Monday, April 30, 2007

Predictions: Round Two (Best Director)

1. Marc Forster-The Kite Runner-He was snubbed a nomination several times, and they could repay that with a win. And the project sounds great.

2. Mike Nichols-Charlie Wilson's War-An Academy favorite directing a film that looks baity as can be.

3. Tim Burton-Sweeney Todd-People are saying that he can't get the nomination because he hasn't before, but he hasn't done a project this Oscar friendly before either.

4. Robert Redford-Lions for Lambs-The Academy would like to see a comeback, wouldn't they?

5. Paul Thomas Anderson-There Will be Blood-He's very overdue for a Director nomination.

6. Ridley Scott-American Gangster-I can't predict him without predicting the film for Best Picture. Or can I?

7. Joe Wright-Antonement-If the film is the lucky-to-be-nominated movie of the year as I'm predicting it to be, he'll probably be shut out.

8. Paul Haggis-In the Valley of Elah-He seems inable to make a bad film, but let's wait until we find out more about this project.

9. Joel & Ethan Cohen-No Country for Old Men-It's extremely difficult to work with two directors. If the film is a success, then they could be nominated.

10. Charlie Kauffman-Synecdoche, New York-Wishful thinking

Movie Review : Grindhouse

Well, for all of you who didn't understand the context of the new Rodriguez-Tarantino project, it can be said in very few words : you get ''2'' awesome movies for the price of one, so don't leave after the end of Planet Terror.

Planet Terror, the first segment of the film directed by Robert Rodriguez, takes us to a small town in Texas where an experiment gone haywire transforms its citizens into zombies and it's up to a small group of uninfected people to fight off the zombies and to get to safety in order to find a cure.

In the performance of her career, Rose McGowan leads the way as a go-go dancer whose tough personality gets challenged by a former lover played by Freddy Rodriguez, a truck driver with a knack for killing people (He never misses!!). Probably wouldn't have been my first choice to play the character, but we can live with it. But the character who is the most fun to watch is Rapist no.2, played by none other than QT himself. He offers so many funny lines, and we watch him suffer one of the most disgusting transformations into a zombie ever put on film.

This film is rather gory, with lots of shooting and over the top gunfights, but it is fun to watch and offers a nice rendition to the grindhouse films, although the second segment offers a much better result.

Planet Terror :
Written and Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Produced by Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
Starring Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn and Jeff Fahey
Grade : ***/****

After the film, we are offered a wonderful treat with a segment of faux trailers directed by Eli Roth, Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of the Dead) among others. These alone are worth the price of admission because they reflect the grindhouse era with great success. (After all, where else would you see Nicolas Cage as a Chinese dictator?) Keep your eye on Don't, for in my mind is the best of them all.

Then, we come to Death Proof, the QT segment. The great idea of the film, going back to the grindhouse films, is that sometimes you can cheer for the villain. In this case, the reason is so obvious : girls can talk, talk and talk to the point that they bore you out of your mind. Indeed, we are first introduced to a group of women led by a radio talk-show host who love to party and to talk about guys. They know they're hot, so they like to play around with guys to the point where one of them has to perform a lap dance to the first guy who recites her a poem. Well, into the night, they're partying at a local bar where we happen to meet our villain, Stuntman Mike, which marks the grand return of Kurt Russell (man, I miss Snake Plissken). Here, we have a fun villain to watch as he kills young women with his Death Proof car, a black Chevy Nova with a skull painted on the hood.

After he 'deals' with this group, we then find another group of women, working out of Hollywood and among the group, the great stuntwoman Zoe Bell playing herself in the film (she played Uma Thurman's stunt double in the Kill Bill films). Only, these girls don't mess around. They wanna find a 1970 white Dodge Challenger (Vanishing Point, yes?) to take a test drive, only they're into a wild ride when Stuntman Mike wants to play along. I won't reveal the rest of the plot, suffice to say that Kurt Russell gives us a wonderful performance as the villain we cheer for.

To sum up, Grindhouse is long, indeed, but it is so awesome you cannot permit yourself to leave your seat during the course of the film, so make sure you buy a small beverage and you go the bathroom beforehand, because this film offers one wild ride you'll cheer for.

Death Proof :
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Erica Steinberg, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
Starring Kurt Russell, Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Poitier, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Tracie Thoms and Zoe Bell
Grade : ***½/****

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Weekend Double Feature

It is very, very rare for me to go to the cinema twice over the weekend (unless it's during the summer). But, it happened this weekend. There were two movies...

Hot Fuzz is the first one. Like "Shaun of the Dead", this is a very funny, very British treat. An extremely smart spoof where the actors were clearly having fun. Although it was a little too long, by the end, I was glued to the screen. B+

Kickin' it Old Skool-If "Hot Fuzz" was too long, then "Kickin' it Old Skool" was an eternity. The film is simply a mess, filled to the very top with bad performances and writing that would make a kid repeat second grade English. It's movies like this that make me ashamed to be a movie nut. D-

Friday, April 27, 2007

Predictions: Round Two (Best Picture)

1. Charlie Wilson's War-Out of all the early contenders, this one seems most likely. Oscar friendly cast and's in for now.

2. The Kite Runner-Marc Forster is a pretty reliable filmmaker and the plot to this sounds very baity.3. There Will be Blood-Daniel Day-Lewis has a knack for picking great movies. The plot to this sounds a little shaky, but I'm pretty confident.

4. Sweeney Todd-I didn't want to hop on the bandwagon, but, like Daniel-Day Lewis, Johnny Depp picks good projects. However, anything Sondheim always looks good on paper. And there are some unverified rumors that his singing is...subpar to say the least. I'm very nervous about this one.

5. Atonement-Like The Kite Runner, "Atonement" will have a hard time living up to the popular novel it is based upon. We'll see.

6. American Gangster-A baity premise, but it's hard to rely on Ridley Scott, Russel Crowe and Denzel Washington anymore.

7. My Blueberry Nights-If it succeeds at Cannes, expect this to be the sleeper comedy of the year.

8. The Savages-The trailer was fantastic, and it could end up doing quite well. Looks funny, no?

9. The Other Boleyn Girl-The feeling of this being a success is slowly waring off.

10. Lions for Lambs-We'll wait for reviews on this one.

New Template

What does everyone think of our new template design? It's a work in progress and will more than likely change over time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Top 5 Movies I'm Dying to See

Here are the top five movies that are currently in theaters I am absolutely dying to see.

5. The Namesake

I saw the trailer for this during the coming attractions at my second viewing of The Queen. I thought it looked great and the story looked extremely interesting. After Brian's glowing review, I was certain that I needed to see it. It is currently in my town in the downtown area at a theater that I frequent. What's keeping me from going? Probably a lack of money...but I'm really just too lazy to try and get down there.

4. Blades of Glory

I always enjoy a good Will Ferrell movie and I've
been waiting for this since this time last year. My brother wants to see it also so it's only a matter of time until I get down to the theater.

3. 300

Despite negative reviews about the acting and story, the action sequences look too good to pass up. The whole film looks beautiful, so we'll see how this is.

2. Fracture

Anthony Hopkins returns to somewhat of a Lecter-ish role. Ryan Gosling as a DA. These two in a cat and mouse setup sounds absolutely amazing.

1. Grindhouse

I'm a big fan of Quentin Tarantino, so when I first heard about the project, I was somewhat interested. After the first trailer, it looked good. After the second, it looked amazing. Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are at the top of their game and getting great reviews for it. I watched some of the fake movie "trailers" for the "trailers" in between "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof". The best ones are "Machete", "Werewolf Women of the SS", and "Thanksgiving". This looks hilarious, awesome, and most of all: badass.

No More Snow Cake...

At least for now, we are no longer predicting "Snow Cake". The reviews have been good, but not nearly enough to be remembered come January. New predix will be coming soon.

Summer Box Office: Shrek the Third

I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like the Shrek franchise. The first is the 30th highest grossing film of all time. The second is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time. So the third should do extremely well, right? Although I would usually put an anti-climatic comment here, it will. Sure to be the family movie of the year.

My Excitement Factor: 8/10
U.S. Box Office Prediction: $200-300 Million

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Evening" Trailer

Hmm. It's looking like Claire Danes is the lead and Vanessa Redgrave is supporting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Summer Box Office: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This is probably the most underrated of all the Harry Potter books. This is, in my opinion, the most crucial volume thus far in terms of advancing the story forward (I won't say why in case you're one of the two people who hasn't read it). Also, Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes have given fantastic performances in the previous Harry Potter films and Imelda Staunton fits her part like a glove. And Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are always great. This will have no problem doing well at the box office, but because this is one of the biggest summer movie seasons in a long time, it will have trouble standing out.

My Excitement Factor: 7/10
U.S. Box Office Prediction: $100-200 Million

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Summer Box Office: Pirates of the Caribbean 3

After a very fun original and rather dull sequel, the surprise hit/cult film is releasing its (hopefully) final installment this summer. As overrated as I think the saga is, it has excellent marketing. It is what Spider-Man should have done. It releases its sequel a few years after the original, then releases the third installment just before the cult dies down. This is sure to be the box-office hit of 2007, unless there is some rare phenomenon and The Simpsons Movie, Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3 or Harry Potter 5 beats it.

My Excitement Factor: 4.5/10
U.S. Box Office Prediction: $350-450 Million

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Summer Box Office: Spider-Man 3

Ah, the curse of a late three-quel. Had Spider-Man 3 been released in 2005, when Spider-Man 2 was still on everyone's minds, it would have broken every box office record in the book. Instead, it came out 3 years after (wait...WHOA! Spider-Man 2 came out three years ago????). Surely this will do well at the box office, but probably not extremely well. The film looks like it'll be the weakest of the three, but it has gotten phenomenal reviews. What does everyone think? Will this be a mega-blockbuster or a forgotten sequel?

My Excitement Factor: 7.5/10
U.S. Box Office Prediction: $100-125 Million

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cannes Selection Announced!

From IMDb (yes, this is copied and pasted. I'm not taking credit for it):

The Cannes Film Festival confirmed today (Thursday) that Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights, starring Jude Law, Ed Harris, Norah Jones and Natalie Portman, will open the 60th annual festival on May 16. In something of a surprise, the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez "double bill" Grindhouse, which was expected to compete for the top Palme d'Or prize, will only be represented by the Tarantino half of the feature, Death Proof, which is being expanded to one hour and 50 minutes. Among the other 21 films selected for the competition are the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men, starring Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Javier Bardem; David Fincher's Zodiac, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr.; James Gray's We Own the Night, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg; and Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park, starring mostly first-time actors. Serbian director Emir Kusturica, a two-time winner at Cannes and the chairman of the jury in 2005, will again be represented in the competition with the comedy Promise Me This. Among films screening out of competition will be Michael Moore's documentary Sicko (about the U.S. health system); Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Thirteen; Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart, starring Angelina Jolie as the late Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's wife Mariane; and Ken Burns's The War. The latter film will presumably be compiled from Burns's upcoming documentary series about World War II for PBS. It is the only film on the Cannes list whose length is not indicated.

Hairspray Trailer!

It's finally here! It looks absolutely fantastic. Travolta, Pfeiffer, Efron (yes, I said it) and especially newcomer Nicole Blonsky look outstanding! Here's an updated "most anticipated" list.

1. The Simpsons Movie
Sorry, but I cannot deny my geekiness here. Most. Anticipated. Movie. Ever.

2. Hairspray
What a trailer!

3. Sweeney Todd
Until we get a trailer or a picture of Helena Bonham Carter in costume, this will probably stay here.

4. Spider-Man 3
Although I usually find comic book movies formulaic and boring (Daredevil), I love the Spider-Man franchise. This looks VERY risky, so I'll await seeing how it does with critics.

5. Across the Universe
It's hard to go wrong with this plotline and music.

6. Snow Cake
Just a few more days...

7. The Other Boleyn Girl
Great book, but very hard to adapt. But with Peter Morgan at the typewriter, it shouldn't be a problem.

8. Shrek the Third
I usually don't realize how good the Shrek franchise actually is until I see one of them. And after last night's American Idol sneak-peak of the film, I'm excited.

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
As with Shrek, I'll like it more when I actually see it.

10. Evening
The plot sounds sorta "eh", but it has the best cast of the year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Top 10 of All Time

1. Sunset Boulevard
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
4. Schindler's List
5. The Godfather
6. Annie Hall
7. Some Like it Hot
8. Singin' in the Rain
9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
10. Gone With the Wind

1. Daredevil
2. Date Movie
3. Baby Geniuses
4. Hulk
5. Starsky & Hutch
6. Click
7. Epic Movie
8. The Adventures of Pluto Nash
9. Snow Day
10. Monster House

Just as yesterday, due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech, there is really nothing to talk about.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bad Sign for Our Indie..

Snow Cake, the indie we're following this year, has received some mostly good reviews, but it is being released on April 25. Bad sign for an Oscar contender. What does everyone think? Will this end up a serious contender or just an arthouse movie forgotten by January?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Namesake

Today I saw "The Namesake." It felt really long. I wish it felt longer. This is the first masterpiece of 2007. Although Kal Penn is far from fantastic in this, Indian actress Tabu is outstanding and will be hard to beat in my end of the year awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role. I highly encourage everyone to see this on the big screen ASAP. I'm itching to see some more independent films (even though most of them are crap) in hopes to find another like this. A

Summer Anticipation: Hairspray

With "The Simpsons Movie" and "Sweeney Todd" coming out this year, I have had very few posts about "Hairspray." So here's one...


Adam Shankman

BASED ON: The Tony Award Winning Broadway Musical of the same title, and the 1988 John Waters cult classic of the same title.

STARRING: Newcomer Nicole Blonsky, John Travolta, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, James Mardsen, Allison Janney and Elijah Kelley.

WHY I'M ANTICIPATING IT: This is my third favorite musical of all time (Little Shop of Horrors and Sweeney Todd are #1 and 2, respectively). Every song is a gem, and you leave the theater much happier than you were when you came in.
INDICATIONS IT WILL BE GOOD: Early reviews have been very, very positive. Also, after hearing a 5 second belt-out of the show's opening number "Good Morning, Baltimore" by Tracy Turnblad herself, Nicole Blonsky, I can assure you that the lead role is in good hands. Also, there was a search of thousands of girls for that part and she landed it. That says something, no?

INDICATIONS IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL: The last movie musical about teenagers was Grease. And, in case you've been living in a cardboard box for 30 years, Grease was a huge success. Plus, older generations will see it for Walken, Pfeiffer (her first movie in 5 years!!) and Travolta, while younger generations will go to see Bynes, Efron and Latifah.

So, everyone, mark your calenders for July 20! Only 97 days left! (Which means only 104 until The Simpsons Movie! Sorry, I just had to plug that.)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Rental: Children of Men

My dad got sick, so unfortunately I couldn't see "Namesake" today (and none of my friends want to see it. Grr), so I decided to go rent "Network." Blockbuster, being the classless store that it is, didn't have a copy. So I had a choice between "Bobby" and "Children of Men". Naturally, I chose "Children of Men." I have to say, i was a little disappointed. Yes, Clive Owen gives a great performance, along with the incredibly impressive newcomer Claire-Hope Ashitey. And the idea and themes are compelling. But I can't say I really enjoyed watching it. It isn't "one of the year's best" as many have dubbed it. That said, it's certainly not bad movie. It had the potential to be great, but it didn't acheive it by steering towards the wrong direction and by limiting the truly outstanding Julianne Moore's role. B-

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This Weekend's Viewing Schedule

I'm hoping to see "The Namesake" tomorrow or Saturday. It's gotten good reviews and Kal Penn has a lot of potential (he was actually decent in Epic Movie. That's saying a lot considering that that's one of the worst movies of all time). I haven't read the book and I barely know what it's about, but this season, I'd like to see as much as I can--especially indie films. A lot of them don't come to my town and certainly not to Blockbuster (maybe at the local hard-to-find-films video store, but I usually forget about them by then), so I want to take advantage of this while it's still around. I'll probably write a mini-review after I see it (assuming I do).

Nothing really, unless I see "Namesake." I'll more than likely pick up a rental or else do something non-film related with my friends.

I feel like buying some movies right now, preferably some that I haven't seen. I have a tennis tournament Sunday, but I have one every week. They usually wrap up in 1 or 2 hours. I loathe Sundays, by the way, because there is never a chance to do anything worthwhile (unless, of course, I end up going to the carnival. Hmm...).

TRANSLATION: I have nothing to talk about today. The day the film industry stood still, I guess.

Is anyone else surprised that Disturbia and Aqua Teen Hunger Force are getting relatively good reviews. I hate the TV show of "Hunger Force", and Disturbia looked like it'd be a high concept (and crappy) thriller. Surprise, surprise. 2007 has been a great year thus far.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Favorite Actor & Performance

In relation to David Tolentino's request for a new theme, today's post will be about my favorite actor and performance.

Notable Roles:
Red in The Shawshank Redemption, Eddie Dupris in Million Dollar Baby, Hoke Culburn in Driving Miss Daisy.
Oscar Wins: One for Million Dollar Baby (Best Supporting Actor)
Best Performance: The Shawshank Redemption

This was a tough choice. Peter O'Toole, Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, Annette Bening, Angela Lansbury, Judi Dench and Patti LuPone were all in consideration. But in the end, I had to go with Morgan Freeman. Everything he says sounds like it's a commandment from God. His voice is so powerful, when he talks he demands your attention. But at the same time, he has a great amount of range. He can do comedy, his best comedic work being in Nurse Betty, or drama, as displayed in The Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby. Every movie he is in suddenly becomes great (unless we're talking about Batman Begins. Not even he could save that). I have yet to see him give an unsatisfactory performance, and I think he is the only actor that I can say that about, except for maybe Peter O'Toole.

His performance in The Shawshank Redemption is by far his best--and I'm not just saying that because it's my second favorite movie of all time. He deserved the Oscar nod he got for it, and he really should have won (of course, it did go to Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump. A worthy alternative).

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Seven Best Dramas: #1

1. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson
Winner of 3 Academy Awards, Including Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for 11.

We conclude the "Seven Best" series with something that would seem odd to most. But I truly do think that Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder's masterpiece, is the greatest drama ever made. The characters are so original and developed through very little dialogue, the story is original and always changing and the performances All these things contribute into making Sunset Blvd. the greatest movie of all time.

Well, that does it for the series. Any comments or suggestions?

Charlie Kaufman's Directoral Debut

With help from the blog Strange Culture, I have discovered that the best and inarguably most original screenwriter of modern cinema, Charlie Kaufman, is making his directoral debut with "Synecdoche, New York." The premise sounds fantastic. You can read about it here. Thanks to the editor of Strange Culture, RC, for posting this very helpful bit of info!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Seven Best Dramas: #2

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Directed by Frank Darabont
Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman
Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture and Best Actor (Freeman).

The Shawshank Redemption will someday go down as the best film of all time. Why? Because for many people under 30, it is their favorite movie of all time. It was mine for a while, too. Now it's second. But technically, it's tied with #1, which will be revealed tomorrow (of course, you could always go to my profile and find out what it is, but where's the fun in that?). Everything about this movie just plain works. It's a movie that, no matter how long, you will never, ever be bored with.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Seven Best Dramas: #3

After a very crappy trip, I'm ready to start up again.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird
Directed by Robert Mulligan
Starring Gregory Peck and Mary Badham
Winner orf 3 Academy Awards. Nominated for 8, Including Best Picture.

Bet you didn't see THIS one coming! To Kill a Mockingbird is often referred to as one of the...maybe 50? movies of all time, but it's rarely in even the top 25. I just don't understand that. Lawrence of Arabia, the film that beat this for Best Picture at the Oscars, is thought to be one of the best of all time (as in top 10), when I found it decent, at best. This is one of those movies where whenever it is mentioned in conversation, I can't help but scream I LOVE THAT MOVIE! Glad it was able to do my favorite book justice.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New Direction

In light of our editor's request to find an interesting topic of conversation over the next few weeks, I'd like to offer an idea on the table by asking you two very simple questions : who is your favorite actor (or actress) of all-time, and who gave the best performance in your mind? It doesn't necessairily have to be an Academy Award winner, but every time you can post a message, you can write about an actor whose performance in a particular movie gave you chills, made you believe in love, terrified you to the bone or made you laugh so hard you couldn't hold the tears. If this performance won the actor an Oscar, you can talk about how it beat out the rest of the competition, otherwise you can mention why it lost or why it deserved to win. To start, I'll talk about one I found quite amazing in my youth :

1984 : Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator

When I was young, I was initiated very early to all types of films : I would watch Disney films as much as violent or horror films and learn to enjoy watching actors play their roles. In this particular case, Arnold's Terminator in the first film was the first movie character that truly terrified me, that would haunt me in my nightmares running after me with his big guns and always warning me : I'll be back! Seriously, how can you beat a giant monster that bullets can't kill? Pretty hard, especially for a kid. This film was a great initiative for science-fiction that brought James Cameron on the sunset strip, and Arnold is perfect for this character, because it doesn't require for him to speak much, especially since he was still learning to speak English well at the time. It also didn't need much acting on his part, which is great for him, and let's face it, he is physically intimidating and he knows how to ride his motorcycle.

So, that's one of the many performances that I found interesting in movie history, and I encourage you to write your favorites.

The Seven Best Dramas: #4

4. The Godfather (1972)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pachino
Winner of 3 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture. Nominated for 10, Including 3 in the Best Supporting Actor category (originally 11, but disqualified in the Best Original Score category).

I am often criticized for not thinking The Godfather is the best film of all time. Instead, I think it's the fourth best film of all time. It's really just splitting hairs. The Godfather is, again, one of those movies you think can't live up to the hype everyone has created for it, and in the end, it soars above and beyond it all. A downright masterpiece for so many reasons.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Collage of Anticipation

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Good lord am I bored.


The "Seven Best" series will be coming to a close very soon, so I was wondering if any of the readers have some ideas as to what we can occupy our time with here? There will always be predix updates, but if there isn't a reason to update the blog frequently, I'm pretty sure that we'll seldom have new posts. Anything film-related is acceptable. Thanks!

The Seven Best Dramas: #5

Before I write this, I need to warn everyone that I'm going to Mexico for Spring Break on Wednesday, so we'll be continuing the Seven Best Dramas #3-1 on Saturday or Sunday, depending on when I get back.

5. Schindler's List (1993)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley
Winner of 7 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture. Nominated for 12.

Easily one of the best movies of all time, Schindler's List is possibly the most powerful film ever made. Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes help give it that title with their incredible performances. I truly think that this is the best made, best directed movie of all time, and reminds why Spielberg is the legend that he has become.

My First Big 8 Predictions of the Year

I've been putting off my predictions since the Oscars. I've got some time on my hands so I might as well start now. So, here are my first predictions for the 2008 ceremony.

American Gangster (the most likely to flop, but if it is pulled off then it will be embraced)
Reservation Road (this one is up in the air, but could easily become a favorite for the win)
Lions for Lambs (of all the Middle East movies this year, this one has the best chances)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (not Academy bait at all, but it could be, i.e. Pulp Fiction)
Charlie Wilson's War (this, however, is Oscar bait)

Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (it's time for Burton's first directing nomination)
Robert Redford, Lions for Lambs (he's Robert Redford)
Francis Ford Coppola, Youth Without Youth (he's Francis Ford Coppola)
Ridley Scott, American Gangster (possible BP winner=BD nomination)
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood (if this is denied of a BP nomination, this could be a consolation)

Denzel Washington, American Gangster (I guess he is due for another nomination)
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (I'd call him an early frontrunner)
Alan Rickman, Snow Cake (He's looks fantastic in the trailer)
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (I'd say he's a lock as of now)
Joaquin Phoenix, Reservation Road (baity role in a baity film)

Catherine Keener, An American Crime (this film shouldn't be made...but it is a HUGE vehicle for Keener to finally win an Oscar)
Vanessa Redgrave, Evening (great casting for Redgrave and a great Oscar-worthy role)
Cate Blanchett, The Golden Age (she won't win, but she will probably be nominated)
Keri Russell, Waitress (she looks outstanding in the trailer)
Sigourney Weaver, Snow Cake (the role of an autistic woman could mean Oscar gold)

Andy Griffith, Waitress (same reason as Russell and he's a televison legend, that worked for Alan Alda in The Aviator)
Adam Sandler, Reign Over Me (another idiot prediction)
Russell Crowe, American Gangster (his two past nominations, and one win, were in leading actor so the academy might favor him here rather than best actor)
Mark Ruffalo, Reservation Road (really baity role)
Clive Owen, The Golden Age (if the film does well, expect a nomination)

Jennifer Connelly, Reservation Road (she's great at playing the conviction of wives, i.e. Little Children and A Beautiful Mind, so this shouldn't be difficult)
Cheryl Hines, Waitress (same as Griffith and Russell. Also, I love her on Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War (she's due for a nomination)
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (either here of leading actress)
Ellen Page, An American Crime (she's proven to be a mature actress and if this film is distributed well then she may be able to ride Keener's vehicle to a nomination)

Snow Cake
Eastern Promises
Lions for Lambs
Margot at the Wedding

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
American Gangster
Reservation Road
Charlie Wilson's War
There Will Be Blood

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Seven Best Dramas: #6

6. Gone With the Wind (1939)
Directed by Victor Fleming
Starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh
Winner of 10 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture and an Honorary Oscar. Nominated for 14 (not including Honorary).

Gone With the Wind IS class. It's the novel that writers strive to write and it's the film that filmmakers strive to create. It's subtle, yet it's out there. It's quiet, yet it's bold. Basically, it's a masterpiece. In every sense of the word...

Last Night...

I've been wanting to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for a long time. For some reason, I never did. I guess I was just so sure I would love it, I felt like I didn't have to see it. And boy, I sure did love it. How Hilary Swank's good-but-not-great performance beat Kate Winslet's absolutely flawless one is beyond me. And that American accent sounds more real than mine (and, in case that didn't make sense, I'm American). I hate including recent movies in my top 20 of all time, but I think that this is a valid exception. A+