Song of the Day: Tao of the Machine (by the Roots and BT)


Blade II Soundtrack

After several months hiatus, I am back just in time to see the latest San Diego Comic-Con arrive and pass by with the latest in comic book-related news whether in print, video games or tv and films.  One surprise news which dropped during Marvel Studio’s popular Hall H panel this past Saturday was the surprise announcement that the character of Blade has been recast. He will be getting his own film for the ever-growing juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While rumors in the past had Wesley Snipes (the original actor who played the character Blade in a trilogy of films) in meetings with Marvel Studios, it would seem that Kevin Feige and his casting crew decided on a new face to reprise the role of the Daywalker. Out is Wesley Snipes and in comes two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, The Green Book).

Thus with that announcement the character of Blade has returned to the forefront of pop culture. One thing that the trilogy of films had that impressed me as a fan was the eclectic batch of licensed music that was a mixture of techno, rock and hip-hop. I’ve already featured one song from the Blade II soundtrack (“I Against I” by Massive Attack ft. Mos Def).

So, it’s no surprise that the latest Song of the Day comes from the very same soundtrack and this time it’s a collaboration from hip-hop gurus The Roots and techno legend BT.

What If Lisa Marie Picked The Oscar Nominees…


With the Oscar nominations due to be announced this week, 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 listed in bold.

You can check out my picks for 2010 by clicking here.

My picks for 2011 can be found here.

And, finally, here are my picks for 2012.

Best Picture

Best Picture

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

Before Midnight

Blue Is The Warmest Color

Frances Ha

Fruitvale Station

Her

Inside Llewyn Davis

Spring Breakers

Upstream Color

Shane+Carruth+Upstream+Color+Portraits+2013+DRHrpQS3Qacx

Best Director

Noah Baumbach for Frances Ha

Shane Carruth for Upstream Color

Spike Jonze for Her

Harmony Korine for Spring Breakers

David O. Russell for American Hustle

new-wolf-of-wall-street-trailer-leonardo-dicaprio-is-the-wealthiest-stockbroker-in-the-world

Best Actor

Bruce Dern in Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Joaquin Phoenix in Her

Dennis Quaid in At Any Price

This-one-is-good

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Julie Delpy in Before Midnight

Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue Is The Warmest Color

Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha

Amy Seimetz in Upstream Color

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Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips

Kyle Chandler in The Spectacular Now

Bradley Cooper in American Hustle

James Franco in Spring Breakers

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

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Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond The Pines

Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave

Léa Seydoux in Blue Is The Warmest Color

Octavia Spencer in Fruitvale Station

Her

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle

Blue Jasmine

Her

Inside Llewyn Davis

Upstream Color

Before-Midnight

Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years A Slave

Before Midnight

Blue Is The Warmest Color

The Spectacular Now

The Wolf of Wall Street

November 1st, 2013 @ 20:49:52

Best Animated Feature

The Croods

Despicable Me 2

Ernest and Celestine

Frozen

Monsters University

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Best Documentary Feature

20 Feet From Stardom

The Armstrong Lie

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Stories We Tell

Tim’s Vermeer

Blue-is-the-Warmest-Color

Best Foreign Language Film

(Please note that I do things differently for this category than the Academy.   For this award, I am nominating the best foreign language films to be released in the United States in 2013.)

Beyond the Hills

Blue Is The Warmest Color

No

Renoir

White Elephant

The Great Gatsby1

Best Production Design

12 Years A Slave

Gravity

The Great Gatsby

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Oz: The Great and Powerful

Spring Breakers

Best Cinematography

Frances Ha

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

Spring Breakers

Upstream Color

American Hustle

Best Costume Design

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

The Copperhead

The Great Gatsby

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Upstream Color

Best Film Editing

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

Gravity

Her

Upstream Color

American Hustle 2

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

Dallas Buyers Club

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Warm Bodies

Maniac

Best Original Score

Gravity

Her

Maniac

Trance

Upstream Color

The Great Gatsby2

Best Original Song

“Let it Go” from Frozen

“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” from The Great Gatsby

“Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby

“The Moon Song” from Her

“I See Fire” from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

“Atlas” from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

“Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis

“So You Know What It’s Like” from Short Term 12

“Becomes The Color” from Stoker

“Here It Comes” from Trance

Iron Man 3

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost

Iron Man 3

Pacific Rim

Rush

Upstream Color

Pacific Rim

Best Sound Mixing

All Is Lost

Iron Man 3

Pacific Rim

Rush

Upstream Color

Gravity

Best Visual Effects

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

Oz: The Great and Powerful

Pacific Rim

List of Films By Number of Nominations:

9 Nominations — Upstream Color

8 Nominations — American Hustle

7 Nominations — 12 Years A Slave, Her

5 Nominations — Blue Is The Warmest Color

4 Nominations — Frances Ha, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, Inside Llewyn Davis, Spring Breakers

3 Nominations — Before Midnight, Dallas Buyers Club, Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim

2 Nominations — All Is Lost, Blue Jasmine, Frozen, Fruitvale Station, Nebraska, Oz The Great and Powerful, Rush, The Spectacular Now, Trance, The Wolf of Wall Street

1 Nominations — 20 Feet From Stardom, The Armstrong Lie, At Any Price, Beyond The Hills, Captain Phillips, The Copperhead, The Counselor, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Maniac, Monsters University, No, The Place Beyond The Pines, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Renoir, Short Term 12, Stoker, Stories We Tell, Tim’s Vermeer, Warm Bodies, White Elephant

List of Films By Number of Oscars Won

3 Oscars — American Hustle, Upstream Color

2 Oscars — The Great Gatsby

1 Oscar — Before Midnight, Blue is The Warmest Color, Frances Ha, Frozen, Gravity, Her, Iron Man 3, Maniac, Pacific Rim, The Spectacular Now, Spring Breakers, Stories We Tell, The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Review: Trance (dir by Danny Boyle)


trance

Trance, the latest film from Danny Boyle, is an enjoyable mess.  The film makes little sense, the characters are rarely consistent, and tonally, Trance is all over the place.  At the same time, it’s also a lot of fun.

Seeking to do for hypnosis what Inception did for dreams, Trance opens with Simon (an excellent James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer who has gotten into trouble with online gambling.  Desperately needing money, Simon agrees to help the criminal Franck (Vincent Cassel) steal a painting.  However, during the robbery, Simon attacks Franck.  Franck responds by whacking Simon on the head.

As a result of the blow to his head, Simon ends up with amnesia and can’t remember anything that happened immediately after the robbery.  Unfortunately for Franck, Simon was attempting to steal the painting for himself when he got hit on the head.  As a result, neither Simon nor Franck have the painting and Simon can’t remember where he hid it.  After unsuccessfully attempting to restore Simon’s memory through physical torture, Franck then decides that Simon should see a hypnotist.

Simon goes to see Dr. Elizabeth Lamb (a surprisingly effective Rosario Dawson).  In several hallucinogenic and increasingly surreal scenes, we watch as Elizabeth leads the hypnotized Simon through the twists and turns of his own troubled subconscious.  While Simon initially lies about why he’s undergoing hypnosis, Elizabeth quickly reveals that she knows what’s going on.  However, to Franck’s surprise, Elizabeth agrees to continue to treat Simon and help him remember the location of the painting.  Soon, both Simon and Franck find themselves falling in love with Elizabeth, little suspecting that Elizabeth has an agenda of her own…

Judging from some of the reviews and other online comments that I’ve come across, I may be in a minority but I actually really enjoyed Trance.  Seriously, how can you not enjoy a film that’s so unapologetically over-the-top?  I loved the film for its lush cinematography.  I loved the fact that everyone’s apartment appeared to decorated exclusively with neon.  I loved the fact that all three of the main characters came across like they were continually on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.  In the end, I even loved the fact that Boyle didn’t even attempt to make the film realistic.  Trance is a celebration of pure style, a collection of barely connected set pieces that come together to make Trance into a pure cinematic experience.

Danny Boyle is one of those directors that people tend to either love or hate.  If you don’t like Danny Boyle, you probably won’t enjoy Trance.  However, if you’re like me and you’re an unapologetic fan, you’ll appreciate Trance for what it is, a pure triumph of style over substance.  Like many other Boyle films, the visuals are so strong, the music is so propulsive, and camerawork is so kinetic that you can forgive the fact that the film’s plot doesn’t make much sense.  Boyle may be a messy filmmaker but it’s often a beautiful mess.

Song of the Day: Listen To Your Heart (by D.H.T. cover of Roxette)


Ok, so this particular choice for “song of the day” is not the usual metal, rock or even apocalyptic and horror music, but that’s why my taste can range so far and wide. My latest choice is the song “Listen To Your Heart” by the Belgian trance duo D.H.T. who covered it from the original Roxette track.

I enjoyed the original Roxette version which is so 80’s power synth ballad, but for some reason this cover by D.H.T. is my favorite. Maybe it’s because it’s a much slower vocal version of the song which does have a much faster tempo with a lot of 80’s style instrumentation. It also may be due to the fact that I just seem to get lost in the vocal stylings of Edmée Daenen who is the vocal front of the trance duo.

Lastly, it could also be that she has quite the voice in addition to being quite the hot number herself. Or I’m just a sucker for sappy ballads.

Hey, even the dark heart of a metal and horror aficionado will soften somewhat once in awhile.

Listen To Your Heart

I know there’s something in the wake of your smile.
I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yea.
You’ve built a love but that love falls apart.
Your little piece of heaven turns too dark.

Listen to your heart
When he’s calling for you.
Listen to your heart
There’s nothing else you can do.
I don’t know where you’re going
And I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye.

Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile.
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea.
They’re swept away and nothing is what it seems,
The feeling of belonging to your dreams.

Listen to your heart
When he’s calling for you.
Listen to your heart
There’s nothing else you can do.
I don’t know where you’re going
And I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye.

And there are voices
That want to be heard.
So much to mention
But you can’t find the words.
The scent of magic,
The beauty that’s been
When love was wilder than the wind.

Listen to your heart
When he’s calling for you.
Listen to your heart
There’s nothing else you can do.
I don’t know where you’re going
And I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye.

Listen to your heart, mm hmm.

I don’t know where you’re going
And I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye.