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Showing posts from February, 2013

The 85th Annual Academy Awards: 2013 Oscar Picks

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After a year's hiatus, the annual Oscar picks post is back!  I was slacking last year and didn't see nearly enough of the nominees in order to make good, well educated selections so I decided that no picks were better than half-assed picks.  The good news is, this year I'm back in the swing of things and can hopefully pick up where I left off two years ago with the accuracy of my picks.

In the past, I only picked the six major categories as well as the writing categories.  I've never made picks in every category.  The fact of the matter is, I just don't have the industry knowledge to make an educated pick in the technical categories beyond 'Damn, that looked sweet!'.  Honestly, I'm probably not even really qualified to make picks in the screen writing categories (I don't/haven't read actual scripts), but if I didn't pick those, I'd only be making picks in six categories and that's not any fun either.  So, this year I've decided t…

Review - Amour

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Amour (2012), PG-13, 127 minutes - Amour is this one of this year's Oscars Best Picture nominees and after finally getting a chance to see it (it finally made it's way to my area), I can see why.

This film, which is directed by Michael Haneke is about Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), a couple in their 80's who are retired music teachers that have a daughter who lives abroad.  It depicts their day to day lives and how they cope with not just one, but two strokes that Anne suffers.  Anne detests doctors and makes Georges promise not to enter her into the hospital (again) or another care facility.  As a result Georges does everything he can to care for her as her body and mind slowly deteriorate.

Amour is a very strong and emotional film.  It isn't an easy watch by any means.  It runs for two hours, and due to its subject matter and pacing, feels every bit of it.  I realize that will sound negative but it isn't meant to be.  If the film w…

Review - A Good Day to Die Hard

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A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), R, 97 minutes - Previous installments of the Die Hard franchise have tended to revolve around holidays, most notably Christmas or the Fourth of July.  This fifth entry follows suit in that it released on Valentine's Day, but doesn't actually take place around a particular holiday.  It is also kind of ironic, because as an action flick, it certainly isn't the type of film that you would expect on such a day.  There are no underlying romantic themes, but there is a feel good father/son plot that kinda sorta fits the feel of the holiday.

After the events of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard and reconnecting with his daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), John McClane (Bruce Willis) is trying to track down his son Jack (Jai Courtney).  One of his cop buddies has bad news: Jack is in Russia and is being held for trial after getting mixed up in some pretty serious stuff.  John hops on a plane and heads to Russia to find his son and to try and reco…

Rental Review - Frankenweenie

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Frankenweenie (2012), PG, 87 minutes - Frankenweenie is the latest stop motion animated film from Tim Burton (and the first since 2005's Corpse Bride).  Between having become a dog owner in the last year and really enjoying stop motion animation, I have been really looking forward to checking it out.

Frankenweenie is actually a feature length adaptation of a live action short film by the same name that Burton directed in 1984 (the short can be seen in the spoiler section below), and tells the story of a boy and his love for his dog.  Victor (Charlie Tahan) doesn't really have any friends other than his dog Sparky.  They do everything together.  One day during Victor's baseball game, Sparky chases the ball into the street and is hit by a car.  Sparky doesn't make it and Victor is devastated.  After seeing a demonstration about electricity in science class, Victor works on a plan to try and revive Sparky Frankenstein-style (referencing the classic Boris Karloff film and…