‘Avengers: Endgame’ sank Titanic in box office, and is now certain to topple ‘Avatar’ as the new worldwide box office champion.


As of this writing, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has grossed a total of US$2.238 billion in worldwide box office. That amount is already sufficient to get past 1997’s ‘Titanic’ to become the second highest grossing film worldwide. ‘Titanic’ grossed a total of US$2.187 billion. However, when you adjust the figures for inflation, ‘Endgame’ is still way far behind. Movie ticket price is way much lower in 1997 than the price on the present day (ticket price now is like almost 3 to 4x higher). That’s what inflation means.

Let’s not get things complicated with this inflation stuff. The official table is still on the figures not adjusted for inflation. So officially, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is now no.2, and the movie has now just entered its third weekend. There’s still long way to go before the movie is no longer showing in cinemas worldwide. Hence, looking from the current statistic, it looks almost certain for the movie to dethrone 2009’s ‘Avatar’ as the world’s highest grossing film in history. ‘Avatar’ grossed an epic total of US$2.787 billion.

‘Endgame’ needs another US$600 million to break that record. That shouldn’t be too hard. But for now, I’m already looking at the possibility of the movie going a step further, which is to be the first ever film to gross over US$3 billion. I think it’s possible. ‘Endgame’ has like a 50% shot for that unprecedented milestone.

Recently, James Cameron who is the director for both ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ congratulated Marvel for their accomplishment in the box office as there’s a movie that finally ‘sunk’ Titanic. There has been no other movies in the past that got to do that (let along beats ‘Avatar’), with the closest being 2015’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ that grossed US$2.068 billion. For your information, currently there are five movies that are in the prestigious 2-billion dollar club (Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avengers: Infinity War). Breaking into the 1-billion dollar milestone is no longer a tough challenge now as there are almost 40 movies which accomplished that goal.

As of now, two 2019 movies grossed over US$1 billion. They are ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ (this movie grossed over US$1.121 billion). They are both Marvel films. Three other films are expected to join the 1-billion dollar club too this year and they are ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’, ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. I’m predicting that the solo Spidey movie is finally going to gross over 1-billion due to the continuing buzz from ‘Endgame’. There are 5 other films this year that may have a chance to go past 1-billion too; ‘Aladdin’, ‘Toy Story 4’, ‘Frozen 2′, Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’. It would be insane if there a total of 10 movies in this year alone that grossed over US$1 billion respectively. Anyway, that’s seems almost impossible.

There’s another movie that I’m highly anticipating this year especially after watching its teaser trailer that has just been released a moment ago; ‘IT: Chapter 2’. The trailer looks promising and it’s cool to see the ‘Losers Club’ now being in the adults and has to take down the evil and terrifying Pennywise the Clown again. The movie which is set to release on early September this year is going to do well in box office too, but not to the level of hitting 1-billion or so as it is a horror film which does not appeal to a fairly large chunk of the general audiences.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

 

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1 year after the historic GE14.


Today marks the first year anniversary of the historic 14th General Election of Malaysia that took place on 9th May 2018. There is still a little regret in me for not doing my part as a Malaysian on that day. I was only few days into my new job in Singapore that time and so I couldn’t take any leave (unless it’s unpaid) to return to Malaysia to cast my vote. The voting day is on a normal weekday. It’s one of the last hurdles by the previous nasty government (Barisan Nasional) to prevent Malaysians staying abroad from coming home to vote since they knew most of them will vote for the opposition.

Anway, the coalition (Pakatan Harapan) that I wish to vote on still win in my constituency as well as at the federal level for the first time ever since Malaysia gained independence in 1957. The country erupted into cheers on that very late night when the results kept pouring in with many seats being won by the opposition. The dream to see a new Malaysia turned to reality with Pakatan Harapan winning enough seats to form the federal government. I stayed till 3am++ on that night to watch live broadcast of the result and I’m so excited to see BN lost.

So, now, a year after that historic election, how is the new government been performing so far? My grade to them would be just B-. Not bad, but there’s a lot that can and should have already been done by now. I knew that the previous corrupted government has left the country in serious debt and made it hard for PH to implement policies they promised. However, PH can actually fulfill some other policies, but due to their weak stand and opposition from certain groups, they pulled out. They should be more firm in their decision. Majority of Malaysians voted for them, and hence expecting them to fulfill their manifesto. Not multiple U-turns to what we have been seeing for the past one year.

Tun Dr Mahathir is a great leader and has my respect and admiration. However, it is very obvious that he is too old to be able to lead the country well. He is a likable guy, but age do really matters. Some of his principles are really old-fashioned and only suits well to perhaps two decades ago (during his first tenure as Prime Minister) and not now definitely. His act of taking in the ‘rubbish’ from UMNO (accepting party hoppers) to strengthen his own party is problematic and disturbing. He has one more year to go before passing the duty to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. I hope that Anwar will take the country to a much greater height soon.

It’s obvious that the support for Pakatan has been decreasing especially now when UMNO became close friend with PAS (while MCA and MIC stay quiet without any power to object…by the way, that MCA’s Wee Ka Siong keep blasting the government every single day but turned into a silent puppy when UMNO decided to marry PAS…what a joke!). Racial card is used again to create tension and to weaken the government. Pakatan should really do something wise and strict about it before it gets worse.

Most ministers are inexperienced and I’m fine with that. They need more time and I accept that reason. After this one year of perhaps ‘probation’, I wish that they will step it up on the game from now on. If not, I’m seeing a high chance of BN taking over the government back in the next general election. I do not want to see that happening. I do not want to see Malaysia returning to the old failed state. As for Najib, why is it he is still around walking as a free man? The court process has been taking too long.

So, this is my view of the Pakatan government since taking the power exactly a year ago. They are doing slightly above average but not great. Let us hope for more great progress from PH in the coming years to bring my beloved country, Malaysia into a nation of multiple success stories, rather than being called previously as a country of kleptocracy.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

 

‘Avengers: Endgame’ crushes worldwide box office with an insanely massive US$1.2 billion debut.


No one single film in history has opened with more than 1 billion in ticket sales. In fact, the record holder for world’s largest opening weekend goes to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ at US$640.5 million last year. That record is now obviously shattered by the film’s sequel, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ by almost double.

With a massive US$357.1 million intake from US and Canada, and another US$866.5 million from other territories, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ grossed a total of US$1.223 billion in its opening weekend alone. Countless of films couldn’t even gross near to that figure in their entire run and ‘Endgame’ accomplished that in just its first five days of release.

The movie currently broke almost if not all box office records, including but not limited to largest worldwide opening weekend, largest domestic opening (US and Canada) as well as largest opening in all other countries, fastest film to eclipse US$1 billion, etc. The movie is the 39th film in history to cross the 1-billion mark, is the highest grossing film of 2019, and is currently the 17th highest grossing film of all-time.

Well, the movie is going up to move up the rank real fast. Before the movie’s release, box office analysts were predicting a 250-million opening weekend in the US and Canada, and then later raised the projection to 300-million. It ended up going even further up (over 350 million in domestic debut). Early forecast mentioned the film is going to gross around 800 million at max for its worldwide opening. What we saw now? 1.2 billion debut. That’s a huge gap and it’s a sign that this movie is massively popular and everyone from all parts of the world just wanted to watch it. Who doesn’t? It’s the finale of 21 films that spanned over a decade…and then there’s our beloved huge assembly of superheroes taking down the badass supervillain Thanos and his armies for a final showdown.

So now, how much more further will ‘Endgame’ goes in box office sales? It is no doubt the film is going to dethrone ‘Titanic’ as the second highest grossing film of all time (‘Titanic’ had 2.187 billion). But can it defeat ‘Avatar’ for the prestigious No.1 spot that has not been disturbed for about a decade (‘Avatar’ grossed 2.787 billion)? Looking from the figures now (great statistics), strong word of mouth, huge enthusiasm from audiences in repeat watching, and lack of serious competition till end of May are making it possible to gross over US2.8 billion. Perhaps, it can even be the first ever film to cross the unprecedented 3-billion milestone…

There’s the possibility. And that possibility is really there. We will see how it performs in the second and following weekend to see how big is the drop per week. For now, it is a sure thing that ‘Endgame’ will be the 5th film to cross 2-billion mark. It can even achieve that by just end of this week of early next week. It’s certainly going to be the fastest film to reach 2-billion too. Now, all that is insane. I knew the support and love for this movie is strong but like many others, I didn’t expect the scale to be this huge.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Two viral news on the past Tuesday; cathedral’s fire and taxi scandal.


It is forgivable if a person keep browsing through social media on last Tuesday and not able to concentrate on work. Why? There are two major news that happened on that particular day that shocked most of us and seriously stole our attention.

The first one was the fire that destroyed the spire and a portion of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This famous 850-years old structure was currently under renovation and the fire that destroyed its roof, upper walls, spire and part of the interior was likely caused by short circuit. There is a horrifying video showing the moment the spire collapsed during the raging fire. It is announced that the cathedral will be restored and the process will takes about 20 years or more.

This is the first viral news of the day. Pictures of the cathedral on fire flooded my Facebook home page. I have visited Paris before and I did saw this amazing structure during the trip. It is sad to know that we will be unable to see this cathedral in its original glory anymore.

When late afternoon comes, another news is popping out everywhere and this one hits mostly to the Chinese because it involves the Hong Kong entertainment industry. A video surfaced and quickly went viral; a 17-minutes cam recording in a taxi showing TVB actress and former Miss Hong Kong runner-up, Jacqueline Wong kissing and being very intimate with singer, Andy Hui, the husband of Cantopop queen, Sammi Cheng. Andy immediately hold a press conference on 7pm that day to apologize to everyone. Jacqueline’s boyfriend, Kenneth Ma (a famous TVB actor) also attended interview by the media the next day. Jacqueline posted her comment and apology on Instagram a moment before Kenneth’s interview. Then, finally, Sammi broke her silence by posting her response on Instagram yesterday. All four affected people had responded, but this issue had involved all members of the Hong Kong entertainment circle to be chased by reporters for comments, particularly their friends.

What’s my view on this? The crying and apology by Andy is an act. His words are pretty clever (he mentioned that he is drunk on that time and he is not calling that as an excuse). Well, when you mentioned that, you are already citing alcohol as an excuse for your disgusting action. I can see clearly from the clip that you are still very conscious and not drunk (only maybe a little). It also looks clear to me that they have been very close (can see from their interaction and body language in the taxi) for some time and may have done it couple of times already. Only this time, they got caught. Even the other friend that board the cab with them suspected them and insisted to take Jacqueline back home first but got ignored and rejected. Jacqueline is the one that made the advance as seen in the video. Sorry for my bad words, but it looks like she can’t wait to get screwed. What a cheap, shameless and disgusting lady. I’m hoping her career is done. She deserves this (she also tarnished Miss Hong Kong image badly). Cheating with someone’s husband is already a sin and she did that to a friend’s husband too (she is friend with Sammi too). That’s another level.

Kenneth is a nice guy and he should just break up with this woman. He deserves so much better. As for Sammi, she responded (in an Instagram post that attracted about 300 000 likes and 40 000 comments) that she forgive him and treat this as a lesson to their marriage, as a challenge to a marriage that has ups and downs For me, that cheating is more than just a lesson. It is more like a betrayal to their marriage. She shouldn’t be that soft on this matter. Anyway, I hope the best for her and it’s best for them to settle on their own since it is their private issue in the end. This is just my personal opinion. I’m happy to see her having the strength to overcome this and not to see her falling back into depression (illness she had over a decade ago that lasts several years). This event is such a big blow to the couple, which is famously known as Hong Kong’s last fairytale couple as highlighted by Dayo Wong in the past during one of Sammi’s concert. This is certainly the biggest entertainment news of the year so far.

Anway, today is Good Friday and is a public holiday here in Singapore. Good! Longer weekend for me to return to KL and enjoy! Have a blessed Good Friday to all who are celebrating!

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

A quick update to my blog in the middle of this long and dull month.


Hey…I’m back to update my blog here after gone missing for almost 10 days. In the past, I would usually update my blog once every four to five days maximum. This doesn’t happen now as I was quite occupied with works and weekend activities recently.

Starting my post here would be my thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims who were tragically murdered in a terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. The country is thought to be one of the safest and most peaceful in the world, and yet such terrorist attack occurred over there to the shock of the whole world. On last Friday afternoon during the Muslim prayer, a 28-year old Australian shot dead 50 Muslims and injured about 50 others in the attack of which he broadcast the whole process live through Facebook. That is super insane. I did manage to watch few minutes of that video before it is being wiped out by various internet platforms. The murderer even published a manifesto before the attack, justifying on what he does is right. Not a 0.00001% of what you did is right. This is pure evil and cruelty. There is no place in this world for terrorism, for white supremacism or for Islamophobia. We are all the same; human. No one is superior than the others. Spread love, and not hate. By the way, there is no longer only a single religion being associated with terrorism from now on after this horrific incident.

On the last weekend, I have watched two new movies and they are both Chinese films. The first one is ‘The New King Of Comedy’. It is a lunar new year production released last month and is produced by Stephen Chow. The movie is lousy. I am expecting some iconic Stephen Chow’s nonsensical humor style in it but couldn’t find any at all. The movie tries to be funny but I am getting irritated instead by this garbage production. I am not against him targeting Mainland audiences with his recent direction but he just couldn’t hit the mark with that. He is also never good in directing or producing (for me, he should just return back to the screen and stick to acting….but I don’t think he would, and so he should just retire or put more effort on creating a quality work in the future). The only one good thing for this movie is its ending which is slightly moving and that’s it. Out of 10 points, I would rate it a total of 4.7.

The other Chinese film that I have watched is so much better. The movie is called ‘Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy’. You won’t be seeing Donnie Yen here as the film is not centred on Ip Man but on another martial artist named Cheung Tin Chi. The movie starred Max Zhang. Kevin Cheng, Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, etc. There are plenty of intense action sequences in this movie that will satisfy anyone looking for some great fights. It’s great to see Michelle Yeoh’s return to action film by the way. The only thing I’m bored to see is the similar plot used over and over again for this kind of films (Chinese hero taking on big Western guy who looks down on the Chinese…feels very similar right?). Anyway, this movie is very solid and engaging and is worth 7.4 out of 10 points.

If you have been a close friend of mine, you would have known that my most favourite singer is Sammi Cheng whom is a Hong Kong cantopop queen. Recently, she announced that she will be holding her 10th concert (named ‘Follow Mi’) at Hong Kong’s Coliseum with 11 shows on this coming July. This 10th concert tour marks her 30th anniversary in the industry. The reason she organize 11 shows is because she is adding the total number of shows she had performed at the Hong Kong’s Coliseum to the exact 100. Now, that is record breaking. She is way ahead of other famous Hong Kong female singers like Joey Yung, Miriam Yeung, Kelly Chen, etc. She is only behind the late Anita Mui and Paula Tsui in the record. I really admires her work (both her songs and her films). Too bad, I couldn’t be watching her Hong Kong show but I do look forward to her completed films that are set to be released soon. I do hope she delivered in those films and will finally clinch her first major best actress win very soon.

I guess this is sufficient for my update to the blog. This month is going very slow. Last month was fun and yet it was gone so quickly. March 2019 has been a boring month with nothing but working days and working days.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

91st Oscars: ‘Green Book’ took Best Picture. Rami Malek is the best actor while Olivia Colman prevailed with best actress win over heavy favourite Glenn Close.


Finally, the Oscars is here. The 91st Academy Awards took place just a moment ago with some surprising wins. This year’s ceremony runs half hour longer than the anticipated 3-hours period. The ceremony also comes with no host. Here’s below is the full winners list along with my comments:

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

 

Opinion: I haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ (now I think I should). My first choice is ‘Roma’. I have a feeling many would be fine with ‘Roma’ winning since it is not as divisive as ‘Green Book’ (this film has some controversy). I’m surprised. I have to admit that ‘Roma’ is more of a technical masterpiece while the Academy just wanted to go away from that since they had done so last year (as many viewed ‘The Shape of Water’ more of a technical masterpiece too).

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Expected. It’s so nice to see Guillermo del Toro (last year winner) to present this to Alfonso Cuaron. Both are great friends and are from Mexico. Very well deserved win to Cuaron. It’s his second directing win! So many Mexicans rule in this category for the last couple of years.

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Opinion: Oh my god! I was so shocked when I heard ‘Olivia Colman’. Poor Glenn…she is amazing in ‘The Wife’ and everyone thinks she is going to get it this time due to the huge overdue factor (me included). But she isn’t. That is shocking. I was really hoping she will win after 7 nominations. And yet, not again. She is a a wonderful actress and has been unfortunately overlooked by the Academy once again. Felt really bad for Glenn Close. Congratz, Olivia Colman; win in first nomination! I love her acceptance speech (she is a very likable and fun person). She is excellent in ‘The Favourite’ too but I still wanted Close to win her first Oscar in her long amazing career.

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Opinion: Happy for Rami Malek. He is phenomenal in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Some people criticized that he just impersonates Freddie Mercury and lip-sync throughout the entire movie. To these people, have you watched the entire movie? His performance in it is much more than that and I’m glad that the Academy recognizes that.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ but have heard a lot of good reviews particularly for Regina King’s performance in it. She is snubbed at the SAG and BAFTA surprisingly. I would have prefer Emma Stone from ‘The Favourite’ to win this one but I knew she won’t. The 5 ladies here are all very deserving.

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Opinion: No. Although I knew Mahershala Ali is going to win as he sweeps all the major precursor awards, but I prefer Richard E. Grant. My judgement is a bit biased here as I have not watched ‘Green Book’. Ali has already won the same award just few years ago and I think it’s too quick for him to win another one.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Blackkklansman’. My choice is ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’.

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ and I would prefer ‘The Favourite’ to win this. Its script is brilliant. It just doesn’t feel right when ‘The Favourite’ is not winning anything at all.

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Opinion: Expected. The camerawork and lighting in ‘Roma’ are brilliant. The black-and-white style further expresses the cinematography of the film.

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Opinion: Good for ‘Black Panther’. The only fascinating thing from the film is its unique costumes.

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Opinion: I predicted ‘Vice’ while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my second choice. I was wrong. I find that the editing in ‘Vice’ is much more obvious but Academy is very in love with the editing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (mostly due to the amazing Live Aid scene).

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Opinion: Expected. The same formula last year; do a huge transformation to a leading man in a movie (particularly turning one into a fat politician – Winston Churchill last year and Dick Cheney this year) and you got this.

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Opinion: ‘Black Panther’ has best score?! This is a joke. ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ or even ‘Isle of Dogs’ are much more worthy. I have a feeling that Academy wanted to give a lot of awards to ‘Black Panther’ just to show that they are very serious in celebrating diversity. This is not right. Quality should be the priority.

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Opinion: Definitely ‘Shallow’. Very deserving as the song is simply amazing! The only win for ‘A Star Is Born’ which has been predicted to be a strong contender in the early award season but fails.

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)

“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Opinion: Not hugely disappointed but would have prefer ‘The Favourite’ to take this. Looks like the love for ‘Black Panther’ is strong. There’s a lot of reliance on green screen for most setting in ‘Black Panther’ and less on practical set-up and that’s why I don’t really agree with it winning production design.

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Opinion: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my third pick and it ends up prevailing even in this category. ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘First Man’ have better sound editing in my opinion.

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Opinion: Expected. The sound mixing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is amazing. Music-themed film usually win here. Sorry ‘A Star Is Born’. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has much more obvious sound work and in much larger quantity and volume.

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Opinion: Wow. This is so surprising. Academy tends to favour low-key supporting visual effects (same like when ‘Ex Machina’ won some years ago). I disagree totally. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is robbed. The CGI on Thanos alone is enough to win. ‘First Man’ is like my 4th pick (at the bottom).

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Opinion: Expected again. ‘Roma’ is even in best picture contention.

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is certainly at the top this year. ‘Incredibles 2’ is fun but ordinary. I have high expectation for ‘Isle of Dogs’ but it came out being fine although it has unique animation. ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is here just to fill in the slot.

– No comments for the last 4 categories below as I’m not interested in them and have not watched any of them too.-

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

I got 11 correct and 9 incorrect for my prediction (can check out my final prediction in my previous blog post). That is not good. I got almost half of my prediction wrong. The 91st Academy Awards gave us a lot of surprise in a year where a lot of races are wide open.

‘Green Book’ took the top honor (winning best picture), defeating ‘Roma’ which is thought to be the frontrunner (‘Roma’ has most nominations and has won quite a lot of major precursor prizes). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has the most wins at the night with 4 (lead actor, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing). ‘Green Book’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Roma’ ties with 3 wins each. Each of the best picture nominees won at least an award this year which is quite rare.

So now, that’s the official end of the 2018 Hollywood film awards season.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

My final prediction for the 2019 Oscars.


The 91st Academy Awards is finally happening this weekend. All the 13 guilds have handed out their prizes and major precursor awards (Golden Globes, Critics Choice, SAG, BAFTA) have announced their winners in the past several weeks.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ topped at the guild wins with 4 but these wins are mostly at the lesser important technical categories. The movie also won best motion picture – drama at the Golden Globes. ‘Green Book’ won at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) and also won best motion picture – musical or comedy at the Golden Globes. ‘Roma’ won at the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) and also won Best Picture at the Critics Choice and the BAFTA. ‘Black Panther’ won Best Cast in Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). So which film is going to win best picture this Sunday at the Oscars? Predicting the winner this year is super challenging as there is no clear frontrunner even after all the precursors. Now, this is really an exciting year.

I have previously published the full nomination list for the 2019 Oscars some time ago with my prediction but that wasn’t quite updated. Here, I will publish it again with my latest and final prediction of who will win and who should win.

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: In term of statistic, ‘Roma’ is at a very slight upper edge over the other nominees in terms of winning in the precursor awards. This movie is beautiful, intimate and is a technical masterpiece. Since preferential system is applied for this category, ‘Roma’ has the advantage for being a movie that is not divisive or heavily hated by anyone (unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, Vice and Green Book) and is expected to take up a lot of 1st, and also crucial 2nd and 3rd pick by the voters. Out of the 8 nominees, I enjoyed ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the most because it is highly entertaining. But other than that, I don’t think that it is best picture material. ‘Roma’ has my pick. ‘The Favourite’ or ‘Blackkklansman’ may upset but I think their chances are quite far behind.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Will win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Opinion: There is no doubt that Alfonso Cuaron is getting his second directing Oscars. The dark horse here would be Spike Lee but I don’t think he has that momentum to take down Cuaron at this point since the latter has been sweeping all the precursor awards already.

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Should win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Will win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Opinion: Only losing the best actress to Olivia Colman in the BAFTA (due to Colman being a British and has the home advantage), Glenn Close is certainly the frontrunner (she won at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG) and my pick to win the best actress. This would be her first ever win in her 7th nomination. That is crazy and unbelievable that such an amazing actress has never won an Oscar before. She is winning this not because of the overdue factor but because she delivered an excellent performance in ‘The Wife’. I have to admit that the overdue factor is also giving her an advantage over the other nominees. I will scream if she doesn’t get to go up on stage to take that Oscar this Sunday. Looking forward to a standing ovation for her. She is a phenomenal actress. This shall be her year!

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Should win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Will win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Opinion: Rami Malek is the frontrunner after winning Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG. He only lost the Critics Choice (to Christian Bale). Forget about Critics Choice. The critics have been seriously panning ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but the film industry people have shown the opposite reaction to the movie instead (by giving it multiple major awards). I am with the industry people this time. The critics are wrong. Rami Malek didn’t just imitate Freddie Mercury but he brought the character to life with fantastic acting. His performance there is beyond imitation or lip-syncing. He made us believe that Freddie Mercury himself was in that movie.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Should win: Emma Stone (The Favourite)

Will win: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Opinion: Regina King may still win this but I think Rachel Weisz will prevail especially after her recent BAFTA win. It gave her a lot of momentum. Between her and Emma Stone (both from the same film;The Favourite), I would slightly prefer the latter more because her role is slightly more complex and her performance slightly more engaging. But I don’t think she can win as she has just won best actress not long ago. The other nominees can pull off upset here too as this race is wide open till now.

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Should win: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Will win: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Opinion: Mahershala Ali has been taking all the supporting actor prizes, making him the clear frontrunner in this category. He is certainly going to win (this will be his second supporting actor Oscar) but I would prefer Richard E. Grant to prevail. He is superb in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ alongside Mellisa McCarthy.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Should win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Will win: Blackkklansman.

Opinion: Can You Ever Forgive Me? won at the Writers Guild Awards (WGA) and that’s my choice too. However, I think the Academy wouldn’t want ‘Blackkklansman’ to go home empty-handed since it is also a best picture nominee (Can You Ever Forgive Me? is not a best picture nominee).

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: ‘The Favourite’ is the frontrunner here but ‘Green Book’ or even ‘Roma’ can pull off a surprise win here too. ‘The Favourite’ is a quirky, unconventional period film and its screenplay helps a lot for its success. If the love for ‘Roma’ is super strong, then it may also possible to take this one too.

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: No debate. It’s going to be ‘Roma’. Another foreign film ‘Cold War’ is the dark horse here. English film has no chance for this category this year. Opps.

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Should win: Black Panther

Will win: Black Panther

Opinion: This is going to be battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. Academy will certainly find a way to reward ‘Black Panther’ which is the first superhero film nominated for best picture ever (but unlikely to win best picture) and this is the category for it (also possible on the ‘best production design’ category). I’m giving the edge for ‘Black Panther’ due to their creative and futuristic looking costumes and I’m bored of seeing period movies keep on winning this from their typical massive traditional dresses.

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: It’s between ‘Vice’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It’s too close to call but I’m picking ‘Vice’ in the end for its more obvious editing effort throughout the entire movie while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has splendid and spectacular editing only particularly at its end during the Live Aid segment.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: Same scenario as ‘Darkest Hour’ last year. Huge makeup to turn an actor unrecognizable and particularly into a fat politician and you are winning this.

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Should win: Isle Of Dogs

Will win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Opinion: It is absurd that ‘First Man’ is not nominated here. I would have pick that to win here easily. This is the category where ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ has the higher chance of winning (besides than the very tight race in the supporting actress category).

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Should win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Will win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Opinion: 100% sure that Lady Gaga (and Bradley Cooper) will still have their moment on stage to receive an award (rather than just performing the song live during the ceremony). They won’t have chance to win for the acting categories. ‘Shallow’ is a beautiful and powerful song (I love this song too) and it will secure the only win for the overrated ‘A Star Is Born’.

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)
“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: Similar to the ‘best costume design’ category, this is the battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. The other nominees wouldn’t stand a chance at all. I’m fine with any of these two winning. If ‘The Favourite’ won here, I prefer ‘Black Panther’ to win for costume design. Hence, that’s my prediction right now.

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Should win: A Quiet Place

Will win: A Quiet Place

Opinion: The only nomination for ‘A Quiet Place’ and I have a feeling that many voters will put a tick for it. The movie has great sound editing despite its content being mostly quiet due to its plot. Now, that is what makes the sound work from the movie so awesome and noticeable. ‘First Man’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may stun us with a win here too.

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Should win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Opinion: All the way for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. The sound mixing work in this movie is brilliant! Period.

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Should win: Avengers: Infinity War

Will win: Avengers: Infinity War

Opinion: The visual effect on Thanos alone is enough for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to win. I must say that I’m also impressed by the visual effects from ‘Ready Player One’. But hey, this mega blockbuster (Infinity War) has to be rewarded!

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: Definitely ‘Roma’. This film is even in contention at best picture category and is even projected to win there. So, it should take this one easily without any competition.

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Should win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Will win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is going to win due to its brilliant story and unique animation. The other nominees are pretty ordinary.

– No comments or predictions for the last 4 categories below as I’m not interested in them and have not watched any of them too.-

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

So, it looks like each of the 8 best picture nominee is going to win at least one award. That is good. No one is going home empty handed. Everyone will be happy at the end of the ceremony (except for the non best picture contender which lost in the categories they are contending). ‘Roma’ is projected to be the biggest winner with 4 wins (picture, director, foreign language film and cinematography). ‘The Favourite’ is expected to win 3 awards (production design, original screenplay and supporting actress). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is to win 2 (lead actor, sound mixing) and ‘Vice’ is predicted to do the same (makeup & hairstyling, film editing).

So now, I have made my final prediction for the 91st Academy Awards (2019 Oscars) in 20 out of the 24 categories. Let see how many out of 20 that I got it right. The awards ceremony is happening this Sunday, 24th February 2019 at 8pm (will be the next day morning at local time). I will be watching it live. This year’s competition is intense and many categories are still wide open. It makes the awards to be more exciting than previous years.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)