Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 10 Films of 2002

1. Catch Me if You Can (Steven Spielberg)
 Leonardo DiCaprio Catch me if you can, Best movies of 2002 

2. Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes)
 Tom Hanks Road to Perdition 

3. 25th Hour (Spike Lee)
 25th Hour Spike Lee, Edward Norton 25th Hour 

4. Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese)
 Martin Scorsese Gangs of New York, Leonardo DiCaprio Daniel-Day Lewis Gangs of NY,  
5. Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore)
 Michael Moore Bowling for Columbine, Best Documentaries 
6. Spider-Man (Sam Raimi)
 Spiderman, Spider-man, Orginal Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man 
7. Panic Room (David Fincher)
 David Fincher Panic Room, Kristen Steward Panic Room 
8. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson)
 Punch-Drunk Love Paul Thomas Anderson, Adam Sandler Punch-Drunk Love 
9. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)
 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle, Cillian Murphy 
10. The Bourne Identity (Doug Liman)
  The Bourne Identity Matt Damon 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

December 26th Update.

No real changes here. Judi Dench has presented herself as a major contender after receiving support from the 3 major precursors. But I'm sticking to my guns and going with Adams. If Dench gets in, all 5 nominees will be previous winners. I'm predicting against that right now

1. Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
 Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
Cate Blanchett looks like the clear frontrunner so far. Reviews have called her performance a career best. In a career that's already brought her an Oscar win, that's saying something. It's between her and Bullock right now. (Previously #1)

2. Sandra Bullock- Gravity
 Sandra Bullock Gravity movie
Gravity was a major critical and commercial hit. Basically a one man show, Bullock carries the film. Reviews have raved Bullock, calling it a career best for her as well.  She's a lock. (Previously #2)

3. Meryl Streep- August: Osage County
 Meryl Streep August:Osage County, Meryl Streep Oscar
Meryl Streep has been nominated 4 times in the last 7 years. The Academy seemingly always nominated her, so she's as good a bet as any. (Previously #3)

4. Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks
 photo EmmaThompsonOscars_zps916301c9.jpg
While Saving Mr. Banks doesn't look as strong of a contender as previously thought, I think it will still get some recognition. Thompson is the highlight of the film, so she's a good bet after receiving the precursor support she needed. (Previously #6)

5. Amy Adams- American Hustle
 photo American-Hustle-Christian-Bale-And-Amy-Adams_zps68c310ea.jpg
I have to think someone will be nominated who hasn't won before. Not receiving a SAG hurts, but I still think she's a possibility...especially with all the love for American Hustle. But I wouldn't be surprised if Dench or Exarchopoulos sneak in instead. (Previously #4)

Other Possibilities

6. Judi Dench- Philomena (Previously #10)

7. Adèle Exarchopoulos- Blue is the Warmest Color (Previously #9)

8. Brie Larson- Short Term 12 (Previously unranked)

9. Kate Winslet- Labor Day (Previously #6)

10. Julie Delpy- Before Midnight (Previously #7)

Monday, December 23, 2013

American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle is loosely based on the real life Abscam scandal of the 1970s. It tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his sexy and seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as they become forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).

 American Hustle review, American Hustle cast, American Hustle best movie of 2013, Christian Bale Bradley Cooper American Hustle

Recognizing their skills, DiMaso enlists their help in an attempt to expose high end scandals. He pushes them into a world of New Jersey powerbrokers, politicians, and even mafia men as the stakes become more and more dangerous.

 Amy Adams American Hustle, American Hustle awardsThe film takes a while to get rolling while it focuses on the introduction and backstory of Irving and Sydney. But once we get a better sense of where it's going, everything begins to take shape and it's great ride.
The entire cast delivers outstanding performances. The film is all about the characters, and these characters are fascinating. I'm usually a huge Christian Bale fan, but I thought he was overshadowed here. It's still a solid performance, but the others are more deserving of attention.

 Jeniffer Lawrence American Hustle, Jeniffer Lawrence oscar nominations, Jeniffer Lawrence American Hustle OscarsThe standouts include Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who both deserve Oscar nods. With an intense screen presence, they both grab your attention and you just can't look away. Amy Adams is sexier than she's ever been and also does a great job.

David O. Russell has done it again. The film looks beautiful with its dynamic colors and sexy style. The upbeat music, crazy costumes, and vibrant direction all contribute to the lively 70s feel. American Hustle just oozes coolness with its crazy humor and high energy approach.

American Hustle is one of the best times you'll have at the movies this year. It's a fun and exciting ride. It's completely deserving of all the award attention it's been getting so far because it really is one of the year's best films.

 Review American Hustle, American Hustle review, American Hustle Awards, American Hustle cast

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

December 22nd Update.

We have a few changes here. Tom Hanks falls out of the Top 5 after not receiving any support from the precursors. It's understandable since he's been getting nominated for Captain Phillips in Lead Actor instead.

1. Jared Leto- Dallas Buyers Club
 Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto drag, Jared Leto Oscar Predictions
Jared Leto has been getting terrific early notices as a transgender HIV patient in Dallas Buyers Club. He also went through a tremendous physical transformation as well, weighing as little as 116 pounds during filming. After dominating the critics circle, he's the frontrunner for the win. (Previously #1)

2. Michael Fassbender- 12 Years a Slave
 photo Screen-Shot-2013-07-16-at-123257-AM-600x369_zpse59ce767.jpg
Fassbender plays the evil slave owner in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. Fassbender has gained a lot of respect the last few years and after receiving nods for all the precursors, he's in good shape for his 1st nomination. Fassbender might be the only contender to challenge Leto for the win. (Previously #2)

3. Barkhad Abdi- Captain Phillips
 Captain Phillips Oscar Predictions, Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips
After seemingly coming out of nowhere, Abdi is almost a lock after securing nomination for each of the precursors. The love for Captain Phillips also helps. (Previously #5)

4. Daniel Bruhl- Rush
 photo Rush-Bruhl-1-Copy_zps365a2db2.jpg
Bruhl jumps right back into the race after securing the big each of the SAG, Globe, and BFCA nominations. It's possible he still missed out, but I think he's in good shape. (Previously #6)

5. Bradley Cooper- American Hustle
 photo bradley_cooper_beard_curls_richie_dimaso_american_hustle_film_zpsc35c9348.jpg
This is where it get's tricky. Cooper has the Globe and BFCA nods, but Gandolfini was nominated for the SAG him. I still think the overwhelming support for American Hustle will carry Cooper into the top 5. (Previously #8)

Other Possibilities

6. James Gandolfini- Enough Said (Previously #9)

7. Jonah Hill- The Wolf of Wall Street (Previously #4)

8. Tom Hanks- Saving Mr. Banks (Previously #3)

9. James Franco- Spring Breakers (Previously unranked)

10. Will Forte- Nebraska (Previously unraked)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

December 19th Update.

With Oscar nominations only a month away, these will most likely be my final predictions. The SAG, Golden Globe, and BFCA nominations came out last week. While they never completely match up, they give us a strong indication of what might happen.

1. Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress 2013
Nyong'o has been dominating the critics circle and has picked up nominations for the SAG, Globe, and BFCA. She's not only a lock, but she's in good shape for the win with the amount of suppport 12 Years a Slave has been getting. (Previously #1)

2. Jennifer Lawrence- American Hustle
 Jennifer Lawrence Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence American Hustle, Best Supporting Actress
American Hustle has also gotten a ton of support so far. After picking up all of the precursors, she is a lock for her 3rd Oscar nod in 4 years. The only thing hurting her is the fact that she won last year. So it's hard to imagine her winning in back to back years. (Previously #4)

3. Julia Roberts-  August: Osage County
 photo august-osage-county-julia-roberts-600x302_zps42f22c94.jpg
Roberts looks safe as well after picking up nods for each of the three precursors as well. It would be her first nomination since 2001 for Erin Brockovich. (Previously #3)

4. Oprah Winfrey- The Butler
 Oprah Oscar 2013, Oprah The Butler 
Oprah looked strong, but the lack of a Globe nod is surprising. She still could be a challenge, but I don't think she's as safe as she seemed. She moves down a few spots. (Previously #2)

5. June Squibb- Nebraska
 photo safe_imagephp_zpsb67b2176.jpg
The love for Nebraska seems strong and Squibb has gotten the precursor support she needed. However, these 5 seem like the obvious choices. The Academy usually throws us a curveball or two, so I wouldn't be surprised if any of the other possible 5 sneak in. (Previously #6)

Other Possibilities

6. Sally Hawkins- Blue Jasmine (Previously unranked)

7. Scarlett Johansson- Her (Previously unranked)

8. Octavia Spencer- (Previously #5)

9. Jennifer Garner- Dallas Buyers Club (Previously #10

10. Margot Robbie- The Wolf of Wall Street (Previously unranked)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Breaking Bad

The following is a review for Breaking Bad (2008-2013).

Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a middle aged high school chemistry genius and teacher. After learning he has been diagnosed with lung cancer, he's told he only has 2 years left to live. Figuring he has nothing to lose, he decides to cook and sell meth as a way of providing for his family once he's gone.

 Breaking Bad best show of all-time, Breaking Bad best tv shows, Walter Whiter, Breaking Bad review

Walt's brother in law, Hank Schrader, is a DEA agent, which makes for an interesting dynamic. He takes Walt on a ride along for drug bust. After seeing a meth lab in action and realizing how much money can be made, Walt makes a decision. Looking for a little excitement in his life, he teams up with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and becomes involved in the drug business. 

 Breaking Bad season 1, breaking bad reviewWalt and Jesse form a unique but successful relationship. Jesse knows the drug business and Walt knows the chemistry. Walt's extreme knowledge of chemistry helps him cook the purest and best meth on the market. Soon they become major players in the drug trade. The deeper they go, the deeper their morality gets tested. We, as an audience, also being to question their actions.

Breaking Bad has one of the most extreme and impressive character arcs I've ever seen on television. We start off with a normal high school teacher, and throughout the show, he continues to transform into a destructive drug kingpin. Creator Vince Gilligan described his objective as wanting to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface.

 Best Tv shows everAll credit here goes to Bryan Cranston's masterful work as Walter White. Not only will this go down as the best performance in the history of television, but this iconic character and performance will be a constant reminder of acting at its finest. Cranston won 3 Emmy's and been nominated for every season.

The show is filled with amazing characters including Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkerk), Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks). But Walter White and Jesse Pinkman stand out.

 AMC, breaking bad, jesse pinkmanA two time Emmy winner in his own right, Aaron Paul matches Cranston beat for beat. The tremendous chemistry with Cranston makes their relationship so sincere and their characters so believable. Paul plays it with so much sympathy and heartbreak.

The show explores the impact of our decisions and how we have to live with the consequences. Each decision we make not only affects us, but those around us. Are our actions justified if we are doing them for the right reason? How far is too far? These are important moral questions the show tries to answer.

On top of the great performances, directing, and writing, Breaking Bad is easily the most suspenseful, intense and exciting show I've ever seen. There is not a single wasted moment. There is meaning behind everything. It's storytelling at it's finest. Since the show takes it's time to build up the drama, the payoffs are entirely satisfying.

Breaking Bad is a fantastic depiction of greed, power, family, morality, and just how far one man will go when he's pushed to the edge. There's simply not enough great things I can say about this show. It's one of the few that just gets better with each season and stays great throughout its entire run. Believe the hype: Breaking Bad is the greatest show of all-time.

 Heisenberg, Breaking Bad review

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Top 10 Films of 2003

Click the picture for a direct link to the trailer.

1. Lost in Translation (Sophia Coppola )
Coppola Lost in Translation, Top films of 2003 

2. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood)
 Mystic River best movies, Clint Eastwood Mystic River, Sean Penn Mystic river 
3. Matchstick Men (Ridley Scott)
 photo 168894-matchstick_men__8__zps740508e1.jpg 
4. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
 Kill Bill 1, Kill Bill Quentin Tarantino 
5. Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff)
 Bad Santa, Bad Santa movie, Billy Bob Thornton Bad Santa, Best Christmas movies, Funniest Christmas movies 
6. Open Range (Kevin Costner)
 Kevin Costner Open Range, Best Westerns 
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski)
 Curse-Of-The-Black-Pearl-pirates-of-the-caribbean, Johnny Depp Pirates 

8. Old School (Todd Phillips)
 photo old-school_zps41c2bc02.jpeg

9. Seabiscuit (Gary Ross)
 Seabiscuit movie 

10. Elf (Jon Favreau)
  Will Farell Elf, Best Christmas movies 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 Films of 2004

Click on the picture for a direct link to the trailer.

1. The Aviator (Martin Scorsese)
 The Aviator Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator Best of 2004 

2.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)  Eternal Sunshine, Kate Winslet Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Best Movies of 2004 

3. Collateral (Michael Mann)
  Tom Cruise Collateral, Best Movies of 2004 

4. Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood)
  Million Dollar Baby Best movie, Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby 

5. Kill Bill: Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino)
 photo KillBill2_zps80146831.jpg 
6. Dawn of the Dead (Zach Zynder)
 photo Dawn-of-the-Dead-2004-Cast_zps0d78b470.jpg 
7. Anchorman (Adam McKay)
 Anchorman movie, Anchorman cast, Anchorman 2 
8. The Notebook (Nick Cassavetes)
 The-Notebook-Kiss-in-the-Rain, Ryan Gosling The Notebook 
9. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
 Mean Girls, Best Comedies, Funniest teen movies 
10. Saw (James Wan)
 Saw movie, Best Horror movies, Scariest movies