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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Ex Machina

MV5BMTUxNzc0OTIxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDI3NzU2NDE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I. (IMDb)

Nominations: Visual Effects (Winner!) and Original Screenplay

So, I’ll be honest, this was a slow starter for me. It took some time for this to really start to take off, and when it did, it was a tad predictable. (The whole “don’t trust anyone” type of twist) But, as the movie went on, it lost its predictability, and I found myself getting more and more sucked into this world throughout all of its twists, turns, lies, and deceit. This is essentially a three hander with Domhnall Gleeson (in his third Oscar nominated movie this year, two of which were winners), Oscar Isaac (appearing in two Oscar nominated movies himself), and Alicia Vikander (who not only was in two winners, she took home a trophy personally.) So, completely safe bet to say that the acting in this is on point. Vikander always made you wonder if she was more than an AI, while subtly reminding you that she was, mostly through physical work. The scenes between Gleeson and Isaac are fascinating, verbal sparring matches between two highly intelligent people. Then, the visual effects, which it took home the Oscar for, is highly deserved. We’ve seen many AIs in movies before, but this was a whole new level. It’s the next step in the AI technology that we haven’t seen yet, and they showed it to us. Completely seamless too. Overall, it took me about a half hour to get into this, but once I was sucked in, it wouldn’t let me go.

7.5/10

Side Note: This is my last Oscar post of this year! Sad day, I know. There’s a lot more nominees that I want to see, but I’ll just have to get to them throughout the course of the year. Can’t wait!

 

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Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Joy

MV5BMzc2MTI5Mzk0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIxMDg1NjE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty. (IMDb)

Nomination: Best Leading Actress (Jennifer Lawrence)

So, this was one that I heard mixed things about. I also did not love American Hustle, David O. Russell’s last effort. But, I actually quite enjoyed this one. It’s quirky, to say the least, but so are the characters that inhabit the world. Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful, I actually think this may be some of her best work yet. It was very straightforward and blunt, without being a caricature. The cast around her is also very good. The movie itself is so interesting because it pretends to be realism, but it’s not really. It’s got this really interesting vibe to it, almost inexplainable, but not realism. But yeah, overall, this is nothing mind blowing, but I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

6/10

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Creed

MV5BODg5NDM1MDI4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzg0MzQxNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed. (IMDb)

Nomination: Supporting Actor (Sylvester Stallone)

So, to be honest, I don’t really like boxing movies. I find them formulaic and simple. I’ve never even seen a Rocky movie all the way through. Nothing against the genre, just not my thing. But I’ve been hearing for awhile how good it was. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised with how invested I was. Yeah, this may be a boxing movie, but I think this movie is way more about family. Boxing is just the frame work that it takes place in. Stallone is awesome in this, another thing I was pleasantly surprised about. Michael B. Jordan was also really impressive, I do wish they had given him a tad more to do dialogue wise. I feel like “come on” and “that’s what’s up” made up half of his dialogue. But when he did get something important to say, it resonated. Director Ryan Coogler was robbed. He completely deserved an Oscar nomination for this. The first big boxing match is done one shot. How amazing is that? Completely snubbed. The Academy screwed up on that one. There were some minor plot points that I didn’t quite get because they were obviously about past movies. But overall, this is one worth seeing.

7.5/10

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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45 Years

MV5BMTgxMTQ4NzMyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA0MTgyNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receive shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives. (IMDb)

Nomination: Leading Actress (Charlotte Rampling)

I’m going to be 100% honest here. I could not get into this movie to save my life. I was zoned out for most of it. And it’s only an hour and a half long. The premise is actually quite interesting. A perfectly fine and happy life getting disrupted by thoughts of what could have been. Charlotte Rampling does do a very nice job, I could see her struggle through everything she was finding out. But I could not stand Tom Courtenay’s character. Which is a surprise, because I normally really like him in whatever I see with him in it. But I found his character obnoxious. While there were some very poignant moments, overall this just could not keep my attention.

5/10

 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Oscar Wrap Up 2016

So, for the second year in a row, I was doing a theatre thing during the Oscars. This time, it was a meeting for a show I’m helping to develop. But, it was all my friends so I was just refreshing my computer screen periodically haha.

Anyway, there were some legitimate surprises this year. What wasn’t a surprise was Chris Rock’s scathing opening monologue. I personally thought it was great. It almost went a little too far, but he managed to reel it in.  I saw some FB posts during the show with a bunch of people (read “white people I went to high school with”) complaining about how this year was all about race. Well. Did it make you uncomfortable? Good. It should have.

Now. To the actual awards themselves. I did manage to finish all of the Best Picture and Best Acting nominees. (I just haven’t posted the reviews for 45 Years, Creed, or Joy yet). And I’m going to make it a point to watch Ex Machina sometime this week, given it’s little sneak in award for Visual Effects.

So, I thought the supporting actor wins were surprising. Pleasantly surprising, but still. I thought Rooney Mara was going to take it for Carol, but Alicia Vikander was lovely in The Danish Girl (her and Eddie Redmayne are kind of the only reasons to watch it.) The best supporting actor was truly up in the air for me, I just expected it to go to a more household name. But, Mark Rylance is brilliant, so I’m not actually complaining.

I called the Leading Actor ones. I was still really happy they won, but when I saw that I was like “duh” of course they did. Brie Larson was incredible in Room, and DiCaprio finally gets his little golden statue.

There were murmurings of Anomalisa sneaking the Best Animated out from under Inside Out’s feet. I’ll admit, I haven’t see Anomalisa yet. But Inside Out is incredible. So, I was insanely happy when it won.

As I was refreshing my page, I saw that Mad Max was sweeping the technical awards, as it should. Those are wholeheartedly deserved. And then I saw that The Revenant got Cinematography and Iñárritu picked up Best Director for the second year in a row.  So, I assumed that Best Picture was going to go to one of those two. And then Spotlight popped up on my screen. I said “What?!” out loud and my roommate thought something was wrong haha. Spotlight was a great movie, I was just pleasantly surprised.

Overall, an interesting, albeit controversy filled year. Can’t wait to see what the next year of movie making holds!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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