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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

My Take on the Oscars 2014

In Awards on March 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

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What. A. Year. and what a great collection of films. In the past, I have commented on films that have won, that I know, and films, that have lost, that I know, which sadly, leaves a few categories out of my critique. However, it would be pointless for me to comment on a film or category that I knew nothing about so, I will continue to offer my opinion in this fashion and if you don’t like it….well I’m sorry.

The Winners!

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

First off, can I comment on the year that Matthew McConaughey is having/will have with “True Detective” of course. It appeared as though he needed to shed those 40 or so pounds to shake off that terrible rom-com type-casting that appeared to be all he could do. Now he’s in it. With such films as “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Killer Joe” McConaughey has found that if you put him in something dark and gritty, he will excel and I wish good fortune upon him because I think he totally deserved this win. Yes, Leonardo could have finally gotten a win, but sadly, this year was just not his and I agree with this. I’ve seen both films but agree whole hearedly with the Academy’s choice.

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Totally deserved this win. Amazing story, beautifully filmed, and incredibly well-acted. There wasn’t even a chance for the other films and I’ve seen nearly all of them. “12 Years a Slave” tells a heart wrenching TRUE story of a freed slave who strives for his own freedom. It is a beautiful devastating film and absolutely deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

If Jennifer Lawrence won for this, I would have given up all faith in the selection criteria for the Academy. Seriously. She deserved this. Every single person in that audience knew it, I knew it, and if you see this film, you’ll know it. Astounding performance by raw actress.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Now I know there was a lot of hope that Barkhad Abdi would take this award, but if you’ve seen “Dallas Buyers Club” you know Leto deserved it. He became his character, auditioning for the role in drag, and totally sold the audience on his struggles as well as his strength. Leto displayed an aspect of his abilities I have never seen before and absolutely deserved this award.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years  A Slave

Without a doubt. Those lines appeared authentic and powerful. They were delivered with charisma that was unmatched by any other contender. Granted, the actors bring that to the screen, but the lines themselves must be powerful. They must move you, bring chills to you. These lines did it, without a doubt.

Best Original Screenplay: Her

I have to say, I’m glad Spike Jonze walked away with something because, given the competition, I didn’t think he would walk away with anything. “Her” was a powerful movie about an interesting and original topic and I believe that this man, who started out with “Jackass” and filming music videos, deserved this win.

Gravity for just about anything that has to do with the technical aspects of filming

Have you seen this film? No? Well you should see it, in IMAX 3-D. You will be trasnported to space and you will be on the edge of your seat. I’m serious. From start to finish this film was a fantastical adrenaline rush that really made you strive with the character. Such a beautiful and frightening film

The Losers:.

Sandra Bullock Best Actress for Gravity

People either love her or hate her and in “Gravity” I loved her and felt that just like, McConaughey, she deserved some recognition for a number of terrible movies she’s done in the past. I also feel that she deserved some credit for the amount of work she put into that film. I would imagine it isn’t easy reacting to debris that isn’t actually there but she did it quite well. That being said, I did not see “Blue Jasmine” but will have to view it to see what the fuss is all about.

Steve McQueen for Best Director for Twelve Years a Slave

Sydney They Call Me Mr. Tibbs Poitier was presenting the award. A man who broke the racial barriers in Hollywood and filmed a fantastic thriller in an area in which racism still prevalent, during a time in which racism was still prevalent. And he could have presented the award to Steve McQueen a man whose movie describes the struggle of a freed slave against the tyranny of the white slave owner. This was the perfect setting and yet, sadly, it didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Gravity” but I believe that the setting was perfect for McQueen to take this award home.

And the Oscar Goes to…….

In Awards on February 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

Last night was the Oscars and unless you live under a rock, have no interest in movies, or are in a loony bin, you would know this. I was pleasantly surprised with the winners, saddened by the losers, and dismayed as to who didn’t get nominated. For goodness sake where was my “Cloud Atlas” nomination? Despite having an amazing makeup team and an amazing score, this film wasn’t nominated for anything. And no Leo or Samuel? What? Why the heck not. Seriously though, when Leo wins an Academy, mark my words he will, I will go nuts. Like footprints on the ceiling nuts.

So I’m going to offer you, my amazing audience, my take on the Academy Awards and who I thought should have won or who most certainly deserved to win. I will only offer my take on movies I have seen or feel very strongly about.

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for “The Silver Linings Playbook”.

Did she deserve this? 100% yes. She was absolutely great in this film. She portrayed a manic individual to a t and God help me I love Sally Field but Jennifer totally deserved this. I seriously hope that she gets some hella great work following this because I am super excited to her career.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Mis

Did she deserve this? Sadly, I cannot say. I didn’t see the movie but from what my girlfriend said, she totally did. And I’m going to agree with her on this. A lot of people don’t like Anne for some reason, no idea why she was an amazing Catwoman, but from what I saw from her singing and acting, I too believe that she deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for D’Jango Unchained

Did he deserve this? Oh hell yes. This man was phenomenal in D’Jango and when he is given a Tarantino script, he can do no wrong. Seriously, he was great in “Inglorious Basterds” and he completely became Schultz for this movie. I don’t have any qualms with who should have won for this one because I completely believe that Waltz deserved this.

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for D’Jango Unchained

Did he deserve this? Absolutely. Without a doubt. My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of watching “Pulp Fiction” this past weekend and I can never get over how wonderful that script is. Tarantino has a thorough understanding for how people talk, how people sound, and what a damn good conversation sounds like. He is able to insert this funny quips while also containing some hellishly dramatic dialogue as well. Congratulations Tarantino, you absolutely deserve this.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Did he deserve this? My man Daniel Day-Lewis deserves every damn award he reserves. Ever scrap of recognition that is thrown his way. Any bit of praise that this man receives, he deserves. He was wonderful in “Lincoln” truly becoming our 16th president. He had the gait down, he had the speeches down, he was good ol’ honest Abe and I truly believe that he deserved this win.

Best Animated Feature: Brave

Did this deserve it? I’m going to say no, however know this I did not see this film. One of the reasons I say no was because many believe that this film won simply for the design of the hair for the main character. Now, if this was a deciding factor, then I would have to say I don’t agree with it because there are other categories where this could have been featured. I was pulling for “Wreck it Ralph” because that was such a great story with an amazing cast set in amazing universe, but sadly this did not get the win. If “Brave” won for its story and its design, then I congratulate it.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Argo

Did he deserve this win? I would go with a slight yes, because I do love Tony Kushner and I though the screenplay he wrote for “Lincoln” was incredible. That being said, I did like the screenplay for Argo but I do feel that it wasn’t a strong screenplay because, currently, it doesn’t stand out in my mind.

Best Director: Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Did he deserve this? Sadly, I did not see the film and I do regret it. I was pulling for “Silver Linings Playbook” as well as “Lincoln” but I’m nice enough to admit defeat. Ang Lee was modest on stage and appeared truly grateful for the award he received. Because of this, I will see “Life of Pi” to see just how good this film was and he deserved this win.

Best Song: Adele for Skyfall

Did she deserve this? Yes. A resounding yes. This song is not only catchy but is possibly one of the best Bond songs I have ever listened to. And her voice. Sweet Jesus her voice is incredible. She completely deserved this win. Congratulations Adele.

Best Picture: Argo

Did this film deserve it? I’m on the fence about this. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this film but I was rooting for “Lincoln” and “D’Jango Unchained” but I will have to hand this one over to Affleck. He was great in this movie and great behind the camera as well, however, I still have a huge problem with the fact that they did not put a Latin actor in front of the camera and tried to Italianize the main character, changed Antonio to Tony. Ben Affleck should have stepped aside and allowed someone closer to Antonio Mendez’s ethnicity to stand in the spotlight. If that happened, I would be absolutely fine with this film winning Best Picture.

A final thought, to all of those people out there commenting on Adele’s weight while she was singing. Grow up or drop it. One or the other. She’s a great singer and by only focusing on her weight you’re destroying only your own credibility. Women and men come in all different shapes and sizes and only little kids in school yards pick on each other because of it. So seriously, grow up.

Also apparently The Onion tweeted calling Quvenzhané Wallis a cunt. Seriously, there is a line to humor. Lines that keep comedians and writers from being offensive. Tweeting something like that to a nine-year old, the youngest nominee in history, is completely offensive. Completely uncalled for. Completely disgusting. Realizing that they did something wrong, The Onion deleted their tweet. Best part about Twitter, is that deleting a tweet doesn’t remove it completely. So way to go Onion. You found that line and you crossed it. Let’s hope you don’t cross it ever again. 

 

My Take on the Golden Globies

In Awards on January 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Last night was the Golden Globes and you would know this unless you lived under a rock, do not have television, or do not care anything for movies or television. Sadly, I was not able to watch all of it, but of what I saw, I have to say that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey did a great job. I think the individuals who call the shots for these ceremonies, should take note, don’t just choose comedians choose comedians who excel in improvisation. Who not only star in shows, but write their own materials. Like I said, I wasn’t able to catch this entire show, but from what I saw, from the highlights, these two were great. So, without further ado I will offer my thoughts on the Golden Globe winners. Note: I will only offer my opinion on those categories that I feel I have enough information to discuss.

Best Picture: Argo

This movie was running against “Life of Pi”, “Django Unchained” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I have seen all of those movies except for “Life of Pi” and I don’t believe that Affleck deserved this win for one glaring reason. He chose to direct this movie and star in it, despite the fact that the main character, Tony Mendez, was Latino. I mentioned this in my review of the movie, pointing out the fact that in the end when a picture of the actual Tony Mendez is revealed, it is shown very rapidly. I loved the movie, loved the story, loved the acting, but I wish Affleck took a step back and allowed a prominent Latino actor to play Tony Mendez. I honestly think Lincoln should have won this.

Best Performance Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”

Sadly, I also haven’t seen any of the other nominees for this category, but unless they were up to par with Daniel Day-Lewis’s Lincoln, then I don’t think they deserve to win. I understand that is a given but still, I thought he was astounding in this film. That being said, I hope that John Hawkes takes home an Oscar or a Golden Globe one of these days, because I think he is an exceptional actor and will try to catch “The Sessions” sometime in the future. I also would like to see “The Master” because I have only hear really polarized reviews regarding this movie.

Best Performance Actress: Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”

I think Chastain totally deserves this win. I thought “Zero Dark Thirty” was an excellent film and I completely believe that she deserves this win. I love Naomi Watts, Helen Mirren, and Marion Cotillard, but I think Chastain deserved the honor more than this other nominees because of what she did within the film and what she represents.

Best Performance Actress Musical/Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”

Yes! I absolutely adore Lawrence, I loved her in “Winter’s Bone” and I loved her as Mystique and I assure you that I will see this movie because I think she is a wonderful actress and think she absolutely deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained”

Absolutely. He made this film what it was and it is such a damn shame that Samuel Jackson  did not receive a nomination. However, I do know that Jackson will win won of these days and when that happens I will most certainly cry with happiness. But, that’s besides the point. Waltz deserved this win. I loved Arkin in “Argo” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln” but they did not hold a candle to the flame that is Waltz.

Best Director: Ben Affleck for “Argo”

Again, I have such a problem with this movie because of Affleck’s choice to star in it. I feel it could have been just as good had he taken a step out and let someone else lead, preferably someone who wasn’t raised in Boston. I think that either Spielberg or Tarantino should have won for this category and if I was tortured and had to choose between those two, I would have to say “Lincoln.” Call me a sheep, a follower, but have you seen this movie? The acting, the script, the everything, came together and made it a movie that I will never forget.

Best Screenplay:  Tarantino for “Django Unchained”

Yep, this totally takes the cake. Tarantino’s scripts are allowing his movies to be untouchable, when it comes to dialogue, and forever quotable. Now I know I was just rallying for “Lincoln” in the last category and I do think that Spielberg should have won for best director, however when putting Tarantino’s script and Spielberg’s script side by side, there is no comparison. Tarantino knew his characters, gave them some great lines, allowing them to become something more.

Best Original Song: Skyfall

Have you heard this song? I mean I am so far from being an Adele fan but sweet Jesus, this song is one hell of a Bond song. It’s a damn good Bond song. It’s a damn great Bond song. Catchy, powerful, and performed so damn well by Adele. I absolutely agree that this song deserved the win.

Best Television Series: Homeland

I’m a little on the fence about this because I am partial to “Boardwalk Empire” and “Breaking Bad” but that being sad I do, slightly, agree that this movie deserved the win. It’s a damn good show and I hope that it keeps getting better. I do hope that “Boardwalk Empire” takes home a Golden Globie one of these days.

Best Television Series Musical/Comedy: Girls

Nope. I have a huge problem with this show. Let me begin by saying that I only watched three episodes of this show and I did not like it. Show me a show that depicts whiny white girls living in the gentrified section of Brooklyn who can’t stop complaining about how awful their life is and I will show you “Sex in the City.” Congrats to Lena Dunham, but this show isn’t funny, interesting, or at all worth watching. It should have been “Modern Family.”

Best Performance Actor in Television: Damian Lewis for “Homeland”

Again, I love this show and again, I really would like Steve Buscemi to get some recognition for his role in “Boardwalk.” But I also think that Damian Lewis is phenomenal in “Homeland” and that, given where season 3 is going, he will only get better. Also, some love to Bryan Cranston wouldn’t hurt either but that’s neither here nor there.

Best Performance Actress in Television: Claire Danes for “Homeland”

If you haven’t watched “Homeland” you probably should, if you haven’t figured that out all ready. I think she deserved this because not only is she a great actress but I have a thing for strong women sticking it to men, which she does a lot in this show. Not the biggest fan of Connie Britton either and I’m also very surprised Glenn Close got nominated for “Damages” because she isn’t very good in that show.

Best Actor in Television Musical/Comedy: Don Cheadle for “House of Lies”

Have you ever seen this show? Well if you haven’t, don’t, and I will save you some time. This show should be titled as “Don Cheadle Talks to the Camera a lot and Has a Lot of Sex as Well.” It isn’t funny, it’s tragic. It doesn’t seem to have a point and I don’t like any of the characters. I wish Louis C.K. took this award home because I absolutely love “Louie” and I think he deserved it.

Best Actress in Television Musical/Comedy: Lena Dunham for “Girls”

Nope. Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler, or Zooey should have taken this. Not Lena Dunham. They deserve it so much more than she does because they write a damn funny show and they star in a hilarious show as well. “Girls” isn’t funny, it’s pointless, and uninteresting. Save yourself the time and the energy, just walk through Brooklyn, or any hipster bar for that matter, and listen to the young women complain about how their daddy is cutting them off. That’s “Girls” for you.

So there’s my take on the Golden Globies. Some winners I agreed with and some I did not. I cannot wait for the Oscars and if you have any points/counterarguments then just comment and let me know what you think!

The Dirtiest Thirty There Is!

In Awards on January 14, 2013 at 1:13 am

First off, props to Jessica Chastain for taking home the Globe for Best Actress for her role in”Zero Dark Thirty.” Such a great movie and she completely deserves it.
“Zero Dark Thirty” tells the story of Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, who works as an agent for the C.I.A. determined to track down Osama bin Laden. Beginning her career working underneath Dan, played by Jason Clarke, as well as Joseph Bradley, played by Kyle Chandler. While serving alongside and underneath the two aforementioned characters, Maya learns the art of torture, the potential benefits of it, this movie does a good job of staying neutral with regards to the torture subject. Maya rises in the ranks meeting with George, played by Mark Strong, who appears to work directly underneath the head of the C.I.A., played by James Gandolfini. Maya struggles to gain the attention of the higher-ups within the C.I.A. and to maintain their focus on catching and killing Osama bin Laden. Despite losing people along the way and attempts on her life, Maya doesn’t back down and works to ensure that those who died on 9/11, did not die in vain.

This was an excellent film. Kathryn Bigelow, bravo, you are officially two for two. Loved “The Hurt Locker” and I do believe that you have quite the career ahead of you. I, personally, would like to see what other facets of American life you can cover, other than something to do with war. However, so far so good. This movie was well scripted, well acted, and surprisingly humorous.

Jessica Chastain, was amazing in this film. I cannot recall if I have seen her in any other film and if I did and if she was in it, she didn’t play a big enough part for me to remember. SO, that being said, this is almost like a breakout role for her, at least to me, and she was incredible in this film. I felt like she really understood her character, what she was striving for, and why she was striving for it. She just portrayed herself so well that I wanted her to succeed so badly.

Jason Clarke also deserves mentioning within this film because he portrayed a C.I.A. interrogator excellently. I like the reality in his character, nobody can do what he did without getting affected by it, and affected by it, he was. I just hate the unrealistic Arnold Schwarzenegger types, sometimes not all the time, and like to see people actually be affected by the body count or what crimes they have committed.

Another honorable mention is that of Justin-DEVGRU, played by Chris Pratt. In this film, he brings a bit of his Andy-isms, the character he portrays in “Parks and Recreation”, to this film. When he first began speaking to Maya, asking her about various parts of the mission, I was shocked to hear such technical words come out of his ridiculous mouth. Pratt’s role in this film did not make this film great, but did make this film a bit funnier.

The role women play within movies needs to be addressed as well because I like where Hollywood is heading. Everyone knows how “Twilight” depicted women as helplessly attractive and I like to think that movies such as “The Hunger Games” “Winter’s Bone”, yes I have a thing for Jennifer Lawrence, are a reaction to that hopeless, helpless, female character. That’s not to say that this strong willed female existed before “Twilight”, she was present in Ripley in “Aliens” and she was also present Clarissa Starling in”Silence of the Lambs.” Strong female characters rock and should be present within more films not only because they rock but because they make for one hell of a good story. The weak female in need of help, is cliche, boring, and has been done way too many times. Show me a woman who instead of screaming for a man’s help during a zombie breakout wields the machete herself and I will show you my future wife. Jessica Chastain was the lead actress within this film, sometimes the only female within the room, and still did a wonderful job. Kathryn Bigelow is an up and coming female director who beat out her ex-husband, Spielberg  by winning the Oscar for “The Hurt Locker.” Both of these women deserve a ton of credit for what they accomplished within “Zero Dark Thirty” and by God, I hope we see more of it.

I also believe that the story in it of itself is worth noting and a great part of this film don’t worry I won’t spoil anything. I love stories in which there appears to be a lot going on behind the scenes, I, I would assume the typical American as well, had no idea anything of this nature was going on. The research, the effort, the tailing, somebody out there was working to ensure that America was not attacked again. This story needed to be told because it showed an America recovered, a stronger America, a smarter America.  This story showed that we got it right, that we can do better, and that we can stop future attacks.

So if you are interested in this story, want to see why Jessica Chastain won her Golden Globe, and like explosions, trust me there are a lot of them, then you will love this film. Beautifully shot, realistic, funny, informative, and down right gripping all of these, this movie is!