At the end of the ceremony it was “Spotlight” left standing in a stacked Best Picture category. Beating out Producers Guild Award winner “The Big Short” and Directors Guild Award winner “The Revenant,” “Spotlight” took Best Picture as its second victory of the night, the first being Best Original Screenplay.
Likely the biggest story from the ceremony, though, was Mark Rylance of “Bridge of Spies” winning a huge upset over Sylvester Stallone who starred in “Creed.” Stallone had won plenty of hardware and momentum going into the evening but it was Rylance who took the trophy.
Another upset from the night was “Til it Happens to You” from the documentary “The Hunting Ground” losing to “Writing’s on the Wall” from the latest James Bond flick “Spectre.” Both upsets were a shock from my perspective and each announcement made the Twitter-verse explode.
Continue reading “Movie Report: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Top Prize, Stallone Upset By Rylance”
The year 2015 came and went with plenty of fun, exciting and moving pictures along the way. It was such a good year for movies that narrowing down a top 10 list was actually pretty difficult.
Continue reading “Top 10 Movies of 2015”
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. The morning of that day, as I was getting ready for another day of classes in college, I turned the news on. On every news channel that morning was not news of the upcoming general election, but rather, the fall of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch and much of the economy because of the housing bubble bursting.
That morning would come to have a significant impact on the course of America’s economy in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. One important factor in leading up to that morning, though, is that there were some who knew it was coming far in advance. That’s where “The Big Short” comes in.
The movie begins in the early-to-mid 2000s, when everything seems to be perfect with the housing market. In the first act, the film introduces a few different characters who all find out , though, that a collapse is coming. The first one to do so is financial analyzer Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale. The other characters who follow in Burry’s financial footsteps are Mark Baum, played by Steve Carell, Jared Vennett portrayed by Ryan Gosling and two younger investors mentored by Ben Rickert, played by Brad Pitt.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Powerful Acting, Intriguing Dialogue Make ‘the Big Short’ A Superb Look At The 08 Crash”
I can’t say I was particularly happy walking out of the theater after seeing “The Revenant” and being greeted by cold winter weather, since the whole 156 minute runtime takes place in cold winter weather. Fortunately for me, though, the movie was really good.
The film is loosely based on the true story of a frontiersman named Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Glass is the navigator on a fur-trading expedition that goes awry when the group is attacked by Arikara Warriors. The problems increase for the expedition when Glass is attacked by a huge bear.
With resources dwindling, the captain of the voyage, played by Domhnall Gleeson agrees to leave the trapper John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Glass’ son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) as well as a young adventurer named Bridger (Will Poulter) behind to take care of Glass. Wanting to escape the barren forest, though, Fitzgerald decides to leave Glass to die and when Hawk tries to protest he is killed. This leaves Glass having to fight to survive.
Continue reading “The Revenant Review”
- Bryan Cranston
- Diane Lane
- Helen Mirren
- Louis C.K.
- Roger Bart
- John Goodman
- Rated: R
Bryan Cranston plays the title character and legendary Oscar winning screenwriter in “Trumbo” which picks up with the lives of the protagonists just as the Red Scare is starting to pick up.
The fear of communism is on full display in the movie and one of the targets of that fear is Dalton Trumbo as well as other Hollywood writers. The film documents this struggle with the Red Scare, mainly through Trumbo’s perspective, featuring how they had to go to jail and were even blacklisted from working in the film industry.
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- Cate Blanchett
- Rooney Mara
- Kyle Chandler
- Sarah Paulson
- Rated: R
Rooney Mara plays Therese Belivet, a young department store worker in Director Todd Haynes’ “Carol.” Toward the beginning of the film, it appears that Therese is just coasting through life without having found much of a direction yet.
That is until she meets Carol Aird (Blanchett), an older woman who is in the midst of a divorce which is subsequently leading to a custody battle. After the two meet, they begin a relationship which allows them to be themselves, yet this brings problems, too, especially with Carol’s legal matters.
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- Alicia Vikander
- Eddie Redmayne
- Matthias Schoenaerts
- Rated: R
“The Danish Girl” is a film inspired by the true story of the first sex reassignment surgery patient, a transgender woman named Lili Elbe. The film begins in the 1920s, and shows how Lili (Redmayne) was originally Einar Wegener, an artist living in Denmark with his wife and fellow painter Gerda (Vikander).
Toward the beginning of the film, Einar fills in for a model that was absent for a painting Gerda was working on, which forces him to wear women’s clothing. In doing so, Einar realizes something that he’s really known his whole life, that his gender identity is actually that of a woman. The rest of the film follows the story of how the protagonist became Lili Elbe.
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The first “Divergent” was mediocre at best. It’s direct sequel doesn’t even reach that level, though, as “Insurgent” came off as a complete mess. Despite lead actress Shailene Woodley’s best attempts, her dialogue remains weak and the story structure is terrible. Additionally, co-star Theo James is lifeless on screen and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet is wasted in the role of an ineffectual villain.
Continue reading “Top 10 Worst Movies of 2015”
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Kurt Russell
- Jennifer Jason Leigh
- Walton Goggins
- Demian Bichir
- Tim Roth
- Michael Madsen
- Bruce Dern
- James Parks
- Rated: R
In “The Hateful Eight,” Samuel L. Jackson plays Major Marquis Warren, a former member of the U.S. Cavalry and now full time Bounty Hunter in the state of Wyoming. The movie begins with Warren needing a ride after the death of his horse and that need puts him in contact with another stage coach.
This stage coach has John Ruth (Russell) riding in it. A fellow bounty hunter who is taking a prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Leigh), in to hang for an alive reward. Ruth agrees to allow Warren come along. After picking up another stranded person, a sheriff played by Walton Goggins, the group makes it to a haberdashery where they come in contact with another group of people. The situation starts to become suspicious, though, when a murder occurs.
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- Will Smith
- Alec Baldwin
- Albert Brooks
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw
- David Morse
- Rated: PG-13
In “Concussion,” Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Pittsburgh forensic neuropathologist whose work brings him in contact with the deceased former Steelers player Mike Webster (Morse). After researching Webster’s cause of death, Omalu comes to the conclusion that repeated blows to the head from football created a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.
As Omalu begins to review other possible cases of CTE, he has to also deal with the National Football League, which isn’t ready to admit any wrongdoing on their part for the lack of research.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Concussion’”