Sunday, December 14, 2008

Awards season is officially among us

So far we have seen nominations and winners from The National Board Of Review, The Satellite Awards, Boston, L.A., New York, Washington D.C. and St. Louis film critic announcement's.
In the next several days we'll see Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego sending out their picks.

So far names and films that are looking to be Oscar contenders are Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, Clint Eastwood, Richard Jenkins, Sally Hawkins, Meryl Streep, Melissa Leo, Anne Hathaway, Penelope Cruz, Rosemarie DeWitt, Heath Ledger and Josh Brolin, who has surprsingly won two awards already.

Films that are starting off well awards wise are Milk, Slumdog Milliionaire, Wall-E, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and Rachel Getting Married.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First award worthy acting performances

Well, it's December 1st and I have probably seen half of the Oscar buzzed about performances. Most have lived up to the hype and there have been also some surprises.

Let me get this out of the way right out of the shoot. People are still remembering Snow Angles, The Visitor and Frozen River. And I'm glad and a little surprised. I was taken by the Richard Jenkins and Melissa Leo performances, and if you didn't see The Visitor or Frozen River, do yourself a favor and rent them when you can.

There are about 10 buzzed about films I have yet to see, but as of now, Sean Penn's take on the late Harvey Milk is easily the best. I am also glad to see Josh Brolin get a Golden Satellite for his portrayal as George W. Bush. He disappeared in that role and I applaud his effort as he was very reluctant to taking on that role in the first place.

We are now seeing Robert Downey Jr's. name popping up on many lists for possible Oscar nomination for his method acting performance playing a method actor. A performance that one would never tire of. Funny, but at the same time, sublime.

At the end of the month I'll come back and my choices will probably be different, but as of now I'll mention performances I felt were impressive, regardless of lead or support as of today.

Male performaces ? Sean Penn-Milk, Josh Brolin- W., Richard Jenkins- The Visitor, Hugh Jackman- Australia, Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight, Rob Brown- The Express, Sam Rockwell- Choke & Snow Angles, John Malkovich- Burn After Reading, Jason Butler Harner- Changeling, Don Cheadle- Traitor, Dev Patel (debut ) Slumdog Millionaire, Philip Seymour Hoffman- Synecdoche, New York, Danny McBride- The Foot Fist Way, Brendan Gleeson- In Bruges, Leonardo Di Caprio- Body Of Lies, Luke Wilson ( career best ) Henry Poole Is Here, Ed Norton- Pride and Glory, Mark Strong- Body Of Lies, Bill Erwin- Rachel Getting Married.

As for the female performances... Mery Streep- Mamma Mia, Melissa Leo- Frozen River, Angelina Jolie- Changeling, Kate Beckinsale- Snow Angles, Angelica Huston- Choke, Penelope Cruz, Elegy, Kathy Bates- Bonneville, Frances McDormand- Burn After Reading, Elizabeth Banks-W., Julianne Moore- Savage Grace & Blindness, Amy Poehler- Baby Mama, Keira Knightley- The Duchess, Rachel McAdams- The Lucky Ones, Emma Thompson- Brideshead Revisted, Saffron Burrows- The Bank Job.

More to be added come the first of the year obviously, this is just a little golf clap for performances I personally thought were good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Film previews for 2008 complete.

Che is the last film of this year that will be previewed on this site. Any other entry will be discussions of performances and predictions.

Che Film Preview/Synopsis

Che- Parts 1 & 2 Mid Dec ( limited ) Wide January 16
The Argentine & Guerrilla

Directed by Steven Soderbergh ( Traffic, Out Of Sight ) Starring Benicio Del Toro, Franka Potente, Demian Bichir, Victor Rasuk, Julie Ormand, Catalina Mareno Sandino, Lou Diamond Phillips, Matt Damon, Written by Peter Buchman ( Jurassic Park III ) Cinematography by Soderbergh, Edting by Spanish film editor Pablo Zumarraga, Original Music by Alberto Iglesias.

Part I- The Argintine, starts in 1956 where legendary revolutionary and doctor Ernesto " Che " Guevara is one of 80 rebels sailing with Fidel Castro, whom he shares Castro's goal to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Che proves himself a serious fighter and takes to guerrilla warfare. The film will trace Che's rise in the Cuban revolution.

Part II- Guerrilla, Story takes off where Che is at the height of his fame and power, where he organizes a small group of Cuban and Bolivian recruits. The tale tells of sacrifice, idealism, and guerrilla warfare, that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this stroy Che still remains a symbol of idealism and heroism.

130 min. each. Rated R for Some violence.

Oscar chances ? Del Toro could squeak in there as a dark horse. Original screenplay and Cinematography have a very good chance.

Wendy and Lucy Film Preview/Synopsis

Wendy and Lucy Mid Dec. ( Limited )

" A women and her dog "

Directed by Kelly Reichart ( Old Joy ) starring Michelle Williams, Will Patton, Will Oldham and Lucy the dog. Filming completed by a very new and green crew, that most people probably have never heard of..

Film is about Wendy, a women who on her way to a very important interview with a nice paying summer job, who's plans are severely sidetracked, as her car breaks down and then her dog Lucy gets put into the pound. In a financial crisis she finds herself in big trouble as things begin to look pretty bleak for her and Lucy. Premise is about finding Wendy doing all she can by pulling up her boot straps and finding her way out this terrible situation and getting her dog back from the pound and saving Lucy's life too.

80 minutes Rated R for Language.

Oscar chances ? Williams is a dark horse but she has recieved good reviews. I'm thinking good chance for an Independent Spirit Award.

Gran Torino Film Preview/Synopsis

Gran Torino Dec 17 ( Limited-expanding throughout the month )

Directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, and script by unknown Nick Schenk. Cinematography and Editing by longterm Eastwood team Tom Stern and Joel Cox respectively, Original Music by Eastwood.

The film is based on a bigoted and crotchety old Korean War veteran, Walt Kowalski, who's becoming more and more frustrated with the sudden appearence of Hmong people in his once mostly caucasian neighborhood.
Add to his frustration, he catches a youth trying to steal his pride and joy 1972 Gran Torino as part as a gang initiation.
For the boy's punishment, his family forces the boy to work for Kowalski because of their embarrassment.
Walt is pretty much estranged from his own family, and is living alone after the recent death of his wife.
After time, Walt becomes friends with the boy and his family and also a little about the Hmong culture, and goes as far as helping the boy and his sister from the gang.

Rated R for Language and some violence.

Oscar chances ? Good possibility for Eastwood in the Actor category. Film is a Dark Horse for a nomination. Original Screenplay has a chance and Editing are possibles.

Cadillac Records Film Preview/Synopsis

Cadillac Records Dec. 5

Directed by Darnell Martin ( ER/Law And Order ) Starring Adrian Brody, Beyonce Knowels, Jeffrey Wright, Mos Def, Cedric The Entertainer, Columbus Short, Eric Bogosian, Eamonn Walker, Written by Martin, Cinematography by Anastas N. Michos ( Untraceable, The Forgotten ) Editng by Peter C. Frank ( Empire ) Original Music by Terence Blanchard ( Inside Man )

Cadillac Records is about the rise of how Leonard Chess made Chess Records rise out of obscurity to one the all time legendary record lables with artist's like Etta James, Chuck Berry, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters on the roster.

Rated R for pervasive Language and some sexuality.

Oscar chances ? More like Golden Globe for Musical/Comedy, and maybe Beyonce for a GG for Actress in Musical/Comedy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seven Pounds Preview/Synopsis

Seven Pounds Dec. 19

"Seven names, seven strangers "

Directed by Gabriele Muccino ( The Pursuit Of Happyness ) Starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Barry Pepper, Michael Ealy, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jane Morris, Robbine Lee. Written by Grant Nieporte ( 8 Simple Rules To Dating My Daughter ) Cinematography by Phillip Le Sound ( A Good Year ) Editing by Hughes Winborn ( The Great Debaters, Crash ) and Original Music by Angelo Milli.

Seven Pounds reunites Muccino and Smith in this story about redemption and never giving up through an unfortunate situation. Smith plays Ben Thomas, a depressed and suicidal IRS agent, who carries around with him of guilt from mistakes he has made in the past, who attempts to makes ammends from his past mistakes, who then embarks on a journey of redemption, by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

140 mintes Rated PG-13 for Thematic material, some disturbing images, and a scene of sensulaity.

Oscar chances ? Possibles for Picture, Actor, Director, Screenplay and Editing. But the film better hit hard with audiences because it's up against some strong competition.

News out for Road To Perdition sequels

Word has been released that the original movie Road To Perdition will be filming two sequels called Road To Purgatory and Road To Paradise. They will follow the son of Tom Hanks, Michael Sullivan Jr. who returns from WWII and sets out to avenge the death of his father. In that, he gets sucked back into the mob world that his father warned him about, leading him to Al Capone who orders him to kill Frank Nitti. Sam Mendes who directed the original, will not be back this time, but Frank Miller, the writer of the original graphic novel, will write and direct both sequels.

My opinion is why ? But Frank Miller is in charge of it so he may stir up something interesting.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adam Resurrected Film Preview/Synopsis

Adam Ressurected Dec. 25 ( limited ) Opens wide Jan.

Directed by Paul Schrader ( Auto Focus, Affliction ) Starring Jeff Goldblum, Willem DaFoe, Derek Jacobi, Juliane Kohler. Written by Noah Stollman ( Someone To Run With ) Cinematography by Sebastian Edschmid ( Almost Heaven ) Editing by Sandy Safeets, Original Music by Oscar winner Gabriel Yared ( The English Patient, Cold Mountain )

Jeff Goldblum plays Holocaust survivor Adam Stein, recovering from mental wounds he suffered from WW II in a asylum for holocaust survivors in 1961 Isreal. The film's focus is on Stein, who is a charismatic former circus performer, magician, cabaret impresario, and musician, who was loved by everyone, including the Nazi's. That is until he finds himself in a concentration camp. Fast foward and Adam finds himself surviving the camp, as he is hand picked by a powerful German Commadant ( DaFoe ) to become his " dog " play thing entertaining the Commadant, while his wife and daughter are killed. Years later we find Adam in a institution, an eccentric but charismatic patient, who confounds his doctors with his intellect and talent. One day Adam smells ( hears ) something and asks a doctor " who brought that dog in here " At first the doctor denies anything, but Adam finds a boy, the dog, who has been living in the basement, chained there. The boy is Adams' muse for a second life, as the two bond and share their experience, Adam sees they were both " dogs " and this is where their journey begins. A Man who was a dog. who meets a dog who was once a boy.

106 min. Rated R for Disturbing behavior, sexuality, nudity and some language.

Oscar chances ? Long shot for Best Actor ( Goldblum ) but you never know, he could be a dark horse. Also screenplay is a possibility.

Nothing But The Truth Film Preview/Synopsis

Nothing But The Truth Dec. 24 ( Expands in Jan. )

Directed by Rod Lurie ( The Contender, The Last Castle ) Starring Kate Beckinsale, Vera Farminga, Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Matt Dillion, Noah Wyle, David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance and Kristen Shaw. Written by Lurie, Cinematography by Alik Sakharov ( The Sopranos ), Editing by Sarah Boyd ( Resurrecting The Champ ) Original Music by Larry Groupe ( The Contender, Making Contact )

Basis of Nothing, centers on a Washington DC newspaper reporter ( Beckinsale ) who outs a CIA agent ( Farminga ) and ends up in prison for doing so, not revealing her sources. Schwimmer plays her husband who at first supports her silence, then after time begins to resent her stubborness and choice over him and her family. Wyle will play her laywer, Bassett as her supportive Editor and Chief, Dillon as the Prosecuter, Alda as a chosen Attorney that will make his attempt to get her out of prision.

108 min. Rated R for Language, some sexual material, and a scene of violence.

Oscar chances ? Longshot for Actress ( Beckinsale ) Possibles for Supporting Actress ( Farminga ) Supporting Actor ( Alda ) and Screenplay.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Valkyrie Film Preview/Synopsis

Valkyrie Dec.26

Directed by Bryan Singer ( The Usual Suspects, X-Men ) Starring Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilikson, Bill Nighy, Terrence Stamp, Carice Van Houton, Eddie Izzard, David Bamber and Thomas Kretschmann. Screenplay by McQuarrie, Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel ( The Brothers Grimm, Three Kings ) Editing by John Ottman (Apt Pupil, Superman Returns ) Original Music by Ottman ( Cellular, Gothika )

Valkyrie is a true story about a Colonial, Claus von Stauffenberg, in the German Army, who during WWII is severely injured in Africa and returns home to Nazi Germany after the accident. Completely dissolusioned for Germany's fate and realizing Hitler is insane, he develops a secret plan called Operation Valkyrie, one that Hitler agrees to, a plan that if Hitler dies during the war, a secret government would control Germany. The plan is a cover to what is really behind it and that is a German resistance of officers who come together that agree to a plot and assassinate Hilter on July 20 1944 in order to take their country back from a madman and make peace with the allies.
Not only does Stauffenberg lead the resistance group, but it is also he that is to carry out the actual assassination himself.

Rated PG-13 for Violence and Strong Language.

Oscar chances ? It may be a good movie, I just don't see Oscar here for maybe some technical catergories and screenplay.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Reader Film Review/Synopsis

The Reader Dec. 10th ( limited )

Directed by Stephen Daldry ( Billy Elliot, The Hours ) Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Lena Olin, Bruno Ganz, Volker Bruch, Alexandria Maria Lara, Mathias Habich and Susanne Lothar. Written by Oscar nominee David Hare ( The Hours ) Cinematography by Oscar winner Chris Menges ( The Killing Fields, Michael Collins ) Editing by Oscar winner Claire Simpson ( State Of Grace, Platoon ) and Original Music by Alberto Iglesius ( Volver, The Constant Gardener )

Story and film are about the reflections Michael Berg ( Fiennes ) has on the sexual relationship he had as a teen with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz ( Winslet ) in a drama set in post WW II Germany. The passionate affair ends when Hannah disappears. But years later Michael learns she is on trial for horrorific war crimes. David Kross plays the young Michael in flashback, in the film that is based on Bernhard Schlink's international best seller.

Rated R for Sexuality and Nudity.

Oscar chances ? Very good chance for Winslet. Possibles for Picture, Director, Supporting Actor,
Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Original Music and Editing. Film has Oscar winning/nominated talent all over it. Oscar will be paying attention.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire Preview/Synopsis

Slumdog Millionaire Nov.12

" A tale of love, pain, brutality and destiny "

Directed by Danny Boyle ( Trainspotting, The Beach ) Starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Irfan Khan. Written by Simon Beaufoy ( The Full Monty ) Cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle ( The Last King Of Scotland, Dogville ) Editing by Chris Dickens ( Hot Fuzz, Goal ! ) and Original Music by A.R. Rahmon ( Elizabeth II )
What was the last movie that made you laugh out loud in one scene and then make you shed a tear the next ? Those were words I read about one review of Slumdog Millionaire.
A film about an Indian teen, Jamil Malik ( Patel ), with a somewhat learning disability who lives in poverty in the slums of Mumbai, who becomes the contestant of the Hindi version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, not for the chance to win money, but for the possiblity of his true lost love, Latika ( Pinto ), hoping she will see him on the show as she is a religious watcher of the program. To everyone's surprise he comes one question away from becoming a millionaire, though a local police chief suspects Jamil of cheating. And from there Jamil sheds light in his interrogation and the story of his life is unfolded.
Film was the winner of the Cadillac Award for Best film at the Toronto Film Festival. Many reviewer's are saying they wouldn't be surpised if it ends up the best film of 2008. Roger Ebert predicts an Oscar nomination. I also have not read one negative review yet of more than 20. That's pretty incredible really. I don't remember this much hype about a movie. Not even The Dark Knight was universally loved as this.

120 min. Rated R For some violence, Disturbing images and Language.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Preview/Synopsis

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Dec. 25

" I was born under unusual circumstances "

Directed bt David Fincher ( Seven, Fight Club ) Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Jason Flemyng, Tilda Swinton, Elias Koteas, Julie Ormand and Elle Fanning. Written by Oscar winner Eric Roth ( Forrest Gump, The Insider ) Cinematography Claudio Miranda ( Failure To Launch ) Editing by Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall ( Zodiac, Panic Room ) and Original Music by Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat ( The Queen )

TCCOBB is based on the 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which is a story that begins with the birth of said Benjamin Button. And like the tagline says, he is born under unusual circumstances, that is, being born an elderly man. When his father comes to see him after Ben is born, the father is shocked to find out his newborn can already speak a little. The story is set in New Orleans from the end of World War I into the 21st century. Benjamin's story is of adventure and as he ages backwards, he will venture and visit many different places and people along the way and learns about life's joys, love, hardship and especially death, as everyone around him is aging as rapidly as he is getting younger. It's true identity is about life and how we handle and look at our own morality.

152 minutes Rated PG-13 for Brief War Violence, Sexual Content, Language and Smoking.

Oscar chances ? Many. Strong contention for Picture, Director and Actor. Strong possibilities for however studio decides to nominate Blanchett, Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Costumes and Orginal Music.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Wrestler Preview/Synopsis

The Wrestler Dec.19 ( Limited )

Directed by Darren Aronofsky ( Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain ) Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Ernest Miller and Todd Barry. Written by Robert D. Siegel, Cinematography by Maryse Alberti ( The Power Of The Game ) Editing by Andrew Weisblum ( The Darjeeling Unlimited ) and Original Music by Clint Mansell ( The Fountain, Sahara )

The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival, is about Randy " Ram " Robinson, who was a once popular professional wrestler in the 80's, who happens to have to retire prematurely because of a heart attack. Even though Randy longs to get back in the ring for a rematch with is former rival, The Ayatollah, he has to take a job in a deli to make money while not in the ring, at this time where he tries to form a relationship with a not too young stripper ( Tomei ) and he also tries to begin a relationship with his estranged daughter ( Wood ) all the while his feelings for jumping back into the ring dominates his thoughts even though he knows the act would be possibly life threatening.

109 min. Rated R for language, some violence and sexualtiy/nudity

Oscar chances ? Many pundits are saying it's the comeback of the year and Rourke's best ever performance and I have seen many predict him an Oscar nomination. Possibilities are Picture, Director, Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Frost/Nixon Film Preview/Synopsis

Frost/Nixon Dec. 12. " 400 million people waiting for the truth "

Directed by Ron Howard ( A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man ) Starring Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Toby Jones and Patty McCormack. Written by Peter Morgan ( The Queen, The Last King Of Scotland ) Cinematography by Salvatore Totino ( Any Given Sunday, Changing Lanes ) Editing by Oscar winners Daniel P. Hanley and Michael Hill ( Pet Sematary, Apollo 13 ) and Original Music by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer ( LOTR, Gladiator )

Frost/Nixon covers the very popular four 1977 interviews between British talk show host David Frost and ex Presiedent Richard Nixon. Each interview was to be 2 hours, broken into four categories, Foreign Policy, Domestic Policy, Nixon's biography and then the Watergate scandal. Much of the film is a behind the scenes look at what took place to get these interviews together and Frost trying to find funding for the program because many higher ups said it wouldn't work. Frost then hires two investigators Jack Zelnick and James Reston Jr. to dig up anything they can to help the program be legitimate. Frost then finally aquires the funding to do the show and Nixon agrees to be on the program. Both know when it comes to the Watergate segment that it could possibly make or break their careers being that if Frost fails to implicate Nixon in the Watergate scandal it will ruin and bankrupt Frost, and in turn set a positive momentum and rebuilding of Nixon's political career. On Frost's side, he calls Reston to discuss an earlier hunch that came his way on definitive news that Nixon had indeed partaken in Watergate. Frost then calls Nixon on his hunch and providing evidence that Nixon was involved in the cover up in Watergate and with this, Nixon has no alibi and is befuddled, and finally admits his involvement and that he is tired of lying, and that he let the American people down.

Rated R for Language. 122 minutes.

Oscar chances ? Picture, Actor. Possibles for Director, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doubt- Film synopsis/preview

Doubt Dec. 12

Directed by John Patrick Shanley, Oscar winner for writing the screenplay to Moonstruck, starring Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viloa Davis, written by Shanley, Cinematography by multiple Oscar nominee Roger Deakins, Editing by Oscar nominee Dylan Tichenor ( There Will Be Blood ) and Original Music by Oscar winner Howard Shore ( LOTR, Seven )

Doubt is a drama set in 1964 at the St. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, NYC, and follows the story at the movies center, about a Nun, Sister Aloysius Beauvier ( Streep ), who has the strong feeling that a fellow Priest, Brendan Flynn ( Hoffman ) has sexually abused a new black student Flynn has befriended. Flynn vehemently denies the accusations. Aloysius is a hard edged, old school Nun that will not skirt the slightest of issues, and Flynn has modernized philosophies, and these two philosophies as you may guess, conflict with eachother. There is another Nun, Sister James ( Adams ) who has a big part to do with the story, as she has first hand proof of the boy and the Priest together and becomes involved in Aloysius's accusations towards Flynn. There are heated verbal discussions between Aloysius and Flynn and at one point demanding Flynn to confess and resign, which leaves Flynn crumbled as she exit's the room. In the finale, we find out that Flynn has recieved a promotion and a transfer to another Parish, leaving the viewer a chance at their own contemplation as to what the truth really is, as
Sister Aloysius makes a very important claim to Sister James as the film closes.
Rated PG for Thematic Material

Oscar chances ? Plenty. Obviously Actress and Supporting Actor. Possiblities in Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Editing and Art Direction.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Most anticipated movies still yet to be seen

I will list them in order of my anticipation, mostly based from previews I have seen.

1) Defiance
2) The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
3) Slumdog Millionaire
4) Milk
5) Doubt
6) The Wrestler
7) Frost/Nixon
8) Good
9) Australia
10) Revolutionary Road
Middle of the road interest's- Quantum Of Solace, Valkyrie, Nothing But The Truth, Yes Man, Four Christmases.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Changes seem to be coming weekly now

As of 10-25 ( and we knew it would go this way it always does )

Body Of Lies
Rachel Getting Married
The Dark Knight
The Visitor
Out- W. ( that didn't take long )

Josh Brolin- W.
Don Cheadle- Traitor
Leonardo DiCaprio- Body Of Lies
Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Edward Norton- Pride and Glory
Out- Ben Kingsley-Elegy

Kate Beckinsale- Snow Angles
Anne Hathaway- Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie- Changeling
Melissa Leo- Frozen River
Julianne Moore- Blindness
Out- Kathy Bates- Bonneville

No changes in Supporting Actress

Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
Clint Eastwood- Changeling
Tom McCarthy- The Visitor
Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight
Oliver Stone- W.
Out- Ridley Scott- Body Of Lies

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another anticipated movie pushed

Just when we were pretty bummed out that The Soloist is getting pushed back to the spring of next year, there is news that came over the wire that Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning adaptation The Road, is being pushed back to next year as well. I for one applaud the move, as I got wind that it needed more work and was the word at a recent screening and that more visual effects are needed from director John Hillcoat has mentioned. There is no release date set for next year as of now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Milk preview/synopsis

Milk- Dec 5

Directed by Gus Van Sant ( Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy ) Starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna and Victor Garber. Wtitten by Dustin Lance Black ( Cable's Big Love ) Cinematography by Harris Savides ( Zodiac, The Game ) Editing by Elliot Graham ( X-2, Superman Returns ) Original Music by 3 time Oscar nominee Danny Elfman ( Big Fish, Good Will Hunting )

Milk, is a true biopic about the later life and assassination of San Francisco City Supervisor and Gay Rights activist Harvey Milk. After his move to the Bay area from New York, he became serious in the Gay activism community, who also after his third time running was elected to the San Francisco's Board of Supervisor's in 1977, the first openly gay man to earn the distinction, and also the first to be elected into Public Office in the United States. The following year Milk and City Mayor, George Moscone were shot and killed by former City Supervisor Dan White, who blamed his former collegues denying White's attempt to resind his resignation from the board, when it was really White that was a severe hating homophobe and despised Harvey Milk and drove him to do the killing.

Rated R for Language, some sexual content and brief violence.

Oscar chances ? Plenty. Right now many are predicting an Oscar nod for Penn in the acting category. With good possibilities for Film, Director, screenplay and supporting actor.

Unfortunate Oscar news for Downey Jr. fans

Just found out that The Soloist, originally set to be released in November, has been pushed back to next year, sometime in the spring. So it looks for fans of Robert's that thought he was going to get an Oscar nomination in support for The Soloist, looks like there's no chance. So Tropic Thunder is fans best hope and I think it's a pretty safe bet the Academy will not nominate him for his great but comedic performance. I personally would because I thought it was a sublime portrayal but I'm not a snooty Academy voter and that would blow my mind if they did. Another thought is just why did they push The Soloist back ?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New changes as of 10-19-08

Best Picture:

Body Of Lies
Rachel Getting Married
The Dark Knight
The Visitor
Out- Burn After Reading


Josh Brolin- W.
Don Cheadle- Traitor
Leonardo Di Caprio- Body Of Lies
Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Ben Kingsley- Elegy
Out- Javiar Bardem

No changes in Actress category

Supporting Actor:
James Cromwell- W.
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
Viggo Mortensen- Appaloosa
Out- Russell Crowe

No changes in Supporting Actress Category

Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight
Tom McCarthy- The Visitor
Ridley Scott- Body Of Lies
Oliver Stone- W.
Out- The Coen brothers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Road Preview/Synopsis

The Road Nov.26

Directed by John Hillcoat ( The Proposition ) Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kody Smit-McPhee, Guy Pearce, Charleze Theron and Robert Duvall. Adapted writing by John Penhall ( The Undertaker ), Cinematography by Javiar Aquirresarobe ( Goya's Ghost's, The Other's ) edited by Jon Gregory ( In Bruges, Penelope ) and Orginal Music by Nick Cave.

The Road is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Cormac McCarthy ( No Country For Old Men, Blood Meridian ) about a story set in a post apocalyptic time, as a man ( Mortensen ) and his son ( McPhee ) and their journey through a landscape that has been destroyed by some sort of cataclysm, through the many months they make a journey through the unknown. It will be not told to the viewer what has happened outside the southeastern part of America. Any humans that have survived have turned into cannibals and their prisoners and a small group of people that are now scavengers. Ash is the motif in the look, covering the sun and the moon, and the man and boy have developed some home made gas masks to filter out the ash. There are no signs of decent foilage or animals, yet there is plenty of wood that can be used as fuel. The only non-human beings they have come across is a dog. There is some edible plants such as moss, some mushrooms and apples from an orchard.
Charleze Theron plays the mother in flashbacks, who happened to commit suicide after the disaster from depression in thinking they would not survive. As the man and the boy try to make it through what was once the southeastern United States, their one goal is to make it out of there and make it to a warmer climate and possibly the ocean. There is the constant feeling of dred and threats on a daily basis. The father does his best to protect his boy from exposure, attack and starvation. Throughout their journey they must maintain faith that they will make it to a better place. This movie will not be for the faint of heart. Example's: There are catamites held captive locked in a basement by their captures, and there are others that are held captive and having their limbs being used for harvestation, and one other horrific thing I cannot mention here.

Oscar chances ? Possible for Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Synecdoche, New York preview/synopsis

Synecdoche, New York Oct.24

Directed by writer Charlie Kaufman ( Being John Malkovich, Adaptation ) Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dianne Wiest, Tom Noonan, Michelle Williams. Written by Oscar winner Kaufman himself. Cinematography by Frederick Elms ( The Namesake, Wild At Heart ) Editing by Robert Frazen ( Lovely and Amazing, Smart People ) Original Music by Jon Brion ( Punch Drunk Love, I Heart Huckabees )

Film is about ( pronounced like Schenectady ) A theater director name Caden Cotard, who is struggling with his new play and the women that are involved with it and who are in his life. He struggles with the idea of making a life size replica of New York in a huge warehouse. The film covers themes such as men and women relationships, home and family in the blurring style of reality like most past works we are familiar of Charlie Kaufman.

Rated R for Language and some sexual/nudity content. 124 minutes.

Oscar chances ? Actor, supporting actress and original screenplay.

Changes a plenty

As of 10-12-08

Best Picture:
Body Of Lies
Burn After Reading
Rachel Getting Married
The Dark Knight
The Visitor

Javiar Bardem- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Don Cheadle- Traitor
Leonardo Di Caprio- Body Of Lies
Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Ben Kingsley- Elegy

Kathy Bates- Bonneville
Kate Beckinsale- Snow Angels
Anne Hathaway- Rachel Getting Married
Melissa Leo- Frozen River
Julianne Moore- Blindness

Supporting Actor:
Russel Crowe- Body Of Lies
Robert Downey Jr- Tropic Thunder
Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
John Malkovich- Burn After Reading
Viggo Mortensen- Appaloosa

Supporting Actress:
Penelope Cruz- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Rosemarie DeWitt- Rachel Getting Married
Amy Poehler- Baby Mama
Francis McDormand- Burn After Reading
Debra Winger- Rachel Getting Married

Ethan & Joel Coen- Burn After Reading
Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
Tom McCarthy- The Visitor
Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight
Ridley Scott- Body Of Lies

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Top 5 changes

Picture: In- Appaloosa, Out- Traitor
Actor- No changes.
Actress- In- Julianne Moore- Blindness, Out- Tina Fey- Baby Mama
Supporting Actor- In- Viggo Mortensen- Appaloosa, Out- Brad Pitt- Burn After Reading
Director- No changes.

Clooney and Depp ?

In a way I hope this is just a rumor, but if it is actually Hollywood fodder, it has me scratching my head a little. The rumor mill around La-La land is that George Clooney and Johnny Depp are close to signing to star in a film adaptation of The Lone Ranger. Yes, you heard it right. Clooney as LR and Depp as Tonto. I can't get my head around it at this point. I could see it if it's a straight up parody, but not as a true drama. Who knows, if they kept it from being a blockbuster and had a good director attached and had it be somewhat cutting edge, maybe it could work, but it just as of now sounds strange to me.

Newman top 5 ?

Well, since everybody and their mother have chimed in and gave their opinion on what their favorite Paul Newman movies are, I might do so as well. Most of his films I enjoyed, so it's hard to pick just one or even a few. But if it was for life and death my top 5 would be...

1) Cool Hand Luke
2) Hud
3) The Verdict
4) The Hustler
5) Slap Shot

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Revolutionary Road Preview/Synopsis

Revolutionary Road Dec-26

Directed by Sam Mendes ( American Beauty, Road To Perdition ) Starring Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kathy Bates, Michael Shannon, Kathy Hahn, Zoe Kazan and David Harbour. Written by Justin Haythe ( The Clearing ) Cinematography by 7 time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins ( Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption ) Editing by Tariq Answar ( American Beauty, The Crucibile ) and Orginal Music by Oscar nominee Thomas Newman ( Shawshank, Lemony Snicket's ).

Revolutionary Road is a relationship drama from the highly regarded novel by Richard Yates, about a couple in the mid 50's, Frank and Abigail Wheeler, living in the Connecticut suburbs in the Revolutionary Hill Estates, who seem to be very confidant with hopes and dreams, and sort of think they are a little better than their close neighbors, and have grandiose ideals.
Frank works in a corporate job he really doesn't like, and Abigail is an aspiring actress with dreams of moving to Paris someday. Frank's beginning to drink too much and that is effecting his good judgement and will start to make the wrong decisions. The marriage then begins to get increasingly unhappy, to the point of unnecessary dissatisfaction from expecting brilliant things when none ever existsed in the first place. Both Frank and Abigail are living life as a facade as if they are intellectuals, but deep down both know of their true mediocrity the whole time.

Rated R for Language and some sexual content/nudity.

Oscar chances ? Many. Most likely in all categories. Oscar nominated talent were involved all over this film.

Pride and Glory preview/synopsis

Pride and Glory Oct-24th

Directed by Gavin O' Connor ( Miracle ) Starring Edward Norton, Jon Voight, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich, John Ortiz, Lake Bell, Frank Grillo and Shea Whigham. Written by O'Connor and Joe Carnahan, Cinematography by Declan Quinn ( Cold Creek Manor, In America ) Editing by John Gilroy ( Michael Clayton ) Original Music by Mark Isham ( A River Runs Through It )

Pride and Glory is a story about the Tierney family, a family of New York Police officers through generations of years. Police investigator Ray Tierney ( Norton ) has to do an investigation on a case that has to do with massive police corruption, that also happens to have some close family members that may be involved. With this, Ray is faced with a dilemma and a reality that is revealed to him that could damage his own family along with the NTPD.

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content.

Oscar chances ? Probable in the actor category, screenwriting and editing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

W. preview/synopsis

W. Oct- 17th

Directed by Oliver Stone ( Platoon, Wall Street ) starring Josh Brolin as W, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, James Cromwell as George Sr., Ellen Burstyn as Barbra Bush, Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, Toby Jones as Karl Rove, Scott Glenn as Donald Rumsfeld, Thandie Newton as Condoleeza Rice, Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell, Ioan Gruffadd as Tony Blair, Jason Ritter as Jeb Bush and Bruce McGill as George Tenet. Written by Stone and Stanley Weiser ( Wall Street ), Cinematography by Phedon Papamichael ( 3:10 To Yuma, Sideways ) Editing by Julie Monroe (De-Lovely, The Patriot ) and Original Music by Paul Candelon ( The Other Boleyn Girl )

Stone " I wanted to be fair, and paint a true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from being an alcoholic burn to becoming the most powerful figure in the world ? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I also cover the demons he has had to fight as well. "

W. is a 3 act film, starting with Bush as a young man, mixed up as a lot of young men tend to be, then his transformation into his rise of power, from working for his family oil business into going into politics and making a name for himself other than just being George Jr. The director has admitted that the film is not a parody, and won't veer away from the good side of the man, but also will not hide the negative things either that some people believe where he was wrong. He also said the film is like the movie Network in tone, as they are satire's in a serious setting. It's not parody.
Cindy Adams of the New York Post wrote that pro-Bushies will hate the movie and anti's will love it.
Stone said in a recent interview that if Nixon was a symphony then W. is like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone that Nixon was.
Rated PG-13 for Language, including sexual references, some alcohol abuse and brief disturbing war images.

Oscar chances ? Possible for Actor if Brolin knocks the performance out of the park and Screenplay.

Monday, September 29, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman 1925-2008

To one of the best that has lived; a great actor, a great husband and father, an awesome driver ( as a senior citizen even ! ) and a man of charitable soul. He will be missed. So go out and and rent one of your favorite Paul Newman movies in tribute.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New changes in Oscar categories as of 9-13

John Malkovich and Brad Pitt have worked their way in the Supporting Actor category, Frances McDormand in the Supporting Actress category, Burn After Reading for Best Picture and Joel and Ethen Coen for Direction.


Burn After Reading
In Bruges
The Dark Knight
The Visitor
Out- Vicky Crisitna Barcelona

No changes

No changes

Supporting Actor:
Robert Downey Jr.- Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson- In Bruges
Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
John Malkovich- Burn After Reading
Brad Pitt- Burn After Reading
Out- Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Stop-Loss, Guy Pearce- Traitor

Best Supporting Actress:
Joan Allen- Bonneville
Penelope Cruz- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Hope Davis- Charlie Bartlett
Frances McDormand- Burn After Reading
Amy Poehler- Baby Mama
Out- Rebecca Hall- Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Ethen and Joel Coen- Burn After Reading
Tom McCarthy- The Visitor
Martin McDonough- In Bruges
Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight
Ben Stiller- Tropic Thunder
Out- Woody Allen- Vicky Crisitna Barcelona

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blindness- preview/synopsis

Blindness- Sept. 26th

" In a world gone blind, what would you do if you were the only person who could see ? "

Directed by Fernando Meirelles ( City Of God, The Constant Gardener ) and Starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal, Sandra Oh, Maury Chaykin, Alice Braga. Written and adapted by Don McKellar, Cinematography by Oscar nominee Cesar Charlone ( City Of God ) Editing by Daniel Rezede ( Dark Water ) and original music by Marco Antonio Guimoraes.

Blindness, an adaptation of the popular 1995 novel by Jose Sarmango, tells the story of a city that is suddenly hit with an epidemic of causing it's inhabitant's to go blind, which in turn, turns the city into degradation and chaos.
Julianne Moore plays " the woman ", the protaganist and the only person in the city that isn't affected by the epidemic.
The first humans infected by the blindness are quarantined into a deserted hospital and from there things become crazy, as people of strength and criminals alike begin to prey on their weaker human counterpart's, committing horrible acts, and also hording the food from the weak as well.
The woman who is not afflicted by the " white blindness " stays loyal to her husband " the doctor " ( yes, as like The Road we do not know the names of these people ) and goes with him to the quarantine, where she keeps her sight a secret to herself.
She then takes several strangers who have banded together with herself and her husband and attempt to make their way out of the quarantine into the city, which has turned into complete disorder and a broken down society.
Their only goal is to find someplace safe and make a path out of there and away from the chaos, while their path is not immune from extreme danger, they will need to test their spirit and strength to survive.

Rated R for violence, sexual assaults, language and nudity.

Oscar buzz ? Certainly for Julianne Moore. Possible for nods in Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Defiance preview/synopsis

Defiance- Dec. 12th

Directed by Edward Zwick ( Glory, Blood Diamond ) and starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Tomas Arona, George MacKay. Written By Zwick and Clayton Froham, Cinematography by Oscar nominated Eduardo Serra ( Wings Of The Dove, Unbreakable ) Edited by Steve Rosenblum ( Braveheart, Blood Diamond ) and Music by Oscar winner James Newton Howard ( Michael Clayton, Prince Of Tides )

Defiance, a true story set during WWII, based on the Bielski brothers, and their partisan, and their battle against the Nazi's in German occupied Balarus.
The Bielski brothers were farmer's in their hometown of Navahrudak which was in Soviet control at the beginning of WWII, but then became a ghetto after the German invasion. The Bielski brothers escaped into the Belarussion forest after their parents were killed by the German's. Together with 13 other people from their same ghetto, they formed a partisan combat group, that after time began to grow as they recruited soviets as well to help fight off the German's.
Led by the eldest Bielski, Tuvia ( Craig ), a Polish Army veteran, he recruits more emissaries from the same ghetto to bolster the combat group living in the Naliboki forest, where after some time, they have made it their home, where the partisans lived in underground dugouts and structure's were made that included a kitchen, a mill, bath house, medical clinic, they had tailor's that patched up old garments, shoe maker's that repaired old shoes, a metal shop, carpenter's, hat and belt makers, and much more that was amazing considering their situation. When it was over, the orginization was over a thousand strong, which grew into two units.
The Bielski orginization stood strong against the German invasion and killed 381 enemy fighters and wounded hundred's more. By the time 1944 came around, when the Soviet counter offensive began in Belarus, the area became liberated, the " kalinin" unit of Bielski partisans numbering 1,230, emerged from the forest and marched in to now Balarus free again.

Movie is about overcoming terrible odds and fighting your way out of a almost impossible situation.

Rated R for violence and language.

This is a movie I have followed for some time and I'm highly awaiting it.

Oscar buzz- As of this time for many categories, but if I had to truly bet, I would think Picture, Supporting Actor ( Schreiber ) Director, Cinematography and Screenplay.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Body Of Lies preview/synopsis

Body Of Lies- Oct. 10th
" Trust no one, decieve everyone "

Directed by Ridley ( When will I get my Oscar ! ) Scott, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Russell Crowe, Carice Van Houten, Mark Strong and Golshifiteh Farahani. Written by Oscar winner William Monahan ( The Departed ) Cinematography by Alexander Witt ( American Gangster ) Editing by two time Oscar winner Pietro Scalia ( Black Hawk Down, Memoirs Of A Geisha ) and music by Mark Streitenfeld.

Ridley Scott, directs an adapation of the David Ignatius novel of the same title, about a former journalist, Roger Ferris ( Di Caprio ) that was injured in Iraq, who later is hired by the CIA, as an operative, and sent to Jordan by his manipulating boss Ed Hoffman ( Crowe ) to track a high ranking terrorist, all the while forming an uneasy sort of alliance with lead of Jordan's covert operation's ( Strong ).

Rated R for Strong Violence, including torture and language throughout.

Oscar buzz is for many catergories, but most likely for picture, director, actor and supporting actor. Only one review as of now but that was positive in saying it's action packed and tension filled with good performances from both Di Caprio and Crowe.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oscar predictions update as of 8/29

In Bruges
The Dark Knight
The Visitor
Traitor ( new )
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
*Out- Elegy

Male Lead Performance:
Javiar Bardem- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Don Cheadle- Traitor ( new )
Robert Downey Jr.- Iron Man
Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Ben Kingsley- Elegy
* Out- Colin Farrell

Supporting Actor:
Robert Downey Jr.-Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson- In Bruges
Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Stop-Loss
Guy Pearce- Traitor ( new )
* Out- Dennis Quaid

Rachel Getting Married Synopsis/Preview

Rachel Getting Married - Oct. 3rd

Directed by Jonathan Demme ( Silence Of The Lambs, Philadeplphia ) Starring Anne Hatheway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger, Bill Erwin. Cinematography by Declan Quinn ( Coal Creek Manor, Leaving Las Vegas ) Edited by Oscar nominated Tim Squyres ( Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ) and written by Jenny Lumet.

In this family drama written by first time screenwriter Jennifer Lumet, daughter of director Sidney Lumet, and directed by the hot or cold Jonathan Demme, story about ex-model Kym ( Hathaway ) who has ping ponged her way in and out of rehab for the last decade, and has a rocky relationship with her immediate family. Kym decides that she is going to return home to attend her sister's ( Rachel-DeWitt ) wedding.
With her visit Kym opens old wounds and her long past of personal problem's. The family is hoping for a blissful, memorable weekend, but there could be possible concern's whenever Kym is in the picture, with her wise crack attitude and need for the dramatic, will certainly make for a very long weekend.

Any Oscar buzz ? Possible for Hathaway for Best Actress and Debra Winger in Support. Possibilty for Jenny Lumet for Original Screenplay.

New additions to categories

I now have Traitor in my Best Picture category. I have moved Don Cheadle into my Best Actor bunch and Guy Pearce in the Supporting category as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Muscial Nine in Fame boot camp rehearsal's

Lensing for the musical Nine won't begin until October for a hopeful December 09 release. But that hasn't stopped director Rob Marshall ( Chicago, Memoirs Of A Geisha ) from snapping the all-star cast into musical shape.

Word on the street has Marshall taking all the actors through a Fame style rehearsal bootcamp. Where you go from room to room and study and practice voice, dance, lines, choreagraphy, etc.

The already buzzed about cast consists of 2 time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido Contini the lead, with a supporting cast of Oscar gold with recent winner Marion Cottilard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Peneople Cruz, Kate Hudson and just recently cast Stacy Ferguson ( Fergie ) about a movie director stuck in a midlife crisis and all the women in his life that goes with it, his wife, his mother, his mistress and his muse.

I'm not so much a musical's kind of guy but this is such a awesome cast, that I have to see the final product.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bainer's Best performance's of 2008 as of August 24th

I will not lie, and admit that I feel that this year, the first 8 months of the movie going year has been the weakest for a long time. It usually isn't hard to find good film's to choose from or performance's that really stick out, and I would have a hard time picking and choosing. This time it was like pulling teeth to fill the bracket's, but I got lucky and found some that I feel are the best performance's in their respective categories so far this year. Obviously, once October rolls around many of these names will be replaced. Hey, it's August, what do you expect ?

In Bruges
The Dark Knight
The Visitor
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
( Interesting to see if the Dark Knight will be Oscar nominated for Best Picture )

Male Lead Performance:
Javiar Bardem- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Robert Downey Jr.- Iron Man
Colin Farrell- In Bruges
Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Ben Kingsley- Elegy
( Instead of scenery chewing, Kingsley's restrained performace is one of the best in his career )

Female Lead Performance:
Kathy Bates- Bonneville
Kate Beckinsale- Snow Angels
Tina Fey- Baby Mama
Melissa Leo- Frozen River
Julianne Moore- Savage Grace
( Bates is wonderful, also one of her best role's and Leo is amazing )

Male Supporting Performance:
Robert Downey Jr.- Tropic Thunder
Brendan Gleeson- In Bruges
Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Stop-Loss
Dennis Quaid- Vantage Point
( At this point I'd be very surprised if Ledger doesn't sweep the category and run the table )

Female Supporting Performance:
Joan Allen- Bonneville
Penelope Cruz- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Hope Davis- Charlie Bartlett
Rebecca Hall- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Amy Poehler- Baby Mama
( Cruz the best thing about VCB ? )

Woody Allen- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Tom McCarthy- The Visitor
Martin McDonough- In Bruges
Chris Nolan- The Dark Knight
Ben Stiller- Tropic Thunder
( Yes, you read it correctly, I think it's by far Stiller's best effort, a career best )

As I have said, this list will have drastic changes as we conclude the year. From here on out, I will come back each week till the first of the year, to take off and add any other performance I feel warrant's it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Burn After Reading film synopsis/preview

Burn After Reading- Sept. 12

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen ( No Country For Old Men, Fargo ) Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins, JK Simmons and David Rasche as the principle actors. Cinematography by 4 time Oscar nominated Emmanuel Lubezki ( Sleepy Hollow, Children Of Men ) Editing by Ethan and Joel Coen, and original music by Coen's regular Carter Burrell ( Three Kings, Adaptation )

Hot off their Academy Award leading get, No Country For Old Men, the Coen brother's take a stab at black comedy again, in a story concentrating on a foul mouthed CIA analyst, Osbourne Cox ( Malkovich ) who ends up quitting his job because of a demotion he recieves for his excessive drinking. He then begins to write his memoir about his experience's in the CIA, recording it on a disc.
At this point his life is pretty much in shambles, as his wife Katie ( Swinton ) wants a divorce during his demotion. She then is advised by her lawyer to make copies of all his financial records that are stored in his computer, also containing his memoir. Unbeknownst to Osbourne, Katie mistakingly leaves the disc at her gym Harbodies, where happless and dimwitted employee, Chad Feldheimer ( Pitt ) gets his hands on it and shares the information with fellow employee Linda Litzke ( McDormand ) and boss Ted Treffon ( Jenkins )
Litzke sees this disc as a financial gain as she is desperate for plastic surgery, so the two hatch a scheme to try to blackmail Cox.
Harry Pfaffar ( Clooney ) is brought in and assigned to the case to retrieve the disc, all the while Harry is sleeping with Katie, Osbourne's wife. And from there crazy situations ensue. 120 minutes.

Oscar buzz is primarily for Pitt, Malkovich and McDormand in supporting roles and also original screenplay.

I have read the script twice as I really liked the story very much. Malkovich gets some seriousiously funny scenes to chew on, but all character's will have their time in the sun.

Interesting note: This is the first movie since Miller's Crossing that the Coen's shot a movie without Acadamey Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Rated R for pervasive language and violence and some sexual situations.

Appaloosa film synopsis/preview

Appaloosa- Oct 3rd.
Directed by Ed Harris, Starring Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, Lance Henrikson, Robert Knott, Written by actors Harris and Knott ( Wild Bill, Pollock ) Cinematography from Oscar winner Dean Semler ( Dances With Wolves ) Editing by Kathy Himoff ( Killing Zoe ) and original music by Jeff Beal ( Pollock, Hide and Seek )

Appaloosa is a traditional Western, based on the 2005 novel byRobert B. Parker, that is centered around two men ( Harris and Mortensen ) hired to defend a town from a lawless rancher ( Irons ) when things don't go all as planned, as a recent widower ( Zellweger ) moves to town and shakes things up within main character's involved.

Film, direction, cinematography, music and acting all have Oscar buzz.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tropic Thunder review ?

Naw... I'm not going to give you a film critic style review of the film because you probably already read a bunch of them and already pretty much know what the movie is about, so I'll just say a few things about what I thought about it.

Very entertaining. Great, quotable dialogue. Killer classic rock from CCR, The Stones, Steppenwolf. Never a boring moment and everyone is good in it. Especially Robert Downey Jr. I will see it again for some of the dialogue I missed when his character is talking a bit too fast and half mumbling. One thing that I haven't heard mentioned that really impressed me was the cinematography by John Toll, two time Academy Award winner for Legends Of The Fall and Braveheart back to back, some great dolly and tracking shots. The movie isn't over long and I laughed a lot in it which was nice for one since I didn't like Step Brothers or Pineapple Express. I cannot wait for the DVD because I'm sure there are some great making of and behind the scenes segments. Oh yeah, and Tom Cruise, pretty much unrecognizable, did a good job in his role as well, being that he has never played a character like that before. Well done Stiller, you really impressed me this time.

New addition to the nomination's categories

I will have to add Melissa Leo's name to the actress list as I was very moved by her performance in Frozen River. The movie as a whole is pretty depressing, but she carries it and is very good. She really sells that character. Too bad most people won't see it in the theaters because it's in very limited release. If you do miss the film, rent the DVD when it comes out , if for any reason, her excellent acting in it.

I also have to commend pretty much newcomer, Rebecca Hall for her job well done in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I personally liked her the best out of the entire cast. Hope to see her in future projects because she has that something. Charisma maybe ?

And just for personal reason's because I thought he was awesome, I will add Robert Downey Jr. to the Best Supporting Actor list for his pure sublime, disappearing act in Tropic Thunder. I know it's a satire, goofball comedy, but that was some great acting there. I know the Academy won't nominate him for this role, it will probably be for the Soloist, but to me, I think this is the second best acting job of the year so far just a tad behind Heath Ledger's.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Movie Synopsis- Changeling ( The Exchange ? )

Changeling- 140 minutes. Rated R for violence, disturbing content and language. Directed by Clint Eastwood.
Main cast: Starring Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Amy Ryan, Colm Feore and Jason Butler Harner. Script from J. Michael Straczynski ( Babylon 5 ), Cinematography from long time Eastwood lenser Tom Stern and editing by Joel Cox, another Eastwood regular. Score by Eastwood himself.

Changeling is a period thriller, that is set in the 1920's, and is based on a true story. When the young son of Christine Collins ( Jolie ) disappears and he considered as kidnapped, then is later found and returned to her by corrupt police, she fears and suspects the child is not her real son. The poilce are as said before corrupt, and Christine becomes villified by them when she raises a fuss about this " other " child and they attempt to claim her mentally ill and commit her, as she tries to confront police and authorties to find the real truth to her situation.
Positive reviews at Cannes Film Festival about the movie and Jolie's performance, where I read more than a few people say it's the finest so far in her career.

Release date will be the end of October, with it being released in limited form in the middle of that month.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Movies in August ?

The only thing that has interested me enough this month for me to get off my butt and go to the theater and plop down money to see is Tropic Thunder and Traitor. You can't go wrong with Don Cheadle can you ? I would see Bottle Shock, but it would likely be at one of the Hallmark theaters, so if it is, I'll pass and rent it. I know I'm going to get dragged to see Pineapple Express this weekend, but too me, that stoner-weed premise to a movie has been done before and by the best. I'll try to go in with an open mind.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tarantino's grandest yet ?

Well, QT has his script for the much waited for, Inglorius Batstards, now picked up by Harvey Weinstien and Universal picking up the slack and ready to get the ball rolling. The much ballyhooed script goes back as far as 2001, and has gone through 3 re-writes. The rumor is it's the hottest script in town, and the film wants Brad Pitt and Leonard Di Caprio to star in the lead roles with Pitt playing American Colonial Aldo Raine and Leonardo as the evil Nazi Hans Lander AKA The Jew Hunter.
The story goes that Raine needs to recruit some bad ass Jewish soldiers and go behind enemy lines for Operation Kino in German occupied France, and decimate the Nationalist Social Party. Filming is to commence in October and Tarantino has said the goal is to preview it at Cannes next year. It will be under much anticipation as to who is cast as the 8 man crew Raine recruits. Names that have been rumored is Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Bo Svenson and Adam Sandler. Should be real interesting to follow the casting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Australia film synopsis- Release Date: November 13

Australia- Starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham and Bryan Brown. Directed by Baz Lurhmann. Written by Lurhmann, Stuart Beattie and Oscar winner Ronald Harwood ( The Statement, The Pianist, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly ) Cinematography by Mandy Walker ( Shattered Glass, Lantana ).

Lurhmann, of Moulin Rouge fame, directs this period epic during World War II, about a English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley, that has inherited a large cattle station in Australia. She is assisted by an Aussie drover ( Jackman ) with whom she becomes romantically interested in. He helps her drive the cattle across the property as they are under the threat of nearby Darwin being bombed by the Japanese.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Current Oscar prediction tracking for 2008

This is going to be a tough and competitive year, in one that last year I didn't think would be so. I'm pleasantly surprised and happy there are more than just a few movies that I will be anticipating this year. Hard for me to think The Dark Knight can be topped for just pure entertainment value. But if I was a betting man I think you will see these titles and names come next February. Shifting will occur and films and names deleted once Oscar season rolls around in the fall and then come Jauary the predicted nominations will be made for good. Each week I will give the synopsis of each movie to give you a better understanding of the movie. The predicted winner is capitalized.

20 films you may see nominated:

Appaloosa, Australia, Body Of Lies, Burn After Reading, Changeling, Churchill At War, Crossing Over, Defiance, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, Guerrilla ( Che ), Milk, Revolutionary Road, The Dark Knight, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, The Other Man, The Reader, The Road, The Soloist, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

15 actors you may see get a nomination:

Javiar Bardem- Vicky Cristina Barcelona, George Clooney- Burn After Reading, Daniel Craig- Defiance, Benicio Del Toro- Che, Leonardo DiCaprio- Body Of Lies, Harrison Ford- Crossing Over, Jamie Foxx- The Soloist, Brendan Gleeson- Churchill At War, Hugh Jackman- Australia, Richard Jenkins- The Visitor, FRANK LANGELLA- Frost/Nixon, Viggo Mortensen- The Road, Sean Penn- Milk, Brad Pitt- The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Will Smith- Seven Pounds.

15 actresses you may see get a nomination:

Kate Beckinsale- Nothing But The Truth, Emily Blunt- The Young Victoria, Penelope Cruz- Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Anne Hathaway- Dancing With Shiva, Angelina Jolie- Changeling, Nicole Kidman- Australia, Keira Knightley- The Duchess, Dianne Lane- Nights In Rodanthe, Laura Linney- The Other Man, Janet McTeer- Churchill At War, Julianne Moore- Blindness, Sophie Okeando- Skin, Meryl Streep- Doubt, KATE WINSLET- Revolutionary Road.

10 actor's you may see get a supporting nomination:

Josh Brolin- Milk, Russell Crowe- Body Of Lies, Robert Downey Jr.- The Soloist, Jason Flemying- The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Phillip Seymour Hoffman- Doubt, HEATH LEDGER- The Dark Knight, John Malkovich- Burn After Reading, Liev Schreiber- Defiance, Michael Shannon- Revolutionary Road, Michael Sheen- Frost/Nixon.

10 Actresses you may see get a supporting nomonation:

Amy Adams- Doubt, Kathy Bates- Revolutionary Road, Cate Blanchett- The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Rosario Dawson- Seven Pounds, Vera Farminga- Nothing But The Truth, Taraji P Henson, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Jessica Lange- Grey Gardens, Samantha Morton- Synecdoche, New York, FRANCES MCDORMAND- Burn After Reading, Kate Winslet- The Reader.

15 directors you may see get a nomination:

Woody Allen- Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Stephen Daldry- The Reader, Coen Brother's- Burn After Reading, Clint Eastwood- Changeling, DAVID FINCHER- The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, John Hillcoat- The Road, Ron Howard- Frost/Nixon, Baz Luhrmann- Australia, Sam Mendes- Revolutionary Road, Chris Nolan- The Dark Knight, Ridley Scott- Body Of Lies, John P. Shapley- Doubt, Gus Van Sant- Milk, Joe Wright- The Soloist, Edward Zwick- Defiance.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button may get the most Oscar nods with probably at least 10 nominations. Though I predict at this time that Frank Langella's portrayal of Richard Nixon is the front runner ( doesn't hurt that he won the Tony for the same role ), I think Pitt as Button could surprise though. Don't count Gleeson's portrayal of Churchill out either. Rumor from a worker on the set says he nailed it.

Fincher could finally get his first nomination and if this film recieves good reviews which I think it will, he could be going home with the gold statue. But I think Luhrmann, Mendes and Van Sant are close. Ridley Scott is still seeking a win. I wouldn't count him out if Body Of Lies is very well recieved. He could get the sympathy win since he is 0 for and not getting any younger. He could get it for Body Of Lies in the same way Scorsese got it for The Departed. This may not be Ridley's best work, but The Departed wasn't Scorsese's either and he got passed over for Raging Bull and Good Fellas.

It looks like it might go down to a 3 way heat between Winslet, Jolie and Streep. The dark horse would most likely be Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.

I could possibly see a better performance other than Ledger's this year but I personally don't think I will and I think right now as of July 2008, I think he should win the Oscar for his brilliant performance as The Joker. If not for some crazy notion Ledger doesn't win, I think Liev Schrieber, Malkovich and Sheen are leading the bets.

Supporting actress is always a toss up really. I'm saying McDomand eccentric turn as Linda in BAR should be the leader but I have seen where people are predicting Henson for CCBB as Queenie. Kate Winslet could lose Best Actress but win in support for her aging role in The Reader.

Next week I will give you my review of The Dark Knight and give you the synopsis on the film Australia.

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Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !