Posts Tagged 'michael bay'

The 2017 Biggie Awards (and my Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2016)

The 28th Annual Biggie Awards

for the love of movies.

Celebrating achievements in film for the year 2016

So 2016 has come and gone. A year I had big hopes for about 15 months ago turned out to be quite a dud in the grand scheme of things. It was even worse than 2015. For the second year in a row, I rated no theatrical release a ‘9’ on IMDb. There were no masterpieces, no all-time greats. There were some really good movies, and I put almost 20 more films on my “Movies I Love” list, but in terms of quality and the ability to stand the test of time, even the second or third-best movies of most past years would have easily won my Best Picture award over this lot.

Lobster Farrell bury
Me waiting for 2016 to be over.

2016 also broke a pretty long streak of spectacular even-numbered years. It was such a mediocre year that it even gave us a Steven Spielberg movie I couldn’t bring myself to watch (The BFG). General cinematic malaise aside, there were, as always, some highlights…

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The 2015 Biggie Awards (& My Top 10 and Bottom 5 of 2014)

The 26th Annual Biggie Awards

[UPDATED WITH WINNERS!]

for achievements in film for the year 2014

(click on any image to see the full-size version)

A year like 2014 is precisely why I created my own awards to begin with. It’s a year when the Oscars and I disagreed perhaps more than we ever have. I dutifully watched the Academy Awards this year, as I always do, but I had little to no rooting interest, as almost none of my favorite movies were up in the categories they should’ve been recognized in. Though you’ll find quite a bit of overlap in our acting nominees, I only agree with 3 of the Academy’s 8 Best Picture nominees, and they passed gas on nearly all of their technical categories. What else is new?

I thought 2014 was a good year on the whole, but not great. Maybe a B+ if I were to grade it. The barometer I use in judging an entire year is how many movies I put on my all-time “Movies I Love” list. This year, there were 21 new entrees on that list. There were 22 in 2013 and 25 in 2012. For perspective, the most ever is 31 from 2000. None of 2014’s entries will wind up in my all-time top 100, but that’s a tough list to crack any year.

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I WISH I COULD QUIT YOU, MICHAEL BAY

Note: There are quite a few YouTube videos included in this post, all of which I included for a reason and all of which I think are worthy of checking out. In case you’re some tech uber-noob, I recommend switching each video to HD where possible (use the little gear symbol on the bottom right side of the video to switch video quality), and some of the videos are best watched in their bigger versions on the YouTube site itself. Do that by clicking the YouTube logo on the bottom right of each video, and it will open in a new tab. Do I really have to explain this to you in 2014?

Michael Bay Transformers 4

All year, I’d been anticipating doing a full review of Transformers: Age of Extinction, because my reviews for the previous 2 TF films have been fairly popular, not to mention fun to write. Then, after seeing the film I realized…what’s the point? I know damn well Michael Bay hasn’t learned a thing with regards to how to tell a story, and he isn’t even remotely interested in changing the worst aspects of his filmmaking style. I’m done hoping and praying that he’ll somehow evolve into a mature filmmaker. The guy is 49 years old, but still proudly makes movies for 14-year olds. He is what he is. So…why review something when I knew going in precisely what I was going to get? So I can tell you everything he did wrong in the other Transformers movies he does wrong again here? So I can tell you the only real improvement is that we don’t have Shia LaBeouf screaming like a girl for 2 hours? So I can explain to you in 6,500 words that yes, this was in fact EXACTLY what I thought it would be? Logic demanded I not waste my time. If I was going to talk about this movie on here, I’d need a different angle. As a result, I’ve decided instead to share what it is that fascinates me so much about Michael Bay, a director I’m somehow still a fan of despite his not having made a decent movie since the first Transformers 7 years ago. A man whose best movie (The Rock) came out 18 years ago (fuck I’m old). A man who has NEVER made a truly great movie, yet whose films I still want to see anyway no matter what. There is no other mediocre director who captivates me so. WHY?!

I’ll tell you why…

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Mini Reviews: THE GREAT GATSBY, PAIN & GAIN, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

As 2013 continues to slog along, I continue to wait for a truly great film to be released. On my nomination ballot for next year’s Biggie Awards, I still don’t have any movies under consideration for Best Picture, Director, or either screenplay categories. At this point, 2013 is looking a lot like 2009. Hopefully that changes in the coming weeks. Is Star Trek Into Darkness as good as J.J. Abrams‘ first Trek outing? Will Man of Steel live up to the fast-rising expectations? Please, movie gods, let’s hope so.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on 3 recent flicks that I’ve seen, none of which rocked my socks, but all of which are worthy of comment. Minor SPOILERS ahead.

great_gatsby_ver15

After being delayed 6 months from its original release, The Great Gatsby finally opened last week to a surprisingly strong $50 million weekend. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann, who may be hit or miss, but one thing’s for sure; he’s a visionary, and I can appreciate that. His last film, 2008’s Australia, was a huge disappointment, but I’m a big fan of Romeo + Juliet (which began young Leonardo DiCaprio‘s meteoric rise as a heartthrob) and Moulin Rouge!, one of the best (and easily the most original) musicals of the last 20 years. He’s very much a love-him or hate-him kind of director, because his visual and editorial style is very IN YOUR FACE. In fact, I despised Moulin Rouge! after the first time I saw it- even going so far as to tell people it was one of the worst movies I’d ever seen, but for whatever reason, I gave it a second chance and “got it” the second time. Summed up, The Great Gatsby is very much a Baz Luhrmann film.

Continue reading ‘Mini Reviews: THE GREAT GATSBY, PAIN & GAIN, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES’

Biggie’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

As the final few films of 2012 finish their awards season roll out, it’s time to look to the future – the near future. Overall, I think 2013 has a lot of potential, but maybe not as much potential as 2012 had (and failed to live up to). You can find lists like this on almost every big movie site, but as always, I will claim that mine might be a little more interesting and provide a lot more insight into the year ahead than the short lists the other blogs throw together. Yes, most of my choices are big budget mainstream entertainments. I feel no shame in that. That’s where my tastes run. These are the kind of movies that made me fall in love with the movies. Those are the movies I want to make. I’d rather a slick, well-funded studio film be great than a tiny budget independent film. Now that that’s cleared up, let’s get into this.

Note: In case you’re YouTube illiterate, click on the links at the top of any of these trailers to watch the trailer full-size and in HD on YouTube. I know this is complicated, but you can dooo eeeet!

10. TIE: THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (3/29) & ONLY GOD FORGIVES (TBD)

This is how much I now respect Ryan Gosling. After an unbearable full calendar year without him gracing our movie screens (and our hearts), The Gosling returns guns blazing in 2013 with no fewer than 4 new films; these two, a currently untitled Terrence Malick movie (that I’m sure will have plenty of fascinating introspective narration!) and of course Gangster Squad, which was delayed from its original 2012 release after the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings. But it’s Pines and Forgives I’m most interested in, if only because they reunite The Gosling with the directors of Blue Valentine (one of the most truthful relationship movies I’ve ever seen) and Drive (the best film of 2011), respectively. Those directors would be Derek Cianfrance and Nicolas Winding Refn. It helps that both these projects also have very interesting plots, which I just assume to be true if The Gosling has blessed a film with his presence. But seriously, no actor is making better choices than this man right now, and I look for that streak to continue throughout 2013 with these new projects. [Place Beyond the Pines IMDb] [Only God Forgives IMDb]

only_god_forgives_ryan_goslingWhat have they done to him?!

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Review: BATTLESHIP

If you’ve read this blog for any significant length of time, you’ll know I’ve been very much looking forward to Peter Berg‘s Battleship. (See my post Can we talk about the Battleship trailer for a minute?) However, I wasn’t looking forward to it because I thought it looked great, I was looking forward to it because I thought it looked so bad, so dumb and so poorly planned that I would actually enjoy it as a classic “good bad movie”. I thought this would take its place in the annals of history among good bad movies I love like Batman & Robin, Godzilla, xXx, Snakes on a Plane, and perhaps even the Godfather of good bad movies, The Room. I can honestly say this is the first time in my life I’ve wanted a movie to be bad. Alas, it was not to be. God help me, but…GULP…I legitimately enjoyed Battleship. Sigh…I’ll explain.

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SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY #3

I really want In Time to be grrrrrreat!

In Time (in theaters this Friday, October 28!) is a film I’m very much looking forward to seeing. Have been for a while. The more footage I see from it, the more I think this has the potential to be a really, really good movie. I absolutely love the concept of time replacing money and how in the future, you stop aging at 25 (it’ll be interesting to see how they explain that). I’m a huge fan of writer/director Andrew Niccol, for two big reasons; he wrote/directed 2005’s Lord of War, a highly underrated and underseen film that is some of Nicolas Cage‘s best work, but perhaps most of all because he wrote The Truman Show, one of my all-time favorite movies and one of the most original story ideas of the last 25 years (not to mention Jim Carrey‘s best performance).

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