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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Spielberg’

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!

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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!

Lincoln Lives!

In Movies on November 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Sadly, he doesn’t survive in “Lincoln” but sweet Jesus does Daniel Day-Lewis do a good job bringing this historical figure to life. My God, this actor is amazing and I quote and agree with Stephen Colbert when he said, “Shouldn’t they just be making Oscars in the shape of Daniel Day-Lewis’s face?”. I haven’t heard Lincoln speak, but now I simply imagine Day-Lewis’s softly spoken Illinois accent as Lincoln. Needless to say I loved this movie, but note this, this movie is not for everyone. It is a legislative passing dialogue driven drama, thus making it powerful but very slow-moving so if you are not interested in this aspect of Lincoln, then go watch him as a vampire hunter.

Stephen Spielberg directs this film starring Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, David Straithairn as William Seward, Joseph Gorden-Levitt as Robert Lincoln, James Spader as W.N. Bilbo, Hal Holbrook as Preston Blair, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, John Hawkes as Robert Latham, Jackie Earle Haley as Alexander Stephens, Time Blake Nelson as Richard Schell, Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant, and so many other actors. I cannot stress that enough, this film is filled with familiar faces who all come together to make this wonderful film. “Lincoln” tells the story of Lincoln who is trying to pass the 13th amendment, which outlaws slavery, while simultaneously ending the Civil War. Not such an easy task, the effects of which Day-Lewis shows quite well. Lincoln enlists the help of Seward to effectively buy the vote by promising individuals within the House of Representatives who vote for this amendment a government job that they wish. Lincoln also works with Preston Blair to begin peace negotiations with the South while keeping the Southern representatives at bay because he knows that they will oppose the amendment, thus effectively destroying the amendment. Lincoln juggles and confronts all of these opposing voices within his cabinet and within various meetings he holds, determined to end the Civil War and pass the 13th amendment, two tasks that Seward believes cannot be completed together. Oscar worthy, this film is. Best Screenplay for sure and Best Supporting for David Straithairn and Tommy Lee Jones. The conversations that occur between all of these characters are realistic, especially the candor established between Sally Field and Day-Lewis. Their scenes were especially powerful. If you like Daniel Day-Lewis or any of the other actors mentioned, then take a look at this film. If you wish to see Lincoln in the flesh, then see this movie, because sweet Jesus, he is alive and well and on the big screen.

Onto the nitty-gritty spoiler filled review!

So one of the problems that my girlfriend had with this film, was the continuation of the film following the passing of the amendment, depicting Lincoln’s death without actually showing it. This is an interesting choice because it would make sense to show the death of Lincoln and continue the film, but Spielberg didn’t do that. Rather, he showed Lincoln’s youngest reacting to the news. I believe that Spielberg took the high road in this aspect, he wanted to show the movie up until Lincoln died, but didn’t want to show Lincoln getting shot. I think this may be because he didn’t want Lincoln to be remembered as the President that got assassinated, rather, as the President that outlawed slavery. That was the whole purpose of the film, but the ending is worth noting because it is unique. Showing his death without really showing his death.

I thought Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones were both amazing in this film. Sally Field depicting a distraught woman coming to terms with the death of her son, trying to support her husband and her family without allowing herself to feel any form of happiness. She was incredible in this film, giving the audience a different view of Mary Todd Lincoln, and even commenting on the view that many viewers hold of her. I thought she portrayed this strained depressed woman, extremely well. Tommy Lee Jones, gah! His script alone was phenomenal in this film and his struggle with his beliefs regarding slavery and the passage of the amendment were beautifully portrayed. He had to stifle his own beliefs in order to ensure the passage of the bill and the difficulty that he felt doing this was shown quite well.

Seeing Lincoln as a father was another great aspect about this film. Not only was he juggling the Civil War and the 13th amendment, but Robert wanted to fight in the war and his youngest didn’t have his mother to look after him. Fatherly Lincoln was a side I have never seen, nor heard of, and I loved it. He wanted to protect his son from the atrocities of war while also allowing him to be a man. It was great to see this side of him.

Another aspect I liked about this film, was the fact that they didn’t gloss over the illegalities of what Lincoln was doing, because what he was doing was illegal. He was using his executive powers to influence the legislative branch, which is sooo not something you’re supposed to do.  But Spielberg didn’t gloss over this, it is made very clear to the viewer that this is not something that the President should be doing. But the question is, does the end justify the means? He was doing this to ensure the end of slavery and hindsight, being awesome, the viewer knows that this was the right thing to do, but at that point, Lincoln and his staff didn’t. This uncomfortable-ness was displayed and voiced by Seward and other members of his staff and the movie benefited from this.

The one aspect of this film that I had a problem with, was Lincoln’s reason for supporting the 13th amendment. This was discussed only vaguely. I know that slavery is morally wrong but to think like that in that day and age was unique and sometimes dangerous. Thaddeus believed it was wrong because it was wrong AND because he was in love with his house keeper. The reason for Lincoln’s support of the amendment isn’t discussed in detail and I wish it was.

All in all, great movie. Slow but powerful and extremely well written. Watch it and let me know what you think