I was in no condition to write a recap after the 14 hour telecast of the Movie Super Bowl. Then again, I really didn’t intend on writing anything at all. That is, of course, I got curious on how I did last year with my predictions. To my surprise, I did better this year compared to last year! (more…)
February 26, 2013
February 24, 2013
For the most part, this year I did my own research to come up with my own predictions. And by “research” I mean comparing all winners from recent award shows like the Golden Globes and various film critic circles. Normally I tend to find a chart that has all these winners already, but this year I didn’t ind one until long after I made my picks. Special thanks to Huffington Post, the ones I really couldn’t figure out I decided to side with them.
The Academy Awards are more social this year and have released their own app that, of course, has a voting ballet that you can share on Twitter and play with friends on Facebook. This is probably the only game I’d play on Facebook, by the way. I’m talking to you, people that constantly invite me to play casino games or whatever. Stop it. Anyway, the app is both on Apple and Android devices. It also has other trivia, trailers and loads of other stuff film and Oscar geeks would drool about. I kept my drooling to a minimum in case you were wondering.
Lastly, for a few more insights on my predictions, you can listen to this episode of The Lost Dial.
On to the nominees! (more…)
March 3, 2012
While I already wanted to see this movie,Hugo’s five Academy Award wins over eleven nominations cemented my need to see this film ASAP. I now have a greater understanding as to why so many critics have been calling this past year and the nominees for Best Picture were all about the movies, besides the obvious.
I’ve heard Hugo is Martin Scorsese’s love letter to the movies. And if you know anything about Scorsese, besides just his films, you know that he’s all about the classics and keeping them preserved for future generations to cherish and enjoy. With that said, there’s a serious nod to the wonderful world of books. I couldn’t help but think of a few of my friends who have a passion for reading. This movie marries the two perfectly. Kids, keep reading and you can throw out big words on the fly too! (more…)
February 29, 2012
It was my intention to write this review before the Academy Awards aired on Sunday night. I decided to run out to a theater still playing what was later awarded Best Picture of 2011 late Saturday afternoon, and to my surprise, I found myself in a packed theater. Sadly, due to the time I arrived, I had to sit in one of the seats close to the front. That was my only problem with this film, but it was my own fault.
As for the film, marvelous homage to early cinema! I knew all the hype behind the movie, but as usual, I needed to see it for myself to see if it was legit hype.
True, the major selling point is that it’s a silent movie. The black & white aspect isn’t all that spectacular even though it’s employed nicely, a lot of modern movies still do that brilliantly. (more…)
February 28, 2012
I’m going to keep this short since I have The Lost Dial at my disposal, I can express all my opinions verbally versus writing them all out here. Granted, I still have my notes written down, but I’d rather have Mike and/or Wendy interrupting me to make sure me recap isn’t as boring as watching the Awards.
However, I will state here that I personally didn’t find the show as boring as it can be. I really don’t understand why so many people are so critical. It’s a 3 hour (and some change) show, I’m not expecting non-stop excitement. I paid $15 to watch Pirates of the Caribbean and they couldn’t provide that either, so my expectations are lower since this is network TV (meaning I deal with commercials). Speaking of commercials, did anyone else love those JCPenney commercials? I love you, Ellen. (more…)
February 4, 2012
I made the follow predictions on the podcast The Lost Dial recorded hours after the nominations were announced on January 24th. You can listen to my predictions in part 1 and part 2. While I might feel a bit differently on possible winners since a few more awards have been given out (SAG, DAG, etc), here are my initial predictions and runner ups. As always, follow me on Twitter while I live-tweet the ceremony on February 26.
My official predictions are in bold. My runner up guesses are underlined. If you compare what I said during the podcast to what’s written below, the only
thing I may have changed are my runner ups… which doesn’t matter if they don’t win anyway since there are no 2nd place Oscars. Also, during the podcast I didn’t have time to research nominees I wasn’t familiar with, like documentaries and shorts. So those predictions are based on previous wins, nominations and ratings according to IMDb.com. (more…)
May 14, 2011
I had been meaning to watch this movie since the Oscars, but it just didn’t get screened in time. Sadly, no one nominated from this movie won anything, but that’s okay. In this case, being nominated is an honor and it deserved to be.
Now, to those who follow the movie trades like I do, you know there was some controversy with this film due to it’s sex scenes. And there are a handful of them, but I remember the arguments and the filmmakers pleaded to keep an R-rating or else they would lose the chance at being played in American theaters. All of this is another story and better explained by a film called This Film is Not Yet Rated. But having seen the scenes in question, I agree for storytelling and artistic sake that they shouldn’t have been cut. My reason is as follows…
This movie delivered a sense of honesty and realness I don’t think I’ve seen in a while. Granted, I haven’t really watched too many movies lately, but the majority of the time while watching this film, I didn’t feel like I was watching a film. This felt real, like these were people that lived around the corner real. I can’t relate firsthand to a lot of the issues these characters were facing, but I know people that have and in a way, I was able to take a walk in their shoes. In fact, I got stuck in the mud with their shoes and had a hard time getting out.
The movie is about a married couple trying to figure out their relationship. It looks and feels bleak for them as they take a night away from their young daughter to spend in a couples-themed hotel to get away after their family dog dies. We learn through flashbacks of sorts who they are, or who they once were, before they met and the beginning of their relationship while flashing forward to what feels like a downward spiral.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams totally bring it when it comes to acting in this film. I’ve seen them act in other movies and to be honest, I would love to see them in comedies. They have done well in so many dramas, I need to laugh. But back to their work in this movie, I believed they were married. In fact, I know that the director had them all living together for awhile to build on that chemistry. I say it worked.
I spoke with friends about this film, one recommended it, the other was hesitant to, because of the serious nature. One friend called it “midnight dark” and saying it was darker than Requiem of a Dream which, many friends of mine know, is a movie I find to be the darkest of dark and very disturbing. One of the few films I don’t ever want to watch again. But I’m considering the source of why he said it’s that dark, and I believe it’s because he’s a family man, with a wife and a handful of beautiful kids. And to see this family breakdown is something that a loving father, husband, wife, mother would never want to see happen in reality. So that, in turn, could equal something very dark indeed.
As for me, it’s definitely saddening. It didn’t reach the level of Requiem but I was emotionally affected. I agree with my friend that it’s a difficult movie to recommend to people. Maybe people who like Lifetime movies. On top of that, due to it’s subject, it didn’t get a lot publicity, other than the battle with the MPAA and the Oscars soon after.
With all that said, it’s not a movie for the kids. I wouldn’t take a date to see this. But if you want to see a movie with some serious acting (and writing and directing, those qualities were top notch too) then this is a movie to see. For those weak at heart, have a box of tissues handy and maybe some cartoons after.
February 23, 2011
The King’s Speech is a pun. Well, the title is a pun. It’s all about how King George VI came to be in power and how he’s had to deal with his embarrassing speech impediment. All of this being based on a very true story that, my guess, few people knew about. Okay, maybe people knew about it, but I know I didn’t until hearing about this movie. And I want to assume the many Americans may have been ignorant to this fact as well. But I don’t want to get into a discussion about today’s society that can’t be bothered with history or foreign relations so let’s talk about the movie.
I’ve seen Colin Firth in a number of roles but I think I liked him best in this one. He always seems committed to whatever character he plays, but due to having to mimic the stutters and stammers of a royal figure, I’m sure that bumped his acting cred a few notches if not a whole milestone. In other words, I was very impressed and I felt very sympathetic towards his character whenever he had to speak. Especially in front of people. Thousands if not millions of people. I felt his embarrassment. I know what it’s like not wanting to speak or not thinking you have what it takes to speak to a room full of people… and surely you’re thinking “I sound like an idiot and they all know it!” But that was my personal connection to it. I don’t have a speech problem that I’m aware of other than ramming words together and occasionally making a few up. (Indoob.)
Then comes Geoffrey Rush, or Lionel, as he’s called in the movie. He is contacted by the King’s wife to help him speak clearly. Although I’m getting ahead of myself. The King was not yet king at this point… he was a duke. His father was still in power before he died, then it went to his elder brother who was only a king a short while before passing the crown to George. And George was actually Prince Albert, or Bertie, as he was called by those closest to him, including Lionel. Lionel and Bertie had a rocky and stiff relationship at first, but it was inspiring to watch them grow into something more of a friendship.
Something that stood out to me about this film, technically, is the way the film was shot. I found it visually striking how certain shots were composed or the angle at which characters were viewed. It didn’t necessarily take me out of the story, I just liked the perspective of what we were shown on screen. Another scene I enjoyed visually is late in the film when Lionel and Bertie are having a discussion while walking outside. It looks like a cloudy or hazy or foggy day, but the sun is still shining, and at one point, the sun is shining into the camera and giving us silhouettes of our heroes.
Due to this film being based on a true story, I don’t know if there’s a spoiler line or not, so for the sake of not spoiling it, I’ll just say I really enjoyed the last act of the film. Again, the title comes into play as the King needs to make a very important speech regarding WWII, one of the most important speeches of his life. Can he do it? Will his legacy be tarnished? The movie had a satisfying ending and I walked away feeling inspired and even educated on some history. I would say this is possibly one I might want to own. Still debating that.
It is rated R for a couple scenes of some adult language. I heard a debate about if this scene was necessary and could be or should be cut out for a lesser rating. I vote no. There’s a reason for the swearing and it’s actually therapeutic for Bertie’s character, if not a bit humorous as well. Other than that, the film is safe for anyone to watch… But I still wouldn’t recommend it to kids unless they are studying English royalty in high school. I think kids would find this boring as well as many adults I know.
And if you haven’t heard, it’s nominated for 12 Oscars. I don’t foresee a clean sweep, but if it does, kudos for them. It will probably win Best Picture and Best Actor, and Colin Firth deserves that win, indoob.
February 20, 2011
I’m not too crazy about western movies, but I don’t hate them and I’ll watch them over a horror flick any day. Or most days. Plus I’m really starting to admire the talented and versatile actor that is Jeff Bridges. But if this hadn’t been nominated for an Oscar, and Oscar night literally being a week from today, I wouldn’t have watched the film so soon. In fact, out of the 10 best nominees, I’ve seen 6. More on that in another post.
First point I want to make is this: True Grit is first a novel. Everyone is quick to call this 2010 film a remake of a 1969 John Wayne classic, which isn’t exactly correct. It’s sorta like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Facotry vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The latter is closer to the book, so they say. Such is the case with the Coen Brothers’ True Grit. Does that make this version superior to the older one? I can’t say yet. But I am interested in seeing it sooner or later. I already know one difference which I can’t say without spoiling.
I admire the Coens, but I don’t want to call myself a huge fan. People say you can spot one of their films by their style, but I’m not sure I know what that is. Maybe it’s the dialogue? If that’s the case, then that’s one thing I certainly enjoyed.
With that said, if you haven’t seen the film yet and plan to: pay attention to how all the characters speak. Maybe it was a sign of the times or perhaps it was intentional writing, but I loved that they didn’t use contractions. In fact, I think I would find it difficult to go a whole day without using a single contraction. It gave the film a bit of humor when the characters spoke or said certain things. There was also a few lines that were just genuinely amusing, most notably from Jeff Bridges.
And while watching Jeff do his thing, I related him to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow: an anti-hero that loves his liquor. He also shares the love of getting paid and has a strong sense of adventure. But, this is an adult drama not a family adventure so don’t expect a lot of fun to happen.
By that I mean the film, at times, was a little slow. I wasn’t bored but there were moments my eyes wandered off the screen, like to my watch. But these moments didn’t last long. In fact, when people are speaking at great length, it’s best to pay attention. There are a few “shoot ‘em up” scenes, but not enough to qualify as an action movie.
What’s this story about? Well, I’ll put it this way: I kept the title in mind throughout the whole movie and asked myself “What does it meant to have true grit?” And as we meet our main characters, do they show what it means? Especially this 14 year old girl, Hailee Steinfeld, who is also nominated for an Oscar. I’m pulling for her, by the way. Although the story is centered on her and she seems to have the most scenes and dialogue (like the book), she’s considered a supporting actress. Either way, she did an excellent job. You definitely see her growth as a character. Early on, you get the sense she can hold her own in a fight, but I’ll leave it at that…
Matt Damon did very well too. I often forgot Matt Damon was playing his Texan character, a good sign of a good actor, right? Or maybe because of all the facial hair and big hat? I was impressed regardless. He’s another actor whose work I admire.
Overall, this movie was good. Good enough to own? Only if you really love westerns or you have a Coen Brothers collection or love everything Jeff Bridges. This isn’t a movie I’d pick out to watch over and over, but I wouldn’t mind watching it again. It also reminds me that if a 14 year old girl can man up, I better not complain about a paper cut.