Horror Film Review: Twilight Zone: The Movie (dir by John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller)


1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie is meant to be a tribute to the classic original anthology series.  It features four “episodes” and two wrap-around segments, with Burgess Meredith providing opening and closing narration.  Each segment is directed by a different director, which probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

Unfortunately, Twilight Zone: The Movie is a bit of a mess.  One of the episodes is brilliant.  Another one is good up until the final few minutes.  Another one is forgettable.  And then finally, one of them is next too impossible to objectively watch because of a real-life tragedy.

With a film that varies as wildly in tone and quality as Twilight Zone: The Movie, the only way to really review it is to take a segment at a time:

Something Scary (dir by John Landis)

Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd drive through the desert and discuss the old Twilight Zone TV series.  Brooks claims that the show was scary.  Aykoyd asks if Brooks wants to see something really scary.  This is short but fun.  It’s tone doesn’t really go along with the rest of the movie but …. oh well.  It made me jump.

Time Out (dir by John Landis)

Vic Morrow plays a racist named Bill Connor who, upon leaving his local bar, finds himself transported to Nazi-occupied France, the deep South, and eventually Vietnam.

How you react to this story will probably depend on how much you know about its backstory.  If you don’t know anything about the filming of this sequence, you’ll probably just think it’s a bit heavy-handed and, at times, unintentionally offensive.  Twilight Zone often explored themes of prejudice but Time Out just seems to be using racism as a gimmick.

If you do know the story of what happened while this segment was being filmed, it’s difficult to watch.  Actor Vic Morrow was killed during filming.  His death was the result of a preventable accident that occurred during a scene that was to involve Morrow saving two Vietnamese children from a helicopter attack.  The helicopter crashed, killing not only Morrow but the children as well.  It was later determined that not only were safety protocols ignored but that Landis had hired the children illegally and was paying them under the table so that he could get around the regulations governing how many hours child actors could work.  It’s a tragic story and one that will not leave you as a fan of John Landis’s, regardless of how much you like An American Werewolf in London and Animal House.

Nothing about the segment feels as if it was worth anyone dying for and, to be honest, I’m kind of amazed that it was even included in the finished film.

Kick The Can (dir by Steven Spielberg)

An old man named Mr. Bloom (Scatman Crothers) shows up at Sunnyvale Retirement Home and encourages the residents to play a game of kick the can.  Everyone except for Mr. Conroy (Bill Quinn) eventually agrees to take part and, just as in the episode of the Twilight Zone that this segment is based on, everyone becomes young.

However, while the television show ended with the newly young residents all running off and leaving behind the one person who refused to play the game, the movie ends with everyone, with the exception of one man who apparently became a teenager istead of a kid, deciding that they would rather be old and just think young.  That really doesn’t make any damn sense but okay.

This segment is unabashedly sentimental and clearly calculated to brings tears to the eyes to the viewers.  The problem is that it’s so calculated that you end up resenting both Mr. Bloom and all the old people.  One gets the feeling that this segment is more about how we wish old people than how they actually are.  It’s very earnest and very Spielbergian but it doesn’t feel much like an episode of The Twilight Zone.

It’s A Good Life (dir by Joe Dante)

A teacher (Kathleen Quinlan) meets a young boy (Jeremy Licht) who has tremendous and frightening powers.

This is a remake of the classic Twilight Zone episode, It’s A Good Life, with the difference being that young Anthony is not holding an entire town hostage but instead just his family.  This segment was directed by Joe Dante, who turns the segment into a cartoon, both figuratively and, at one point, literally.  That’s not necessarily a complaint.  It’s certainly improvement over Spielberg’s sentimental approach to the material.  Dante also finds roles for genre vets like Kevin McCarthy, William Schallert, and Dick Miller and he provides some memorably over-the-top visuals.

The main problem with this segment is the ending, in which Anthony suddenly reveals that he’s not really that bad and just wants to be treated normally, which doesn’t make much sense.  I mean, if you want to be treated normally, maybe don’t zap your sister in a cartoon.  The teacher agrees to teach Anthony how to be a normal boy and again, what the Hell?  The original It’s A Good Life worked because, like any child, Anthony had no conception of how adults felt about him.  In the movie version, he’s suddenly wracked with guilt and it’s far less effective.  It feels like a cop out.

Still, up until that ending, It’s A Good Life worked well as a satire of the perfect American family.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (dir by George Miller)

In this remake of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, John Lithgow steps into the role that was originally played by William Shatner.  He plays a man who, while attempting to conquer his fear of flying, sees a gremlin on the wing of his airplane.  Unfortunately, he can’t get anyone else on the plane to believe him.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is the best of the four main segments.  It’s also the one that sticks closest to its source material.  Director George Miller (yes, of Mad Max fame) doesn’t try to improve on the material because he seems to understand that it works perfectly the way it is.  John Lithgow is also perfectly cast in the lead role, perfectly capturing his increasing desperation.  The one change that Miller does make is that, as opposed in the TV show, the gremlin actually seems to be taunting John Lithgow at time and it works wonderfully.  Not only is Lithgow trying to save the plane, he’s also trying to defeat a bully.

Something Scarier (dir by John Landis)

Dan Aykroyd’s back as an ambulance driver, still asking his passenger if he wants to see something really scary.  It’s an okay ending but it does kind of lessen the impact of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

 

Scene That I Love For Australia Day: The Chase Begins in Mad Max: Fury Road


Time zones really suck!

I’m in America right now and the date here is currently January 26th.  Now, I look at that date and I think to myself, “Hey, it’s Australia Day!  I’ve got friends in Australia and, according to our site stats, this site has got quite a few readers over there as well!  I definitely need to wish everyone a good holiday!”

Except, of course, I’m a day behind Australia.  In Australia, it’s currently January 27th.  Australia Day was yesterday.

So, what can I say?  I’m a day late in wishing everyone a happy Australia Day and the time zones are too blame.  I’ve never understood why we need time zones anyways.  Don’t even get me started on the International Date Line, which I think was only invented to leave people like me feeling confused.

Oh well.  Happy belated Australia Day!

Today’s scene of the day is from the second-most financially successful Australian film of all time, 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road.  I don’t know if it’s possible to really describe just how exciting it was to see this film for the first time.  At a time when action films were typically unambitious and uninspired, Mad Max: Fury Road grabbed the world and said, “Wake up, dammit!”

Of course, the film itself is about more than just action.  It’s about empowerment and freedom and the environment and redemption.  It’s a film that seems to be taking place in another world.  That is, until you see all the cars and the spray paint and then you’re like, “Oh wait a minute.  This just humanity in the future.”  Mad Max: Fury Road was nominated for Best Picture and really, it should have won.  Does anyone remember which film beat it?  (The correct answer is Spotlight.)

In this scene below …. well, the chase begins!  And it’s an amazing scene, largely because there is no CGI.  There is no shaky cam designed to make things look more exciting than it actually was.  Those are actual cars, speeding through an actual desert and that’s an actual person playing a guitar that shoots out fire.  And you know what?  Give some credits to the drummers too.

This scene was, of course, directed by George Miller.  Check it all out below:

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions


2013 oscars

Can you believe that the Oscars are just a few hours away!?  This is actually shaping up to be an exciting year.  Even though I’m fairly certain that I know who and what is going to win, there’s still a strong possibility that we could have a few upsets when the winners are announced on Sunday night!

Well, I guess I better hurry up and post my predictions.  Below, I will list both what I think should win and what actually will win.

(If you want to see which films I would have nominated if I had all the power, please check out my What If Lisa Determined The Oscar Nominations post!)

Okay, here we go!

Best Picture:

Should Win: Brooklyn

Will Win: The Revenant

Best Director:

Should Win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Will Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Best Actor:

Should and Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress:

Should and Will Win: Brie Larson, Room

Best Supporting Actor:

Should and Will Win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress:

Should Win: Rooney Mara, Carol

Will Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay:

Should Win: Inside Out

Will Win: Spotlight

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Should Win: Carol

Will Win: The Big Short

Best Animated Feature:

Should and Will: Inside Out

Best Art Direction:

Should and Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography:

Should Win: Carol

Will Win: The Revenant

Best Costume Design:

Should Win: Carol

Will Win: The Danish Girl

Best Editing:

Should and Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Makeup:

Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Will Win: The Revenant

Best Sound Mixing:

Should and Will Win: The Revenant

Best Sound Editing:

Should and Will Win: The Revenant

Best Visual Effects:

Should Win: Ex Machina

Will Win: The Martian

Best Original Score:

Should Win: Carol

Will Win: The Hateful Eight

Best Original Song:

Should Win: “Earned it” from Fifty Shades of Grey

Will Win: “Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground

Best Documentary Feature:

Should and Will Win: Amy

Best Foreign Language Film:

Should Win: Can’t say because I haven’t see any of the nominated films

Will Win: Son of Saul

Documentary Short:

Should Win: ????

Will Win: The Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness

Animated Short:

Should Win: ?????

Will Win: We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

Live Action Short:

Should Win: ??????

Will Win: Stutterer

 

Here Are The 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Winners!


The show was definitely a bit on the dull and overlong side but at least Mad Max: Fury Road won a lot of awards.  Check out a full list of nominees here!

FILM:

BEST PICTURE – “Spotlight”

BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, “Room”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS – Jacob Tremblay, “Room”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE – “Spotlight”

BEST DIRECTOR – George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, “The Big Short”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Revenant”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Colin Gibson, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST EDITING – Margaret Sixel, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Jenny Beavan, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP“Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS“Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE“Inside Out”

BEST ACTION MOVIE“Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE – Tom Hardy, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE – Charlize Theron, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

BEST COMEDY“The Big Short”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY – Christian Bale, “The Big Short”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY – Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck”

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE“Ex Machina”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “Son of Saul”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE“Amy”

BEST SONG – “See You Again”, Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, “Furious 7”

BEST SCORE – Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight”

Here Are The Oscar Nominees!


Oscars

I am so happy that Mad Max, Brooklyn, and Room were nominated but considering how many great films were released in 2015, it’s hard not to be disappointed with the nominees for Best Picture.  No Carol.  No Ex Machina.  No Sicario or Inside Out.  No Straight Out Of Compton, Creed, or Beasts of No Nation.  Is The Martian the only best picture winner to even have more than one African-American prominently featured in the cast?  10 years from now, when people can see past the politics and concentrate on the filmmaking, The Big Short will be recognized as one of the worst best picture nominees of all time.

As for other snubs, I am so sad to see that Kristen Stewart and Benicio Del Toro were not nominated in the supporting races.  For that matter, Rooney was the lead in Carol and that’s where she should have been nominated.  It’s also interesting to note that Mark Ruffalo was nominated for giving the worst performance in Spotlight.

I know that Spotlight is the official front runner but, looking at the nominations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Revenant win.  Or maybe even (bleh!)  The Big Short.

Best Picture
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Room”
“Spotlight”

Best Director
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “The Revenant”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

Best Original Screenplay
“Bridge of Spies”
“Ex Machina”
“Inside Out”
“Spotlight”
“Straight Outta Compton”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Big Short”
“Brooklyn”
“Carol”
“The Martian”
“Room”

Best Cinematography
“Carol”
“The Hateful Eight”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Sicario”

Best Costume Design
“Carol”
“Cinderella”
“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

Best Film Editing
“The Big Short”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Spotlight”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared”
“The Revenant”

Best Production Design
“Bridge of Spies”
“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”

Best Score
“Bridge of Spies”
“Carol”
“The Hateful Eight”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Song
“Fifty Shades of Grey” – “Earned It”
“The Hunting Ground” – “Til it Happens to You”
“Racing Extinction” – “Manta Ray”
“Spectre” – “Writing’s on the Wall”
“Youth” – “Simple Song #3”

Best Sound Editing
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Sound Mixing
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Visual Effects
“Ex Machina”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Animated Feature
“Anomalisa”
“Boy and the World”
“Inside Out”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”

Best Documentary Feature
“Amy”
“Cartel Land”
“The Look of Silence”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”
“Theeb”
“A War”

Best Animated Short
“Bear Story”
“Prologue”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“We Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“World of Tomorrow”

Best Documentary Short
“Body Team 12”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
“Last Day of Freedom”

Best Live Action Short
“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)”
“Shok”
“Stutterer”

What If Lisa Had All The Power And Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2015 Edition


oscar trailer kitties

With the Oscar nominations due to be announced tomorrow, now is the time that the Shattered Lens indulges in a little something called, “What if Lisa had all the power.” Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations. Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated. The fact of the matter is that the many of them will not. Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year. Winners are starred and listed in bold.

(You’ll also note that I’ve added four categories, all of which I believe the Academy should adopt — Best Voice-Over Performance, Best Casting, Best Stunt Work, and Best Overall Use Of Music In A Film.)

(Click on the links to see my nominations for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010!)

best picture

Best Picture
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Clouds of Sils Maria
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Room
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton

George Miller

Best Director
John Crowley for Brooklyn
Alex Garland for Ex Machina
F. Gary Gray for Straight Outta Compton
Todd Haynes for Carol
*George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road*
Denis Villeneuve for Sicario

Jacob Tremblay

Best Actor
John Cusack in Love & Mercy
Gerard Depardieu in Welcome To New York
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Michael B. Jordan in Creed
*Jacob Tremblay in Room*

alicia vikander

Best Actress
Katharine Isabelle in 88
Brie Larson in Room
Rooney Mara in Carol
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
*Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina*

Del Toro

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Angarano in The Stanford Prison Experiment
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy
*Benicio Del Toro in Sicario*
Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Maggie
Sylvester Stallone in Creed

MA

Best Supporting Actress
*Malin Akerman in The Final Girls*
Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Jessica Chastain in Crimson Peak
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria

amyp

Best Voice Over Performance
Jon Hamm in Minions
Richard Kind in Inside Out
Jason Mantzoukas in The Regular Show Movie
*Amy Poehler in Inside Out*
James Spader in Avengers: The Age Of Ultron
Steve Zahn in The Good Dinosaur

EM

Best Original Screenplay
Clouds of Sils Maria
*Ex Machina*
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Sicario
Trainwreck

mara_blanchett_carol

Best Adapted Screenplay
Brooklyn
*Carol*
The End of the Tour
Love & Mercy
Room
The Walk

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster

Best Animated Film
*Inside Out*
The Good Dinosaur
Minions
The Peanuts Movie
The Regular Show Movie
Shaun The Sheep

Amy_Movie_Poster

Best Documentary Feature:
3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets
*Amy*
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau
Prophet’s Prey
The Wolfpack

The_Tribe_poster

Best Foreign Language Film
The Connection
Gloria
The Mafia Only Kills In Summer
Misunderstood
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence
*The Tribe*

Brooklyn

Best Casting
*Brooklyn*
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sicario

Best Cinematography
Carol
Clouds of Sils Maria
The Green Inferno
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
*Sicario*

carol3

Best Costume Design
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Cinderella
Ex Machina
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Suffragette

MMedit

Best Editing
Carol
Ex Machina
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Room
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-in-Maggie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Black Mass
Brooklyn
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
*Maggie*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

bl

Best Original Score
*Carol*
The Hateful Eight
It Follows
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Spy2015_TeaserPoster

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey
“See You Again” from Furious 7
“Better When I’m Dancing” from The Peanuts Movie
“Flashlight” from Pitch Perfect 2
“Feels Like Summer” from Shaun the Sheep
*“Who Can You Trust” from Spy*

Compton 2

Best Overall Use Of Music
Furious 7
The Hateful Eight
Joy
Love & Mercy
The Martian
*Straight Outta Compton*

cp

Best Production Design
*Crimson Peak*
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Unfriended

sicario-emily-blunt-trailer

Best Sound Editing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
*Sicario*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton

Compton

Best Sound Mixing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
*Straight Outta Compton*

MM Stunt

Best Stunt Work
Furious 7
Kingsman: The Secret Service
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Spy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

Best Visual Effects
Ant-Man
Avengers: The Age of Ultron
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens*
The Walk

Films By Number of Nominations:
11 Nominations – Carol
10 Nominations – Mad Max: Fury Road
9 Nominations – Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
8 Nominations – Ex Machina
7 Nominations – Brooklyn, Straight Outta Compton
5 Nominations – Furious 7, Inside Out, Love & Mercy, The Revenant, Room
4 Nominations – Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Clouds of Sils MariaThe Final Girls
3 Nominations – The Hateful Eight
2 Nominations – Black Mass, Creed, Crimson Peak, The Good Dinosaur, Maggie, Minions, The Peanuts Movie, The Regular Show Movie, Shaun the SheepSpy, Trainwreck, The Walk
1 Nomination – 3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets, 50 Shades of Grey, 88, Amy, Ant-Man, Beasts of No Nation, Cinderella, The Connection, The End of The Tour, Gloria, Going Clear, The Green Inferno, It Follows, Joy, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, The Martian, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Misunderstood, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, Pitch Perfect 2, Prophet’s Prey, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Suffragette, The Tribe, UnfriendedWelcome to New York, The Wolfpack

Films By Number of Oscars Won:
4 Oscars – Carol
3 Oscars – Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario
2 Oscars – Ex Machina, Inside Out, Straight Outta Compton
1 Oscar – Amy, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, The Final Girls, Maggie, Room, Spy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Tribe

Will the Academy be smart enough to agree with me on these picks?  We will find out on Thursday!

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

Here Are The Dorian Award Nominees!


Carol_(film)_POSTER

The Dorian Awards are handed out by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Film Critics Association.  Here are their film nominations for 2015.

FILM OF THE YEAR
The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight
Carol / The Weinstein Company
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
(Film or Television)
Sean Baker, Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures
Todd Haynes, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, The Revenant / Fox
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Brie Larson, Room / A24
Rooney Mara, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years / Sundance Selects
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Matt Damon, The Martian / Fox
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant / Fox
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs / Universal
Tom Hardy, Legend / Universal, Cross Creek
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Freeheld / Summit
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Assassin / Central Motion Pictures, Well Go USA
Mustang / Cohen Media Group
Phoenix / Sundance Selects
Son of Saul / Sony Pictures Classics
Viva / Magnolia Pictures

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR
Emma Donoghue, Room / A24
Phyllis Nagy, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs / Universal

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
Amy / A24
Best of Enemies / Magnolia Pictures, Magnet
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief / HBO
Making a Murderer / Netflix
What Happened, Miss Simone? / Netflix

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
The Martian / Fox
The Revenant / Fox

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diary of a Teenage Girl / Sony Pictures Classics
Ex Machina / A24
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / Fox Searchlight
Tangerine (Magnolia)

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
The Boy Next Door
Fifty Shades of Grey
Magic Mike XXL
Jupiter Ascending
Stonewall

Here Are The DGA Nominations!


The Directors Guild of America announced their nominees today!  The DGA is usually one of the best of the Oscar precursors.  Getting a DGA nomination usually translates to a Best Picture nomination.

Here are the nominees.  There really aren’t any surprises among them, though, based on its strength with the other guilds, I did think that Steven Spielberg might sneak in there with Bridge of Spies.

Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant

Tom McCarthy for Spotlight

Adam McKay for The Big Short

George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott for The Martian

And here are the nominees for a new award that the DGA is giving out this year!

Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a First-Time Feature Film Director

The nominees are:

Fernando Coimbra, “A Wolf at the Door”
Joel Edgerton, “The Gift”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Marielle Heller, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Laszlo Nemes, “Son of Saul”
The best thing about this new category?  Knowing that Sasha Stone is probably pissed off that Diary of a Teenage Girl received a nomination.

The PGA Gives New Life To Sicario and Straight Outta Compton!


Sicario_poster

The Producers Guild of America announced their nominees today and guess what?  Ex MachinaSicario and Straight Outta Compton made the cut!  In general, the PGA is a good precursor for the actual Oscar nominations so that’s good news for both of those films.  (Among the films snubbed: Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Carol!)

Here are the nominees:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

Ø  The Big Short

Producers: Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

Ø  Bridge of Spies

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, Kristie Macosko Krieger

Ø  Brooklyn

Producers: Finola Dwyer & Amanda Posey

Ø  Ex Machina

This film is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility

Ø  Mad Max: Fury Road

Producers: Doug Mitchell & George Miller

Ø  The Martian

Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam

Ø  The Revenant

Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon

Ø  Sicario

Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Edward L. McDonnell, Molly Smith

Ø  Spotlight

Producers: Michael Sugar & Steve Golin,

Straight Outta Compton

 

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

Ø  Anomalisa

Producers: Rosa Tran, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

Ø  The Good Dinosaur

Producer: Denise Ream

Ø  Inside Out

Producer: Jonas Rivera

Ø  Minions

Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

Ø  The Peanuts Movie

Producers: Craig Schulz, Michael J. Travers

straightouttacompton

The Seattle Film Critics Survey Is Mad For Max! We Love You, Seattle!


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The Seattle Film Critics Survey announced their nominees for the best of 2015 earlier today and I have to say, their nominations are pretty interesting!  (Also interesting to note is that they did not nominate Oscar front runner Spotlight.) Way to go, Seattle!

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR:

BEST DIRECTOR:

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE:

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE:

  • Cate Blanchett – CAROL
  • Nina Hoss – PHOENIX
  • Brie Larson – ROOM
  • Rooney Mara – CAROL
  • Saoirse RonanBROOKLYN

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

  • Benicio del ToroSICARIO
  • Tom Hardy – THE REVENANT
  • Oscar IsaacEX MACHINA
  • Mark Rylance – BRIDGE OF SPIES
  • Sylvester StalloneCREED

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – THE HATEFUL EIGHT
  • Kristen Stewart – CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
  • Mya Taylor – TANGERINE
  • Alicia VikanderEX MACHINA
  • Kate WinsletSTEVE JOBS

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

  • EX MACHINAAlex Garland
  • THE HATEFUL EIGHTQuentin Tarantino
  • INSIDE OUTPete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley (screenplay); Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen (story)
  • SICARIO Taylor Sheridan
  • SPOTLIGHTJosh Singer & Tom McCarthy

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

  • ANOMALISACharlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, directors
  • INSIDE OUTPete Docter, director
  • THE PEANUTS MOVIESteve Martino, director
  • SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Mark Burton, Richard Starzak, Julie Lockhart and Paul Kewley, directors
  • WHEN MARNIE WAS THEREHiromasa Yonebayashi, director

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

  • AMYAsif Kapadia, director
  • CARTEL LANDMatthew Heineman, director
  • GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE POWER OF BELIEF Alex Gibney, director
  • KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECKBrett Morgen, director
  • THE LOOK OF SILENCEJoshua Oppenheimer, director

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

  • THE ASSASSINHou Hsiao-Hsien, director
  • MUSTANGDeniz Gamze Ergüven, director
  • PHOENIXChristian Petzold, director
  • SON OF SAULLászló Nemes, director
  • WHITE GODKornél Mundruczó, director

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

  • CAROLEdward Lachman
  • THE HATEFUL EIGHTRobert Richardson
  • MAD MAX: FURY ROADJohn Seale
  • THE REVENANTEmmanuel Lubezki
  • SICARIORoger Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

BEST FILM EDITING:

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING:

  • CAROLPatricia Regan, Jerry DeCarlo
  • MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega
  • THE REVENANTGraham Johnston, Robert Pandini

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

  • CREED – “Grip”, Ludwig Göransson, Sam Dew, Tessa Thompson (composers)
  • FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”, Abel Tesfaye, Stephan Moccio, Jason  Quenneville, Ahmad Balshe (composers)
  • FURIOUS 7 – “See You Again”, Justin Franks, Andrew Cedar, Charlie Puth, Cameron Thomaz (composers)
  • THE HUNTING GROUND – “Til It Happens To You”, Lady Gaga, Diane Warren (composers)
  • SPECTRE – “Writing’s On The Wall”, Sam Smith, James Napier (composers)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

  • CAROLJudy Becker (production design); Heather Loeffler (set decorator)
  • CRIMSON PEAK Tom Sanders (production design); Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin (set decorator)
  • MAD MAX: FURY ROADColin Gibson (production design); Lisa Thompson (set decorator)
  • THE REVENANTJack Fisk (production design); Hamish Purdy (set decorator)
  • STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENSRick Carter and Darren Gilford (production design); Lee Sandales (set decorator)

BEST SOUND DESIGN:

  • MAD MAX: FURY ROADBen Osmo, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff (sound mixing); Scott Hecker, Mark Mangini, David White (sound editing)
  • THE MARTIANMac Ruth, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor (sound mixing); Oliver Tarney (sound editing)
  • THE REVENANTChris Duesterdisk, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Moñtano, Randy Thom (sound mixing); Martin Hernandez, Randy Thom, Lon Bender (sound editing)
  • SICARIOJohn Reitz, Tom Ozanich, William Sarokin (sound mixing); Alan Robert Murray (sound editing)
  • STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENSAndy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson (sound mixing); Matthew Wood, David Acord (sound editing)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: