February 28, 2017
Posted by onomeister under Celebrity
| Tags: 2017
, academy awards
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Most embarrassing Oscar moment in history!
OMG! Who thought the 2017 Oscars was the craziest ever?! Who thought that was the most embarrassing moment in Oscar history?! (Fay Dunaway & Warren Beatty, we’ll never forget you guys!) In other news, who’s excited for great movies?! Well me, for one! Every year, I get hyped for all the movies that earn an Academy Award nomination, as we, as casual movie-goers otherwise miss out on some amazing movies! Here’s onomeister’s picks of this year’s movies nominated for Best Picture:
- Arrival (Rated PG-13; 94% RottenTomatoes) – “When a mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team–lead by expert linguist (Amy Adams), are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, the team race against time for answers–and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity”.
- Why you should see it: One critic said it’s “a thinking man’s science-fiction movie”.
- Watch for: After credits have finished, there is a short documentary on the making of Arrival.
- Fences (Rated PG-13; 93% RottenTomatoes) – Denzel Washington directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh. Bitter that baseball’s color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues, Maxson is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones.
- Why you should see it: Denzel’s strong acting chops! One of his best ever acting roles earns him another Oscar nomination.
- Watch for: Denzel Washington as he reprises his role from his 2010 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical version of this movie, where he performed the role 114 times in the musical (yeah, he’s memorized the script, me thinks).
- Hacksaw Ridge (Rated R; 86% RottenTomatoes) – The extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers.
- Why you should see it: Andrew Garfield’s highly emotional performance earned him an Oscar nomination.
- Watch for: The battle scenes that took Mel Gibson nineteen days to shoot.
- Hell or High Water (Rated R; 98% RottenTomatoes) – Texas brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) come together after years divided to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land, part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that seemed to have been stolen from under them. Justice seems to be theirs, until they find themselves on the radar of Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement. As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the values of the Old and New West murderously collide.
- Why you should see it: The writing, it’s just fantastic! No wonder it got nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
- Watch for: Jeff Bridges’ Oscar-nominated performance as Best Supporting Actor
- Hidden Figures (Rated PG; 92% RottenTomatoes) – The incredible untold story of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
- Why you should see it: A feel-good movie that makes you learn to appreciate these women’s roles and the adversity that they had to go through (remember this was only 50 years ago).
- Watch for: “Chock Full o’Nuts” coffee in the office’s coffee area is an ‘easter egg’. The use of this brand in the context of segregation is historically relevant. In 1957, Chock Full o’Nuts was one of the first major New York corporations to hire a black executive as a corporate vice-president. The man they hired, retired baseball legend Jackie Robinson, made history by being the first person to break the color barrier in professional baseball.
- La La Land (Rated PG-13; 93% RottenTomatoes) – Written and directed by Academy Award winning director Damien Chazelle (youngest to ever earn the nod), LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.
- Why you should see it: Well, aren’t you as curious as I am why this musical/movie earned a record-tying 14 nominations, and winning six of them including Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematography? I remember laughing and shaking my head when I first heard that Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling were doing a musical together… Now who’s laughing?
- Watch for: Ryan Gosling saying the phrase “pis y caca”, which is Spanish for urine and feces, an expression meaning “it is not important”.
- Lion (Rated PG; 86% RottenTomatoes) – Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
- Why you should see it: “Lion” earned six Oscar nominations, should be reason enough. Also, don’t forget to bring some tissues.
- Watch for: Little five year old Saroo’s performance. If there was a Best Young Actor Academy Award category (there should be!), he would have won it.
- Manchester by the Sea (Rated R; 96% RottenTomatoes) – After the death of his older brother Joe, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick. Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.
- Why you should see it: Casey Affleck’s Best Actor winning performance (let’s suspend the hatred towards him just for two hours and enjoy a movie); Oh, and the movie was nominated for six Academy Awards.
- Watch for: The unpredictable storyline; Either you’ll love this movie or you’ll hate it.
- Moonlight (Rated R; 98% RottenTomatoes) – The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.
- Why you should see it: Cinematography is visually stunning; it’s more than a movie about growing up gay; it’s about overcoming your adversities.
- Watch for: Director Barry Jenkins’ favorite scene in his film, a sequence of Paula (Naomie Harris) staring straight into the camera overcranked at 48fps.
*Movie descriptions from RottenTomatoes.com; *Movie trivia from imdb.com
February 3, 2014
Best Group Selfie – which actors do you recognize?
Did you miss the 2014 Oscars on TV? Had no idea of this year’s critically-acclaimed films? Any of these nominated movies worth your time? You only know the one in space with Sandra Bullock? Don’t worry, onomeister is here to help you get educated with all the movies that were nominated for Best Picture that are worth your precious viewing time. With this knowledge, you will be able to debate with your work colleagues at the next water-cooler meeting!
Best Picture nominees:
- Gravity – In 2013, Spielberg’s Lincoln garnered the most nominations. This year, it is Oscar-winning Best Director Alfonso Cuarón‘s epic space flick (it tied with American Hustle with 10 nominations, and Gravity ultimately won the most awards with seven). If you like thrilling heart-pumping action and have not seen this yet, it is one of those must-see action movies of all time! Unlike Apollo 13, this one has less “Rah, rah, USA” and more about how to survive if you get stuck in space with little chance of staying alive. I cannot wait to watch this again on HD blu-ray!
- Didya know: The opening scene is a single continuous shot lasting 12 minutes long.
- HIGH recommendation
- Captain Phillips – From the director that made the Bourne Ultimatum & Supremacy, comes this real life portrayal of the 2009 hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates. This is not just another movie about a true-to-life event, director Paul Greengrass and actor Tom Hanks recreate this action thriller and both did a great job. Oh, and the bad guy was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
- Interesting Fact: Since the 2009 attack of the ship, other pirates have attempted to hijack the same container ship four times, failing each try.
- HIGH recommedation (if you are an action fan)
- American Hustle – Wow, it has only been a year since Silver Linings Playbook and the same director (David O. Russell) is at the top again! This 70’s mob film you will want to see just for its acting and its all-star cast. The plot, however, is either ‘loved it’ or ‘hated it’: The casual movie-goers found it boring, but the critics loved the character development and the all-star acting. Basically, don’t expect Goodfellas.
- Funny Fact: Robert De Niro (in a small uncredited role) did not recognize Christian Bale on the set even after they were introduced to each other, and had to ask the director who he was.
- MEDIUM recommendation (HIGH if you like all-star casts)
- The Wolf of Wall Street – Why does it seems that every movie that Leonardo DiCaprio does is highly-acclaimed? (he’s been in seven Best Picture nominated movies, and his third Best Actor nomination) This Martin Scorcese-directed film is based on a real-life securities fraud that occurred in the 1990s. Many have said that this is DiCaprio’s best performance ever, and that this is Scorcese’s best film since Goodfellas (Warning: this film is definitely not for the timid due to strong sexual content and drug references).
- Fun Fact: Watch for the kissing scene between DiCaprio and Joanna Lumley (who plays a grandma hustler) – DiCaprio was so nervous that it took 27 takes to get it just right.
- HIGH recommendation (VERY HIGH if you are a Scorcese fan)
- Dallas Buyers Club – Wow, Matthew McConaughey comes out of nowhere and steals the show (and a Best Actor Oscar!), as well as Best Supporting Actor nod to Jared Leto. Now everyone will want to watch this to see what the fuss was all about. McConaughey is a hustler who works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he himself is also diagnosed with the disease.
- Interesting Fact: The script was shopped around since the 90s, rewritten 10 times, and rejected 87 times by various studios.
- HIGH recommendation
- Nebraska – About an old alcoholic father who travels from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to collect a million dollar lottery win. Many say Bruce Dern gave the performance of his life as the father. This film is slow paced which may turn off some viewers but a very character-driven movie so worth watching for the acting.
- Best Scene: Don’t spoil yourself by watching the hilarious scene before the movie: The cemetary scene with the complaining wife.
- MEDIUM recommendation
- Her – Oscar-nominated Joaquin Phoenix plays a lonely divorcee who falls in love with a futuristic operating system. A very interesting love story based in the near future, this film won Best Original Screenplay for Spike Jonze (who also was nominated for Best Director in 2000 for Being John Malkovich)
- Interesting Fact: The voice of “OS1” is none other than Scarlett Johansson (no, not Apple’s Siri).
- HIGH recommendation
- Philomena – Nominated for four Oscars, a heart-wrenching story based on true events about good versus evil where a mother, Philomena, searches for her son who had been taken by Irish nuns decades ago. Be ready, this film is an emotional roller-coaster.
- Interesting Fact: Judi Dench, after this Best Actress nomination, has now scored seven acting nominations, all of which have come since she turned 63. No one else has scored anywhere near as many after the age of 60.
- MEDIUM recommendation
- 12 Years A Slave – The ultimate winner of this year’s Oscars’ Best Picture, and for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, this film is a must-see if you are a movie fan. A film based on a true story about slavery in pre-American Civil War, many have used ‘epic’ and ‘tour-de-force’ to describe it. Be ready, this film is dark and will rip your heart out. Watch for Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, and Paul Giamatti to appear.
- Funny Fact: Taran Killam often impersonates Brad Pitt on Saturday Night Live comedy skits. Though both actors appear in this film, they never meet or work together in the film.
- VERY HIGH recommendation
April 28, 2013
Roger Ebert, one of the greatest movie critics of all time, passed away from cancer at age 70 a few weeks ago. He updated his blog one last time last year with his list of his greatest movies of all time. If you are a movie fan, you should try to see these films once in your lifetime. Keep in mind, this is one man’s opinion, and also the fact that he had to consider thousands of the best movies of all time (not just this current generation). Think of how difficult a task this would be? So let’s take a look, for you movie lovers (displayed in no particular order):
- Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972): One of Oscar-nominated director Werner Herzog’s best films of his career, this is worth watching for its beautiful cinematography, but requires you to pay attention to its story due to the disquieting slow pacing. The film is about Spanish soldiers in the 16th century on an doomed expedition searching for the fabled El Dorado treasure, whose leader spirals into madness. Reason to watch: Kinski’s portrayal of angry Aguirre (click HERE to watch trailer).
- Apocalypse Now (1979): Nominated for eight Oscar Awards, director Francis Ford Coppola’s movie is about a secret mission during the Vietnam war to assassinate a rogue colonel who has gone insane. The casual movie fan will have difficulty understanding the film’s deep meaning: how war can affect the human psyche in horrible ways. Reason to watch: The napalm explosion shot, and the outrageous line: “You smell that? I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (click HERE to watch 8 clips from the movie – approx 30 mins total).
- Citizen Kane (1941): Director Orson Welles got nine Oscar nominations for this movie about the media circus that follows the death of a millionaire newspaper tycoon. The pacing of the storytelling is very different from today’s movies, yet by watching the end of this film, you will appreciate why Citizen Kane has been called one of the greatest of all time. Reason to watch: American Film Institute polled 1,500 filmmakers, critics, and historians, who ranked this as #1 on the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (click HERE to watch entire movie).
- La Dolce Vita (1960): Frederico Fellini nominated for Best Director in this Italian film about the high class elite in Rome in the 1950s. The production values and cinematography is at its best in this scathing satire of “the sweet life”, and the writing also nominated for an Oscar. Reason to watch: The famous fountain scene with the lead character Sylvia, who is a former Miss Sweden in real life (watch director Martin Scorcese’s commentary about Fellini and La Dolce Vita HERE).
- The General (1926): If you haven’t seen a silent movie in your life, then this might be the one to see. Buster Keaton’s epic film, which has been voted as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time”, is also full of thrilling action. The story is about spies stealing a train during the US Civil War. Reason to watch: After watching this epic, be amazed and wonder how this could have bombed in the box office? (click HERE to watch entire movie)
- Raging Bull (1980): Of course, you know of Martin Scorsese’s award-winning Hugo, and The Departed, but have you seen Raging Bull? Robert DeNiro won an Oscar for Best Actor, and it has been praised as one of the best performances of all time. Based on the real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, we see the rise and humongous fall to ruin that he takes all due to his uncontrollable anger. Be ready for a very violent film and plenty of foul language, this film is not for the faint of heart. Reason to watch: The beautiful black & white cinematography (click HERE to watch entire movie)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Nominated for four Oscars, Stanley Kubrick’s epic masterpiece will boggle and blow your mind. This is not your normal movie, one of those “loved it” or “hated it” movies – it wants to confuse you and will make you think, “What the heck just happened?” The story is about two crewman on a manned flight to Jupiter, the theme being man versus machine. Reason to watch: Interesting fact – there are a total of 88 dialogue-free minutes in the movie (click HERE to watch entire movie).
- Tokyo Story (1953): Yasujiro Ozu’s movie makes you instantly sympathize with the older generation, who have traditional values, while the younger generation is shown as selfish, and too busy to spend time with their parents – an example of the old “cat’s in the cradle“. This powerfully emotional movie is a definite must-see. Reason to watch: The realism – and be ready to weep a little (click HERE to watch entire movie).
- The Tree of Life (2011): Director Terrence Malick was nominated for three Oscars for this film about the origin and meaning of life. Another “loved it” or “hated it” movie, this one is not for the casual movie fan looking for a typical ‘Hollywood’ movie, no real storyline at all – but it will make you think about your life and your loved ones. Reason to watch: the visual imagery and cinematography (click HERE for trailer)
- Vertigo (1958): Legendary Alfred Hitchcock should be on this list, but why this film? Why not Psycho, Birds, or North by Northwest? Perhaps it’s because it’s been called the most personal, emotional, and complex of them all. This psychological detective mystery is one of those movies that makes you want to watch several times. Reason to watch: See the million dollar makeover that Universal Studios put on the digitally remastered version (click HERE to watch a total of 30 mins of clips).
“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.” – Roger Ebert
November 4, 2012
So why is everyone going bananas for Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Here are seven reasons:
- Yay! A time travel movie? I’m in!
- Bruce Willis sent back to be killed by his younger self (portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Sounds cool!
- Wait, Gordon-Levitt is acting as a younger Willis? Yes, this movie is worth watching just to see how awesome Gordon-Levitt’s uncanny resemblance of Willis is. His like-mannerisms are freaky!!
- For a sci-fi action movie, Looper is beautiful to watch in terms of its cinematography.
- Try not to get carried away with debunking the time travel logic of the movie. Enjoy the film for what it is – entertainment.
- Actually it’s not about time travel; it’s about “longing, loneliness, and yearning for someone to love and be loved by”
- You will be moved, you will be talking about the movie afterwards, and you will want to watch it again.
Looper is rated R – not for kiddies.
October 19, 2012
OMG… Russell “The Gladiator” Crowe, is that really you? This photo taken just recently on the set of his new movie “Noah” shows a Russell Crowe that made me look twice. Mr. Crowe, I’m sorry about your recent divorce, but you’ve really let it go. Now I’m a little worried about this movie…
This 2014 film is about the Biblical Noah who suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge, and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
The casting is strong: Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and the director Darren Aronofsky has done Black Swan, The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, all highly regarded movies.
October 15, 2012
So who’s going to see Steven Spielberg’s next big movie “Lincoln”? And no, this is not the poorly-rated vampire hunter Lincoln movie.
This biopic of Abraham Lincoln focuses on the last four months of Lincoln’s life, as he fights to amend the constitution to outlaw slavery, while also seeking peace with the Confederates in the Civil War. It was recently shown in a secret screening at the New York Film Festival (cell phones, iPads and even Kindles were not allowed), and will officially release Nov. 16, but those who made it into the screening were under oath not to review the film yet. Ohhh, the secrecy!
Apparently, the film has already been billed a sure shot for Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis) – they are expecting a total of 12 nominations. Listen for Oscar-winning composer John Williams (a la Star Wars / Indiana Jones) as he teams yet again with Spielberg.
One of 2012’s top five films? OMG definitely!
August 4, 2012
Canadians! Sci-fi fans! Blu-ray collectors! I have three great sci-fi movies that are discounted currently on amazon.ca. Remember, these are “you snooze you lose” limited-supply deals. Do you like your sci-fi? Then, if you get all three, your shipping will be free, as your order will be over CAD$25.
- Super 8 (2011) on sale for CAD$9.99 – From J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, this one has been said to be a tribute to classic Spielberg movies. A mixture of E.T., Jurassic Park and Cloverfield, this tale of youth, mystery and adventure has a nostalgic feeling like Goonies and Stand By Me. It’s nothing innovative but a fun ride. Rated PG-13 (IMDb rating 7.2/10, watch trailer).
- Moon(2009) on sale for CAD$9.99 – This critically acclaimed film is about a lonely inhabitant of an automated lunar mining base who longs to see his wife and child so much that it starts to get him mentally unstable. This is a must-see if you are a sci-fi fan. Rated R (IMDb rating 8.0/10, watch trailer).
- Equilibrium(2002) on sale for CAD$6.99 – Watch a young Christian Bale and Sean Bean in this sci-fi film in which the action sequences are very well-choreographed. The post-apocalyptic movie has been compared to the Matrix and George Orwell’s 1984. Rated R (IMDb rating 7.6/10, watch trailer).