The Seattle Film Critics Name Get Out The Best of 2017!


“Get out!”

That’s not just what the city of Seattle told Mayor Ed Murray earlier this year.  It’s also the title of the film that the Seattle Film Critics have officially selected as their pick for the best of 2017!

Check out their nominees here and the winners below!

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR

Get Out (Universal)

BEST DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

Get Out

BEST SCREENPLAY

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

BEST FILM EDITING

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Here Are The Seattle Film Critics Nominations!


Earlier today, the Seattle Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2017!  The winners will be announced on December 18th.

The most interesting thing about Seattle’s nominations?  The amount of love that they showed to Blade Runner 2049, an acclaimed film that, with the exception of Roger Deakins’s cinematography, was running the risk of being forgotten during the precursor season.  They also showed some love to Logan and The Disaster Artist, which made me happy.

With a tip of the hat to AwardsWatch, here are their nominations:

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR:

Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros.)

The Disaster Artist (A24)

Dunkirk (Warner Bros.)

The Florida Project (A24)

Get Out (Universal)

Lady Bird (A24)

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Phantom Thread (Focus Features)

The Post (20th Century Fox)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

Sean Baker – The Florida Project

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049

 

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE:

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Robert Pattinson – Good Time

 

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE:

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Meryl Streep – The Post

 

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

Patrick Stewart – Logan

 

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Holly Hunter – The Big Sick

Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

 

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST:

Call Me by Your Name

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

BEST SCREENPLAY:

The Big Sick – Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey, director

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

The LEGO Batman Movie – Chris McKay, director

Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, directors

Your Name. – Makoto Shinkai, director

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Blade of the Immortal – Takashi Miike, director
BPM (Beats Per Minute) – Robin Campillo, director

Frantz – François Ozon, director

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

Thelma – Joachim Trier, director

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

City of Ghosts – Matthew Heineman, director

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library – Frederick Wiseman, director

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

LA 92 – Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, directors

Step – Amanda Lipitz, director

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

Columbus – Elisha Christian

Dunkirk – Hoyte von Hoytema

The Florida Project – Alexis Zabé

The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran

Blade Runner 2049 – Rénee April

Darkest Hour – Jacqueline Durran

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira

 

BEST FILM EDITING:

Baby Driver – Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos

Blade Runner 2049 – Joe Walker

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

Get Out – Gregory Plotkin

Lady Bird – Nick Houy

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Blade Runner 2049 – Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

War for the Planet of the Apes – Michael Giacchino

Wonderstruck – Carter Burwell

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

Dunkirk – Nathan Crowley (Production Designer); Gary Fettis (Supervising Set Decorator)

Murder on the Orient Express – Jim Clay (Production Designer); Rebecca Alleway (Set Decorator)

Phantom Thread – Mark Tildesley (Production Designer); Véronique Melery (Set Decorator)

The Shape of Water – Paul Denham Austerberry (Production Designer); Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin (Set Decorators)

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
Dunkirk – Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher, Paul Corbould

The Shape of Water – Dennis Berardi, Luke Groves, Trey Harrell, Kevin Scott

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Scott Stokdyk, Jérome Lionard

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

 

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming):

Dafne Keen – Logan
Sophia Lillis It

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck

Jacob Tremblay – Wonder

 

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR:

Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Martin – The Killing of a Sacred Deer – portrayed by Barry Keoghan

Pennywise – It – portrayed by Bill Skarsgård

Philip Krauss – Detroit – portrayed by Will Poulter

Richard Strickland – The Shape of Water – portrayed by Michael Shannon

Cleaning Out The DVR: Yankee Doodle Dandy (dir by Michael Curtiz)


Yankee_Doodle_Dandy_poster

So, today, I got off work so that I could vote in Texas’s Super Tuesday primary.  After I cast my vote (and don’t ask me who I voted for because it’s a secret ballot for a reason!), I came home and I turned on the TV and I discovered that, as a result of spending February recording countless films off of Lifetime and TCM, I only had 9 hours of space left on my DVR.  As a result, the DVR was threatening to erase my recordings of Bend It Like Beckham, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Anthem, an episode of The Bachelor from 2011, and the entire series of Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

“Acgk!” I exclaimed in terror.

So, I immediately sat down and started the process of cleaning out the DVR.  I started things out by watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, a film from 1942.

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a biopic of a songwriter, signer, and dancer named George M. Cohan.  I have to admit, that when the film started, I had absolutely no idea who George M. Cohan was.  Imagine my surprise as I watched the film and I discovered that Cohan had written all of the old-fashioned patriotic songs that are played by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra whenever I go to see the 4th of July fireworks show at Breckenridge Park.  He wrote You’re A Grand Old Flag, The Yankee Doodle Boy, and Over There.  Though I may not have heard of him, Cohan was an American institution during the first half of the 20th Century.  Even if I hadn’t read that on Wikipedia, I would have been able to guess from watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, which, at times, seems to be making a case for sainthood.

And that’s not meant to be a complaint!  74 years after it was originally released, Yankee Doodle Dandy is still a terrifically entertaining film.  It opens with George (played by James Cagney) accepting a Congressional Gold Medal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  (We only see Roosevelt from behind and needless to say, the President did not play himself.  Instead, Captain Jack Young sat in a chair while FDR’s voice was provided by impressionist Art Gilmore.)  Cohan proceeds to tell Roosevelt his life story, starting with his birth on the 4th of July.  Cohan tells how he was born into a showbiz family and a major theme of the film is how Cohan took care of his family even after becoming famous.

The other major theme is patriotism.  As portrayed in this biopic, Cohan is perhaps the most patriotic man who ever lived.  That may sound corny but Cagney pulls it off.  When we see him sitting at the piano and coming up with the lyrics for another song extolling the greatness of America, we never doubt his sincerity.  In fact, he’s so sincere that he makes us believe as well.  Watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, I found myself regretting that I have to live in such an overwhelmingly cynical time.  If George M. Cohan was alive today, he’d punch out anyone who called this country “Murica.”

Yankee Doodle Dandy is an amazingly positive film.  There are a few scenes where Cohan has to deal with a few Broadway types who are jealous of his talent and his confidence but, otherwise, it’s pretty much one triumph after another for Cohan.  Normally, of course, there’s nothing more annoying than listening to someone talk about how great his life is but fortunately, Cohan is played by James Cagney and Cagney gives one of the best performance of all time in the role.

Cagney, of course, is best remembered for playing gangsters but he got his start as a dancer.  In Yankee Doodle Dandy, Cagney is so energetic and so happy and such a complete and totally showman that you can’t help but get caught up in his story.  When he says that, as a result of his success, things have never been better, you don’t resent him for it.  Instead, you’re happy for him because he’s amazingly talented and deserve the best!

Seriously, watch him below:

James Cagney won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance here.  Yankee Doodle Dandy was also nominated for best picture but lost to Mrs. Miniver.

I’m really glad that I watched Yankee Doodle Dandy today.  In this time of overwhelming negativity, it was just what I needed!

Trailer: Plan 9 and The Voices


PCAS

So the upcoming film Plan 9 is apparently meant to be a remake of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space.  That sounds like a terrible idea, doesn’t it?

Perhaps The Voices will be better.  This one features Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, and a talking cat!

Trailer: Harbinger Down (Official)


harbinger-down-poster2

Last summer something caught my eye while scrolling up my Twitter feed. People I had been following were retweeting a Kickstarter campaign for an independent film. No, this wasn’t a Veronica Mars deal or Zach Braff begging the public for millions so he could make his own film. This was for a scifi-horror film that was going the whole practical effects route.

Harbinger Down is the brainchild of practical effects masters Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. whose own special effects studio Amalgamated Dynamics were instrumental in creating some of the practical effects for films such as the latest Godzilla and the underwhelming prequel for The Thing. It was their practical effects work for that prequel being replaced by CGI monsters at the very last second which convinced the two men to try and make a film using nothing but practical effects to show Hollywood bean counters and studio heads that there was still a place for the practical instead of going all-CG.

Their Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to start Harbinger Down succeeded and in addition to the $387,000 or so raised and their own money and studio time the film began principal photography this past January. A rough trailer was shown around MArch, but now we have the first official trailer to Harbinger Down which looks like a love letter to Carpenter’s very own The Thing.

Song of the Day: I’ve Gotta Be Me (by Sammy Davis, Jr.)


SammyDavisJr

Today is the date that will forever become a date of remembrance for me and my family.

My father, Fernando Sandoc, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He’s been a huge influence in my taste in music. I remember listening to him when I was younger singing songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin to The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Temptations right up to The Eagles and Elvis Presley. His was an eclectic taste in music, but one that I didn’t appreciate at a young age.

Yet, as I grew older I began to listening to the very same bands and singers and really become fans of them as well. It was one of many ways he and I bonded throughout the years. This was especially true as I grew into adulthood.

One song which always stood out for me was of the Sammy Davis, Jr. song “Ive Gotta Be Me”.

I remember him singing this song with as much enthusiasm and vigor as Sammy himself. It became a sort of anthem (in addition to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” which was another favorite of his and mine) as if he tried to live his life just how the lyrics spelled them out. I can’t say whether he succeeded or not, but he definitely lived his life “his way” and remained to being true to himself.

He and those he called his closest friends were lived to be their very own Rat Pack.

So, I shall be forever grateful for having such a loving, understanding father and a great friend and mentor who will remain eternal as I take up the mantle he has finally set down to rest.

I’ve Gotta Be Me

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream

Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far-away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I’ve gotta be me

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!


Avengers did what I previously thought was impossible… it Leonidas-kicked Iron Man 1 off its throne and now reigns on my all-time favorite comic inspired movie. Nolan has a tough act to follow. The gauntlet has been dropped. I attribute this remarkable feat to Joss Whedon’s screenplay and the cast for the most part.  I will not spoil the film and simply state what I enjoyed in a vague manner.

What I loved:

  1. The cast embodied the characters that I grew up reading, especially Downey and Pines
  2. The incorporation elements of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s version of Avengers (in my opinion at least) in the film
  3. The revelation of the Other’s Master
  4. The Other’s design and connection of the comic version of Fantastic Four
  5. The nod to the classic Thor and Hulk relationship
  6. Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson
  7. Tom Hiddleston captured all the resentment, sense of entitlement and bitterness that represents Marvel’s iteration of Loki
  8. The more humane and decent version of Ultimate Nick Fury (he’s a rotten & ruthless so & so on Millar’s book)

Minor quibbles:

  1. The Black Widow’s lack of a Russian Accent (but it didn’t take away from Scarlett’s performance
  2. The lack of a Loki betrayal, he’s the god of evil after all