Tag Archives: Academy Award

2015 Oscars – Documentary Shorts

Here are reviews of all 5 nominees for Best Documentary Short. Continue reading


2015 Oscars – Live Action Shorts

Here are reviews of all 5 nominees for Best Live Action Short. Continue reading

These Go to Eleven – “Les Miserables” Review


This is one of the most frustratingly bad movies I’ve seen in awhile. It’s one thing to be downright terrible. To stink and to own up to stinking is somewhat admirable. However, Les Miserables parades around like it’s an important work of art. Had it bothered to get out of its own way, who knows? There’s a brilliant musical buried deep under all the bad decisions, garish camerawork, and other unexplainable catastrophes. I feel like I could enjoy a stage version of the material but I could never stomach a second pass at this film. Continue reading

Actionable – “Zero Dark Thirty” Review

Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty

There is a scene early on in Zero Dark Thirty where the main character is asked to assist in water boarding a terrorist detainee. The way the film handles this quick exchange is a lively departure from almost any other Hollywood entertainment. For starters, the hero of the story is Maya, a CIA specialist with a severe one-track mind played by Jessica Chastain. But the movie moves right on past the rarity of a female lead in a major motion picture to use this moment to show you what kind of tone and character you should be prepared for. Continue reading

GKIDS Double Feature: “Chico & Rita” and “A Cat in Paris” Reviews

Two unique and independent animated films snuck into the Best Animated Feature Oscar category this year and they both happen to be distributed by the same studio, GKIDS. Even though the Oscars are over, I thought I’d review both anyways. Continue reading

Oscar Recap

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are over, and it was a lackluster evening at best. Hathaway and Franco were okay as hosts. She was a little too enthusiastic, spastically applauding and wooing constantly, while Franco looked like he had ten other things on his mind (which he does). It was an interesting experiment, but really all we want is Billy Crystal back with his charm and many zingers. There was only one memorable speech, Melissa Leo brilliantly dropping the F-bomb, but most everything else was rather forgettable. Continue reading

Oscar Checklist – Part 8: Salute Your Shorts

This is my last Oscar checklist for 2011, for the rest of the short films I’ve managed to see, mainly Live Action. I was hoping to see more documentary shorts, but the company releasing them did not offer them up on iTunes, like they advertised. Had I known this, I might have sojourned to the theater that was showcasing them for one week only, but I was waiting for iTunes.

I also have not seen the other three foreign nominees: In A Better World and Incendies aren’t out until April, while Outside the Law, which came and went last year, is not yet on DVD. I have failed to locate copies of Hereafter or The Tempest, both of which are apparently awful, so maybe that’s for the best. So, for those keeping track at home, I’ve seen every nominated film except: 3 foreign films, 2 one-nomination features, and 4 documentary shorts. Not bad for a guy with a full-time job, no money, two kids, a pregnant wife, and one crazy obsession. Continue reading

The Trouble with Quibbles: 2011 Oscars

It’s that time of year again, Oscar season. Bryan is a bundle of nerves, bursting with fruit-flavor and jonesing for any and all obscure nominations he can find, like a junkie going through withdrawals. I can just picture him now, mouth agape in abject terror as he sits in front of his computer, desperately trolling the interwebs for that last short that’s alluded him. And I take comfort in that. Is that wrong? Continue reading

Oscar Checklist – Part 7: This & That

We now come to the odds and ends part of the checklist. Three films I saw just recently that have very little in common, thematically or in terms of nominations, so I grouped them together here. Shall we? Continue reading

Oscar Checklist – Part 5: Dressed for Success

Running out of time, so I’ll keep this brief. These next two films share costume nominations. The other three nominees are The King’s Speech, True Grit, and The Tempest. The work done in Speech is okay, but not great, not like True Grit. And I still haven’t managed to see The Tempest, but I’m trying. If I do manage, I will include it with my mish-mash post I’m working on. Continue reading

Oscar Checklist – Part 4: Audio Tour

Only two movies to check off today, that way I can maintain symmetry. These next two movies only snagged one nomination each, in separate sound categories: Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. To simplify, mixing is about the dialogue, sound effects, and music. A movie with a good mix is one where you don’t complain about not being able to hear the dialogue because the music is too loud. Make sense? To further simplify, sound editing is foley work. Good sound editing can be a lot of things, but is usually when you remember a sound like what a T.I.E. fighter sounds like. Both field’s are, of course, much more complicated than that. Continue reading

Oscar Checklist – Part One: Docs, Thoughts, and Links

Photo: Bob DAmico/ABC

I will never be able to understand it, but I am pretty obsessed with the Academy Awards. It’s on par with my fanatical list-making. I think it comes down to the simple fact that it involves movies, the history and discussion of, no matter how trivial, and therefore garners my complete attention. So now that the nominees are out and we have less than a month before the ceremony, I’m going to do what I try to do every year and catch up on as many nominees that I can. This year I have a blog, so I figured I would umm… blog about what I see leading up to Feb. 27th. Continue reading

Top Twenty of the Decade #7

Steak-and-Fries: I smoke, I snort. I’ve killed and robbed. I’m a man.

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Top Twenty of the Decade #8

Woman: Why did I do it? Why did I do it?

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