My 2017 Oscars Predictions! Part Three!

oscar-guy

Image by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

You’ve waited, you’ve wondered and the time has come for the most exciting part of this three-part installment predicting who will go home big winners on Hollywood’s Biggest Night! The Big 6; the four acting categories, the best director category and the highest honor of all, Best Picture. It’s time to put a bow on my predictions for the 89th Annual Academy Awards!

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Viola Davis, Fences

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Image by By Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Dev Patel, Lion
  • Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

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Image by By Gordon Correll (Mahershala Ali),via Wikimedia Commons

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Natalie Portman, Jackie

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Image By Benjamin Ellis, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

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Image By Виктория666Линк06 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Best Director:

  • Denis Villenueve, Arrival
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

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Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez

Best Picture:

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I predict that the Oscar will go to:

And that, as they say in the business, is a wrap!

For Part One of my 2017 Oscar Predictions!

For Part Two of my 2017 Oscar Predictions!

For the full list of nominees!

For the results, tune into ABC on Sunday February 26, 2017 at 7:00 PM. Comedic star Jimmy Kimmel will preside over the 89th Annual Academy Awards and I for one cannot wait to see who brings home Oscar gold! I’ll be where I usually am covering the Oscars; which is right here on my blog! Stay tuned!

My 2017 Oscars Predictions! Part Two!

oscar-guy

Image by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

With another week in February past us, it’s time to move forward with the second installment of my Oscar predictions! In this segment, I focus on more of the technical categories leading up to what I like to call the Big 6, which will be the focus of my final installment. Buckle up and here we go!

Best Original Song:

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”-La La Land
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling”-Trolls
  • “City of Stars”-La La Land
  • “The Empty Chair”-Jim
  • “How Far I’ll Go”-Moana

I predict that the Oscar will go to: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”-La La Land

Best Score:

  • Micachu, Jackie
  • Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
  • Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka, Lion
  • Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
  • Thomas Newman, Passengers

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

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Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images North America

Best Editing:

  • Joe Walker, Arrival
  • John Gilbert, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water
  • Tom Cross, La La Land
  • Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon, Moonlight

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Tom Cross, La La Land

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Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America

Best Cinematography:

  • Bradford Young, Arrival
  • Linus Sandgren, La La Land
  • Greg Fraser, Lion
  • James Laxton, Moonlight
  • Rodrigo Prieto, Silence

I predict that the Oscar will go to: James Laxton, Moonlight

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Image by François Reumont pour l’AFC

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

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Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Eric Heisserer, Arrival
  • August Wilson, Fences
  • Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures
  • Luke Davies, Lion
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

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Image by IndieWire

For the full list of nominees, click here!

For Part One of my Oscar predictions, click here!

For Part Three of my Oscar predictions, come back here next week!

Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

I’ve seen my share of Batman adventures over the years. Whether the Dark Knight is in live-action or animated, feature-length or 30 minute program, there is a fair chance that I’d be down with it.

Anyway, 2017 marks the year that a brick version of the Caped Crusader made its way into movie theaters after the success of The LEGO Movie in 2014, where the character made a big impact as a supporting character, and now he has his own cinematic animated LEGO adventure of his own, hence The LEGO Batman Movie.

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Image by Warner Bros. and Warner Animation Group

Every Batman movie up until now has explored the various themes that have made the character so legendary since his creation; those themes being the need for solitude, fear of loss, “me player” rather than “team player,” basically, The LEGO Batman Movie takes themes such as these, mixes them with Michael Jackson lyrics while paying homage to/parodying the Batman films that have come before and I guess I would say over-infuses the film with too much fun! In fact, if a sliver of the fun and humor in this movie were injected into another recent superhero film that…well…sucked, it’s possible I would like these films more than I did.

I’m just telling it like it is! I thought The LEGO Batman Movie was cute. It made me crack a smile here and there and I found it’s humor passible. That being said, something about this movie just felt lost on me.

Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the brooding, serious takes on Batman that has been done in the past, perhaps the appeal of The LEGO Movie ran its course after its release a few years ago, perhaps this film was tailored for children rather than Batman fans all ages, I just couldn’t will myself to love this movie, but it isn’t bad by any means! I like the fact that it had a sense of self-awareness and made its fun by either laughing at itself or the Batman movies of the past and that demonstrates that a great degree of thought, passion and attention went into the construction of the film but I couldn’t will myself to love this movie.

The plot of trying to get Batman to open up about relationships and force him out of his funk of working alone and not acknowledging the significant figures in his life was nice but I think they tried to do too much with it. First, Joker’s feelings are hurt because Batman prefers to “fight around” rather than acknowledge him as his greatest enemy, then Commissioner Barbara Gordon tells Batman she wants him as an ally more than an independent vigilante to Batman’s chagrin, then he’s shanghaied into adopting this orphan named Dick Grayson on top of putting up with lectures from Alfred throughout the entire film; I found it all very bloating.

Director Chris McKay, writers Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington have certainly built a colorful and unique take on the Dark Knight that no one else ever has but I reiterate, it was lost on me for the most part.

The voices of Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zack Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Siri with the voices of Conan O’Brien, Billy Dee Williams, Eddie Izzard, Zoë Kravitz, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Seth Green, Jermaine Clement, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Hector Elizondo and Mariah Carey do fine work themselves.

I could definitely tell that a lot of work went into the construction of The LEGO Batman Movie but somewhere along the way, it went way over the top. I can respect the attention to detail in the building of this movie, but the final result was meh.

Movie of the Week: The LEGO Batman Movie

Let’s see how February 2017 at the movies kicks off with what I like to consider a quasi-superhero animated adventure flick. I consider Batman a cinematic draw considering the success and reward the character has given studios over the years and The LEGO Batman Movie must be poised to capitalize off the success of The LEGO Movie, and reach audiences of all ages in this animated spin on the legendary comic character. Basically, this movie follows a brick version Bruce Wayne as he tries to juggle his responsibilities as Gotham City’s celebrated Caped Crusader and new foster parent to orphan Dick Grayson.

Voice Cast: Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Cera, Zack Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Seth Green, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Zoë Kravitz.

Director: Chris McKay

Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington

What am I expecting to see?: Ideally, a crowd-pleasing combination of wit and humor mixed with some degree of action and adventure. I think this movie has great potential to be a hot item for a while and I believe that The LEGO Batman Movie can deliver on every promise it will make to its audience.

My 2017 Oscars Predictions! Part One!

oscar-guy

Image by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Now that we have entered the month of February, we are only a few weeks away from the 89th Annual Academy Awards! I’d like to take the next few weeks to announce my predictions on who will win big on Hollywood’s biggest night in a three-part series breaking down several categories. The first two weeks will focus heavily on the technical categories; for those interested in the acting, directing and Best Picture category, you’ll have to wait one week before Oscar night to see who I think stands the best chance. That being said, let’s begin part one of my 2017 Oscars predictions!

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Fire at Sea
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J.: Made in America
  • 13th

I predict that the Oscar will go to: 13th

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Image by Netflix

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Tanna (Australia)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Toni Erdmann (Germany)

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Image by Komplizen Film

Best Costume Design:

  • Joanna Johnston, Allied
  • Colleen Atwood, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Consolata Boyle, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Madeline Fontaine, Jackie
  • Mary Zophres, La La Land

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Madeline Fontaine, Jackie

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Image by Why Not Productions and Fox Searchlight

Best Production Design:

  • Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte, Arrival
  • Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh, Hail, Caesar!
  • David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, La La Land
  • Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena, Passengers

I predict that the Oscar will go to: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, La La Land

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Image by Lionsgate

Best Visual Effects:

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I predict that the Oscar will go to: The Jungle Book

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Image by Disney

Best Animated Feature:

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

I predict that the Oscar will go to: Zootopia

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Image by Disney

And that should be enough for now. Check back next week for the second part of my Oscar predictions. In the meantime, why not refresh yourselves with this year’s crop of nominees from a few weeks ago!

Review: Fences

It dawned on me yesterday that I have posted reviews of every Oscar nominee for Best Picture save one! I did some checking and there is not a review of Fences on my blog. I did take the time to see the film last month with my mother on Christmas when it was released, so I will write this review based on my memory of the picture. I apologize if it’s late but this is something I wanted to do.

Fences stars two of my favorite actors in an adaptation of renowned playwright August Wilson’s drama about an African-American family in 1950s Pittsburgh.

The plot: Troy Maxson is a sanitation worker who works day after day to take care of his family. He comes home everyday to his doting and loyal wife Rose, tries to pass on valuable life lessons to his son Cory, tries his hardest not give money to his eldest son Lyons who comes around the house on pay day and tries to keep his touched brother Gabe out of trouble. By all accounts, everything is fine on the surface but Troy has a secret. His secret is big enough to send shockwaves big enough to rip this family asunder.

The legendary Denzel Washington and star Viola Davis played the parts of Troy and Rose in August Wilson’s acclaimed stage production way back when and reprise these roles in a feature length motion picture with Washington not only starring but directing and Fences is practically tame in its execution yet the drama makes up for that in electric fashion.

Watching Fences, I felt as though the narrow sets and limited frame of setting gave this movie a near-theatrical experience moreso than a cinematic one. Meaning to say that I felt as though I was watching a play more than a movie and this adaptation stayed small in the sense that the scope was slimmed down to only the central characters and these characters didn’t venture much beyond the world they take place in; perhaps this is what August Wilson intended in his screenplay and what Denzel Washington wanted to do with the film.

Small, theater-like, production aside, Fences does boast two of the best acting performances of 2016.

Whether Troy is reprimanding his son Cory, bearing his sins before his wife Rose, cursing the heavens for the life he has lived, swinging a bat at the angel of death, you could not ask for more from Denzel Washington as he delivers an outstanding leading performance. I’ve always held Denzel Washington in high esteem and he has failed to disappoint me yet; he is aces in this role!

I’ve always believed that Viola Davis is too good for television; she belongs in movies! I was amazed with her small but powerful performance in Doubt, I thought she was phenomenal in The Help, I was sure she would own the role of Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad and she did, and Fences has set her up perfectly to get her the elusive Oscar statue she deserves! Her performance as Rose is heartbreaking, powerful and steady, when she is crying her eyes out in rage and anger, vindictive to Troy, consoling to Cory; she is dynamic and always has been!

The supporting cast of Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney are all solid supporting performances worth mentioning.

Technically speaking, Fences isn’t much to look at. Charlotte Bruus Christensen’s cinematography is fair, Hughes Winborne’s editing does well for itself, Marcelo Zarvos’ music is adequate, David Gropman’s production design is alright, the set decoration of Rebecca Brown and the costume designs of Sharen Davis are decent enough.

This review is strictly from memory and what I remember about Fences is that this was a movie to celebrate for the performances and the drama and nothing else.

2017 Oscars! The nominees are:

oscar-guy

Image by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

This morning, I approached the day the little kid on Christmas: excited, giddy, wracked with anticipation because for film buffs like myself who look back on what the year has brought before, today is Christmas and the morning has received a bountiful harvest. This morning, Cheryl Boone Isaacs and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced the class of 2016!

At last, after all the speculating, all the guesswork, all the hypothesizing, the nominees for 89th Academy Awards have been revealed! Let’s take a look at who and what are in the running for Hollywood’s highest honor:

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Fire at Sea
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J.: Made in America
  • 13th

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Tanna (Australia)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Best Costume Design:

  • Joanna Johnston, Allied
  • Colleen Atwood, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Consolata Boyle, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Madeline Fontaine, Jackie
  • Mary Zophres, La La Land

Best Visual Effects:

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Animated Feature:

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best Production Design:

  • Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte, Arrival
  • Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh, Hail, Caesar!
  • David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, La La Land
  • Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena, Passengers

Best Original Song:

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”-La La Land
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling”-Trolls
  • “City of Stars”-La La Land
  • “The Empty Chair”-Jim
  • “How Far I’ll Go”-Moana

Best Score:

  • Micachu, Jackie
  • Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
  • Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka, Lion
  • Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
  • Thomas Newman, Passengers

Best Editing:

  • Joe Walker, Arrival
  • John Gilbert, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water
  • Tom Cross, La La Land
  • Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon, Moonlight

Best Cinematography:

  • Bradford Young, Arrival
  • Linus Sandgren, La La Land
  • Greg Fraser, Lion
  • James Laxton, Moonlight
  • Rodrigo Prieto, Silence

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Eric Heisserer, Arrival
  • August Wilson, Fences
  • Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures
  • Luke Davies, Lion
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Dev Patel, Lion
  • Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Director:

  • Denis Villenueve, Arrival
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Picture:

And there you have it! The full list of nominees can be found here! On February 26, 2017, the little golden statues will find there way into the hands of their respective winners, commemorating the outstanding achievements of film in 2016. Jimmy Kimmel will preside over the 89th Academy Awards as host as the ceremony will be telecast on ABC. I will post my thoughts on the nominations in a few days and in the weeks to come, my predictions. I’m terribly excited for this!