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Posts Tagged ‘ oscars ’

Oscars 2014: The Verdict

This Sunday marks the most prestigious night in the Hollywood calendar; the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Now many people are chiming in with their guesses for the big prizes however I have found myself conflicted on a number of categories with who I think will win and who I want win and so I have decided to acknowledge both. You can find a full list of those nominated here . Now not to ramble on like so many of the speeches this Sunday will.

Best Actor

ImageThis years Best Actor category is the most stacked category of the year. In my opinion any one of the five men nominated put in better performances than any and of the nominees from last year’s awards, Daniel Day Lewis included. We have been treated to five top class and diverse performances from five of the best actors working today. A lot of people have picked Mattew McConaughey as their pick for the winner which is perfectly understandable. In my opinion the best actor over the last 12 months is without a shred of doubt is McConaughey. Not only in Dallas Buyers Club but he also gave Academy Award nomination worthy performances in Mud and The Wolf Of Wall Street, not to mention his haunting stint on True Detective. However Best Actor is awarded to the best single performance of the year not the best Actor of the year overall. Chiwetel Ejiofor delivered that for me. 12 Years A Slave was a completely different animal of a movie which brought its cast to places rarely explored in Hollywood cinema. Ejiofor plays the protagonist with a combination of power and weakness that has stayed with me for months now. Another factor towards my favoritism of Ejiofor is that I feel this will be the best performance of his life while McConaughey has had several stunning performances, which is a testament to the man’s ridiculous talent. Continue reading

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Film Review: Her

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The lonely, recently heart-broken Theodore Twombly falls in love with an intelligent operating system with a female voice and a frighteningly developed personality. Reading that premise, two possibilities come to mind: a dark, brooding experimental art-house also ran, directed by a David Lynch wannabe, or an annoyingly soft, Pitchfork soundtracked Indie, with it’s quirkiness painted by numbers. However, director Spike Jonze manages to find a sweet spot between the two, and here his film thrives and becomes one of the best of the year.

The nebbish Theodore is played by Joaquin Phoenix in one of his best performances thus far. His story takes place in the not too distant future, where OS software is so developed it has an eerily human voice and personality of it’s own, designed as a sort of “in-ear, invisible personal assistant”. Theodore’s OS “Samantha” (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) immediately charms Theodore and comforts him as he finishes divorce proceedings with his wife (Rooney Mara). The two soon fall in love in a way that is not only convincing, but compelling. The lively Samantha is the perfect foil for the shy and lonely Theodore, and the film chooses to draw humour from the inherent difficultly of relationships, rather than aiming for cheap laughs at the expense of Theodore’s questionable romance. Continue reading

12 Years A Slave

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When I read about 12 Years a Slave I was smitten: innovative director with excellent CV, grim political subject matter, eye-catching cast, galaxy of five-star reviews from latte-sipping publications. As a man with a taste for misery, leftist politics and Michael Fassbender, it seemed we were made for each other.

But then we met. It was OK. It wasn’t a disaster. I politely winced in all the right places, felt bad at the appropriate moments, genuinely admired much of the acting. But there was no spark. We parted amicably and I trudged home, deflating like a slow puncture. Continue reading

Ronan Lands Lead Role In Brooklyn Adaptation

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Irish actress Saoirse Ronan is set to take on the leading role in upcoming Brooklyn, adapted from the 2009 Colm Tóibín novel of the same name.

Speaking to Brendan Connelly of Bleeding Cool News, director John Crowley confirmed that Ms. Ronan will replace the originally cast Rooney Mara (‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’) as Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant in 1950’s New York whose blossoming relationship with an Italian plumber is threatened when tragedy calls her home once more. Continue reading

Late To The Party: Raging Bull

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Biopics are a huge source of internal conflict for me. While a large proportion of them are great films (at least comparative to other genres), I still don’t consider myself a fan. Firstly when the person is so iconic, such as Abraham Lincoln, it’s hard for me to remain invested in a plot I know the outcome of. I was never on the edge of my seat waiting to see if slavery was abolished or not when I went to see Lincoln. Also, some bio-pics are guilty of glorifying their namesakes and fail in giving a sufficiently unbiased portrayal. So, for me at least, biopics work best when they feature less iconic people (Oskar Schindler for example) and/or when they present their protagonist in as honest a light as possible (Billy Hayes from Midnight Express). With that being said, Raging Bull, the tragic life story of the vicious middle-weight boxer Jake La Motta, is undoubtedly my favourite biopic of all time.

Continue reading

Film 2013 : A Preview Of What’s To Come

Like last year 2013 brings  a lot of big blockbuster movies filled with comic book superheroes, sequels and 80’s remakes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Tom Cruise are back in the mix, saving the world and killing all the bad guys. Even Stephanie Meyers can’t leave us alone after her schmalzy “Twilight Saga” has finally come to an end and gives us a parasitic alien in the form of Saoirse Ronan. Sometimes it really does feel like Hollywood has run out of ideas and just regurgitates what has already proven to be box-office gold. But that isn’t always a bad thing, as you’ll know what you’re getting for your money when you buy a ticket.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the big films coming out throughout the year, but as we know in films, timelines are fluid so see the months as guidelines not craved in stone.

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January starts of with a big bang and Arni in “The Last Stand”. Schwarzenegger is the disgraced LAPD officer Ray Owens who is serving out his time in the sleepy little town Summerton Junction. When drug lord Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) shows up all hell breaks lose and Schwarzenegger is back to his good old standard of killing people with big guns. Maybe not a film for the Oscars but if you like action movies and are an Schwarzenegger fan “The Last Stand” won’t disappoint, even if the plot is a little weak and the acting a little wooden.

Other Films like “Lincoln”, “The Sessions” and Django Unchained” have already been winning prizes and if you want to know more about them just follow the links.

February is filled with lots of light-hearted comedy in Films like “This is 40”, “Parental Guidance”, “I Give It A Year” and “Wreck-it Ralph”. But there is a good balance with dramas like Oscar nominee “Flight” and Bafta nominee “Hitchcock”.

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However the biggest blockbuster could possibly be action film “A Good Day to Die Hard”. Bruce Willis returns as John McClane and this time it’s his son Jack (Jai Courtney) who needs help. When he discovers that his son is actually a CIA agent trying to prevent the Russians from blowing up the world with nuclear weapons the father and son team up and try and save the day.

March is a month of science fiction and fantasy with “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” tracking down evil hags and killing them. “G.I Joe” makes a return to cinemas and  Percy Jackson, Poseidon’s son, is also back in “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”. Nicholas Hoult is “Jack the Giant Slayer” and Saoirse Ronan plays “The Host” to a parasitic alien.

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The one to watch is probably “Elysium”. With Director Neil Blomkamp (District-9) at its helm this sci-fi thriller looks promising. In the year 2159 the human population is split in two, the very wealthy who live on the man made space station Elysium and the rest who live in the slums of earth. Matt Damon plays the hero Max who is trying to bring equality back. Jodie Foster is his adversary Secretary Delacourt who will stop at nothing to keep the wealthy rich.

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April, this is where things start to get a little hazy but it looks like we’ll be seeing a remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie” return to the big screen.  Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit Girl from Kick Ass) replaces Sissy Spacek as Carrie, a shy high school kid who discovers her telekinetic powers and unleashes some supernatural nastiness on her peers.  And it could be that this is the month that we see Tom Cruise again in his upcoming film “Oblivion”.

May could be the mega month of releases with “Iron Man 3”, “Star Trek 2”, “The Hangover 3”, “Fast Six” (Fast and the Furious franchise) and the  Lone Ranger all hoping to lure us into the cinema.

Although the “Lone Ranger” is a new project for Walt Disney Pictures it does reunite Johnny Depp and his Pirates Director Gore Verbinski.  Depp is Tonto who tells the tales of John Ried (Armie Hammer) or the Lone Ranger as he’s better known.

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But May is also said to be the month that the long awaited “Great Gatsby “ finally graces our screens.  With Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Toby Maguire as Nick Carraway it looks like it could have been worth the wait.

June brings back the “Man of Steel”. This time round it’s handsome Henry Cavill (Cold Light of Day) who is clad in the blue tights and red panties but that isn’t his only support, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Laurance Fishburne all make an appearance.

Brad Pitt may prove all doubters wrong that the project “World War Z” was filmable after all, when we see him starring in the Paramount production.

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And Hugh Jackman has let his hair grow again for his starring role in “The Wolverine”. This time around it’s off to Japan, who knows maybe those claws will prove useful when making sushi.

But Will Smith is also back in M Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth”. This action Sci-fi  film is only directed by Shyamalan so hopefully it will be better than “The Last Airbender”.

July reunites Stephen Spielberg with science fiction in his film “Robopocalypse”. The film is based on the book by Daniel H Wilson and seems quite similar to “I, Robot”.

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But again Hollywood gives us sequels with “Grown-ups 2” “The Smurfs 2”and “Dispicable Me 2”, and “Jurassic Park” will be stomping its way back into Cinemas in 3D on it’s 25th (yes really) birthday.

“Dirty Dancing” is being re-made and said to be released in June. But after the disastrous “Total Recall”, “Fame” and “Footloose” reboots of the last few years maybe this isn’t such a wise idea. After all can anyone really replace Patrick Swayze as Jonny and Jennifer Grey as Baby? Some films should just be left alone!

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August gives us the return of the retired, extremely dangerous crowd in “RED 2”, who knows maybe like “The Expendables” this will be better second time round. But “300:Battle of Artemisia” will at least give us scantily clad men with eight packs to watch, even I do yell a lot! And even “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” and “Robocop” seem to be on the list of films to come out in the middle of Summer.

As for the rest of the films that are coming out this year things seem to be even less plannable. But some of the other 2013 big blockbusters that will be beckoning you to take a seat and nibble some pop-corn are:

“Oz the Great and Powerful” (March)

“Kick Ass “ (July?)

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” (possibly August)

“Monster University”

“Enders Game” (October)

“Thor: The Dark World” (November)

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (possibly in November)

“The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” (December)

By Jensine-Bethna Wall

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