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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. **

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 May 2017, I have watched a total of 116 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$ 1.055 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

Winners List for The 88th Academy Awards (The Oscars).

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by vincentloy

Many social networking sites are now overwhelmed with news of Leo finally taking his first Oscar! Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar for best actor in a leading role after having been nominated many times in the past. The world is very happy and excited for him right now and we all agreed that he should have win it much earlier as he is a one great Hollywood actor who excelled in all the film roles given to him.

Yes, the 88th Academy Awards (or famously known as the Oscars) was held successfully few hours ago to honour the best of films in year 2015. Here below is the full list of nominees with the winner in bold in each categories alongside my brief opinion:

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Best Picture
“Spotlight”
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Room”

Opinion: My personal choice is ‘Room’ but the movie didn’t get enough buzz to fight with ‘Spotlight’, ‘The Big Short’ and ‘The Revenant’ for the top three spots that are only seen as the potential to grab this prestigious honour. ‘Spotlight’ won multiple best movie prizes before the Oscars and I’m not surprised that the movie win Best Picture here. However, I don’t really enjoy the movie unlike most others.

Spotlight-330

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Opinion: As I said earlier, finally Leo is taking home his first ever Oscar which is long overdue for this talented actor. In my personal opinion, I think it is a three-way-tie for best performance by a leading actor this year; they are Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne. Eddie had just won this award last year. So, it’s between Michael and Leo. Leo had more nominations with zero win in the past and so this is his year and I agreed.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Opinion: Another expected result as Brie Larson is extremely wonderful in ‘Room’. She and his son in the movie portrayed by Jacob Tremblay drive the movie to its critical success. It’s her first nomination and she won it straight away.

Best Director
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”

Opinion: Alejandro G. Inarritu is brilliant in his job as a director. We saw that excellence in ‘Birdman’ last year and he did it again this year in ‘The Revenant’. He won this award back-to-back and this is the third year in a row Mexicans winning best director in the Oscars.

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Best Original Song
“Earned It,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
“Manta Ray,” “Racing Extinction,” Music by J. Ralph; Lyric by Antony Hegarty
“Simple Song 3,” “Youth,” Music and Lyric by David Lang
“Til it Happens to You,” “The Hunting Ground,” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
“Writing’s on the Wall,” “Spectre,” Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Opinion: ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ is a good song for the latest James Bond movie titled Spectre but it’s still not as good as Adele’s Skyfall for the previous James Bond movie. Out of the five nominated songs, I have only heard this one and so I’m fine with this song winning in the end.

Best Original Score
“Bridge of Spies,” Thomas Newman
“Carol,” Carter Burwell
“The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone
“Sicario,” Jóhann Jóhannsson
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” John Williams

Opinion: Expected result. This is the only category that ‘The Hateful Eight’ gets to win.

Best Foreign Language Film
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”
“Theeb”
“A War”

Best Live Action Short Film
“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay”
“Shok”
“Stutterer”

Best Documentary Feature
“Amy”
“Cartel Land”
“The Look of Silence”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

Best Documentary Short Subject
“Body Team 12”
“Chau, beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
“Lasy Day of Freedom”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

Opinion: Many previously predicted Sylvester Stallone to win for his great comeback role in ‘Creed’. I didn’t watch it and so I couldn’t comment further. I have seen Tom Hardy, Mark Ruffalo and Mark Rylance in their respective nominated performances and Mark Rylance is the best and so he should be rewarded. And yes, he won it.

Best Animated Feature Film
“Anomalisa”
“Boy and the World”
“Inside Out”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”

Opinion: Happy for ‘Inside Out’ to win as it is really the best animated film last year. This is the only category that appeals to the kids and I don’t think ‘Anomalisa’ should win (that movie is adult-themed eventhough it’s technically brilliant). I’m happy that the Academy is making a right decision as previously many hinted that ‘Anomalisa’ may be a spoiler.

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Best Animated Short Film
“Bear Story”
“Prologue”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”
“World of Tomorrow

Best Visual Effects
“Ex Machina,” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
“The Martian,” Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
“The Revenant,” Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Opinion: I’m quite surprised that the film with smallest scale and budget win in this category. Anyway, I’m fine with Ex Machina winning it. Well, at least give this wonderful film an award!

Best Sound Mixing
“Bridge of Spies,” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
“The Martian,” Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
“The Revenant,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Opinion: From here onward, it’s all for Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie literally won almost everything in technical categories which is expected earlier but I didn’t see that coming in such a huge number. Mad Max eventually becomes the biggest winner of the night with 6 awards. I’m fine with the movie going home with four. Six is a bit too much for it.

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Tom-Hardy-2015-Movies-2

Best Sound Editing
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Mark Mangini and David White
“The Martian,” Oliver Tarney
“The Revenant,” Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
“Sicario,” Alan Robert Murray
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Best Film Editing
“The Big Short,” Hank Corwin
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel
“The Revenant,” Stephen Mirrione
“Spotlight,” Tom McArdle
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Best Cinematography
“Carol,” Ed Lachman
“The Hateful Eight,” Robert Richardson
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” John Seale
“The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Sicario,” Roger Deakins

Opinion: Emmanuel Lubezki overwhelmed us with awesome cinematography in ‘Gravity’, and he won this award for it. He did it again in ‘Birdman’ with unique one continuous shot in ‘Birdman’ last year. Now, he’s back with third consecutive win from his work in ‘The Revenant’. He deserved it again but he should make way for others from now on.

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared,” Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
“The Revenant,” Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Best Costume Design
“Carol,” Sandy Powell
“Cinderella,” Sandy Powell
“The Danish Girl,” Paco Delgado
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan
“The Revenant,” Jacqueline West

Opinion: There isn’t anything exciting for costume design in Mad Max obviously. I would have prefer Cinderella or The Danish Girl to win for their beautiful and wide range of costumes.

Best Production Design
“Bridge of Spies,” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
“The Danish Girl,” Production Design: Eve Stewart ; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
“The Martian,” Production Design: Arthur Max ;Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
“The Revenant,” Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy

Opinion: My personal choice would be Bridge of Spies or even The Danish Girl. This is why I said earlier that Mad Max should be taking home 4 Oscars, and not 6.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”

Opinion: I’m glad that Alicia Vikander won for her amazing performance as the supportive wife that went through an emotional roller coaster in ‘The Danish Girl’. She is also incredible as the robot in Ex Machina. She is one big rising star and this is the award right on time to mark her big entry into Hollywood for many years to come. This is the only category that ‘The Danish Girl’ can win as expected.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Big Short,” Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
“Brooklyn,” Nick Hornby
“Carol,” Phyllis Nagy
“The Martian,” Drew Goddard
“Room,” Emma Donoghue

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘The Big Short’ and hence couldn’t judge whether its screenplay is really that good or not. My personal choice is actually ‘Room’.

Best Original Screenplay
“Spotlight,” written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
“Bridge of Spies,” written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
“Ex Machina,” written by Alex Garland
“Inside Out,” screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
“Straight Outta Compton,” screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; story by S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

Opinion: Didn’t quite like ‘Spotlight’ as my personal picks are ‘Bridge of Spies’, ‘Ex Machina’ or even ‘Inside Out’.

Mad Max: Fury Road is the biggest winner of the night with 6 Oscars; all in technical achievements. The Revenant took home 3 awards (director, lead actor, cinematography) out of 12 nominations (the movie with most number of nominations). Spotlight won two, including the prestigious Best Picture and also the Best Original Screenplay. ‘Room’, ‘Spectre’, ‘The Danish Girl’, ‘Bridge of Spies’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘The Hateful Eight’, ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘The Big Short’ each won one. These films were at least not ending the night empty handed. Films that were previously tipped to win at least an Oscar like ‘Steve Jobs’, ‘Carol’, ‘The Martian’, ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ couldn’t manage to do so in the end.

That’s it for the 88th Academy Awards this year.

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

Full nomination list for the 88th Academy Awards (Oscars).

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

The Oscars’ followers would have checked out the full nomination list of the upcoming Academy Awards (famously known as the Oscars worldwide) before I even have this post published. The announcement of the nomination list of the 88th Academy Awards was over just now (managed to watch it live just now from Youtube) and I’m so excited to be among the first to post up the full nomination list alongside with my thoughts and predictions.

88th_Oscars

NOMINATION LIST FOR THE 88TH ACADEMY AWARDS:

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Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Opinion: 8 nominees this year for Best Picture. Out of the 8, I watched all of them except ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Brooklyn’. So, without these two in my mind, I’m predicting that Bridge of Spies may take it. It’s a solid film by director Steven Spielberg and starred Tom Hanks. Both are Oscars’ magnet. But wait a second, the movie didn’t get the best director nomination. Oppss…I’ll then switch to ‘The Revenant’. Maybe the Academy voters this year prefer something more daring or out of typical but not too much like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, despite the latter received a lot of nominations here. In my heart, I would love the much smaller film ‘Room’ to win as it is the film out of the 8 that touched me the most in 2015. ‘Spotlight’ received critical acclaim (but not from me), but the movie’s award buzz is getting lesser and lesser. ‘The Martian’ could be a dark horse here too, but for me, it’s just an ordinary good film, not something outstanding that deserved this best picture win. I’m surprised that ‘Carol’ is not in.

Predicted to win: The Revenant.

Hoping to win: Room.

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Opinion: Surprised with directors of ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Room’ getting nominated here. That would certainly push up their chances in best picture category too. Also surprised with omission of Steven Spielberg for ‘Bridge of Spies’, Todd Haynes for ‘Carol’ and Ridley Scott for ‘The Martian’. I don’t mind having Alejandro G. Inarritu to win this back-to-back as he certainly mastered the skill in directing.

Predicted to win: Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

Hoping to win: Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Opinion: These five names are expected. Academy members love Jennifer Lawrence and so they sorted one place for her. Didn’t watch ‘Joy’, so couldn’t comment further on her performance but she is a good actress. Not another win for her most probably. The earlier frontrunner is Cate Blanchett (I love her), but now all eyes are on Brie Larson for her powerful performance in ‘Room’ as the kidnapped mother.

Predicted to win: Brie Larson (Room)

Hoping to win: Brie Larson (Room)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Opinion: Also another category with very predictable list of nominees. Didn’t watch ‘Trumbo’ but I heard good reviews for Bryan Cranston’s performance in there. The other four delivered outstanding performances too. So, how to choose? Then, we will see who got nominated a lot of times but never win before…ahhaa…I have the answer: Leonardo DiCaprio. He is one great actor and is long overdue for an Oscar. This year must be his year. Give him an Oscar already! His dedication to the challenging physical and mental demands required for his role in ‘The Revenant’ put him in a very good form to win this Oscar finally. Eddie Redmayne who had just won this award last year came back with another superb performance as a transgender artist in ‘The Danish Girl’. A wonderful performance that may give thought to the voters to award the Oscar back-to-back for him. Or will they two fight out and make way for Michael Fassbender? Probably too…but I’m still rooting for Leo to take it!

Predicted to win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Hoping to win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Opinion: The expected 5 names again. But I’m disappointed that there is no more place for Jacob Tremblay who is equally great in ‘Room’ as the son. Sylvester Stone suddenly jumped out of no where and won the same category in Golden Globes recently. His odd to win shot up so quick that the other nominees could feel their confidence losing out fast. Mark Ruffalo is always great, but it looks like he have to pass it over to someone more senior, Mark Rylance of Sylvester Stone. Also surprised that Idris Elba is not nominated. This category is too crowded.

Predicted to win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed) / Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Hoping to win: –

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Opinion: Also nothing surprising here. It is just in my mind that Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are both actually leads in their respective film, and yet many think that they had higher chance in supporting category. It’s true. If that’s the case, it’s Rooney against Alicia. Kate Winslet may triumph surprisingly in the end given that she won in this category in Golden Globes recently. But I think the odd is still in favour for Rooney Mara who had won Best Actress in Cannes Film Festival for her role in ‘Carol’. I’m still wishing for Alicia Vikander to win since she is a one big new name Hollywood immediately remember last year, and that her performance in ‘The Danish Girl’ is remarkable.

Predicted to win: Rooney Mara (Carol).

Hoping to win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl).

Best Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Mustang (France)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Theeb (Jordan)
A War (Denmark)

Opinion: Didn’t watch any of these movies, but I heard that ‘Son of Saul’ is getting a lot of award buzz now.

Predicted to win: Son of Saul.

Hoping to win: –

Best Animated Feature

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Opinion: Have never heard of ‘Boy and the World’ and ‘When Marnie Was There’. My prediction sticks to ‘Inside Out’ all the way. Many are critically praising ‘Anomalisa’ recently since this animated movie had just been released not long ago but I don’t like it. Still think that ‘Inside Out’ is the best animated film in 2015. But Academy voters do tend to vote for the second most favourite one to win like last year how ‘Big Hero 6’ won this category over the much better ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’. So, ‘Anomalisa’ poses a strong threat to ‘Inside Out’.

Predicted to win: Inside Out.

Hoping to win: Inside Out.

Best Film Editing

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Opinion: Out of the 5 nominees, ‘The Danish Girl’ is the only one that couldn’t get a best picture nomination. But I actually hope it can at least win this one as the film delivered from its production design which is one of the main attraction of this period piece besides than the acting. ‘Bridge of Spies’ is also wonderful in their sets.

Predicted to win: Bridge of Spies.

Hoping to win: Bridge of Spies / The Danish Girl.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Opinion: Surprised that Golden Globe’s winner for Best Screenplay, ‘Steve Jobs’ couldn’t even get nominated here. Weird.

Predicted to win: The Big Short.

Hoping to win: The Martian / Room.

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Opinion: ‘Inside Out’ secured a nomination here, which means the movie’s chance in best animated feature is now a lot higher and I’m happy for that.

Predicted to win: Spotlight.

Hoping to win: Bridge of Spies / Ex Machina.

Best Original Score

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: The Hateful Eight / Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Hoping to win: –

Best Original Song

“Earned It,” 50 Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
Writing’s On the Wall,” Spectre

Opinion: Another surprise. Didn’t expect that ‘See You Again’ (Furious 7) is not even nominated here though previously many see the song as a top competitor in this category. So, that makes it a lot easier for ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ (Spectre) which had just won in the same category in Golden Globes recently.

Predicted to win: Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre)

Hoping to win: Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre)

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario

Opinion: I love Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography work in ‘The Revenant’. His work is astonishing every time. He may be the first to win this Oscars three times consecutively, from ‘Gravity’ two years ago to ‘Birdman’ last year, and this year for ‘The Revenant’. His cinematography is excellent and his approach on using only natural lighting in ‘The Revenant’ worked out well. Always like his creative way of displaying the scenes.

Predicted to win: The Revenant.

Hoping to win: The Revenant.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Body Team 12
Chau Behind the Lines
Claude Lanzmann
A Girl in the River
Last Day of Freedom

Best Documentary Feature

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Best Costume Design

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Opinion: ‘Cinderella’ delivered beautiful things to our sights and one main element of that is from their costumes. Beautiful and colourful costumes everywhere especially during the ballroom scene. On the other hand, there is one second of thought in my mind to award ‘The Danish Girl’ something, since that movie is also brilliant in this category.

Predicted to win: Cinderella.

Hoping to win: Cinderella / The Danish Girl.

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted to win: The Revenant / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: The Revenant / Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Opinion: I think Academy should combine ‘Sound Mixing’ and ‘Sound Editing’ together into one category. It’s enough and it should be.

Predicted to win: The Revenant / Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Hoping to win: The Revenant / Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Opinion: I’m shocked to see this category. It should have five nominees too. Furthermore, what is this movie ‘The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared’ doing here? Most of us have never even heard of this movie before. Would have prefer movies like ‘The Danish Girl’, ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Carol’ nominated here.

Predicted to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Hoping to win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Live Action Short Subject

Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Shok
Stutterer

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

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Okay…Done with my analysis and predictions for the nomination list of the 88th Academy Awards this year. What is your predictions? Would love to see your opinions on this too since it’s now the time for Oscar talks. By the way, we will just wait for the ceremony to come on 28th February 2016 (Sunday) for the much anticipated results in honouring the best of films in year 2015.

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

Full list of winners alongside with my thoughts for the 87th Academy Awards (Oscars)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by vincentloy

Finally, the wait is over. The most prestigious and famous film awards in Hollywood, the 87th Academy Awards (or simply known as the Oscars, name of the gold statuettes presented to winners) was held successfully on Sunday’s night, February 22nd, 2015. It’s the Hollywood’s biggest event! Fortunately, I got to watch some key parts of the awards ceremony live in my hotel room in the morning over at Indonesia during my vacation.

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Oscar Exhibition in Frankfurt Main

Hereby are the full list of winners for the 87th Oscars alongside with my thoughts on some categories I’m particularly interested on:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
JK Simmons for Whiplash (Winner)
Robert Duvall for The Judge
Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
Edward Norton for Birdman
Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher

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Comment: A very much predictable outcome. JK Simmons is simply the best among the five nominees. Edward Norton, a strong dark horse could not catch up to Simmons’ tempo in this since the latter also swept most of the supporting actor awards available in the awards season before this Oscars. Very well deserved. He is fantastic in Whiplash.

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero (Winner)
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B Sheppard
Mr Turner – Jacqueline Durran

Comment: Also another expected result. The Grand Budapest Hotel simply excels than the others in most of the technical categories but will not turn out to be the best picture winner at the end of the night simply because it lacks the ‘power’ of doing so from the style and type of the story the film delivered. Lovely costumes observed in the film, and so I can say it’s deserving too.

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier (Winner)
Foxcatcher – Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White

Comment: Ahhaa…The Grand Budapest Hotel again. Also expected, but I actually prefer ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to take this one. But, you know, Oscars don’t really like sci-fi superhero film to win.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Ida – Paweł Pawlikowski (Winner)
Tangerines – Zaza Urushadze
Leviathan – Andrey Zvyagintsev
Wild Tales – Damián Szifrón
Timbuktu – Abderrahmane Sissako

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas (Winner)
Aya – Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp – Wei Hu, Julien Féret
Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi, Stefan Eichenberger

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry (Winner)
Joanna – Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse – Tomasz Sliwinski, Maciej Slesicki
The Reaper – Gabriel Serra
White Earth – Christian Jensen

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley (Winner)
American Sniper – John T Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
Birdman – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga
Interstellar – Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten
Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, David Lee

Comment: Happy for Whiplash to get further recognition besides only the supporting actor category.

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman (Winner)
Birdman – Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge, Jason Canovas
Interstellar – Richard King
Unbroken – Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro

Comment: I knew it. The Academy would really wish to honour American Sniper, at least on this single category. Fine.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (Winner)
Laura Dern for Wild
Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game
Emma Stone for Birdman
Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

patricia-arquette-boyhood-2014-movie

Comment: A very much expected result too. Patricia Arquette had been sweeping all supporting actress awards and this should not be an exception. She is lovely as the mother in the movie Boyhood. She deserved the award. Some are actually hoping for Emma Stone to win but I think her acting is not great enough in Birdman to win the Oscars yet.

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher (Winner)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Comment: This is the only category that the Academy can really think of to at least honour Interstellar with a single Oscars. Interstellar is really a good movie, but since Gravity (another outer space film last year) had already won many Oscars in the last edition of the awards, the Academy will find it too quick this time to honour another outer space film again. So, Interstellar can only pull this one off. Nothing else eventhough I personally think Interstellar is seriously a very good and intelligent film.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed (Winner)
The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs, Chris Hees
The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo, Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi
Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove
A Single Life – Joris Oprins

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Big Hero 6 (Winner)
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Untitled

Comment: I’m still not done yet with my frustration towards the Academy for not even nominating The Lego Movie. This is the biggest error they had in this year’s Oscars. The Lego Movie easily tops the rest of the films above. Anyway, the reality is it isn’t here. Big Hero 6’s win in this is also quite surprising since many predictors had expected How To Train Your Dragon 2 to win. This is a close race between that and Big Hero 6, but in the end, the latter wins. I enjoyed both films, and so I’m fine with any of those two winning.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (Winner)
The Imitation Game: Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar: Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Into the Woods: Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock
Mr Turner: Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Comment: The Grand Budapest Hotel is magnificent on its production design and effort. By far one of the most impressive works (in terms of production design) I have seen in recent years. Very well deserved win.

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki (Winner)
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Robert D Yeoman
Ida: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr Turner: Dick Pope
Unbroken: Roger Deakins

Comment: Another predictable outcome. Birdman stunned us on its excellent and beautiful cinematography. The use of single-shot style throughout most of the film is remarkable. Who else can beat Birdman on this? No one.

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Whiplash – Tom Cross (Winner)
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
American Sniper – Joel Cox, Gary Roach

Comment: Didn’t expect Whiplash will win this too. This is quite a surprise. I expect Boyhood to take this one. It’s no easy to edit many scenes taken in the length of 12 years into a single film beautifully.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky (Winner)
Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy, Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Glory from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common), John Stephens (John Legend) (Winner)
The Lego Movie – Shawn Patterson (Everything Is Awesome)
Beyond the Lights – Diane Warren (Grateful)
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me – Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond (I’m Not Gonna Miss You)
Begin Again – Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois (Lost Stars)

Comment: I knew the Academy is not going to let Selma down again by letting the movie’s song to win this. Selma is already snubbed in many nominations, so this is like a consolation for the movie. So now, everything is seriously not awesome for The Lego Movie.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel (Winner)
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar
Jóhann Jóhannsson– The Theory of Everything
Gary Yershon – Mr Turner

Comment: Many said that it’s time to honour Alexandre Desplat. He had produced many beautiful movie scores in the past but never wins. So, I’m glad that this time he is recognized finally. However, I don’t really think his score in The Grand Budapest Hotel is as good as Johann Johannsson’s one for The Theory of Everything.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman (Winner)
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
E Max Frye, Dan Futterman – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

Comment: Wow…Birdman for original screenplay. Also quite a surprise. That means Academy do loves Birdman over Boyhood. The film’s screenplay didn’t feel that ‘original’ or superior than the other nominees. I actually prefer Nightcrawler to win this. Nightcrawler is a great film and is been shut off completely by Academy. That is so mean.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game (Winner)
Jason Hall – American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Comment: Happy for The Imitation Game to win this one at least. It is another excellent and solid film that had quite a number of nominations but is expected to come down maximum to only a single win. So, this is for the movie.

BEST DIRECTOR
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman (Winner)
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Comment: It’s a tight race between Alejandro and Richard all the way. But in the end, Alejandro wins as all the waves are riding high for Birdman. I actually prefer Richard to win. Hey…he used 12 years to make Boyhood film. That’s already an achievement in the history of the cinema. Pity for Richard.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything (Winner)
Steve Carell for Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game
Bradley Cooper for American Sniper
Michael Keaton for Birdman

Oscars_2

 

TheTheoryOfEverything

Comment: Yes. I’m excited that Eddie Redmayne wins. He stunned the world from his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything. He nailed the role so well that you actually thinks that it’s Stephen himself in the movie. Before the Oscars, many said this is a very close call between Eddie and Michael. Michael is good in Birdman and I actually had a bit of worry that Michael will take home this too in the current high momentum of Birdman. But fortunately, the Academy made the right decision and honour Eddie instead. A very deserving win.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Julianne Moore for Still Alice (Winner)
Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon for Wild

Oscars I_4

 

Still_Alice_Still

Comment: A very much expected result, and I’m happy that Julianne wins. She is overdue for this awards and she had been nominated four times previously in the Oscars but without a single win. This is her time to shine, and yes, she won it. A very professional and great actress, Julianne’s portrayal of a woman struck with Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice is remarkable.

BEST PICTURE
Birdman (Winner)
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

birdman

AAII_2

Comment: Finally, all results revealed. Birdman took home the biggest prize of the night. The best film for the year 2014 recognition by Oscars. I’m fine with it since I personally enjoyed Birdman more than Boyhood. This is a close battle between Birdman and Boyhood from the very beginning. In the end, Birdman flies for the win. Quite deserving eventhough I personally root for The Theory of Everything (but I never think it will win).

Overall thoughts and summary:

  • Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the biggest winner of the night, winning four major prizes: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. Now, there is no more reason for you not to watch Birdman if you haven’t. The movie which centred on the excellent acting by the cast, did not actually win anything in the acting categories ironically. Everyone nominated from the cast is second in line to win in their respective categories (Michael behind Eddie for Leading Actor, Edward behind Simmons for Supporting Actor and Emma behind Patricia for Supporting Actress).
  • Boyhood ended the night with only a single win (Best Supporting Actress) disappointingly. It lost out the major battle to Birdman. The movie first is predicted by most to score big in the early awards season, and it did so. But as the season is drawing closer to major guilds and the Oscars, it somehow loses momentum, and that makes way for Birdman to fly high.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel also ties with Birdman as film with the most number of wins. The film won 4, all in technical categories; Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up and Hairstyling and Best Original Score.
  • Whiplash performed better than expected in the Oscars, winning three awards; Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
  • Each films nominated in Best Picture won at least a single award.
  • I personally think that Neil Patrick Harris actually hosted the Oscars better than Ellen deGeneres last year, but most others out there think the otherwise.
  • Overall, the 87th Oscars delivered some very good results to overcome the backlash the Academy received earlier (for this year’s Oscars being the whitest, major snub for Selma, Nightcrawler and The Lego Movie, etc).

neil-patrick-harris

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

86th Annual Academy Awards 2014: Full result together with my opinion.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by vincentloy

I guess most of you have already knew who wins at the just concluded 86th Annual Academy Awards. Here, I’m going to put down the full list of the result alongside with some of my opinions. The competition between films last year is seriously intense. There are a lot of strong contenders to watch out for in this year’s Oscars, the most prestigious film awards in the world. And it all ends when all the winner in 24 categories were announced just few hours ago.

Academy_Award

FULL RESULT OF THE 86TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS 2014:

12-years-a-slave-quad

Best Picture: “12 Years a Slave.”

Opinion: Very much expected despite receiving tough competition from sci-fi thriller, ‘Gravity’. But if I’m the only judge, I prefer ‘Gravity’ over ’12 Years a Slave’.

Best Leading Actor: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Opinion: Oscar’s favourite this year. Hence, another predicted result. I pitied Leonardo di Caprio for not winning this again. He has no fate yet. Maybe bad timing. I’m sure your time will come. 

Best Leading Actress: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine.”

Opinion: Another hot favourite. She sweeps this category in most other awards earlier too. Hence, another expected announcement. But I actually prefer Sandra Bullock.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Opinion: Expected result. I think ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is a movie that pushes all its main male casts to win in Oscars.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave.”

Opinion: She will win since Jennifer Lawrence, another favourite in this category is too soon to receive another Academy Awards (she had just won Best Actress not long ago).

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity.”

Opinion: A predicted result and I’m very happy for Alfonso Cuaron. He did amazing directing job in ‘Gravity’.

Best Foreign Language Film: “The Great Beauty,” Italy.

Opinion: No comment since I didn’t watch any of the nominated foreign-language films. I shall wait for a chance when one of my country’s local films could finally get nominated here. 

Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave.”

Opinion: I prefer ‘Captain Phillips’ actually, for turning a true pirate hijacking story into such a dramatic movie. Now it makes ‘Captain Phillips’ movie empty-handed in the Oscars.

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, “Her.”

Opinion: Eventhough I haven’t watch ‘Her’, but everyone is saying that this movie is unique and had very good original screenplay. So, I think this is deserving. 

Best Animated Feature Film: “Frozen.”

Opinion: Another very much predictable outcome. Disney’s ‘Frozen’ stood out than the rest and I like the movie too.

Best Production Design: “The Great Gatsby.”

Opinion: Deserving too. But I didn’t watch ‘The Great Gatsby’ actually.

Best Cinematography: “Gravity.”

Opinion: Expected win. ‘Gravity’ is overwhelming on its brilliant cinematography. 

Best Sound Mixing: “Gravity.”

Opinion: Knew ‘Gravity’ will win. The movie achieved perfection in mixing sound.

Best Sound Editing: “Gravity.”

Opinion: Wow. Another win for ‘Gravity’. It truly stands out in technical categories and sound is definitely inclusive. But I prefer for the best sound mixing and editing to be combined together for only a single award next time. 

Best Original Score: “Gravity,” Steven Price.

Opinion: No doubt ‘Gravity’ will win this too. One of the main reasons I like ‘Gravity’ is because it had awesome and impacting movie soundtracks. 

Best Original Song: “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”

Opinion: At first I thought the song from the movie regarding Mandela will win. But still, I’m happy that ‘Let It Go’ song won. The song is now extremely popular. Yup. I quite like the song too. Let it go…let it go…anyway, next!

Best Costume Design: “The Great Gatsby.”

Opinion: No comment as I didn’t watch ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Opinion: No comment as I didn’t watch ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ too.

Best Film Editing: “Gravity.”

Opinion: Huh…another win for ‘Gravity’. Awesome. Truly one of the outstanding movies last year.

Best Visual Effects: “Gravity.”

Opinion: ‘Gravity’ again. Boring, right? No. The movie truly deserves all these recognitions. The movie enabled the audiences to magically experience what is it like floating at the outer space unlike any others. Amazing visuals as I recalled. 

gravity-banner

Best Animated Short Film: “Mr. Hublot.”

Best Documentary Feature: “20 Feet from Stardom.”

Best Documentary (short subject): “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.”

Best Live Action Short Film: “Helium.”

Opinion: No comment to the last four categories. I recalled last time that there was another category named ‘Best Art Direction’. This category no longer available this year. I wonder why. 

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Time to sum up my thoughts of the whole awards ceremony. I haven’t watch the presentation ceremony yet but I have already heard of a group of stars had ‘selfie’ with Ellen which broke record for being the most retweeted tweet in history. I believed Ellen DeGeneres had hosted the Hollywood’s biggest night successfully, thanks to her always entertaining jokes and great friendship with many of the Hollywood stars. She herself is already quite popular. A lot of famous stars attended the show including those not nominated too (maybe as awards presenter). Leonardo di Caprio, Lady Gaga, Christian Bale, Naomi Watts, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Penelope Cruz, Anne Hathaway, Channing Tatum, Chris Hemsworth, Harrison Ford, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, Elton John, etc. Too long till I couldn’t put down everybody’s names here. It’s okay.

I’m quite satisfied with the result as most of them were very much predictable before the awards ceremony as seen in outcome of earlier awards presentation like Golden Globes and BAFTA. ‘Gravity’ won 7 awards, the most number in the ceremony and I’m very happy of it as it is my personal best film last year. ’12 Years A Slave’ won the coveted ‘Best Picture’ as expected too, but I’m actually bored of watching it. Quite a number of films went home empty-handed, particularly ‘American Hustle’, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Captain Phillips’, etc. Last but not least, a big congratulation to all the winners!

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review: Gravity (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by vincentloy

After learning of overwhelming positive feedbacks and critical acclaims to the recently released film entitled ‘Gravity’, I was wondering how could a science-fiction space drama film could achieve this kind of successful result. There is this urge in me to watch it, and the wish fulfilled today. I am speechless and excited that this film truly shines and achieves beyond my expectation. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, it stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and depicts the story of a medical engineer and an astronaut working together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

gravity_version3-movie-poster

The first thought in my mind after going through its movie trailer few weeks ago is that how is it possible that a story can gets further interesting and developed into a full movie once the astronauts were left floating in space. Things are confined, and events are limited to mostly only an engineer within the ‘silent’ outer space. After watching the film, I am stunned and impressed. The story is carried out extremely well, with breathtaking events after events taking place that gives a hard and intense time to Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), intersected with some light moments in between to ease things up. There are intense climax-hitting scenes and also heartfelt emotional moments.

This is something that will keep us at the edge of our seats. The storyline is very engaging. I personally felt the fear and loneliness of being in that state of floating in space reaching for help faced by the main characters. There is no part for boring character development, and things get straight to thrilling and intense scenes to keep our continuous concentration to the movie, eagerly wanting to know Dr. Ryan’s fate till the end of the movie. There is also a bit of well-placed slightly funny moments here and there and also an unexpected frightening scene involving dead people. Be prepared of that if you have not watched it, but it’s only in a few seconds. A thrilling and tension-hitting ride for both the character in the movie and also to the movie audiences.

gravity-2013-floating-in-space

Sandra Bullock delivered an outstanding performance as the only lead in the movie. Her convincing expression and brilliant acting in such a difficult setting and state is one of the major praises to the film. She is in almost every seconds of the movie and she nailed it so well that I had nothing else to say. On the other hand, the visual is no doubt spectacular! Truly remarkable visual. The view of the Earth is beautifully captured in the movie, and the scenes of space stations getting destroyed by flying debris are awesome. The heartstopping background musical score also helps a lot to create that kind of exciting atmosphere to let us immerse into many of the tense situations in the movie.

At one moment you’re inside Ryan’s helmet as she looks outside with panic-ridden breath heard, then in a subtle shift you’re outside to check on her reaction. Brilliant usage of two points of view to further grasp the feeling of Dr. Ryan. Eventhough I don’t really get some technical aspects in the movie, but I truly enjoyed what the movie offers. The last few minutes of the movie is finally back on the land, and the ending is a great one. Sorry for a little spoiler here. Everything is good from this film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Gravity’ a total of 8.3. A dazzling film. This is certainly one of the best movies of the year. A shouldn’t be missed and highly recommended space drama film.

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

Movie review: Percy Jackson – Sea of Monsters (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by vincentloy

When I browsed through new movies on cinema website recently, I find that there isn’t any appealing films up to my preference. There is only one that had a bit of my attention, which is ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’. However, that one is a sequel. For this reason, I purposely find and watched its predecessor back; ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ released three years ago. The first one is a great and engaging film, and I do have interest on action-adventure films like this that are based on Greek mythology (involving Olympus gods like Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, etc).

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‘Percy Jackson’ films are basically teenager version of ‘Wrath or Clash of the Titans’. The titular character of the former is a demigod, son of Poseidon while the main character in the latter is the son of Zeus. Very much similar, but ‘Percy Jackson’ movies are much lighter and relevant to even young children too. In ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’, a group of half-blood (demigods) led by Percy embarks on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece to restore their dying safe haven (a tree that protect the Half-Blood Camp gets poisoned, hence the barrier fading out) while trying to stop an ancient evil, Kronos (father of Olympus) from rising. None of the Gods (Zeus, Hades or Poseidon) appears in this movie unlike the first one.

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This sequel truly did not disappoints its predecessor and it delivers well from where it ends in the first story. It will certainly provides a good platform for future sequels too on which I’m looking forward to. This time, the group of heroes (Percy, Grover and Annabeth) gets bigger with additional new characters, Tyson (Percy’s half brother whom is a cyclop) and Clarisse (a very proud female demigod). Both are very interesting characters and made up for a better and much exciting adventure we are looking for from this kind of movie. There are also more solid action-packed sequences and great visual effects displayed which is a very important aspect for a mythical adventure film.

The main casts especially Logan Lerman delivered brilliant performance. This time, there would be also praise for more comedy-filled moments, most notably the lightning-speed taxi with the three eyeless drivers, and also the part where Grover pretends to be a cyclop and wear a gown. However, there are also bad points I wish to highlight from this movie. Since the movie is titled ‘Sea of Monsters’, I am hoping for more scenes on that sea itself, means harder obstacles there, like maybe fighting huge sea serpent there or uncontrollable tsunami. However, it seems nothing much happened in that quite a brief scene besides than being consumed into the ‘monster’s stomach’ and the movie gives itself the title of ‘sea of monsters’. On the other hand, I also wish for more life-threatening and intense battle with the resurrected Kronos, the giant ancient horrifying evil, and yet, it gets defeated so easily by Percy in the end. Slightly disappointed by the final battle.

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Nevertheless, this movie still delivers with entertaining adventure, solid plot, clean storytelling, great visuals and good acting. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ a total of 7.5. For the first one, ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’, I would give 7.4. It’s usually harder for a sequel to perform better or similarly to that of its original, but this one is an exception.

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