Posts Tagged 'OH HAI'

The 2016 Biggie Awards (and My Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2015)

The 27th Annual Biggie Awards

for achievements in film for the year 2015

2015. Goddamn. “Weird” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

In my view, this was the weakest year overall for movies since 2009, where I only “loved” 14 movies. In 2015, as of this writing, I added 17 films to my Love List. For perspective, since I’ve started tracking these things in 1997, this is only the third year where I didn’t love at least 20 movies. I didn’t love anything in 2015 until early May when Avengers: Age of Ultron opened, and even that was a disappointment compared to its predecessor.

This was not a year like 2000 (Gladiator), 2003 (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) or 2012 (Lincoln) where a single film dominated the year while also facing stiff competition (Gladiator fended off The Patriot, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon AND Traffic, ROTK is the most awarded film in Biggies history, but still had to face Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World AND The Last Samurai– which would have been the Best Picture winner in most other years, while Lincoln had to battle Zero Dark Thirty). The closest comp I can come up with is 2011, when Drive snuck in out of nowhere to take Best Picture in a wide open field. Drive would’ve been crushed had it come out the same year as There Will Be Blood or Titanic, but it happened to arrive in a mediocre year and was able to edge out the victory. Fast forward to now, and I don’t even know if there was a 2015 film as good as Drive. As a result, this is probably the most winnable year in Biggies history for “great but not masterful” movies, which is simultaneously really fun and disappointing by default. As I post this, I honestly haven’t decided what I think the best movie of 2015 was.

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Review: MAN OF STEEL

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WARNING: Spoilers be comin! If you’re one of 8 people left who haven’t seen this movie, know that I discuss almost every detail of the plot at one point or another during this review. There, I told you.

Man of Steel is the best Superman movie ever made, and my new NEW favorite movie of 2013. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year, and easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this summer. I can confidently say that the only other movies that even have a chance to compete for Best Movie of the Summer are Elysium and Pacific Rim. Most of my complaints about the film are trivial at best, so the “Didn’t Like” section won’t be as long as it has been with a lot of other movies recently. MoS is far from perfect, but I didn’t have any huge gripes with it. Sorry, no nitpicking section this go-around. Sad face. But do join me for nearly 5,000 words of astute, insightful, edumacational reviewing…

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Mini-Review: WORLD WAR Z

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Note: For once, I will try to keep this review spoiler free, as I’ll be posting it the same weekend of the film’s release.

World War Z finally hits theaters this weekend after 6 months of delays, rewrites, and a reshoot of the entire third act. I am surprised, but happy, to say that the end result is actually a pretty decent movie. Despite the much publicized production issues this project endured (For a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes drama on this project, you MUST read Vanity Fair‘s excellent long form piece. Check that out HERE), and despite the advertising telling me not to expect much, I was still rooting for the movie to be good. For one, I’m a fan of Brad Pitt, one of the few big-name actors who rarely makes a bad movie. Seriously, look at his filmography and tell me the last bad movie he was in that he was also the star of. If there’s any A-list star that could will this movie to respectability, it was him. The other reason is because I loved the idea of a Roland Emmerich-sized zombie disaster movie. The vast majority of zombie stories we’re used to seeing are very small in scale and limited to a few small, key locations. I’ve wanted to see one done on this scale for a long time. I’m still not sure Marc Forster was the best choice of director for a movie like this, but he equips himself ably enough, and he did have some big budget experience, having recently directed a Bond movie (the much maligned Quantum of Solace). I also believe “PG-13 zombies” is an oxymoron, and the idea of CGI zombies might be even worse, but this was probably as good as both of those concepts could have been executed in one movie.

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Review: THIS IS 40

this is 40 poster

Five years after writer/director/producer/Godfather of Comedy Judd Apatow‘s smash hit Knocked Up comes the self-proclaimed “sort-of sequel” This Is 40, which reconnects us with Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann‘s Knocked Up characters Pete & Debbie several years later as they deal with the struggles of marriage and parenting, especially as it relates to both of them dealing with hitting the big 4-0. Well, mostly it’s Leslie Mann struggling with her age, and coincidentally enough she turned 40 in real life this year, too (MILF alert!). It took a while, but I eventually came around to liking this idea when the project was announced. I like the concept of a spinoff movie in the comedy genre. This is the kind of thing you usually only see in action or comic book franchises. Instead of unnecessary direct sequels, I’d be in favor of more focused sequels like this where we only follow the continuing stories of certain characters, as opposed to typical sequels which try to expand the stories of every major character from the previous movie, which too often results in a giant mess of a story. Maybe this can be like a reverse Avengers, where the team-up movie here is the original, and next we get another spinoff showing where Seth Rogen & Katherine Heigl are now with their kid, then another one with Jonah Hill & Jay Baruchel, something like that. Call it The Knocked Up Saga. Of course I’m kidding, but that would be sort of amusing, would it not?

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Review: SKYFALL

Skyfall poster

Never before have I been so excited to see a James Bond movie than I was going into Skyfall. On my “Most Anticipated Movies of 2012” list that I never finished, it ranked #5, behind The Avengers and ahead of Django Unchained. The reasons for this anticipation? 1. I think both of Daniel Craig‘s Bond flicks thus far have been insanely awesome. 2. Sam Mendes is the director (bringing with him his amazing behind-the-camera collaborators). Finally, 3. The incredible cast; in addition to Craig and Judi Dench returning as M, the additions of Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and none other than Javier Bardem as the main villain had me salivating. This was shaping up to be one hell of a ride, and the rare action movie that might also qualify as “one of the best movies of the year” material. That was the potential I saw. Then we learned this summer that none other than Adele would be performing the theme song, and that just sealed the deal. This was going to be incredible, no doubt about it, best Bond movie ever. Guaranteed. It seems no matter how old I get, I refuse to cease putting absurd expectations on certain projects. One of these days, I’ll learn my lesson. Or not.

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My Top 5 Concerns Going Into THE AVENGERS

The Avengers is now but 2 Fridays away, after 4 years of buildup through 5 other superhero movies. One of the most unique and challenging attempts in history at a cinematic merger is complete. That fact alone makes this a really big deal. Nothing like this has been attempted before in the hundred-plus years people have been making movies. I always had serious doubts this movie would even happen, let alone come together this smoothly. Now that it’s here, despite my excitement and trust in the talented people involved, I’m still a little hesitant to believe it will work. Or at least work the way I want it to (that’s a big caveat there).

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REVIEW: Entourage Series Finale (and addressing the haters)

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Because this was the finale to one of my favorite shows EVAR, I’ll do this review in the same style I do my full-length movie reviews.

Entourage struck me immediately when it debuted in 2004, because I love shows and movies that give you a peek behind-the-scenes at an industry or field I’m interested in, and Entourage, though slightly exaggerated because it’s primarily a comedy, is widely regarded and respected as the most accurate reflection of what modern Hollywood and “life at the top” in Los Angeles is actually like today. As someone who wants to work in this industry, it’s something that gripped my interest right away. Not only have I enjoyed these stories and these characters, but I’ve actually learned a lot of useful information about ‘the biz’.

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