Archive for February, 2011

My Oscar Picks

Note: I’m not going to be going through every category, just the ones that I have an opinion on. I watch a lot of movies, but not enough to comment on every single category.

LEADING ACTOR

Who Should Win: Jeff Bridges

Who Will Win: Colin Firth

The King’s Speech is THE “Oscar Bait” film this year and it is going to rack up a whole mess of awards, but I always want Jeff Bridges to get credit when credit is due. His performance in True Grit was fantastic and he deserves some recognition for it.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Who Should Win: Christian Bale

Who Will Win: Christian Bale

As much as I liked Barbossa in The King’s Speech, Crack-Head Batman is going to win this one.

LEADING ACTRESS

Who Should Win: Natalie Portman

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman had all of us convinced that she was going crazy, she’s going to win. No other performance this year was nearly as amazing as her’s in Black Swan.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Who Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo

Why is it that main characters in a movie get put into the “Supporting” category? I’ve never understood this. Is it because they’re not always big name stars? Anyway, this is one of the first categories in which I would be fine with either of the two listed winning. Both of them had fantastic performances, and both deserve to win. Melissa Leo made us all hate her in The Fighter, and Hailee Steinfeld made us want her to kill Josh Brolin in True Grit.

ANIMATED FEATURE

Who Should Win: Toy Story 3

Who Will Win: Toy Story 3

Seriously, Toy Story 3 was nominated for Best Picture, it’s going to win. Period.

ART DIRECTION

Who Should Win: Alice in Wonderland

Who Will Win: Inception

I will admit, Alice in Wonderland wasn’t the best thing ever, but it was amazingly designed. It was such a twist on what everyone expects when they hear the name Alice in Wonderland.

DIRECTING

Who Should Win: Darren Aronofsky

Who Will Win: Tom Hooper

Once again, the Oscar Bait is going to take the category, but Darren Aronofsky should win due to just how amazing Black Swan was to watch.

FILM EDITING

Who Should Win: Black Swan

Who Will Win: Black Swan

Anyone notice the flashes of Natalie Portman in her Black Swan make-up throughout the movie? No? Watch it again and pay more attention to the subliminal messages.

ORIGINAL SCORE

Who Should Win: Hans Zimmer

Who Will Win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. The score for Inception is far too experimental for it to actually win, which is a damn shame.

ORIGINAL SONG

Who Should Win: “I See the Light”

Who Will Win: “If I Rise”

With this category, I always just pick the songs I like the best, so I want “I See the Light” or “We Belong Together” to win, but my picks never seem to win this one.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Who Should Win: Day and Night

Who Will Win: Day and Night

It was wildly experimental and had a fantastic message, it was also the only reason to see Toy Story 3 in 3D.

SOUND EDITING

Who Should Win: TRON: Legacy

Who Will Win: Inception

The Sound Editing category should just be renamed “Best Geek Movie” as those are the movies that always seem to win. Here’s a history lesson, previous winners: Goldfinger, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Back to the Future, Aliens, RoboCop, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, Incredibles, King Kong. I believe I have proved my point.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Who Should Win: Inception

Who Will Win: Inception

Remember that scene where Joseph Gordon Levitt was fighting people in the hotel hallway that was spinning? Yeah, Inception has this one in the bag.

TRON: Legacy should have been nominated, though. Dicks.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Who Should Win: Toy Story 3

Who Will Win: The Social Network

Why is Toy Story 3 in the Adapted Screenplay section? It’s not adapted from anything!

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Who Should Win: Inception

Who Will Win: Inception

This movie was brilliantly written, and it should be recognized as such.

BEST PICTURE

Who Should Win: Toy Story 3

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech

I saw the King’s Speech, and while it was a fantastic movie, I did not really like it quite as much as other films I saw this year. The “Oscar Bait” movies always rub me the wrong way as I have always found them to be rather pertentious, so it’s always been hard for me to root for them for Best Picture.

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There’s Some Spooky Stuff Going on at the old Gracey Estate

There have been some major changes going on at the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom recently. The one that is most visible as of right now is something that has been changing throughout the parks, namely the introduction of interactive queue elements that make people WANT to wait in line. They have one at Soarin’ (I doubt people actually want to wait in this line, it’s more that the FastPasses are gone by noon and the attraction is still wildly popular), Space Mountain, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and there are plans to have one of the most ornate ones put into the new version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant that will be a part of the Storybook Circus in the New Fantasyland. Little is known about what is being put into the Haunted Mansion’s queue, but a lot of Disney fans (myself included) are hoping that it will somehow contain the same humour that is found in the graveyard that the Imagineers tore up to expand the queue. All we know is that is is being built.

One thing about the changes going on in the Haunted Mansion is this:

My first thought is: Disney y u do dis?

The best word to describe this change is shoddy. They replaced some spectacular audio-animatronics and one of the most amusing effects in a Disney park with some projections. Just some projections. The only thing that gives me solace is that Cast Members are saying that this effect is only a work in progress, and I really hope so. I would even be fine with the projections if they were to put the mirrors back up, just so that you could see yourself riding with the Hitchhiking Ghosts again. I want to be able to ride out with Phineas, Ezra, and Gus again, Disney. Just let me have this one.

I’ll keep you readers posted as to what happens with the changes to the Haunted Mansion when the information becomes available to me.

Top 10 Movies of 2010 (Part Deux!)

5. Scott Pilgrim VS the World

In the back half of my list, I mentioned that Edgar Wright is one of my favourite directors, so is it surprising that the movie he released this year would not be on my list? Edgar Wright’s third film (and his first adaptation) is actually better than his previous ones, and that is really saying something. Shaun of the Dead is a zombie parody that also succeeds at being one of the best zombie movies ever, along with being the best romantic comedy. Hot Fuzz is does the same thing that Shaun did, but this time for action films, and depending on how you look at it, it is another one of the greatest romantic comedies ever. Scott Pilgrim doesn’t really parody anything in particular, but rather encapsulates an entire generation perfectly with all of it’s idiosyncrasies and quirks while wrapping it up in a video-game themed action comedy.

The Scott Pilgrim series of comics is one of my favourites of all time and this movie is an adaptation that, while it changes a lot of things and cuts stuff out, is a perfect adaptation of the comics. It definitely gets the same feeling and the same themes that the comics touch on, which is more than can be said about other adaptations (I’m looking at you Harry Potter movies that aren’t the first, second, or seventh movies).

The movie is brilliantly written, conceived, and acted (also casted, seriously, this movie has a better cast than the Expendables). The fact that it wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards is a bloody travesty.

Also, get your hands on the soundtrack. “Black Sheep” in and of itself makes the album worth it.

4. True Grit

At this point, if there was a Guillermo Del Toro film released this year, you just know that it would be on this list. I was spoiled this year when it comes to my favourite directors, and next year is not going to be quite as fun because of that.

This movie is both very different from most of the other Coen Brothers films, but also very similar. The film is a straight up Western (well it is a remake of a John Wayne film), unlike No Country for Old Men which was what a western would be if it was set in the current time period. It is a fairly serious film, and is also very violent. That being said, it still has that traditional Coen Brothers wit to it’s writing, and the Dude is even the main character. At this point on the list, it’s kind of hard to talk about these movies, as most of the same things can be said about them. Great story, great cast, great acting, fantastic writing. Damn near everything in this movie is great. Go see it.

3. The Fighter

Also known as: Batman is a Crack Head

When I see “Based on a True Story” on a movie poster or trailer, I usually refuse to see it. This stigma definitely comes from  the fact that basically every crappy horror movie that has come out in recent years that hasn’t been torture porn like Saw has had this label posted all over it. For some reason, this movie didn’t have that happen to it.

Christian Bale plays a crack using former boxer who thinks that HBO is filming a documentary about his comeback. Mark Walberg is his much more talented younger brother who is giving boxing one last (and very serious) go before he gets too old and regrets it. The Fighter has a wonderful secondary cast including the conniving and controlling mother of the two brothers, the cop trainer that has Marky Mark’s best interests in mind, and the boys back-boneless father who just can’t get out from under his wife’s thumb. The film is incredibly long, but it is hardly noticeable as it is just so damn interesting to watch.

2. Black Swan

Now we are getting into the movies that greatly affected me while watching them. I saw this movie in a theatre-hopping double feature with True Grit and unintentionally created a theme for the day of finger mutilation. Black Swan is one of the only two good horror movies released last year (the other being Let Me In) and ho-lee crap did it scare me.

Natalie Portman’s performance truly made it seem like she was going insane and her little freak outs made the entire theatre wince (except for the guy who was sitting next to my friend and I who we are pretty sure was masturbating through the entire movie. I’m not kidding).

The film is absolutely gorgeous. Darren Aronofsky has an amazing talent for making any thing he touches into a piece of art visually. Black Swan has some brilliant set and costume design that represents Natalie Portman’ character’s, Nina, descent into madness through just the consistent use of whites and blacks throughout the film.

This movie is rather weird to describe to people because whenever I tell them that it is about ballet, they give me a very bizzarre look like “why are you watching a movie about ballet?” I then procede to tell them that it is really about a young woman going insane from the stress of her finally landing her dream role in Swan Lake and that it is a very disturbing movie to watch. (And if they’re a guy, I throw in the fact that there is a lesbian sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. I will pull any string to get people to watch this movie)

Overall, Black Swan is a visually stunning and incredibly disturbing look into madness that should net Natalie Portman an Academy Award.

1. Toy Story 3

Who didn’t expect this one? Seriously. Anyone? Just go read my review for the reasons why it’s a good movie the BEST movie.