Since Keith Van Sickle carefully picked out his Oscar choices for the biggest categories, I thought it would be a good time for me to throw my ideas out there into the universe for those interested.
Like Keith, the choices are in the order I would pick them.
1. Birdman - This movie was incredible. I'm highly disappointed it wasn't nominated for an editing Oscar. The choice to make the film look like it's shot almost entirely in one take couldn't have been easy, and I doubt it was easy to film and edit. The acting was phenomenal. I'm normally not a fan of Emma Stone, but I highly enjoyed her performance as Michael Keaton's formerly drug-addled daughter. I could write an entire blog on Keaton's performance. He's a contender for the best Batman, in my humble opinion, and to see him come back like this was amazing.
2. The Theory of Everything - The Oscars have a bad habit of picking the most obvious "Oscar bait." This is Oscar bait at its finest. I'm not saying it doesn't deserve the praise it's gotten, but I really think Birdman is a heavier contender than TTOE.
3. Boyhood - As badly as I want Birdman to win, I have a bad feeling this movie will ultimately win. Taking over a decade to shoot? Oh yeah, this is Oscar gold.
1. Michael Keaton in "Birdman" - As I mentioned, I could write a blog entirely about this movie and probably still not be able to fully describe it. Keaton should win. Keaton probably will win.
2. Eddie Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything" - Playing Stephen Hawking is no easy task. Hearing Redmayne talking about getting into character was interesting and hearing him talk about meeting Hawking was fascinating. If Keaton doesn't win, I feel like Redmayne will.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game" - I don't think Cumberbatch will win. I'd love for him to, because I think he's a fantastic actor and he's not too bad to look at, either. However, I think he has the better chance than any of the men nominated I didn't mention. I think these three are the top contenders.
1. Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl" - Fun fact: I went to college in Cape Girardeau, Mo., which is where "Gone Girl" was filmed. I was still living there when it was being filmed and the town lost its mind. Working for the school paper, let's just say, we definitely weren't hurting for arts and entertainment (my main beat) content for about two months. It was very exciting and getting to see David Fincher speak to my school was something I'll always remember. But, enough about me. Pike blew her role as the very wicked Amy Dunne out of the water. She was vindictive, yet empowering. She's evil, but brilliant. Amazing Amy needs an Oscar.
2. Julianne Moore in "Still Alice" - Honestly, I think Moore will ultimately win. But, this is my blog and I can pick who I want. Moore is fantastic, but I can't fully support any movie that employs my mortal enemy, Kristen Stewart.
3. Felicity Jones in "The Theory of Everything" - Like Keith said, she's pretty great. If Moore doesn't get the Oscar, I see Jones taking it.
Best Animated Film
1. Big Hero 6 - After walking out of this movie, I wanted to run out and buy all of the comic books the film is based on. And all of the toys. And my own personal Baymax. This movie was Pixar-quality, and after seeing some of the more recent Pixar films, I'd make an argument and say it (and "Frozen") are better. I will definitely argue this movie is better than "Brave," but that's another blog. Great story, great movie. Give it all of the awards.
*I didn't see any of the other movies nominated for Best Animated Film, so I can't make a fair argument on these.
Best Horror Films
As with the Best Animated Film, I didn't see much in horror movies. Keith and I have both discussed the state of horror films in this day and age, and my attitude towards them has gone downhill. I have a very long rant about found footage films, and until we realize that it's been way overused, I can't make a great argument. However, the one "horror" movie I did see, I thought was immensely disturbing.
1. "Tusk" - I saw a lot of critics polarized over this film. Some thought it was one of Kevin Smith's best; others thought Smith's completely lost his knack. For me, I'm in the former category. Obviously, this movie is a "parody" of "The Human Centipede." Now, I have seen The Human Centipede. It's not a scary movie. It's just really gross. A lot of "horror" filmmakers don't understand the difference between using gore as a scare tactic and just being gross. Sure, you CAN throw a bunch of fake blood and guts around on your actors, but SHOULD you? Tusk is scarier than The Human Centipede ever could be. I know Smith is known for his comedy, and some critics I saw were saying how hilarious this movie was, and I honestly found it scarier than funny. Maybe it's because Justin Long isn't the most likeable character in the entire world, but he's also not unlikeable. I can see why it polarized people, but I will fully argue it's one of Smith's best movies.
With the new opening of Dunkin Donuts at 4009 S.W. 21st, Food+Flicks wants to know, what is your favorite donut shop in Topeka?
Penguins of Madagascar
I was really looking forward to this movie. It disappointed me. I found it way too long.
The movie tells the story of three penguins who leave the “Penguin March” to rescue a runaway egg. Once the egg hatches, the story covers their exploits.
The penguins were very cute, but the story becomes too complicated. This was just another Madagascar movie that went nowhere. I enjoyed the three older penguins (Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico) teaching the little penguin (Private) the ways of the world. If the polar bear had been in the movie and they didn’t leave home, I think it would have been more effective.
The movie was good but it wasn’t great. This, however, will be a good family movie but my girls were more interested in checking their cell phones than watching the movie. I gave this movie 2 out of 4 stars.
The Theory of Everything
This movie tells the life story of Stephen Hawking. It starts with Stephen, played by Eddie Redmayne, as a high school graduate getting ready to go to college at Cambridge. While there he meets Jane, the girl of his dreams, who was played by Felicity Jones. Soon after he begins to notice that something is wrong.
While walking through campus one day, he falls down. After a visit to the doctor, it’s discovered that he has a motor neuron disease and is not expected to live past two more years. Stephen tries to distance himself from Jane, but she convinces him of her love and they marry.
Of course Stephen proves the doctors wrong but caring for Stephen becomes more than Jane can handle. The choir director, Jonathan Jones (Charlie Cox) from Jane’s church is their son’s piano teacher. They invite him to dinner and he volunteers to help Jane out. Both Jane and Jonathan discover they have feelings for one another, so Jane ends the relationship and hires another woman to help with Stephen’s care.
I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful movie. However, you will need to travel to Kansas City to see it. The acting was fantastic, especially Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking. Felicity Jones was also superb in her role. The love between both was touching even if it didn’t last. I gave this movie 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Blu-Rays and DVD’s
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I love the first Planet of the Apes movie. It was fantastic, but the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was one of the best films of the year. I would highly recommend that everyone buy or rent both movies.
In Dawn, the apes are living in their own community but again are asked to get along with some of the humans that survived the virus that almost wiped out the human race. That virus had hit about 10 years ago.
I gave this movie 4 out of 4 stars. It’s a great movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy
This movie is also a top ten movie. If you are a fan of the comics, you will love Guardians. Everything about this movie was fantastic. I loved the cast, the directing, and the action. Chris Pratt was one of the stars, Peter Quill, who travels through the galaxy.
I once again recommend that you purchase this move. Rumor has the characters from this movie as part of the upcoming Avengers movie. I don’t know if that’s true but that’s the rumor I hear. I gave Guardians of the Galaxy 4 out of 4 stars.