Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Tribute to Those Snubbed at the 85th Academy Awards

Source: JoBlo

If you're anything like me you'd agree that after seeing the nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards you'd noticed there were a few films and performances (namely Leonardo DiCaprio) that got snubbed. While we'll be talking about the potential winners until the big show - Sunday, February 24th - here's a little video of the most surprising nominations and also the most frustrating snubs by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It's shocking how many were left behind. 

                                 Any other big snubs this year?

Friday, January 18, 2013

RED 2 Trailer


"Is there a human being in the trunk?" 

The "RED" (Retired Extremely Dangerous) team of misfits are back and this time around they brought their friends - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Byung-hun Lee as the villain. If you liked the first movie you'll love the looks of this sequel. This actually looks like it's going to be better, funnier, bigger, badder than the first movie. We shall see...
Director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Fun with Dick and Jane - funny movies, btw) will be taking over this sequel. The story follows our "old" team of retired spies (Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren) as they use their old school methods to face new enemies across Europe. RED is based on the comic book series written by Cully Hamner and artist Warren Ellis published by WildStorm. RED 2 will be in theater August 2nd, 2013.

Worth seeing?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Impossible Review

Our story begins on Christmas Eve, where a young family vacations to Thailand for the holidays. Little did they know a few days later would become a memory/nightmare they would never forget. This is a remarkable true story about the human spirit and the struggle to survive even during the most severe circumstances. 

Director Juan Antonio Bayona does a fantastic job in his newest film  The Impossible. Not only does he pay respect to the countless victims that lost their lives in the devastating tragedy, he makes artistic choices and liberties only the most seasoned directors can make. Academy Award Nominee Naomi Watts (who's nominated this year for Best Actress) and Ewan McGregor are married in the film with three little boys, and after the tsunami they ultimately get separated. Normally after a huge devastation the second half of the movie tends to lag and get tired, but not here.  The real meat of the story is in the aftermath - the trials this family faces and everyone they encounter along the way.

I fully enjoyed this movie way more than I expected to.  It was touching, extremely enduring with outstanding performances - there wasn't a dry eye in the theater. Sure, it was little predicable, which brought a little element of cheesiness, but aside from that, I highly recommend seeing this movie. (Make sure to bring a box of Kleenex... you will need it.)

Tell me what you thought??

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty Review

If the intelligence-gathering build-up wasn't engrossing enough, the gripping 35-minute raid scene at the end will definitely do the trick. This is a true-to-life account of how the intelligence community collected information that ultimately lead to the demise of the world's most hunted terrorist. 

Jessica Chastain is dynamite as an obsessed agent. I wouldn't be surprised if she won the Oscar for Best Actress, she was truly amazing. But it's Oscar-winning Kathryn Bigelow who is the true star here. Excellent directing, editing, you name it, it's there. The opening sequence is cinematic genius - evoking the chaotic nightmare of 9/11 through sound clips and no visuals, just a black screen.

Zero Dark Thirty is an incredible, heart-bounding, and remarkable film from beginning to end. I didn't expect to enjoy this movie as much as I did - it far exceeded any of my high expectations. And had I seen this last year it would have made my #2 spot on my Top 10 Best of... list. Makes me really wonder now, which movie will take home the Oscar for Best Picture? In any case this intense drama is a definite must see

What did you think?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

Turns out the Mayans were wrong - the world did not end as predicted.  And thank goodness for that. It would be tragic if we missed all these exciting movies listed below. Hollywood is churning out one great film after another - spanning from its array of comic book heroes, to Disney adaptions, book adaptations, thrillers and reboots, all the way to prequels and sequels. From least to most, I give to you the Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2013.

25. The Lone Ranger (July 3rd) 
Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice.

24.  This Is the End (June 14th)
Who says the end of the world can't be funny? While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. 

23. World War Z (June 21st)
Zombies are everywhere nowadays, both on TV and in movies. A U.N. employee (Brad Pitt) is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.

22. Side Effects (February 8th)
Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband's upcoming release from prison.

21. The Place Beyond the Pines (March 29th)
A motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.

20. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 29th)
The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. This movie was pushed back to this year to due re-shoots - rumor has it they reshot a bigger part for Channing Tatum, so maybe he can bring some of his “magic” to this one.

19. The Wolverine (July 26th)
Hugh Jackman, who's in the best shape of his life, get's to return to the silver screen as Wolverine to tell us more of his favorite Logan stories: This time around he travels to Japan to train with a samurai warrior.

20. Jack Ryan (Christmas Day)
Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.

17. Elysium (August 9th)
Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, Max (Matt Damon) takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

16. The Fast and the Furious 6 (May 24th) 
What happens in the sixth "Fast and the Furious" movie? Who knows, and who cares? Rest assured, it’s got Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris back together, and cars will go absurdly fast and then crash spectacularly. It is known that they’re taking the show to England this time around, so they’ll be driving recklessly on the other side of the road.

17. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22nd)
The continuing adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), which take place in a futuristic dystopian world, as she prepares for the Quarter Quell.

16. Warm Bodies (February 1st)
Like I said, zombies are popping up everywhere.  After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

15.  A Good Day to Die Hard - IMAX (Valentine's Day)
Yippie Ki-Yay, Mother Russia. John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack (Jai Courtney), only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

14. Paranoia (October 4th)
An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss's old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.

13. The Host (March 29th)
Based on the Best Seller novel by Stephenie Meyer: A parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan). Instead of carrying out her race's mission of taking over the Earth, "Wanda" (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.

12. Oz: The Great and Powerful - 3D (March 8th)
A stage magician (James Franco) is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him.

11. Thor: The Dark World - 3D (November 8th)
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness after the events of The Avengers.

10. White House Down (June 28th)
A Secret Service agent (Channing Tatum) is tasked with saving the life of the U.S. President (Jamie Foxx) after the White House is overtaken by a paramilitary group.

When Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up it's pure genius.  Forget what it's about - these two people alone are enough to get me in the door.  A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration.

8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
3D (December 13th)
Ah, back to Middle Earth we go. The Dwarfs, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) have successfully escaped the misty mountains, but Bilbo has gained the one ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back off the Dragon, Smaug.

7. Gangster Squad (January 11th)
A chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.

6. Oblivion (April 19th)
This trailer knocked quite a few socks off when it hit the net last month - myself included. Say what you will, Tom Cruise has a knack for choosing interesting projects. One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

5. The Great Gatsby - 3D (May 10th)
Another book adaptation makes the list. Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.

4. Iron Man 3 - 3D (May 3rd)
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin.

The boys are back in town and they mean business - top rated newsmen business.  It will be almost ten years when the sequel hits theaters and yet it only feels like yesterday when this famous anchorman hit the scene. 

2. Man of Steel (June 14th)
An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities (Henry Cavill). He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world. Cannot wait for this one, baby! I think Snyder and Nolan are going to deliver a pretty good big-screen reboot of perhaps the greatest super hero of all time. Excited to see General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Superman duke it out.

1. Star Trek Into Darkness - IMAX/3D (May 17th)
Definitely the most anticipated movie of 2013. After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. I have no doubt this movie will be phenomenal.

If 2013 doesn't ring your bell, you're a lost cause, because I don't know what will. There's definitely a slew of versatile movies here for every girl and boy to enjoy.  And I look forward to seeing each and every one.  So tell me... what movies are you anticipating the most this year?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top 10 Best & Worst Movies of 2012

It's time to reflect on the year with excellence and happiness and, lest we forget, embarrassment and dislike. Compiling my top picks for 2012 proved a much easier task than years past. I will say, though, there were a few movies I sadly didn't get a chance to see in time - Zero Dark Thirty, Hitchcock, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Silver Linings Playbook and The Beast of the Southern Wild. Who knows what these lists would look like if I had. Alas, without further ado I present to you my tops picks for the BEST & WORST movies of  2012.

Worst of the Worst

Dishonorable Mentions:
Anna Karenina
Total Recall
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

10. The Cold Light of Day
I wouldn't be surprised if you've never even heard of this movie.  It kinda flew under the radar and rightfully so. Too bad it didn't stay there. Even the incredibly sexy, Henry Cavill (our new Man of Steel) couldn't save this poorly written movie riddled with too many laughable plot holes.  

9. Lockout
Just your typical action flick, only this time around it packs a soggy punch, backed by some laughable acting, weak stunts and ugly wigs. The worst part about this lame action flick is the shame of how cool it thinks it really is, sort of like the class dork posing as the class clown. Meh...

8. Gone
I'll take "this movie is pretty weak" for $2000, Alex. I mean come on! What started off as a cool premise ended with one of the dumbest anticlimactic endings ever. Sure it had a few cool twists, but all in all I was pretty let down... even with my low expectations.

7. Rock of Ages
Put a bunch of movie stars in a karaoke bar and make them sing is one thing, pay to see them sing professionally is quite another. It lurched around awkwardly in ugly fashion, never quite reaching the cool factor they had hope for, but instead it ended up being an over the top ridiculous hot mess.
Can Kate Beckinsale take a movie role without dressing in tight, black leather? Sure, she looks smoking' hot, too bad that can't be said about her movies, much less this lame vampire flick. This drawn-out, sub-par movie lacks in substance, style and... wait... was there a plot? 
More like premium boredom. What looked like a suspenseful, cool, thriller, turned out to be a disappointing, I-could-care-less bore. Never once do you feel for the main characters, and the villain (psh) what a joke. In fact the movie is one big joke. I've definitely had better.
I'm sad I can say I've seen this never ending story.  This exhausting series needs to end now before it's too late (wait, too late). As the series continues the movie dwindles in creativity.   It was predicable and flat with little to no scares.
This pathetic sequel, loosely based on Greek mythology, is a huge CGI, bore-snore, mess. It failed to improve on any of the elements from the first movie and even made some huge flaws in its chaotic storyline, not to mention the silly acting. Zeus, myself, was displeased to say the least. 
If you are about to go over a ledge of a roaring waterfall and someone tosses you a line and shouts, "I'll tow you to shore, but then we have to watch Vampire Hunter," take the plunge. And I don't want to hear about how you can't swim either.
I know it isn't much of a surprise,
but the worst movie of the year goes to...
While the first film was a solid tongue-in-cheek parody of Jaws, this sequel missed the mark by (sigh) a ton. Not only is this the worst movie of the year, but undoubtedly the worst movie ever made. It holds a special place in my heart for its unique brand of ultimate failure. I am now that much dumber for having watched this disgusting, smelly pile of poo.  C'mon Danielle Panabaker, you're better than this! 

Best of the Best

Honorable Mentions:
Marvel's The Avengers
The Cabin in the Woods
Jack Reacher

10. Django Unchained
It has every single element of a perfect Quentin Tarantino movie with the added pleasure of almost being better than his previous work... almost.  This old time western, centered around slavery in the south, is one smart and entertaining movie with some strong performances.

"Adult supervision is required"

9. Les Misérables  
Tom Hooper's direction and the cinematography, costumes, art design and editing are nothing short of spectacular. One of the worlds greatest musicals of all time shined on the silver screen.  It will leave you laughing, crying, and feeling inspired.

"I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living!"

8. Moonrise Kingdom
Here's a pleasant delight that keeps getting better and better the more you watch it.  Wes Anderson's funny, wrenching ode to young love may not win any major awards, but it's charming, witty and above all extremely creative. Definitely one of my favorite Anderson films to date.

"What kind of bird are you?"

7. Skyfall
007 rises from the garbage and rubble that was Quantum of Solace, electing this time around to kick some major British butt.  And I must say he succeeds with flying colors.  More glamour, more action and more toys not to mention a superb villain. 

"Some men are coming to kill us... we're going to kill them first."

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson takes us back to the magical world of Middle Earth and delivers on every account.  Jackson's technological 3D wizardry certainly paid off.  The pacing, the shot angles, the acting, the script, all very well done indeed. 

"Well, if he looses, precious, then we eats it! If Baggins looses, we eats it whole!"

5. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan did the seemingly impossible by giving the Batman legend a monumental conclusion to the epic trilogy it deserves.  He proved that even the third movie in the series can be just as exciting, if not better than the first.
"My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men."

4. Life of Pi 
The most charming 3D adventure of this year belongs to a young boy named Pi. Ang Lee's film achieves the near impossible - it's a fantastical technical achievement that's emotionally rewarding as well.  A lot more endearing than expected.

"So which story do you prefer?" 

3. Looper
This tight, Sci-Fi movie, about time travel, delivers with thunderous applause. It's smart, original, thought provoking, with a surprising amount of heart. I guarantee by the end of the movie you will pause before saying "wow."

"Ask yourself: who would I sacrifice for what's MINE?"

2. Lincoln
Steven Spielberg brings genius to the silver screen once again with his absorbing take on our 16th president, brought vividly back to life by none other than that great “American” Daniel Day-Lewis (ahem, I'm really glad he won the Oscar for this role too). It's surprisingly thrilling and powerful. Amazing.
"Trust? Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten that our chosen career is politics."

Drum roll please...
And the #1 Best of movie of 2012 belongs to...

1. Argo
A true story about how an inventive CIA operative called upon Hollywood to help stage an elaborate ruse that led to the “ex-filtration” of six Americans trapped in Iran following the overthrow of the shah in 1979. It's an extremely well written, acted and directed film.  Ben Affleck shines both on and off screen.  It's without a doubt thrilling, exciting and heart-pounding, with a lot of heart and soul. A definite must see.

"If I'm going to make a fake movie, it's going to be a fake hit."

There ya have it folks, 2012 in a nutshell.  I do find it interesting that Abraham Lincoln managed to make the #2 slot on both my lists. Huh. Anyway, 2013 looks bright ahead and boy does it looks promising.  Cannot wait!  So did your favorite movie of the year make the cut? Something I missed? Let me know what your Best & Worst movies of 2012 were and why they belong on said list!

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