89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Thoughts

2017_oscars_posterI didn’t get to watch the whole special because I couldn’t get a feed where I was, but I caught the last half hour which is essentially all you needed to see last night especially the ending. It was that time of the show where it was time to reveal the winner of Best Picture and Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were presenting the award. When Beatty was about to read the winner, he seemed very confused so he would occasionally stop so Faye had to read the card and she announced La La Land as the winner of best picture. So, the whole entire crew came on stage and were giving their speech when it was revealed by the film’s producer Jordan Horowitz and Warren Beatty that there was an epic mistake. Jordan would reveal that the real winner of the award went to Moonlight and he waited on stage so that he could personally give them the award. That right there my friends is a very embarrassing moment for the Oscars and one that almost gets Steve Harvey off the hook for his epic blunder. There were a lot of surprises that night including that one because I thought for sure that La La Land was going to clean house. I knew that Casey Affleck was going to win Best Actor, but I thought that Dev Patel was going to win best supporting.

Out of 14 nominations which tied a record, the film La La Land only took home six total awards which is less than what I predicted (I predicted nine). One of the definite surprises of the night is that now you have to call Suicide Squad a Oscar winning film even though it was for best make up and hairstyling. Out of all the surprises and all the mayhem that ensued, the awards show definitely makes me want to watch Moonlight to see what they saw in the film which took home three golden statues that night. A lot of the films I predicted were second choices and if I had gone with my first choice, I would’ve done a lot better, but I listened to the hype. So, out of 24 possible awards, I only correctly predicted 11 of them which is 46% and that is a failing grade. Here are all the winners from the night:

Best Picture- Moonlight

Best Director- Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor- Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Actress- Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Moonlight

Best Animated Film- Zootopia

Best Foreign Film- The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made In America

Best Documentary Short- The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short- Sing

Best Animated Short- Piper

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars (La La Land)

Best Sound Editing- Arrival

Best Sound Mixing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design- La La Land

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Visual Effects- The Jungle Book

Best Make Up and Hairstyling- Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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

Day 355: The Late Bloomer (2016)

the late bloomer.pngI was looking around for a film to watch today and I wanted to look for a comedy because I was in that kind of a mood. So, when I logged on to my Netflix account I saw that I had an interesting film to watch on my Queue called The Late Bloomer. Peter Newmans (Johnny Simmons) is a successful sex therapist who is preaching that life is about abstinence to better yourself. What Peter doesn’t realize is that he has never in his life gone through puberty. Peter never knew that he had a tumor that has pressed against his pituitary gland and when he is operated on, his life changes completely including the fact that he has feelings for his neighbor and friend Michelle (Brittany Snow). Now what is he going to do about all of this? The film also stars J.K. Simmons (Zootopia) as James Newmans, Maria Bello (Lights Out) as Brenda Newmans, Kumail Nanjiani (Central Intelligence) as Rich, Beck Bennett (Zoolander 2) as Luke, Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) as Charlie, Jane Lynch (Mascots) as Caroline Chambers, Charlotte McKinney (Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser) as Attractive Woman, Blake Cooper (The Maze Runner) as Josh, Diana Lyubenova (Conan The Barbarian) as Marilyn, and the film was directed by Kevin Pollak (Vamped Out).

roxanna-dunlopI honestly went into this film with an open mind because I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but when I realized the people that starred in this film I was a little more intrigued. The film has some great actors like J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello and it was directed by the awesome Kevin Pollak who is a great actor himself who was directing his first feature length film with this one. So one argument for the film that I saw online was that it was kind of like The 40 Year Old Virgin, but with a guy who isn’t really socially awkward like Steve Carell was and I beg to differ a little bit. While I loved The 40 Year Old Virgin, I definitely really enjoyed this one because it took the idea and it ran with it in a totally different direction. The funny connection between the two really is the fact that Jane Lynch starred in both films. This one has it’s raunchy moments and friends like the other one, but in a different way. Kumail Nanjiani was given the green light to be as nasty as he wanted to be and he succeeded because he and Beck Bennett made a great combo in this film like Rudd and Rogen. Alright, so I can’t really come up with too many differences because there is a crap ton of similarities in the structure of the story. You can’t knock the formula cause it worked and there were some real funny moments in this one. You also get treated to some T&A in the film which is definitely a plus. I am going to give the film a B+ only because it’s not completely original and not as completely funny as The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Day 351: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6There are reasons I decided to do this challenge and it was to see epic films and there was an ultimate goal that I wanted to achieve besides hitting number 366. That goal was to be at this very point where I am reviewing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for today’s film. The film takes place some twenty somewhat odd years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III. The Imperial Empire has taken over the galaxy with Emperor Palpatine firm in control. The Rebel Alliance with their backs against the wall discover that an Imperial pilot has defected from the empire with information on a weapon that the empire is creating from the lead engineer himself in Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). After learning this herself, Galen’s daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) will risk it all along with a group of rebels to retrieve the info to help the Rebel Alliance. The film also stars Diego Luna (Milk) as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as K-2SO, Donnie Yen (IP Man) as Chirrut Îmwe, Wen Jiang (Chinese Zodiac) as Baze Malbus, Ben Mendelsohn (Australia) as Orson Krennic, Forest Whitaker (Arrival) as Saw Gerrera, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) as Bodhi Rook, Genevieve O’Reilly (Glitch) as Mon Mothma, James Earl Jones (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Darth Vader, and the film was directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). 

gallery-1460037786-rogue-one-star-wars-villain-is-this-darth-vaderSpoiler Alert: There is going to be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away some details or all the details in the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First off, I am going to star this by saying that I really and truly enjoyed the film from beginning to end. I thought it was a great stand alone film that was made to explain some details leading up to episode IV that many of you may have wondered about. Now was it better than Star Wars: A Force Awakens? While it may be a valid question, I find it a little unfair because they are two different films. I loved a lot of the individual performances in this film from people like Donnie Yen who was funny and awesome all at once. Felicity Jones was terrific in the film as Jyn and while Diego Luna may not be Han Solo, he was still very cool as well. This film had Darth Vader and even though his appearance was brief, it gives this an edge over F.A. I have to admit that his entrance was pretty bad ass. This film may have had too many quick hard cuts during a lot of the scenes which would be my only criticism. The story was great and the acting was great and it injected humor right in the perfect spots. The battle scenes were pretty amazing as well and it reminded you why you loved Star Wars. I did think it was very awesome to see the late Peter Cushing in the film once again even though he is not listed because it was a CGI version of him. Wait till you get to the end for the surprise visit that comes then. I think there is very little to criticize about the film, but I’m sure others will find the flaws. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 333: Hearts In Atlantis (2001)

heartsThe film I chose for today wasn’t even a film that I was planning on viewing for today. You see the thing is how can I say no first of all to a film that was based on a Stephen King novel and how could I say no second of all to a film that stars Anton Yelchin (Green Room). The film Hearts In Atlantis follows middle aged Bobby Garfield (David Morse) who attends a friends funeral and starts to recollect his past and one particular year when he was 11 years old (played by Yelchin). Bobby lives with his single mother Liz (Hope Davis) who is hopeless and clueless to what really matters in her life. That all begins to change one day when a mysterious man named Ted (Anthony Hopkins) shows up on their door step as he begins to change their lives to show them what really matters in life. The only problem is that Ted is in trouble and he entrusts Bobby for help against the Low Men. The film also stars Mika Boorem (Blue Crush) as Carol Gerber, Alan Tudyk (Zootopia) as Monte Man, Adam LeFevre (Hitch) as Don Biderman, Will Rothhaar (Kingpin) as John Sullivan, Timothy Reifsnyder (Wide Awake) as Harry Doolin, Celia Watson (Observe And Report) as Alana Files, and the film was directed by Scott Hicks (The Lucky One).

heartsinatlantisfilmThe funny thing about this films is who knew that six years later that Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin would play mother and son again in Charlie Bartlett? She’s not a completely hopeless mother in this film because she’s functional, but she is clueless just like she is in the other film. This film features a young Anton Yelchin and he was just as brilliant then as he was right before he passed away. He was masterful as that young child that is full of hope towards the future that the brilliant Anthony Hopkins character can see it. That is why he gives Bobby the gift of being able to see a bright future. While there is plenty of drama in the film, the mystery part is the most interesting part of the film in my opinion. You see Hopkin’s character is on the run from something and we begin to find out what and who as he let’s Bobby in on it slowly. The premise of it is different and interesting and you wonder if the Government really did try enlisting psychics to find communist spies? I loved the story of the film and I love how the film was set in the 1950’s with the outfits, cars, etc. The 50’s is one of my favorite decades besides the 1980’s because it looked like a simpler time so you know I loved the sets and props in the film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because I truly enjoyed it.

Day 306: Mascots (2016)

mascotsAfter 31 one straight days of Horror films, I am definitely ready to catch up and watch some movies that I have missed out on. Netflix has been producing some great comedies as of late and there was one that I just couldn’t wait to see and that is the mockumentary film Mascots which comes from the mind of Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap). Every year, there is a competition that looks at the unsung heroes of baseball games, football games, and various other sports in the Mascots. This mockumentary explores that world as it follows various mascots like Mike and Mindy Murray (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett), Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey), Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello (Chris O’Dowd), and Phil Mayhew (Christopher Moynihan) as they all fight for the award called the Golden Fluffy. The film also stars Kerry Godliman (Derek) as Sarah Golly, John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) as Upton French, Jim Piddock (Best In Show) as Owen Golly Sr., Susan Yeagley (The Lucky Ones) as Laci Babineaux, Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters) as A.J. Blumquist, Jane Lynch (Glee) as Gabby Monkhouse, Don Lake (Zootopia) as Buddy Campbell, Fred Willard (WALL·E) as Greg Gammons, Jr, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) as Jolene Lumpkin, Bob Balaban (Ghost World) as Sol Lumpkin, and Michael Hitchcock (Glee) as Langston Aubrey. 

mascotsI really loved this film because it’s everything you loved about mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap and it also helps that it was made by one of the stars of that film. He even makes a special appearance in the film as a guy named Corky and his chemistry with Parker Posey was incredible and hilarious. It also helped that the film featured so many funny people in one film that it was almost overload. This was a well written film with so many great subplots that helped drive the film forward as well as the main plot. One of my favorite parts of the film is when they finally get to the competition and you see all of the performances from the main guys and the hilarious reactions from the judges in the film. My favorite performance (if I was a judge) would go to the The Fist which was played by Chris O’Dowd probably because of the fact that he added an element of metal to his show. The other thing that I liked about the film is that they show you where all of the mascots are one year later. It definitely adds closure to some of the drama in the subplots that were presented to us. There was definitely some cliche comedy vices thrown in the film, but sometimes that is what makes them great. You have to give credit where credit is due to Netflix because they have produced some great stuff so far. If you have it, definitely give this film a shot if you haven’t already. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because it’s enjoyable to watch.

Day 191: The Secret Life Of Pets (2016)

the-secret-life-of-pets-56378a2078351The film I chose for today is one of the most highly anticipated animated films of the summer and I have been waiting for The Secret Life Of Pets since I first saw the trailer. Have you ever wondered what your pets do when no one is around? Do they just sit there and wait for you for are they are up to something when you’re not around? For Max (Louis C.K.) his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) is his whole entire life and he is content waiting for her to come home every night. Well one night Katie brings hoe an unexpected guess in the form of a big shaggy rescue dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The battle that ensues between the both of them causes them to be lost in the city with a frighteningly psycho bunny (Kevin Hart) after them while it’s up to their friends to come to the rescue. The film also stars Jenny Slate (Zootopia) as Gidget, Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo) as Tiberius, Lake Bell (Children’s Hospital) as Chloe, Dana Carvey (Wayne’s World) as Pops, Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home) as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan (Sisters) as Mel, Michael Beattie (Minions) as Tattoo, and the film was directed by Yarrow Cheney (The Iron Giant) and Chris Renaud (Despicable Me 2).

secret lifeI don’t know what anyone else in the world is saying about The Secret Life Of Pets, but I am here to tell you that it may have dethroned Zootopia as my favorite animated film of the year. I still have to see Finding Dory to fully make the call as to what my favorite animated film is, but this movie rocks. The thing that was great about this film is that for the most part the animals act exactly like how their breed or kind would. This was a film that I couldn’t stop laughing from seeing a cat act like a typical cat to the jokes that were delivered with precision. There are some scenes in the film that can be depressing and you’ll see for yourself, but for the most part the film is fun. One of the scenes I was looking forward to the most was the scene with the poodle and his love for System Of A Down. The only thing I can say is that the scene kind of comes and goes pretty quick. So be prepared for it, but it’s also not his only scene. One of the real highlights of the film for me was when Pops (voiced by Dana Carvey) shows up cause his sense of humor is very morbid which is sometimes typical of the elderly. “Hey Pops, How are You.” says one of the characters to which Pops replies, “I’m Paralyzed.” That’s how morbid he can get. The film is a lot of fun to watch and I had a lot of laughs. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it rocks. Check it out in theaters every where now.