The Oscars Nominations Predictions 2017

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Here we are again. The best time of the year, the Oscars time! And here are my final nominations. In few hours we’ll be hearing what the Academy picked.

BEST PICTURE

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Hidden Figures
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hacksaw Ridge

  • Silence
  • Deadpool

I couldn’t pick my 10th option because I’m hopeless optimistic and actually think they would go for R-rated comic book movie. Right yeah? I kind of wanted to leave Hidden Figures out as well but this is where the final list now. At the moment it’s either La La Land’s or Moonlight’s to lose.

lalaland

DIRECTOR

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Longergan
  • Hell or High Water – David McKenzie
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

  • Hacksaw Ridge- Mel Gibson
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Silence – Martin Scorsese
  • Lion – Garth Davis

By far the hardest category to predict this year. The three of them are absolute locks (Chazelle, Lonergan and Jenkins) but the two others… I believe that Villeneuve is due with a nomination (I haven’t seen Arrival yet but I’m only hearing good things plus he’s done great job with previous films that were nominated, Prisoners and Sicario) but the last slot was hard to decide. I played a wild card.

ACTORryan_gosling_hot

  • La La Land – Ryan Gosling
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck
  • Hacksaw Ridge – Andrew Garfield
  • Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen

ACTRESS

  • La La Land – Emma Stone
  • Jackie – Natalie Portman
  • Arrival – Amy Adams
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Meryl Streep
  • Elle – Isabelle Huppert

Loving – Ruth Negga

Because of the story of Loving, I wanted to give a slot for Ruth Negga but Huppert has been really strong and one can never leave Streep out, especially when she gave amazing speech at the Golden Globes in the middle of voting of the Oscars nominations.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Lion – Dev Patel 10
  • Moonlight – Mahershala Ali
  • Hell of High Water – Jeff Brigdes
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Hugh Grant
  • Nocturnal Animals – Aaron Taylor-Johnson

  • Manchester by the Sea – Lucas Hedges

I just might be hopeful here again but if Nocturnal Animals will soar at least a bit, Taylor-Johnson will be in. And the Academy has avoid to nominate younger actors in this category like Tremblay last year. But Hedges has been strong so far, so this is a game.

aaron

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Hidden Figures – Octavia Spences
  • Fences – Viola Davis
  • Manchester by the Sea – Michelle Williams
  • Naomi Harris – Moonlight
  • Lion – Nicole Kidman

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Lobster
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Captain Fantastic

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Moonlight
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival

  • Hidden Figures

OK, I have a thing for Nocturnal Animals even I haven’t seen it, so again, I’m putting it ahead of probably stronger contender.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • La La Land
  • Silence
  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

arrival-smoke

EDITING

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Arrival
  • Moonlight
  • Hacksaw Ridge

 

COSTUME DESIGNjackie_costumes

  • Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Allied

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • La La Land
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • The Handmaiden
  • Jackie
  • Arrival

 

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins

  • Star Trek Beyond

I asked my make-up artist friend’s opinion here and she chose Deadpool instead of Star Trek Beyond. I’ll blame her if I’m incorrect.

SOUND MIXING

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Rogue One
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon

SOUND EDITING

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Roque One
  • Arrival
  • The Jungle Book

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book 5
  • Arrival
  • Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

SCORE

  • Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
  • Jackie (Mica Levi)
  • La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
  • The BFG (John Williams)
  • Rogue One (Michael Giacchino)

 


 

  • Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)

I’m still a bit annoyed that Jóhann Jóhannsson is not eligible for Arrival as he is these days one of my definite favourite composers. Love his work! I wanted to leave John Williams out but you know, you just can’t. And it’s traditional that the composers branch always vote for their own and already now there are THREE new comers. I hardly see that happening but I don’t know who else to pick. Justin Hurwitz all the way, I looooooove La La Land’s soundtrack!

 

SONG

  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
  • La La Land – City of Stars
  • Sing Street – Drive Like You Stole It
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

  • Sing – Faith
  • Hidden Figures – Runnin’

Always hard category to predict. I gave a chance to Sing Street’s 80’s sounds, it’s a gamble, I know. I hope that the song above wins, I can’t get enough of it.

ANIMATED

  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Red Turtle
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini

  • Finding Dory

Yes, I left out a Pixar film. I’m aware.

 

DOCUMENTARYoj_madeinamerica

  • Cameraperson
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • 13th
  • OJ: Made in America
  • The Eagle Huntress

  • Weiner

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)

  • It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)

I have a feeling I should not count out Xavier Dolan but I don’t know what else to do.

 

ANIMATED SHORT

  • Inner Workings
  • Piper
  • Blind Vayasha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pearl

 

LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Graffiti
  • Nocturne in Black
  • Sing (Mindenki)
  • Timecode
  • The Way of Tea

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • White Helmets
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Extremis
  • The Mute’s House
  • Watani: My Homeland

 

Agree, disagree? We’ll now soon enough how I did this year.

Advertisements

Films of the Week Vol. 12

I’ve been so lazy at watching films. Then again, I’ve been working 7 days in a row and today is one more. But then I have some time off. And the last time I had time off, I watched some TV, read about it here. But during the last week I saw two films; The Hunger Games (again) and a bit newer stuff, Florence Foster Jenkins. Here’s my thoughts on them.

hungergamesposterTHE HUNGER GAMES (2012)

Directed by Gary Ross

Written by Gary Ross, Billy Ray & Suzanne Collins

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Bentley & Lenny Kravitz

Synopsis (IMDb): “Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death”

Yeah, I know, everyone has seen the films already and bla bla bla but as I’ve reviewed three other parts already (here, here and here), then why not do the first one as well. I’ve already mentioned before I liked it, so there’s not much to add but as I still liked it, after seeing it, I don’t know, probably tenth time, I may as well say something about it.

It was a bit surprising that The Hunger Games still works. It was on TV and I watched it “live” with commercial breaks (I know! So weird.) and it took something like three hours but that time flew by. It is that good film. The pace is perfect, the introduction of situation
hot_jennifer_lawrenceis over quickly and in no time Katniss is on her way to the Capitol where they waste no time in introducing more characters and how our heroine works together with others. We even get couple of nice twists and then it’s game time. Even the emotional pace works nicely. So, well done Gary Ross, that’s the way you direct a film based on a youth novel.

And as said 1001 times, Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss. She’s strong and vulnerable at the same time but she’s also genuine and manipulative. And a spectator can’t be sure of her motives. Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta is no match to her but I’m still totally Team Peeta. He’s still somewhat endearing. And those youngsters from areas one and two actually feel dangerous.

I also like how the film is set, the production design, make-up, costumes and obviously the music are nice too. The film is a bit one-dimensional and goes on a bit too long and some of the actors are wooden but otherwise; no complaints.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

florence-foster-jenkins

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (2016)

Directed by Stephen Fears

Written by Nicholas Martin

Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg & Rebecca Ferguson

Synopsis: “The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.”

I have no idea how truthfully Florence Foster Jenkins is told but if it is, it is quite amazing which lengths people would go for their loved ones. That’s beautiful and quite moving.

florence-foster-jenkins-2016-meryl-streep

First of all, Meryl Streep is still amazing actress. I’m quite sure she again will gain an Oscar nomination for this role. She’s fearless and can, apparently, act anything. I also appreciated Simon Helberg’s work here and I’m so glad he gets recognition from somewhere else too than The Big Bang Theory. And it was refreshing to see Hugh Grant playing something else than single douchebag. I’m not sure how much make-up he has here but he’s old and that’s weird.

simon_helberg_cute

Simon Helberg

I liked the way the film looked, it’s very pretty with all those clothes from 1940s and always fabulous New York and its Carnegie Hall. The film is nicely told, the pace is ok and it made me feel good. But that’s about it. I was a little bit bored, there’s not enough of story to be told, I think, and as the film is not too emotional, it’s a bit bland. I really wanted to like it more but it’s one of those films you will forget you even saw. Streep is great but as she is always, it’s nothing exceptional. Oh, there’s some nice music if you like classical music. There’s not much to say about it. I saw it and I’m quite sure I will never watch it again, it is just not interesting enough. I also wanted to give it 2,5 stars but as everything works, it deserved more.

Rating: *** 

The Oscars Reviews: Spotlight & The Revenant

It’s been a month since I saw these two, so it feels a bit silly to write about them now but as I will go through their Oscars chances at the same time, let’s do it anyway.

spotlight_posterSPOTLIGHT (2015)

Directed by Tom McCarthy

Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery & Brian d’Arcy James

Synopsis (by IMDb): “The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.”

I wish Spotlight would win the Best Picture on Sunday. To me it is the best picture of the season. I came out of the cinema trembling. From time to time I get physical reaction to movies and this one was one of them and the physical reaction (if not puking) is the mark of remarkable film. Spotlight is remarkable and should be awarded because of that.

When you read the synopsis of Spotlight or hear what it is about, it sounds boring, doesn’t it? And it is actually made that way. It tells a story what happened and I don’t believed it’s hugely dramatized either, it doesn’t look like it and it doesn’t feel like it, but at least to me it affected much more deeply than any other film this year. It engaged me into the story so fully and in a way that I didn’t even realise it did it before I was feeling so much it was a bit hard to bear. Masterful filmmaking.

spotlight_cast

Like I said, I hope it gets the best picture Oscar on Sunday’s Oscars. Spotlight is not parts, it’s a whole. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams got supporting nods but they are just part of the great cast and I don’t believe any of them is better than the other. Ruffalo’s part is a bit more flashier than others and draws the attention while McAdams is basically the only woman on the screen; they’re both great but I so is the whole cast. I believe McCarthy is also worth of an Oscar but I have to admit (as you can read in the following review) that he will most probably not win it except maybe for the best screenplay where Spotlight has the best chance of winning. The editing Oscar is still wide open, I think, it could go to Spotlight or The Big Short or Mad Max.

All in all, Spotlight to me was a perfection. It’s not Star Wars, it doesn’t change your life but there’s nothing wrong with it, quite the opposite, everything works so well that it’s a bit hard to realise it. To me the best thing was that it affected to my feelings so deeply it felt bad and it should feel bad. Like said, masterful.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

revenant-leo

The Revenant (2015)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Written by Mark L. Smith & Alejandro González Iñárritu

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and Tom Hardy & Domhnall Gleeson)

Synopsis: “A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.”

There were approximately 10 minutes for me between seeing Spotlight and The Revenant. I still wonder if it affected my liking of The Revenant. I guess I only find outleo1 if I ever watch it again. And I’m not sure if I ever want to watch it again.

Well, first of all: Leonardo DiCaprio will win his Oscar this year. For sure and very much deservingly so. I still think he was better in The Wolf of Wall Street as it was comedy, something I didn’t think Leo is capable of doing, but yes, of course, his role in The Revenant is… um… Excellent? First-rate? Like he always is. Anyway, I’m glad he finally gets the statue, he’s one of the best ones in the industry. Tom Hardy is nominated in the supporting category and I’m glad he is, he’s really good in this one (but then again, isn’t he always?) but I doubt he’ll win this time.

It seems to me that it’s a bit hard for me to write this review, so I’ll just go straight ahead to the Oscar nominations and review The Revenant via them. 12 nominations including best picture, director, actor, supporting actor, cinematography, editing, makeup, costumes, 2 x sound, production design & visual effects. That’s a lot. The Revenant already won in the Golden Globes for the best picture, director and Leo as well as in BAFTAs for all of those plus cinematography and sound. Lubezki got the statue from American Society of Cinematographers too and I believe that he will get it again (third time in a row!) from the Academy and yes, he again deserves it, shooting in natural light is a pain in the ass and The Revenant looks amazing (although, I wasn’t a big fan of those “nature stills” like melting snow etc., they kind of felt like “this looks pretty, let’s put it in”…). All in all, all those technical achievements in The Revenant are top notch. I can’t deny that. And it will probably win a bunch of those awards, for sound I guess at least and I liked the makeup and hair styling, both looked authentic. The bear didn’t but I think it must have influenced my viewing that I knew it was made with CGI.

I’ve been Iñárritu’s fan since Amores Perros and I really, really wanted The Revenant to be his best work to date but unfortunately, to me, it isn’t (Amores Perros still is). It feels like he has lost “the loving feeling” when trying to achieve something that has never been done before. He is one of the best directors working today and his films are technical marvels but like Birdman last year, The Revenant also left me cold. In the end I just didn’t care who lived or who died, I just wished it would be over. But yay for Leo!

Rating: **** 

 

The Oscars Reviews: The Danish Girl & Carol

In the last post it was two stories of guys, this time it’s time for the girls.

thedanishgirlposterThe Danish Girl (2015)

Directed by Tom Hooper

Written by Lucinda Coxon, the book by David Ebershoff

Starring Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander

Synopsis: “A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.”

The Danish Girl is beautiful. “Beautiful” is the word that describes it perfectly, this kind of distantly beautiful, a film you admire and can see its beauty but can’t really feel its warmth or sadness. The Danish Girl doesn’t really move you in the way, I think, it should. But then again, it’s really well-made and has two spectacular performances in the centre of it.

The Danish Girl is nominated for four Oscars; the best performance by actor in a leading role, the best performance by an actress in a supporting role, the best costume design and the best production design. And it deserves to be nominated in all of them. The film is very feminine and thus the costumes are also very feminine, they flow and dance around our characters, you could even say that the costumes are characters themselves as they are huge part of the transformation that our main character goes through. And as I said, The Danish Girl is beautiful and that is lavishly showed in production design. A viewer’s eyes can rest on the screen, it’s so very nice to look at. I also enjoyed how the film is shot, how the light has been used to highlight the features of faces or even figures.

alicia_vikander

The best parts in The Danish Girl are still the performances of Eddie Redmayne and especially Alicia Vikander. Redmayne greatly achieves to portrait the torture Lily is going inside and his looks are just perfect for the part. And as we should already know, he’s very talented actor. But the find here (and in Ex Machina also) is Alicia Vikander, she’s astonishing and should win the Oscar for her performance. It’ll be robbed if she doesn’t. She was already robbed by putting her in supporting when her role is obviously leading lady. While Redmayne’s character is a bit off-putting in her selfishness, Vikander’s Gerda is more rooted, more real, more emotional of those two. It’s easier to understand her suffering and the reactions she gives in situations. If that story is true, how that incredible woman took his husband’s change, I have nothing but admiration towards her. What a woman!

While The Danish Girl is too distant for my taste, it still should be seen just because of those two performances. And as we all know, the lives of transgender people are more than relevant at the moment and here is a story that might shed some understanding on the matter.

Rating: ***½ (out of 5)

carolposter

Carol (2015)

Directed by Todd Haynes

Written by Phyllis Nagy, novel by Patricia Highsmith

Starring Rooney Mara & Cate Blanchett

Synopsis: “An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.”

Another case where there is total category fraud in the Oscars again. Rooney Mara IS the leading lady here. More so than Blanchett but to be honest, they both are. It is a story of two women who face the hard reality of life when they fall for each other. Besides that they should both be in a leading category for actresses, they both are worth of that. 2015 was a great year for ladies and all of them more than deserve their nominations and recognition they are getting. Hopefully the salaries will follow the suit.

Carol is nominated for six Oscars. I predicted it would get nine nominations, I was wrong with the director, production design and best picture. The latter especially surprised me as it’s still nominated in several categories and to me that means it’s one of the best films of the year. But I guess it’s not nominated because of the weird voting system of the Oscars (explanation here at Gold Derby). Because it definitely is not the best film of the year. To me it wasn’t even near. Yes, it has everything is should have but I just didn’t really care. Blanchett’s character is not very nice, she seems uninterested in others’ feelings. Mara is good and vulnerable but for some reason she has always been great at picturing distant characters and again she does that well. If The Danish Girl was too emotionless, Carol was even more so and what’s even worse; it was also a bit boring, I checked my watch way too often.

Carol-costumes

But like I said, everything is there. The costumes are striking and especially Blanchett carries them like a true queen. I liked the script, it felt real but it is understated like the whole film. I really didn’t like the cinematography, it is (I guess) suitable for the era but not to me, it looks dirty and old and nah, I didn’t like it at all, especially because I’ve just seen The Danish Girl (I saw these two in a row) that I liked to look at a lot. On the other hand, I’m very happy that Carter Burwell was nominated for the Oscar, he very much deserves it and the music in the film is suitable and supports the story well and this is his first nominations in the Oscars. But like in the case of The Danish Girl, the performances are THE reason to see Carol. And I guess if you like other films of Todd Haynes, you’ll probably like this one too. I don’t like his films and I should just finally realise it.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

The Oscar Predictions 2016 #3

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.OK, I skipped yesterday with my predictions, so it’s two posts today. Here’s the first one.

Let’s quickly go through short categories because unfortunately I haven’t seen any of them. I’ve watched the trailers for the most of them and I’ve read about them and here are my uneducated predictions:

Sanjay's_Super_Team_posterBEST ANIMATED SHORT

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. Carface
  5. Prologue
  6. If I Was God

 Here I think Sanjay has the upper hand. It’s Pixar and is playing before The Good Dinosaur. 

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Minerita
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River
  6. Body Team 12
  7. 50 Feet from Syria

These are total guesses. Some of them have won more awards and are mentioned more times in the world wide web. Personally I really, really like Chau’s story.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

  1. Ave Maria
  2. Bis Gleich
  3. Shok
  4. Stutterer
  5. Winter Light
  6. Contrapelo
  7. Day One

Bis Gleich is my personal favourite but Shok has cleaned the plates at festivals and Stutterer and Winter Light have professional actors in them plus have been doing well at the festivals too.

joyBEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  1. Inside Out
  2. The Prophet
  3. Anomalisa
  4. The Good Dinosaur
  5. The Peanuts Movie
  6. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  7. When Marnie Was There

I want to nominate six. Can I? I really can’t decide between The Prophet and Shaun the Sheep. The Academy has had the habit of nominating one “outsider”, in this case The Prophet (or Marnie). I think Shaun is probably more deserving but I don’t know. I think that Inside Out will be an eventual winner and Anomalisa a lock for a nomination but any of the other three could lose their place for Shaun or even Marnie.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  1. Cinderella
  2. Carol
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. The Danish Girl
  6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  7. Crimson Peak

cinderella_costumes

I have tiny doubts about this category. Crimson Peak had some nice costumes, especially the ones on ladies. And I have a doubt that Brooklyn and Carol are so close to each other that they’re too similar. And there’s also The Danish Girl but I think it’s in. And Carol, as it’s Sandy Powell’s who’s been already awarded three times and will get at least one nomination (Cinderella) this year. I hope she’ll win for that as the costumes in that are amazing! Like seriously amazing!

BEST MAKEUP

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Holmes
  3. The Revenant
  4. The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared
  5. Black Mass

I hate this category. I never know who is going to win or be nominated. Mad Max, I think, will win. I hope. I don’t know. I think Johnny Depp’s make up in Black Mass was great but I’m not a professional in the field, so what do I know? And after watching this featurette of Mr. Holmes’ make-up work, I tend to believe it’ll be nominated.

BEST SOUND EDITING

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Revenant
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Sicario
  7. Jurassic World
  8. Bridge of Spies
  9. Inside Out
  10. Spectre

BEST SOUND MIXING

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. The Revenant
  6. Straight Outta Compton II
  7. The Big Short
  8. The Hateful Eight
  9. Sicario

I’m not a fan of these categories. Mainly because I don’t really understand a lot about sound work. It is really interesting to read and watch videos about it though and I’d like to learn more. A few years ago IMDb ran this series before the Oscars where they went through all the categories and explained what they’re about. It was cool. But anyway, to the categories; Max should be a lock in both of the categories, so should Star Wars. I’m guessing that for The Revenant and The Martian as well and when watching Bridge of Spies, I actually paid a lot attention to the sounds and I think it’s deserving at least in mixing. And the sounds in The Hateful Eight are noticeable, though I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Any of the bubbling under could be in the mix though.

Later tonight I’ll do my final predictions for the best score, production design, both of the supporting acting categories, the best director and obviously the best picture.

Films of the Week Vol. 11

Yay, I have had this blog for something like 2,5 years and this is Vol. 11?! I’m lazy. Anyway, here we go, couple of films to review. I will probably see something else too this week but let’s just go with these now.Pitch Perfect 2

PITCH PERFECT 2 (2015)

Directed by Elizabeth Banks

Written by Kay Cannon & Mickey Rapkin

Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld & Brittany Snow

Synopsis (IMDb): “After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.”

Pitch Perfect 2 is ok. Which is kind of sad as I loved the first part. It was such a great surprise how much I liked it and I wished I’d like the second one as well but it’s kinda meh. It’s not bad but there aren’t any really good songs that you want to go back to like in the original one had. A lot of them. I listened to the soundtrack for a long time and I can still go back to it. And as both parts are about music it should stand out.

I don’t know. I didn’t care about any of the characters. Well, maybe about the guys in Treblemakers but not the girls. I like Anna Kendrick a lot as well as I like Elizabeth Banks a ton, I hope she will continue directing films but I hope they will be better than this. Rebel Wilson and her over-the-top characters are becoming kind of old, don’t you think? In here you have basically none “normal” scenes of her. But there still is something endearing in the film because during the last scene I did find myself crying, so they did get something right, it moved me (not a hard thing to do but at some point I really though I don’t care enough to shed a few tears, in the end, I did).

Pitch Perfect 2

Even though Pitch Perfect continues in the familiar way of the original, it feels more like separate scenes than the first one that indeed was growing up story like this one is pretending to be. Moving on is a hard thing but for some reason PP2 left me feeling like there should have been one part in between. Now it was a bit hard to identify within the situation because time jumps that much ahead from the first part. Anyway, Pitch Perfect is ok.

Rating *** (out of 5)

P.S. I know it’s so fun to make fun of Germans and their accent but really! That again made me feel like I’m watching something set in WWII.

 

the-man-from-u-n-c-l-e

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Written by Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Jeff Kleeman & David C. Wilson (Original series by Sam Rolfe)

Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander & Hugh Grant

Synopsis: “In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.” 

I saw this film about four hours ago. I already almost forgot I saw it. I think that is saying a lot. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is all about style and less about content. I’ve never been a big fan of Guy Ritchie and this sure didn’t change that.henry cavill hot and shirtless

Henry Cavill looks too good. I annoys me for some reason. I have hard time to concentrate his acting or character because I’m only paying attention to his physics. Yeah, I know, that sounds weird but it’s true. In a scene I just stare at his pecs instead of even thinking what is happening around them. And in this film he wears really nice suits too. Bothering. Armie Hammer’s character here (despite his stupid accent, again!, what is wrong with you people! Especially in this one, he plays a spy, wouldn’t he have perfected his accent? Huh?! Gosh, that makes me angry…) is much more approachable in the way that he feels and looks real. If anyone in this flick. And I can’t get over the fact that Alicia Vikander is a) a very talented actress b) an amazingly beautiful woman c) soon to be an Oscar nominated d) dating Michael Fassbender. I kinda hate her…

Yeah… It looks like my complaints are bit off here. 😀 But really, the film is empty with its content. It’s a bit like the first episode of series, it introduces everyone with a twist and then when you really start being interested in characters the film ends. I do want to know what happens to them next but unfortunately Uncle has made only about 100 000 $ according to Box Office Mojo which means with its 75M production budget that there will not be a sequel. Let’s hope it rallies within streaming services.

The film sure looks good. Just look at these costumes and make-ups and hairstyles and settings etc. Looks great, huh?

Elizabeth Debicki and Henry Cavill in the man from uncle with costumes Costumes in the man from uncle Production setting of the man from uncle in Rome Beautiful Alicia Vikander in The Man from Uncle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I appreciated it that Russians spoke Russian together like Germans spoke German and Italians Italian. I do appreciate this. But when you watch a film like this in Dutch cinema with Dutch subtitles and don’t speak said language it’s a bit challenging. 😀 Thankfully I speak some German, so I wasn’t totally lost.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)

P.S. Based on the reviews it looks like I should have given more stars to Uncle but the thing is that Pitch Perfect 2 is not that bad, it’s just that the first part was so much better.