Poll: What Are You Watching? (Apr. 3-5, 2015)

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What Are You Watching? (Apr. 3-5, 2015)

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Film Preview: Spectre (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

November 6, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

Poster: C / D+ (2)

Review: (#1) The teaser worked for what it was, but what’s quite disappointing is that the subsequent two posters (#2 & #3) just don’t have any emotional heft, design excellence or thrilling excitement. They are still basically teasers.

Trailer: B-

Review: After the wonderful franchise reboot Casino Royale, Bond got a needed infusion of grit. It also gave us the idea that subsequent films would be as good. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Quantum of Solace was a dim follow up and although many thought Skyfall was among the best, I found it frustrating and filled with missed opportunities and bland caricatures.

Oscar Prospects:

Now that Skyfall has broken the Bond franchise’s Oscar logjam, will it finally start picking up Oscar nominations in multiple categories? I’m suspecting it won’t. It might still get some nods in Original Song and Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, but I don’t think it will replicate the prior film’s successes nearly as well, especially not in terms of winning.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

Additional Posters




Poster #2Poster #3

Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 3-5, 2015

Even if something else had opened wide this weekend, Furious 7 was going to dominate anyway.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: I haven’t seen any of the Fast & Furious films. That will not change this week. Of the rest, none of the indie releases seem that interesting.
Peter J. Patrick: A couple of decent art-house entries this week, but nothing that can’t wait for DVD.

Thomas LaTourrette: Having never seen a Fast & Furious film, I doubt I will start with number 7. The limited releases both have interesting premises, but, unfortunately, the early reviews are not kind.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 1 (2015)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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Film Preview: Southpaw (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 31, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A boxer fights his way to the top, only to find his life falling apart around him.”

Poster: N

Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer: B

Review: There’s a lot to find interesting in this trailer, but it’s so incredibly long and gives away too much of the plot that it makes it really difficult to get to excited about it.

Oscar Prospects:

Jake Gyllenhaal will be one of the prime contenders for Best Actor this year. After missing this year’s slate by a hair, many voters will want to push him into the competition and this looks like the kind of brazen performance that they can get behind. The problem will be if the film isn’t very good on the whole. That isn’t likely to help his chances.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

The DVD Report #406

The film version of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller Unbroken, about the life of Louis Zamperini, was the early Oscar favorite last year with director Angelina Jolie talked about as a potential Best Director Oscar winner and star Jack O’Connell as the next big thing. While the film opened to strong box office at year’s end, it was mostly liked, but not loved by the critics. What went wrong?

There was nothing wrong with the film as far it went. O’Connell was terrific as Zamperini, as were Dohmnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrick as his co-survivors on a raft in the Pacific for 47 days before being rescued by a Japanese ship and brought to a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Garrett Hedlund as a fellow prisoner and Jai Courntney as an early casualty of war were also strong in their roles. Miyavi was interesting if not entirely believable as Zamparini’s tormentor. Roger Deakins’ Oscar-nominated cinematography, Alexandre Desplat’s score, the SAG-winning stunt ensemble and the Oscar-nominated sound editing and mixing were all superb. As far as it went it was a fine film, but that’s the problem. It didn’t go far enough. The film spent so much time on the torture scenes that they didn’t have time left for the last third of the book, which represented the remaining seventy years of the protagonist’s life.

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This Day in Oscar History: March 31 (2015)

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Get Hard”

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Now That You’ve Seen Get Hard…?

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Film Preview: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 31, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.”

Poster: D

Review: Pulling a single scene from the trailer doesn’t always work and while this will, no doubt, be a very adrenaline-heavy sequence, on a poster, it just seems forgettable.

Trailer: B

Review: As anyone who’s enjoyed the Mission: Impossible films will tell you: reminding them of how much you enoyed the prior outings only serves to whet your appetite. This did just that.

Oscar Prospects:

The Mission: Impossible franchise is much much younger than the James Bond franchise, so I don’t think it will have much luck at the Oscars, though some sound nods might not be unexpected.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 27-29, 2015

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Home

DreamWorks is almost always guaranteed a slot at the Oscar nomination table. That gives Home an advantage that I don’t think it would have otherwise.

Although it’s opening to strong box office, Home is one of the worst reviewed DreamWorks films ever, scoring an abysmal 49% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and 55 rating from MetaCritic. This may test the DreamWorks guaranteed slot because animators tend not to reward mediocre films. Even the ones that weren’t that great like Puss in Boots managed to land nominations, but they had much better reviews.

This could mean that a power vacuum is approaching. Disney & Pixar have one outing each this year. DreamWorks only has one. That leaves the likes of Universal’s Minions, Fox’s Peanuts Movie and Paramount’s Monster Trucks as potential power fillers. Assuming Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are both nominated, that leaves three slots that could go to films other than Home. Of course, things may not be entirely bleak and it could still get a nomination, but at this juncture, I’m not seeing the likelihood.

The Morning After: Mar. 30, 2015

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

I began watching Up Close and Personal and got halfway through before the DVD stopped playing correctly. I’ve requested a replacement form Netflix. I also tried to watch Pitch Perfect, but it’s on the newest DVD format, which doesn’t always work with my player, so I have to do something different. Maybe next week.

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Rating

Director
Wes Anderson
Screenplay
Wes Anderson
Length
100 min.
Starring
Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori, Larry Pine, Giselda Volodi, Florian Lukas, Karl Markovics, Volker Michalowski, Neal Huff, Bob Balaban, Fisher Stevens, Wallace Wolodarsky, Waris Ahluwalia
MPAA Rating
R for language, some sexual content and violence
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Review: Birdman (2014)

Birdman

Rating

Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Screenplay
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Armando Bo
Length
119 min.
Starring
Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Katherine O’Sullivan, Merritt Weaver, Amy Ryan, Lindsay Duncan
MPAA Rating
R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence
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Review: Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl

Rating

Director
David Fincher
Screenplay
Gillian Flynn (Novel: Gillian Flynn)
Length
149 min.
Starring
Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit
MPAA Rating
R for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language
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This Day in Oscar History: March 30 (2015)

Born

Died

Released

Ceremonies


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