Cup of Tea Critiques®
Cup of Tea Critiques examines movies and television series through a critical lens.
Our main focus is independent cinema—films rarely talked about, found in mainstream theaters, nor advertised on billboards. However, they are broadly available on streaming platforms and can be watched from the comfort of your own home.
The shows consist of stories from across the globe—often important, funny, and entertaining stories—that captivate and inform, expose you to underrepresented perspectives, stimulate your thoughts, and facilitate discussion.
Reviewing elements like story, depth of character, aesthetics, and themes, we develop a synopsis and denote it with a tea brew that evokes a feel for the work. So, instead of likes, ratings, emojis, or thumbs up or down, our reviews are tagged with a type of tea that, based on its benefits, gives you a sense of the show's feel and substance.
In the mood for a lot of dialog? Maybe a movie tagged with a barley tea is just for you. Prefer something light? Perhaps a show tagged with gingko biloba is what you're looking for. Don't worry, we provide a legend that describes every tea we use.
So, what movie or show are you in the mood for? Reading the review and noting the show's brew will help you decide if it's your "cup of tea."
Like books, film can teach us a lot about ourselves. Of course, much is produced for entertainment value – escapism (don’t worry, we liked Banshee too!). But a fair amount are cinematic stories of journeys that lead to triumph, disappointment, and unrequited love. Indeed, often they lead to pure discovery of who we are and how we find meaning for ourselves given the spaces we move in and out of everyday.
Without giving away the production, we take a deep dive to address how the aesthetics support the story being told and promote your immersion into the work. Most important, we hone in on the style and major themes as well as how they connect with our lives today.
We love film for the reprieve from reality it offers as well as the lessons it imparts. After viewing, we not only exchange thoughts on what what we like about the production but we delve into the characters, their relationships with one another, the style, aesthetics, and yes, the story and how it relates to our everyday lives. Film geeks? Maybe.
I focused on film for my doctoral dissertation, which was later published by Lexington Books (For Entertainment Purposes Only?). Besides attending film festivals and film financing conferences to get a sense of the landscape, I interviewed studio executives one-on-one about what they considered when greenlighting a production.
Chris received his BA from the University of Michigan’s film program and specialized in screenwriting. He has written several scripts and worked as a production assistant on several movies. Brandon went to Arizona State (I'm a Sun Devil, baby!) and in addition to enjoying film, he manages our social media.
Our experiences with film and filmmaking along with our two‑ sometimes three-hour long talks about movie productions gave us enhanced insight into subtle connections between fantasy, fiction and real life, and into what seemingly random stories teach us about ourselves and the world around us. Film is one source, one enjoyable source, of such stories. So come along and indulge in our critiques of movies and TV series. You can then decide for yourself whether or not that show is your cup of tea!