Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars 2014 Follow-Up

For posterity again!

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o
Best Animated Picture: Frozen
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Her
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: Frozen - Let It Go
Best Makeup/Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Foreign Film: The Great Beauty
Best Costume Design: American Hustle (wrong)
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Film Editing: Gravity
Best Animated Short: Get A Horse! (wrong)
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing (wrong)
Best Documentary Short: The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Live Action Short:  Just Before Losing Everything (wrong)

I am quite shocked 'The Act of Killing' lost out for Best Documentary. I think that one the Academy snubbed, but ah well. Everyone is also up in arms about Leo not winning an Oscar, but having seen 'The Wolf of Wall Street', it was just okay, not fantastic. McConaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club' was way better, I think. That's just Leo's bad luck, honestly.

Anyway, 20/24 correct, up from one last year. Hopefully next year is even better!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscars 2014

Today is actually the day of the Oscars, and we're throwing a small party. As such, I should at least post my picks for posterity, and see if I can't beat last year's record of 19/24.

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave (American Hustle or Gravity could also totally win here...I hope Gravity doesn't win, it wasn't THAT good. But seriously, there's no one lock this year, as there has been in years past.)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Steve McQueen could also win here.)
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (so strange to type that. Still, Leo or Ejiofor could win too.)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (also Jennifer Lawrence has a shot still.)
Best Animated Picture: Frozen
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave (because it can't get shut out. Before Midnight can also win, which my girlfriend would love)
Best Original Screenplay: Her
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: Frozen - Let It Go
Best Makeup/Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club (it's funny that the Jackass movie is actually a possible winner here)
Best Foreign Film: The Great Beauty (it's won a zillion awards until now. Why stop here?)

After this point, for me, it's still a crapshoot. But the people who will win still deserve as much attention as anyone else, so I'm still going to make my predictions!

Best Costume Design: American Hustle (it kind of really did look like the 70s.)
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby (and some of my more obsessive friends will finally be happy.)
Best Film Editing: Gravity
Best Animated Short: Get A Horse! (because Disney.)
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing (won best documentary at the BAFTAs)
Best Documentary Short: The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Live Action Short:  Just Before Losing Everything (except in French :P)

Yes, Gravity will win all the things, as it is a very impressive technical achievement. Except Best Picture. Kind of reminds me of Inception in that way.

Friday, August 2, 2013

summer 2013 movies update pt 4

Since the last update, I have seen:

Despicable Me 2
The Wolverine
Red 2

And they were all awesome! Time for some brief reviews:

Despicable Me 2

An animated movie, one of the few I've seen this summer, and it's awesome. It's not particularly deep or anything (the first one dealt with Gru, Steve Carell's character, adopting these three little girls against his better judgment, only to find that he truly loved them), with the plot centered on Gru finding someone to love (Kristen Wiig, who is just as annoying in her animated self as in real life). A pretty simple plot, but the real stars of this movie are the Minions. They are riotously funny; this is probably the movie I have laughed at the most this summer, and it's largely because of those little guys. They deserve their own movie, and they probably will be getting one (if it hasn't been greenlit already).


The Wolverine

Saw an advance screening of it; surprise, it's awesome too! It actually takes place after X-Men: The Last Stand, with Logan dealing with the haunting memories of having killed Jean Grey in that (awful) installment. Really, the movie is less of a super hero movie, and more of a drama/thriller. Indeed, for the majority of the movie, Logan does not have his fantastic powers of healing, which kind of lends more gravity to his situation. Anyway, to say any more would be to spoil it, but it's a great adventure where Logan truly becomes 'The Wolverine' again, healing his pain that he had experienced after Jean's death. Also, the after-credits scene is awesome.


Red 2

This movie wasn't spectacular, but it was simply a lot of fun. Everyone seemed to simply be having a good time filming it, and even the new additions were awesome. Bruce Willis lends his usual stoic hilarity to the role he plays as Frank Moses, retired CIA agent. John Malkovich is also the usual crazy guy here, and he's hilarious. The true scene-stealer, in my humble opinion, is Anthony Hopkins. We all know he's a terrific actor, but he plays the scientist here with delightful scenes of him being crazy one moment, and then sane the next. I don't think the ending is exactly the most surprising one ever, but it's still entertaining. I'd see a sequel to this movie.


I will say my list of summer movies, now that it's been shortened by three, I've actually added to it with some new trailers. I want to see 'Paranoia', '2 Guns', and 'The Counselor'. Those movies come out, respectively, August 16th, August 2nd, October 23rd. While 'The Counselor' won't be seen this summer, the other two will be! That leaves my list now at:

Monsters University (out, but not in theatres any more)
World War Z (out, but not in theatres any more)
2 Guns (August 2nd)
Elysium (August 9th)
Paranoia (August 16th)
The World's End (August 23rd)

I'm quite excited to see these films; they all look awesome. woo movies!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

summer 2013 movies update pt 3 - G.I.JOE edition

In an update to my summer blogging of movies, I saw G.I.JOE Retaliation tonight. To begin with a brief backstory: I went to go see 'Rise of Cobra' in theatres, the day after it was released. I loved the G.I.JOE cartoon growing up, and I have the action figures. I may not have been raised in the 80s (missed out on being an 80s kid by 22 days, in fact), but thanks to my cousins who were, I have a massive love for all things Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Transformers, Diehard (and other action movies of its ilk), and, of course, G.I.JOE.

My favourite character, by far, is Cobra Commander. In the cartoons, he was kind of like Dr. Claw, and more or less every bumbling supervillain of cartoons; menacing, but no real threat that he would ever really succeed. I mean, come on, it's a kid's tv show. But, nonetheless, he was awesome, crazy bad guy though he was.

Fast forward to the 'Rise of Cobra' movie of a few years ago, and I was just so sad at how bad it was. Pretty much everything about it was bad. The casting wasn't terrible, but I mean, casting Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander, and then messing up his voice AND his iconic costume? That's a terrible offence. At least Zartan and Destro were entertaining, but that was a consolation. I think the only good part about that first movie was Ray Park as Snake Eyes, which was awesome because of his outfit and the fact that he HAS NO DIALOGUE. Park does have experience in that regard, seeing as how Darth Maul has so little of it, but whatever. He's awesome (I met him, shook his hand and everything. Such a nice dude).

'Retaliation' fixed all of those problems. Firstly, the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) was Roadblock, Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, some dude as Flint, Ray Stevenson as Firefly, Ray Park back as Snake Eyes, and Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton (the original Joe). The cast was much better...and, let me say, it's not as if Channing Tatum was a bad Duke. He wasn't. It just was that he was surrounding by so much bad. Though Sienna Miller as the, yes please.

Anyway, the movie was great. As usual, it was a lot of explosions, gunfights, and action, and it was great. They even did up Cobra Commander right, which I loved. The plots of these things are always so crazy, and the bit about the Zeus satellites and having everyone blow up their nuclear armaments was a bit much, but at the end of the day, I chuckled and enjoyed myself. By the way, the scene where Snake Eyes and Jinx fight a legion of enemy ninjas while flying around on cables on the side of a mountain. Fantastic.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

summer 2013 movies update pt 2

So, since my last post, I've knocked two movies off my list: 'This Is The End' and 'Pacific Rim'. The two movies were so wildly different, and they were just so much fun, in their own ways.

This Is The End

This movie was hilarious. I can instantly see why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but after an amusing intro where Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen talk about gluten and what it is, the movie is quickly set up, and also quickly devolves into something crazy. The Apocalypse (with a capital A) of Biblical proportions strikes the Earth, and the protagonists quickly engage in the hilarity. It's not as inane as one might think, with all these guys who clearly know each other in real life, as it's pretty funny and clever at points. The dialogue is great, and the actors are well chosen. It has a fairly predictable ending, but, what are you gonna do, it's still funny, and I personally thought the last few minutes of the movie were AWESOME. If a 6 is a solidly average score, then a 7.5, to me, is above average. Not fantastic, but this movie was funny enough to keep me entertaining for an hour and forty five minutes, or thereabouts.


Pacific Rim

This is the movie I had been anticipating for quite some time. I went with my friend Matteo, and the two of us saw it in glorious IMAX 3D. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny. The plot was thin, yes. The acting wasn't particularly amazing, no. But, honestly? WHO CARES. I got to see building-sized creatures pick up building-sized robots and toss them around Hong Kong, through the upper atmosphere, in Alaska, and underwater. There were some absolutely amazing fights, and unlike the mess that is Transformers, I could actually tell what was going on during the fight scenes. Like I mentioned, the acting wasn't particularly noteworthy, no. Idris Elba was pretty awesome, though, and Burn Gorman along with Charlie Day were hilarious as the two scientists. Everyone else was kind of 'meh', though really, it doesn't matter. You don't go to see humans talk to each other. You go to see giant robots beat up giant monsters, and on that front, it delivered and then some. The IMAX 3D really is the only way to go; this is one of the few movies that I've wanted to see solely in 3D, and definitely was made for the format. Not all movies are, of course, and few actually justify using it, but this is a rare exception. I had a blast watching this movie, and I can definitely see myself going back again to watch it in theatres. This was easily the most entertaining movie of the summer thus far for me, and the score has to reflect that, on my end.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

summer 2013 movies update

Several months ago, I blogged about a list of movies that I wanted to see this summer, and as usual, I like to keep track of how many I’ve actually gone to see. Now that we are in mid-July, I’ve seen a bunch of them. ‘Iron Man 3’, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, ‘Fast and Furious 6’, and ‘Man of Steel’ all have earned some revenue from me (actually, ‘Man of Steel’ earned it twice, since I saw it on opening weekend, and then took my mom and dad to see it a few weeks later). I’ve declined to see ‘Oblivion’, upon hearing awful reviews from pretty much everyone, and I figure I’ll see ‘The Great Gatsby’ right before it inevitably gets nominated for a bunch of costume Oscars. ‘After Earth’ also will probably be a home rental, after learning that good ol’ M. Night was its director. That leaves the following movies that are currently out in theatres:

This Is The End
Monsters University
World War Z
Despicable Me 2
The Lone Ranger

I definitely want to see the first four, and indeed, already have plans to see ‘Despicable Me 2’ with my girlfriend in a few weeks. ‘The Lone Ranger’, after its abysmal reviews, is probably never going to get seen by me, honestly. I just don’t truly care about it, and they seemed to have changed everything about the original TV show (which I’ve only seen once, but still).

Apart from that, I have my tickets to see ‘Pacific Rim’ in glorious IMAX, and it will be awesome, even if my friends are complaining that they don’t understand the hype behind it. At least *one* of my friends will man up enough to see it with me, and frankly, the two of us will thoroughly enjoy ourselves, I’m sure. I also have my tickets to see ‘The Wolverine’ (advance screening at 10pm the night before!) with my little brother, who is turning 15 this year. This is (part) of my birthday present to him, so I hope he enjoys it. We went to go see ‘Thor’ at midnight when it came out a few years ago, so I know he at least appreciates this kind of thing.

Iron Man 3

In terms of a small review, it would probably get an 8.5/10 from me. It was solidly entertaining, and moved the story forward. Some people didn’t like it, because there wasn’t enough ‘Iron Man’, and more ‘Tony Stark’, if that makes sense. What the story drove home, however, was the fact that Tony *is* Iron man, as his words at the end of the first movie say outright. There is no Iron Man without Tony Stark, but Tony Stark can exist without Iron Man. Truthfully, the two co-exist now, and IM is as much a part of Stark’s psyche as anything else, though that doesn’t mean he needs the armour. As a result, we saw far more of Robert Downey Jr. outside the suit than in any other movie, but I think it pushed his character in better ways. Not too much set up for ‘The Avengers 2’, though I expect ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ to do that later this year/early next year.

Star Trek Into Darkness

It was fun too. I really enjoyed the action set pieces and everything that went along, though the scope of the movie was far less grand. The first one was all about literally saving Earth, whereas this one was more on the scope of a manhunt. We meet the Klingons, briefly, and Benedict Cumberbatch is fun as the chief villain. I dunno, there doesn’t seem to be much to say here. It was alright, and it was fun, and that was that. 7/10

Fast and Furious 6

Now this was a *ton* of fun, however. This movie just rocked and rolled all over the place, with things that blew up, and fast cars, and all that nonsense. And, truly, I loved it! Those kinds of movies appeal to me, where you can just turn your brain off and have fun. The Rock was great again, and there were some fun twists along the way. I don’t know that I’d rate it over ‘Fast 5’, but it comes close, that’s for sure. The after-credits scene definitely sets the movie up in a way for the future that I love, mainly because of the actor who appears. Hilariously awesome. I’d go with a 8.5/10.

Man of Steel

It was everything I had hoped a Superman movie would be, and finally, they made good ol’ Kal-El seem relatable. With a superhero who is basically a god, that’s kind of important, I think. We also got an extended look at Krypton, which was fantastic. Seriously, it could have been a scene right out of a Star Wars movie, and it would have been fine. Russell Crowe was great as Jor-El, Superman’s dad, and Kevin Costner/Diane Lane were great as Mr. and Mrs. Kent. Did you know Diane Lane and I share a birthday? The more you know. Anyway, Michael Shannon was a fantastic General Zod, appropriately scary, and even though the movie decision with him at the end happened, I can understand it, despite some people going ‘whaaat?!’. Oh, and of course, Amy Adams was a great Lois Lane. Yeah, I know, not much description of their roles and portrayals, but I’m doing abbreviated reviews. I did like that they showed the damage that Metropolis (modeled after Toronto, for those who did not know that) took in the battle, as a good amount of things were destroyed in the battle with Superman vs. Zod and co. Superhero movies tend to gloss over stuff like that, so I appreciated it, even if the destruction was absolutely massive. Regardless, ‘Man of Steel’ was a fun ride, so I’d say 8/10 as well.

I also have seen both Olympus Has Fallen and A Good Day to Die Hard; the former I saw in theatres when it was out, the latter I saw at home. ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ was awesome; it was action packed, Gerard Butler is awesome (and is a bonafide action movie star. Seriously, he needs more movies like that one again), and it just had gratuitous violence everywhere. I’d seriously give it a 8.5/10, putting it on the same level as IM3 and Fast 6. On the other hand, while I *love* the Diehard movies (first one is the best), this latest iteration sucked. It was terrible. Please don’t waste money seeing it. Not even the famous ‘Yippee Ki-yay’ line could save it. It was probably a 3/10, if not worse.

Anyway, next up in my movie docket were the ones listed above:

This Is The End (in theatres)
Monsters University (in theatres)
World War Z (in theatres)
Despicable Me 2 (in theatres)
Pacific Rim (out this weekend)
Red 2 (July 19th)
The Wolverine (July 26th)
Elysium (August)
The World’s End (August)

Movies! Wooo!

Monday, April 29, 2013

summer 2013 movies!

As everyone knows, I love movies. Here are the ones I'm looking forward to, as the summer movie season starts to take shape:

Oblivion (out already)
GI Joe: Retaliation (out already)
Iron Man 3 (May 3rd)
The Great Gatsby (May 10th)
Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17th)
Fast and Furious 6 (May 24th)
After Earth (May 31st)
This Is The End (June 12th)
Man of Steel (June 14th)
Monsters University (June 21st)
World War Z (June 21st)
Despicable Me 2 (July 3rd)
The Lone Ranger (July 3rd)
Pacific Rim (July 12th)
Red 2 (July 19th)
The Wolverine (July 26th)
Elysium (August 9th)
The World's End (August 23rd)

That is a ridiculous list of movies. I've already gotten my midnight tickets to Iron Man 3, and really, I think the only other movie I'm considering midnight release for is 'Man of Steel', and MAYBE 'The Wolverine'. Everything else can wait, but then again, the wonders of UltraAVX tickets (which essentially take away having to wait in line) lets me pretty much watch it when my schedule permits. Hopefully, come September, I'll be able to say I've seen all of these!

The movie industry really does get a lot of $$ from me :P