Thursday, January 12, 2012

A day of films

First to start this blog I wanted to make a new disclaimer with all my readers (which is probably like two people but hey, thanks mom and dad!). Anyways, I have decided I do not want to be on a strict schedule now that I am going back to school next week, so now, when I feel inspired to write about something I will be doing it on whatever day I feel. I'm hoping by doing this, I will in fact actually blog more. I always feel like when you're not on a schedule you actually tend to do things more frequently. Anywho, this blog is not just me talking logistics but actually a day in which is in its fourth year.

Today, me and my good friend Danny had our annual seeing three movies in one day event. Clearly we need a good name for it but I seem to call it movie day. The object is to just see projected Oscar contender films and kind of compare them on the same day and also just knock some out early. If you're curious on what movies we did in the past they are as followed, Year One: Frost/Nixon, Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Doubt. Year Two: Invictus, Nine and Up in the Air. Year Three: The Fighter, 127 Hours and Black Swan (really heavy year). This year, however, might have been the best year as we ended up seeing War Horse, The Artist and The Descendants. So this blog will be dedicated to me reviewing these three fine films.

War Horse
First off let me say it's nice to see Steven Spielberg and John Williams together again in this epic film that totally grabbed my attention and never let go. Not only was the story fantastic but the movie was well paced, artfully acted and so far my favorite. I'm not much of a fan of horses, but this movie might have actually changed my mind. Everything about it was just wonderful, it was the most complete movie I have seen in a long time. When I say complete, I mean great acting, great technical stuff (like sound, art direction, cinematography, direction), a great story and a great score to encompass it all together. Surprisingly there have been a few critics who don't like it, and to be honest I don't have any clue what they don't like about it. It has missed some big nominations in certain awards (like the Director Guild and the Writers Guild) and I really don't know why. This movie might be a little fictional, clearly most of the things that happen probably wouldn't but that is not the point. This is one of the greatest movies set during World War I and it was nothing but Spieldberg expectations. A+ in my book.

The Artist
Hmm, where to begin. This movie was weird. Not in a Black Swan, this is a messed up movie, but in a I don't know what to make of this. After it, me and Danny couldn't decide if the film was being acclaimed because it was a silent film in the 21st Century or because it was a great movie. I guess I was very pleasantly surprised, I thought I was going to hate the no talking thing, but that actually didn't bother me too much. The fact that the movie was similar to a lot of movies done during the '20s is what makes me question it. There is no doubt the two main performances will be nominated, what those actors did to convey what was going on with just their body movements was very impressive. I'm just not sure if this movie is necessarily a Best Picture winning film. I felt the opposite of War Horse. Nonetheless, I think I came to the conclusion that I did in fact like this film. Especially the dog.

The Descendants
There is no doubt about it that this movie strives on the script and the performances, like most George Clooney movies. Like Danny said, this was a very contemporary film (wanna make sure I give him credit for that one). By far one of Clooney's best performance, and there is no doubt he will be nominated, but not sure if he will be able to beat The Artists Jean Dujardin, I do think he was better than Brad Pitt in Moneyball (another for sure nomination). I also thought that Shailene Woodley, or as I'm sure many of you know her as the star of The Secret Life of an American Teenager, was fantastic. There is no doubt she is a better actress then her little ABC Family show lets her to be. She has the Golden Globe nod, but not the SAG, but I am certainly crossing my fingers she gets an Oscar nod. Overall though, I thought the movie was adequate, though it dragged in some parts and will most likely be nominated for Best Picture but has little chance to win it. A quality film nonetheless.

All in all, my verdict is that War Horse was the best film out of the day, and actually my favorite film so far. Of all the films that have been talked about for the Oscars, I have seen those three, Hugo, Moneyball, My Week With Marilyn and Midnight in Paris. I think Hugo was a fantastic film, but I actually liked War Horse better. It is so tough to figure out if that is just because of the story or because of the overall film.

As far as the other categories go this year, the toughest is probably going to be Best Actress. Between Viola Davis killing it in The Help and biopic pieces by Michelle Williams (Marilyn Monroe) and Meryl Streep (Margaret Thatcher), not to mention Glenn Close playing a man who is actually a woman, I'm not confident who will win. Plus you have contenders like Rooney Mara for Dragon Tattoo and Tilda Swinton for a creepy movie, also in the running. Easily the best (meaning most competitive) category. I think Jean Dujardin has the best chance for the Best Actor win.

As of now though, I'm going to try my best to see a couple other films like The Tree of Life and Ides of March. I'm excited to see the Golden Globes on Sunday and then only a short week and two days till the Academy Award nominations come out. If I were you, I would absolutely see War Horse before the Globes presentation on Sunday, plus Hugo. I think those are my favorite of everything I've seen so far this year. Well, except for Harry Potter, but that is in a category on its own (let's not talk about how I don't think it will end up getting a nod).

With that, let's talk about some little side notes.
1. Seriously, what is up with all the movies going to a revamp of 3D. First its announced Titanic is being re-released in IMAX 3D on April 6, then Star Wars: Episode I Phantom Menance is coming out in February. And now, it was announced Finding Nemo will be following that trend. Wonder how much money those are going to make (no doubt Titanic will do fantastic).
2. So this isn't really that exciting, but I did just reread the ending of the second book and there is no doubt this is my next Harry Potter. There was a Hunger Games photo that was released the other day, and even though it doesn't show much, it still makes me very excited.
3. This seems a little bit ridiculous, but somehow does not surprise me. Somehow, The Dark Knight Rises tickets (a film that doesn't open for another six months) have gone on sale and have already sold out in some theaters. Keep in mind these are mostly IMAX theaters in large cities, but still very crazy.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

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