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Golden Globe Awards 2015 Nominees and Winners (Update)

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It’s that time of year again. Award season. The one time of year we get to celebrate films by awarding them with self glorifying statues. To me this is my Super Bowl. I like to be able to predict the winner and see how many I can get right. Lately it has been easier than usual. The award shows stick with the safe bets instead of awarding what is truly great. For the most part they are all good movies but sometimes the less inspired choice wins.

I’m going to keep things short. I will list the nominees, who I think will win, and the eventual winners. Easier said then done. My predictions will be bolded BLACK while the winners will be bolded RED

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Boyhood – Directed by Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher – Directed by Bennett Miller
The Imitation Game – Directed by Morten Tyldum
Selma – Directed by Ava DuVernay
The Theory of Everything – Directed by James Marsh

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Birdman – Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu 
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Directed by Wes Anderson
Into the Woods – Directed by Rob Marshall
Pride – Directed by Matthew Warts
St. Vincent – Directed by Theodore Melfi

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama

Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical

Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes

Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical

Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
Helen Mirren – The Hundred Foot Journey
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhané Wallis – Annie

Best Director

Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel
David FincherGone Girl
Ava DuVernaySelma
Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituBirdman
Richard LinklaterBoyhood

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. SimmonsWhiplash

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Best Screenplay

Wes AndersonThe Grand Budapest Hotel
Gillian FlynnGone Girl
Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituBirdman
Richard LinklaterBoyhood
Graham MooreThe Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

Best Foreign Film

Force Majeure (Turist), Sweden
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett, Israel
Ida, Poland/Denmark
Leviathan, Russia
Tangerines (Mandariinid), Estonia

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Big EyesBig Eyes (Lana Del Ray)
Glory – Selma (John Legend, Common)
Mercy Is – Noah (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye)
Opportunity – Annie (Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck)
Yellow Flicker Beat – Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1 (Lorde)

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Best TV Drama

The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards

Best Actor – TV Drama

Clive Owen – The Knick
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
James Spader – The Blacklist
Dominic West – The Affair

Best Actress – TV Drama

Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson – The Affair
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Best TV Miniseries or Movie

Fargo
The Missing
True Detective
The Normal Heart
Olive Kitteridge

Best Actor – TV Miniseries or Movie

Martin Freeman – Fargo
Woody Harrelson – True Detective
Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo

Best Actress – TV Miniseries or Movie

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand – Olive Kitteridge
Frances O’Connor – The Missing
Alison Tolman – Fargo

Best TV Comedy

Girls
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent

Best Actor – TV Comedy

Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Ricky Gervais – Derek
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent
Louis C.K. – Louie
William H. Macy – Shameless

Best Actress – TV Comedy

Lena Dunham – Girls
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
Julia Louis Dreyfus – Veep
Taylor Schilling – Orange Is the New Black

Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie

Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Colin Hanks – Fargo
Bill Murray – Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight – Ray Donovan

Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie

Uzo Aduba – Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Allison Janney – Mom
Michelle Monaghan – True Detective

 

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Best Movies of 2014

It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here. The last few months have been rather hectic. From school to work, I couldn’t find time to write reviews or continually post on this site. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see any movies since then. In fact I’ve seen most of the movies you could have seen, except the noticeably bad films released in the last few months.

A lot of movies that I really liked didn’t make my list and even with such a great summer with some impressive blockbuster, it was hard to keep some off my list.  The top three films where difficult because the could be interchangeable at any time.

There were some very welcome movies and also very disappointing movies that I was looking forward to. Making this list was rather difficult but I feel that it is a rather well constructed list.

10. Boyhood

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By the time I reached number 10, I realized that I didn’t include one of the best reviewed movies of the year. Everyone seems to be putting this at the top of their lists and I can’t deny that it is one of the best constructed movies of the year and a masterpiece, in my opinion. The story is timeless, the editing seamless, and the directing is top notch. The 12 years used to make this movie sets it apart from other movies of this caliber. Why is it at the bottom? When it comes to my list I put movies on it that I would rewatch in a heartbeat. After thinking about it, I haven’t really had the urge to watch Boyhood again. Now matter how impressive the movie may be, I never thought about watching it again.

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Early on in the year, I believed that no movie could top this movie. To my surprise this year has been a fantastic year for film. This movie combines everything I love about Wes Anderson. The aesthetic of the film is amazing, while Monsieur Gustave H. is by far the most fascinating character in Anderson’s filmography. The changing aspect ratios was another amazing addition to the movie. This isn’t my favorite of his film but it is certainly one of his greatest achievements.

8. Gone Girl

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David Fincher is one of my favorite directors working today. He always brings something new to an aged formula. That is one of the reasons that make Gone Girl so unique. Instead of having the major twists saved for the end, the movie decides to reveal it at the end of the first act. It is an intriguing factor that I give both Gillian Flynn and David Fincher for pulling it off so well. What makes this movie even more fascinating is the commentary on both marriage and the media. Everything about this movie is nearly perfect. Rosamund Pick proves her acting chops and even Tyler Perry was able to surprise me, for the first time in his career. Even if I like other of Fincher’s films more, I do think this is a great addition to his impressive filmography.

7. Locke

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No other movie this has done more with less. So much goes on during the course of the runtime, that it is surprising that it was only 80 minutes long. Tom Hardy has impressed me lately. He is a powerhouse of an actor and he really shines as Ivan Locke. Throughout the movie more and more is revealed and it makes you question both his choices and reasons behind them. For a movie that takes place solely in one location, I couldn’t believe how much and how well they were able to pull it off.

6. Under the Skin

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I always thought that Scarlett Johansson was all looks and not really a good actor. I was proven wrong when I saw her in Under the Skin. The movies unique approach is impressive and the minimalistic style makes for a haunting and exhilarating experience. It asks questions that movies typically don’t ask. It asks what it is meant to be human but it doesn’t give you all the answers. The visuals are impressive and the score creates a chilling yet unique.

5. Filth

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I don’t know why I loved this movie so much, it was just so damn fun. James McAvoy is like you’ve never seen him before. He plays the vile and disgusting character so well. The movie isn’t so much about plot but more about how insane his characters become over time. Often times the movie is hilarious but also very sad and depressing. You never truly sympathize with him, you mostly fell bad for him. The ending is so damn perfect for the movie and completely ends the film in a satisfying manner.

4. Interstellar 

Interstellar astronauts explore new planet

Christopher Nolan is one of the best blockbuster directors working today. He is able to make the movies that he wants and is able to create some impressive films. His visual eye is incredible. He may have some problems with female characters but this is the first time that I feel he has created some worthwhile female characters. This movie isn’t about space travel as much as it is about love, loss, and fatherhood. There are so many perfect scenes of action but it is the little scenes that Nolan was able to impress me. This is by far his most emotional film to date. You feel the stakes at hand and really sympathize with each character, except for one. Interstellar impressed me both visually and emotionally.

3. Whiplash

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I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I never really liked Miles Teller and a movie about a jazz drummer didn’t make me want to see it. Once I saw the trailer, that changed. The final product is so intense and awe inspiring that I loved it the minute I walked out. J.K. Simmons gives one of the best performances of the year, he is volatile and intense but somehow relatable. Even Miles Teller impressed me. The final ten minutes had me at the edge of my seat and is incredibly satisfying after all that happens in the movie.

2. Nightcrawler

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This was one movie that surprised the hell out of me. The movie created a character that is both psychotic and wise. He is a man who know what he wants and takes it, no matter what. Jake Gyllenhaal gives the performance of his life. The story is always surprising and you don’t know where it is going to go in the end. The commentary behind this movie is strong and very out there but it works so well. The directing is perfect and the cinematography is breathtaking. More than anything this is a character study and it showcases a character that is completely original and is also a work of genius.

1. Birman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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The most surprising and delightful movie of the year goes to Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu created such a fascinating experience. He one of the best dramatic directors working today. He is able to get the best performances out of some of the most unexpected actors. Every actor in this movie are going the extra mile. Michael Keaton is revolutionary. He essentially playing a warped version of himself and he convinces everyone that he still does matter. What sets this movie apart from any other film this year is the fact that it is manipulated to look like one take. It is a technical revolution and is impressive in it’s cinematography. A lot had to go into this movie to achieve this feat and boy does it achieve it. There is also a lot of commentary involving the state of hollywood today, critics, and the will to matter. I loved this movie and think it is the best made movie this year.

Honorable Mentions

Edge of TomorrowAn original and fun blockbuster. Not your typical blockbuster but it breaks the model and makes something unique.

EnemyAn interesting and intelligent thriller that leaves you asking question long after it’s over.

Guardians of the GalaxyA very different Marvel movie and really shows that they can make an interesting movie out of unknown characters.

The RoverFueled by amazing performances and a simplistic story. This movie creates a landscape fully developed and tension that is equally fascinating and grim.

Blue RuinA movie that came out of nowhere and managed to create a fascinating and personal portrayal of revenge.

 

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review, A Bad Sequel to a Bad Remake

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Directed by: Marc Webb

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Field

It was a strange decision to hire an unexperienced director, such as Marc Webb, to direct a movie completely outside his wheel house. 500 Days of Summer is a well-built relationship drama, it was a completely different interpretation of the typical relationship cliches. The major thing that Marc Webb was able to bring to the The Amazing Spider-Man was his sense for people and the relationship between characters. Outside of the relationship stuff between Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) the first movie isn’t all that good. Whereas the original trilogy nailed Spider-Man perfectly but failed to make the chemistry between Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) completely unrealistic and kinda fake. On the other hand The Amazing Spider-Man nailed Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey’s chemistry it fails to make the villains and the core story interesting and really ruins this series.

The movie begins with one of the only scenes in the movie that alludes to the mystery behind Peter Parker’s parents. After leaving Peter (Andrew Garfield) with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) and his wife Mary Parker (Embeth Davidtz) try to escape on a plane while uploading Richard’s research. Little did they know that the pilot has been killed and their lives were in jeopardy. Richard does his best to stop the kill only to meet his fate but not before finishing the upload. The plane crashes and then it cuts to Spider-Man chasing down Aleksei  Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), in his worst acted role. During the chase he saves loner scientist Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx).

Meanwhile Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) is at their high school graduation. Concerned, Gwen calls Peter and tells him to get back to graduation. His duties to Spider-Man makes him late but only barely.  Max Dillion, after being saved by the web slinger, begins obsessing of the superhero and wants to get noticed just like Spider-Man does. He is ignored at work and then stuck working late in a lab that he doesn’t know. This leads him to getting zapped by the power cable that was causing all the problems. He then falls into a vat of eel, you know electric eel because why not, effectively killing him. He is resurrected by the electricity that he consumed. He leaves to find a power source that can recharge him. He arrives in Time Square and start causing havoc, leading to Spider-Man showing up. He begins trying to reason with him only to realize that Spider-Man has forgotten who he was. This leads Max to go crazy and leads him to want the fame that Spider-Man has and to get that “fame” he needs to kill Spider-Man

Over at Oscorp Industries, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to take control of the company that his father started. He is mad at the way he was treated by his father, leading to him changing some of the policies that his father emplaced.  Harry learns that he has the same disease that his father has and realizes that he is starting to develop the same symptoms. This leads him on a quest to find Spider-Man and harvest his blood for his own needs. He eventually teams up with Electro to take down Spider-Man and fulfill their needs to use Spider -Man for their own good.

The story is the biggest problem that this movie suffers. It’s convoluted and doesn’t do anything new or note worthy. Harry Osborn is one note and is essentially a carbon copy of Willem DaFoe’s portrayal of Norman Osborn in the first Spider-Man. His characters evolution is exactly the same. He runs the company only to get fired from the company because he was framed. This causes him to go crazy and gets superpowers from another Oscorp experiment. It is the same evolution of the villain except condensed into 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. Electro is another problem here. His motivations are terrible. He is essentially a Spider-Man stalker who gets superpowers. There is nothing interesting about him and barely does anything to help the story. Just like the first Amazing Spider-Man, this movie promises to reveal more about the story of Richard Parker but only two scenes are dedicated to this plot point and it feels like they don’t know what to do with the material.

I gotta admit that Marc Webb handles the romance material really well. The majority of the story focuses on Gwen and Peter’s relationship, building it up so that you can get more invested in the final payoff of the film. It bogs down an already convoluted and frustrating storyline. It is an interesting look at their relationship but spending the majority of the time on it feels a bit overkill.

The action that accompanies the movie is thrilling and well done but it is so sparse and limited that it doesn’t do anything to save the movie. In the end, Electro’s plan is to steal power from the power plant running the city. His overarching plan for this is so that everyone will notice who he is. Electro isn’t given anything to do but his action scenes are well thought out.

The performances are all across the board. You have some really good performance and then absolutely terrible ones. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have this radiant chemistry that makes the relationships believable. Garfield uses his wit and humor to portray Peter Parker as a typical wallflower kid of his generation. Tobey Maguire always felt old in the role and his chemistry with Kirsten Dunst was a little off. On the other hand the Jaime Foxx was the only actor portraying a villain that actually tried in his role, sadly it was incredible under written. Dane DeHaan, who I usually like, was bland and unnecessary. The limited screen time of Paul Giamatti was a blessing because his corny portrayal of The Rhino was grating and really angered me. As bad as Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans) was as a villain, he looks good compared to these characters.

There were some fun qualities in this movie but all the bad things out stay their welcome and really mess up any potential that this movie had.

Grade: D

Birdman Trailer

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The trailer for this came out about a month ago and I may be a little late to game when it comes to posting about it. Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the most promising directors working today. His entire filmography has gained critical acclaim and a bunch of Oscar nominations. Birdman could possibly be an awards darling when it is released, just based on the directors track record. I personally cannot wait for this movie. Based on some of the news regarding the cinematography and how they plan to have be a continuous take or very little takes, who knows at this point but that alone gets me excited. Michael Keaton deserves a comeback and this role looks perfect for him. Having once played a superhero, similar to his character, it brings authenticity to the role that not many people can do.

An actor (Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. The play in the film is an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

Birdman is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Starring Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson / Birdman, Edward Norton as The Rival Stage Actor, Emma Stone as Riggan’s Daugther, and Zach Galifianakis as Brandon Vander Hey. Produced by Regency Enterprises. Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

The Amazing Spider-Man

Directed by: Marc Webb

Starring: Andrew GarfieldEmma StoneRhys IfansMartin SheenSally Field

Out of all of the comic book movies that came out this year I was not really anticipating this one all that much, I don’t know for some reason I was eagerly waiting for Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance. I think going in with as little expectations as possible really made me enjoy the movie even more. I was always a fan of Spider-Man and really enjoyed wait Sam Raimi brought to the table, even though I didn’t like Tobey Macguire or Kirsten Dunst as their respective roles. I, like many comic book fans, didn’t think that rebooting Spider-Man only 5 years after the last installment was a good idea and was only a cash grab by Sony but I do have to say that the movie really was better than I had expected from it. The strongest aspect of the movie was the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone fit the roles perfectly and I give them a lot of credit for the movie success. After 3 films and the introduction of Curt Conners in the original films we finally get to see the Lizard on the big screen  and the result was a well done character that could have used a little more development but ultimately was a great villain to add to the movie. The visual effect were quite impressive to say the least and the Lizard was really convincing on the big screen, as well as the 3D which is probably one of the best since the format made a comeback in 2009 with Avatar and it shows that 3D has some true potential.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Personally my major problem with the movie was the story, not because it was bad or anything it was just lacking compared to some of the earlier films. I think that leaving the question of what happened to Peter’s father was not the best way, I was expecting them to answer it in this film but if they keep it in the sequels it can really become an interesting way of making a Spider-Man trilogy. There was a lot that I ended up liking about this film and I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome and I can’t way to see what this trilogy will be able to put out.

9 out of 10

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