Showing posts from February, 2012

Now on DVD

Movie night? Make sure to take a gander at these titles to save yourself from renting a severely disappointing film starring Nicolas Cage or Hugh Jackman. Enjoy!

Midnight in Paris -- This is a wonderfully charming Woody Allen film with terrific performances by the entire cast, especially Owen Wilson (believe it, or not). This film won an Oscar for best original screenplay, and it's well deserved. Even Wilson haters can find a lot to love about this film.

Take Shelter -- Easily one of the five best films of 2011. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Bug) has slowly become one of the most tantalizing actors in recent memory. I personally think his performance here was the best by an actor in 2011. Give this one a hard look.

The Ides of March -- A loaded cast helps make this film one of the best in 2011. It's written and directed by George Clooney (who also has a large role in the film), and stars Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti. It's a rather simple politic…

2nd Annual You Don't Know Jack Winners

I announced my award nominations last week, and now I will reveal my winners! There will be no The Artist winners here, so you can take a sigh of relief. Let's get to it!

Best Film: Drive
Best Actor: Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
Best Actress: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Best Directorial Debut: Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture: The Ides of March
Breakout Performance (Male): Craig Roberts, Submarine
Breakout Performance (Female): Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Best Screenplay (Original & Adapted): Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Best Original Score: Michael Danna, Moneyball
Best Cinematography: Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Film Editing: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Visual Effects: Rise of the P…

2012 Academy Award Winners

The 2012 Oscars went pretty much according to plan, while the show itself lacked humor or substance. The Artist and Hugo cleaned up (five wins a piece), which should definitely come as no surprise. I went 8/14 in the major categories, which is usually how I fare. Well, in case you missed it, here are your 2012 Oscar winners...

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Art Direction: Hugo
Cinematography: Hugo (Robert Richardson)
Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)
Music (Original Score): The Artist (Ludovic Bource)
Sound Editing: Hugo
Visual Effects: Hugo
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash)
Writing (Original Screenplay): Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)

Short Film (Anima…

2nd Annual You Don't Know Jack's

Jacks are wild this award season, as I'm releasing my second annual award nominations. I will release the winners sometime after the Oscars on Sunday. I haven't seen every film this calender year, but I've seen over 80% of the ones worth watching. If I haven't seen a film, it can NOT be nominated. Simple as that. Remember, I have not seen Melancholia, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Shame, The Descendants, The Help, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or We Need to Talk About Kevin. With that being said, here are your second annual You Don't Know Jack's!

Best Feature Film:
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Midnight in Paris
Take Shelter
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Ides of March

Best Actor:
Daniel Craig, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Best Actress:
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene

The Woman in Black (2012) PG-13

Life after Harry Potter has begun for young Daniel Radcliffe, and it starts with The Woman in Black. It's a curious decision because haunted house films these days are quite the bore, if you know what I mean. However, a solid screenwriter by the name of Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) helps give this film some credibility. Young director James Watkins (Eden Lake) still has a lot to prove, but I enjoyed Eden Lake and I have to say, this film isn't half bad...

This "horror" film is based on Susan Hill's 1983 novel by the same name. This may be your traditional ghost story that relies on suspense and atmosphere, but it pretty much works here. Watkins put together a small cast, led by Radcliffe, and they work well off of each other. It never hurts having brilliant veteran supporting actor Ciaran Hinds (Munich, The Eclipse) on board.

I'm not lying when I tell you this is a very simple ghost tale, so the plot won't take long to explain. Radcliffe play…

The Grey (2012) R

Liam Neeson's (Taken, Unknown) career is an interesting one, as he has become an action hero of sorts nowadays. He's re-teaming with The A-Team director Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces), and the results do vary. Carnahan and company put together a decent cast of undervalued actors and the cinematography (Masanobu Takayanagi) is top-notch, but there are problems at the core of this action-packed, claustrophobic disaster film.

Neeson plays John Ottway, a weathered sniper whose job is to shoot and kill Alaskan wolves who threaten oil drillers hard at work. The film opens with Ottway walking into a dirty, manic bar. A bar fight rages while the music blares and the beer flows like the salmon of Capistrano. Neeson takes a shot of the hard stuff, walks into the alley and puts a rifle into his mouth. His wife has obviously left him or has died, as flashbacks of the pretty brunette make him tear up. Right before pulling the trigger a wolf howls in the distance, and for some unknown…