89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Predictions

2017_oscars_posterTonight is the 89TH Academy Awards a.k.a. the Oscars and the buzz around the land is with the musical La La Land which has garnered the most nominations with 14 overall. The question going into the night is whether that film really deserves all the nods and if it deserves any wins. One film in my opinion that deserves a win is the film Lion which was directed by Garth Davis and stars Dev Patel in this heart wrenching story of a 5 year old boy from India who is separated from his family only to be adopted by an Australian family and when he becomes a man he searches for his original family. It was such an amazing story and film that truly tugs on the heartstrings. Then there are films like Fences which was directed and stars Denzel Washington, the suspenseful Sci-Fi film Arrival, an amazing tale of a man who goes to war without a gun in the Mel Gibson directed Hacksaw Ridge, to other deserving films like Manchester By The Sea, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Hell Or High Water. What I do know is that the films I listed last without description will not win while Mel Gibson will be snubbed due to his past and I just can’t see Arrival winning. So, the award will come down to Lion, La La Land, and Fences.

download-1I do think that Casey Affleck has a big chance to win best Actor in a Leading Role and his only competition in my mind will come from Denzel Washington (Fences). I am not taking anything away from Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), or Ryan Gosling (La La Land), but they don’t stand a chance. Meryl Streep will be looking for her third Oscar win a she is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, but she has tough competition from in my opinion Emma Stone (La La Land), and Natalie Portman (Jackie). If I had never seen Lion, I would have given the Best Supporting Actor award to either Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) or Jeff Bridges (Hell Or High Water), but Dev Patel (Lion) could be a shoe in, but don’t count out Mahershala Ali (Moonight) either. One of the only categories I am completely unsure of is the Best Supporting Actress award which sees Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea), Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) all up for the award and each one is just as deserving as the next one. Out of all the Best Animated features, the only one I have seen is Zootopia, but somehow I think that Moana could be the serious contender.

I just feel that the rest of the awards are going to get cleaned up by La La Land like best director, cinematography, costume, film editing, music (Original Score and Original Song), Sound editing and Mixing, etc. The only problem with the awards is that I haven’t seen any of the foreign films, documentaries, and shorts. I feel I can’t really form an opinion about them, but I’ll try my best when it comes to predictions. One film that I feel deserves to win an Oscar is Doctor Strange for best visual effects because it had some amazing effects, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could prove to be a worthy adversary. Here are the rest of my predictions for the show:

Best Picture- La La Land

Best Director- Damien Chazelle- La La Land

Best Actor- Casey Affleck

Best Actress- Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor- Dev Patel

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Lion

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars- La La Land

Best Animated Feature- Moana

Best Production Design: La La Land

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Sound Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing- La La Land

Best Visual Effects- Doctor Strange

Best Foreign Film- Toni Erdmann

Best Make-up and Hairstyling- Star Trek Beyond

Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Best Live-Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs

Best Animated Short: Piper

Best Documentary Short: Extremis

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Day 336: Hell Or High Water (2016)

hell-or-high-water-uk-quad-posterThe film I chose for today is one of those films that I just couldn’t miss out on seeing because of how much buzz it has garnered. The name of the film that I chose for today is Hell Or High Water and it stars Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor). Things haven’t always been easy for Toby Howard (Pine) whose family ranch is about to be foreclosed on by Midland Bank. Along with his brother Tanner (Foster), they decide to go and rob every branch of the bank to try and raise the money to save the ranch. The only problem is that they acquire the attention of a relentless Texas Ranger named Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) who is close to retiring, but needs this one last hunt. The film also stars Katy Mixon (Eastbound & Bound) as Jenny Ann, Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3) as Elsie, Gil Birmingham (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1) as Alberto Parker, Amber Midthunder (Priceless) as Vernon Teller, Buck Taylor (Gunsmoke) as Old Man, Marin Ireland (Homeland) as Debbie Howard, Kevin Rankin (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Billy Rayburn, Heidi Sulzman (Laurel Canyon) as Ranger Margaret, and the film was directed by David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense).

29906170001_5076167031001_5076082434001-vsAs soon as I read that the film was written by the same guy who wrote Sicario (Taylor Sheridan) I can instantly see the similarities in styles and the overall tone of the film. The film is just absolutely tense from beginning to end and it is definitely one heck of a thrill ride. You don’t even have to question the acting in the film because Bridges, Pine, and Foster were just absolutely amazing. I loved how Bridges character is one of those old school Texans who is just an absolute ball buster to his partner. Pine and Foster are a great combination together in the film and they play their roles perfectly. Pine is the quiet, reserved, do right by someone kind of a guy while Foster is definitely the reckless wild man. The writing is so good in this film that they create tension through the dialogue which is not an easy task as we’ve seen in a lot of films in the past. They also capture two sides of a coin where there are some people that can sympathize with them robbing the banks and those gun toting Texans who want to capture them. One of the other elements of the film that I loved is the cinematography. I’ve been to Texas and there’s a lot of land that could look desolate and desperate to which they do a great job capturing those feelings as you watch the film. There is a reason why this film has a plus 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and high 80’s/90’s on other sites. It’s just that damn good and a must see for any real cinema fan. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 114: The Giver (2014)

maxresdefault (4)I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get to read a lot of books with everything I have going on, but that is when I thank God when a book gets turned into a film. That is the case with today’s film The Giver which is based off of the book of the same name and released in 2014. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a world that seems a little too perfect where there is no war, no pain, no suffering, and everything is pre-destined for you. That is right, when you turn a certain age, a job is selected for you. That all seems grand for everyone until Jonas is chosen to be the receiver of memories and to be taught by the giver (Jeff Bridges). The Giver opens up Jonas’s mind to things he had never seen in his life or imagined were possible and so Jonas wants to change the world he lives in, but he’ll face opposition from the elders. The film also stars Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) as Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgård (Generation Kill) as Father, Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Mother, Odeya Rush (Goosebumps) as Fiona, Cameron Monaghan (Click) as Asher, Taylor Swift as Rosemary, and the film was directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt). 

the-giver-lois-lowry-interviewThe concept of the film should seem rather familiar to a lot of you book worms out there especially if you are a fan of the Maze Runner or Divergent series. A dystopian society that hides the ugliness of what happened in the past world. A life that is pre-determined for you right from birth, that should sound familiar to Divergent fans. These types of things happen all the time as it’s just in movies or music, but books do it too. An idea comes out that was really captivating and years later people expand on it and create their own universes. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that they released this film to try and capitalize on the popularity of those films too, but I am glad this is a one and done (or at least I think it is). Now I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy the film because I actually was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I thought everything about it was actually very good and I am talking from the set, the acting, and the score were all amazing. The cinematography was well done and the different sets were terrific. I also liked the insert of the memories which included real life events as well as other things. The soundtrack is what stood out to me the most because it matched the typical mood and emotion of the film. I love how the film is mostly in black and white until Jonas starts to see color while others cannot. I thought that was very cool and it added emphasis to the change he was going through. If you were a fan of the book or you enjoy films like this, then check it out. For a final grade, it was hard to decide, but I am putting it on the B+/A- line.

Day 78: The Big Lebowski (1998)

4This could possibly be the third Coen Brothers film that I have decided to review for the blog, but this is definitely one film I have wanted to see. The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges (Starman) as Jeff Lebowski better known by his friends as The Dude. Unfortunately for him, he is always mistaken for a millionaire (David Huddleston) who shares the same name as him and apparently this millionaire’s wife (Tara Reid) owes some people a lot of money. After his rug us pissed on and such, he is hired by the other Lebowski to deliver money to the people who kidnapped his wife and that is when things get complicated. With the help of his insane Vietnam Vet friend Walter (John Goodman)and his quiet fragile friend Donny (Steve Buscemi), they will try their best to get her back in one piece and hopefully his rug as well. The film also stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as Maude Lebowski, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball) as Brandt, Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street) as Nihilist #1, Flea as Nihilist #2, Torsten Voges (The Lords Of Salem) as Nihilist #3, John Turturro (Quiz Show) as Jesus Quintana, Dom Irrera (Barnyard) as Tony the Chauffeur, Sam Elliot (The Good Dinosaur) as The Stranger, and the film was directed by Joel Coen.

2-the-dudeThe film was actually better than what I expected even though it can kind of go all over the place. This is definitely an iconic performance from Jeff Bridges, but it was also one heck of a performance from John Goodman. He plays your typical paranoid, everyone is against us, war veteran with conspiracy theories, but he does it well. He was definitely the highlight for me when I was watching the film because it was hilarious to see him fly off the rails on the drop of a dime.The other thing I loved about this film was the various dream sequences that the dude would have if he was knocked out like being inside of the bowling ball as it goes down the lane and even the music sequence piece to Kenny Rogers was cool. The film also has some iconic lines in it so you know the screenwriting was done right. The film has that typical Coen Brothers feel to it where things and events can change at the drop of a dime or they can go in places you never expected. The soundtrack to the film is also a strong point for the film as they decided to go the classic way of choosing artists like Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Monks, Santana, and so many more. One thing I was surprised about as well was the fact that Steve Buscemi’s character was so minor in the film whereas he had a bigger role in Fargo and Julianne Moore’s character was so weird in this film, but I liked it. Nevertheless, it was a great film worth checking out if you hadn’t before. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.