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Winners for the 89th Academy Awards (2017)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards finally took place just now, ending the awards season for 2016 films. Here below is the full list of nominees with the winner in each categories highlighted in bold. I put in my opinion on most of the categories too.

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BEST PICTURE
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Opinion: A huge mistake in the ceremony when ‘La La Land’ is first announced as the winner. It turned out that ‘Moonlight’ is the winner. I prefer to just stay with the mistake and have ‘La La Land’ winning this.

BEST DIRECTOR
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Opinion: An expected outcome. Damien Chazelle is a young director with huge talent, particularly in movies related to music. I first heard of his name from his writing in ‘Whiplash’ movie. He is now the youngest director to win the Academy Award at age of 32.

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Opinion: Pleased for Casey to win. He is great in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. There is a moment when I’m afraid that Denzel may win this. But hey…great performance not necessarily translates to loudest performance. It is incredibly challenging to put on a very subtle yet strong expression in the acting. And Casey Affleck did that in ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

BEST ACTRESS
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Opinion: Natalie Portman isn’t even present in the ceremony. She knew her chance is very little, but in my mind, I’m still hoping she win this for her extraordinary performance in ‘Jackie’. Now, as expected, Emma Stone won. She is a wonderful person but I don’t think her performance in ‘La La Land’ is the strongest among the 5 nominees.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’ but it was a predictable result. Mahershala Ali has been taking a lot of major precursor awards before this. However, I prefer Dev Patel to win this actually as I’m very amazed by his emotional performance in ‘Lion’.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Opinion: I guess everyone would protest if Viola didn’t win this. I didn’t watch ‘Fences’ but I heard that she was exceptional in that movie and some even thought she should be in lead category. Besides than her, I’m rooting for Michelle Williams to win actually.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Opinion: A very unique and depressing story. But for me, that script for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is not dramatic enough.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’. Hence, my preferred choices would be ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Arrival’ or ‘Lion’.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Opinion: Yup…great cinematography in ‘La La Land’. The colours and lighting in ‘La La Land’ amplified the beauty of the whole movie.

BEST FILM EDITING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Opinion: Didn’t see this coming, More love for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is in third place behind ‘La La Land’ and ‘Arrival’ in my opinion.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Opinion: Already expected. All that came from the breathtaking scenery and realistic looking animals that can talk in the movie.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ is great, but not in its production design. It was just colourful in some short scenes, and that’s it. They are without much effort like the other nominees.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Opinion: I thought ‘Jackie’ would win this as the sole Oscar for the movie. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ sneaked in successfully. Everything in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ are good, but not eye-catchy or ‘fantastic’ enough including its costumes.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Opinion: Oh…’Suicide Squad’ winning an Oscar. Eventhough the movie is generally bad, but its makeup and hairstyling is cool. The Academy should expand this too to 5 nominees like all the other categories.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Opinion: Very well deserved. ‘La La Land’ truly excels in its score. Very appealing and beautiful musical score that still makes me humming to its music now.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Opinion: A short yet beautiful song. Another well deserved win for ‘La La Land’. It’s almost impossible to see a great musical film like ‘La La Land’ not winning this.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Opinion: Good to know ‘Arrival’ is not left out. Its sound editing especially from the aliens in the movie is cool and really feels ‘out of the world’.

BEST SOUND MIXING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Opinion: I’m glad that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ win something. It is really a good movie and for a war movie like this one, the sound work is to be loud and significant. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ nailed that and totally deserves this award.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Opinion: NO! A BIG NO! ‘Zootopia’ is just an average animated movie with a theme that is politically-related and at the right timing. Nothing else. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is a much better animated movie in nearly all aspects. The ceremony this year is too politically charged. Hollywood should just stick to its business and stay out of politics for a while.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Ennemis Entreniers
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

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‘La La Land’ is the biggest winner with 6 wins while ‘Moonlight’ won the coveted Best Picture. Some great movies that are totally snubbed are ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Lion’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. These films at least deserve an award each.

Jimmy Kimmel is doing a good job hosting the ceremony that took nearly 4 hours. I do laughed at most of his hilarious and on-point lines. Seeing Jackie Chan along with three other honorees getting a standing ovation from the audiences is awesome as the received Life Achievement Awards not long ago in the Academy’s Governors Ball.  It’s also interesting to see the unknown tourists getting into the Dolby Theatre with the ceremony happening (don’t know whether that is a staged event or not). Snacks dropping from the ceiling is a fresh, functional and hilarious act to the lengthy ceremony (I laughed when Jimmy Kimmel said ‘now, release the coffee’…haha). As for the speeches, I’m fed up with the excessive politically-charged statements in the ceremony. Like I said earlier, the Academy should just stays out of politic for a moment and sticks to its business. This went overboard. The Oscars is not a platform for you to voice out your dissatisfaction to the government. You can do it, but not this much until I find that it affects the real judgement of some winners this year.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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3 major potential upsets tomorrow at the Oscars.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards is finally just around the corner. It will take place tomorrow and to watch it live, I have to purposely wake up early on Monday morning (time difference). Fortunately, I don’t have any class to attend on Monday for this semester. I have been staying closely with the awards season this year and it gets more exciting day by day as the Oscars gets nearer. I had in the past posted the full nomination list of this coming Academy Awards alongside my predictions on who should and who will win on that evening.

oscars-2017-live

Just a day before the ceremony, I’m here to write on 3 major potential upsets that may happen tomorrow in the Oscars.

First one would be ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning the Best Animated Feature over the frontrunner, ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ has been leading the race in this category ever since with wins in many precursor awards including some major ones like Annie Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. However, do not look down on ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ that has been in the second place to many people’s predictions in winning the best animated film. The movie has also won multiple precursor awards including the BAFTA which is a strong indicator of Oscar winner in animated film category. I myself love ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ much more than ‘Zootopia’ and I would love it if it really takes home the award tomorrow. In my opinion, it has a much more better story, better visual, better style, better characters, better animations, and better effort than ‘Zootopia’ and the remaining three other nominees; ‘Moana’, ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’. I would love this upset to happen. It’s time to reward Laika, the production company behind this work. Their past works are three also great stop-motion animated films (all were nominated but didn’t win); ‘Coraline’, ‘Paranorman’ and ‘Boxtrolls’.

zootopia-kubo-and-the-two-strings-oscars-620x360

Next major upset will be in Best Actress category. The frontrunner now is Emma Stone from her wonderful performance in ‘La La Land’, a film that has been getting a lot of love as shown from the 14 nominations it gets in this Academy Awards. She has won best actress in Golden Globes (musical and comedy), Screen Actor Guild and BAFTA. She is great in that movie. However, her performance is not the strongest compared to the other nominees in this category. It is very obvious. People are just voting her because it is Emma Stone and she is likable, and is not voting based on performance in the film. I would like to see Natalie Portman to win this as a major surprise of the evening. Her performance as Jackie Kennedy in ‘Jackie’ is tremendously good. People just think that it is too fast to award her the second Oscar since she won it few years back from her performance in ‘Black Swan’. Hey…stop that mentality. If she deserves it, then she deserves it..no matter how many she has won before. Another ‘dark horse’ contender will be Isabelle Hupert from ‘Elle’. Deep down in my heart, I still think Natalie has a shot at it because Academy usually loves people who acts as a real-life historical figure and Natalie nailed that role effectively and with a lot of effort. Seen as the early favourite as Natalie won best actress at the Critics Choice, her momentum went downward because the movie ‘Jackie’ is not getting a lot of attention unfortunately.

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The last major potential upset I foresee is in best supporting actor. Currently, Mahershala Ali is the one to beat from his performance in ‘Moonlight’. I didn’t see that movie. He has been also sweeping many precursor awards and hence many see him as a lock in this category, up until when he lost the award surprisingly in Golden Globes (to Aaron Taylor-Johnson in ‘Norturnal Animals’) and in BAFTA (to Dev Patel in ‘Lion’). Mahershala is still in the lead position to win supporting actor as he did won at Critics Choice and at Screen Actors Guild. However, Academy usually love to award Best Supporting Actor to someone many didn’t see it coming. Hence, get ready to watch some drama when the name in the envelope tomorrow is not stating ‘Mahershala Ali’. I’m thinking that all the other nominees has a chance for it except Lucas Hedges since he is too young for it, and I’m wishing for Dev Patel to win it. It’s because I watched ‘Lion’ and I’m amazed by his performance in there.

mahershala-ali-dev-patel-supporting-actor

These are my last opinions before the Academy Awards tomorrow. What do you think? My biggest wish is still to see ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning Best Animated Feature. It totally deserves it way more than the others. ‘Zootopia’ has the edge just because of its right timing to the current political situation in USA. It’s just an ordinary animated film, and no where near the excellence delivered by ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ in nearly all aspects.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Winners from Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by vincentloy

Screen Actors Guild Awards is one of the five major annual Hollywood film awards with the other four being the Critics Choice, Golden Globes, BAFTA and of course the Oscars. It is an important precursor to the Academy Awards every year. The 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards or simply known as SAG is held last weekend on 29th January 2017. Here below is the full list of nominees for the awards with the winner highlighted in bold for each categories. This awards also honours the television section. As usual, I will be putting in my opinions in some categories.

sag-nods

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Captain Fantastic
Fences
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

hidden-figures-poster-use

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ not nominated here is already a big surprise, but that still doesn’t take away its position as the frontrunner for best picture in the Oscars later. People are expecting ‘Manchester by the Sea’ or ‘Moonlight’ to take this, but in the end, ‘Hidden Figures’ emerged as the winner. That is surprising. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

denzel-washington

Opinion: Another shock. Casey Affleck has been the clear frontrunner in this race from the very beginning. And suddenly, SAG decided to honour Denzel Washington who has been nominated many times in the past but has not win before. So, it is confirmed that the Oscars next month for best actor will be the battle between Casey and Denzel. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

emma-stone-sag-awards

Opinion: Congratulation to Emma Stone who I find is a hardworking actress. However, I think her role in ‘La La Land’ is not that hard to portray and is not challenging compared to the other nominees. I don’t understand why she is the frontrunner and even winning this one. People just love her, and in the end, not judging by the true performances. The popularity of ‘La La Land’ pushed her to this victory. I’m still choosing Natalie Portman as my pick for best actress in the coming Oscars. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Crown
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
Westworld

546fefc75d0f8a202e0093af2d40919db09bbfa1

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Robin Wright, House of Cards

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Opinion: I did watch a bit of this drama and I can say she is truly brilliant in this series portraying as the young Queen Elizabeth II. Young, beautiful and talented. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
John Lithgow, The Crown
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

the-crown-john-lithgow-620x360

Opinion: Rather a weak category this year. As expected, they will award this to a veteran actor and also to compensate ‘The Crown’ loss in the ensemble category. ‘The Crown’ winning just one seems to be not ideal, hence this one too for John Lithgow from ‘The Crown’.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Bryce Dallas Howard, Black Mirror
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

01292017_mahershala-780x578

Opinion: It looks like it is a lock for Mahershala Ali to win supporting actor in the coming Oscars too unless the Academy wants to give us another surprise just like last year in this category by handing the Oscars to an unpopular choice, Mark Rylance.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

la-et-sag-awards-2017-winners-room-pictures-011

Opinion: While there may be still surprise in the supporting actor category, this one appears 100% in hand for Viola Davis. She has been snubbed few years ago in lead actress race in the Oscars. It’s time to hand out one to her finally. Her win here in SAG is expected. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Blackish
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Veep

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ty Burrell, Modern Family
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Jason Bourne
Nocturnal Animals

Opinion: Yes. I’m happy that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is getting at least an award here. I love this film and it certainly has great and intense action performances (of course since it is a war film).

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Daredevil
Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
Westworld

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lily Tomlin

image

Two remaining major awards to look forward to before wrapping up films released last year (2016); the BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) and the Oscars (Academy Awards). I didn’t watch this Screen Actors Guild Awards because I was away for a vacation in Vietnam but I do heard that many speeches by the winners are politically-motivated and in direction against their current US President Donald Trump, Hollywood hates him and there are many good reasons for it.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Here below is the full nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards alongside with my predictions and thoughts. The awards ceremony will take place on February 26, 2017.

2017-oscars-89th-academy-awards

BEST PICTURE
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Predicted to win: Moonlight

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: 9 nominees for best picture this year. Academy voters love to vote for movies dealing with serious or heartfelt issues, and to cope with strong criticism last year for being pure White in their nomination list, I’m quite confident the Academy this year will award their most prestigious best picture prize to a movie about Black people. Deep down in my heart, I still wish ‘La La Land’ to win as it is a musical masterpiece.

BEST DIRECTOR
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Predicted to win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

My choice: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Opinion: This one looks like a lock for Damien Chazelle who has been sweeping all precursor awards for his directing work in ‘La La Land’. Since I think it is unlikely for ‘La La Land’ to emerge as best picture winner, it is highly likely that Damien will take this best director award as a consolation.

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Predicted to win: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

My choice: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

Opinion: Casey Affleck is the clear frontrunner as he has been winning multiple best actor prizes for his subtle yet strong performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. Denzel Washington is a dark horse contender here. It’s good to see Andrew Garfield on his first nomination here as he is one young good actor. However, this is not the time yet but I’m sure he will be rewarded in near future.

BEST ACTRESS
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Predicted to win: Isabelle Huppert (Elle) / Natalie Portman (Jackie)

My choice: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Opinion: This is a very competitive and tough race. I’m surprised to see Amy Adams get snubbed for her solid work in ‘Arrival’. That slot has been given to Ruth Negga. I think this will be a three-way fight between Isabelle (Globes best actress-drama), Emma (Globes best actress-comedy or musical) and Natalie (Critics Choice best actress). And Meryl Streep may just take that advantage and sneak in to clinch her historic 4th win. This is also her record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Predicted to win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

My choice: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Opinion: Mahershala, Jeff, Lucas and Dev are the four lock-in for this nomination. The fifth slot goes to Michael Shannon. Hugh Grant from ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and Aaron-Taylor Johnson from ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (Globes best supporting actor) couldn’t snatch that fifth slot unfortunately. Academy will certainly vote for Mahershala Ali since they are now determined to make sure their awards are as diverse as possible.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Predicted to win: Viola Davis (Fences)

My choice: Viola Davis (Fences)

Opinion: For the diversity reason mentioned earlier and also to compensate for Viola Davis for losing few years ago, this is certainly the year for her. The other four nominees are simply here just to fill in the remaining slots and to be audiences for the ceremony next month.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Predicted to win: Manchester by the Sea

My choice: Hell or High Water / The Lobster

Opinion: I don’t really find any greatness in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ for its script. I would then prefer for ‘Hell or High Water’ to win since it would stand no chance in other categories or ‘The Lobster’ since this is the only category it is nominated in.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Predicted to win: Fences

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: ‘Fences’ will win here because there is no other categories for it to shine and I feel that this movie must be rewarded for Academy to achieve their diversity objective. My prefered choice would be ‘Arrival’ for its unique approach to an extraterrestrial-themed film and also for its briliant plot with deep subject and mind-fucked plot twist.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Predicted to win: Arrival / La La Land

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: Hard to choose from this 5 nominees. I pick ‘Arrival’ because I do think this is the only category in high possibility for this particular movie to get rewarded.

BEST FILM EDITING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: All the way for ‘La La Land’. The brilliant editing work in ‘La La Land’ is very obvious from the start (continuous shot of musical sequence on a congested highway) to the end (alternate reality of the two leads over the years) of the movie.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted to win: The Jungle Book

My choice: Doctor Strange

Opinion: ‘The Jungle Book’ is predicted to win due to its realistic talking animals and the beautiful scenery throughout the whole movie. My own choice would be ‘Doctor Strange’ for its exceptional and out-of-this-world visual treatments.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Passengers

Opinion: No one has predicted ‘Passengers’ to get nominated at all in the Oscars and yet it does. I enjoyed that film and I’m glad it receives a nomination here eventhough I think it is unlikely for the movie to win. The heavy favourite ‘La La Land’ is going to take this award home but I actually don’t think the production works for ‘La La Land’ are that amazing.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Predicted to win: Jackie

My choice: Jackie

Opinion: If Natalie Portman didn’t win best actress, then this is the only category for ‘Jackie’ to win. The movie shown to us some great costumes in 1960s.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Predicted to win: A Man Called Ove

My choice: Star Trek Beyond

Opinion: Academy doesn’t like blockbuster movies that much, hence ‘A Man Called Ove’ suddenly stand a strong chance to win. I’m also surprised that ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and ‘Deadpool’ didn’t get nominated here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: Also surprised to see ‘Passengers’ get another nomination here. It looks like ‘Passengers’ is getting surprising love from the Academy and I’m fine with it. But I don’t think it will win anything. At least getting some nominations is already a great news for this under-rated movie. ‘La La Land’ is certainly going to win this for its beautiful and inspiring background music.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Predicted to win: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land)

My choice: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land) / ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)

Opinion: Two nominations for ‘La La Land’ in this category alone. Would it be harmful to the movie as the votes are split to the two songs in it? Probably. ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from ‘Moana’ may just sneak in and take this award.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Predicted to win: Hacksaw Ridge

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: This is the only category that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ has high chance of winning. Let it win then. The sound work in the movie is brilliant.

BEST SOUND MIXING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ should win this without any heavy competition. ‘Sound mixing’ and ‘Sound editing’ will be distributed equally to ‘La La Land’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. I still think the Academy should just combine ‘sound editing’ and ‘sound mixing’ into one award.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Predicted to win: Kubo and the Two Strings / Zootopia

My choice: Kubo and the Two Strings

Opinion: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ gets nominated in best visual effects’ category too and also shortlisted last time for best costume design category eventhough didn’t get nominated in the end. So, this movie stands a higher chance now to win this one, giving a strong competition to earlier frontrunner ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ still has the chance to win due to the appeal from its box office success.

No predictions and comments for the remaining 4 categories above.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Ennemis Entreniers
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

What do you think of the nomination list? Do you agree to my predictions and thoughts? You may post your comment and it is very welcomed.

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There are some surprises in the nomination list as expected since the Academy likes to give us some shock every year. But the shock this year is not that much as most of the list are predicted from earlier on. ‘La La Land’ gets the most love from the Academy with most number of nominations at 14. The movie sets the record for film with most Oscar nominations and ties with ‘Titanic’ (1997) and ‘All About Eve’ (1950). ‘Arrival’ and ‘Moonlight’ each gets 8 nominations. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘Lion’ each gets 6 nominations. Surprising entries into the list with multiple nominations include ‘Deepwater Horizon’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories), ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – animated feature film), ‘Passengers’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories) and ‘A Man Called Ove’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – make-up and hairstyling) with two nominations each. ‘Deadpool’ is snubbed as I expect this movie to get one or two nominations.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review for ‘Swiss Army Man’, ‘Moana’, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2017 by vincentloy

My current holiday in this January is the best time for me to catch up on some movies released last year. This week has just reached its half-way but I have already watched four new movies. They are ‘Swiss Army Man’, ‘Moana’, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’. Here below are my short reviews to these 4 films which are all released last year (2016).

‘Swiss Army Man’ is a comedy drama film about a hopeless man who was stranded on a deserted island and befriended a dead body. They then together go on a surreal journey to get home. The movie starred Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. All I can say about this movie is that it is very weird and strange but tremendously interesting. All the farting and sex talks are meant for comedy (and they works well and not annoying to my surprise) and the very end subject that prevails is the friendship and the strange bonding between this hopeless man and a dead body slowly being reanimated. This movie also saw fine performances by the two males, Paul and Daniel, and their chemistry is very good. A very odd movie that turns out to be surprisingly good. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Swiss Army Man’ a total of 7.6.

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‘Moana’ is an animated movie sets in ancient Polynesia that revolves on a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui that reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island. The daughter answers the Ocean’s call and seek out the Demigod to set things right, paving the way for a great adventure on the ocean. This is a fairly enjoyable animated movie and I can see the reason why it is nominated in various awards right now in animated film category. But I don’t think it has a chance of winning because its story, formula and techniques are pretty familiar to us all without anything that screams breakthrough or ‘cool stuff’. It is still an entertaining animated movie and out of 10 points, I rate ‘Moana’ a total of 7.2. However, the song by Moana entitled ‘How Far I’ll Go’ is pretty nice to listen to.

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‘Arrival’ is a science-fiction film about a female linguistic professor who is tasked to interpret the unknown language of the alien visitors in one of the 12 spacecrafts that landed in separate locations across the world. This is not an ordinary film about incoming extraterrestrials invading our planet but a movie that needs us to think deep and ask questions from its unique approach to the movie’s plot. It goes on a totally new approach on this extraterrestrial genre which is very welcomed. If you are looking for action scenes since there is extraterrestrial presence here, then don’t go for this movie. You will be bored to death. But for me, I’m in for a unique cinematic experience and this movie delivered. It deals not with invasion or attacks but time and culture. Seriously, this film got me mind-fucked. There has been quite some time since I last watched a film that got me sit still, asking questions and get amazed. This movie is good and no wonder it is being nominated everywhere in best film category now. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Arrival’ a total of 8.0. This movie also saw great and solid performance by Amy Adams.

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‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ is a biographical comedy-drama film based on the real life of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress in 1940s who became an opera singer known for her painful lack of singing skill. The titular role is portrayed by Meryl Streep and yes, she nailed yet another role with amazing performance here as expected. She is now looking forward to its record-breaking 20th nomination in the upcoming Oscars for best actress from her wonderful performance in this movie. Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg are also excellent in their supporting roles, the former as her husband and the latter as her hired pianist. I thoroughly enjoyed this biographical movie which is warm and poignant. The ending is touching too and further shown to us that Meryl Streep is not an over-rated actress as claimed by Donald Trump in his recent tweet in response to Meryl Streep’s indirect attack on him in her award acceptance speech in Golden Globes last weekend. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ a total of 7.7.

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

List of 2016 films that I have watched, top 10 highest grossing films of the year and my selection of the best.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the time of the year again for me as someone who loves to watch movies to compile a list of films released this year (2016) that I have watched. I didn’t produce many movie reviews this year as I find it unnecessary to flood my blog page with excessive posts on movie reviews. I also think that my reviews are not at the professional level and at the same time, I felt lazy to write too much of them. Anyway, I will still give my rating to each films released this year that I have watched below. This post is like a recap to 2016 films.

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Hollywood films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 10 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. Home Invasion. **
  2. Uncaged. *
  3. Cabin Fever. **
  4. Deadpool. ****
  5. Kung Fu Panda 3. ***
  6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. **
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. **
  8. London Has Fallen. ***
  9. The Fifth Wave. ***
  10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. ***
  11. The Divergent Series: Allegiant. ***
  12. The Finest Hours. ***
  13. Pandemic. **
  14. The Jungle Book. ***
  15. The Huntsman: Winter’s War. ***
  16. The Boss. **
  17. Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. *
  18. High Rise. **
  19. Captain America: Civil War. ****
  20. Louder Than Bombs. **
  21. 10 Cloverfield Lane. ****
  22. Bite. ***
  23. Gods of Egypt. ***
  24. X-Men: Apocalypse. ****
  25. Now You See Me 2. ***
  26. Zootopia. ****
  27. The Conjuring 2. ****
  28. Alice Through The Looking Glass. ***
  29. The Brothers Grimsby. ***
  30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. ***
  31. Warcraft. ***
  32. Finding Dory. ****
  33. The Angry Birds Movie. ***
  34. Independence Day: Resurgence. ***
  35. Central Intelligence. ****
  36. The Shallows. ****
  37. Me Before You. ****
  38. The Legend Of Tarzan. ***
  39. The BFG. ****
  40. Clown Town. *
  41. Green Room. ***
  42. Ghostbusters. ****
  43. Star Trek: Beyond. ****
  44. The Purge: Election Year. ***
  45. Viral. ***
  46. Suicide Squad. ***
  47. The Secret Life of Pets. ***
  48. Summer Camp. ****
  49. Don’t Breathe. *****
  50. Skiptrace. ****
  51. Ice Age: Collision Course. ***
  52. Café Society. **
  53. Goat. *
  54. Blair Witch. ****
  55. Lights Out. ****
  56. Mechanic: Resurrection. ****
  57. Jason Bourne. ***
  58. Deepwater Horizon. ****
  59. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. ***
  60. Sausage Party. ***
  61. Doctor Strange. ****
  62. Ouija: Origin of Evil. ***
  63. Pete’s Dragon. ***
  64. The Neighbor. ****
  65. Ben-Hur. ****
  66. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. ****
  67. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. ****
  68. Snowden. **
  69. The Magnificent Seven. ****
  70. Sully. ****
  71. The Thinning. ****
  72. Spectral. ****
  73. Sugar Mountain. *
  74. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies. **
  75. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. ***
  76. Kubo and the Two Strings. ****
  77. Max Steel. ***
  78. The Great Wall. ****
  79. Passengers. *****
  80. Swiss Army Man. ****
  81. Moana. ****
  82. Arrival. ****
  83. Florence Foster Jenkins. ****
  84. La La Land. *****
  85. Patriots Day. *****
  86. Hacksaw Ridge. ****
  87. A Monster Calls. ****
  88. Manchester by the Sea. ***
  89. Jackie. ***
  90. Lion. ****
  91. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. ***
  92. Allied. ***
  93. Underworld: Blood Wars. ***
  94. Stray Bullets. *
  95. Shut In. ****
  96. Hidden Figures. ****
  97. Hell or High Water. ***
  98. The Founder. ***
  99. Recovery. ***
  100. Moth. *
  101. Monster Trucks. ***
  102. The Horde. **
  103. Ballerina. ****
  104. Ozark Sharks. *
  105. 31. *
  106. It Stains The Sands Red. **
  107. Killing Ground. ***

Chinese (mainland China and Hong Kong) films:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum. The top 3 movies of the year are highlighted in bold)

  1. The Mermaid. ****
  2. The Gigolo 2. **
  3. The Monkey King 2. ***
  4. From Vegas to Macau 3. **
  5. My Wife is a Superstar. ***
  6. Buddy Cops. ***
  7. House of Wolves. ***
  8. Kidnap Ding Ding Don. **
  9. Line Walker–The Movie. ****
  10. Let’s Eat. ***

South Korean film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Train to Busan. *****

Japanese film:

(The asterisks after the movie’s title indicate the number of stars I awarded for that particular movie with 5 as the maximum.)

  1. Shin Godzilla. ***

So far, as of October 2017, I have watched a total of 119 films that are released in 2016. Yes, besides reaching the 100-mark milestone, a record that is also accomplished for 2015 films, I have also passed the 110-mark. Hollywood films account for more than 100 alone. That’s a huge accomplishment!

Here below is the top 10 highest grossing films of 2016.

  1. Captain America: Civil War – US$ 1.153 billion.
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – US$ 1.056 billion.
  3. Finding Dory – US$ 1.028 billion.
  4. Zootopia – US$ 1.023 billion.
  5. The Jungle Book – US$ 966 million.
  6. The Secret Life of Pets – US$ 875 million.
  7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – US$ 873 million.
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – US$ 814 million.
  9. Deadpool – US$ 783 million.
  10. Suicide Squad – US$ 745 million.

Four films have crossed the US$ 1 billion milestone this year, with two of them being the animated movies. All the top 10 highest grossing films of the year have gained over US$ 700 million respectively.

Now is the last segment where I will pick the best out of all the movies this year that I have watched. Kindly be noted that only films that I have watched will be in this selection lists and I may have left out many other movies that are praise-worthy too:

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My Selection of the Best for 2016 Hollywood Films 

Best Motion Picture: La La Land

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Leading Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Leading Actress: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor: Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best New Performer: Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)

Best Cast Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay: La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Cinematography: Arrival

Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Art Direction: La La Land

Best Visual Effects: Doctor Strange

Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Original Score: La La Land

Best Original Song: ‘Another Day of Sun’ – La La Land

Best Action Choreography: Deadpool

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings 

Best Horror or Thriller Film: Don’t Breathe

Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Film: Passengers

Best Youth or Superhero Film: X-Men: Apocalypse

Best Bizarre or Comedy Film: Swiss Army Man

My Selection of the Best for 2016 Chinese Films:

Best Motion Picture: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Director: Stephen Chow (The Mermaid)

Best Leading Actor: Nick Cheung (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Leading Actress: Charmaine Sheh (Line Walker-The Movie)

Best Supporting Actor: Show Luo (The Mermaid)

Best Supporting Actress: Zhang Yuqi (The Mermaid)

Best Action Choreography: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Visual Effects: The Mermaid

Best Sound Effects: Line Walker-The Movie

Best Production, Costume, Make-Up and Hair-Styling Design: The Mermaid

A tribute to two stars who passed away recently, David Bowie and Alan Rickman..

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2016 by vincentloy

This week is filled with tragic news of passing away of two notable Hollywood stars. They are David Bowie on 10th January 2016 and Alan Rickman on 14th January 2016. In 14th January 2016 (which also happens to be my eldest sister’s birthday as well as her eldest son’s birthday), Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil also passed away. That makes the count to three. What a bad week especially to the fans of these legends.

I have actually not heard of David Bowie until after his death that I started to see many paying respect and tribute to this man all around in social networking sites. Perhaps it is most probably due to that his fame as a singer peaked at the time when I’m not even born yet. I’m not in the generation that listen to his songs, and hence not knowing him much. Hence, I need to do a bit of research about him first. David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, painter and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, and was considered by critics and other musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s.

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Bowie’s songs and stagecraft brought a new dimension to popular music in the early 1970s, strongly influencing both its immediate forms and its subsequent development. A pioneer of glam rock, Bowie, according to music historians Schinder and Schwartz, has joint responsibility with Marc Bolan for creating the genre. At the same time, he inspired the innovators of the punk rock music movement. While punk musicians trashed the conventions of pop stardom, Bowie moved on again—into a more abstract style of music making that in turn became a transforming influence. Bowie’s impact was enormous; he changed the nature of rock music, and changed his own approach repeatedly. During his career, he sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and in the US received five platinum and seven gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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He died of liver cancer on 10th January 2016, at the age of 69.

Rest In Peace, David Bowie.

Next is Alan Rickman. I guess many would not know who he is by just calling out his name. Well, he is the one portraying as Professor Severus Snape in all eight Harry Potter films. Ahhaa…now you knew him. Besides than his iconic role in the Harry Potter film franchise, I didn’t watch any of his other films unfortunately. He had actually starred in over 50 films. Back to the Harry Potter films, I do remember well of how wonderful he portrayed Snape, a professor whom at first people hated him as he was too cool, mean and unfriendly towards Harry Potter. However, as the film series progresses, people loved very much on his character which is actually a good and a caring person ‘after all this time’ to Harry Potter. We will miss you, Alan Rickman…ALWAYS.

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A little biography of this wonderful man; Alan Rickman was an English actor and director, known for playing a variety of roles on stage and screen, often as a complex antagonist. Rickman was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television part came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. In 1995, Rickman earned a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. He won a BAFTA Award for his role in Robin Hood.

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He died of cancer on 14th January 2016, at the age of 69 too.

Rest In Peace, Alan Rickman.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)