The Cinemologist

Come here for your cinematic prescription

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Wayback Wednesday: Can an Alien be too Real?

Last weekend I did something I don’t do very often.  I actually went to the movies.  Older DVD’s are usually the genesis of my posts, so you’ll have to excuse me if this week’s post doesn’t follow the usual “Wayback Wednesday” M.O.  I promise to return to the regularly scheduled programming next week.  But this week, I went to the movies to see “Paul”.  I’ve been a fan of Simon Pegg for a while, and the trailer really got me excited.  So with a free weekend for a change, it was off to the multiplex I went.  There are plenty of places you can look if you want a review of the movie.  You will not find it here.  I will say that I enjoyed it, but that’s all.  My interest is the technology that brings the character of Paul to life and its widening effect on my enjoyment of movies.

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Poll: What did you see this weekend?

Sunday Poll

New Layout and Header

In an effort to make the blog more thematic, I’ve changed the layout once again. I did this because I came across an amazing photo that I had to have. I wanted to use the photo in it’s original format, but unfortunately, I don’t have the web design skills to know how to do that.

The image was photographed by Tom Magliery. He was also kind enough to let us use that picture for the blog. After you’ve realized how wonderful the picture is, please visit Tom’s Flickr page and check out the rest of his wonderful photographs at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/

Monday Poll: Best Picture

Oscar Winners 2011: List of Academy Award Winners and Nominations

>Oscar Picks

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Well, it’s Oscar weekend. You know what that means! Grabbing the biggest drink you can find, ordering a pizza, and settling in with an excitement that tapers off by the third hour when your ass starts to hurt from sitting for so long. Here, I will present whom I expect to win for this year’s Oscars. I’ve not seen every film that’s up for an award, so where I’m lacking in personal experiences (almost all of the shorts), I’ve made up for in research.

Who will win and who should win aren’t always the same. So, if necessary, I will list beside who I think should win.

Best Picture

– True Grit
– The Social Network
– Black Swan
– 127 Hours
– The Fighter
– The King’s Speech
– The Kids Are All Right
– Toy Story 3
– Winter’s Bone
– Inception

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: The Social Network

Although I believe that The King’s Speech was a wonderful movie, I believe that, in time, it will fall by the wayside as The Social Network continues to define the era in which it was made.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

– Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
– Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
– Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
– Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
– James Franco (127 Hours)

Who Will Win: Colin Firth
Who Should Win: Colin Firth

Firth remains one of cinema’s greatest actor. Winning last year for A Single Man, I fully expect him to take home the gold again this year.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

– Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
– Anette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
– Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
– Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
– Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman
Who Should Win: Natalie Portman

Natalie just did awesome in Black Swan. I wouldn’t be upset if Jennifer Lawrence won though.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

– Christian Bale (The Fighter)
– John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
– Jeremy Renner (The Town)
– Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
– Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Who Will Win: Christian Bale
Who Should Win: Geoffrey Rush

Actually, I think Christian Bale should win too, but I wanted to talk about Geoffrey Rush. I wouldn’t be upset if he won, his character was great in The King’s Speech. But he’s going up against fan-favorite Christian Bale who always gives 110% to his roles.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

– Amy Adams (The Fighter)
– Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
– Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
– Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
– Jackie Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo
Who Should Win: Amy Adams

I enjoyed Melissa Leo’s character, but I was more interested in Amy Adams’. Either way, The Fighter is definitely bringing the supporting actors’ Oscars home. Poor Marky Mark.

Best Animated Feature Film

– How To Train Your Dragon
– Toy Story 3
– The Illusionist

Who Will Win: Toy Story 3
Who Should Win: How to Train Your Dragon

If you don’t already know my preference of How To Train Your Dragon over Toy Story 3, then I suggest you look here.

Best Art Direction

– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
– Inception
– The King’s Speech
– Alice in Wonderland
– True Grit

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Period pieces often win this category, but I think that Harry Potter did a wonderful job in the art department of staging a magical world in reality and making it look like it actually exists. I am highly biased though.

Cinematography

– Inception
– True Grit
– The King’s Speech
– Black Swan
– The Social Network

Who Will Win: Inception
Who Should Win: Inception

I expect Inception to win most of the visual categories.

Costume Design

– True Grit
– I Am Love
– The Tempest
– The King’s Speech
– Alice in Wonderland

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: The King’s Speech

Period pieces ALWAYS win this category. If one of those pieces is Best Picture, consider it a shoe-in. I used to hate that they always won until I talked to a costume designer about the intricacies that go into accurate costumes. I am no longer bored by costume design.

Best Direction

– Darren Aronofsky (The Black Swan)
– David O. Russel (The Fighter)
– Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
– David Fincher (The Social Network)
– Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Who Will Win: David Fincher
Who Should Win: Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky is a master at bringing mental issues to the surface. Add in some extreme creepiness, and he has my vote for this year. Too bad the Academy won’t agree.

Best Documentary Feature

– Exit Through the Gift Shop
– Restrepo
– Gasland
– Inside Job
– Waste Land

Who Will Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Who Should Win: N/A

I’ve only seen two of these features: Exit Through the Gift Shop and Restrepo. The votes seem to be tied between Exit Through the Gift Shop and Inside Job. It basically boils down to popularity against content. Even though I wasn’t that big of a fan of Exit Through the Gift, I think it will pull ahead due to popularity and the fact that everyone wants to see if Banksy shows up to accept.

Best Documentary Short Subject

– Killing in the Name
– Poster Girl
– Strangers No More
– Sun Come Up
– Quigang

Who Will Win: Killing in the Name
Who Should Win: N/A

I didn’t see any of the entries in this category, so I don’t actually know who should win. Before I did my research, I picked Killing in the Name simply based off its title. It seems the internet agrees.

Film Editing

– 127 Hours
– The Fighter
– The Social Network
– The King’s Speech
– Black Swan

Who Will Win: The Social Network
Who Should Win: The Social Network

This category is kind of a toss up. Based on unique editing styles, I’d say 127 Hours would win, but in straight story-telling editing, The Social Network will pull it in. Editing is a process I’ve not learned much about, so accept my pick in the category at your own risk.

Foreign Language Film

– Biutiful
– Dogtooth
– In A Better World
– Incendies
– Outside the Law

Who Will Win: In A Better World
Who Should Win: N/A

Again, I didn’t get to see any of these, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt. The interweb seems to agree on In A Better World to win the category.

Makeup

– Barney’s Version
– Wolfman
– The Way Back

Who Will Win: The Wolfman
Who Should Win: Barney’s Version

I only think Barney’s Version should win because it’s the only other one that I’ve seen besides Wolfman, and I don’t want Wolfman to be able to say it won an Oscar. It was not good.

Music (Original Score)

– How to Train Your Dragon
– Inception
– The King’s Speech
– 127 Hours
– The Social Network

Who Will Win: The Social Network
Who Should Win: The Social Network

It won a Golden Globe, so I think it has the best chance to win the Oscar as well. Oh, also, it was good.

Music (Original Song)

– “Coming Home” (Country Strong)
– “I See The Light” (Tangled)
– “If I Rise” (127 Hours)
– “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3)

Who Will Win: “We Belong Together”
Who Should Win: “If I Rise”

Maybe I’m just anti-Toy Story 3, but I want A.R. Rahman (the winner from Slumdog Millionaire in the same category two years ago) to win.

Short Film (Animated)

– Day and Night
– The Gruffalo
– Let’s Pollute
– The Lost Thing
– Madagascar, a Journey Diary

Who Will Win: Day and Night
Who Should Win: N/A

Day and Night was the only one I saw because it was before Toy Story 3. It was really interesting though. The internet agrees with me.

Short Film (Live Action)

– The Confession
– The Crush
– God of Love
– Na Wewe
– Wish 143

Who Will Win: Na Wewe
Who Should Win: N/A

Afraid I didn’t catch any of these either. Internet says Na Wewe. Never disagree with the internet.

Sound Editing

– Inception
– True Grit
– Toy Story 3
– Unstoppable
– Tron: Legacy

Who Will Win: Inception
Who Should Win: Inception

Again, I’m thinking Inception for both sound categories.

Sound Mixing

– Inception
– The King’s Speech
– Salt
– The Social Network
– True Grit

Who Will Win: Inception
Who Should Win: Inception

Best Sound Mixing is one of those categories where no one actually knows what they’re talking about, myself included. So take this with a grain of salt. Just don’t take Salt.

Best Visual Effects

– Alice in Wonderland
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
– Inception
– Hereafter
– Iron Man 2

Who Will Win: Inception
Who Should Win: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Again I say, Harry Potter’s visuals make it an accessible fantasy film. Strange category though. Alice in Wonderland was dumb. Could you see any effects through all of the Dr. Pepper ads in Iron Man 2? And did anyone actually see Hereafter?

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

– The Social Network
– 127 Hours
– Toy Story 3
– True Grit
– Winter’s Bone

Who Will Win: The Social Network
Who Should Win: The Social Network

Aaron Sorkin is one of our best writers. Combined with a film the quality of The Social Network and we’ve got a winner.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

– Another Year
– The Fighter
– Inception
– The Kids Are All Right
– The King’s Speech

Who Will Win: The King’s Speech
Who Should Win: The King’s Speech

Read about the creation of the story of The King’s Speech. It’s really interesting. Inception, was an interesting story, but it was too full of plot holes and inconsistencies to take home the trophy, I believe.

So there are your picks. I hope you enjoy the Oscars this year. Maybe Anne Hathaway and James Franco will breathe a breath of fresh air into the traditionally boring ceremony.

>Movie of the week: Predators

>I immediately failed on my new column already, but that’s ok, because I was going to change the format anyways. I’ve already written my review on Toy Story 3, and I didn’t get any questions about it, so what we can do now is this. This week’s movie of the week is “Predators” starring Adrien Brody and produced by Robert Rodriguez. It doesn’t come out until Friday, but I will see it this weekend and have a new post for you on Sunday. E-mail or comment me some questions you have about the film and I’ll answer them on Sunday. Until then, keep it reel!

>Movie of the Week: Toy Story 3

>I just thought of a new article I could start. On Sundays, I’m going to name a movie of the week. Throughout the week, I’ll try and relate other articles to the movie, you can write in with some questions you have about any aspect of the movie and on the following Sunday, I’ll list a new movie and write a post about the previous one. I’ll go ahead and give you some background on this week’s movie.

Toy Story 3 was released last weekend to box office and critical acclaim. To date, Toy Story 3 has made around 270 million dollars worldwide.

http://relentlesspoa.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/disney-logo.jpgI finally got to see if yesterday and I really liked it a lot. Pixar can do no wrong in my book. I’m going to be flabbergasted when one of their movies flops. If ever it should happen.

I noticed an intriguing incident while I saw it. When that Disney intro hit and that familiar music played over the revelation of the castle, I got this feeling over me that was just in utter anticipation of the movie I’m about to see. Through some Pavlovian response, that short measure that indicates the Disney emblem just enchants me. The graphics from the Disney logo have changed over time obviously, but to my knowledge, not much has changed in the music that accompanies it. Now sure I feel a bit weird about getting insanely excited over a Disney movie as a 25 year old man, but I think that’s a testament to the power of movies. Disney has put their name on several great pieces of work over the past 87 years. This stimulus/response action that I experienced could have just come from the Lion King alone. I must have seen that movie 40-50 times; at least 5 in theaters.

https://i2.wp.com/www.gadgetspirit.com/pic/figure/disney/dekadeka_fullface/disney_logo.jpg
Now, specifically about Toy Story 3. I thought it was really very good. I will admit that I’ve never seen Toy Story 2, so I believe I was missing out on some of the references from Buzz and Jessie. The rest of the plot was an endearing and heartfelt story that seemed relevant and natural to the Toy Story canon. The voice acting was superb as well; most notably from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. Ned Beatty did a wonderful job as the maybe not-so-good Lotso. Throw in a bit of Joan Cusak, Michael Keaton and Whoopi Goldberg and you’ve really got something to work with.

<b>Toy</b> <b>Story</b> <b>3</b>The story was just a bit on the predictable side, but you can’t really expect children to be entertained and understand what’s going on when the movie is in the form of “Memento” or something. The movie seemed, to me at least, to be a closure to the series, but I guess there could be a way to bring about another sequel if they really wanted to.

In summation, I’m going to have to give Toy Story a GAF score of 98, which I believe is it’s current standing on Rotten Tomatoes. So if you haven’t seen it, then make some plans for the theater, so that we can discuss it further in a week! Until then, keep it reel. 

>I haven’t forgotten about you

>Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Many thanks to The Walrus for picking up the slack. I’m in the process of making a new chart for GAF scores since my last one got deleted.

Tomorrow marks my first day of Screenwriting class, so I’ll let you all in on what I learn.

I’ve also been making a lot of contacts in the area to start learning the process of independent filmmaking. Stay tuned.