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February 2013

Visual Effects and other things

Visual Effects

Alright, so I’ve only seen two of these movies: The Avengers and Prometheus.

The Avengers was great. Loved it. Storyline was clever. Visual effects were good. But they were so…average. It’s weird that we’re at a place where computer generated visual effects are average, but there it is.

Prometheus was a surprisingly painful movie to watch. There were no plot transitions from scene to scene or even any good editing transitions. I was totally confused by basically everything from start to finish. However, the visual effects were AMAZING. I’d definitely pick Prometheus over The Avengers.

Random other things

I also saw Mirror Mirror which was up for costume design. Yes, great costumes. Nuf said.

Last but not least, I saw half of Ted, I am ashamed to say. I honestly don’t remember the song it was nominated for because I fell asleep halfway through it.

UGH. I feel so distraught over the fact that not only have I seen so few movies this year, but also that I don’t get to watch the Oscars tonight. It’s not my year.

Argo

What it’s up for: Supporting Actor, Film Editing, Original Score, Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay

I know I heard some talk of discontent surrounding some of the historical accuracy of this film, but right now, I don’t give a flying rat’s patootie about any of that. It was an excellent movie. I was enthralled from beginning to end. I didn’t know anything about the Iranian Hostage Crisis before watching this (although the name “Tony Mendez” did ring a bell). I was glued to the screen the whole time and got butterflies in my stomach and everything towards the end. Incredible.

Let’s start with Alan Arkin’s nomination for supporting actor. Everyone in the movie did a fantastic job, Arkin included. Honestly, though, I’m not sure why Brian Cranston wasn’t nominated instead. Not only did he have a role with more airtime, but it was a much more significant role that required a lot of skill there at the end.

Film editing. Loved it. It definitely stood out. The transitions between different viewpoints and types of shots were seamless and added a lot to the film.  The production value was so high all around. Sound editing and sound mixing were incredibly important for what was going on in the movie and they were done well enough that I didn’t notice anything that didn’t fit well. The score was FABULOUS. I loved it. It’s one of those that I’d like to own. It definitely deserved the best adapted screenplay nomination. I thought it was incredibly well-written, not only for the dialogue itself but for how the dialogue interacted with what else was going on in the scene.

One of my favorite things about this film was seeing the comparisons between shots from the film and shots from actual footage of the crisis. The accuracy (at least, the visual accuracy) was astounding. Loved it all around.

 

 

The Master

What it’s up for: Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress

Not gonna lie, I don’t get this movie. I mean, I *get* it. I get what the plot is supposed to be about but I don’t understand the point. It really might just be because I was ridiculously tired while I was watching it (and falling asleep during the long gaps between lines of dialogue). I honestly don’t know.

The main storyline of The Master is that Joaquin Phoenix is a Naval veteran from World War II who is trying to figure out what to do with his life when he accidentally stumbles upon a cult led by Philip Seymour Hoffman. The plot is interesting enough, but plays out strangely. It’s very slow and there doesn’t seem to be much of an end goal to the storyline. I mostly spent the movie asking “why is this happening?” and “what is going on?”.

The acting was quite good, though. Joaquin basically played a character not too far off from his own crazy self so it was probably not too hard. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was good as well but I was most drawn to Amy Adam’s acting out of all of them. She played the wife of Hoffman and seemed to portray this aura of power throughout the film that suggested she was the real authority behind the cult. However, her character wasn’t developed very thoroughly so that concept never came to any real completion.

Lincoln

What it’s up for: Everything

I love this movie. I laughed. I cried. I saw it twice.

The first time I saw it, I fell asleep during part of it, I’m sad to say. Such is the life of me. HOWEVER, after finishing “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, and realizing how quickly the Oscars were coming up, I watched it again. I cried A LOT at the end.

As is the theme of this year’s blog posts, I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. Daniel Day Lewis was phenomenal. As was Sally Field. As was Tommy Lee Jones. Cinematography was fabulous – it felt old, had so many creative shots and amazing use of light. Costumes were great. I liked the muted tones of everything because it added to the mood. Directing – I mean, it’s Spielberg…what more can I say? Film editing was noticeably excellent. Transitions were seamless and everything flowed well. Score – I mean, it’s John Williams…but I will say that it’s not as memorable as most of his stuff usually is. It was excellent though, and very period appropriate. Sound mixing was fine and the screenplay was excellent, although dragging at times. I appreciated the authenticity of the language.

Animated Feature Films

Alright, so I’ve seen all but one of the movies in this category, so it seems like a good place to start.

Brave
Disney/Pixar’s contribution to the 2013 lineup. If you haven’t seen it, the basic storyline follows Merida, a princess-of-old from Scotland on a perilous journey of self-discovery. I saw this movie a couple times and I…liked it. I did. I liked it. However, I thought the plot was way too predictable, ESPECIALLY for a Pixar movie.

ParaNorman
Saw it. Not much else to say besides that. I can’t even really describe the plot to you. I know it has something to do with a curse on a town and this kid named Norman, who can see dead people (I’m not kidding…they used that route again), has to save it. It was interesting enough that I finished it but it wasn’t incredible. The fact that it’s a stop-motion film isn’t even THAT big of a deal since there were 3 such films nominated this year.

Frankenweenie
I saw…half of this. Not gonna lie, I fell asleep in the middle of it. That may not necessarily be a commentary on the movie itself, though. It was probably more due to the fact that I went to see it at 10p after a long day of work. I’d be willing to give it another shot. It’s an interesting film (it IS Tim Burton after all). A young Victor Frankenstein discovers by accident how to bring his dead dog back to life. The concept is quite unique and I like the fact that it’s kind of a background story for how Dr. Frankenstein came to be. I thought the stop-motion animation for Frankenweenie was a lot less awkward than for ParaNorman.

Pirates! Band of Misfits
This is the one I didn’t see…

Wreck-It Ralph
This may be the only thing I will be cheering for HARD at the Oscars this year. I ABSOLUTELY love this movie. I’ve seen it 3 times already, and whenever I get a chance, I go and see it again. The basic storyline is that Ralph is a bad guy in the video game Fix-It Felix Jr but he wants to be a hero. The plot was complex and unpredictable. The animation was incredible and consistent. (Having the old school video game characters move in awkward pixelated movements? Priceless.) The writing was clever and reached multiple groups of people. I cried. A lot. It was absolutely fabulous.

Prediction
It’s down to either Brave or Wreck-It Ralph, for sure. I’m gunning for Ralph and I could see it winning. But I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

2013 Nominations

Alright. My desire for consistency and follow-through is driving me to do the Oscar blog this year. However, I will warn you, it is going to be far less detailed and have much fewer movies in it than in years past (since I actually do things in my life now).

It breaks my heart that I haven’t been able to see most of the movies that were nominated this year. Especially since there were so many that I wanted to see. I may still have a chance to get in a few before the Oscars, but it’ll be a stretch for sure.

Here’s the nominations: http://oscar.go.com/nominees
Here are the 29 movies that have nominations:

  • Amour
  • Anna Karenina
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Brave
  • Chasing Ice
  • Django Unchained
  • Flight
  • Frankenweenie
  • Hitchcock
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • ParaNorman
  • Prometheus
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Skyfall
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Ted
  • The Avengers
  • The Hobbit
  • The Impossible
  • The Master
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • The Sessions
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Zero Dark Thirty

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