Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Don't Feed The Bears

Following in the order as I've seen them, the next movie up to review is the 2015 Best Picture nominee The Revenant.  It was the top nominee that year with twelve nominations and winner of three awards for cinematography, a second Oscar for Best Director for Alejandro Inarritu, two years in a row, that is an epic John Ford type of victory, and a long overdue Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio.

Loosely based on the life of frontiersman Hugh Glass, which sounds like a Bart Simpson prank call, it tells the story of how Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is guiding fur trappers in 1823.  They are attacked by Indians and barely get away. At some point during their escape, Glass is attacked by a bear.  He barely survives and one of the trappers John Fitzgerald played by Tom Hardy who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, attempts to kill him.  He isn't successful but does kill Glass's son.  Of course he gets better, chases down Fitzgerald and ends with an epic fight.

The most exciting scene was when Leonardo DiCaprio was raped by the bear......excuse me, what, he wasn't raped?  Did you see the same film I did?  Hold on, hold on a second, thank you.  Sorry folks, but the blog's board of directors are interrupting my post.  They said that it was a fight between Leonardo DiCaprio and the bear.  There is one thing that we can agree upon, it was an epic fight. Check out this clip from the movie.

What do you mean that wasn't in the movie?  That looks a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio.  And I think I remember the bear wearing a hat.  Okay, fine, I'll look for the scene, but can I please get back to my post?  Thank you.

Anyway, this is a great movie.  The cinematography is amazing, which is why Emmanuel Lubezki won his third Oscar in a row.  The acting is fantastic, the clothing, everything.  It should have won Best Picture.  You really see how tough life was back in the early nineteenth century.  The battle scenes are so terrifying, you feel like you're in the middle of it.  And lets not forget the epic "fight" between the bear and Leonardo DiCaprio which I found and is right here for you to watch.

What, seriously?  I'm pretty sure I got the right clip.  Fine, I'll keep looking.  In the meantime I'll rank the films of 2015 that have seen.  And it is pretty obvious that this was the best of the films I've seen so far.  The Martian is second and Mad Max is now down to third.  And I think this is the right clip, if not, too bad and I'll correct it at some point.

Friday, May 19, 2017

What Happens When You Abandon the Buddy System

As Springfield Elementary third grade teacher Mrs. McConnel will tell you, the Buddy System is fullproof.

But when you abandon the buddy system, as we saw in The Martian, the film that is the subject of this post, we leave people behind.  In this case, on another planet.

Nominated for Best Picture, and a bunch of other Oscars, is based on the novel by Andy Weir.  Staring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and a number of other talented actors and actresses, this is one of the few Science Fiction movies to be nominated for best picture.  And it was good enough to be nominated.

Not based on a true story, some point in the future a team of astronauts are on Mars when a massive storm hits.  They decide to abort the mission and fly off the planet.  They leave behind one of their astronauts, played by Matt Damon of course, since they thought he was dead.  Proof that NASA should use the buddy system.  Turns out he didn't die and has to find a way to survive on Mars while they figure a way to get back to the planet and save him.  In the meantime, since it takes years to get back to Mars, Earth years not Mars years mind you, he has to find a way to survive.  Such as growing his own food.  And creating water.

Directed by Ridley Scott, who has done a few good sci-fi films here and there, this is more of a drama that is based in science fiction.  Which is why the film works and feels somewhat realistic.  Great special effects as well.  But how did it rank for the other nominated films of 2015?

Since this is the second film I am reviewing from that year, it is now in first place with Mad Max nipping on it's heels in second place.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Nice Drive in the Desert

As I had recently mentioned, and gentle reminders of bricks through my window from the blog's board of directors, I will do individual posts of the remaining movies I have seen.  And today is the first one I saw from 2015, Mad Max Fury Road.  There are a number of rumors floating around about the film which I can put an end to here and now.

Q: Is this a sequel to the third Mad Max movie?
A: There were only two real Mad Max movies, please don't tell me you actually saw the third one?

Q: I, um, no, what third movie?  I mean, is this film a sequel?
A: No, not really.  It is the fourth movie in the Mad Max franchise.

Q: Is it a sequel to Death of a Salesman?
A: No.

Q: Is it bigger than a bread box?
A: Were you dropped on your head as a baby?

Q: Hey, whose asking the questions here?
A: Okay, fine.

Q: Alright then, what about it being a sequel to The Grapes of Wraith?
A: Officially no, but technically, you could easily make that argument.

Q: Why are you answering questions instead of giving a review of the film?
A: Well, I actually have an answer for that question, but seeing your tone and attitude, I'm not going to answer you.

Q: Come on, please?  I'm sorry.  I want to hear your answer.
A: No.

Are they gone?  Good.  So while I have a few moments before the next question is asked I will give a review of Mad Max Fury Road.  It was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.  It won six, mainly the technical categories including one for Best Editing.  It was a surprise by many to hear when the Best Pictures were announced that it was one of the films nominated.  Or at least I was.

Well, they were right.  This is one of the best action adventure films I have seen in a long time.  The story isn't very complex, a futuristic post apocalyptic world where our main character is captured in the beginning and taken in as a blood bag for an injured warrior.  He eventually ends up with Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, who is trying to escape from the great tyrant and takes his wives.  This leads to an all out crazy chase and fight in the desert.  Then they get to their destination and decide to turn back and deal with it all over again.  I know, not a very complex script.

But the special effects, the costumes, the makeup and the overall feel of the film is terrific.  A lot of work went into making these scenes and it shows.  Don't watch this to absorb a complex drama and contemplate the meaning of life.  Watch this to see some crazy car chases and super cool explosions.

Since this is the first of the nominated films of 2015 I have seen and posted about, it is the top film.  I have seen three others and will post on them next and don't be surprised, but Mad Max will fall down in the ranking.

Q: Wait, did I make it?  I made it, right?  There's the preview below, I must have made it in time.  You only put a preview at the end of your posts.
A: Okay, you made it.  What is your question?

Q: Um, great, I forgot.  I don't believe this, but I actually forgot.  Wait, I remember now!  Is there a way for people to sign up for your blog?
A: Thank you for reminding me.  That's right, I now have a gadget installed in the upper right hand corner.  Please enter your email address and you will get automatic updates of my next rant, or diatribe or harangue.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Audit Time

The Board of Directors of The Academy Award Project have demanded that I produce an audit of the Best Pictures I have seen and posted about.  They didn't state directly that they would cut off my funding, so it wasn't a threat.  But I'm sure if it wasn't tied to a brick and thrown through my living room window I might have viewed it differently.  Lucky for me that I don't get offended easily and know that the board members are honorable people who were no where near my house last Thursday at 8:50 pm.

Since I've started the blog I have written about 512 films.  I have seen 520 films nominated for Best Picture and 537 films overall have been nominated and won Best Picture.  Of the eight that haven't been posted, four are from 2015 and four are from 2016.  I also have one on the DVR from 2015 that I will try and watch soon.

So stay tuned in the next few days as I will start giving reviews on additional movies.  I plan on changing my style of posting five to eight films at once every two to three months and do one at a time every few days.  This will allow me more time to replace my living room window.