Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 20 Films of 2015

Here the 20 best films of 2015. For the record, I never saw Carol or The Danish Girl.

1. Spotlight
2. The Big Short
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. The Revenant
5. Sicario
6. Trumbo
7. Ex Machina
8. Steve Jobs
9. 45 Years
10. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
11. Beasts of No Nation
12. The Stanford Prison Experiment
13. The End of the Tour
14. Jurassic World
15. Avengers: Age of Ultron
16. Bone Tomahawk
17. Room
18. Anomalisa
19. Mistress America
20. Brooklyn

Best of 2015

Here are my nominations for the best performances of 2015. It's worth noting that I still haven't seen films such as Carol, The Danish Girl and Creed. 2015 has been a down year cinematically after a handful of fantastic years. My "award winners" are highlighted and italicized.

Best Feature Film:
-45 Years
-The Big Short
-Ex Machina
-The Revenant
-Steve Jobs

Best Director:
-Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs
-Alex Garland, Ex Machina
-Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
-Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
-Adam McKay, The Big Short

Best Actor:
-Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
-Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
-Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
-Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
-Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actress:
-Greta Gerwig, Mistress America
-Brie Larson, Room
-Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
-Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
-Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor:
-Christian Bale, The Big Short
-Steve Carell, The Big Short
-Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
-Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
-Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Best Supporting Actress:
-Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
-Lola Kirke, Mistress America
-Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
-Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
-Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Original Score:
-Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, Ex Machina
-Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Revenant
-Johan Johannsson, Sicario
-Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
-Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs

Best Adapted Screenplay:
-Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
-Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
-Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
-Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, The Big Short
-Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay:
-Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, Mistress America
-Alex Garland, Ex Machina
-Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
-Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
-Taylor Sheridan, Sicario

Best Visual Effects:
-Crimson Peak
-Ex Machina
-Mad Max: Fury Road
-The Martian
-Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Cinematography:
-Roger Deakins, Sicario
-Rob Hardy, Ex Machina
-Alwin H. Kuchler, Steve Jobs
-Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
-John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road

Friday, January 22, 2016

Top 20 Episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

We're three episodes deep into season 11 of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," and it's pretty clear that the show has lost some of its wit and originality, but nevertheless the show is a must watch when new material is inevitably released. While the show has been moved to FXX (it previously aired on big brother FX), the ratings have actually grown, likely because of better access to obscure channels and the internet popularity of the show.

Listed below are the 20 best episodes of one of the best television comedies of all time, and it was extremely hard to narrow the list to 20 (and to rank them for that matter). Each episode has specific reasons for being on this list. The great part about this show is that there are key moments in each of these episodes that have stuck with me to this day, whether that be Chardee MacDennis, Mac Day, salting "Gail the Snail," bisexual truckers, the fictional Wolf Cola or the infamous Brian LeFevre.

Season 10 didn't make its way onto the list because it lacks a signature episode, and although season nine only has one episode on the list it is a doozy. The first 10 seasons are readily available on Netflix.

1. Season 5, Episode 4 - The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention
2. Season 9, Episode 5 - Mac Day
3. Season 4, Episode 4 - Mac's Banging the Waitress
4. Season 7, Episode 7 - Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games
5. Season 4, Episode 1 - Mac and Dennis: Manhunters
6. Season 5, Episode 9 - Mac and Dennis Break Up
7. Season 8, Episode 10 - Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense
8. Season 3, Episode 10 - Mac Is a Serial Killer
9. Season 6, Episode 11 - The Gang Gets Stranded In the Woods
10. Season 8, Episode 5 - The Gang Gets Analyzed
11. Season 8, Episode 7 - Frank's Back in Business
12. Season 7, Episode 4 - Sweet Dee Gets Audited
13. Season 3, Episode 1 - The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby
14. Season 7, Episode 8 - The ANTI-Social Network
15. Season 3, Episode 14 - Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City
16. Season 2, Episode 6 - The Gang Gives Back
17. Season 5, Episode 10 - The D.E.N.N.I.S. System
18 Season 1, Episode 1 - The Gang Gets Racist
19 Season 3, Episode 5 - The Aluminum Monster vs. Fatty Magoo
20 Season 5, Episode 1 - The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis

Top 15 Episodes of "Portlandia"

The sixth season of IFC's "Portlandia," a hilariously random television series that first aired in 2011, officially began last night. The show, usually set in Portland, Oregon, is as hit-and-miss as any show on television, but when the show hits it sticks. In honor of Fred Armisen and Carrie Browntein, here are the best 15 episodes of their outlandish and original television comedy. The first five seasons can currently be viewed on Netflix.

Rather than give away important information about each episode listed below, you can watch and enjoy on your own. You will no doubt notice only one episode from season five, and that is simply because it is the weakest season to date. The show probably peaked midway through season four, but perhaps Armisen and Brownstein have something left up their sleeves.

1. Season 3, Episode 1 - "Winter in Portlandia"
2. Season 3, Episode 4 - "Nina's Birthday"
3. Season 2, Episode 1 - "Mixologist"
4. Season 4, Episode 3 - "Celery"
5. Season 2, Episode 3 - "Cool Wedding"
6. Season 1, Episode 2 - "A Song for Portland"
7. Season 3, Episode 7 - "The Temp"
8. Season 1, Episode 1 - "Farm"
9. Season 1, Episode 6 - "Baseball"
10. Season 1, Episode 3 - "Aimee"
11. Season 3, Episode 8 - "Soft Opening"
12. Season 4, Episode 4 - "Pull-Out King"
13. Season 3, Episode 11 - "Blackout"
14. Season 4, Episode 8 - "Late In Life Drug Use"
15. Season 5, Episode 9 - "You Can Call Me Al"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best of 2014

This list will continue to change over the next couple of months, but a lot of great films have been hitting theaters as of late and it's time to begin a discussion about the year's best films.

1. Interstellar -- An incredible cinematic achievement that has to be seen to believe. Christopher Nolan has incredibly outdone "Inception" with one of the best films ever created.

2. Gone Girl -- A faithful adaptation of one of the best books of the last decade. David Fincher's film is a twisted thrill-ride that packs a punch.

3. Under the Skin -- Gorgeous, pulse-pounding and experimental. A heartfelt yet eerie look into human nature.

4, Whiplash -- An emotional, thrilling, thought-provoking and well-acted drama about jazz music--what a rush.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel -- Well-crafted and hilarious. What else would you expect from Wes Anderson?

6. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) -- The acting is superb, the plot is complex and the drama will leave you breathless.

7. The Babadook -- One of the best psychological horror films ever made. A dream-haunter and a brain-teaser, simultaneously.

8. A Most Wanted Man -- A spy thriller gem from the director of "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy" that had me falling to knees in disbelief after the final scene.

9. Foxcatcher -- An incredible true story with three terrific performances from Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum.

10. X-Men: Days of Future Past -- The best film of the franchise. It's that good.

11. Enemy -- A film that is better the second time around. Your brain may explode, but Jake Gyllenhaal is phenomenal.

12. Nightcrawler -- Gyllenhaal like you've never seen him. He's incredible. Worth the price of admission.

13. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes -- A suddenly can't miss franchise. Gary Oldman is fantastic and the damn, dirty apes are more humane than the humans. Interesting.

14. Guardians of the Galaxy -- Slightly overrated but still a very fun film with lots of jokes that hit and thrills that thrill.

15. Snowpiercer -- A great piece of filmmaking with an intriguing premise. The film has flaws but it has so many admirable features.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3rd Annual "Jacks" -- 2013 Awards

Best Picture:
*12 Years a Slave*
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Place Beyond the Pines

Best Actor:
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Oscar Issac, Inside Llewyn Davis
*Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club*
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

Best Actress:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
*Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine*
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Best Director:
*Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis*
Spike Jonze, Her
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Supporting Actor:
*Bradley Cooper, American Hustle*
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisoners
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, Her
*Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle*
Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn Davis
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Screenplay:
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Eric Singer, David O. Russell, American Hustle
*Spike Jonze, Her*
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder, The Place Beyond the Pines

Best Cinematography:
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
*Hoyte Van Hoytema, Her*
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Roger Deakins, Prisoners

Best Visual Effects:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek into Darkness

Best Film Editing:
*12 Years a Slave*
Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Original Score:
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
*Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Her*
T-Bone Burnett, Todd Kasow, Inside Llewyn Davis
Cliff Martinez, Only God Forgives
Mike Patton, The Place Beyond the Pines

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top 25 Films of 2013

1. The Place Beyond the Pines
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Her
4. 12 Years a Slave
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
6. Prisoners
7. American Hustle
8. Dallas Buyers Club
9. Nebraska
10. Star Trek Into Darkness
11. The Kings of Summer
12. Gravity
13. Captain Phillips
14. Blue Jasmine
15. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
16. Iron Man 3
17. The Conjuring
18. Ain't Them Bodies Saints
19. The Spectacular Now
20. You're Next
21. Thor: The Dark World
22. Mud
23. The Way Way Back
24. Frances Ha
25. The World's End

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 15 Films of 2012

2012 has drawn to a close, and while I never post anymore I thought it would be punctual to post my 15 favorite films of 2012. I have not seen nearly as many films this year as I have in the past, but I have seen most of the noteworthy ones throughout the year. Here goes.

1. The Dark Knight Rises
2. The Avengers
3. Zero Dark Thirty
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. Argo
6. Lincoln
7. Looper
8. Moonrise Kingdom
9. The Hunger Games
10. Skyfall
11. Django Unchained
12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
13. Frankenweenie
14. The Cabin in the Woods
15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Honorable mention: Life of Pi, Arbitrage, Prometheus, The Hunter, End of Watch