The Critics Choice for Best Animated Feature Is:

  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco *Winner
  • Despicable Me 3
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Loving Vincent

Image by Disney-Pixar

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Here are my Critics Choice Award Predictions!

CRITICS-CHOICE-MOVIE-AWARDS

Image by BFCA

Awards season is just getting started! The Golden Globes have come and gone and now on deck, are the calls made by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards are imminent and as a critic myself, here is how I see the film categories shaking out:

Best Young Actor/Actress:

  • McKenna Grace, Gifted
  • Dafne Keen, Logan
  • Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, The Florida Project
  • Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck
  • Jacob Tremblay, Wonder

This critic would choose:

Dafne Keen, Logan

dafne

Image by D Dipasupil

Best Acting Ensemble:

  • Dunkirk
  • Lady Bird
  • Mudbound
  • The Post
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This critic would choose:

The Post

thepost

Image by 20th Century Fox & DreamWorks Pictures

Best Animated Feature:

  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Despicable Me 3
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Loving Vincent

This critic would choose:

Coco

Image by Disney-Pixar

Best Visual Effects:

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Wonder Woman

This critic would choose:

Blade Runner 2049

bladerun

Image by Warner Bros., Scott Free Productions and Columbia Pictures

Best Score:

  • Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
  • Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
  • Dario Marianelli, Darkest Hour
  • Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer, Blade Runner 2049
  • John Williams, The Post
  • Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

This critic would choose:

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

hans_zimmer_2014

Image By JannikSet1 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Best Song:

  • “Evermore”, Beauty & The Beast
  • “Mystery of Love”, Call Me By Your Name
  • “Remember Me”, Coco
  • “Stand Up for Something”, Marshall
  • “This is Me”, The Greatest Showman

This critic would choose:

“This is Me”, The Greatest Showman

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • BPM
  • A Fantastic Woman
  • First They Killed My Father
  • In the Fade
  • The Square
  • Thelma

This critic would choose:

In the Fade

in_the_fade

Image by Bombero International

Best Costume Design:

  • Renée April, Blade Runner 2049
  • Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
  • Jacqueline Durran, Beauty & The Beast
  • Lindy Hemming, Wonder Woman
  • Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water

This critic would choose:

Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread

bridges

Image by Jeff Vespa

Best Editing:

  • Michael Kahn & Sarah Broshar, The Post
  • Paul Machliss & Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver
  • Lee Smith, Dunkirk
  • Joe Walker, Blade Runner 2049
  • Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water

This critic would choose:

Paul Machliss & Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver

paul-machliss-jonathan-amos

Image by Sony Pictures

Best Production Design:

  • The Shape of Water
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Dunkirk
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Beauty & The Beast
  • Phantom Thread

This critic would choose:

Blade Runner 2049

bladerun

Image by Warner Bros., Scott Free Productions and Columbia Pictures

Best Cinematography:

  • Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
  • Dan Lausten, The Shape of Water
  • Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
  • Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Call Me By Your Name

This critic would choose:

Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

roger

Image by Todd Williamson

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
  • Liz Hannah & Josh Singer, The Post
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out

This critic would choose:

Jordan Peele, Get Out

jordan_peele_peabody_2014_28cropped29

Image By Peabody Awards (Keegan-Michael Key / Jordan Peele), via Wikimedia Commons

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
  • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
  • Dee Rees & Virgil Williams, Mudbound
  • Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
  • Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad & Stephen Chbosky, Wonder

This critic would choose:

James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

ivory

Image by Jim Spellman/WireImage

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Hong Chau, Downsizing
  • Tiffany Haddish, Girl’s Trip
  • Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

This critic would choose:

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

metcalf

Image by Kevin Mazur – © WireImage.com

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Arnie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Patrick Stewart, Logan
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name

This critic would choose:

Arnie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name

armie_hammer_on_the_nocturnal_animals_red_carpet_283029124822629_28cropped29

Image By Bex Walton from London, England (Armie Hammer on the Nocturnal Animals red carpet), via Wikimedia Commons

Best Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post

This critic would choose:

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

mjk35110_sally_hawkins_28maudie2c_berlinale_201729_28cropped29

Image by Martin J. Kraft, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Actor:

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
  • James Franco, The Disaster Artist
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger
  • Tom Hanks, The Post
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

This critic would choose:

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

gary_oldman_by_gage_skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Director:

  • Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Steven Spielberg, The Post

This critic would choose:

Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water

guillermo_del_toro_by_gage_skidmore_3

Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Picture:

  • The Big Sick
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • The Florida Project
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This critic would choose:

And there we have it! That is how I think the 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards are going to shake out on Thursday. I’ll be where I’ll be to cover them, so be sure to stay on my social media profiles for updates! Olivia Munn will host the event, which will be broadcast on The CW Network at 8:00 PM.

Rejoice! The Critics Choice Nominations Are Here!

CRITICS-CHOICE-MOVIE-AWARDS

Image by BFCA

I completely missed the announcements but what a wonderful treat to learn that they are here for all of us to see! The 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards are upon us and the Broadcast Film Critics Association has declared who they considered to be the best of the best films of 2017. Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

Best Young Actor/Actress:

  • McKenna Grace, Gifted
  • Dafne Keen, Logan
  • Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, The Florida Project
  • Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck
  • Jacob Tremblay, Wonder

Best Acting Ensemble:

  • Dunkirk
  • Lady Bird
  • Mudbound
  • The Post
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Animated Feature:

  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Despicable Me 3
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Loving Vincent

Best Visual Effects:

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Wonder Woman

Best Score:

  • Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
  • Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
  • Dario Marianelli, Darkest Hour
  • Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer, Blade Runner 2049
  • John Williams, The Post
  • Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Best Song:

  • “Evermore”, Beauty & The Beast
  • “Mystery of Love”, Call Me By Your Name
  • “Remember Me”, Coco
  • “Stand Up for Something”, Marshall
  • “This is Me”, The Greatest Showman

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • BPM
  • A Fantastic Woman
  • First They Killed My Father
  • In the Fade
  • The Square
  • Thelma

Best Costume Design:

  • Renée April, Blade Runner 2049
  • Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
  • Jacqueline Durran, Beauty & The Beast
  • Lindy Hemming, Wonder Woman
  • Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water

Best Editing:

  • Michael Kahn & Sarah Broshar, The Post
  • Paul Machliss & Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver
  • Lee Smith, Dunkirk
  • Joe Walker, Blade Runner 2049
  • Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water

Best Production Design:

  • The Shape of Water
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Dunkirk
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Beauty & The Beast
  • Phantom Thread

Best Cinematography:

  • Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
  • Dan Lausten, The Shape of Water
  • Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
  • Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Call Me By Your Name

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
  • Liz Hannah & Josh Singer, The Post
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
  • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
  • Dee Rees & Virgil Williams, Mudbound
  • Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
  • Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad & Stephen Chbosky, Wonder

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Hong Chau, Downsizing
  • Tiffany Haddish, Girl’s Trip
  • Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Arnie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Patrick Stewart, Logan
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name

Best Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post

Best Actor:

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
  • James Franco, The Disaster Artist
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger
  • Tom Hanks, The Post
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best Director:

  • Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Steven Spielberg, The Post

Best Picture:

  • The Big Sick
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • The Florida Project
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The full list of nominees can be found right here! The 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards will be televised on The CW Network on January 11, 2018 at 8:00. My personal predictions should be posted before then so stay tuned. So exciting!

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.

legobatman

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.

God Bless Comic Con! Why? TRAILERS!!!

I just knew that I would be blogging something today. Didn’t know how, but I knew. At first I thought I would throw up a surprise review on Star Trek Beyond, which IMO wasn’t all that; I’m not a Trekkie, I fail to see the appeal in Star Trek but I’m being honest, fans of the franchise will get a kick out of Justin Lin’s addition to the franchise and its attempt to appease its audience with classic nostalgic tones but for those non-Trekkies like myself: meh.

In case it hasn’t dawned on you: San Diego Comic Con is underway. It is in this time where fellow nerds, pop-culture enthusiasts, comic-lovers, practically people I can get along with confluence together to ooh and ahh all of the new grounds being broken in the worlds of comics, video games, television, films in the coming weeks, months or years even. You can always count on Comic Con to deliver something to wet your pop-culture appetite. While I was distracted by Star Trek Beyond, I returned home to catch up on what I’ve missed and I have missed much!

Kong: Skull Island

When Godzilla roared his mighty roar, someone at Warner Bros. and Legendary must have realized that this could be the beginning of something truly extraordinary but the creatures Godzilla faced did not pose enough of a challenge for the giant! Who could possibly stand against such a foe? The answer: KONG! An expedition led by Captain James Conrad, takes a team of explorers onto an island laden with danger and reigning over this treacherous-loaded-paradise is a creature who has existed long before the time of man but formidable and fearsome enough to hold dominion over his world and he won’t bow before anyone who dares stand in his way! Behold the trailer for Kong: Skull Island!

Kong: Skull Island is written by Max Borenstein, Derek Connelly, John Gatins and Dan Gilroy and is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell, John C. Reilly, Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell. Kong becomes King on March , 2017.

Doctor Strange

Just when I FINALLY calmed from seeing that ridiculously trippy trailer from Doctor Strange, they set this on us! I’m not complaining it looks spellbinding all the same! BY THE EYE OF AGAMOTTO ENCHANT US!

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg and Scott Adkins, Doctor Strange is written by Jon Spaiths, directed by Scott Derrickson and will land in theaters by November 4, 2016. WOW!

The LEGO Batman Movie

I confess, I regret not giving The LEGO Movie a chance while it was in theaters. It did prove to be quite the delightful adventure. The film went on to enjoy a LOT of success in 2014, and in typical Hollywood fashion success usually equals sequels or spinoffs and in The LEGO Movie’s case, both. While the sequel is a ways off, a spinoff starring one of the films most popular characters is completely put together and fans are eagerly awaiting for the unveiling of The LEGO Batman Movie.

Chris McKay is the director guy in charge of assembly, who co-wrote the film with Seth Grahame-Smith and Eric Sommers, with the assistance of Jared Stern and John Whittington. Will Arnett will lend his voice to Batman, and rounding out the cast is Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zack Galifianakis and Mariah Carey. The LEGO Batman Movie will hit theaters with excellent reflexes on February 10, 2017.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter’s magical age has come and gone but renowned literary genius J.K. Rowling has started a new story about a new magical hero. Famous magizoologist Newt Scamander’s arrival in 1950s New York City has coincided with strange happenings within the American wizarding community and these bizarre events have involved some form of magical beast or two. Scamander must put his expertise to the test to remedy the problem before the fallout falls onto the non-magical population. This is the latest trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is written by J.K. Rowling, directed by David Yates and stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo, Dan Fogler and Samantha Morton. A new age of magic begins on November 18, 2016.

Wonder Woman

One can say she made her long-awaited debut in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, many can argue that she stole the show in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Either way, whether you liked Batman v. Superman or not-I didn’t-Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was a revelation and a statement; badass heroes don’t have to be men. Before she stepped back into the light in that intense battle, she had a story and this trailer is a preview of said story about how Princess Diana of Thymiscara set foot onto the world of men, guided by Steve Trevor.

Directed by Patty Jenkins and written for the screen by Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Saïd Taghmaoui and Florence Kasumba. Wonder Woman rides into battle June 2, 2017.

 Justice League

Perhaps no movie will be under no greater scrutiny than the follow-up to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Judging by this trailer, Justice League is saying and doing all of the right things but trailers have been deceiving before. Essentially, Batman is recruiting a team of meta-humans including Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. This team of extraordinary individuals with great power will combat a coming threat. Justice League is coming together.

Zack Snyder directs, Chris Terrio contributes the screenplay for this superhero ensemble piece starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amber Heard, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Jeremy Irons and Henry Cavill. Justice League bows into theaters on November 17, 2017.

I have never attended Comic Con before but one day I hope to go and be a part of so much nerdgasmic excitement! Any more trailers come out, I’ll bring them here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy and GOD BLESS COMIC CON!