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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: March 2014 Edition



Here's a drinking game.  Take a shot every time the boys mention Michael Bay's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  No, wait...you'll be dead in like 10 minutes.  Okay, take a shot every time they insult Michael Bay's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  No, no, you'll be dead in about the same amount of time.  Neal DaSouza fills in for an ailing Matthew Stewart and helps discuss various members of the cinematic animal kingdom.  From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to Alvin And The Chipmunks, to something called Rastamouse.  (And you thought anthropomorphic turtles was disturbing.)  The boys also air more dirty laundry in their most embarrassing segment, Simply Ashamed, and each pick their favorite non-Marvel Studios Marvel movie.  I got my fingers crossed for Howard The Duck.  All that and more on the March edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

 Show Notes:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer
X-Men Days Of Future Past Trailer
Constantine Promotional Picture
Ben McKenzie As James Gordon
Alvin And The Chipmunks Animated Movie
Rainbow Bright The Movie
Dragnet Rap Song
Don't Be A Menace Cop Scene With Bernie Mac
Rasta Mouse

Music Notes:
Birds & Brass By Sort Of Soul
Its A Shame Remix By The Spinners
Lawyers, Guns, And Money By Warren Zevon
The Best By Tina Turner


FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.

Click HERE to listen to podcast

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Batman Vs. Superman: Special Simplistic Reviews Op-ed Edition (2-5)

Batman Vs. Superman: 
Special Simplistic Reviews
Op-ed Edition


Part Two: 
The Batman Rumors


The follow contains neither official information nor photos. Only fan made photos and my thought on the rumors.

Okay now onto those rumors. 

Sigh.

  • Batman will be 40 years old and retired
Nope this better not be true. First anyone who is a Batman fan, hell anyone who knows about Batman knows, HE WOULD NEVER GIVE UP! My biggest issue with The Dark Knight Rises is Batman would never stop, not an injury and defiantly not over his girlfriend. Batman will always be there, fighting. It’s Bruce Wayne that will only stop when Bruce Wayne is dead. Batman will always continue, Cough-cough Terry McGinnis cough. The idea that he would retire at 40 kills me. He made the commitment on his parent’s graves; he isn’t going to stop until he dies. If this happens, then I’m going to have some issues.

  • Batman’s suit and the Batmobile will be amazing
Yes please! I really enjoy Superman’s suit in Man of Steel, never liked Sups but this one I did, so bring on the amazing suit and car. As far as I have heard the car will be somewhat of a nod to the class comic one with a Bat-shield on the front. Im hoping more along the line of what we have seen with the Arkham game, Arkham Knight. Just please again, let that cowl have long ears...please.

  • Bruce Wayne gets involved with the rebuilding of Metropolis with LexCorp
Okay I don’t mind this. Bruce and Lex worked together before. Never turned out to work, usually Lex had another plan and Batman had to stop him. Kind of would think this would happen anyways, if it doesn’t might be a missed opportunity. Honestly right after I left the theater I thought Bruce Wayne would be apart of the rebuilding of Metropolis. It just seemed to be something so big that if couldn't be left alone. But that being the case I don't believe Batman should be in a Superman film, latter just not yet. If Batman had his own then had a small role in a Sups film, okay that I can see. But not Affleck's first outing as Batman.

  •  Events of The Dark Knight Rises are part of this new series
Wait what the…? You’re kidding me right? I hope not, plus I don’t see that working out. So the rumor is this is why Batman comes back, because of what happened in MoS. And Robin then becomes Nightwing. Another rumor says that Batman’s family grows with, Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Robin. Wait! So in the 7 years all that happens? Ugh not liking that. The rumor goes on saying Joker will kill Robin…Wait now the Joker is in this film? I find a lot of this TDKR continuing a bit hard to believe, plus didn’t Snyder say it wont? Seems a lot to fit into one film, So I'm saying this isnt true, and lets hope so.


  • Batman has an army
Ugh…well this I can see. But again like the retiring and the Batfamily growing, the timeline doesn’t work for me. Awhile back I wrote my take on a Batman Beyond feature film. I used this idea of Batman Androids, but it wasn’t Bruce Wayne using a bunch of BatDrones and BatAndroid. I had someone else, well lets just say it makes sense. I don't think this would be a Batman thing to do. But he kinda has in the comics, so I could give this a pass even though it kills me. That really makes no since, again Batman being retired kills it for me just right away. Rumor has it he just sits in a cave fighting crime with BatDrones. It's really such a non-Batman type of thing to do. Why they feel this makes sense to do then just Batman being Batman is beyond me.


In conclusion from what I know and hear, right now as it stands I don’t like what I’m hearing. Yes Ben Affleck might be the best part of what I’ve heard so far, but as far as the story is shaping up I’m getting very concerned. Again most of this is just probably rumor so we might have something completely different.

Well lets hope so.

Next up

Part Three: Wonder Woman

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Simplistic Sneak Peek Ep. 1


Behold the inaugural episode of Simplistic Sneak Peek!  What is that you ask?  Simplistic Sneak Peek is a new ongoing series that allows you to hear Matt, Justin and DJ's first impressions and discussions on trailers for upcoming films.  It's kinda like a podcast shortened to a mini-sode mixed with vlog serving as a tri-editorial.  Yeah, I don't know either.

The trailers the boys discuss on this episode include Bryan Singer's 2nd trailer for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Tom Cruise's action epic Edge Of Tomorrow, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's attempt at Hercules.  You can click the links to the those films trailers below to watch them without commentary then come back and listen to what Matt, Justin, and DJ had to say about them in real time.

X-Men Days Of Future Past

Edge Of Tomorrow

Hercules

Friday, March 21, 2014

Batman Vs. Superman: Special Simplistic Reviews Op-ed Edition (1-5)


Batman Vs. Superman: 
Special Simplistic Reviews Op-ed Edition

Part One: 
Ben Affleck/Batman

I’m going to try something a little different here and write my opinions regarding parts of the 2016 film that is so far titled, Batman Vs. Superman. A title which may or may not change. With Part One I want to focus on Ben Affleck as Batman because to me this is the single most important topic of this film, other then the story (Thats for latter). This could be a bit of bias do to Batman being the single most import thing in my life since the day I can remember. But maybe you might like it.

The follow contains neither official information nor photos. Only fan made photos and my thought on the rumors.

First lets talk about the casting of Ben Affleck. Do I like it? At first it didn’t hit me right. Kind of left an odd taste in my mouth about Affleck taking over the cowl. But then it started to settle in my head that it might be the best outcome for casting. Really couldn’t see the others that had been rumored and you know what? Affleck has the look and more important the height.

Height you say?
Yes this Batman will be 6’ 4”, Bale and Kilmer were 6’, Clooney 5’ 11” and Keaton was 5’ 10”. Oh and yeah Adam West is 6’ 2” Would you like to go further? Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowery both under 6’ 2”. Wilson the first actor to play Batman was married to Dana Broccoli, sound familiar? Well that topic is for another time.

What I’m saying is Affleck will be a 6’4” Batman, the tallest and to me an import look since he will go up against a 6’ 1” Superman. Affleck reportedly has been working out to be one bulked up Batman and from the recent photos it looks like he will be. This is something I’ve always wanted to see onscreen, a fit Batman. Even though we still haven’t seen a photo of him in the suit, I’m very curtain he will do it justice. Hopefully the suit design looks good and we have some long ears on that cowl and not the short ones being reported. Longer ears are always better, just my opinion.

Height and build isn’t everything. As acting goes Affleck could bring it. I think he’s a better Director then Actor, but this is Batman we’re talking about. Of course what we really mean is how he handles Batman’s voice. With all the flack Bale brought with his Batvoice lets hope he learns and just creates a low dark but still understanding Batvoice because I’m sick of all the Batman voice jokes. Another part is the way we see Batman fight. Affleck said he originally didn’t want to take the part. But it was when he read the script he thought he could bring something new to Batman that hasn’t been seen before.

Lets hope one of those is Batman's fighting. I like a lot about Nolan’s Dark Knight series but we can both agree the fight scenes are not the greatest. If Affleck thinks he can bring something never seen before with Batman on film, please go to Zack Snyder and nail it to his head. I want to see Batman fight like Batman fights, how does he fight? Just watch Batman the Animated Series, Justice League and so on. I want to see a Batman fight and as he fights Batarangs are flying out of his hand hitting and tying up henchmen. I also want to see the fight unlike the Nolan close ups, which at times just showed feet.

Also longer fights would be nice, not 10-15 seconds ones.

As I think about what Ben Affleck said, about this being an opportunity to do something new. This could be a great thing not just for Batman but also of all DC characters. So please Snyder you have a clean slate.

Don’t screw it up.

All things said Affleck isn’t what I’m worried about, but the story and the background of our new Batman, which I am.
Score: Ben Affleck as Batman - B+

Next Up

Part 2 - The Batman Rumors




Sunday, March 16, 2014

300: Rise Of An Empire

OVERACHIEVING 
It's hard for me to imagine now that the tales of Leonidas and Xerxes and Spartan warriors are old hat.  I remember when Zack Snyder's 2006 film 300 was something that no one knew bubkiss about.  That changed when it slaughtered the box office through strong word of mouth, making it one of the highest grossing R rated films ever made.  Since then, Lena Headey is a household name, Michael Fassbender is an Oscar nominee, and Gerard Butler has gone on to star in every type of failed romantic comedy ever conceived.  (Being catapulted, whether that be into the air or stardom, isn't an exact science.) The brave 300 became a pop culture staple, which I often gauge by a character's appearance in one of those horrid spoof movies.  So, I was skeptical when I heard that a sequel graphic novel was being created by the "not so sane anymore" Frank Miller and being turned into a film.  Why tread on old, and in my opinion, already poetically ended ground?  After some coaxing from, again, strong word of mouth, I put my apprehension aside and gave it a chance.  I am happy and very surprised to say that 300: Rise Of An Empire not only holds its own with the original 300, but supercedes it in some facets.  It is an OVERACHIEVING underdog that acknowledges and builds off of its roots.

What's it about?  Well, here is probably the most interesting and well done thing about this film.  300: Rise Of An Empire fills in the gaps left behind by its predecessor 300.  As much as I love 300, the film skirts past a lot of chances to build up depth in the world it inhabits.  Hell, without Lena Headey's brief storyline as Queen Gorgo, the film is practically a gloriously action packed montage of sex and violence.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Rise Of An Empire tries to do something done sneakily by Bourne Ultimatum, done brashly by Bourne Legacy, and done incomprehensibly by X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  It weaves its story around the events before, during and after the original.  The creation and rise of Xerxes, the Persian campaign taking place away from the Hot Gates, the steps taken to unite all of Greece.   All of these things done to not only strengthen the original 300 as a film, but elevate Rise Of An Empire as its own sturdy branch of a grand story.  So, this film is not a sequel.  It is a sidequel with an actual purpose.

Now don't think that because I said this story fills in gaps that it is boring.  NOTHING could be further from the truth.  I haven't fully quantified this, but I dare say that Rise Of An Empire has more swords, and blood, and death, and sex and destruction than 300.  The most famous shot in the original 300, my favorite shot in the original 300, is the "Crazyhorse" shot of Leonidas.  The one where he practically rips through the Persian front line single handed like a damn superhero.  Rise Of An Empire has two of these scenes just as epic, and one using AN ACTUAL HORSE!  Director Noam Murro, who had only worked on the indie film Smart People before this, really does a terrific job with these action scenes.  Though, this may be praise that deserves to fall on the head of the visual effects department or cinematographer.  Either way, rest easy if you think that Rise Of An Empire might play it safe.  It surely does not.

When it comes to performances in films like this, 300, Sin City, Dredd and the like, it isn't really about being a great actor.  Though it doesn't hurt.  It's really about an actor or actress trying to be bold, to be memorable, to stand out.  It is very easy to disappear in a film focused mainly on style.  Gerard Butler and Headey and Fassbender and Dominic West, and Rodrigo Santoro knew how to play into the genre.  They used the somewhat campy material to their advantage instead of being overwhelmed by it.  The returning players to Rise Of An Empire have not forgotten to do this.  Headey, Santoro and even David Wenham are just as entertaining in this as they were before.  The new players, unfortunately, don't manage to completely accomplish my theory of standing out.  Sullivan Stapleton handles his action scenes well, but he just never gripped me as someone I should follow.  The speeches and screams of inspiration that felt so genuine and right coming out of Butler's mouth, feel somewhat hollow coming out of his.  A similar father and son storyline is used in Rise Of An Empire that I really began to enjoy.  However, it didn't get enough meat to it as I would have liked.  The one exception to the newcomer performances comes from the always amazing Eva Green.

Now, I'm not gonna pretend that I don't already adore Eva Green.  I'm not gonna pretend that I haven't already declared her my favorite Bond Girl.  But trust me, it is not my biased exaggeration that this film BELONGS TO HER.  Her performance as Artemisia is easily the strongest performance in this film and the one everyone will talk about.  I think Green was born to play strong women.  Watching her, you can easily see her complete and utter fearlessness as an actor in every glare, and smirk, and bare naked fight/sex scene she has. (Yeah.  That happens.)  She completely embodies this character and makes even Xerxes' ambition seem tame in comparison to her's.  Green's work as Morgan on the short-lived Starz series Camelot is comparable here, but Artemisia is Morgan turned up to 11.  Green is gonna absolutely own as Ava Lord in the other Frank Miller adaptation this year, A Dame To Kill For.

300: Rise Of An Empire fulfills its job as an enjoyable companion piece to Zack Snyder's Spartan epic.  Whenever it tries to be different than its predecessor, it surprisingly thrives.  Don't just be a witness...board the boats...paint your face in a remarkably similar Frank Castle Punisher pattern...watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grand Piano

IMITATE
Grand Piano - Imitate

I often imagine myself in pitch meetings for films. A bunch of guys, or gals, who think they are the smartest person in the room that has the next best ideas. These are the same meetings where we got bat nipples, thinking Superman can lift an entire Kryptonite island, and a fifth Paranormal Activity would be a great idea. With "Grand Piano", I'm sure the idea was, "hey, let's make a version of Phone Booth without the booth and put it in a music hall where the kid from North plays the piano." As sarcastic as I might sound, I would have said ".....tell me more." Unfortunately, despite the Hitchcock and Argento influence, "Piano" is much happier trying to imitate their style as opposed to creating a truly suspenseful experience.  However, that doesn't mean there isn't enough suspense to keep you interested.

"Piano" is the tale of Tom Selznick, played by Elijah Wood, a stage fright piano virtuoso still trying to live down one of his greatest failures.  With the help and encouragement of his movie star wife Emma, played by Kerry Bishé, Tom is ready to redeem himself in front of a packed house while playing the iconic piano of his mentor, Patrick Godureaux.  Little does Tom know that he is a pawn in a much bigger game and one wrong note could cost him his life.  I love to get a little melodramatic sometimes.

Overall, the premise of "Piano" is actually quite interesting.  It takes the best parts of films like "Opera," "Speed," and "Nick of Time" and gives it the sense of dread that you would feel in, as I mentioned before, an Argento or Hitchcock film.  There are several long shots throughout the film that add to the tension and add scope to the size of the performance that Tom is about to put on; and this brings me to the piano playing scenes, which are excellent.  Apparently Wood has a piano playing background, but I would assume that combining that with his acting ability, and perhaps a little CG and camera trickery made him look like the piano prodigy that he is in the film.

Outside of the look and feel of "Piano" that is where the film takes a bit of a nosedive.  Once the film gets underway there is a certain lack of suspense, and while I really do enjoy the performance of Wood, I never really felt that his life was at risk, and the film turns into a formulaic slasher film once a few people end up getting killed.

My other issue was "the voice."  For sake of spoilers I won't disseminate who's behind "the voice" but for one it's not Keifer Sutherland (by God I wish it was Jack Bauer on the other line) but the pay-off, again, is lackluster and doesn't have the same "oomph" as the reveal might have had in the early 90s.

What has surprised me lately are the roles that Wood is continuing to take; he's become less and less Hollywood and more and more of an Indie Horror Hero.  Since his turn as Kevin in "Sin City" (and that little cameo in "The Hobbit") Wood has elected to stay away from the harsh light of Hollywood and star in quirkier fare, including the starring role in the underrated remake of "Maniac."  While I don't really buy Wood as a piano genius, his performance is still relatively strong and he is starting to remind me more and more of a modern day Peter Lorre.

While "Grand Piano" isn't perfect, it does create enough tension throughout to hold one's attention, but at the end of the day, it does a better job imitating then setting itself apart from those that wish to be Hitchcock, and the man who WAS Hitchcock.  Nonetheless, still worth a watch if you're a fan of the technical merits of filmmaking.  Also, as an aside, kudos to Magnet Releasing for continuing to release interesting thiller/horror/bizarro films that take chances.

Fun Fact: A "custom" Bösendorfer is the piano used in the film, an Austrian manufacturer founded in 1828.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station - Crushing
CRUSHING

Adapting a news story into a film is always a tricky proposition.  For the most part, there isn't much suspense since the end game for people involved in said story is known.  However, when you're able to create suspense and make an audience forget about the ending and concentrate on what is happening in front of them, that's the definition of film-making.  "Fruitvale Station" is a crushing cinematic experience that explores race relations, social media, and laws that discriminate against young minorities, even in a state as progressive as California.

"Fruitvale" is based on the shooting of Oscar Grant by BART officers on New Years Day 2009 in Oakland, California.  The film begins with cellphone video footage of the arrest and shooting of Grant by the officers.  After the first harrowing few minutes the film turns to the last 24 hours in Oscar's life, a 22-year old drug dealer trying to walk the line to provide for his girlfriend and 4-year old daughter.

Ryan Coogler, who directed "Fruitvale", has created an experience where you forget about the inevitable ending for Oscar and concentrate on his life, which makes the ending all the more crushing.  Michael B. Jordan, who portrays Grant, shows how far he's come from playing Wallace on "The Wire."  Jordan gives a performance that was certainly overlooked for some major awards in 2013.  While most people will not know the nuances of Grant outside of his friends and family, Jordan's performance is likeable and heartbreaking and you feel the pain of Grant's mother, played excellently by Octavia Spencer, when her son is ripped away from her come the end of "Fruitvale."

This might be oft-topic, but ironically enough, Jordan has also been named as the next Johnny Storm in the upcoming "Fantastic Four" reboot at Fox.  As many may know, typically in comic lore, Storm, aka, The Human Torch, is a white character.  With that news, you would have thought that an entire fan-base had been shot in the back.  Sure, this comparison might be a bit tacky, but it goes to show the division that we still have as a society.  If as many people got upset about the slaying of Grant in Oakland as people did at the fact that a black actor was set the play a traditionally white comic book character we might be on the right track as a people.  My two-cents of course would be this; why not make both Johnny and Sue Storm, aka, The Invisible Girl, both black as opposed to explaining away the fact that one of them had to be adopted or something else to that extent.  Just had to put that out there.

It's unfortunate that films like "Fruitvale" have to be made.  As a society we continue to see tragedies like Grant's death and more recently the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012.  As long as humans continue to exists there will be shootings and crimes against people that are based on profiling and prejudices.  The triumph, if you will, of "Fruitvale" is the hopeful aspect that maybe white people don't need to be scare of black people.  The portrayal of Grant isn't glamorous and overblown, it's a portrayal of someone trying to get their act together while also trying to rise above stereotypes.  One of the most powerful scenes in the film is Oscar meeting a young white woman (Ahna O'Reilly) in a grocery store.  At first you see hesitation on her part, a typical "white" response, when Oscar asks her what she's looking for.  After a moment however, and Oscar picking up on her hesitation, there is a very human moment between the two.  The time is over to be scared of young black men white people!

Overall, "Fruitvale" showcases not only a rising star in Jordan, but also is a touchstone for race in cinema.  If "12 Years A Slave" is the best film of 2013, than "Fruitvale" is its more accessible and relatable younger sibling.

"Fun" Fact:  BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit and has been in operation since 1972.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simplistic Reviews Picks (on) The Oscars!


It's that time of year again.   The time of year where overprivileged stars get together, shake hands, say how much they appreciate each other, attend the Vanity Fair after-party, get smashed, and yeah...win awards.

Our job here at Simplistic Reviews, besides being jealous of these actors, is to decide who will win, and who will lose.  It's Oscar time ladies and germs!

The 86th Annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, March 2nd, and to commemorate this special occasion DJ, Justin, Neal, who has been dubbed "The Voice of the People", and Matt are picking the winners.

To make things easier, we are color coding their picks.  In the event of the same picks multiple colors will be added per winner.  Throughout the night, this post will be updated with the winners along with a running total of who has the most correct picks.  The boys will also be live tweeting the awards in an effort to mock every horrible outfit and every clunky acceptance speech.  Follow @srblogspot@chezitman and @tryingtobedjv for all types of hilarity.

Justin is RED
Neal is BLUE
DJ is GREEN
Matt is ORANGE 


Best Picture
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a SlaveWINNER
  • The Wolf of Wall Street 

Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)WINNER

Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)WINNER
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)


Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) WINNER

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Ironically, the two black guys pick the white chick, and the white guys pick the black chick)
  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)WINNER
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
 Best Animated Feature
  • The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)
  • Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)
  • Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)
  • Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)WINNER
  • The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

Best Cinematography
  • The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
  • Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)WINNER
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
  • Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)
  • Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins)

Best Costume Design
  • American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
  • The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)
  • The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)WINNER
  • The Invisible Woman (Michael O'Connor)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)

Best Directing
  • American Hustle (David O. Russell)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)WINNER
  • Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Best Film Editing
  • American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)
  • Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)WINNER
  • 12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews) WINNER
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Stephen Prouty)
  • The Lone Ranger (Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny)

Best Original Score
  • The Book Thief (John Williams)
  • Gravity (Steven Price)WINNER
  • Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
  • Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

Best Original Song
  • Happy (Despicable Me 2)
  • Let It Go (Frozen)WINNER
  • The Moon Song (Her)
  • Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Best Visual Effects
  • Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)WINNER
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds)
  • Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)
  • The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier)

Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)
  • Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
  • Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
  • 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)WINNER
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Best Original Screenplay
  • American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)
  • Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
  • Her (Spike Jonze)WINNER
  • Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men: Bland

118mins | Biography | 2014 

A complete mess of a film due to reasons that kill me and make me cry.

The story behind Monuments is a beautiful one. A group put together to rescue art stolen by the Nazis in World War II. I myself like this story unlike a lot of people online who apparently think its no worth tell. I think it’s one of importance and therefore one that should be told, just not in a theater.

My biggest issue with this film is the amount to be told and not enough time to tell it. Sure 118mins is long enough for most stories but not this one. What they tried to do was fit 10 lb of shit in a 5 lb bag.  This would of worked better as an episodic show on HBO, History Channel or whatever. A 10-part show, 1hr long would be more then enough, not 118mins.

Sadly with the 118mins that they had they wasted it on scenes that didn’t need to be in there. Also having a cast of 7 well-known actors sharing the screen caused issues with time. The amount of unneeded scenes and the editing back and forth of current scenes killed me. Even the camera work and blocking just seemed off, I thought in the theater that this felt very amateurish filmmaking. So much could have been reworked and cleaned up; even the jokes seemed really dare I say it, lame.

So much of this film seemed wasted, and yet I wanted more after it was over.

I wanted to like this film a lot. I adore the time period, the actors and in general filmmaking and at the end I just had a, Whatever vibe. That’s not what I wanted, and that’s not what I expected.


It’s disappointing and I expected better from this company of men.


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