Monday, January 25, 2016

2016 *Best Picture* Oscar Nominees Video Montage

Source: Vimeo 

With only a few week to go, the 88th Academy Awards will be here before you know it! Check out this beautiful montage of all the 2016 Best Picture nominees, created by Jacob T. Swinney. We only have eight Best Pictures selected this year, and personally I think the Academy should go back to nominating five like the good ol' days, but that's neither here nor there. I am a little disappointed Sicario didn't get a nom, but that's up for discussion on another blog post for another day. More than anything this video is a fantastic look down memory lane. Have you seen all of them?...

It's still up in the air as to who will win on Hollywood most glamorous night, but for now I'm leaning towards Spotlight. But it could go to either The Big Short or The Revenant as well. It's a tight race for sure. We shall see soon enough!

Who do you want to win?...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

First Official Trailer for Suicide Squad

Source: Firstshowing

"What is this, uh, cheer-leading tryouts?"
Warner Bros. just released their first "official" trailer for Suicide Squad, and it looks awesome! It brings the DC Comics villains together for some crazy, foolish fun - we have Deadshot, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Enchantress, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang and Rick Flagg. While the "unofficial" teaser is hauntingly seductive, this one is hands down, balls-to-wall FUN!  The marketing team definitely deserves an Oscar.  I mean WOW!  Seriously, movie trailers just don't get any more fun than this!  Sure, they unleash quite a bit of footage (which is annoying), but as a stand alone trailer this is a work of art. LOVE the usage of the Queen song too. If the "unofficial" teaser didn't  thrill you enough this one definitely will. Can't wait to see this movie.  I just hope it's as cool as it looks here. Have a look see... 

Suicide Squad is a DC Comics movie from Warner Bros, written and directed by (End of Watch, Sabotage, Fury), and is based on the comic books. Will Smith is Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman is Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jared Leto is Joker, Jai Courtney plays Boomerang, Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, Cara Delevingne is Enchantress (my current fav. super model), and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is supposedly playing Killer Croc. All of these characters are part of a super villain team recruited by the government for secret missions. There are also claims that Ike Barinholtz is playing Dr. Hugo Strange, Adam Beach is possibly Ravan and Jim Parrack is playing Deathstroke. We shall see soon enough. This movie hits theaters on August 5, 2016 You don't want to miss it.
Tell me you're not excited?! I dare you...

Worst. Heroes. Ever.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Video Essay: The Most Beautiful Shots in Movie History

Source: Firstshowing

The makeup of an excellent movie consists of a few major key elements - direction, performance, sound, lighting, choreography, composition and cinematography. If you're a fan of film you don't want to miss this visual essay on spectacular cinematography.  It highlights some of the most beautiful shots in movie history. Cinema truly is a wonderful and magnificent art form! Let us bask in the glory of its spender. Enjoy!

Masterfully crafted by Youtube editor, Jim Casey. He goes on to explain that this is a video version of the Buzzfeed article also collecting the Most Beautiful Shots in Movie History. The music feature is Caro Emerald - Perfect Day (Live Lou Reed Cover).  I will say though, there were a few notable films left off the list - Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 and more recently, Sicario.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Most Anticipated Movies - 2016

Source: Firsthshowing

"And that is where our story begins."
If you thought 2015 was the year in film get a load of this.  Needless to say 2016 means bidness! Our cinematic adventures will take us into the world of Marvel's Doctor Strange, Gambit, X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War. DC's Batman VS. Superman, Suicide Squad, as well Steven Spielberg's The BFG, Paul Fieg's Ghostbusters, Tim Miller's Deadpool, and of course the ever-so-charming Pixar's Finding Dory. Just to name a few. Check out this cool 2016 video mashup from Nick Bosworth. Enjoy!
Some of the movies I'M looking forward to seeing this year include:
The Jungle Book                                The Huntsman Winter's War
Hail, Caesar!                                       Alice Through the Looking Glass
Zoolander 2                                         X-Men: Apocalypse
The Boy                                                The Conjuring 2

Finding Dory                                       The BFG
The Legend of Tarzan                        The Secret Life of Pets
Ghostbusters                                        Star Trek Beyond
Untitled Bourne Sequel                     Suicide Squad

Little Prince
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back         
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I'm sure more movies will peak my interest as the year progresses, but for now there ya have it.  What movies are YOU looking forward to seeing this year?  

Top 10 Best & Worst Movies - 2015

Ah, it's that time of year again - a flash of remembrance. The best of the best and worst of the worst. Here lies my reasoning's behind my Top Ten Best & Worst Movies of 2015. This year certainly proved note-worthy to say the least. But before we get started I will say there were quite a few movies I didn't get to in time - Carol, The RevenantAbout RayThe Danish Girl, Spotlight, Room, The Big Short, Point Break, Brooklyn and Joy. Who knows what these lists would have looked like if I had. With that said, here are my top picks. Enjoy!

*WORST of the WORST* 

10. Magic Mike XXL
How difficult is it to take this gorgeous cast and put them in a halfway decent stripper flick? The answer is very. Call me crazy, but shouldn't there be TONS-O-STRIPPING at a stripper convention?! Psh, this movie might as well be PG-13.

Clever concept, horrible delivery. The narration throughout the entire movie was almost insulting. At times it was so painful my eyes got a cramp from all the eye-rolling.

It’s never a good sign when our main heroine is extremely unlikable from the get-go. UGH!! In the end our heroine and the weak story-line will drive you.... mad.

This easily forgettable, been-there-done-that-many-times-over-and-over plot was just too predictable and boring.  The side of bad acting didn't help either. It's no wonder is up for a Razzies.  We could not care less.

Or just the longest, drawn out movie ever. Now I'm not immune to the pleasures of a terrific romance - The Notebook is among my favorites. But even abs-for-days, , couldn’t  save this cheesy, charmless love story. 

Oh, stop your whining, Anastasia Steele! You don’t even know what real pain is. That pain was left for the audience to endure. It's just not stylish enough to be a decent film and it’s not naughty enough to distract us. Lack of chemistry, check.  Poorly written script, double check.  Razzies here we come! 

This horrific and pointless, dialed-in remake mostly exists to kill brain cells, and a couple hours of our lives with meaningless, forgettable nonsense that just won't fascinate or excite. HARD pass.

If you are ever sucked up into an alien spacecraft, and the extraterrestrials offer you a choice between getting probed with their instruments or watching Jupiter Ascending then OK, fine, option B, but still...

With THEE most impetuous and un-apologetically over privileged slew of punks since Sex and the City 2, it’s no wonder this disappointing, "I couldn't care less," hot-mess made this list. On a scale of one to even… I just can’t. 

1. Aloha
Sony has thrown $37 million at the screen for 105 minutes of garbage, and none of it stuck. The “Did I leave this flick for a quick sec. and walk into another?” movie is not even worth the poo I threw at the screen. With a horribly mix of bland characters and a premise that ties “romance” with a ridiculous Scooby Doo villain plot is without question the worst and most perplexing movie EVER!!!

*Best of the Best*

10.  Black Mass
Whitey Bulger's Boston mob pals don't mess around and you can tell they mean bidness! I am surprised the ever-so-lovely chameleon that is Johnny Depp didn't get more praise for this role (I'm looking at you Oscars!).  His knock-out, stellar performance was spot-on, menacing and not a little bit frightening/creepy.  This true story will engage and captivate long after the credits roll. 
"How was he good to you, John? Did he take you trick-or-treating?"  

This charming and original  animated movie is easily the most high-concept piece Disney/Pixar has ever made. It's playfully funny, thought-provoking and mood-moving all in one. The stellar animation not only speaks volumes, but its powerful message is everything. That is to say there is opposition in all things - light & dark, day & night, Joy & Sadness. 

"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems."

Based on the (surprisingly) recent true story of a doctor who challenges a corporation that owns a day of the week, Concussion, is invigorating, all backed by one of the best Will Smith performances of his long career.  You can't tell me you knew it was him the first time you saw the trailer.  I mean, WOW.  Crushed it!
"The NFL owns a day of the week. The same day the Church used to own. Now it's theirs."

This real-life spin on the 1950's enchanting animated movie charmed us to our core. It's a magical must-see! A true delight. One of the most important elements in a love story is chemistry between the two leads - we have our fairy-godmother to thank for that. I have a sneaky suspicion Cinderella will snag Best Costume at the 88th Academy Awards this year. 
"When there is kindness, there is goodness. When there is goodness, there is magic."
From the visionary director , comes an extension to the 70's beloved franchise, Mad Max. Stylized to perfection and one of the coolest/dopest looking movies to ever hit the silver screen, it's easy to see why this balls-to-the-wall, action-packed movie made the cut.
"When I yell "fool," you drive out of here as fast as you can."

5. Creed
One would think the seventh movie in the "Rocky" franchise would bring more bland story telling than a wet mop, but that's certainly not the case.  What looks like a dialed-in "ho-hum" story ends up succeeding as our favorite "under-dog" movie since the first Rocky. It takes us back to the basics.  It's realistic, down-to-earth, fun and surprisingly engaging. You don't wanna miss it.
"Time takes everybody out; time's undefeated."

Is it OK to fall in love a robot?  Because that's exactly what happened here.  The morally, unassuming, slow-moving thriller takes us for one beautiful, "what just happened" ride. It's a trip on all accounts and will resonate with you long after the movie ends. All-star cast, excellent story telling, interesting/fresh idea, superb delivery. 
"We need to talk about the lies you've been spinning me."

What a remarkably chaotic take on the drug-war world. This movie holds some of the most all-pervading and suspenseful story telling around, backed by remarkable performances ( will blow you away - pun intended). And that heart-pounding Oscar deserving score definitely commands your attention.  The music intensifies this thriller for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if it won either best original score or best cinematography.
"Nothing will make sense to your American ears, and you will doubt everything that we do, but in the end you will understand."

This book to film adaptation delivers with flying colors. It proves its legacy is an excellent work of art. It tugs on every emotion - fear, doubt, excitement, humor, joy, sadness etc. Exceptional, Oscar deserving performance by the lovely Matt Damon (but sorry Damon, this is Leo's year), and an impressive, Oscar deserving screen play.  It will not disappoint. 
"I admit it's fatally dangerous, but I'd get to fly around like Iron Man."

In a galaxy far, far away... The most iconic sci-fi movie in the history of pop-culture remains as popular as ever. It is a cultural phenomenon like no other. The space opera absolutely killed it this year! Phenomenal story telling, excellent pacing, suburb special effects, stunning visuals, intense action sequences. This emotional roller-coaster has it all.  Seriously, movies just don't get any more fun than this! It's easy to see why this film snags the #1 spot this year.
"That's not how the Force works."

It was a stupendous year it film, no doubt.  And I thoroughly look forward to seeing what 2016 has in store.  See ya at the movies!

The floor is now yours!  Did your favorite movie of the year make the list? Something I missed? Let me know what your Best and Worst movies of 2015 were...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trailer Park - 2015

Let's kick off the new year with a little "Pause & Reflection." Movie trailers are in their own category these days, reaching new levels of excellence. The release of new trailers has become a very big deal, and their popularity is really second only to the movie itself. I mean, we have trailers for trailers these days. Some might even say movie trailers are better than the real McCoy. And, of course, other trailers are just the tip of the iceberg of stellar things yet to come. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a movie trailer should be worth a ba-zillion words. After all, you don't go to the movies based on what you read. It's what you see that "reels" you in. Seeing really 'is' believing. With that said, and in no particular order, here are my Top Ten Best Movie Trailers of 2015. Enjoy! 

Honorable Mentions:
Crimson Peak (trailer #2)
Southpaw (trailer #1)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (trailer #2)
Spectre (trailer #1)
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (trailer #1)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

"Who are you?"  Who cares!  THIS LOOKS AWESOME!  But who am I kidding, they could literally show us two minutes of a monkey washing R2-D2 with the theme music playing in the background and we'd still go see this movie... twice. 
Release Date:  12-18-15

The Little Prince:
What's not to love?!  This magical and moving trailer speaks volumes without even trying. Love the way the narrative interwinds the life of a young girl growing up and the original charming Le Petit Prince. Rediscover the beloved tale of life, love and friendship.  
Release Date: 3/18/16

The Danish Girl:
One of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the twentieth century begins. Oh Oscar season! You are a time of heartache.  This looks dreamy, whimsical, beautiful.
Release Date: 11/27/15

The Martian:
There is a certain elegance with this trailer and a great deal of it comes from the simplicity of its message. It does a beautiful job raising some intriguing questions about the value of human life.
Release Date: 10/2/15

Steve Jobs:
This trailer sets out to captivate with one simple word "HELLO." The trailer looks riveting with a unique exploration of the trails and triumphs of a modern day genius.  
Release Date: 10/23/15

This emotionally charged trailer grabs a hold of you tightly never once letting up. The star studded mountain climbing, IMAX, 3D adventure is based on actual events too.   The words Love, Courage, Fear, Hope, Family, Faith quickly flash before your eyes streamed with heart-pounding music. After all "Everest is another beast altogether."
Release Date: 9/18/15

Suicide Squad:
Justice has a bad side... Definitely one of the coolest, trailers ever made. It's beautifully edited to perfection. Adding the eerie yet angelic remake of the '68 Bee Gee's hit titled "I Started a Joke" is a stroke of genius. It's dark, it's edgy, it's fresh, it's awesome.
Release Date: 8/5/16

Could this music be anymore haunting and mesmerizing, terrifying yet intriguing?! For the love of all things holy!  It grabs our attention from the get-go.  If you're up for a realistic, suspenseful thrillers look no further. Am I right?! 
Release Date: 10/2/15

The Huntsman Winter's War
"Who is the most powerful of them all?" Survey says?!... This looks even more epic than the first movie, with even more stunning visuals, awesome battle scenes and a strong female cast save for the dirty yet hunky Hemsworth.  It's sleek, it's sexy, it's seductive. Sold.
Release Date: 4/22/16

The Revenant:

Three words - brutal, intense, freezing.  Director Alejandro G. Inarritu filmed this movie in Alaska using only natural light. Pretty "cool," physically and metaphorically speaking. Do I hear an Oscar in the works (ahem, Leo)
Release Date:  1/8/16

Alice Through the Looking Glass:
"MAD" props to the marketing team for cutting this trailer.  This enchanting, magical, dream-like trailer looks fantastical. The ticking clock on Disney's icon in the beginning is a brilliant added delight.  
Release Date: 5/27/16

Trailer editing is very much a work of art. The end product can motivate, captivate and generate major buzz-feed. Outside of the movie itself, was there a trailer from 2015 that you remember being particularly dope?  Feel free to share your picks in the comment section below...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review


Source: Box Office Mojo

The record breaking weekend for Star Wars proves the franchise still has amazing power and magic. In just under three weeks the sleek, action-packed, space opera has already grossed a whopping $1.39B worldwide (That's billion, folks, with a capital 'B'). But put all that aside you still have a killer story backed by an outstanding cast. The Force is definitely awake with this one. 

Director , an expert director of Sci-Fi, was definitely the ideal director for this material. He did the impossible. He took one of the most iconic and beloved stories in the history of pop-culture and delivered with thunderous applause - not an easy feat to accomplish. He kept the feel and vibe of the original series and carried it into the next generation, advancing the story with ease and massive intrigue. About an hour into the movie we welcome visitors from the olden days. Han Solo, looking slightly ragged but still game, and Chewbacca, his devoted companion, burst into the Millennium Falcon uttering the words; “Chewie, we’re home.” Devotees will no doubt tearfully cheer.

The Force Awakens starts with the good guys on the run and the new rebellion desperately searching for the last remaining Jedi - Luke Skywalker - to help them destroy the First Order. He’s been in hiding for many year now, and no one can find him. The First Order also wants him, and it’s a race to see who gets to Skywalker first. The hero is a young woman this time around, a scavenger named Rey who lives on a desert planet where people trade scrap metal for food. She’s deadly with a sword, fast on her feet, able to pilot all manner of spaceships and as it turns out a she-devil with a light saber. 

There’s no doubt Mr. Abrams himself is a true Star Wars fan. You can tell he poured his heart and soul into this project to give fans exactly what they wanted. He cowrote the movie with veterans  (“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”) and  (Oscar winner for “Little Miss Sunshine”). Together the three filled the film with amazing action sequences, a great blend of old and new characters to help bring this story back to life. Finn and Rey, played by  and   are perfectly cast and up for the job of breathing new life into the franchise. It was incredibly fun getting to see  and  return to their classic characters too. With their presence it gave the film an amazing amount of nostalgia. But more importantly The Force Awakens has a suburb story-line. Sure, there were many similarities to that of the original (A New Hope) and the music, composed by legendary composer John Williams could have been a lot more prominent, but overall I thoroughly and utterly enjoyed my movie experience. It tugs on every emotion without fail. I highly recommend seeing this movie in 3D IMAX.  Well worth the few extra bucks. Movies just don’t get any more fun than this. And there’s more to come!  
Rating: A

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