When discussing 2015 and its ilk of Oscar wannabes, most rallied around a similar sentiment: what an odd and unpredictable year for awards. At one point or another, as many as five of the eight Best Picture nominees (The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room, Spotlight, The Revenant) could have been considered the front-runner with the vast majority of the race seemingly coming down to a Big Short vs. Spotlight showdown. Huge box office tolls and unprecedented last minute momentum moved The Revenant into the pole position at an opportune time, seemingly hucking Spotlight from the, ahem, spotlight. And right when it needed it most. These tectonic shifts have made pining down the Best Picture winner a particularly challenging game this year with an unlikely chronology of match-ups apparently leaving the battle to be waged between Adam McKay‘s financial meltdown dramedy and Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s survivorman epic. That being said, one shouldn’t discount Tom McCarthy‘s Spotlight which could just pull a last minute KO. Now if only George Miller‘s supreme Mad Max: Fury Road had the same surprise comeback potential… Read More
I feel like Denzel Washington at the Globes. I have a speech prepared but I forgot my reading glasses. I guess I’ll thank my family for giving me the courage to predict the Academy Award nominees. And, of course, I’d like to thank the Academy. But in all seriousness, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled their glorious Oscar nominees for 2016 and the results were staggeringly close to our predictions. Seriously, someone should employ me full-time to do this or something. There were some surprises in store, such as Carol being shut out of more than a few major categories, and some nice inclusions, like Tom Hardy getting tapped for his aces performance in The Revenant and Lenny Abrahamson for his truly superb direction in Room. I left the Spotlight team out of the spotlight and paid dearly for it as both Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams eeked their way into nods. Over on the script side, frequent favorites Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin found themselves shut out for The Hateful Eight and Steve Jobs respectively. In the end though, with The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road leading the nominees in terms of sheer volume, my two favorite films of 2015, I have to applaud the academy. You’ve done us right boys. Now take us home. Read More
Well well well. 2015 has finally reached its end. After 201 films, 25 interviews (including Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, Jason Segel, Jason Schwartzman, Greta Gerwig, Jemaine Clement, Alex Garland, and Nick Kroll to name just a few), three massive international film festivals and countless hours spend idly engaged in film banter with my always entertaining gang of colleagues and peers at various Seattle screening rooms, I can finally come to the conclusion that, for what it’s worth, 2015 was an odd duck for film. Read More
Not since Jim Caviezel hitched himself to a cross and got struck by lightning playing JC himself has an actor suffered so mightily for his craft. Enter Leonardo DiCaprio, the heir to Mel Gibson’s “they killed my family, I will have my revenge” throne. In The Revenant, DiCaprio plays a guide for a fur-trading company who survives a savage Indian assault, is brutally mauled by a mama grizzly, finds himself stitched up like the Necronomicon, left for dead and buried alive all before dragging his ass across a frigid tundra hot on vengeance’s trail. Read More
Sleigh bells be damned. All we want for Christmas is movies! With cold weather driving us indoors and holidays meaning family time galore – which in turns means escape from family time galore – the movie theater becomes a quiet solace in which to bask in the creativity of other people. We’re cut through the stacks of Holiday offerings to give you the 10 December films we positively cannot wait for. Amongst them are big (and we mean big) blockbusters, a few little indie flicks, an adult stop-motion drama, new films from Alejandro González Iñárritu, David O. Russell and Quentin Tarantino and even a holiday horror for the scary movie fans. And of course, Star Wars. If all of them are as good as we’re hoping, it’ll be a Christmas miracle.
Bears, Leo, Hardy and the dude who directed Birdman. The Revenant has it all. As if that isn’t enough to get your panties in a bunch, a new hot trailer is primed to make you regret not investing more time in finishing up that time machine so you could hop to December. Seriously Mr. Academy Award, just give this all the awards now. Read More