Movie Night: A look at the Oscars.

It’s that time again, folks. The Hollywood award season is in full swing, and it started with the Golden Globes on January 5. Next was the Critic’s Choice Awards (January 12), which is followed by The Screen Actors Guild Award (January 19), The BAFTA Awards (February 2, Graham Norton is hosting this and I’m going to try and watch if I can. I like him!), The Independent Spirit Awards (February 8), and last, but not least – the Oscars (February 9).

Now, I’m not going to trash anything. I write screenplays and I follow the community (loosely, I haven’t checked out #filmtwitter in a while), so I understand how hard it is to write these suckers. I love movies, and one day I’ll take a pic of all we have, and I know for a fact some of these are going to be on our buy list for 2020.

(NOTE: I originally posted this on Facebook the day the nominations came out.)

The nominations are:

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: SERIOUSLY? I’m sorry, but we watched this one, and shut it off probably 3/4 of the way through. The only interesting thing about this movie, IMO, are the Sharon Tate/Charles Manson possible connection. Ugh, this means I have to try and sit through the WHOLE thing.

UPDATE: I’ve had a couple people tell me that we must have shut it off before the good part came on, so yeah, Hubby and I are going to re-watch this, BUT only from where we left off.

LITTLE WOMEN: I haven’t seen this adaptation, and to be honest, I wasn’t planning on it either. I’ve seen other adaptations, but I’ve heard that it’s very close to the book.

THE IRISHMAN: Not a mafia movie person and this one is 3 1/2 hours long.

MARRIAGE STORY: I heard A LOT of good things about this one, including the joke that it’s about Kylo Ren and the Black Widow getting a divorce.

THE JOKER: Another one I heard a lot of good things about, and bad. Very dark and I’m surprised it was nominated. Good for them.

PARASITE: Almost watched this on Netflx one night by myself. Now I have too. Another surprise as it’s a foreign film and probably subtitles. I don’t know how well Hubby likes to read his movies.

FORD vs FERRARI: I have a thing for car movies. I need to watch this one.

JOJO RABBIT: I had no idea what this movie was about and hadn’t even HEARD of it until now, so I looked it up. Interesting plot and considering everything going on in the US, this movie fits the times.

1917: I’m not sure if this one is based on actual events, and I’m not much of a war movie person either, but I liked HACKSAW RIDGE so maybe I can sit through this one too.

Okay, so here are my guesses as who the winner might be;

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: No. He might have won at the Golden Globes, but the lineup for the Oscars is much more (for lack of a better word) high-class.

Little Women: Maybe. Period pieces seem to do well at the Oscars.

The Irishman: Maybe. Maybe if there weren’t more heart wrenching movies this nomination would be stronger.

Marriage Story: Yes. This is a story anyone can relate to.

The Joker: Yes. Gritty and dark, from what I’ve heard, this movie is more about mental illness that anything.

Parasite: Maybe, but in the last sixty years there has only been three foreign films (non-North American or British made) to win Best Picture.

Ford vs. Ferrari: No. I know I haven’t seen it, but I’m thinking it’s more of a hyped docu-drama.

Jojo Rabbit: Maybe. War time movies seem to be nominated quite a bit, but it could be the content is too comparable to what is happening in the US now.

1917: Maybe: It’s another war-time movie. I researched this movie, and the script was originally conceived from a story the directors grandfather told him.

I’ll probably change my opinion of them once I’ve seen them. Hopefully before Oscar night.

Have you seen any of these movies yet? Did you like them? Not like them?

Movie Night: Deadpool

DeadpoolTagline: (there are about nine of them)

IMBD Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1431045/

Rating: R (ya think?)

Synopsis: This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

– Written by 20th Century Fox

~~~~~~~~~~

Review: I’ve been a Marvel fan for years, so I knew who Deadpool was way before they even thought about making the first Xmen movie. I was a little surprised to see him in Wolverine Origins, because, well, it wasn’t really Deadpool, was it? So when the test footage was leaked back in 2014, I got all excited again, and I wasn’t let down.

This is an awesome movie. Just what you’d expect from the ‘Merc with a Mouth’. I even loved the ending with his girlfriend. Not saying what happens. You wanna know, go watch the movie. It’s time well wasted.

 

5 out of 5.

Movie Night: The Fantastic Four

ThefantasticfourTagline: Beyond darkness… beyond fear… lies the fantastic.

IMBD Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1502712

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. ~written by 20th Century Fox.

~~~~~~~

Review: The first thing out of my husband’s mouth after we saw this was, “What the hell did we just watch?” I kid you not. This latest franchise reboot was painful to watch. I’d heard bad things about it prior to watching, but we don’t let that tarnish our opinion as we’ve enjoyed many movies that other people trash.

This wasn’t one of them.

The biggest problem for me were; 1) the whole ‘smartest teens in the world’ plot doesn’t work here. I didn’t find it plausible or believable that these kids could put together a project like this with very little help from adults, not to mention that Richards built a machine just like it, when he was 12? Bowing to peer pressure as the mechanism that sets events that gives them their power was felt inconsistent and out of character. If they’re that smart, they know better than to drink or smoke pot. Also, no one was guarding the controls for the machine? Get real. Just a few of the plot holes that ruined this project.

2) This was a head scratcher. It was nice to see PoC in some major roles, buy why couldn’t his sister be black too? Why did Sue Storm remain white? I just feel like someone somewhere (higher up in production maybe) didn’t like the idea of a white boy having a crush on a black girl, and that kind of attitude is SO WRONG!

Stay away from this one. I wish we did. Worse yet, we bought it. The only reason it gets one star is for the special effects….

 

1 out of 5.

Movie Night: Jupiter Ascending.

JupiterTagline: Expand your universe.

IMBD Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1617661/

Rating: PG -13

Synopsis: Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

 

Review:

It’s been a while since I watched a good science fiction movie. One that wasn’t bogged down with a subtle moral message (District 9, Elysium to name a few), not that there’s anything wrong with these movies, but every now and then you just want a fun romp through a space adventure.

Jupiter Jones is a young woman stuck in a lousy job and rescued by a handsome man. There’s a very interesting backstory to this movie that is just touched on enough to explain her predicament, but it would be interesting to see more of this, and the consequences of her coming into power. It’s a bit of a long movie, it lost me a couple times (how the ‘bad guys’ found her could have been explained just a bit more,) and at times I felt that the special effects were carrying the movie, but considering the nature of it, that’s not really a fault. The whole reason we watch science fiction is for the incredible special effects and images of alien worlds, and this movie provides both.

This is a great Saturday afternoon movie.

4 out of 5.

Movie Night: Antman

AntmanTagline: No shield. No armor. No problem.

IMBD Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478970/

Rating: PG – 13

Synopsis: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

 

Review:

Antman. I really, really, really wasn’t sure about this movie. Really

I’d never read the comic and until I hear rumours of it being made, I’d never even heard of it. I thought it was some lame attempt on Marvels part to force some silly new franchise on the public.

I. Was. Wrong.

Silliness aside, this was a great movie. Somewhat typical of Marvel (underdog wins the day) but entertaining the way only Marvel can do. The few references to Marvels other franchise was nice too, although I doubt there will be a crossover between Antman and the Avengers, or even a cameo on Agents of Shield, although, if they ever decide to turn this into a television show, I’d watch it.

Side note: Husband really, really liked it and considering he’s so picky, that’s saying a lot.

 

5 out of 5.

Movie Night: World War Z

world-war-z-movie-posterLogline: United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

IMDb Link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816711/

Rating: 14

Synopsis: (from IMDb) Life for former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane and his family seems content. Suddenly, the world is plagued by a mysterious infection turning whole human populations into rampaging mindless zombies. After barely escaping the chaos, Lane is persuaded to go on a mission to investigate this disease. What follows is a perilous trek around the world where Lane must brave horrific dangers and long odds to find answers before human civilization falls. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

~~~~~

Since becoming hooked on THE WALKING DEAD, I’ve grown to like zombies and have watched just about anything that might have a living dead in it. Most of these are incredibly intense and graphic; two characteristics that keep me awake at night, but I can’t help myself. I’m addicted.

This movie is action-packed and intense right from the opening scenes. Five minutes into the movie and our hero and his family are already under attack from a fast growing zombie horde, and these are fast moving, fast changing zombies too. The incubation period is incredibly fast and they move at an almost superhuman speed. There are hints this plague has been building for some time. Secrecy gave it the chance to spread across the globe and reach a critical point where it becomes almost unstoppable. Almost. Our hero races around the planet barely staying ahead of the zombies, looking for the elusive ‘Patient Zero’, and stumbles across and anomaly; something that could very well be a weakness with the virus.

World War Z puts a new spin on the zombie apocalypse, taking it from the ‘absolute-end-of-the-world’ to ‘massive-pandemic-that’s-horrible-but-curable’. It left me on the edge of my seat, with intense scenes that kept me pacing in the other room until they were over. I’m still surprised I have nail polish on my nails.

 

5 out of 5

Sci-Fi Sunday: The Good Ol’ Days

Godzilla1954JapaneseposterIt’s no secret that my first love is science fiction. When I was young, I would sit and watch the weekend movies while my mother studied. While most of the movies were those B –rated horror (Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy), occasionally they would show a science fiction ones and I would sit and watch and play with my Legos all afternoon.

Some of my favourite were the Godzilla movies. I think I’ve seen just about all of them. As a pre-teen (9-11) Godzilla was my hero. I wanted to meet him, or at least be one of those tiny Asian girls who lived on Monster Island. I remember one night there was a new Godzilla movie coming on television-Godzilla vs. Rodan, and my grandmother wouldn’t let me stay up to watch it. I was so upset! It wasn’t fair! Years later when I saw it advertised, you can bet I watched it.

There were other movies I came to love as well; War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth wotwStood Still, Fantastic Voyage, Time Machine, and just about anything with giant creatures that were the result of nuclear testing. Star Wars intensified my love for the genre and after that, I had to see anything that was in space. Unfortunately, I was too young to see most of them and my mom thought they would scare me, so I didn’t see many more until I was a teen.

Today, I’ll still watch a science fiction movie over any other kind, but my taste is more discriminating. I won’t watch a poorly written movie no matter who’s in it, or how much it cost. There are a few modern ones that grabbed my attention, but science fiction isn’t as popular as it once was. Our need to explore space was fuelled by these movies. Maybe in our need know what’s out there, we’ve taken the mystery and the fun out of the genre.

How ironic.

P.S. I happened to come across the original Godzilla movie some weeks back. No dubbed dialogue, no Raymond Burr scenes. I had to read the movie, but it was worth it.

Movie Night; In Time

in_time_movie_poster_2011_by_eldelar-d4nyjbjTagline: In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage – a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/

The tagline for this movie doesn’t do it justice. What it doesn’t tell you is that your life—the minutes, hours, days, months, are the currency you use to pay bills, buy food, generally survive. You work long hours and receive time as payment, but the price of living fluctuates on a daily basis, so a bus ride to work might cost you an hour one day, and two hours the next.

This was a smart movie; good dialogue, plot, a little on the slow side when it came to action scenes, but I don’t think big productions with intense car chases would suite a plot like this. There were a few, but only lasted a few moments. Just enough for the characters to get from point A to point B. You also can’t help but compare the circumstances between the movie and real life, and the motto ‘For some to be immortal, other’s must die,’ is a frightening epitaph.

The reviews in IMDB weren’t all that great, but IMO, these viewers failed to see the true plot; that no one should live/die at another person’s expense. In today’s society where we judge our standing in life by our material possessions or wealth, perhaps the concept of giving up your most valuable currency seems a little far-fetched. Yet isn’t that the idea of thought-provoking movies? To make us think instead of entertain? Personally, I don’t think Hollywood puts out enough of the latter.

5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Night: Hugo

Tag Line: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station, is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

I went to see this movie with little expectations beyond the fact I was going to see a movie filmed in 3D. I’d seen a preview a few months back, and it did little to pique my interest beyond the special effects. I assumed this would be another cute children’s film, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it was so much more.

HUGO is more about the wonder of storytelling, than it is about a little boy searching for answers he thinks are locked up in an automaton. While the first half of the movie is about young Hugo’s search, in the second half, the audience is treated to the heart-breaking story of the life of Georges Méliès, a person some would consider the first great fantasy film-maker. And yes, I did see the irony of Martin Scorsese, a visionary is movie making himself, directing a movie about this incredible man.

Georges Méliès saw beyond what ‘moving pictures’ were, to what they could be; a new way to tell stories. He is the pioneer of special effects including stop-motion photography, which is the foundation for all early special effects. And he did this during the first decades of the 20th century.

As a children’s show, this movie is not for the very young; but more for the young at heart.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Movie Night: Skyline (SERIOUS SPOILERS)

I love science fiction movies, especially in the last fifteen years or so, as the special effects are now mind-blowing. It was the same with this movie, too bad the plot wasn’t just as good. I’ve heard stories of how a good script is sent off to be ‘tweaked’, only to come back almost unrecognizable by the original author. I have a feeling that’s what happened here.

This movie started off really good! Blue lights drop from the sky and when you look at them, you are immediately drawn toward it. Then there’s a bright flash and you’re gone. At the beginning, it kept me on the edge of my seat, but twenty minutes in, and I was shaking my head.

They start the movie with the pre-invasion. It was a little jarring, but okay, I figured they were going for straight action. Then they jump back several hours. I HATE this. I don’t like it in novels either, and yes, the television show THE EVENT drove me nuts.

So I get over the above part and we’re knee deep in crap, when in the middle of all the chaos, one survivor finds out her husband slept with his assistant,  and he’s like ‘we’ll talk about this later’ and she’s like ‘oh yeah, you bet we will’.  SERIOUSLY? People are being sucked up and killed by the thousands and she actually takes the time to be upset about that?

Another thing that bothered me, they bring in the rescue teams way too close to the aliens and don’t have enough army to protect them! Are you kidding me?    

There were way too many aliens. I know that sounds weird, but as the movie went on, the aliens got bigger and bigger. It was this constant surprise of the alien getting his butt kicked, but them something bigger comes along and takes revenge.

Speaking of aliens, I don’t care for invincible aliens. Simply because they’re portrayed as so powerful, it makes their defeat seem unreal if and when it does happen.

The ending. That made no sense. What kind of a story is that? Aliens come down and kill everyone. No one survives. WTF?

What I did like, and what kept me watching was one thing; those who came in contact with the light and managed to not get killed, were changed, made stronger. This could have been an excellent plot in defeating them, but the writers failed to utilize this incredible and original idea to its fullest! There had to be more than just two people who survived being caught in the light, right? And if not, why the hell kill off the only guy this happens too?

I think all writers should watch this movie (if you can handle gore, it’s kinda gross) just so they can see where the story went off track, and maybe they can learn how to keep from doing that with their own works.   

It’s sad, this movie had so much potential.

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