Monthly Archives: February 2011

Our Oscar Picks

And the Oscar pick winner is….

We posted our Oscar picks last week to see who would get the most correct out of the major categories, and we have a three way tie between Brian, Lauren, and Matt.

The Oscar pick winners are:
Matt
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Lauren
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Brian
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Animated feature: Toy Story 3

And the Oscar loser is….

We had a two-way tie. With three correct, Victor and Kyle are our Oscar Losers. Better luck next year, guys!

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Oscar night is here

Oscar night is here! This is the pinnacle of film awards, and we are aways excited to see who wins.

We’ve made our picks (click here) and can’t wait to see how they unfold. For a complete list of the nominees, click here.

And the winners are…

Achievement in Art Direction: Alice in Wonderand
Achievement in Cinematography: Inception
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Animated Short: The Lost Thing
Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Foriegn Film: In a Better World
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Original Score: The Social Network
Best Sound Mixing:  Inception
Best Sound Editing: Inception
Best makeup: The Wolfman
Best Costume Design: Alice in Wonderand
Life Action Short Film: God of Love
Feature-length Documentary: Inside Job
Short Subject Documentary: Strangers No More
Achievment in Visual Effects: Inception
Best Original Song: We Belong Together, from the film Tangled
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Best Picture: The King’s Speech 

Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet stars Leslie Nielsen as a heroic starship captain who finds the paradise planet Altair-IV, which is inhabited by Dr. Morbius and his daughter, the sole survivors of an earlier expedition. Morbius uncovered the secrets of the long-lost civilization that made Altair-IV a paradise — the same secrets that unknowingly destroyed the society!

Victor
Rating: 9 out of 10

Plain and simple- “Forbidden Planet” is an under appreciated sci-fi classic. It was directed by Fred Wilcox and stars Leslie Nielson (yes, Leslie Nielson from Naked Gun and Airplane!), Anne Francis and Walter Pidgeon. It is a film which is a marvel to behold on numerous levels. On the surface it is almost a sci-fi horror fable about a creature awakened from a deep slumber on another planet. The story involves a monster which is killing off crew members of a rescue party sent to investigate the disappearance of previous explorers. Upon finding only two survivors, Pidgeon and his daughter played sexily by Francis, the captain suspects that something about the ancient civilization of the planet is awry. There has been obvious comparisons to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but the film digs deeper than that and explores the Greek intensity of the Id. Pidgeon’s character gives this feeling to the viewer because his sub conscious-mind that drives the creature.

Leslie Nielson and Anne Francis have great chemistry. Their interactions with Robby the Robot (a very expensive prop for 1956) are wonderful to watch, as are the special effects that still look very polished to this day. “Forbidden Planet” also sports a cool electronic score done by Louis and Bebe Barron. It’s is a bit jarring at first but the beeps and boops mesh well with futuristic settings.

I remember having this film on VHS — then laserdisc and now blu ray — and the transfer is impeccable. It still holds up well and is very entertaining even for the most jaded sci-fi geek. The dialog is a bit corny and the pacing somewhat laborious at times. But I am nit picking. Catch it in widescreen if you can. And try not to provoke monsters from the Id.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Filmmaker Thierry Guetta had been casually documenting the underground world of street art for years, but when he encounters Banksy, an elusive British stencil artist, his project takes a fascinating twist. Unimpressed with Guetta’s footage, Banksy takes over filmmaking duties and Guetta reinvents himself as a street artist named Mr. Brainwash — and, much to Banksy’s surprise, immediately becomes a darling of the Los Angeles art scene.

Lauren
Rating: 9 out of 10

After waiting for “Exit Through the Gift Shop” to finally get to Las Vegas and about five failed attempts to see it with some friends, I snuck off on Saturday afternoon and caught the film in a small, crowded theater.

When reading the description of the movie, which started out as a “filmmaker’s” attempt to get the famous and elusive street artist Banksy on film but ended up with Banksy turning the camera on the “filmmaker,” I was confused. But, it doesn’t matter what the description is or why the movie was made. It is amazing from beginning to end. Even if I didn’t completely know what was happening until close to the end. I loved the art and laughed the entire time.

I can’t explain what happens without giving away the humor and twist of the story. All I can say is I loved it and can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t. If you love art, if you think art can be joke, if you think street art is beautiful or if you think it was cool but now it’s not because everyone says it is, if you don’t even care about art, I still can’t imagine you wouldn’t be interested in this movie.

Our Oscar Picks

Who will be the Oscar winners…
and the Oscar losers?

Oscar night is upon us, at long last! Here are the picks from our regular contributors. Our writers are all making their selections, and we’ll see who the most prolific prognosticator is… and who isn’t. Click here to see the full nominee list. We’re only picking the main categories. I mean, who really gives a crap about art direction awards? Well, we do, but we won’t bore you with that. The Oscars are Sunday at 8 p.m. east coast time on ABC. The majority are picking “The King’s Speech” for best picture, but after that, it’s a jumble.

Matt

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Brian

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Annette Benning, The Kids Are All Right
Supporting Actress: Hailee Stenfield, True Grit
Animated feature: Toy Story 3


Kyle

Best Picture: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, The Black Swan
Best Actor: James Franco, 127 Hours
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, The Black Swan
Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Lauren

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Fighter
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Victor

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffery Rush, The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Fighter
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

The A-Team: A Public Apology

matt

I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to our readers. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.

There’s no way on God’s green Earth that I should have posted my cousin Shawn’s review of “The A-Team.” He was giddy with joy, bubbling with a childlike excitement over this reboot of the 1980s television show about a group of Army Rangers wrongly arrested, but who break out of jail and work as soldiers of fortune — helping the most needy along the way. He posted publicly on facebook that it was far better and more enjoyable than the Academy Award-nominated “Black Swan.” I never should have posted that review, in which he gave it a 7 out of 10.

What can I say? My cousin has crappy taste in movies.

I promised in our podcast that I would watch the A-Team and give my honest opinion of it. Shawn said I had been unfair to the movie, since I lambasted it when it hadn’t even hit theater. I listed it as a movie you shouldn’t waste your money on this summer.

Well, my wife and I sat down to watch this over the weekend, and I have to say, that those are some of the worst 117 minutes I have ever spent in my life. This film embodies everything that is wrong with Hollywood. It’s full of moronic dialogue, hokey plots, action that is simply insulting to your intelligence, wooden acting, and a source material that was recycled from a television show that was never even good to begin with.

The film starts out with Liam Neeson’s character being absolutely pummeled by two hulks that are just throwing haymakers at his face while he’s strapped to a chair. He, of course, has a key hidden in his mouth and escapes — WITHOUT A MARK ON HIS FACE. After he escapes, he just randomly comes across three other Army Rangers on three separate occasions within minutes who come together joyously as The A-Team. Isn’t that special?

Later, the crew gets shot down in a plane and escape in a tank in the sky. Naturally, the tank has some parachutes attached. While falling, they shoot down drones that are firing at them. Obviously, you can’t land a tank — let’s not ask ourselves, then, why it has parachutes — so they fire the cannon with great precision to direct the plummeting tank — now down to one parachute from three — and land it safely in a lake. They then drive out of the lake. Naturally. Somewhere in there is a plot about forfeiting and espionage. It’s not worth getting into.

This film has an i.q. equal to the rating I give it — a big fat 2.

I Love You Phillip Morris

When upstanding Texas cop Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) realizes he’s gay, he changes his entire life and pulls a series of bold con jobs that lands him jail — where he meets his one true love, cellmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). When Morris is transferred to another prison, lovesick Russell mounts a series of jailbreaks just to be with his beloved soul mate. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa direct this comedy based on a true story.

Lauren
Rating: 8 out of 10

“I Love You Phillip Morris” is only playing in one theater where I live, in Las Vegas, so I’m guessing not a lot of people are going to see it. But, it’s so good I really hope people find their way to the theater.

Jim Carrey is twisted, touching, and funny in this real-life story of con-man Steven Russell, who, after years of marriage, decides he’s gay and starts committing insurance fraud to live a new life in Miami. He gets caught, goes to jail, and that’s where the story really gets started. He falls in love with the sweet, cute inmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). Once out, he pulls a few more successful cons and gets caught and breaks out of jail numerous times – all in the name of love, he says.

The comedy is dark, the sex is explicit, and the story is sort of unbelievable, but it really happened. I looked it up. Even if the story was made up, it’d still be fun to watch.