Friday, February 22, 2013
This is my 5th year for the Oscar predictions and as always I list what I think will win, not want to win. This is a really hard year and many categories have at least 3 options that have a good chance of winning.
Best Picture-Lincoln. I picked this for one reason over Argo, Argo isn't nominated for director or any main acting categories. It's not much of a reason, but I could also see Pi, Silver Linings, and Zero Dark winning also. Very confusing and it just depends which way the other awards fall. Ignored: THE FUCKING MASTER!!!!!!!!! This film not being nominated and they only went with 9 nominations is a travesty. Suck it Hollywood! I'm so glad you put The Blind Side is a couple of years ago...dicks!
Best Actor- Daniel Day Lewis. Pretty much a slam dunk and he does deserve it. I will dance a jig on top of a car if Joaquin wins. Ignored: Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)
Best Actress- Jennifer Lawrence. I barely chose her over Emmanuelle Riva because of her Oscar and acting bashing, but Hollywood loves to give awards to the Stars of Tomorrow. If Chastain wins I will hurt people, she is miscast and annoying in Zero-Dark Thirty.
Supporting Actor- Tommy Lee Jones. This is the hardest category this year. I think it's a three person race. Sad sacks De Niro and Tommy Lee and the great Christoph Waltz. My jig dancing will continue if Phillip Seymour Hoffman wins. Ignored: Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Supporting Actress- Anne Hathaway. I think they already mailed her the Oscar. Ignored: Judy Dench (Skyfall)
Directing- Steven Speilberg. Who knows who will win with Beard Affleck out of the picture. His winning everything in site and not being nominated is the strangest thing I've ever seen. Ignored: P.T.A. I should be used to this, Hollywood loves to ignore talent. P.T.A. should be glad he's in the same company as Kubrick,Wells, and until recently Scorsese.
Original Screenplay-Zero Dark Thirty. Weak category this year even though there is alot of talent. Ignored: Guess, I suppose all the Scientologist won this year.
Adapted Screenplay-Lincoln. Silver Linings is one of David O's best, but the Rom-Com third act hurts it a bit.
Cinematography-Roger Deakins. This is the only category I am picking with my heart. It's easily the best looking film of the year and hopefully they stop treating Deakins like he's Paul Thomas Anderson. Ignored:Argo,Moonrise Kingdom, and The Master.
Editing-Argo. Close call between this and Zero Dark. This is my only Argo pick, I may be screwed. Ignored: Yep, The Master and Skyfall.
Foreign Film-Amour. Slam Dunk! Ignored: The Master.
Animated-Wreck It Ralph. Why Not.
Animated Short-Paperman. It has the most buzz and it's good too.
Live Action Short-Asad. That's right I said it!
Documentary Feature- The Gatekeepers. Ignored:My favorite Doc of the year The Central Park 5.
Doc.Short-Monday's In Racine. I haven't seen any of these and Racine is where Sean Connery lives in The Untouchables.
Best Production Design, Make-Up and Hair, and Costume-Les Miserables in a sweep!
Best Sound Editing, Mixing and SFX-Skyfall, Les Mis, and Life of Pi.
Best Score-Life of Pi. Nothing spoke to me with the nominations this year. Ignored: only the MASTER of evil Darth!
Best Song-Skyfall. The best Bond song since A View to a Kill! Ignored: MASTER and servent.
Hooray for Hollywood!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I was really curious to see how QT would do with his first film without his right arm, editor Sally Menke who died in 2010. Tarantino has never worked with another editor and I'm sure she was one of the last remaining people that could tell him "no" and he would listen. Django Unchained feels like a Quentin Tarantino film and I think he correctly chose to do a simple film for his first venture without Menke. Luckily the Tarantino stamp is still there, and he hasn't skipped a beat. The music, the acting, the look, and even the pacing is very Tarantino/Menke feel except the end. *SPOILERS from here on* I believe Django is about 15 minutes too long and when the movie should have ended it kept going. The viewer gets two shoot out endings and a bad transition scene with QT the Aussie and an unlikely scenario where slave traders listen to a slave about how to get some riches. The first shoot out scene where all the heavies die is the way to end the film. Adding a second shoot out scene where the only characters you care about is Jaimie Fox and Samuel L. Jackson and everyone else are secondary characters is bad filmaking, but it's mainly a huge editing gaffe. It takes some of the thunder out of the first shoot out and again the QT scene is almost as bad as the girls gabbing at the table scene in Death Proof. I think if Tarantino had a confident editor who's previous editing ventures weren't the Fast and the Furious films they would have told him not to have two endings and also to give up acting. I'm not saying Fred Raskin did a bad job, because this is still a very enjoyable movie, but rightfully who is he to tell someone of Tarantino's stature what to do. With that said, Django Unchained is still one of the better films this year and a pleasure to watch. The story is simple, but this film more than delivers with great dialog and tremendous acting on all fronts. Waltz is great as usual and Don Johnson is really funny, but as usual in all QT films there is a stand out performance. It's a sin that Leonardo DiCaprio got ignored for an Oscar this year because he is an evil bastard and I always admire an actor who doesn't mind taking a chance at being the bad guy. Every scene he's in the audience is nervous while the characters are walking on egg shells because your just not sure what he's going to do. It's great tension and Leo really pulls it off. I also loved how reserved Jamie Fox was throughout the entire movie. It would have been entirely inaccurate for a life long slave to walk around being flamboyant, arrogant, and other attributes that follow modern movie action hero's. He does show flashes of these traits, but he is a student of Waltz's and as time goes on he learns how the game is played. He really listens to Waltz and keeps his eye on the prize and in the end it's Waltz that becomes undisciplined and loses his cool. I thought the biggest missed opportunity was Samuel L. Jackson's character. I love the idea that he is Leo's consiliere, and makes sense, since he helped raise him. I like the feeble old codger who is nothing but someone to laugh at, but behind the scenes he pulls the strings. The problem I had was he put too much Samuel L. in the feeble old man character, he should have been more reserved like Fox. Just because your Samuel L. Jackson doesn't mean you have to yell Shit! and Fuck! every 2 minutes. He ends up becoming comic relief and only shines in the quiet moments.I see that he need for him to be foolish I just thought it was bit over the top and we had a great chance to see Samuel L. act. I didn't think the violence was much of an issue, because it is a Quentin Tarantino film and the violence is a plot point. There is a big variation between the way white people die and the way the slaves die. The cartoonish way white people die is supposed to be over the top and a little silly, and it would be offensive if he was to do the same with the slaves. The dogs killing the slave scene is horrifying, but it supposed to be and it's a turning point in the film. From this point on we know Leo is capable of anything and is truly evil and Waltz starts to become unhinged. Waltz isn't the same person after this scene, he becomes nervous and agitated. For the first time he is truly introduced to the horrors of slavery, and therefore falls out of character, which eventually leads to his demise. Overall it's a really enjoyable film, but it's also a simple film which only takes a few risks. I think every Tarantino film is groundbreaking in someway and Django Unchained is the least groundbreaking of all of his films. I believe this film was a baby step for QT because he was testing the waters without his second in command Sally Menke. 3.5 out 5 Stars