Alex’s Oscar Predictions: 2013

23 Feb

Academy AwardFor the past five months, the awards race has been in play. Now it all comes to an end. This Sunday night, the 85th Academy of Motion Pictures Awards, a.k.a. the Oscars, will wrap-up one of the most surprising and enjoyable years of film to date.

While a front-runner consensus has yet to be agreed upon in many categories, something uncharacteristic this close to awards night, the debates fervently rage on. Predictions change with each new development in the race and opinions rarely have held true for more than a few days at a time.

Below are the races that most people care about when they watch the Oscars: Continue reading

Year in Review: Ups and Downs of the Oscar Nominations

14 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012When I got up to watch the nominations for this year’s 85th Academy Awards (the Oscars), two things really shook me from my early morning stupor:

1. Seth MacFarlane is going to be a hilarious Oscar host (he announced the nominations).

2. In this amazing year in film, there were quite a few number of surprises in what many people considered to be “locks.”

Below are my particularly stronger positive and negative reactions to the nominations. Below that is the full list of nominated films. Form your own opinions and get your predictions ready for the ceremony on Sunday, February 24th!
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Year in Review: Best Original Screenplays of 2012

6 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012More screenplays! I realize that these are probably the least interesting of the Year in Review articles for my casual readers, but to those a bit more dedicated to the film world, these two pieces may give you a chance to enjoy such an underappreciated aspect of filmmaking.

The original screenplay category celebrates imagination and discipline. Continue reading

Year in Review: Best Adapted Screenplays of 2012

6 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012Finally, we get into the more “legitimate” awards area with the best adapted screenplays. This category recognizes screenwriters who have crafted a script written exclusively for a film, but is based on a different source material, such as a novel, theatrical production or TV show. This is the hardest category for me to critique since I have no screenwriting experience and have not read the scripts for the films (which can usually be found online once a movie is out). However, I have seen each film and have kept in mind some of the basics of a strong screenplay when critically evaluating them. Contrary to common understanding, a screenplay is much more than dialogue. Continue reading

Year in Review: Best Villains of 2012

6 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012This is the other category that the higher-ups in Hollywood don’t really pay much mind to. However, the villain is such an integral part of any action movie that it almost seems a sin to not acknowledge their importance in the films of 2012. Especially in this age of cable television filled with morally ambiguous anti-heroes (Walter White, Dexter Morgan, Don Draper), I found myself craving a pure-blooded villain with only hate and destruction in his (or her) heart. Thankfully we got some good ones this year!
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Year in Review: Best Bromances of 2012

6 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012Lets start off the end-of-year movie madness with the lightest and most fun category: Best Bromances. While the Academy of Motion Pictures and virtually every other established film criticism group or professional guild does not acknowledge this culturally popular category, I have chosen to embrace the brotherly love between the male characters in our mostly patriarchal on-screen society. It is always nice to see two males cut the macho bull crap and work/live together in codependency. Now lets see what dynamic duos captured our hearts and brought the laughs this past year. Continue reading

Review: 2 Days in New York

22 Dec

Poster for 2 Days in New YorkTwo films this year have left me physically tired after the credits started rolling. Director and star Ben Affleck’s Argo was a fast-paced, edge of your seat political thriller that didn’t let you go until you were safely out of Iran; and, writer-director-star Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in New York thrusts you into a quick-cutting weekend of French-American culture clash in New York City. At the end of Argo, the rush of the film propelled Affleck to the top of my Oscar prediction chart for Best Director. At the end of 2 Days, the frantic 48 hours left me visibly uncomfortable and thankful that I just caught it on Netflix.
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Upcoming Release Dates: The Films of 2013

21 Dec

What started out as, “Top 10 Movies Yet to Come in 2013” turned into, “I Love Movies and I Want to See Them All in 2013”-type fiasco. I gathered a list of 44 movies that I was excited for next year and then couldn’t figure out how to properly organize them for your reading pleasure. Should I rank them by which one’s I’m most excited for? But isn’t 44 a weird number? How many should I cut the list down to? Why is this so hard?

In the end, I figured that I shouldn’t eliminate movies that I may not want to see that badly when the readers may want to. So we are back at 44 and the list is divided up by month with the release date next to every title. The list mostly contains bigger-budget movies since smaller movies tend to pop up when you’re least expecting to hear about them. Also, the number of entries starts to thin out when you get past August. The fall and winter movies are still far away so there is a good chance release dates will shift and other titles will get added. But for now, there is still a wide range of movies listed below and I know that you will find at least one that tickles your fancy.

I bolded the 10 films that I am most excited for just in case the list turns out to be a monotonous drone of titles you have never heard of before in your life. Hopefully my opinion will help you get excited for the wonder and excitement of going to the movies! Check the list after the jump.

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A Week in Science-Fiction Trailers (December 6-12)

12 Dec

Wow! What an overwhelming week this has been for film buffs, trailer whores, and Science-Fiction nerds around the world. This lucky critic falls into all three categories, so I found myself spending more time than usual looking at a computer screen these past 6 days. Here is a little recap for those who aren’t quite as informed:

Pacific Rim

December 6th – First teaser trailer for the sequel that is going to be totally out of this world… Star Trek: Into Darkness

December 8th – First trailer for the graphic novel adaption starring Tom Cruise… Oblivion

December 10th – First trailer for the father/son post-apocalyptic adventure starring Will and Jaden Smith… After Earth

December 11th – First full trailer (not a teaser) for the newest Christopher Nolan/Zack Snyder collaboration… Man of Steel

December 12th – First trailer for Guillermo del Torro’s first film in 5 years… Pacific Rim

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The Term “Oscar Worthy” and a Review of Spielberg’s Lincoln

18 Nov

Official poster for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln

The telling of a true story is always a gamble with an audience, particularly if that true story is about one of our nation’s most beloved Presidents. Most biographies or interpretations or retellings of a lesser-known subject lead their films with, “Based on a true story.” When a true story is being told and on that rare occasion it doesn’t have to include said lead, then you know the stakes of your gamble are higher than ever.

Steven Spielberg’s 28th picture bares no such lead-in to his film, opting instead for a bold word accompanied by a resounding bass note: Lincoln. Continue reading