Sunday, February 22, 2009

2008 Academy Awards Recap

These Academy Awards saw the film nobody saw coming until its release, Slumdog Millionaire, dominate the ceremony taking home 8 Oscars out of 10, the most by a film since Return of the King. Hugh Jackman was a very warm and charming host giving us so many dance and song numbers we're bound to see again on YouTube. A very good call by the Academy on that front. No big surprises on the Acting awards. Some people will be upset Mickey Rourke did not win, but Sean Penn was wonderful as Harvey Milk. By the time Hugh started his first number we have forgotten The Dark Knight was not in contention for Best Picture, but everyone stood on their feet when Heath Ledger's name was called for Best Supporting Actor and his family gave a very moving speech of his memory. Jerry Lewis was very humble in his speech for the Jean Herseholt Award. Perhaps a slight problem in this year's ceremony might have been its predictability for the winners. Indeed I'm sure a lot of critics and bloggers will have a very high score in predicting the award recipients. I had a score of 17 out of 24 myself, but I missed 2 of the categories I usually have no idea who'll win, being Animated Short and Documentary Short Subject. I did however miss 2 of the acting categories, predicting Viola Davis instead of Cruz and prefering Rourke to Penn. A nice concept was born tonight, with 5 winning actors presenting the nominees and giving a short description of their performances. I hope this will continue for many years to come. I hope next year's ceremony will be as entertaining as this year's.
Well, what did you think?

Best Picture

And the Oscar goes to... Christian Colson for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor

And the Oscar goes to... Sean Penn for Milk

Best Actress

And the Oscar goes to... Kate Winslet for The Reader

Best Director

And the Oscar goes to... Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Language Film

And the Oscar goes to... Departures (Japan)

Best Original Song

And the Oscar goes to... 'Jai Ho' (A.R. Rahman & Gulzar) - Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Score

And the Oscar goes to... A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Film Editing

And the Oscar goes to... Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Mixing

And the Oscar goes to... Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke & Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Editing

And the Oscar goes to... Richard King for The Dark Knight

Best Visual Effects

And the Oscar goes to... Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton & Craig Barron for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Documentary Short Subject

And the Oscar goes to... Megan Mylan for Smile Pinki

Best Documentary Feature

And the Oscar goes to... James Marsh & Simon Chinn for Man on Wire

Best Supporting Actor

And the Oscar goes to... Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight

Best Live Action Short

And the Oscar goes to... Jochen Alexander Freydank for Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Best Cinematography

And the Oscar goes to... Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Makeup

And the Oscar goes to... Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Costume Design

And the Oscar goes to... Michael O'Connor for The Duchess

Best Art Direction

And the Oscar goes to... Donald Graham Burt & Victor J. Zolfo for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Animated Short Film

And the Oscar goes to... Kunio Kato for La Maison En Petits Cubes

Best Animated Feature

And the Oscar goes to... Andrew Stanton for WALL-E

Best Adapted Screenplay

And the Oscar goes to... Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Screenplay

And the Oscar goes to... Dustin Lance Black for Milk

Best Supporting Actress

And the Oscar goes to... Pénelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Daniel's Final Predictions

Uh oh! I almost forgot to post mine! I apologize about my total lack of contribution for the majority of the season; it's been a hectic year thus far. Next year, however, I promise to get back on duty. Enjoy the show tonight!

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt
Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Costume Design: The Duchess
Best Makeup Design: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song: "Jai Ho", Slumdog Millionaire
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Best Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight
Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Animated Feature Film: WALL-E
Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire
Best Documentary - Short Subject: The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306
Best Animated Short Film: Presto
Best Live Action Short Film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)

The Big Night!!

We're just three hours away, and I hope you're as excited as I am for tonight's ceremony. I will provide live coverage of the winners for you, and we'll see if our predictions were right.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Final Oscar predix

With only 2 days until the main event, here are my final predix on who will take away the Oscars at the big ceremony:

Best Live Action Short Film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Animated Short Film: Presto
Best Short Subjects Documentary: The Conscience of Nhem En
Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire
Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
Best Animated Feature Film: WALL-E
Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Sound Editing: WALL-E
Best Sound: The Dark Knight
Best Original Song: 'Jai Ho' (A.R. Rahman & Gulzar) - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Score: A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Makeup: Greg Cannom - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Costume Design: Michael O'Connor - The Duchess
Best Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt & Victor J. Zolfo - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Editing: Chris Dickens - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black - Milk
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis - Doubt
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Best Actress: Kate Winslet - The Reader
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Best Director: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Who do you think will win?

Funny People Trailer

I can't wait to see this movie. Here's the trailer for Judd Apatow's third film starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann and Eric Bana. What do you think?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123 Trailer

Here is the first trailer for the upcoming remake which will be released this summer opposing Denzel Washington and John Travolta. This will mark the fourth collaboration between Washington and Tony Scott, and we can expect a fast-paced action thriller here. Do you think it will live up to the original? What do you think?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Angels And Demons trailer

Following the Superbowl TV spot, here's the trailer for Tom Hanks and Ron Howard's Angels And Demons coming to theatres in May. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

David's Most Anticipated Films of 2009

In the spirit of the best films about to be crowned, here are the films I'm most anxious to see this year, which has already promised a lot of blockbusters this summer, some films which missed out on this year's Oscar ceremony and some of the biggest directors' next projects. Here are my top 10 films to see in 2009:

10. The Human Factor

I put this film here because I'm still not sure it will be released this year, but if that were to be the case, a Clint picture rarely disappointed as of late, and Morgan Freeman loves working with him so this should make a great film. In case the film is not released this year, please note then my 10th film on the list would be Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.

9. Bruno

Borat was one of the funniest films of the decade and Sasha Baron Cohen will present his next character, Austrian fashionista Brüno to shock us yet again with his mockumentary about America. Just seeing Schwartzie here promises a lot (Proposition 8!)

8. Avatar

There is still a lot of mystery shrouding this next project, but the fact of the matter is, James Cameron has given us some of the best science-fiction films from the last 25 years with the first 2 Terminator films (I'm looking forward to Salvation as well this summer), Aliens and the mega-blockbuster Titanic (yes, the script was laughable, but who can deny the visuals were nothing but spectacular) and he promises this one will change our way of watching movies, so I'll be seeing this one with great interest.

7. Shutter Island

The last time Leo and Scorsese united, they took home the Best Picture award for The Departed. Expect a fast-paced action thriller with a stellar cast and DiCaprio keeping up his good streak.

6. Public Enemies

Already viewed as one of the early favorites for next year's top prize, Johnny Depp will go head to head with Batman's Christian Bale from director Michael Mann whose film Heat inspired some of the scenes from The Dark Knight. Although he's never won an Oscar, Mann is no stranger to the big ceremony nominated for The Insider as a Producer/Director/Writer and for The Aviator as a producer, and this film shows a great cast and a lot of promise as we follow the story of one of America's notorious bank robbers, John Dillinger. Expect Johnny to pick up another Actor nom.

5. Funny People

Judd Apatow is certainly Hollywood's reigning comdy king. Although this is only his 3rd feature film as a director, he has produced some of the raunchiest, most shockingly funny films in recent years. This time around, he directs his Zohan buddy Sandler starring as a comic who takes an inxeperienced one under his wing, Rogen. It will be hilarious watching these two lashing out at each other and at others' expense. Expect a funny sex scene between Sandler and Apatow's wife Leslie Mann, and it will be fun seeing Eric Bana opposing the two comics (Bana has another high profile baddie role in the upcoming Star Trek from Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams). This should be, with Bruno, one of the funniest comedies of the year.

4. Watchmen

I never read the graphic novel, but with great trailers already available, the promise of an IMAX formatted presentation and with an interesting cast to portray the superheroes, director Zack Snyder once again brings the graphic world to life and this film promises to be visually amazing. It is said that the film is very faithful to the novel which should reassure the hardcore fans, and I expect this film to be one of the box-office champs of the year mainly due to its early release with no one close to be able to compete with it for a while. I can't wait.

3. Up

Apparently the only thing that disappointed from this film when half of the film was previewed to critics was when the reel ended and they craved for more. Pixar is clearly the king of animation today, and with WALL-E almost making a run for Best Picture, a lot of people will expect their next adventure about 78-year old Carl Fredericksen and his journey to the end of the world in his floating home and hopping along for the ride, 8 year-old cub scout Russell. This will be a visual wonder and will make a run for the Animated Feature award next year.

2. Inglourious Basterds

Even though WWII was popular this year (Benjamin Button, The Reader), Tarantino's next anticipated film will be fun to watch as nominee Brad Pitt takes on the role of a lieutenant who trains 8 soldiers for only one purpose : killing Nazis behind enemy lines. The trailer is already available, and knowing Quentin, expect no holds barred, in your face violence and a spectacle die hard fans will love.

1. The Road

This was the film which had a chance of taking home this year's top award, at least according to most of Oscar bloggers and fanatics early on but post-production setbacks forced the film to be delayed onto 2009. Although there still is no release date for The Road, we remain hopeful we'll see Cormac McCarthy's next novel turned to the big screen this year and make it into the top 5. Expect Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee to compete for awards as well. Having read the novel, I really want to see how they made the film and I hope they remained true to it.
Well, what are your top 10 films to see this year?

Inglourious Basterds Trailer

Here's the first full trailer for QT's next anticipated feature, the remake of the classic war film starring Brad Pitt. From what we can see, expect lots of bloody gunfights and great memorable lines. What do you think?

Slumdog: can anyone stop it?

After winning all three Guild awards and the BAFTA Best Picture, it seems that this year's winner will go uncontested as Slumdog has picked up more awards than any other film coming into the Oscars. As to whether this big momentum may hurt its chances to actually walk away with the award, it remains to be asked who can possibly take its place. Benjamin Button has the most nominations with 13 but the mixed critics will not get it the top award. Milk may have to deal with the homophobia still reigning within the Academy (Brokeback anybody?). Frost/Nixon is a very good film but it seems the nomination is its victory. The Reader made the top 5 surprising a lot of people, but Daldry has yet to win the big award and the film's victory will be Kate walking away with the Oscar. Soon I'll post my final predictions. What do you think?