Showing posts from January, 2016

Inside Out: biggest Oscar snub this year?

Inside Out has been nominated for Best Animated Feature. And, it has some interesting competition in that category, including writer Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa, an odd stop-motion animated drama made for adults. You can read about all the Animated Feature nominees on the official Oscars page by clicking here.

While I'm happy Inside Out has been recognized in this category, THIS IS THE BIGGEST OSCAR SNUB IN A LONG TIME!!!!! IT SHOULD BE NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE! Why??? Because -

1. It has a 98%on Rotten Tomatoes! Come on! Inside Out scored big with critics, Disney fans, and general movie audiences. I know the Academy doesn't choose movies based purely on their ratings, but the ratings are a strong showing of how popular or well-received a movie is by the world. This 98% is coming from movie critics, many of whom may even be eligible to vote on movies for Oscars. So, what happened? Why didn't Inside Out  get nominated for Best Picture? 
2. UP and Toy Story 3UP has the s…

Best Movies to watch to prepare for Disney World

I LOVE the happiest place on Earth! Disney World is one of my favorite places in the world. Walt Disney was obviously an epic visionary, and his passion for theme parks and movies overlapped. Over the years, the movies have heavily inspired the theme parks, and the theme parks have  heavily inspired the movies.

If you take your kids, or if you're like me and you go as an adult, it's fun and valuable to watch certain movies in preparation for your visit to the parks. Some of the movie references in the parks are from the 1960's, or even older. If you're 30 or younger, some of the symbolism, shows, and even rides might not make sense. This makes watching them before a visit extremely fun and valuable. But, even if you've seen these movies in the past, it's still a blast to watch them right before you visit the parks.

There are probably hundreds of Disney shows and movies you could watch before your epic journey to the parks, but I've narrowed it down to the m…

All Star Wars movies ranked

The scene is the mid-1980's. In a dark basement in a suburban house in middle Tennessee, I sat on a sofa in a room with woodgrain walls and shaggy orange carpet watching VHS tapes on a fat 80's television. It was here that my family and friends periodically rented each Star Wars movie in the original trilogy and a young boy (spoiler - me) fell in love with a galaxy far far away. Adventure, innocence, and imagination were the hallmarks of this legendary series.

Now it's 2016, and we've just started the third Star Wars trilogy with the Force Awakens. With all the controversy of the prequels, the aging of the original trilogy, and the latest trilogy starting, where do the movies stand now? Well, I'll tell you! This is how I rank all the Star Wars movies from worst to best.

7. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones -
After the backlash of the Phantom Menace disaster, George Lucas and crew went back to the drawing board to slap together this mess. Reeling from neg…

Favorite Movies of 2015

We are well into 2016 now, and I've had time to look back on the whacky year that was 2015. The year was a solid mix of sublime and horrendous. Today I'm giving you my favorites of the year. Leave a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree. Now, here's the countdown:

7. Jurassic World

   Barely making this year's countdown is the soft reboot of the classic dinosaur series. I don't think it's quite fair to call Jurassic World a "soft reboot", because it's a pure sequel. It picks up in the year 2015, in real time, as if the first Jurassic Park happened in the early 90's. I loved that aspect of it. I also loved Chris Pratt's semi-breakout performance (post Guardians of the Galaxy) as a leading action star. Dallas Bryce Howard is also one of my favorite actresses. 

Jurassic World is a tad cheesy. However, it's full of imagination, grand scale, and wonderfully ambitious special effects. I love the gyro-spheres and the monorail. Also, w…

The Martian

The Good:

I thoroughly loved The Martian. We live in an era where the "cool" thing to do in sci-fi space movies is to make them grim and foreboding. (I'm looking at you, Interstellar, Moon, Prometheus, Disctrict 9, Elysium) The refreshing thing about this movie is that it is propelled by optimism and positive energy. These days, that makes it unique. Why do people assume that a movie with integrity has to be so dark? When did an optimistic perspective become the bold choice? I thought the levity was more realistic.

Matt Damon is the real shining star here with a detailed and competent performance as Mark Watney. The Best Actor nomination is well deserved and this is a world-class performance. The rest of the cast is wonderful, too. Kristen Wiig has a small-ish part but it's something different for her. Jeff Daniels is wonderful and memorable as Teddy Sanders, a man with conflicting interests and mountains of pressure. I always love Jessica Chastain and she's prob…

I watched Spotlight so you don't have to

Spotlight is the kind of movie the Academy Awards loves. It's one of those super serious movies you really have to put your hipster glasses on for and call it a "film." That, by itself, is certainly not a bad thing. There are, though, some issues I had with this movie that I need to tell you.

Spotlight earned a whopping 6 Oscar nominations. Film Editing, Original Screenplay, Directing (Tom McCarthy), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Supporting Actress (Rachel McAdams), and the ultimate...Best Picture. It also features an impressive 95% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Summary of the movie:

Based on the true story of the investigation team called Spotlight at the newspaper the Boston Globe. In the early 2000's they investigated the accusations of child abuse in the Catholic Church. As they investigated, they began to discover corruption and cover-up at every level.

The Good:

Let's consider movies tables. Some are stylish, some cheap, some flashy. If the movie Spotlig…

The Big Short

The Big Short is a movie about a potentially boring subject: Mortgage investing on Wall Street. It's based on a book by author Michael Lewis who also wrote books Moneyball and The
Blindside, which were also nominated for Best Picture.

The wonderful thing about The Big Short is that it had a secret weapon: writer / director Adam McKay. I would not have picked him to make this movie based on his prior movies: Anchorman (1 and 2), Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys. He has produced many movies, but his directing experience is aimed in the heart of the comedy genre. And he seems at home there. I love his comedies, and am a fan of all of them. Even if they're not "critically acclaimed", they're hysterical. So, when I first began hearing and reading that he was directing The Big Short, something told me it was going to be good. It's a movie of obvious voracious passion.

The Big Short is nominated for 5 Oscars: Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Directing …