Friday, May 31, 2013

1938 CinSpec Awards

Winners indicated (*). Films I still need to see include: Olympia, Vivacious Lady, La Marseillaise, Carefree, Merrily We Live, The Dawn Patrol, Suez, Kentucky, If I Were King, The Great Waltz, That Certain Age, Mannequin, They Drive by Night, Swing Your Lady, and Werther.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blind Spot: Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Directed by Ari Folman
Produced by Ari Folman, Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner, Yael Nahlieli, and Roman Paul
Written by Ari Folman
Starring Ari Folman, Ori Sivan, Ronny Dayag, and Ron Ben-Yishai

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ranking the Best Picture Oscar Lineups of the 2000s

I've still got over 100 Best Picture nominees to see, but I've seen most from recent decades. Keep in mind, these are my rankings of the Best Picture lineups, and not the winners. (Note: I thought the 2010s were too short to rank at the moment.) Winners are in bold and pictured below.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pygmalion (1938) vs. My Fair Lady (1964)

My Fair Lady is the famed musical version of Pygmalion, but both films have garnered their share of praise. (SPOILERS)

Friday, May 24, 2013

2009 CinSpec Awards

Films I still need to see include: The Stoning of Soraya M., Of Time and City, The Damned United, Valhalla Rising, Tetro, Revanche, Police, Adjective, Disgrace, Paranormal Activity, Thirst, The Soloist, The Limits of Control, Taking Woodstock, Big Fan, Whip It, and Rudo y Cursi.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: 10 Items or Less (2006)

Freeman and Vega are terrific.

Directed by Brad Silberling
Produced by Julie Lynn, Lori McCreary, and Brad Silberling
Written by Brad Silberling
Starring Morgan Freeman, Paz Vega, Bobby Cannavale, Anne Dudek, and Jonah Hill

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May Oscar Predictions

Cannes loved Llewyn, but will the Academy?

Not much has changed since my April predictions, except that I now see Inside Llewyn Davis getting more nominations and The Immigrant getting only one. In other words, I'm not sure about many of these predictions. Here's a quick look at where I'm at right now. (Changes from April's predictions included.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Kirk (Pine) and Spock (Quinto) question the prisoner (Cumberbatch).

Directed by J.J. Abrams
Produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, and Roberto Orci
Written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof (script); Gene Roddenberry (TV series)
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Peter Weller

Friday, May 17, 2013

1999 CinSpec Awards

This year was so hard, and I still have many more films to see from it. I could pick 10 strong nominees in almost all of these categories, but some people had to be left off, unfortunately. Some films I still need to see include The Dreamlife of Angels, Tumbleweeds, A Map of the World, Audition, Dogma, Flawless, Summer of Sam, Ride with the Devil, An Ideal Husband, Music of the Heart, Besieged, The Color of Paradise, Romance, Limbo, One Day in September, A Room for Romeo Brass, Stir of Echoes, Buena Vista Social Club, Life, Ravenous, Anna and the King, and Happy, Texas.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Double Feature: Battleground (1949) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Battleground (1949) - ***1/2

This World War II film, like many others, is loosely based on a true story. Trapped in the snow and surrounded by German troops, a squad from the 101st Airborne Division fought to hold their position until reinforcements arrived. The small unit dwindled, but the outfit had several strong characters, such as Holley (Johnson) and Kinnie (Whitmore), to get them through the rough spots. They refused to surrender to the Germans, and were bombarded for several days. A forgotten little war film, this features recognizable characters, yet the interesting story and a few of the performances make it a rousing piece of cinema from the 1940s. Technically speaking, the film also looks and sounds great, with snow-covered landscapes and battle noises being a major part of it. Is it a must-see? Probably not, but it's an enjoyable film nonetheless. It's easy to see why it was honored at the Academy Awards.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

10 Travers-esque Quotes from My Reviews

Peter Travers, or the critic you often see quoted in advertisements or on DVD cases. Sometimes a quote of my own pops out at me, but I try to avoid writing that way. Some of these quotes are more akin to Travers than others, but I thought this would be a fun post.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ranking the Sherlock Episodes

Cumberbatch and Freeman as Holmes and Watson.

In honor of Star Trek Into Darkness' release in a few days, here's a post related to Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the villain in J.J Abrams' new film. Though this is a TV series, each episode is really a 90-minute film for television, so I don't mind bending the rules.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Luhrmann takes on Fitzgerald in the fifth film version.

Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Produced by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, and Catherine Knapman
Written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce (script); F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and Jason Clarke

Friday, May 10, 2013

1989 CinSpec Awards

Winners indicated (*). I still need to see films like Roger & Me, Vampire's Kiss, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, In Country, Valmont, and Kiki's Delivery Service. Note: I count The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover as a 1990 release.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Top 10 Leonardo DiCaprio Performances

With The Great Gatsby out tomorrow and The Wolf of Wall Street just months away, I decided to take a crack at this list. Note: I haven't seen all of his work from the 1990s yet.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oscar Oddity #11: My Man Godfrey (1936)

This classic screwball comedy received awards recognition upon its original release, and the acclaim has continued to the present. However, it was not nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Out of 10 nominees, it was not recognized. Now, that itself isn't very odd, unless you look at the film's other nominations.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: One, Two, Three (1961)

Mac (Cagney) with his employees.

Directed by Billy Wilder
Produced by Billy Wilder
Written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder (script); Ferenc Molnár (play)
Starring James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, and Arlene Francis

Friday, May 3, 2013

1979 CinSpec Awards

Winners indicated (*). Films I still need to see include: Woyzeck, Monty Python's Life of Brian, A Little Romance, Family Nest, Hair, La Luna, My Brilliant Career, Wise Blood, Time After Time, The Europeans, and The Warriors.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Trance (2013)

Simon (McAvoy).

Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by Danny Boyle and Christian Colson
Written by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge
Starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Films I Saw in April

Chungking Express

The Best:

1. Chungking Express - ****
2. Mona Lisa - ****
3. Kes - ****
4. One, Two, Three - ****
5. Stray Dog - ****
6. Ballad of a Soldier - ****
7. Army of Shadows - ****
8. My Night at Maud's - ****
9. To the Wonder (x2) - ****
10. Stardust Memories - ****