The Acadamey Award Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Ford V Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Parasite

I’ve seen a grand total of two of these, so I’ll go with 1917, since Hollywood seems to love a war epic.

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain And Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

I’ll pick one of the two performances I’ve seen and go with Adam Driver.

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saorise Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renee Zellwegger, Judy

I’ve only seen one of these, so I’ll go with the talented Saorise Ronan from the perennial favorite Little Women.

Continue reading →

And The Nominees Are

side_oscarThe 92nd Academy Awards are going down Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’ve heard lots of good things about Knives Out.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, Joker
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

I’ve only seen one of these, but my guess is that Greta Gerwig takes home the prize.

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

I’m assuming the continuing adventures of the talking Mr. Potato Head and friends will be the winner.

Best Cinematography

Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Lawrence Sher, Joker
Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Robert Richardson, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Well, again, I’ve seen one of these, so I will go with the war effort 1917.

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Mayes C. Rubeo, Jojo Rabbit
Mark Bridges, Joker
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s tale of 1960s Hollywood is my choice to win this particular prize.

Continue reading →

The Decade In Movies

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with movies, specifically the 836 films I saw between 2010 and 2019.  Those 836 were released across 40 different years, with the earliest (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) released in 1961 and at least one film released every year of this century.  2010 was the most popular year, with 87 (10.4%) of the films I saw released that year.

929 actors starred in at least 1 movie that I saw over the past 10 years.  Only 283 of those starred in at least 2.  If you had told me that Jason Bateman would have led the field, I would not have believed it, but that does seem to be the case.  Not a single person starred in a film that I saw every year of the decade, with Jennifer Lawrence coming the closest, with a streak of 9 years starting in 2011.

2010s Films Per Actor
Actor Name Films
Jason Bateman 12
Anna Kendrick 11
Jennifer Lawrence 11
Amy Adams 10
Tom Cruise 10
Robert Downey Jr. 10
Mila Kunis 10
Matt Damon 9
Tom Hanks 9
Liam Neeson 9

The first movie I saw this decade was District 9 and the last was The Oath.  Comedy was the most popular genre, with 217 films, while Westerns was the least popular, with a grand total of 2.  2011 was my most prolific year, with 131 movies seen.  2018 was my lowest total, for numerous reasons.  Continue reading →

2019: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_22158 different people starred in the 89 movies I saw last year (starring in being the first two named stars, a tradition dating back to the old Chicago Tribune TV guide which populated the early days of my database), and a whopping 9 of them were in more than 1 film. Those 9 thespians are:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Actor Name Films
Liam Neeson 3
Sandra Bullock 2
Tom Cruise 2
Samuel L. Jackson 2
James McAvoy 2
Melissa McCarthy 2
Ryan Reynolds 2
Kiernan Shipka 2
Bruce Willis 2

Now let’s take a look at the remaining movies that I saw in 2019, following up on last Friday’s post.

The Silence (2019)
A very similar tale to A Quiet Place, but apparently based on a book which pre-dates last year’s hit movie.

Eighth Grade (2018)
A coming of age story for a young girl trying to navigate the last year of middle school and the social pressures therein.

The Captive (2014)
A father suspected of killing his young daughter continue to look for her years later, and eventually finds her.

A Simple Favor (2018)
A woman befriends another mother at her child’s school and finds herself drawn into mystery and intrigue.

Can You Keep A Secret? (2019)
A woman starts dating her boss after accidentally telling him all of her secrets on a flight.

Broken Star (2018)
A woman under house arrest has an interesting neighbor.

The Curerd (2018)
When a cure is found for a zombie outbreak, not everyone is willing to forgive and forget.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
A high school girl becomes popular after “maturing”, but her new friends start dropping like flies.

Horns (2014)
Based on the book by Joe Hill, a man grows horns and gains powers when his girlfriend is murdered and everyone assumes he did it.

Free Solo (2018)
A documentary about a crazy man who likes to climb mountains by himself without ropes. Continue reading →

2019: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

The return of my annual long December vacation, with very little to do otherwise, saw a big increase in movie watching for me, with my highest total since 2011.  I managed to watch 89 movies last year, my eighth consecutive year under 100.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching, the greater effort made towards going out for walks, and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

Life Of The Party (2018)
Melissa McCarthy joins her daughter at college after her husband leaves her.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Eddie Murphy tackles a movie based on the Disneyland ride.

Downsizing (2017)
Matt Damon shrinks himself to 5 inches tall, gaining wealth but losing a wife.

Knight And Day (2010)
A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name.

Keep Watching (2017)
A gang of intruders takes a family hostage and forces them to play a game.

The Space Between Us (2017)
The first human born on Mars heads to Earth to find his long-distance crush, even if it will kill him.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
A choose-your-own-adventure film about a young kid trying to make it in the video game industry.

Bird Box (2018)
A woman tries to save her two children in a world where seeing things leads to death.

Hereditary (2018)
A grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Aliens take over the human race. Continue reading →

And The Oscar Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories.  In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these.  So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

I’ve seen a grand total of one of these, so I’ll go with Green Book, which won the Golden Globe.

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Having not seen any of these, I guess I’ll pick Christian Bale.

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Lady Gaga might be the safe bet, but I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for Olivia Colman’s work in The Favourite, so I’m going to go with her.

Continue reading →

The Envelope Please

side_oscarThe 91st Academy Awards are going down Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’m going The Favourite, hoping it is the favorite.  (See what I did there?)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters, A Star Is Born

Again, I haven’t seen any of these, but my guess is that Barry Jenkins will take home the award, based on word of mouth.

Best Animated Feature

Incredibles 2
Isle Of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Hey, I finally saw one of the nominated films, but not the one I’m picking to win.  By all accounts, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a sensational film, one which I need to see sooner or later, and it should take home this prize.

Best Cinematography

Lukasz Zal, Cold War
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel, Never Look Away
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Matthew Libatique, A Star Is Born

Well, again I’ve seen none of these, so I will go with the latest remake of A Star Is Born.

Best Costume Design

Mary Zophres, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther
Sandy Powell, The Favourite
Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne, Mary Queen of Scots

Typically, I would go for one of the historical films to take home this prize, but I’m hoping that Black Panther breaks through and scores a well-deserved win.

Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_2298 different people starred in the 55 movies I saw last year (starring in being the first two named stars, a tradition dating back to the old Chicago Tribune TV guide which populated the early days of my database), and a whopping 10 of them were in more than 1 film. Those 10 thespians are:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Elizabeth Banks 3
Tom Cruise 3
Emily Blunt 2
Jessica Chastain 2
Olivia Cooke 2
Lucy Hale 2
Dwayne Johnson 2
Anna Kendrick 2
Rachel McAdams 2
Mark Wahlberg 2

Now let’s take a look at the remaining movies that I saw in 2018, following up on last Thursday’s post.

Miss Sloane (2016)
A lobbyist trades her career for the passage of a gun control bill.

Annihilation (2018)
I literally have no idea what this was about.  Plus, I think I fell asleep for the ending.

Man On A Ledge (2012)
A former cop escapes from prison and commits multiple felonies to prove that he didn’t commit the crime that he is accused of.

Unforgettable (2017)
Katherine Heigl plays a scorned woman who has a hard time letting go.

Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates Of Hell (2001)
A demon comes to life and threatens a college.

2018: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

The loss of my annual long December vacation saw a slight downturn in movie watching for me, with my lowest total since 1988.  I managed to watch 55 movies last year, my seventh consecutive year under 100 and my lowest total since 1993.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching, the greater effort made towards going out for walks, and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

The French Connection (1971)
Hailed as one of the best films of the 70s, I can’t say it plays well here in the 21st century.

Cobra (1986)
Somehow I missed this Stallone “classic” back in the day.

Table 19 (2017)
The misfit table at a wedding bands together to settle scored, both old and new.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)
The classic board game moves to the video age in this sequel.

Patriots Day (2017)
Mark Wahlberg plays the hero of the Boston Marathon bombing.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
It certainly took me a while to see the latest installment in this franchise.

Life (2017)
A team of scientists find proof that life once existed on Mars, potentially dooming life on Earth in the process.

Snatched (2017)
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn go on vacation together and hijinks ensue.

People Like Us (2012)
When his father dies, Chris Pine learns that he had another family that needs some help.

The Layover (2017)
Two friends compete over a man when a hurricane turns their flight in to a road trip. Continue reading →

Trying To Get It Right This Year

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for Sunday’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories.  In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these.  So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Unlike years past, I’ve actually seen 2 of these films.  Sadly, I’m not picking either to win, but instead am going with The Shape Of Water.

Best Actor

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

With talk of his upcoming retirement from acting, my guess is that Daniel Day-Lewis will take home the prize.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

I’m guessing that Margot Robbie’s turn as disgraced skater Tonya Harding will earn the ultimate recognition.

Continue reading →