Showing posts from February, 2016

The 88th Annual Academy Awards: 2016 Oscar Picks

This year marks the ninth year that I've made picks in one form or another for the Academy Awards.  Over those nine years, I have tweaked my process and presentation here and there, always with the goal of making informed picks in as many categories as possible.  In an effort to continue down that path, this year I have listed all twenty four categories being presented during tonight's ceremony, but I will only be sharing my personal pick for nineteen of them.  This is a smaller selection of categories for me than in recent years, but only because I have chosen to exclude categories from which I did not see any nominees.  I figure that there's no point in wasting anyone's time with completely uninformed shots in the dark!  I have also decided to present my picks this year as though I were one of the people special enough to submit an official ballot.  So the picks that you see below are for the films that I would personally vote for if that were the case.  This differs…

Rental Review - The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl (2015), R, 119 minutes - My plans for this past week were to have an Academy Awards cram session and knock off the remaining major Oscar nominees that I had not yet seen.  Things ended up being a bit busier than I had originally planned (I really should just come to expect that), and I was only able to get through two: Room and this film, a kinda-sorta-but not really biographical drama based on the lives of Danish painters Einer and Gerda Wegener.  I know that sounds a little whacky, but apparently the film is based on David Ebershoff's 2000 novel of the same name, which from what I've read on the web is actually a work of fiction that was loosely inspired by the lives of the artistic couple.  

This film from director Tom Hooper is a representation of Einer and Gerda's lives from a young, happily married couple, through Einer's discovery of his more feminine side (which came to be known as Lili), to his embracing Lili as his identity of choice and comfo…

Rental Review - Room

Room (2015), R, 118 minutes - This week turned out to be a bit more busy than I had originally thought, resulting in my only having the opportunity to sneak in just one of this year's Oscar nominated films that I had yet to see: Room, based on Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name from 2010 (which I have not read).

Not to be confused with The Room (2003), which is widely regarded as one of the worst films of all time (I have not seen it myself), Room tells a story that is a bit difficult to describe.  The subject matter, beginning with abduction and neglect is dark and depressing.  On the other hand, later portions of the film are inspiring and depict a wonderful sense of innocence and wonder.

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his mother Joy (Brie Larson) live in a small space they refer to as 'room', which is locked from the outside at all hours by their captor Old Nick (Sean Bridgers).  They are provided with the bare necessities: a bed, a sink, a bathtub, a table with chai…

Review - The Witch

The Witch (2015), R, 92 minutes - Some of you may be wondering "what on Earth is Tim doing seeing a horror film on opening weekend?".  Well, there's a story behind that and I'll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible in case you haven't read my Most Anticipated Films of 2016 post.  I first became aware of this film sometime last year after writer/director Robert Eggers took home the Directing Award in the U.S. Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival.  His name sounded familiar immediately, but I couldn't place why.  After a conversation with my younger sister, I came to the realization that he was the same Robert Eggers who was a friend of childhood neighbors of ours growing up in New Hampshire.  I'm not going to be 'that guy' and claim to know him, because I didn't, but the very loose friend-of-a-friend connection did help pique my curiosity in his work.  I hoped that this independent horror film would come to my area, so when …

Rental Review - Spotlight

Spotlight (2015), R, 128 minutes - This film is based on actual events in which an investigative team from the Boston Globe (Spotlight) uncovered not just a child molestation scandal within the local Catholic church, but the scandal's cover up as well, both of which were much more widespread than originally feared.

Spotlight begins as newly-hired editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) is taking the reigns at the Globe. He directs the Spotlight team led by Walter 'Robby' Robinson (Micheal Keaton) towards a story about local lawyer Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) who claims that the Archbishop of Boston  Cardinal Law (Len Cariou) was aware of instances of priest John Geoghan sexually abusing children and doing nothing about it. The Spotlight team begins digging into the story, with Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) making contact with Garabedian while Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) attempting to contact victims. What they discover …

Review - Deadpool

Deadpool (2016), R, 108 minutes - This past week marked the 25th Anniversary of Deadpool's creation in the pages of The New Mutants #98 by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza.  In that time the wise-cracking, gun-and-sword toting, mercenary has become one of Marvel's most popular and widely recognized characters.  A Deadpool film starring Ryan Reynolds has been in the works for years, but took a back seat after the debacle that was 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  Reynolds portrayed the character in that film, and his take on Wade Wilson was pitch perfect, unfortunately the script took a turn for the worse and produced a virtually unrecognizable version of his alter-ego Deadpool.  In the years since, rumors of a solo film popped up off and on, but nothing came of it until about a year and a half ago when test footage of an action sequence leaked to the web, causing an avalanche of support and demand for the film.  Fox finally green-lit the project (Deadpool falls under the X-M…

Most Anticipated Films of 2016

Just in case last weekend's Top 10 of 2015 post wasn't enough list-making fun for you, here's the second of my annual lists for your perusal before we get into the bulk of 2016's theatrical releases!

My list is compiled of films that have already been announced.  It never fails that shortly after I post my list, I become aware of something else that would make the cut, but since I'm already a week or two behind getting this posted, I won't delay any longer.  Anyway, let's get to it.  The films that I'm looking forward to the most in 2016 are:

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25), The Divergent Series: Allegiant (March 18), Hail, Caesar! (February 5), Inferno (October 14), Kung Fu Panda 3 (January 29), Passengers (December 21), The Secret Life of Pets (July 8), Star Trek Beyond (July 22), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3), Warcraft (June 10)X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)

TV) Daredevil…