amazing response from my followers so it made it a lot easier.

What is the difference between the persona Skeez and the new persona of Random Tanner?

RT: I don’t think I’ve really changed because of the name change. I think when I was finally ready to change the name, I decided that I was going to go all-in with it which has really been an enormous change, if that makes sense.

This process has always been a growing experience and I invested way more time, energy and money into the new brand, Random Tanner. I have an officially merchandise line. I am always trying to be innovative and creative when it comes to pushing my name. To me, Random Tanner is a direct reflection of who I’ve always wanted to be as an artist.

Along with the name change, the message in your music has shifted. What’s allowed you to be more open and vulnerable in your music? What sparks or influences the topics and passion you have put into your art recently? Has that influence or spark changed from the past material under Skeez?

RT: I don’t think the message has really shifted in my music. I think my outlook on life has matured though. I’ve always talked about things that are important to me, but finally connecting with the right producers, engineers, and support system has been a major influence on the quality of music and image that you’ve been hearing and seeing lately.

Looking back into this year, you’ve released five singles so far, “Clockin’ In”, “Go Away”, “Back When We Were Kids”, “M-80”, & “Here For You.” Which of these singles were your favorite to produce?

RT: My favorite song that I’ve put together out of all of these is probably “Here For You” with “Back When We Were Kids” being a very close runner-up. They both feature Alex Fischbach but “Here For You” has singing from me in it along with a proposal in the music video to my fiancé!

A pause in the interview to share the song “Here For You” and beautiful music video! A huge congratulations to RT & Liz! Such a beautiful proposal! 🙂

 

Now back to the interview… 

Which of the new singles are your favorite to perform live?

RT: This answer always depends on the crowd that I’m performing for. My most consistent song out of all of these to perform has been “Clockin’ In”, because it’s the first single I dropped. I really love performing “M-80” as well though.

22279834_1377604232352508_6091974729446975936_nDo you still perform songs from the Skeez era? If so, what are your favorites to perform?

RT: This question is funny, because my DJ, DJ Smokey, was just trying to tell me that I should perform one of my “Skeez” songs, because it gets crowds super hype. While I do agree, I told him that it feels like a step in the wrong direction to perform music that isn’t available anywhere for people to stream, download, or buy. Plus I wanted to completely “shed” everything Skeez when I transitioned.

Over the past decade as a recording artist, what is the most (bad or good) you have gotten out of the experiences?

RT: Being a musician, especially a hip-hop artist, is one giant roller coaster of emotions, successes, failures and all of the above times 100. I have lost friends, gained friends, seen things that no one else will get to see, experience the times of my life and more. There are definitely bad memories, but in no way, shape, or form do they outweigh the good memories. Every single part of this journey has been worth it to me and that’s one of the main things that keeps me going.

You have an astounding resume when it comes to live performances with some heavy hitters in the hip-hop industry. Which of the artists you’ve performed with was your favorite over the years? Who would you want to perform with again in the future?

RT: I have two artists who were my favorite to perform with. Machine Gun Kelly and Tech N9ne are hands down the best two shows to be a part of. I’ve opened for MGK four times and Tech N9ne three times and the crowds that show up to those concerts are beyond supportive of the music, including the openers. The biggest deal to me is rocking for a crowd who actually is there to possibly become a fan of you. I would want to perform with both of them as many times as possible in the future until I can start headlining shows that bring in 1,000+ people on my own!

20664050_1327853897327542_5294092834511762917_nWho have you not yet collaborated with musically, that you’d love to work with? Should we expect more collaborations with you & Jon Young in the near future?

RT: I’d love to collaborate with Tech N9ne, Rittz, Twista, NF, Witt Lowry, Kevin Gates & so many more. Honestly, I’d collaborate with any big name if it fits my message and makes sense for both of us. Yes, actually I have a song on my upcoming album with Jon Young called “Never Be” and it’s exactly what our fans would want to hear from us together.

Should we expect an album in the coming year? What else should we expect in 2019 for Random Tanner?

RT: Yes, I will be dropping my “debut” Random Tanner album this year entitled “Fast Forward” which will feature all of my recently released songs plus more. 2019 is going to be filled with all kinds of things that I’ve never accomplished as an artist. A lot more traveling, touring, festivals, strategies and hard work! I honestly can’t wait for whats to come!

Do you want to expand beyond music with your brand in the future?

RT: I don’t think I’d really be all the way in with my brand if it didn’t involve music. Music has been so good to me over the years and has morphed me into who I am as a person that I’d feel guilty trying to force the brand on people if I decided to stop music. If that time does come, where I call it quits, it will be at a point of self-appreciation. A point where I can say I did every single thing that I wanted to and I am truly happy with everything I did with it. At this point, I don’t regret any part of it. With all of that being said, I want to say thank you to everyone who has ever supported me and to everyone who has yet to find out that I exist, thank you in advance!

Film Critique: ALPHA

p13434106_v_v8_acI got excited with the trailer, don’t get me wrong. As having a passion for wolves in general, curiosity of the lifestyle and culture pre-dating before Christianity, and having my favorite game be Final Cry Primal, I had high anticipation for this film.

It originally was slotted for a film recommendation on my blog, but I was too disappointed in the results to allow that. Here are several reasons why…

As I watched the film, I was too distracted by the saturation of the CGI that was overly used throughout the film. To the point of unrealistic measures of the B.C. years for mankind. For me, the film was too virtual.

What also struck me was the actor who played Tau. As a film who was representing aboriginal tribes in the prehistoric times, or so I thought, Johannes Haukur Johanneson wasn’t the right actor to play the father is my two cents.

How do I say it nicely? Johannes looked too white (yes, he’s Icelandic) for the part. If this film is indeed taking place in prehistoric America, when again, did Leif Erikson and the Vikings come across and originally discovered America? Prior Columbus, but after Christianity was born a.k.a. A.D. and last I checked we did not have sabortooth tigers and mammoths in any A.D. years to my knowledge. That is NOT accurate prehistoric dates!

Okay, need to calm my Scandinavian (refuse to white-wash history) nerves.

Last, but not least. What is frustrating and what I recently learned in the art of film, doesn’t matter what you write, but how you tell the story through editing. For Alpha, there were parts that were too long winded and others too short winded. I don’t feel we needed that bit prior to the Great Hunt anyways.

What I would have done is… just dive right into the Great Hunt and start the story there. There are other ways to show the main characters weakness and strengths throughout the story, the writing itself and I felt the film carried that without that edit tidbit prior to the Great Hunt. I guess we have our different ways of storytelling in this world. The happy ending I’ll give after my critique is I appreciate the ending. It was cute. So props for the ending of the film. (:

Film Recommendation: MUTE

Mute_posterWhen it comes to films, I don’t necessarily rely on a critic’s opinion to enjoy a film or not. Even if the critic’s opinion isn’t a popular one, a cult classic can be born.

I feel this is the case with Mute. Rated only 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as, ratings on IMDb holding steady at a little over 5 stars out of ten. I beg differ than the majority vote so far for this film.

Maybe, I am biased since I rather watch ‘independent’ films in general, or I’m biased due to my preference as a Skarsgard fan; regardless, my following opinion stands.

An original story line, add a bit of Blade Runner nostalgic glitter, exceptional acting beyond dialogue, and the abnormal role choosing between Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd. Mute has become one of the most original films released in 2018.

It may not have been Duncan Jones best work according to other critics, but the originality of the story stands out itself, as well as, the A listed cast provided additional spark for the anticipation of the film.

As a writer, I felt the story was refreshing as it unravels a mystery in a corrupt underground society in a futuristic Germany. A realistic future, where an Amish mute attempts to play a hero in Germany to try to search for his loved one, who ends up missing. In order to keep you on your toes, new mysteries unravel throughout the underground society the closer he gets to his closure to figure out what happened to his companion.

The characters reveal their place in the film the further you get into the story. That’s where the film succeeded. It remained a mystery, while only giving very little away until the climax was revealed. Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say, there’s a purpose for every side story within the universe of Mute.

I love actors who go above and beyond their previous roles and have a continuation to choose characters that would challenge their jobs and, yet, still deliver successfully on the big screen. Both Alexander and Paul did that with this Netflix original.

You will love some characters, but also grow to hate others in this film, thanks to the continuous talent this cast provides and delivers. What I like most about the cast chosen is that no one out performed the other. The talent was in sync throughout the entire film.

So if you are into science fiction films and want to lose yourself in a mystery/active film that doesn’t make any sense to most critics, Mute is definitely a watch until the very end.

Check out the trailer here: