Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58

Edited image originally from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019),’ Sony Pictures

It is finally that time of the year again, folks! The nominations for the Academy Awards will be released on Monday (January 13th, 2020). Just in time, I am ready with my final predictions for this awards season’s Oscars nominations. Below I have tried to predict every category except for the short film categories, as I simply haven’t seen enough short films from 2019. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58”

REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a review of Ford v Ferrari, also known as Le Mans ’66 — Directed by James Mangold.

James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari tells the true story of the rivalry between Enzo Ferrari (played by Remo Girone) and Henry Ford II (played by Tracy Letts) in the lead-up to the 1966-edition of the French 24-hour race known as the ‘Le Mans.’ The film follows Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon), a former Le Mans winner and current automotive designer and engineer, and Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale), a testy but talented British race-car driver. Ford wants to beat Ferrari at his own game, so to speak, so he hires Shelby to design a racecar mighty enough to trounce the Italian rival, which had rejected Ford’s offer to purchase them. Shelby insists that Miles is the only man who understands the car they build together for Ford, but executives at Ford believe that Miles isn’t a company man, and they are prepared to derail the entire project to ensure that Shelby and his crew, none of whom are yes-men, follow their orders. Continue reading “REVIEW: Ford v Ferrari (2019)”

REVIEW: Vice (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Annapurna Pictures

The following is a review of Vice — Directed by Adam McKay.

In recent years, comedy filmmaker Adam McKay has successfully changed his reputation in Hollywood. He was once thought of as one of the great funny-man directors of the industry, with such films as Anchorman and The Other Guys. But with 2015’s The Big Short — a film about the financial crisis of 2008 — McKay became known for his unconventional techniques in covering a disastrous true story. It didn’t work for everyone, but, for the most part, I really enjoyed his first foray into this style of political filmmaking.  Continue reading “REVIEW: Vice (2018)”

REVIEW: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle — Directed by Andy Serkis.

I feel so bad for Andy Serkis. Back in 2014, Andy Serkis, who, in spite of some secondary or assistant positions on other films, had never directed a film before, was hired to direct Warner Bros.’ CGI-heavy version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Though the studio had been in talks with prominent directors since 2012, it was Serkis who was eventually chosen to bring this film to audiences around the world. Continue reading “REVIEW: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)”

Golden Globes Predictions: Film Nominations – Special Features #35

It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, awards season. Some critics groups have already announced their winners, while other groups are still waiting for their brief moment in the spotlight. As the wait for the BAFTAs and Oscars goes on, the first major televised awards show is about to announce the films, shows, and performers who they have nominated for their coveted awards. So, today, I am going to try to predict the nominees for each and every film category for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards. Continue reading “Golden Globes Predictions: Film Nominations – Special Features #35”

Best Superhero Performances – Special Features #12

I don’t believe in the idea that general audiences have superhero fatigue. Each and every year it is the superhero films that comprise most of the spots on the list of the ten most successful films of the year. They make a lot of money, and a lot of them are pretty great. But some of these heroes are iconic, and even some of the performances are iconic. Today I want to honor the ten best superhero performances given by actors and actresses portraying these iconic characters. Continue reading “Best Superhero Performances – Special Features #12”

Early Best Actor Predictions – Special Features #4

A couple of weeks ago, I released my early predictions for Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards. This week, I’m looking at another category. Last year, Casey Affleck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea. But what about next year? Is it finally time for Gyllenhaal or Oldman, or will Hanks or Day-Lewis nab yet another win? Continue reading “Early Best Actor Predictions – Special Features #4”

REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Theatrical Release Poster - Warner Bros.
Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following spoiler-filled review of The Dark Knight Rises was written in August 2016

I don’t think I have ever mentioned this on the blog before, but I’ve only seen The Dark Knight Rises three times. Once in the movie theater, once on Blu-Ray, and yesterday when I rewatched it for this review. I really liked it when I first saw it in theaters, but when I rewatched it for the first time I was pretty underwhelmed.

Look, I’m not going to come out and say that this film is an ‘underappreciated masterpiece’ or anything like that – not at all. This film has problems. But when I finished rewatching the film last night, I had to admit that maybe I had been a bit too harsh on it for the last couple of years.

The vocal minority online has begun to really criticize this film a lot, but while The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t come close to the quality of the first two films in the Dark Knight Trilogy, I do think it is still a solid ending to an excellent trilogy. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)”

RETRO REVIEW: The Dark Knight (2008)

Theatrical Release Poster - Warner Bros.
Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following spoiler-filled retro review of The Dark Knight was written in August 2016

I saw this film in a movie theater, but I don’t quite remember how I felt after I first saw it. What I do remember, quite clearly actually, was that my sister bought the Blu-Ray for me as a Christmas gift. I think The Dark Knight is a haunting superhero movie masterpiece, but, for a specific reason, I don’t often sit down to watch it.

I’ve always thought Heath Ledger was an exceptionally entertaining actor, and it was tough for me to hear that the world had lost him when we did. Although he was brilliant in Brokeback Mountain and while I was never worried about what he would do with the Joker character, this performance remains one of the most surprisingly magnificent performances that I’ve ever seen. The Dark Knight wouldn’t be a masterpiece without Heath Ledger’s performance. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Dark Knight (2008)”

RETRO REVIEW: Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins Poster
Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following retro review of Batman Begins was written in August 2016.

I grew up with many different takes on a live-action Batman and Bruce Wayne. Michael Keaton. Val Kilmer. George Clooney. But it wasn’t until I saw Christian Bale in Batman Begins that I loved, I don’t just mean liked, a live-action version of the character. When I first saw Batman Begins, I hadn’t seen Bale in a lot of films (probably just American Psycho and Reign of Fire), but when I saw Bale as Bruce Wayne I was just overjoyed this was going to be my Batman – like I, at that time, saw Roger Moore as my James Bond. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Batman Begins (2005)”