Monday, December 31, 2007

The Kingdom - REVIEW


a stellar cast gets wasted in harmless political actioner.There's really not much room for anyone to act, meaning that Jennifer Garner gives the best performance since she is given chances to cry. It's certainly not a bad film, but there's nothing to make it rise above the ordinary. The big fight at the end is impressive and intense, but most of the film is really nothing to write home about, and it's not terribly interesting. Also the end felt like a cheap attempt to insert an important political message, as though the writer had forgotten about it until the final reels of the film and said "Wait! I know how we can make this movie sound IMPORTANT!"

Grade: C+

Nominations: None

Number of 2007 Films Seen: 49

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - REVIEW


I am heartbroken. I am overwhelmed. I might even feel like crying (ok...that's a bit much). Unfortunately, I don't feel this way because I just watched an emotionally stirring film. On the contrary, what I have just watched is a film so completely unmoving, that it has left me devastated and underwhelmed. I wanted to love this film so badly....and I can't even pretend to love it. Though the film does benefit from Julian Schnabel's wonderful directing, and some gorgeous cinematography, there's something unfortunately clinical about the script's approach to what is truly a very emotional and very human story. Acting is very good, but the script seems to hold it back. The big Max Von Sydow phone conversation scene which has reportedly been putting audiences into fits of crying, did absolutely NOTHING for me. This might be the first time I nearly cried during a film's trailer....and then went on to be left feeling nothing from the film. Not happy. Not sad. Not amazed. Nada. It would've been forgiveable had the film managed to be hypnotic or mesmerizing...but it was hardly that. Granted, it did hold my attention, but again, with a story this intimately HUMAN, the treatment is too distant. A heartbreaking disappointment. No wonder France chose "Persepolis" as their foreign language film entry...

Grade: B-

Nominations: Best Director - Julian Schnabel (#5), Best Cinematography (#1 WINNER)

Number of 2007 Films Seen: 48

Where my picks for the Oscars stand at the end of 2007

I still have a number of films I need to see that will probably make a huge impact on my nominees (There Will Be Blood, Diving Bell, Gone Baby Gone, etc...) but here's how things would look if I ran the Oscars (boy wouldn't that be a great day..). Just to maintain some iota of suspense, all you have listed for you are my current nominees, but no winners or indications of rankings...I won't give those out until A) the night before the Oscars OR B) when I feel I've seen all I really need to see...

Best Picture:
I'm Not There
Juno
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Director:
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd
Joel and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Andrew Dominik - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Todd Haynes - I'm Not There
Joe Wright - Atonement

Best Actor:
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington - American Gangster

Best Actress:
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Helena Bonham Carter - Sweeney Todd
Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
Nicole Kidman - Margot at the Wedding
Ellen Page - Juno

Best Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Christian Bale - I'm Not There
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Vincent Cassell - Eastern Promises
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
Jennifer Garner - Juno
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Imelda Staunton - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Best Original Screenplay:
I'm Not There
In the Valley of Elah
Juno
Margot at the Wedding
Waitress

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Atonement
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Zodiac

Best Editing:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I'm Not There
Juno
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd

Best Cinematography:
Atonement
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Sweeney Todd
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Golden Compass

Best Costume Design:
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Sweeney Todd
The Golden Compass

Best Art Direction:
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Sweeney Todd
The Golden Compass

Best Original Score:
Tyler Bates - 300
Alexandre Desplat - The Golden Compass
Dario Marianelli - Atonement
Antonio Pinto - Love in the Time of Cholera
Hans Zimmer - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Best Original Song:
Enchanted - "That's How You Know"
Hairspray - "Come So Far, Got So Far to Go"
Once - "Falling Slowly"
Love in the Time of Cholera - "Despedida"
Love in the Time of Cholera - "Hay Amores"

Best Makeup:
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie En Rose
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Stardust
Sweeney Todd

Best Visual Effects:
300
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
The Golden Compass
Transformers

Best Sound Editing:
3:10 to Yuma
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hot Fuzz
No Country For Old Men
The Golden Compass

Best Sound Mixing:
3:10 to Yuma
Hot Fuzz
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd
The Golden Compass

How not to start an interview with John Cusack

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ranking the Golden Globe Nominees

it probably would have made more sense for me to do this right after the nominees were announced.....but whatever..

Best Picture Drama
1. No Country For Old Men
2. Atonement
3. Michael Clayton
4. Eastern Promises
5. American Gangster

Not Seen: The Great Debaters, There Will Be Blood

Best Picture Musical or Comedy
1. Sweeney Todd
2. Juno
3. Hairspray
4. Charlie Wilson's War
5. Across the Universe

Best Actor Drama
1. Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
2. Denzel Washington - American Gangster
3. James McAvoy - Atonement
4. George Clooney - Michael Clayton

Not Seen - Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Best Actress Drama (I hate this category so much this year)
1. Julie Christie - Away From Her
2. Keira Knightley - Atonement
3. Jodie Foster - The Brave One
4. Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
5. Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart

Best Actor Musical or Comedy - the one I'm really behind on..
1. Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
2. Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
3. Tom Hanks - Charlie Wilson's War

Not Seen: Phillip Seymour Hoffman - The Savages, John C. Reily - Walk Hard

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
1. Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
2. Ellen Page - Juno
3. Helena Bonham Carter - Sweeney Todd
4. Amy Adams - Enchanted
5. Nikki Blonsky - Hairspray

Supporting Actor
1. Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
2. Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James
3. Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton
4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
5. John Travolta - Hairspray

Supporting Actress
1. Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
2. Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
3. Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
4. Julia Roberts - Charlie Wilson's War

Not Seen: Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone

Best Director
1. Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd
2. Joel and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
3. Joe Wright - Atonement
4. Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
5. Ridley Scott - American Gangster

Best Screenplay
1. No Country For Old Men
2. Juno
3. Atonement
4. Charlie Wilson's War
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Original Song
1. That's How You Know - Enchanted
2. Despedida - Love in the Time of Cholera

Not Heard: Walk Hard - Walk Hard, Grace is Gone - Grace is Gone, Guaranteed - Into the Wild

Original Score
1. Dario Marianelli - Atonement
2. Howard Shore - Eastern Promises

Not Heard: The Kite Runner, Into the Wild, Grace is Gone

Top 10 update

The Best Movies of 2007 as of December 22st, 2007

  1. Sweeney Todd A+
  2. No Country For Old Men A+
  3. I’m Not There A
  4. Juno A
  5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford A
  6. Margot at the Wedding A-
  7. (TIE) Once/ Waitress A-/A-
  8. Zodiac A-
  9. In The Valley Of Elah A-
  10. Atonement A-

Best of the Rest:

Michael Clayton A-
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix A-
The Golden Compass A-
Lars and the Real Girl B+
Enchanted B+
American Gangster B+
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End B+
Eastern Promises B+
A
cross the Universe B+
Hot Fuzz B+
La Vie En Rose B+
Elizabeth: The Golden Age B+
Away From Her B+
Superbad B+

3:10 to Yuma B+
Hairspray B+
The Simpsons Movie B+
The Brave One B
The Bourne Ultimatum B
Breach B
Knocked Up B
Fay Grim B+
300 B
Ocean’s 13 B

number of 2007 films seen: 47

Juno - REVIEW


It's always a frightening experience to be sitting in a theater watching the first 15 minutes or so of a film you've been eagerly anticipating to discover that you aren't terribly impressed. Luckily, Jason Reitman's "Juno" gets past this initial stumbling block of worry, and instead treats us to a hip, quirky, hilarious, and surprisingly moving little gem of a movie. All of this year's "pregnancy movies" have resulted in the characters keeping their babies, however Juno is the first of them to not only explore the very notion of abortion, but also a very different way of solving the unwanted pregnancy. When 16 year old Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) becomes pregnant after a one night stand with her close friend Paulie Bleeker (Superbad's Michael Cera), she becomes unexpectedly pregnant. After contemplating abortion she soon decides to try another method, thanks to help from her goofy best friend Leah (Olivia Thirby): have the baby, and give it up for adoption to parents looking for children. Juno eventually finds the "perfect parents" in young yuppie couple Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) and begins to meet with them. I won't give away too much since there are one or two minor surprises...but let's just say Mark and Vanessa's marriage is starting to show some cracks, and they hope the baby can bring them together. Moving on, one thing that has been the subject of much debate is the nature of Diablo Cody's dialogue for her characters. Some have complained that it's "too hip" and unreal. However, upon watching the film, it is (thankfully) not just a series of spectacular one liners. They unusual and unusually sharp things that Juno (and in some ways, everyone) spouts off feel right for the character. While the dialogue may be sharpened just a bit (it is a movie after all) as a teenager I can honestly say that people very similar to Juno very much exist. And considering how likable Juno's acerbic wit is, this is surely a good thing. Juno is the only main character in the film, meaning that Ellen Page has to carry most of the movie, and she does it effortlessly. She is instantly likable with a wonderfully dry and deadpan line delivery that never becomes shtick. Page's performance is complimented superbly by the terrific supporting cast, especially Garner and Juno's parents played by JK Simmons and constant scene stealer Allison Janney. What's perhaps the most surprising about the movie though, is how it's not just cynical and hip, but instead has a very big heart. The final moments of the film leave behind the brilliantly executed comedy for something a bit more gentle that manages to feel authentic, touching, and sweet without ever becoming cloying.

Grade: A

Current Nominations: Best Picture (#4),Best Lead Actress - Ellen Page (#2), Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Garner(#4), Best Original Screenplay - Diablo Cody (#1 WINNER). Best Editing (#4)

The Movie Term of the Day

Babel-syndrome: the problem that arises in films when certain plot points are dependent on the stupidity of the character to work.

The Best Trailers of 2007

regardless of how good the movies actually turned out (or will turn out) for me, the several videos below are the trailers that I just couldn't stop watching.















Saturday, December 29, 2007

teaser trailer for The Duchess

starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes







The pen is mightier than the sword...unfortunately...

So, rumors are flooding the internet claiming that the Golden Globes won't have a televised ceremony due to the ongoing writers strike. Now, while it's easy enough for us to jump on the bandwagon and yell "writers deserve their money!!", perhaps we ought to take a step back. Now before I go on, let me make it clear that I find writers to be so incredibly important to the entertainment industry. All of our shows and movies need to have writing, regardless of quality, to go anywhere. It could even be argued that some of the year's best performances owe a bit to the top notch writing. So what exactly do I find wrong with the writers strike? Their inconsistency. In addition to shutting down shows and production on yet-to-be-filmed movie projects, they are also trying to close down (or at least severely screw up) major award shows, namely the Golden Globes and the Oscars. However, the WGA has given its blessing to the Screen Actors Guild award ceremony. Why would they do such a thing? Because the SAG is made of, well, actors, and the SAG is an extremely powerful guild who the WGA needs to suck up to. However, if they want to stay on the good side of the SAG, why try to shut down the Oscars...the Academy is filled primarily with members who are actors. Do they really want to deny their precious SAG members the chance to receive the movie industry's highest honor? And for that matter, how self centered does the WGA have to be to try and shut down the Oscars, where all the major branches of movie making (editing, cinematography, costume etc...) actually get a chance to be recognized in front of not just their peers, but millions of people. Seems like you'd have to possess quite the nerve to deny all the other ignored branches of the industry their one moment to shine. At first I was fully behind the strike, but over the past few weeks, they've really become a bit too diva-ish. I still think the Oscars will 100% have a televised ceremony, but no sane actor is going to even think about crossing the picket line whether they're a nominee or just a presenter. So here's my final warning members of the WGA: if Johnny Depp actually wins Best Actor this year and doesn't get to FINALLY get his dues in front of all his peers....you'll be hearing from me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sweeney Todd cuts his way to the top

The Best Movies of 2007 as of December 22st, 2007

  1. Sweeney Todd A+
  2. No Country For Old Men A+
  3. I’m Not There A
  4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford A
  5. In The Valley Of Elah A-
  6. Zodiac A-
  7. Margot at the Wedding A-
  8. (TIE) Once/ Waitress A-/A-
  9. Atonement A-
  10. Michael Clayton A-

Best of the Rest:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix A-
The Golden Compass A-
Lars and the Real Girl B+
Enchanted B+
American Gangster B+
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End B+
Eastern Promises B+
A
cross the Universe B+
Hot Fuzz B+
La Vie En Rose B+
Elizabeth: The Golden Age B+
Away From Her B+
Superbad B+

3:10 to Yuma B+
Hairspray B+
The Simpsons Movie B+
The Brave One B
The Bourne Ultimatum B
Breach B
Knocked Up B
Fay Grim B+
300 B
Ocean’s 13 B

number of 2007 films seen: 46

Sweeney Todd - REVIEW

Tim Burton you magnificent bastard...you've done it again! In fact it could very well be your BEST. This delightfully demented story of a wrongfully imprisoned man who teams up with a struggling baker to rid the world of filth by grinding them up for meat in her pies...it's nothing short of a tour d'force. In shortening Sondheim's 3 hour stage musical into a neat 2 hours, the story clips along quite well, and given a nice shot of adrenaline by the songs, which alternate between normal singing and "talk-singing". Depp and Bonham Carter and...well...really everyone (even Alan Rickman who I never thought would prove to be even an OK singer) sing their parts to perfection. Does this mean they should all make albums? Of course not, but for the material they work brilliantly.

The lyrics are clever and they hit you fast, and the musical numbers, though they lack grand choreography, are nothing short of exhilarating. One of the film's best scenes comes when Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett begin examining the reasons why various people in the city deserve to be cut up into pies. What's perhaps most surprising though, is in the acting through song. Everyone had their doubts about Depp, but even heavier doubt (some of it quite nasty) was placed on Bonham Carter.

It is the ultimate ironic twist that she is actually better than Depp in the film. It may simply come down to a matter of the way the roles are written however (not to put down Ms. Carter....the woman is phenomenally talented and a joy to watch every second here). Mrs. Lovett has a bit more range, whereas Sweeney is more singleminded. If this had been Depp's "breakthrough role", perhaps I wouldn't feel the need to be critical, but we've seen what range Depp has, and in comparison with some of his other roles, Sweeney's single-mindedness makes him not the quite the show stopper I expected. That said, it's an excellent performance, and Depp's odd voice lends a certain rock and roll anguish to the role. Seeing as so many of the songs are set like conversations, Burton films them like conversations, and not like musical sequences, and it works marvelously. Visually, the film is a gothic delight. Most of the film could almost pass for being black and white, but even so, it's not unpleasant to look at.

For a bit of contrast, Burton gives us a handful of flashback shots (and one or two in the present) in color so stunning it could be Technicolor. And then there's the blood which shoots out in geysers (I was shocked to see a couple with a child no more than EIGHT in the theater...this is no kiddie movie AT ALL). What's perhaps the most surprising about the film though is how...well...oddly accurate it is in its portrayal of its time period. Everything is dim and gray for a reason....this Dickensian era was full of corruption and the bitter need to survive. Throughout the film, Rickman's Judge Turpin constantly justifies the horrible things he does, including sending a young child to the noose for a crime he probably didn't do. Not everything is perfect, however. The love story subplot between young sailor Anthony and Sweeney's daughter Johanna feels just a tad rushed (too much of a love-at-first-sight deal), but this does not prevent the film from being incredibly engaging, clever, and most of all, absolutely breathtaking. The story is so strong, the singing so perfectly executed, the production so haunting, and the vision is so spectacularly disturbed. Burton hasn't just created a breathtaking film...he's created a masterpiece. Honestly....if 2007 can keep raising the bar this late in the year, then I'd say that it's easily the strongest year for film of the decade.

Grade: A+

Current Nominations: Best Picture (#1 WINNER), Best Director - Tim Burton (#1 WINNER), Best Actor - Johnny Depp (#2), Best Actress - Helena Bonham Carter (#2), Best Adapted Screenplay (TIE #1 WINNER TIE), Best Editing (TIE #1 WINNER TIE), Best Costume Design (#1 WINNER), Best Cinematography (#3), Best Art Direction (#2), Best Makeup (#2), Best Sound (#3)

Angelina Jolie's "Oscar scene"

at least when Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Hudson screamed it had an impact and felt authentic and haunting. This is almost funny....

St. Louis Gateway Critics award winners

the name sounds familiar, so perhaps they released nominees a while ago...anyway, the winners are

BEST PICTURE:
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Runners Up (tied)
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Juno

impressive. Most impressive.

BEST ACTRESS:
ELLEN PAGE - JUNO
Runner Up - Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

love it love it love it.

BEST ACTOR:
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Runner Up - Don Cheadle --Talk to Me

Day-Lewis isn't surprising at all but I thought everyone one had forgotten about Talk To Me. Apparently not.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
AMY RYAN - GONE BABY GONE
Runner Up - Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
CASEY AFFLECK - THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
Runner Up - Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War

so....I can see Affleck, but Hoffman? He might have a stronger chance than I thought he did.

BEST DIRECTOR:
ETHAN AND JOEL COEN - NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Runner Up - Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD - ROGER DEAKINS
Runner Up - Atonement - Seamus McGarvey

great choices.

BEST SCREENPLAY (original or adapted):
JUNO - DIABLO CODY
Runner Up - No Country For Old Men - Ethan and Joel Coen, Cormac McCarthy

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Runner Up - The Kite Runner

BEST DOCUMENTARY:
SICKO
Runner Up - King of Kong - A Fist Full of Quarters

BEST COMEDY:
JUNO
Runner Up - Superbad

BEST ANIMATED OR CHILDREN'S FILM:
RATATOUILLE
Runner Up - The Simpsons Movie

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (CGI/Special Effects)
300
Runners Up (tied) -
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Sweeney Todd

BEST SCORE:
SWEENEY TODD
Runners Up (tied) -
La Vie En Rose
Once

I'm not sure how Sweeney and LVER can be original scores...but...okay...good for Once though.

MOST ORIGINAL OR INNOVATIVE FILM:
I'M NOT THERE
Runner Up - Diving Bell and the Butterfly

predictable but great choices.

two of the most visually stunning scenes in film history..

from 2006's The Fountain. Don't worry about trying to understand what's going on. The film was a metaphysical muddle anyway (though I kind of liked it). Just enjoy the visual splendor..



Friday, December 21, 2007

Utah Film Critics Winners

Best Picture
No Country for Old Men
Runner-up: Juno

Best Achievement in Directing
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Runner-up: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Lead Performance, Male
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Runner-up: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

interesting to see someone else who considers Affleck to be lead (I disagree, but those who believe so have a very strong argument).

Best Lead Performance, Female
Ellen Page, Juno
Runner-up: Amy Adams, Enchanted

A best actress award with no Christie or Cotillard. And Amy Adams!!!! YES!

Best Supporting Performance, Female
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Runner-up: Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

the Oscar race is officially than these two.

Best Supporting Performance, Male
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Runner-up: Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild


Best Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Runner-up: Diablo Cody, Juno


Best Documentary Feature
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Runner-up: My Kid Could Paint That

Best Animated Feature
Ratatouille
Runner-up: The Simpsons Movie

Best Non-English Language Feature
The Host
Runner-up: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Utah Film Critics Association Top 10 Films of 2007 (alphabetical):

3:10 to Yuma
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
No Country for Old Men
I’m Not There
Into the Wild
Juno
Knocked Up
Michael Clayton
Once
There Will Be Blood

2007 Year in Review

Year in Review

My OCD takes over and causes me to reform my top 10....

The Best Movies of 2007 as of December 21st, 2007

1. No Country For Old Men A+

2. I’m Not There A

3. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford A

4. In The Valley Of Elah A-

5. Zodiac A-

6. Margot at the Wedding A-

7. (TIE) Once/ Waitress A-/A-

8. Atonement A-

9. Michael Clayton A-

10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix A-

Best of the Rest:

The Golden Compass A-
Lars and the Real Girl B+
Enchanted B+
American Gangster B+
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End B+
Eastern Promises B+
A
cross the Universe B+
Hot Fuzz B+
La Vie En Rose B+
Elizabeth: The Golden Age B+
Away From Her B+

Superbad B+
3:10 to Yuma B+
Hairspray B+
The Simpsons Movie B+
The Brave One B
The Bourne Ultimatum B
Breach B
Knocked Up B
Fay Grim B+
300 B
Ocean’s 13 B

number of 2007 films seen: 45


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Superbad - REVIEW


super gross

super juvenile

super long (at least it felt that way)

super exhausting

super funny

Grade: B+

Nominations: none.

2007 films seen: 45

teaser trailer for Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

basically if Pan's Labyrinth had been a comic book adventure....in the most kickass way possible. This looks so much better than the first Hellboy, mainly because the action sequences look much more fluid (some of Hellboy's fights were a bit sluggish).

Hellboy2: The Golden Army

SAG nominees (for film) are in....THEY'RE INSANE

14th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® NOMINATIONS

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

GEORGE CLOONEY / Michael Clayton – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Daniel Plainview – “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage)
RYAN GOSLING / Lars Lindstrom – “Lars And The Real Girl” (Sidney Kimmel Entertainment)
EMILE HIRSCH / Christopher McCandless– “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
VIGGO MORTENSEN / Nikolai – “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

alright..time for a temper tantrum...WHERE THE $&#($&(*#&$(*&#$(&@(*#&@(*&#(*@&#( IS JOHNNY DEPP YOU HEARTLESS MORONS? CLOONEY WAS NOT THAT GOOD. Nice to see Mortensen and Gosling in there.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

CATE BLANCHETT / Queen Elizabeth I – “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal Pictures)
JULIE CHRISTIE / Fiona – “Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
MARION COTILLARD / Edith Piaf – “La Vie En Rose” (Picturehouse)
ANGELINA JOLIE / Mariane Pearl – “A Mighty Heart” (Paramount Vantage)
ELLEN PAGE / Juno MacGuff – “Juno” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

oh please. Cate Blanchett is a GREAT actress and I love her to death but that performance is not deserving at all. And I'm really getting sick of all this love for Angelina. And no Amy Adams? Bastards....


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

CASEY AFFLECK / Robert Ford – “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh – “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
HAL HOLBROOK / Ron Franz – “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
TOMMY LEE JONES / Ed Tom Bell – “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
TOM WILKINSON / Arthur Edens – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

just as long as they don't give it to Holbrook for sentimentality....

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

CATE BLANCHETT / Jude – “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
RUBY DEE / Mama Lucas – “American Gangster” (Universal Pictures)
CATHERINE KEENER / Jan Burres – “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
AMY RYAN / Helene McCready – “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax Films)
TILDA SWINTON / Karen Crowder – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ruby Dee? The woman who gave us "they gonna leave you.................................................I'm gonna leave you....................................................and she......................go...........................n.......................na........................................leave.....y..............................................ou". Has the world been turned upside down or something? Anyways, go Tilda/Cate!!!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

3:10 TO YUMA (Lionsgate)

CHRISTIAN BALE / Dan Evans
RUSSELL CROWE / Ben Wade
PETER FONDA / Byron McElroy
GRETCHEN MOL / Alice Evans
DALLAS ROBERTS / Grayson Butterfield
VINESSA SHAW / Emmy Roberts
BEN FOSTER / Charlie Prince
ALAN TUDYK / Doc Potter
LOGAN LERMAN / Will Evans

this movie...was not. that. good. If they wanted to pick a western, they should've gone with Jesse James..


AMERICAN GANGSTER (Universal Pictures)

ARMAND ASSANTE / Dominic Cattano
JOSH BROLIN / Detective Trupo
RUSSELL CROWE / Richie Roberts
RUBY DEE / Mama Lucas
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR / Huey Lucas
IDRIS ELBA / Tango
CUBA GOODING, JR. / Nicky Barnes
CARLA GUGINO / Laurie Roberts
JOHN HAWKES / Freddie Spearman
TED LEVINE / Lou Toback
JOE MORTON / Charlie Williams
LYMARI NADAL / Eva
JOHN ORTIZ / Javier J. Rivera
RZA / Moses Jones
YUL VAZQUEZ / Alfonse Abruzzo
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Frank Lucas

eh...

HAIRSPRAY (New Line Cinema)

NIKKI BLONSKY / Tracy Turnblad
AMANDA BYNES / Penny Pingleton
PAUL DOOLEY / Mr. Spritzer
ZAC EFRON / Link Larkin
ALLISON JANNEY / Prudy Pingleton
ELIJAH KELLEY / Seaweed
JAMES MARSDEN / Corny Collins
MICHELLE PFEIFFER / Velma Von Tussle
QUEEN LATIFAH / Motormouth Maybelle
BRITTANY SNOW / Amber Von Tussle
JERRY STILLER / Mr. French
JOHN TRAVOLTA / Edna Turnblad
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN / Wilbur Turnblad


INTO THE WILD (Paramount Vantage)

BRIAN DIERKER / Rainey
MARCIA GAY HARDEN / Billie McCandless
EMILE HIRSCH / Chris McCandless
HAL HOLBROOK / Ron Franz
WILLIAM HURT / Walt McCandless
CATHERINE KEENER / Jan Burres
JENA MALONE / Carine McCandless
KRISTEN STEWART / Tracy Tatro
VINCE VAUGHN / Wayne Westerberg

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Let's hope it's into the wild, and away from the oscars...


NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Miramax Films)

JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh
JOSH BROLIN / Llewelyn Moss
GARRET DILLAHUNT / Wendell
TESS HARPER / Loretta Bell
WOODY HARRELSON / Carson Wells
TOMMY LEE JONES / Ed Tom Bell
KELLY MACDONALD / Carla Jean Moss

Yay. But no Atonement? No Sweeney Todd? This is profoundly disturbing.............

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
300
The Bourne Ultimatum
I Am Legend
The Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Australia" (2008) finally finishes filming.

now let's see how long director Baz Lurhmann (Moulin Rouge!) can drag out post production......
oh, and here's two pictures..

first pictures from Guillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army"

with my newfound love of director Guillermo Del Toro, I'm now extremely excited for his next directorial effort, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. The first Hellboy (also directed by Del Toro) was a fun comic book adaptation in that it was quirkier than most. With this sequel, Del Toro looks to work magic again, this time on a more epic scale. Principle cast members Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and David Hyde Pierce (as the voice of the blue guy) all return.

Austin Film Critics Association Winners

Top Ten:

There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old men
Juno
Into the Wild
3:10 to Yuma
Knocked Up
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Atonement
American Gangster
Eastern Promises

not sure I like the Knocked Up addition, but the rest seems good. A-HA. And there it is... There Will Be Blood all the way at the top. Looks like Paul Thomas Anderson may finally have a movie that gets into the best picture race.

Best Film:
There Will Be Blood

Best Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson, 'There Will Be Blood'

it's getting interesting now....

Best Actor:
Daniel Day Lewis, 'There Will Be Blood'

*yawn* I'm not complaining but...still...surely someone disagrees....anyone?

Best Actress:
Ellen Page, 'Juno'

nice. She's now officially the dark horse.

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem, 'No Country For Old Men'

Best Supporting Actress:
Allison Janney, Juno

wowowowowowowowow. Did not see that one coming.....

Best Foreign Film:
Black Book

Best Documentary:
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Best Animated Film:
Ratatouille

Best First Film:
Ben Affleck, 'Gone Baby Gone'

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, 'Juno'

can we just give her the Oscar already?

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Ethan & Joel Coen, 'No Country For Old Men'

Best Cinematography:
Robert Elswit, 'There Will Be Blood'

Best Original Score:
Jonny Greenwood, 'There Will Be Blood'

Marianelli's got some competition.....DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN

Breakthrough Artist:
Michael Cera, 'Superbad,' 'Juno

Austin Film Award:
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, 'Grindhouse'

Toronto Film Critics Award Winners

Best Picture - No Country for Old Men
Best Director - Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men
Best Actor - Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

yay! he won again!

Best Actress (tie) - Julie Christie, Away From Her; Ellen Page, Juno

even when Julie Christie loses, she doesn't lose....

Best Supporting Actor - Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Best Screenplay - No Country for Old Men
Best Animated Film - Ratatouille
Best Foreign Film - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Best Documentary - No End in SIght
Best Canadian Film - Away From Her

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award Winners

DA Annual Achievement Awards
Best Film:
No Country For Old Men

Best Director:
The Coen Brothers

Best Original Screenplay:
Juno - Diablo Cody

Best Screenplay Adapted:
Away From Her - Sarah Polley

Best Documentary:
No End In Sight - Charles Ferguson

Best Actress:
Julie Christie - Away From Her

Best Actress In Supporting Role:
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone

Best Actor:
Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Best Actor In Supporting Role:
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Best Ensemble Cast:
Juno

Best Editing:
The Diving Bell and The Butterfly - Juliette Welfling

Best Foreign Film:
Diving Bell and The Butterfly - Julian Schnabel


EDA Female Focus Awards
Best Woman Director:
Sarah Polley

eh, I would've given it to Adrienne Shelly.

Best Woman Screenwriter:
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages

Best Breakthrough Performance:
Ellen Page - Juno

Best Newcomer:
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement

Women's Image Award:
Sarah Polley

Hanging in There Award for Persistence:
Ruby Dee

is that an award or an insult? "Congratulations. Even though we may not have noticed your previous Oscar Begging, we were finally bribed to watch your best performances on DVD again and decided that we might as well give you an award just to shut you up so you can die happy."

Actress Defying Age and Agism:
Julie Christie

what, no Joan Rivers?

Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In 2007:
Kathleen Kennedy, Producer, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Persepolis

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Julie Christie

Award For Humanitarian Activism:
Angelina Jolie

EDA Special Mention Awards
Hall of Shame Award:
Norbit

Actress Most In Need Of A New Agent:
Hilary Swank

the same agent who she won two Oscars under? Yeah, lots of crap got in there but damn, I wouldn't change at the rate she's going. Come 2009 she'll have a third one....

Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn't:
Margot At The Wedding

I can see where they're coming from...but respectfully disagree...

Unforgettable Moment Award:
Eastern Promises - Viggo Mortensen's full frontal

no surprise there hahaha.

Best Depiction Of Nudity or Sexuality:
Eastern Promises - Viggo Mortensen

again, no surprise.

Best Seduction: (tie)
Atonement - Keira Knightly and James McAvoy
The Namesake - Tabu and Irfan Khan

Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love
Interest:
Beowulf - Robin Penn Wright and Anthony Hopkins

Bravest Performance Award:
Julie Christie - Away From Her

and while we're at it, let's invent more awards for Julie Christie, because no one ever recognizes her performances....oh please. What on earth was so brave about it? She played someone with alzheimer's?

Best Leap from Actress to Director Award:
Sarah Polley

Cultural Crossover Award:
Persepolis

Sequel That Shouldn't Have Been Made Award:
Shrek 3

Best Of The Fests: (Winner and Special Mentions)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
and
Black Sheep
Forever
Four Sheets To The Wind
Grbivica My Home
Red Road
Secret Sunshine

I've got one!

Best Performance in a film about Alzheimer's: Julie Christie

Best Performance in a film about Alzheimer's in a film directed by a woman: Julie Christie

and of course

Best Performance by Julie Christie: Julie Christie (shocker!!!)

San Diego Critics Winners

Best Film: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Foreign Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary (tie): Crazy Love by Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens, and Deep Water by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men

Best Animated Film: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men

Best Editing: Paul Tothill, Atonement

Best Score: Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood

Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Body of Work: Christian Bale, 3:10 to Yuma, Rescue Dawn and I’m Not There

Kyle Counts Award: ("honors those who have made a contribution to film in the city") Larry Zeiger

St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Nominees

BEST PICTURE
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into The Wild
Juno
The Kite Runner
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd
Atonement
Michael Clayton
There Will Be Blood

all the top 10 lists are starting to run together...

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
Jodie Foster - The Brave One
Laura Linney - The Savages
Ellen Page - Juno

at least Linney got in, but Kidman and Russell were WAY better than Blanchett in Elizabeth 2.

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Don Cheadle - Talk To Me
George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Ryan Gosling - Lars And The Real Girl
Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Tommy Lee Jones AND Viggo Mortensen? I'm in heaven...(but no Depp? Say it ain't so...)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - I’m Not There
Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Taraji P. Henson - Talk To Me
Saorise Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

How on earth is Katherine Heigl supporting? She's THE MAIN CHARACTER.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck - The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Josh Brolin - No Country For Old Men
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson’s War
Tommy Lee Jones - No Country For Old Men
Michael Sheen - Music Within
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

apparently everyone is supporting in No Country....so very wrong they are

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd
Ethan and Joel Coen - No Country For Old Men
Mike Nichols - Charlie Wilson’s War
Sean Penn - Into The Wild
Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford - Roger Deakins
Atonement - Seamus McGarvey
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - Janusz Kaminski
Into The Wild - Eric Gautier
The Kite Runner - Roberto Schaefer
No Country For Old Men - Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood - Robert Elswit

BEST SCRIPT (Original or Adapted)
Atonement - Ian McEwan and Christopher Hampton
Into The Wild - Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer
Juno - Diablo Cody
Lars And The Real Girl - Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton - Tony Gilroy
No Country For Old Men - Ethan and Joel Coen, Cormac McCarthy
Persepolis - Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
The Host
The Kite Runner
La Vie En Rose
Lust, Caution
Persepolis

BEST DOCUMENTARY
In The Shadow Of The Moon
King of Kong – A Fist Full of Quarters
Manufactured Landscapes
No End In Sight
Sicko

BEST COMEDY
Juno
Knocked Up
Lars And The Real Girl
The Simpsons Movie
Superbad
Waitress
Walk Hard

BEST ANIMATED OR FAMILY FILM
Bridge To Terabithia
Enchanted
The Golden Compass
Persepolis
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

Golden Compass? You're EEN. Enchanted? You're EEN. Beowulf? You're OWT! *air kiss*

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (CGI/Special Effects)
300
The Golden Compass
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
I Am Legend
Stardust
Sweeney Todd

please be Golden Compass....and what is Stardust doing in there over Pirates 3 and Transformers?

BEST SCORE
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Atonement
There Will Be Blood
Juno
La Vie En Rose
Once
Sweeney Todd

superb.

MOST ORIGINAL OR INNOVATIVE FILM
Across The Universe
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
I’m Not There
Into Great Silence
Juno
Persepolis

More of the same: Phoenix Film Critics Award Winners

Best Picture
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Top Ten Films (In Alphabetical Order)
ATONEMENT
AWAY FROM HER
HAIRSPRAY
JUNO
MICHAEL CLAYTON
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
3:10 TO YUMA
ZODIAC

Nice to see Sweeney back in action, but even more surprising are 3:10 to Yuma, Hairspray, and Away From Her.

Best Achievement in Direction
Ethan and Joel Coen for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day Lewis for THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Julie Christie for AWAY FROM HER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Ryan for GONE BABY GONE

Best Ensemble Acting
The Cast of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Screenplay written directly for the screen
Diablo Cody for JUNO

Best Screenplay adapted from another medium
Joel and Ethan Coen for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Adapted from the novel by Cormac McCarthy

Best Live Action Family Film
ENCHANTED

Overlooked Film of the Year
STARDUST

they picked this over Waitress and Once? WEAK.

Best Animated Film
RATATOUILLE

Best Foreign Language Film
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Best Documentary
SICKO

Best Original Song
"Falling Slowly" from ONCE

about time they gave the award to the right movie for the right song.

Best Original Score
ATONEMENT

excellent.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
ATONEMENT

very good.

Best Achievement in Editing
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

YES.

Best Achievement in Production Design
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Achievement in Costume Design
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
300

they weren't my favorite but good choice anyway.

Best Achievement in Stunts
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

completely deserved.

Breakthrough on Camera
Ellen Page for JUNO

Breakthrough behind the Camera
Sarah Polley for AWAY FROM HER

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Male
Edward Sanders for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female
Saoirse Ronan for ATONEMENT

Detroit Film Critics Society Nominees

Best film

"No Country for Old Men"
"Juno"
"Into the Wild"
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"There Will Be Blood"

easily the most diverse set of nominees. It looks like the race is coming down to "No Country" and There Will Be Blood. So long "Atonement".

Best director

Joel & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
Sean Penn, "Into the Wild"
Tim Burton, "Sweeney Todd"
Jason Reitman, "Juno"

the only place they feel they can "honor" Sweeney is in director? Must be a strong year...or they're nuts

Best actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Emile Hirsch, "Into the Wild"
Tommy Lee Jones, "No Country for Old Men"
Mathieu Amalric, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

ENOUGH with Clooney!! And I'm glad that Tommy Lee Jones got nominated, but it's for the wrong movie (he was 100% supporting in No Country)

Best actress

Ellen Page, "Juno"
Julie Christie, "Away From Her"
Marion Cotillard, "La Vie En Rose"
Laura Linney, "The Savages"
Amy Adams, "Enchanted"

No Jolie? Yes for Adams and Linney? Excellent.

Best supporting actor

Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"
Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton"
Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"
Paul Dano, "There Will Be Blood"
Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

And there he his: Paul Dano (aka he whose work was being overshadowed by Day-Lewis until just now..)

Best supporting actress

Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton"
Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Catherine Keener, "Into the Wild"
Emily Mortimer, "Lars and the Real Girl"

no Saoirse? Looks like the supporting categories have three locks each. It's going to be a total campaign blood bath to see who can take the last two spots. Good for Emily Mortimer though.

Best ensemble

"Juno"
"Lars and the Real Girl"
"Waitress"
"Zodiac"
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

WAITRESS!!!!!

Best newcomer

Sarah Polley, writer-director, "Away From Her"
Michael Cera, actor, "Juno" and "Superbad"
Diablo Cody, writer, "Juno"
Adrienne Shelley, director-writer-actor, "Waitress"
Nikki Blonsky, actor, "Hairspray"

no Ben Affleck? Surprising. The best bet is either Cody or Polley. And how is Adrienne Shelly a "new comer"?

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Dark Knight trailer again (great quality)

click HERE

Southeastern Film Critics Award Winners

soon to be followed by the Atlantis Critics Circle, Shangri La Critics Circle, and of course, the Bermuda Triangle Critics Circle...

BEST PICTURE
1. No Country for Old Men
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Atonement
4. Juno
5. Michael Clayton
6. Zodiac
7. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
8. Gone Baby Gone
9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
10. Into the Wild

Atonement is slipping, while No Country remains in the lead, and There Will Be Blood becomes its biggest competition. Nice to see "Jesse James" and Zodiac in there too.

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
* Runner-up: George Clooney - Michael Clayton

why is Clooney the runner-up? Because he attempted to be more subtle than usual and did a decent job?

BEST ACTRESS
Julie Christie - Away from Her
* Runner-up: Ellen Page - Juno

good for Ellen.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
* Runner-up: Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward
Robert Ford

my two favorites. Spectacular.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
* Runner-up: Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There

having seen Blanchett, I'd give her the win. Either Amy Ryan is amazing, or she's hugely overrated...

BEST DIRECTOR
Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
* Runner-up: Joe Wright - Atonement

the more awards for the Coens, the better. Good for Joe Wright as well.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody - Juno
* Runner-up: Tamara Jenkins - The Savages

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
* Runner-up: Christopher Hampton - Atonement

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France)
* Runner-up: La vie en rose (France)

wow. the French are dominating foreign language film this year.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
No End in Sight
* Runner-up: Sicko

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Ratatouille
* Runner-up: The Simpsons Movie

WYATT AWARD
Waitress
* Runner-up: Black Snake Moan

nice to see Waitress got something....even though I have no idea what the award is for..

Dallas-Ft. Worth Critics Winners

I really like their format. Instead of just saying the winners, they let you see who else was nominated, and how they were ranked. There's just one disturbing thing...(you'll see in just a moment)

BEST PICTURE
1. No Country for Old Men
2. Juno
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Atonement
5. Michael Clayton
6. Into the Wild
7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
8. The Kite Runner
9. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
10. Charlie Wilson's War

a pretty awesome top 10 list. We could easily assume that (being in Texas) that they haven't seen Sweeney Todd.

BEST ACTOR
1. Daniel Day-Lewis
2. George Clooney
3. Frank Langella
4. Tommy Lee Jones
5. Emile Hirsch

yup. No Depp. GREAT to see that Tommy Lee Jones was considered, but there's no way in hell that Clooney was better. Daniel Day-Lewis winning isn't a surprise.

BEST ACTRESS
1. Julie Christie
2. Marion Cotillard
3. Ellen Page
4. Laura Linney
5. Angelina Jolie

it would appear that 3 of the best actress slots are sewn up. It's spots 4 and 5 that are going to be tricky. Good for Linney, but how dare they nominated Jolie over Amy Adams.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Javier Bardem
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman
3. Casey Affleck
4. Tom Clinton (I can only assume they mean Tom Wilkinson?)
5. Hal Holbrook

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Tilda Swinton
2. Amy Ryan
3. Cate Blanchett
4. Saoirse Ronan
5. Jennifer Jason Leigh

She finally won!! And JJL got in. Her buzz isn't dead after all. It's just on life support.

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Joel and Ethan Coen
2. Paul Thomas Anderson
3. Tim Burton
4. Julian Schnabel
5. Sean Penn

Good for the Coens and OH DEAR GOD. They have seen Sweeney Todd. And Depp didn't make their lineup. Let's hope they're in the minority about his performance...

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Juno
2. No Country for Old Men

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2. (tie) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. (tie) No Country for Old Men

BEST FOREIGN FILM
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. La Vie en Rose
3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
4. Lust, Caution
5. Black Book

again, France must be kicking themselves for submitting Persepolis over "Diving Bell" for foreign language film at the Oscars.

BEST ANIMATED
1. Ratatouille
2. Persepolis

BEST DOCUMENTARY
1. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
2. SiCKO
3. No End in Sight
4. My Kid Could Paint That
5. Crazy Love

Satellite Award Winners announced...

Drama
No Country for Old Men

Comedy/Musical
Juno

Director(s)
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men

Actor - Drama
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

It's about time he WON something.

Actress - Drama
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

she won, AND they put her in the right category....see, it's not so hard to do after all!This is the first time she's defeated Julie Christie when they were in direct competition. hmmmmm....

Actor - Comedy/Musical
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl

good thing he got an award while he could. Depp would've stolen this if they'd seen Sweeney at the time of their nominations...

Actress - Comedy/Musical
Ellen Page, Juno

good. for. her.

Supporting Actor (TIE!)
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

nice to see that Wilkinson finally won something, but I worry for Bardem just a little. Casey Affleck is his only competition so far.. (I think the score is something like Bardem: 5 vs. Affleck: 3)

Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

damn, again? I was kind of behind this at first but after seeing Blanchett I'm kind of on her bandwagon..

Adapted Screenplay
Atonement (Christopher Hampton)

meh. I would've gone with "No Country".

Original Screenplay
Juno (Diablo Cody)

Foreign Film
Lust, Caution

this would be a surprise, but "Persepolis" and "Diving Bell" weren't among the nominees so...

Animated Movie
Ratatouille

Documentary Feature
Sicko

Editing
American Gangster

good choice, but I would've given this to the Coens for "No Country" (that's right, the directors also edited their own movie....damn they're good.)

Cinematography
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

not surprising

Original Score
The Kite Runner

very surprising. Please don't tell me that Dario Marianelli is going to get robbed again...

Original Song
Grace Is Gone - "Grace Is Gone"

oh come one, is "Once" ever going to win anything?

Art Direction & Production Design
Elizabeth: The Golden Age

they had to give the year's biggest Oscar flop something....

Costume Design
Elizabeth: The Golden Age

see above.

Visual Effects
300

not my favorite, but a good choice

Sound (Mixing & Editing)
The Bourne Ultimatum

Mary Pickford Award
Kathy Bates

Tesla Award
Dennis Muren

Auteur Award
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Ensemble Cast
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

For
a full list of the nominees, go HERE

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Top 10 Update

and it just keeps on changing....

The Best Movies of 2007 as of December 16th, 2007

  1. No Country for Old Men A+
  2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford A
  3. I'm Not There A
  4. Atonement A-
  5. In the Valley of Elah A-
  6. Margot at the Wedding A-
  7. Waitress A-
  8. Once A-
  9. Zodiac A-
  10. Michael Clayton A-

Best of the Rest:

The Golden Compass A-
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix A-
Lars and the Real Girl B+
Enchanted B+
American Gangster B+
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End B+
Eastern Promises B+
A
cross the Universe B+
Hot Fuzz B+
La Vie En Rose B+
Elizabeth: The Golden Age B+
Away From Her B+
3:10 to Yuma B+
Hairspray B+
The Simpsons Movie B+
The Brave One B
The Bourne Ultimatum B
Breach B
Knocked Up B
Fay Grim B+
300 B
Ocean’s 13 B

Number of 2007 releases seen: 44

I'm Not There - REVIEW


you expect some movies to blow you away because of their critical acclaim. Others surprise you because they haven't had the most glowing reviews, but they stun you anyway. And then there are those that have critical acclaim, but that you aren't too sure about...and they completely floor you. I'm Not There is that type of movie. A bizarre kaleidoscope of a film, Todd Haynes unique biopic (never thought those words would ever find themselves back to back, now did you?) of Bob Dylan is a knockout. It isn't always clear, but for those who can pay attention (and you'll need to) the film moves along from one segment to the next, and back again. It lives up to it's trailer's promise: He [Dylan] is everyone. He is no one. He is everywhere. He is nowhere. Each of the six actors who portray Dylan examine a different phase of his life, and find some way to communicate it along with Todd Haynes all-over-the-place script (which mostly places the "singing" in the background just like "La Vie En Rose") that actually manages to succeed. Some are more literal (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Ben Whishaw), and others are more abstract, notable Heath Ledger, who plays an actor who once portrayed Bale's interpretation of Dylan, but who also symbolizes some other aspects of Dylan as well. Scratching your head a little? You won't be alone. But the film does capture his essence/s and piece them all together in fragments. Oh, and perhaps I should mention that I've only heard two Bob Dylan songs before and I know next to nothing about his life. Now in some bizarre way, I feel that I know the many faces of Bob Dylan and his music. As I was watching I thought "wow, that's just the way he sounds/acts!" How has Todd Haynes done this? How has he made me, a Dylan-blank slate understand him all the while exploring him in a unique way? I have no idea, but I am eternally grateful.

Grade: A

Current Nominations: Best Picture (#3), Best Director - Todd Haynes(#3), Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale (#3), Best Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett (#1 WINNER), Best Original Screenplay (#1 WINNER), Best Editing (#2),

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today in randomness...

My new addiction..

spreading Christmas cheer with the help of some famous names... Take a look

Ladies and Gentlemen....The Dark Knight THEATRICAL TRAILER!!!

the quality is pretty bad (it's pirated) but the film looks incredible. Heath Ledger looks like an amazing choice for the Joker. Watch it while you can, because any day now someone from Warner Brothers could see this and have the guy take it down....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Top Ten - December 14th

The Best Movies of 2007 as of November 3rd, 2007

  1. No Country for Old Men A+
  2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford A
  3. Atonement A-
  4. In the Valley of Elah A-
  5. Waitress A-
  6. Once A-
  7. Margot at the Wedding A-
  8. Zodiac A-
  9. Michael Clayton A-
  10. The Golden Compass A-

Best of the Rest:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix A-
Lars and the Real Girl B+
Enchanted B+
American Gangster B+
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End B+
Eastern Promises B+
A
cross the Universe B+
Hot Fuzz B+
La Vie En Rose B+
Elizabeth: The Golden Age B+
Away From Her B+
3:10 to Yuma B+
Hairspray B+
The Simpsons Movie B+
The Brave One B
The Bourne Ultimatum B
Breach B
Knocked Up B
Fay Grim B+
300 B
Ocean’s 13 B

Number of 2007 releases seen: 43

Atonement - REVIEW


perhaps reading the book was a mistake. The plot is very easy to memorize (almost scene by scene) and to have to wait for certain things to appear made it feel a bit slower than it probably was. This aside, the film remains extremely well constructed and Joe Wright proves himself to be a fantastic director....and it's only his second film. Combining tracking shots, which are used to different effect than the charming, dreamlike ones in Pride and Prejudice, with extreme close-ups in which he tilts or shakes the camera slightly do something incredibly effective. This is a man who knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to directing. Every shot is done in a particular way, but it never feels stilted or contrived. The same can not be said for the acting. Actually that's too harsh. The acting is actually very good, but it's just very.....British....very restrained....so much so that Wright's glorious direction overpower the performances which are very well done, but which may not fare well with the Academy. They like to see a bit more showiness, and even if it's a subtle performance, you need to be showy with your subtlety to appease them. However, this aside, the acting is very accomplished especially from rising star James McAvoy (Narnia, The Last King of Scotland) and newcomer Saoirse Ronan (very strong). Keira Knightley is very good at doing the whole "stiff upper lip" act and she finally stopped doing that chin-jutting thing from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. That said, her performance in Wright's Pride and Prejudice was better because she had a bit more to do with her character. In P &P, there was the tension built between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, but here Cecelia is always in love with Robbie (McAvoy). Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave help complete the fine work set up by young Ronan, and do admirable jobs, with Redgrave's portion having a bit more impact. That being said, having read the book so close to the release of the movie, portions of the story telling feel a bit rushed or hurried when they should just feel "taut and well paced". And then there's Dario Marianelli's score which I reviewed in a separate post a while ago. Good lord this man knows how to compose gorgeous music. At times though, his score takes up a bit too much of the spotlight, and the film pulls too many violin strings and not enough heartstrings. Like the music, the film's other artistic and technical aspects are stunning as well. It's hard to believe this thing was made on a budget of $30 million when everything looks so gorgeous. Much like "The Golden Compass" the cinematography relies heavily on the brilliant use of balancing light and dark. In the opening portion of the film, people and objects often appear to have a sublime halo of sunlight cast around them. In the end, Wright's second film is an odd one because it lacks the absolute perfect balance that Pride and Prejudice had. It's not a disappointment....it's just a bit different than what I expected....and this is from someone who actually read the book...



Grade: A-

Current Nominations: Best Picture (#3), Best Director - Joe Wright (#1 WINNER sorry Coen brothers..), Best Actor - James McAvoy (#5), Best Actress - Keira Knightley (#4), Best Supporting Actress - Saoirse Ronan (#3), Best Supporting Actress - Vanessa Redgrave (#5), Best Adapted Screenplay (#3), Best Editing (#4), Best Costume Design (#3), Best Cinematography (#1 WINNER/TIE), Best Art Direction(#1 WINNER/TIE), Best Original Score (#1 WINNER WINNER WINNER)