"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ferris Bueller in the Super Bowl Ad!

One of the ads being featured on Super Bowl Sunday will feature a somewhat familiar character for Matthew Broderick fans.  It's the return of Ferris Bueller (only for this commercial) as he takes the day off, ponders life while gazing at the works in a museum, attends a sporting event and sings on a float in a parade.  Ah, good times!! Meanwhile, I totally need to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off again.  It never gets old.  

2012 SAG Winners List

Another day, yet another awards show...this is all what January and February is all about.  Last night, the Screen Actors Guild held its 18th annual awards.  Here are the list of the film winners.

The ladies from The Help
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark, The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jean DuJardin as George, The Artist

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer as Hal, Beginners

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson, The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Help

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter finally won something, too bad we didn't know about the win until after the telecast.  An on air acknowledgement would have been nice.  On a night where the television branch winners basically repeated themselves, the film nominees yielded some surprises as The Help was the big winner with winners in three categories.  The beginnings of a race looks possible but since The Help is only nominated for acting and Best Picture, it doesn't look likely to win over The Artist.  What will happen on Oscar night?  Will it be Viola again or Meryl Streep?  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The DGA Winners 2012

Here are the film winners from the Director's Guild of America awards yesterday.  The Artist wins yet another big award.  Does any other film stand a chance at the Oscars?

Outstanding Directional Achievements in Feature Film
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Film
James Marsh, Project Nim

Movie Review: The Descendants

Having seen most of Alexander Payne's recent filmography, I thought I knew what kind of film The Descendants would turn out to be.  Most of Payne's lead characters are troubled and usually going through some kind of life crisis.  While this is true of Matt King (George Clooney) in the film, I didn't expect to have that extra emotional depth of the family bond between King and his daughters.

The film opens with King in the hospital and he's been there awhile, his wife Elizabeth has been in a coma after a boating accident.  While their relationship is rocky at best, he can't imagine his life without her.  However, the doctor informs him that there is nothing more they can do for her and since her will stipulates she be taken off life support, that is what they must do.  Matt, initially, is unsure what to do.  He hasn't been alone with his younger daughter, Scottie, 10, since she was three and his eldest is away at school.  But rally he does, bringing back Alexandra and trying to figure out how move forward.

Then he receive another bombshell from Alexandra that changes his life and puts the main characters on a quest across the islands of Hawaii to find a man with a connection to his wife, I won't spoil it here.  Here is where Matt begins his journey into becoming a single father to his daughters and try to instill some values in them, however late.  He also tries to figure out what would his wife want even though they weren't on the best terms when she had her accident.  I do wonder how many men in his position would have actually did what Matt did.  There's also a side plot of an inheritance of land in Hawaii which Matt and his family are considering to sell.  That works in neatly to the story as Matt tries to figure out what exactly is important in life.

The scenes between Clooney and his daughters (Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller) are wonderful, at times funny and at times heartbreaking.  There are lot of goodbyes and things to be accomplished before they say farewell to Elizabeth.  There is no doubt that this will go down as George Clooney's best performance.  There is less of a suave movie star personality than an everyday man aura here (and lot more gray hairs too!).  The scenery and photography of Hawaii is stunning as usual but I do think this story could have worked anywhere.  As Matt King mentions in his opening narration, just because they live in a paradise doesn't mean they don't have their share of the same problems everywhere has.

Alexander Payne's films since Election have these characters who are flawed, yes, but they are just trying to get through life without screwing it up so much.  As a writer-director of this film, he manages to balance the humor with the real center of the film, a very depressing subject of a death of loved one.  But the last scene with the family will bring a smile to your face.   Overall, a worthy nominee for Best Picture of the year, indeed.


Directed by Alexander Payne; Screenplay by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings; Cinematography by Phedon Papamichael; Editing by Kevin Tent.

Friday, January 27, 2012

News and Casting Updates: Rio, Despicable Me 2 and more!

  • A possible Rio sequel could release in 2014.  World Cup Brazil, anyone?
  • Meanwhile, in more animation film news, Javier Bardem backs out of voicing villain El Macho in Despicable Me 2.  The film is due to release on the July 4th holiday (yay!) in 2013.
  • Ryan Murphy's next film will feature Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and his Eat Pray Love star Julia Roberts.  The Normal Heart is a Tony-award winning play and will be produced by Brad Pitt.
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Carrell, Jack Black, Nicholas Cage, Kevin Kline and Catherine Keener are in the cast for Charlie Kaufman's Frank or Francis.  The comedy/satire is about an online war between a filmmaker and a blogger.  I already want to see this film.

Ryan Gosling: Movie Star?

The Ides of March
I've watched two movies, The Ides of March and Drive, in less than a week and instead of reviewing them separately, I'm going to blog about the star of both films, Ryan Gosling.  I'm struck by how much of the movies is dominated by Gosling's performance.  In both cases, it holds the films together.  Gosling's character in The Ides of March, Stephen Meyers, is a wide-eyed idealist who believes in the work he does to make sure his candidate gets elected into office.  The other characters in the film, especially Paul Giamatti's Duffy and Marisa Tomei's reporter Ida, exploit him for their own means.  Yet however in the end, Stephen learns a cold hard truth how what it takes to survive in the political world.  I love the scene of him finally confronting George Clooney's Mike Morris about his indiscretions.  Both of them are assuming something about each other but in that one instant you can see in his eyes when Stephen crosses over the line, there's no going back after this.  In a movie featuring George Clooney, who probably has his picture next to the dictionary definition of movie star, Ryan Gosling manages to captivate the audience with his rendition of up-and-coming campaign manager.  A truly leading man performance.

On the other end of the spectrum, Gosling also starred in Drive, a movie so exhilarating and thrilling that kept us on the edge of our seats wondering what was going to happen next.  Gosling's character "the Kid" or the "Driver" is a man of a few words instead letting his actions speak for him.  When he does speak though, he is clear on what he means.  With an pulsating retro soundtrack, the story takes us from the Driver's solitary existence of him and his cars to being involved with his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son.  He becomes emotionally entangled and it's hard for him to walk away when their lives are placed in danger when Irene's husband returns home from prison.  What follows is a chain of events set up so that no one character is safe, no one can be trusted.  But we do know this, we trust the Driver.  The director, Nicholas Winding Refn, and Gosling are to make another film together and hopefully it'll be another thrill ride like Drive.  Lastly, we have to discuss the Driver's "driving attire", the gloves and the golden scorpion jacket.  Not everyone can pull that off but it works well on Gosling.

Crazy, Stupid, Love
But wait, there's more!  The Ides of March and Drive weren't Gosling's only films of the year.  He also had a surprise summer hit in Crazy, Stupid, Love where he plays a ladies man who helps Steve Carell's character turn his life around after his divorce.  The film was hilarious and for once, it was nice to see Ryan not play a heavy loaded character whose backstory could fill a whole book.  I wish occasionally the serious actors like Leonardo DiCaprio or Daniel Craig would try their hands at a comedy or a lighter role once in a while.  Of course, Gosling played his role as seriously as he would any other role which makes it all the more better and funnier.

But despite all his success in 2011, Ryan Gosling couldn't garner an Oscar nomination for either of his movies.  As I mentioned in my Oscar nominations' reaction post, he is still young and he was previously nominated before for Half Nelson and I'm pretty certain he's going to get the opportunity again to win.  Until then, we can just appreciate the earnestness of his recent performances.

Lars and the Real Girl
P.S.- If you have time, consider renting Lars and the Real Girl, my favorite of Ryan Gosling's performances.  Extremely endearing and touching!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The 2012 Oscar nominees...

So the biggest mystery of the Oscar nominations has been finally many movies will compete for Best Picture?  Here's a full rundown and reaction to the 2012 Oscar nominations.

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

My take: Nine nominees in the end, then.  From 5 to 10 any number of movies could have been nominated and 9 is such a tease.  For the 10th picture that could have been, like Bridesmaids and Harry Potter, it does feel like some darn bad luck.  There are some definite surprises here with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The Tree of Life making the cut.  But the biggest surprise? Hugo leads The Artist in more nominations, 11 in all to its 10.  Could this be a real Oscar race now?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 PGA Winners

The winners of the 2012 Producers Guild Awards have been announced and they are:

Best Feature Film
The Artist

Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Documentary Film
Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Looking like The Artist will most likely repeat for this success for the Oscars as well.  Steven Spielberg also gets a big win for The Adventures of Tintin although I do think Rango deserved it more.  Will it have a shot at the Oscars? We'll have to wait and see.  The nominations get announced this Tuesday.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Photo: The Hunger Games

(Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

Another photo from The Hunger Games of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) right before they go into the arena and I do believe Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is about light their outfit to transform Katniss into 'The Girl on Fire'.  I shouldn't spoil myself with the images from the movie but I can't help it, I feel like right before the first Harry Potter came out.  It's hard to resist.  What do you think of the new image?  

9 films on Foreign Films shortlist!

As the day for the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards nears, a few of the Foreign Film hopefuls have reason to feel as their name may be called out on next Tuesday morning.  Only 9 films remain in the shortlist for the Best Foreign Film Oscar and they are:

  • Bullhead (Belgium)
  • Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
  • Superclasico (Denmark)
  • Pina (Germany)
  • A Separation (Iran)
  • Footnote (Israel)
  • Omar Killed Me (Morocco)
  • In Darkness (Poland)
  • Warriors of the Rainbow: Saadiq Bale (Taiwan)

The Nominees for ACE Eddie Awards

The best of the year in editing, the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E) announce their nominees.  The editors up for the Eddies are:

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Kevin Tent, The Descendents
Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball
Michael Kahn, War Horse

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
William Kerr and Michael L. Sale, Bridesmaids
Alisa Lepselter, Midnight in Paris
Adam Recht, My Week with Marilyn
Dana E. Glauberman, Young Adult

Best Edited Animated Feature Film
Michael Kahn, The Adventures of Tintin
Eric Dapkewicz, Puss in Boots
Craig Wood, Rango

The 62nd Awards will be held on February 18, 2012 and will be hosted again by Patton Oswalt (Young Adult).

The BAFTA nominations are in!!

Here are the nominations for The Orange British Academy Film Awards also known as the BAFTAs due to be held on February 12, 2012.

Best Film
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Outstanding British Film
My Week With Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need To Talk About Kevin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globe Winners 2012!

Best Drama 
The Descendants

Best Comedy/Musical
The Artist

Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Actor in a Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Actress in a Drama
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Director
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Foreign Film
A Separation - Iran

Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
"Masterpiece," W.E.

Recap: This was a very odd show, in that, there was no one movie leading the way.  Although with three awards from this night, The Artist can be considered a leader.  There were no real upsets unless you count Meryl Streep winning over Viola Davis.  I think she herself was shocked too.  It was lovely to see the montage of Morgan Freeman's work and think of so many iconic movies he's been in: Glory, Unforgiven, Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy and of course playing God in Bruce Almighty.  Since he's Morgan Freeman and can't narrate his own montage, who does he get?  Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Sidney Poitier, very amazing!  Besides this, it seemed a very ho-hum sort of night with the awards being handed out matter of fact.  I was longing for the shows of past years, this one kinda put me to sleep.  So, that's it for this year and now we set our eyes on the Oscars, hopefully it'll be more entertaining with Billy Crystal back as host. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Predicting the Golden Globes!

Despite what the blog title says, this won't be really about predicting the winners, it'll be about attempting to predict them.  This is Golden Globes we are taking about, there are wild cards hidden in the race all the time.  Let's have a look at the nominees.

Best Drama
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
War Horse
Who will win: A couple of days ago, I would have said that War Horse might have won this category.  But since it's no-show in the cinematographers' and directors' guilds, I'm guessing its ship has sailed. Either The Descendants or Hugo is winning here and if any film is going to upset, it's The Help
Best Comedy/Musical
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
My Week with Marilyn
Who will win: The Artist! If it loses here, it will big news.  Who might upset The Artist's sure thing? The Bridesmaids.  Because sometimes, the Globes just like to be different.
Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Timtin
Puss in Boots
Cars 2
Arthur Christmas
Who will win: Rango, no doubt.  Close second, The Adventures in Tintin.

Best Actor in a Drama

George Clooney, The Descendants
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Who will win: Brad Pitt, although the Globes do seem to love George Clooney.  
Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical

Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris
Who will win: A lot of people online have been commenting that Ryan Gosling could be a surprise winner for Crazy, Stupid, Love and why not? It was a highly entertaining movie and it was nice to see Gosling's not-so-serious side.  I could be completely wrong about this.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Who will win: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Best Actress in a Drama

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Who will win: Viola Davis.  A role like hers in The Help comes around once in a while.  Though I feel bad for Meryl Streep, she routinely gives in such tremendous performances, everyone takes her for granted.  
Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage
Who will win: While I hope Kristen Wiig could break through here for Bridesmaids, I have a feeling that this award belongs to Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn. She has been getting nominated for almost every role throughout her career (kind of like Meryl Streep) but never really won the big awards.  She might be due here.  
Best Director

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Who will win: I am hoping it will be Martin Scorsese but I am prepared to hear Michel Hazanavicius' name.

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants
Steve Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin, Michael Lewis, Moneyball
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Who will win: The team behind The Descandants, although I would love to see Woody Allen win this. 
Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski, W.E.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore, Hugo
John Williams, War Horse
My take: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for a consecutive win from last year.
Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo & Juliet
“The Keeper,” Machine Gun Preacher
“Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs
“The Living Proof,” The Help
“Masterpiece,” W.E.
Who will win: Since the only song I am aware of is Mary J. Blige's 'The Living Proof' from The Help, I'll say it's her.

New Posters from The Iron Lady

This poster edition is all about The Iron Lady.  Apart from the first poster (which is very clever), the rest of them are made to look like defaced campaign posters.  Ingenious marketing and for a moment you actually do believe it's Margaret Thatcher's face on them, not Meryl Streep.  She really does step into every role she plays, doesn't she?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cinematography Nominees announced:

Writers, directors, art directors have all revealed their best of the best for the year 2011.  Now it's the turn of the American Society of Cinematographers to announce their nominees for their 26th annual awards.
They are:

  • Guillame Schiffman, The Artist
  • Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Robert Richardson, Hugo
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life

Really surprised to see that War Horse did not make the cut.  Every shot in the trailer and I'm assuming the eventual movie looks gorgeously framed.  However, I do get the feeling that The Tree of Life is going to edge out front here.  

New Effie Trinket Photo!

A website related to The Hunger Games has opened up,, with the password #lookyourbest.  Once you enter the password, this cool picture of Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket is displayed.  Love this look!  What more will the website reveal?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Photos: The Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Warm Bodies

(Photo: Lionsgate)

Newly released still from The Hunger Games shows Peeta and Katniss in their matching District 12 jumpsuits.  Love it!


Emma Watson and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.


Also in the photo: Mae Whitman and Ezra Miller with Lerman and Watson. 


Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) as a zombie who falls in love with a human in Warm Bodies.


Who else remembers him as the little kid from About a Boy? I still heart that film!

News Update: The Dark Knight Rises, Hansel & Gretel, Star Trek 2 and more!

  • More vampires and werewolves are on the horizon.  Deborah Harkness' book The Discovery of Witches is being adapted for the big screen by David Auburn (Proof) for Warner Bros.
  • So this is why we never got a trailer.  The studio behind the film, Paramount, has pushed back Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters all the way into January 2013.  Now I will have to cross it off my 2012 movie list.  Are there too many Jeremy Renner films coming out this year?  I really did want to see this one.
  • The sequel to JJ Abrams' Star Trek starts filming this week and we have some newcomers to add to the cast.  Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off of BBC's Sherlock (which I can't get enough of), is rumored to play the villain.  Previously, Benicio Del Toro was supposedly slated for the role.  Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), Naazneen Contracter (24), Alice Eve (Starter for 10), Joseph Gatt (Thor) also join the cast as new characters.  
  • Midnight showings of The Dark Knight Rises have already been sold out in New York and Los Angeles.  The most anticipated release of 2012?  Yeah, I'd say so.  In case this didn't fully register, the movie is being released on July 19th.  That's nearly six months from now.  Hardcore Nolan fans!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence to announce Oscar nominations!

On January 24th, Katniss Everdeen is going to announce the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards!  No, not really, but Jennifer Lawrence is.  The young actress has already been nominated for Academy Award herself for Winter's Bone and will be playing Katniss in the upcoming The Hunger Games trilogy releasing in March.  She will unveil the nominees for this year along with Tom Sherak, president of the AMPAS early morning at 5:30 am PST.  

Visual Effects Society's best of the year

Also announcing their top nominated work of the past year were the Visual Effects Society (VES) for their 10th annual awards.  Let's see who got nominated.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Source Code
War Horse

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Ukranian Ironbelly
Paul - Paul
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Caesar
The Thing - Edvard/Adam

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Puss in Boots - Puss
Rango - Rango
Rio - Nigel
The Adventures of Tintin - Tintin

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Anonymous - London
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Hogwarts
Thor - Heimdall's Observatory
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 155 Wacker Drive

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Puss in Boots - The Cloud World
Rango - Main Street Dirt
The Adventures of Tintin - Bagghar
The Adventures of Tintin - Docks
The Adventures of Tintin - Pirate Battle

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
The Adventures of Tintin

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Hogwarts School Buildings
Hugo - Train Crash
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Parking Garage
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Driller

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Looks like The Adventures of Tintin is leading the pack with both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the final Harry Potter right behind it.  Good luck to all the nominees, your hard work makes all the wonderful visuals onscreen look so effortless.  The awards will be announced on February 7th, 2012.
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