Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 102



NEW IN THEATERS



This Week
  • 21 and Over
  • Ginger & Rosa / 55%
  • Jack the Giant Slayer / 71%
  • The Last Exorcism Part II
  • Phantom / 20%
  • Stoker* / 66%
  • The Sweeney* / 53%
  • War Witch* / 94%




Last Week
  • 11 Flowers* / 91%
  • Bless Me, Ultima* / 74%
  • Dark Skies / 31%
  • Inescapable* / 21%
  • Kai Po Che!* / 57%
  • Red Flag* / 78%
  • Rubberneck* / 53%
  • Snitch / 56%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • Chasing Mavericks / 33%
  • Holy Motors / 86%
  • The Master / 90%
  • This is Not a Film / 99%
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part II / 48%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD




While it may seem Pixar is not as creative as they once with all their sequels and now this prequel, the variety of students on this poster for "Monsters University" has me eager to see their newest.


The poster for "Evil Dead" continues the sense of dread I felt from the trailer.



A pair of posters for "Iron Man 3." Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are making this look like the most epic (and most serious?) film in the series yet! 


"Rewind This"


* * *



CAST AWAY



It's official, Quvenzhané Wallis (the Oscar-nominated firecracker front and center of "Beasts of the Southern Wild") is set to star in the Will Smith produced re-imagining of "Annie." Smith's daughter Willow was going to star, but apparently grew up too fast (that's bound to happen when you whip your hair back and forth as much as she did). The musical will have all new music by Jay-Z. Lil' Wallis will appear in "12 Years a Slave" later this year before "Annie" releases during the 2014 holidays. She was no one hit wonder, she's here to stay folks. (Source: JoBlo)



Chris Cooper is going to be playing Norman Osbourne in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." This is the role formerly filled by Willem Dafoe in the Sam Raimi-directed original. Does this mean Cooper will also be playing Osbourne's experiment gone wrong turned villain Green Goblin? If so then this film series will feel even more like the ones we've seen before. I actually like the reboot (so far), see my review. (Source: /Film)

* * *

ENLISTED




Rotten Tomatoes ranks the best and worst Best Picture winners. Where does the latest, "Argo," fit in?



Shortlist reveals "The Greatest Movies of the 00s." Some givens, some unique picks. I still need to see five of these... What would you list? 

* * *


THE GOOD



"The Master," the best film I saw in 2012 (my review), is out in stores this week and comes complete with a plethora of deleted scenes that fans, self-included, are eager to see. Keith Phillips of The Atlantic discuss "The Irresistible Perils of Watching a Film's Deleted Scenes."

* * *

THE BAD




Last week Matt Singer wondered if the Oscars were making people hate the movies the Awards were supposed to honor (i.e. "Argo"). 

* * *

THE WEIRD



Did you hear about one Oscar voter's (thus, a member of the Academy) honest brutally honest ballot? The Hollywood Reporter has more.



"Paranormal Activity 4" is now out in stores. As advertisement they've released this Scare-ographic to prove the film has more scares per second (sps?) than its predecessors. All right... (Source: Total Film)


* * *

AND THE RANDOM




How do you think Seth MacFarlane did hosting the Oscars? Well, he'll never do it again... according to him. (Source: JoBlo)



Noomi Repace (who co-stars in a great-looking thriller due out next week, "Dead Man Down") confirms that director Ridley Scott is working on "Prometheus 2"! Remember (spoiler alert) at this point it's just her and an android's head in a duffle bag, though I'm pretty sure we're supposed to assume she put its head back on its body... So much to find out if this sequel is ever made! "Prometheus" is one of the 2012 films I still think most about... it was amazing in many ways but so infuriating too. See my poem/review. (Source: /Film)

 * * *

OR THE COOL



Ch-ch-check out this Best Pictures Remix!



Scott Beggs of Film School Rejects has an interview with someone from the future in "Imagining the Oscar Ceremonies of the Next Ten Years." I can only hope for a an online stream in the future... read why here.


* * *


MAYBE THE HILARIOUS




Did you miss the Oscars on Sunday? Funny or Die has the "best" moments in a video that's just over 3 minutes (instead of 3 hours).



Last year after the Oscars Jimmy Kimmel debuted the long trailer for "Movie: The Movie." This year there's a sequel, "Movie: The Movie: 2V." Huh. It's not as good as the original (ha!), but is certainly more promising than "Movie 43." The best thing this offers is a biting, albeit raunchy, satire on today's hollywood climate.



Many were offended and many were amused by Seth MacFarlane's musical number during the Oscar telecast entitled "We Saw Your Boobs." Most of us just can't get it out of our heads... You may or may not have foreseen this reaction. YouTuber gisikw is leveling the playing field with "We Saw Your Junk," a cheery tune listing the films in which we saw male genitalia.



Boy, Leonardo DiCaprio does not have the best of luck, does he? Still, I thought he was marvelous in "Django Unchained" and this year he's in two big releases, "The Great Gatsby" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." 

* * *

TV TOO



"Game of Thrones" returns with its 3rd season on March 31st. The trailer looks pretty good as far as medieval fantasy goes, but as I have not seen any of it (or read any of the books) I haven't the foggiest what is going on.

* * *

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 101





"Rewind This!" is a documentary about how the home video market (and its star, the VHS tape) changed the landscape of film for consumers. In 2013 it's a matter of nostalgia, though there are still some reasons these blocky records are still important. My thoughts go to "Earthbound," the '80s sci-fi flick that I have yet to see but long to see because my father is in briefly during his short-lived career as an extra... This doc will be showing at SXSW this year. The rest of us film geeks will eagerly await its release. Wouldn't it be neat if they put this on VHS?




The trailer for "It's a Disaster" is set to "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Yes, that's a fact. What is not a fact is whether this comedy is in fact funny or not. It stars David Cross (perhaps best known as the never-nude brother-in-law on "Arrested Development") and Julia Stiles as one of several couples at a lazy Sunday couples' brunch. When one of their uninvited friends shows up is a hazmat suit with talk of "dirty bombs" downtown their paranoia slowly bubbles. This is writer/director Todd Berger's second feature film following "The Scenesters," a film few have seen and fewer were impressed by. Let's give this one a try. It played the festival circuit last year and gets a limited release on April 12th.




Love Danny Boyle after only seeing a few of his films, but I can already tell he's one of those directors who never does remotely the same thing twice. Case in point, Boyle's latest film, "Trance." James McAvoy is an art auctioneer who gets involved with a gang of thieves and their hypnotherapist (this leads to much mind-bending) in hopes to acquire a rare painting. Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel, two good-looking actors who always seem to be trying new things, round up the cast. This film looks bonkers as the trailer takes a sharp turn at the 50-second mark and never lets up. If you're interested, here's a red band trailer for your consideration. March 27th is only a month away!




"Life of Pi" wasn't the only Oscar nominee to be largely set upon and at the mercy of the open ocean; "Kon-Tiki" depicts the story of explorer Thor Heyerdal's voyage across the pacific on a raft in the 1940s. The stunt was all in an effort to prove that South America could have reached and settled in Polynesia before Columbus' time. The film was Norway's official selection for the Oscars and the country's most expensive film to date. It certainly looks that way and it's easy to understand why they want the rest of the world to see. "Kon-Tiki" gets a limited release here in the States come April 19th.

Camels can't be hitched round here, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW


"Spiders (3D)," not to be confused with the recently covered "Big Ass Spider," is another monster flick with city-terrorizing arachnids. How it is that we got two of these big spider centric B-movies in the same year is a mystery to me. The film must know it's preposterous. The effects here are impressive compared to its direct competition, but that's probably the best thing I can say about this "eight legs, three dimensions, one disaster" of a movie. It showed somewhere earlier this month. I wonder if anyone will be able to ever see it in 3D again...



QUEER STEER

Just about everyone who sees the trailer for "Detour" is quick to label it "Buried" in a car. Looks like I just did too. I have no idea how this poor guy drove upon this sinkhole (or whatever it is), but that's the inciting incident for this survival film. Like "127 Hours" it looks to be largely a one-man-show who waits to be rescued and slowly loses his mind. Sometimes it's the audience who has to survive through a film like this. I'm interested in the concept even if we've seen stuff like it before and recently, but it will have to prove itself amidst the pack. Expect a small release on March 29th.



LASSO OF THE WEEK

I usually don't have ties for Lasso of the Week (I believe the magic of Spielberg begged for an exception with trailers for "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin" back in 2011), but hey, if the Oscars can do it then so I can I! This pair of documentaries are the best new trailers of the past few weeks:




"Leviathan" is the anticipated (by a select some, self-included) follow-up from the documentarians of "Sweet Grass." A strangely incredibly watchable observation of sheep farmers in Montana. Following suit, "Leviathan" is a look at the commercial fishing industry in the North Atlantic. What's the catch? It's shot from a fish's point of view (yes, they used a "fish eye" lens) bringing an entirely new perspective to this form of filmmaking. The sound design alone sounds worth the price of admission. This gets a limited run in lucky theaters this weekend.



I covered an earlier title-card-only teaser for "Room 237" and called it both one of the worst and best trailers I had ever seen. This one is similar in not spoiling anything, but making you insanely curious about what's within. It is a reconstructions of the iconic teaser that Stanely Kubrick himself engineered for "The Shining." As this is a documentary all about the fan conspiracies surrounding that horror classic, particularly that dreaded room at the Overlook Hotel. The result is a stroke of inspired genius. The upward scroll flaunts the doc's garnered accolades while an antique VCR (likely what many of the film's subjects watch it through again and again) receives a flood of bright blood. "Room 237" gets a limited theatrical release on March 29th. I hope to find it sooner rather than later, but mean to revisit "The Shining" before I do.

Looks like we've come full circle this week... from "Rewind This!," a movie about VHS tapes, to "Room 237," a trailer featuring the most memorable VCR we've ever seen. Let me know what you think about this Herd of trailers in the comments below! Thanks for visiting The Film Tome.

Monday, February 25, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN' ON MY HEAD / BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID



"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thoms
as seen and heard in
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance (1969)

First and foremost, I must apologize for the video. Not only does it force you to watch it on YouTube, the quality is the worst I've ever had in one of these Movie Music Moments. Alas, it's the moment that dictates, not what moments are accessible. I'm guessing the copyrights for this track are still being held fairly tight.

I remember watching my Korean roommate (this was a couple of years back) watching a foreign TV show that teaches English. In one episode they were studying the lyrics of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." It was amusing to watch and hear as teacher and pupil took a stab at each word and then strung them all together in an attempt to sing. Okay, that has nothing to do with the film it debuted in.


Back in 1969 audiences first heard this song as it appeared in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (Hal David and Burt Bacharach won an Oscar for Best Original Song). It's use is out of the blue and utterly bizarre. The scene features Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) taking his titular partner's girl (Katherine Ross as Etta Place) out on a day-date. He's acquired a funny new contraption in this 1890s setting: a bicycle. He takes her for a spin while beginning to serenade her with a folk song of his own. In the very next shot the soundtrack takes over and the song in discussion plays for their merry little montage. In contrast to the lyrics it's a sunny day in this rustic country setting. 

The song draws all the attention in the world to itself, it feels like it would fit in more with a romantic picture of the era than in a Western. Many are critical towards this sequence, I seem to recall the hosts of Filmspotting calling it the worst part of the film. To make matters more distracting the song is interjected with a circus tune while Butch performs some tricks on his bike in order to impress Miss Place. It switches back to "Raindrops" after Butch crashes into a bullpen and the two would-be-lovers hightail on out of there... and back to the movie as it seems.

When I first saw "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" I didn't know what to make of this sequence. Revisiting today I am adamantly for and impressed by it. The diversion makes for a strong signal of the Revisionist Western, a welcome branch off the sometimes overly formulaic genre. As much as the railroad (Iron Horse) - which makes abundant appearances in this film - equaled progress in the Old West, the bicycle remains the means of transportation that most signifies that of the horse. It belonged in a city or town, prohibiting men from riding too far in search of whatever the horizon holds in store. Like the bicycle, this song was a message from the future. A contemporary pop song placed in a period piece? The decision is iconic and unforgettable, and I'd argue truly fitting in this American classic. Song choice can be divisive, sometimes it's the vision of a single person. All sequence are constructed in the editing room, but this one especially so. To me it's a bold move and I fancy the novelty of the result. There's moments within this moment and I hope after this analysis you'll give it another try, especially in context of the entire picture.

There's plenty of other soundtrack choices in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" to discuss, but that'll have to wait for editions of Movie Music Moment still on the horizon. What other films feature this song? I remember it being used in "Spider-Man 2" and my cousin not liking it's use therein. Maybe this song just irks folk? Please share your thoughts about this Movie Music Moment or tell us one of your own in the comments below. Check out more of these by searching the "Movie Music Moment" label. Happy watching!

THE MORNING AFTER THE 85TH... OSCARS

FROM THE ACADEMY AWARDS TO THE OSCARS


Last weekend I had a slew of posts related to the Academy Awards Oscars, the biggest night in Hollywood and for me, ever since I was a kid, one of the most anticipated nights of the entire year. This usually-February-sometimes-March ceremony is put on by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. It started back in 1929 with a couple hundred people gathered into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and has grown to the world-wide event it is today with millions tuning in from home. Unfortunately, it's not the easiest thing to stream online if you're living in the United States. I obliviously thought I'd have no problem in this digitally connected age. And so last night I resorted to watching the awards over our iPad FaceTiming with my parent's iPad looking at their TV... (Looks like I'll finally have to get a TV hooked up in my home by next year - it's the only day of the year that I would need one). I shant bore you with my first world problems anymore. Let me just share a few thoughts about last night's proceedings and the Oscars in general. Yes, as of last week they officially changed the name from the Academy Awards to their better-known nickname, the Oscars.

SETH MACFARLANE: NOT THE WORST OSCARS HOST


Seth MacFarlane (creator of "Family Guy") had an opening bit that stretched on far too long. It was a commentary on previous Oscar hosts and specifically what people thought he'd do with the job. It had it's moments (tap dancing with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe!) but could have been significantly trimmed. It was funny, crude, cruel and sometimes served as a lovely laudation to the year in movies. I think humorous jabs should always be a part of award shows. It's important for people to be able to laugh at themselves during a night where they also celebrate themselves and others. It brings some humility and honesty to the merited pride. William Shatner (in a strange on-running gag about tomorrow's headlines) led MacFarlane from "worst Oscars host ever" to "best Oscars host ever." Ultimately, I'd say "not the worst." It's certainly better than when we think back a couple years to Anne Hathaway and, namely, James Franco. Shudder. MacFarlane looks like a classy guy and he was able to get the job done as much as he was able to have fun. And what a voice fit for the occasion, no?

A NIGHT OF SOME SIGNIFICANT SURPRISES


I don't think a single person had a perfect crop of predictions for this year's awards. To me, that's a very good thing. Predictability makes for a dull affair. I suspected that this would be a year where they spread the love around and that turned out to be exactly the case. Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director and Best Picture... all went to different films. I'm not about to do the research, but I wonder if that has ever happened before. There were some we saw coming a million miles away (Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day-Lewis), but many, self-included, were pleasantly shocked when Ang Lee won for directing "Life of Pi." I didn't think "Django Unchained" would be walking away with anything last night. It was my favorite of the Best Picture nominees and I was jazzed to see Christoph Waltz win Best Supporting Actor and Tarantino himself take the stage for Best Original Screenplay.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD


The speeches were for me the best part of the evening. From Tarantino honorably shining the light on all his actors before "Peace out!" to Daniel Day-Lewis being actually funny (he had a bit about being considered for Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady") and then concluding in his usual well-handled and thankful way. Hathaway won my heart over again and Ang Lee appeared youthfully bliss. 


Ben Affleck concluded the evening with a sincere and inspiring rambling that I will surely listen to again. He was not nominated as Best Director (what many felt was a snub), but he got the last word of the evening as one of the producers of "Argo." The fact that my other favorite part of the show were the clips from the Best Picture nominees set to their own music shows how easy it is to please a cinephile. The more you honor and highlight the films from that year the better.


Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy had a painfully unfunny skit (and the two were very funny in last year's "This is 40") before awarding the Animated films of the evening. Also, what was up with cast of "The Avengers" when presenting Cinematography and Visual Effects? Robert Downey Jr. is typically awkward on stage, but it seems Samuel L. Jackson was an unscripted thorn in his side.

Not a lot of terrible moments thankfully, but plenty was odd about last night's show. For some reason MacFarlane announced the night would have a musical theme? Maybe they should save that for a year with more than just the one ("Les Mis"). This resulted in some revival numbers from "Chicago" and "Goldfinger," as 50 years of the James Bond series was honored as well. 


Perhaps the strangest part of the evening came right near the end when Jack Nicholson and Michelle Obama (via the drop down screen, bringing the evening full circle lest we forget the Shatner) awarded "Argo" Best Picture. C'mon Academy, we know politics always play a part of the processes, but must you thrust into the limelight? The Obamas themselves are not part of the entertainment industry no matter how much one supports the other. The hand-off between Nicholson and the First Lady was so clumsy and we were able to see it was pre-recorded.

A CLOSING THOUGHT ON THE IDEAL


After a weekend of focusing all my thought and attention to the Oscars I think we all deserve a long break. Well, Trent and I will soon be hitting record to discuss last night's show, then after that, I swear. The show can always be better, last night's was definitely no exception. For me 2012 was a remarkable year in film and filmmaking and we did not see near enough of that at the Oscars. While based in the United States the Academy itself proclaims they are open to the world. In a perfect world we'd see that proven true. I get goosebumps imagining an Olympic-type awards ceremony where film artists around the globe are invited and honored. The Oscars has always been Hollywood's big night, not necessarily film's. You can't please everyone, but I will always watch the Oscars and appreciate each second that works well.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

85TH ACADEMY AWARDS - LIVE BLOG


Welcome to The Film Tome's live blog for the 85th Academy Awards! What follows is a post that I will be continually updated throughout the ceremony. If you are reading during the awards you'll want to be sure to refresh after each win for the latest comments from yours truly. Also, follow me on Twitter (@thejslewis) for additional content. Feel free to share thoughts of your own in the comments below.

Here are quick links to additional Oscar-related posts on The Film Tome:

The live blog is below (most recent at the top):

9:00 PM - That's a wrap! I thought Seth MacFarlane was a fine host, albeit I missed the opening which Twitter didn't seem to be a fan of. Think he'll be invited back again? Until next year. Good night and good luck!

8:56 PM - Jack Nicholson and Michelle Obama (?!) announce the nominees and then award Best Picture to "Argo".  Ben Affleck gets the microphone and goes all out. I remember his speech before the premiere of "Argo" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. It's a solid film and he was a great director/producer on it.

8:47 PM - Meryl Streep is onstage to award the Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"). Day-Lewis was a force as Lincoln, but nothing, nothing was like Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master." Strange cutaway to Mr. Phoenix though, shaking his head? Day-Lewis gives a funny and gracious speech.

8:44 PM - Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook"). Wow, she's so young. She also has very bad luck making her way to the stage. Didn't like her character, but she is fine actress.

8:40 PM - We're back from the commercials... I've been talking and thinking this whole time about Ang Lee just won Best Director for "Life of Pi." He won a few years for "Brokeback Mountain." Way to represent Taiwan!

8:30 PM - Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained").  Wow! I honestly did not expect this. Based on the final product that is "Django Unchained" I am very proud of what Tarantino and his fine team of actors accomplished. Also, very cool that he gave them so much recognition.

8:26 PM - Best Adapted Screenplay: "Argo." It's seeming more and more likely it's going to win Best Picture.

8:16 PM - Best Original Song: "Skyfall." This was another obvious win, though I would've picked "Suddenly" from "Les Miserables."

8:08 PM - More "Chicago"? Good grief. Stars from that film are here to award Best Original Score: "Life of Pi." Thought it would go to Williams for "Lincoln." I'm not doing so good at my predictions and Oscar Bowling...


8:04 PM - Barbara Streisand sings it away.... "The Way We Were." This is probably not the best time to mention she looks incredibly like Mel Brooks.

7:57 PM - Lookin' good Mr. Clooney! He's here for the In Memoriam.

7:51 PM - Best Production Design: "Lincoln." Probably one of the best parts about the film... But thought it'd be "Anna Karenina" just based off those arresting scenes in the trailer.

7:44 PM - What's it say about me that among my favorite parts of the show are these tributes to the Best Picture nominees: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained," and "Amour."

7:37 PM - Adele is currently rocking "Skyfall." It's going to win an Oscar shortly.

7:34 PM - Best Editing: "Argo." Didn't see this one...

7:22 PM - Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway ("Les Miserables"). She's adorable and can remember a lot of names and absolutely deserves this win.


7:20 PM - Christopher Plummer takes the stage to give Anne Hathaway her inevitable win.

7:15 PM - A TIE?!?!?! Best Sound Design: "Zero Dark Thirty" & "Skyfall." This is the first I've ever heard of this happening... And for Sound Design? Huh. Also, don't forget the Jewish jokes by Ted and Wahlberg leading into this now historical award. This will now be a matter of Oscar trivia folks.

7:11 PM - Ted and Mark Wahlberg take the stage Best Sound Mixing: "Les Miserables." Absolutely deserving, the live singing and music came together splendidly.

7:07 PM - I absolutely loved "Les Mis" and it was great to see the cast onstage together. Here is my review.

7:03 PM - RUSSELL CROWE!!!

7:01 PM - "Les Mis" time! Hugh Jackman onstage... first in the powerful "One Day More" melody.

7:00 PM - Okay, so that wasn't just archival footage. Several musical numbers this year even if so far not a one has come from a 2012 film... 

6:55 PM - Huh. I must've missed what Travolta was just saying... For whatever reason we're watching Catherine Zeta-Jones perform a number from "Chicago." Or did I just trip into a time-warp and go back 11 years?
6:50 PM - Best Foreign Language Film: "Amour." One of the only shoe-ins of the evening. A perfect picture if ever there was one.  Michael Haneke is a true master of the medium.

6:48 PM - Best Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man." Well, I thought "How to Survive a Plague" would win, but nope, the Academy truly surprised me. "Sugar Man" is great stuff w/ great music.

6:38 PM - Liam Neeson takes the stage to highlight more of the Best Picture nominees: "Argo" and "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

6:35 PM - Best Documentary Short: "Inocente." It's a very inspiring film for artists everywhere. Inocente herself is on stage and completely overwhelmed. This story has an even happier ending than it did onscreen!

6:32 PM - Best live action short film! For the first time I've seen all the short film nominees. Best Live Action Short: "Curfew." I was really taken with this one, Shawn Christiansen is definitely going places: writer, director, composer and actor.

6:25 PM - Just told Nancy Adele was going to sing before I realized... this ain't Adele. 

6:20 PM - Can you hear the makeup artists sing? Best Hair & Makeup: "Les Miserables." They did make Anne Hathaway look pretty bad... and Hugh Jackman like Wolverine. I can think of 13 dwarves that were snubbed.

6:17 PM - Best Costume Design: "Anna Karenina." Period piece

6:10 PM - Best Visual Effects: "Life of Pi." Of course. That tiger is amaze-balls.

6:08 PM - Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi." Thought for sure it'd go to Roger Deakins for "Skyfall"... Who still has never won an Oscar somehow...

6:05 PM - Lovely tribute to some of the Best Picture nominees.

6:00 PM - Best Animated Feature: "Brave." Nice Kilt. So-so movie. In fact, my least favorite of all nominees...

5:58 PM - Best Animated Short: "Paperman"! Saw that one coming. It's great, here is my review.

5:52 PM - Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained")! Well, I'm more than okay with this. Certainly a better performance than TLJ in "Lincoln" (my prediction). Still, not quite the sensation that is Philip Seymore Hoffman is in "The Master."

5:49 PM - It's been nearly 20 minutes... very long intro, no? Here we go, Octavia Spencer giving out the first award...

5:45 PM - Daniel Radcliffe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and MacFarlane dancing and singing. Not bad.

5:43 PM - Just got connected... relying on a live stream over the internet can be very frustrating... "Flight" with sock puppets. Hmm. I'm guessing I didn't miss much.

PRE-SHOW


5:13 PMFun Fact for the Ladies: George Clooney's middle name is Dapper.

5:00 PMJennifer Lawrence should have worn her flaming dress from "The Hunger Games"! What was she thinking???

OSCAR BOWLING (85TH ACADEMY AWARDS)


All right, I'm ready to go Oscar bowling for the first time ever. Basically you oredict the winners for each of the 24 categories for this year's Academy Award's and assign each a confidence score (1-24). The ones you are most sure about get the higher score, the ones you are still iffy on go lower. For each you get right you earn the assigned number. For example, I will be getting 24 points when "Amour" takes home the Oscar tonight. For more details about Oscar Bowling check out Jeff Bayer's post over on The Scorecard Review for complete rules and instructions. It's much more compelling than simply guessing who will win because it becomes a dynamic game that always changes. Yes, it's behind geeky. Is this what it feels like to play fantasy football? I wouldn't now. My picks were fleshed out from yesterday's Predictions & Picks post, ranking was the difficult part. Though I feel more confident about this than I did my Top Ten Films of the Year list which you can hear my co-host Trent and I disclose on our latest episode of The Film Tome Podcast: 2012: Year in Review. Therein we also discuss the Oscar predictions and have fun with some awards you won't be seeing tonight.


24 - Foreign Language Film – Amour
23 - Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
22 - Best Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
21 - Original Song – "Skyfall" (Skyfall)
20 - Achievement in Visual Effects – Life of Pi
19 - Achievement in Sound Editing – Zero Dark Thirty
18 - Achievement in Film Editing – Zero Dark Thirty
17 - Best Director – Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
16 - Live Action Animated - Paperman
15 - Documentary Short – Open Heart
14 - Live Action Short Film – Buzkashi Riders
13 - Supporting Actor – Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
12 - Achievement in Cinematography – Roger Deakins (Skyfall)
11 - Documentary Feature - How to Survive a Plague
10 - Achievement in Sound Mixing – Les Miserables
09 - Achievement in Art Direction – Anna Karenina
08 - Achievement in Costume Design – Anna Karenina
07 - Adapted Screenplay – Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
06 - Original Screenplay – Michael Haneke (Amour)
05 - Best Lead Actress – Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
04 - Animated Feature Film – FrankenWeenie
03 - Original Score – Lincoln
02 - Best Picture – Argo
01 - Achievement in Makeup – Les Miserables

There you have it! Later tonight we'll find how right/wrong I was. To make this a little more interesting Trent and I have a little bet going on. When I win Trent is going to have to sing one of Russell Crowe's songs from "Les Mis" (better than Crowe) on the podcast. If I were to somehow possibly lose I have to watch "Jack and Jill" and take studious notes... I've been avoiding that film like the plague. You can see Trent's Oscar Bowling post here.


As always share any of your Oscar predictions below. Are you going Oscar Bowling? Let it roll and let me know. You can follow me on Twitter (@thejslewis) for plentiful Oscar coverage, but I'll also be doing a live blog here on The Film Tome. Here's to tonight, enjoy the show!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

85TH ACADEMY AWARDS: PREDICTIONS & PICKS

It's the time of year again where film bloggers, critics, and all-around cinephiles share their predictions for what  the Academy (the majority being middle-aged-and-beyond white men) voted for. It's silly really, but it's the biggest night for the movies and so we are drawn like moths to the flame. I can't believe this is now the fourth year in a row that I've done a pre-Oscars post of this sort here on The Film Tome...

Here's the drill:

I'm going through each and every category (popular and unpopular, as I believe each deserves credit in the grand scope of filmmaking) and I am going to predict who will win, who should, and in most instances who should be nominated. (Note: It was an incredible year for actors and I have plenty of shout-outs to give there especially!). I will employ red text to distinguish my overall pick for each category, whether it was nominated or not. The picture in each category is of the nominated film that should win.

Should you need reminding, here's the full list of nominees.

First things first:


OSCAR NOMINEES I STILL NEED TO SEE



5 Broken Cameras
Anna Karenina 
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
Kon-Tiki
Mirror Mirror
No
Snow White and the Huntsman
War Witch

* * *

Glad I got that out of the way, now to the categories:

WRITING (ADAPTED)


Will: Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
Should: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Should Be Nominated:
David Mitchell, Lana & Andy Wachowski, and Tom Twyker (Cloud Atlas)
Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie (The Grey)
Andrew Dominik (Killing Then Softly)
Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet)
Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain (Rust and Bone)

* * *

WRITING (ORIGINAL)



Will: Michael Haneke (Amour)
Should: Michael Haneke (Amour)

Should Be Nominated:
Leos Carax (Holy Motors)
Rian Johnson (Looper)
Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths)

* * *

SOUND EDITING



Will: Zero Dark Thirty
Should: Zero Dark Thirty

Should Be Nominated:
The Grey
Looper
The Raid: Redemption

* * *

SOUND MIXING



Will: Les Miserables
Should: Les Miserables

Should Be Nominated:
The Raid: Redemption

* * *

VISUAL EFFECTS



Will: Life of Pi
Should: Prometheus

Should Be Nominated:
The Dark Knight Rises
Rust and Bone

* * *

PRODUCTION DESIGN



Will: Anna Karenina
Should: Anna Karenina

Should Be Nominated:
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Prometheus

* * *

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING



Will: Les Miserables
Should: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Should Be Nominated:
Holy Motors
Looper
Prometheus

* * *

COSTUME DESIGN



Will: Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)
Should: Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)

Should Be Nominated:
The Master
Prometheus

* * *

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)



Will: "Skyfall" (Skyfall)
Should: "Suddenly" (Les Miserables)

Should Be Nominated:
"Ancora Qui" (Django Unchained)
"Who Were We?" (Holy Motors)

* * *

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)



Will: John Williams (Lincoln)
Should: Dario Marianelli (Anna Karenina)

Should Be Nominated:
Dan Romer and Ben Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil (Cloud Atlas)
Jim Guthrie (Inde Game: The Movie)
Jonny Greenwood (The Master)
Alexander Desplat (Rust and Bone)
Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard and Marcello De Francisci (Samara)

* * *

DOCUMENTARY SHORT



Will: Open Heart
Should: Open Heart

* * *

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)



Will: Paperman
Should: Adam and Dog

* * *

SHORT FILM (LIVE-ACTION)



Will: Buzkashi Boys
Should: Buzkashi Boys

* * *

FILM EDITING



Will: Zero Dark Thirty
Should: Zero Dark Thirty

Should Be Nominated:
Cloud Atlas
Samsara
Skyfall

* * *

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM



Will: FrankenWeenie
Should: Wreck-It Ralph

Should Be Nominated: 
The Rabbi's Cat
The Secret World of Arrietty

* * *

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



Will: How to Survive a Plague
Should: Searching for Sugar Man

Should Be Nominated:
The Imposter
Indie Game: The Movie
Samsara

* * *

CINEMATOGRAPHY



Will: Roger Deakins (Skyfall)
Should: Roger Deakins (Skyfall)

Should Be Nominated:
Steve Yedlin (Looper)
Mihai Malamaire Jr. (The Master)
Ron Fricke (Samsara)

* * *

ACTRESS (IN A SUPPORTING ROLE)



Will: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Should: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Should Be Nominated:
Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Judi Dench (Skyfall)

* * *

ACTOR (IN A SUPPORTING ROLE)




Will: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Should: Phillip Seymore Hoffman (The Master)

Should Be Nominated:
Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained)
James Gandolfini (Killing Them Softly)
Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Tom Courtenay (Quartet)

* * *

ACTRESS (IN A LEADING ROLE)



Will: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Should: Emmanuel Riva (Amour)

Should Be Nominated:
Hani Furstenbrrg (The Loneliest Planet)
Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)

* * *

ACTOR (IN A LEADING ROLE)



Will: Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)
Should: Jaoquin Phoenix (The Master)

Should Be Nominated:
Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)
Jack Black (Bernie)
Denis Lavant (Holy Motors)
Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
Gael Garcia Bernal (The Loneliest Planet)
Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone)
Jon Hawkes (The Sessions)

* * *

DIRECTOR


Will: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Should: Michael Haneke (Amour)

Should Be Nominated: 
Leos Carax (Holy Motors)
Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)

* * *

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM



Will: Amour
Should: Amour

Should Be Nominated:
Holy Motors
Rust and Bone

* * *

BEST PICTURE




Will: Argo
Should: Django Unchained

Should Be Nominated:
Holy Motors
The Loneliest Planet
The Master
Rust and Bone

* * *

There you have it! Come tomorrow night we will see who takes home the naked golden men. It's an Awards ceremony and honor for all involved, but here on the Tome I'll keep honoring those that I feel should win and should have been nominated. Please share some of your predictions and picks in the comments below! Look forward to a companion post to this one where I go Oscar bowling!