Friday, November 30, 2012

Best Music: 2000s

UPDATE (12/10/12): I just realized that I forgot about Mihály Vig's beautiful score for Bela Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies. So, it's replaced Ennio Morricone's win for Malena in 2000. Sorry, but I HAD to fix that. 
 
Best Original Score:

2000: Werckmeister Harmonies (Mihály Vig)
Oscar winner: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Tan Dun)
Was this nominated?: No 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 Visual Effects Oscar Shortlist

Bond's 23rd outing is up for the Visual F/X Oscar.

The Academy has just released the ten films up for Best Visual Effects this year.  Of the ten selections, only five will be nominated. Of course, this list indicates that films like The Impossible and Looper will not be nominated in this category. Press release here.

Here's the list:

The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Cloud Atlas
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
John Carter
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Skyfall
Snow White and the Huntsman

Note: It was also revealed earlier this month that 21 animated films have been submitted for Best Animated Feature Film. So, that means there will be five nominees in that category as well. Press release here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Norwegian Wood: The Cinematography


IMDb Synopsis: "Toru recalls his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki's girlfriend, and another woman, the outgoing, lively Midori."

Though it originally premiered in 2010, this film wasn't released in the U.S. until earlier this year. I just watched (and loved) it, and the cinematography is exquisite. For that alone, I had to plug it here. Oh, and Jonny Greenwood even contributes a haunting score, if you're interested.

More after the cut.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Double Feature: Twelve O'Clock High (1949) & Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Twelve O'Clock High - ****

In this classic World War II drama, Gregory Peck plays General Frank Savage, who is assigned to the 918th Heavy Bombardment Group, after the previous commander becomes unable to lead his troops. This flying outfit specializes in daytime bombing, which was unheard of at the time. When he takes charge of the unit, Savage is a tough leader, and the flyers under his command don't take to his less than genial demeanor. Savage's goal is to get the men working efficiently, pushing them to achieve results in the field and become a more productive outfit. To do this, he will have to win the men over with the help of a crafty officer (Dean Jagger), the ex-commander (Gary Merrill), and the mens' elected representative (Robert Patten). The group slowly improves, but an important final mission could prove disastrous for Savage, as he and his men are tested beyond in the heat of battle.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Life of Pi (2012)

Pi and Richard lost at sea.

Directed by Ang Lee
Produced by Gil Netter, Ang Lee, and David Womark
Written by David Magee (screenplay); Yann Martel (novel)
Starring Suraj Sharma, Irfan Khan, Rafe Spall, and Gerard Depardieu

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Top 10 Nicole Kidman Performances


Here's a list for the LAMB Acting School on one of my favorite actresses. Note: My #1 and #2 are interchangeable.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Best Music: 1990s

Best Original Score: 

1990: Edward Scissorhands (Danny Elfman)
Oscar winner: Dances with Wolves (John Barry)
Was this nominated?: No

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


It's Thanksgiving, so I wanted to say "Thanks". Thanks to my loyal readers and commenters, followers, and everyone who's visited this blog. To all who are celebrating, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you're having a better one than this family did. ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 Viewing Update

I've been watching several 2012 films lately, trying to catch up before the end of the year. Here's my very brief thoughts on 12 of them (with ratings).


Damsels in Distress (dir. Whit Stillman)

**1/2

Funny moments and good performances, but the quirkiness can be quite grating at times.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: The Sessions (2012)

Hunt and Hawkes give two of 2012's best performances.

Directed by Ben Lewin
Produced by Judi Levine, Ben Lewin, and Stephen Nemeth
Written by Ben Lewin (screenplay); Mark O'Brien (article)
Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, Rhea Pearlman, Adam Arkin, and William H. Macy

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: Lincoln (2012)

Daniel Day-Lewis goes for a third Oscar.

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg
Written by Tony Kushner (screenplay); Doris Kearns Goodwin (book)
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, and Tommy Lee Jones

Friday, November 16, 2012

Best Music: 1980s

Best Original Score:

1980: The Empire Strikes Back (John Williams)
Oscar winner: Fame (Michael Gore)
Was this nominated?: Yes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Movie Alphabet


Mettel Ray has started this cool Movie Alphabet blogathon. If you want to participate, just do your post, then head to the link above (or you can click the picture).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Whatever Happened to Thora Birch?


This was going to be my entry into A Fistful of Films' blogathon. But I looked at the guidelines again, and I forgot that one's pick has to be an Oscar nominee. So, here's the unused entry.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Passion of Anna (1970) vs. Face to Face (1976)


In catching up with my favorite director, I watched two great films. Both of these foreign classics are written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and they star Liv Ullmann. (SPOILERS)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Oscar Predictions

Affleck's film could go home with 4 wins.

Since my last update, Lincoln is officially a contender, and The Master could very well miss in Best Picture and Best Director. Also, Les Miserables could be the film to beat, even with Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi gaining momentum. Of course, Argo is still out in front, while films like Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, and Django Unchained could also feature in the Oscar race. Meanwhile, early guesses such as Promised Land, Seven Psychopaths, and Quartet are probably not going to be nominated. 

Potential winners indicated with an asterisk. (*)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Skyfall (2012)

This one's a keeper.

Directed by Sam Mendes
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Written by Neil Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan (screenplay); Ian Fleming (characters)
Starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, and Judi Dench

Friday, November 9, 2012

Best Music: 1970s

Best Original Score:

1970: Love Story (Francis Lai)
Oscar winner: Love Story (Francis Lai)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Heartbeats (2011)

Left to right: Francis (Dolan), Nicolas (Schneider) & Marie (Chokri)

Directed by Xavier Dolan
Produced by Xavier Dolan, Carole Mondello, and Daniel Morin
Written by Xavier Dolan
Starring Monia Chokri, Niels Schneider, and Xavier Dolan

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Lose Oscar Cred in 10 Years

Kate Hudson was nominated for an Oscar over a decade ago.

My entry into A Fistful of Films' blogathon. Please excuse the terrible pun in the title of this post. I just couldn't resist.

In 2001, Kate Hudson became an Oscar nominee for her terrific performance in Almost Famous. She had it made in Hollywood, and I'm sure she had a great many projects coming in. Unfortunately, she gambled and lost. When the remake of The Four Feathers flopped, she began appearing mostly in romantic comedies and thrillers, among which include such films as The Skeleton Key, Bride Wars, My Best Friend's Girl, and Something Borrowed. She has since been in some award-winning films like Nine and The Killer Inside Me, but her career has never gotten back on track. Next up, she appears in Mira Nair's thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I hope she gets back to doing films like Almost Famous, because she was fantastic once upon a time. 

Note: I wrote a longer post for my blogathon entry, but I forgot that one's pick must be an Oscar nominee. Look for that unused post next week.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oscar Campaign Bust #6: Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace

007 has received no Oscar love since For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Skyfall is finally opening in the U.S. this week. Since it is getting some Oscar buzz, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the last two campaign efforts in the Bond franchise.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Best Music: 1960s

Best Original Score:

1960: Psycho (Bernard Herrmann)
Oscar winner: Exodus (Ernest Gold)
Was this nominated?: No

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Films I Saw in October

This month's best has a little something for everyone...or not.

The Best:
1. Cloud Atlas - ****
2. Pitch Perfect (x2) - ****
3. Oslo, August 31st - ****
4. Heartbeats - ****
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - ****
6. Bride of Frankenstein (theaters) - ****
7. Argo (x2) - ****
8. Sleepless Night - ****
9. Six Shooter - ****
10. Frankenstein (1931) (theaters) - ****

More after the cut.